« 上一頁繼續 »
but by his courage and patriotism; that he was determined to serve as a private soldier, and to acquire distinction by his exertions and by his blood. Having obtained his Colonel's permission, he went to Spain, where he served as a volunteer through the whole war, steadily refusing rank, and seeking every occasion of being foremost in action. The war in Spain being at an end, he returned to his native country, where he obtained the rank of Captain. He continued to serve with the same zeal and activity, and maintained the strictest discipline. His military knowledge was acquired not only from study, but from practice and accurate observation of all that passed in the Peninsula, and he had formed a system of tactics for himself. Novales was regarded with an eye of jealousy by all the other officers, who felt their own inferiority both as military men and citizens. General Martinez soon perceived this hostility, and resolved to turn it to his own advantage.
At ten o'clock of the night of the 2nd of June, 1823, Novales entered the barrack of the King's regiment, to which he belonged, accompanied by the sub-lieutenant, Ruiz, and calling about him all the inferior officers, he told them that the moment for proclaiming their independence, and for freeing their country from tyranny had arrived. He assured them that although General Martinez affected to hold constitutional opinions, he had, in fact, no other object than to render himself absolute master of the island. They unanimously resolved to join Novales, and declared that they were ready to sacrifice their lives for the good of their country. He therefore ordered the sergeants and sergeant-majors to repair immediately to their respective compavies, and to acquaint the soldiers with their intentions. He exhorted them to have no fear of the result, and to put the regiment instantly under arms. As soon as he had ascertained that all was ready, he sent the sub-lieutenant, Ruiz, to arrest the Commandant of of the Piazza, and sub-inspector of the army, Don Mariano Fernandez de Folgueras. The Commandant resisted, and after repeatedly refusing to surrender himself to Ruiz, prepared to make a desperate defence, protesting that he would not be taken while he held the sword. which he had drawn to revenge himself on any who might attack him. Saying this, he laid his hand on his sword, but Ruiz being more active than he, rushed upon him and killed him with his dagger. On leaving the Commandant's house, he immediately hastened to the houses of all the other authorities, whom he arrested and secured without resistence. While Ruiz was thus occupied, Novales put all the European officers under arrest. Though he knew this precaution was rendered necessary by their hostility to his designs, he treated them all with the greatest courtesy, and as brothers in arms. Ruiz then went to arrest his Lieutenant-colonel, Don Jose Santa-Romana, but did not find him at home. He had set out to acquaint General Martinez, who was at the baths, three miles from the city, with what was passing. Novales having ascertained that all the authorities were under arrest, dispatched a serjeant with two hundred men to the artillery barracks, with orders to take possession of them, and of the arsenal. As soon as they reached the artillery barracks, the sergeant summoned the Commandant, and repeated to him the order he had received from Captain Novales, to take possession of the arsenal. The Commandant replied: “I will never desert my post, but as. I know I cannot resist your force, I promise to supply you with whatever arms and ammunition you want, on condition that you do not attempt to enter here. If you do not agree to this, I am ready to defend it to the last extremity.” The sergeant ordered his detachment to retire to a little distance, and received from the Commandant a quantity of ammunition.
At the same time, Novales, with another detachment, presented himself before the fort of Saint Jago, which commands the town of Manilla, and summoned the Commandant, who happened to be his own brother. “ This is the moment,” said he, “my dear brother, to liberate our country from the hands of oppressors. I am already master of the city and of the palace, and of all the constituted authorities. I therefore exhort you to join with me in proclaiming independence in the fort you command, and to prepare to defend the sacred cause like a true citizen.” Mariano Novales, who was a royalist, and thought he should make his own fortune in this affair, and receive some great recompense for his adherence to the government, and who cared neither for his country nor his brother, replied: “I will never become a traitor to the government, nor will I have any thing to do with your conspiracy; and without an order from the Captain-general, I will not surrender the fort. And now you may do as you please; I wish you good luck.” Saying these words, he retired. Novales then returned into the town, to concert other measures.
While these things were going on, two Indians escaped over the walls of the city, and went instantly to give information to General Martinez, who, as I have said, was at the baths with all his family. The moment he received this intelligence, he began to weep like an infant, not knowing what steps to take, and thinking of nothing but his own preservation and that of his family. He was in such a state of mind that he would have decided upon nothing, had not four superior officers who happened to be with him, named Olea, Trastorsa, Lequira, and Santa-Romana got together some regiments which were stationed without the city, and formed them into a division. They then went to General Martinez and told him what they had done, urging him at the same time to put himself at the head of this division to encourage the soldiers. The General, whose fears exaggerated the danger, showed the greatest reluctance to expose himself, and evidently thought the Revolution better organized than it really was; but finding that he could not escape without proclaiming himself a coward, he consented to march at the head of the division. As soon as they presented themselves before the gates of Manilla, Novales prepared to defend the town; and at the first gun that was fired, the valorous governor fled, leaving his division without a Commandant. Lieutenantcolonel Santa-Romana, who was senior officer, seeing this specimen of his General's bravery, took the command, and commenced a vigorous attack. The brave Novales, after a hot fire of five hours, which he sustained with the most undaunted courage, was wounded. As the Sub-lieutenant, Ruiz, was also wounded, and they had lost fifty men out of their very inferior force, they were compelled to abandon their post, and to return into the Palacio de la Cindad. Santa-Romana then entered the city, and blockaded the Palacio, into which Novales had retreated. This brave man was now incapacitated by his wound from conducting the defence, and the sergeants who had taken the command, surrendered to Lieutenant-colonel Santa-Romana, who instantly threw into prison Novales, Ruiz, and the twenty-three sergeants of the regiment.
As soon as General Martinez, who was at a short distance from Manilla, heard that Santa-Romana had subdued the rebels, he made a sort of triumphal entry into the town, as if he were a conqueror, and instantly ordered a military commission to try the rebels within two hours. The very same officers, and some European subalterns, who had been arrested by Novales, were taken out of prison to form the Council of War, contrary to all military laws. As soon as they were assembled, they dispensed with all forms, and condemned Novales, Ruiz, and twenty-one sergeants to be shot at five o'clock in the afternoon. Two were pardoned in consequence of their youth. Novales and Ruiz, though both were severely wounded, received their sentence with the utmost intrepidity, and without betraying the least fear or regret at the prospect of death. They reproached all the officers who composed the Commission with their abject spirit in wishing to live under a despotism, and declared that they were perfectly contented to die in so holy a cause. They were all twenty-three immediately led into a church, where a number of Capuchin friars immediately came about them, exhorting them to confess, attempting to allure or terrify them with the grossest and most degrading pictures of hell and heaven. Novales and Ruiz refused to hear their disgusting nonsense, declaring that they had nothing to reproach themselves with, and that they would do the same again for the deliverance of their country. All the sergeants imitated the example of these true heroes, persisting in the declaration of their opinions, and in refusing to listen to the lies and impositions of the infamous Capuchins, who, when the time of execution drew near, withdrew, (ashamed and enraged that they could not subjugate the firm minds of these men,) exclaiming that they were damned to all eternity, and that the devil would immediately have possession of their souls. At five o'clock they were led to the place of execution. Novales said, with a clear and firm voice :“ Comrades, we have nothing to reproach ourselves with, and though we have been unsuccessful, we may hope in a few minutes to join the company of Brutus, and of all who have died for liberty and for their country, and to breathe a purer air than here.” Then, turning to the people, he said: “Let my death and that of my companions be an example to you; we die innocent, for having attempted to give you freedom” He would have continued, but his voice was drowned by the drums which the Governor had ordered to beat for fear the people should be moved to a second revolt. Picquets being formed, they were all shot at the same time, and their bodies left till the following day on the same spot, as a warning to the people.
The following morning the Governor issued a proclamation, addressed to the people in the following terms :
CITIZENS, The Supreme Being, God, the God of your fathers, who by means of the Spanish Government redeemed you from paganism and infidelity, and received you into the bosom of our Holy Mother, the Catholic and Roman Church, has, by his high and incomprehensible decrees, ordained, in his care for your welfare and preservation, and that of your children and families, that I should bave been sent to these islands, with a chosen body of worthy and brave soldiers, to oppose the perfidious machina.
tions of those wicked and ambitious men who intended to declare themselves absolute masters of the country. Being always averse to shed human blood, I contented myself, in the first instance, with banislıing from these delicious regions, the evil doers who wished to oppress you. In spite of this generous conduct on my part, their secret agents conceived various insane projects, which they sought to carry into effect by
On the 3rd of this month, the perverse Novales, ex-Captain of the King's regiment, together with the ex-Sub-Lieutenant Ruiz, of the same corps, and the greater part of the sergeants, seduced the incautious soldiers; and having basely assassinated the most worthy cominandant of the Piazza, sub-inspector of the army, the most Excellent Don Mariino Fernandez de Folgueras, tried to get possession of the fort of Saint Jago and of the Piazza. They were defeated in their attempt upon the fort, by the care and foresight of Major Don Placido Duro, but made themselves masters of the Palace and the Piazza, arresting many officers and other persons. As soon as I was informed of this horrible attempt, I flew with the rapidity of lightning, at the head of a small column composed of the corps of artillery, the brave grenadiers of the Queen's battalion, a small part of the Prince's regiment, and the light horse of Luzon, and entered the Piazza, aided by the brave battalion of Pampangos, under the command of its illustrious officers, wlrose names will be known to the public, as well as those of the intrepid cavalry of Luzon. These gallant men succeeded in destroying the cowards who had shut themselves up in the Palace and in the Chapter House, whence they fired in a manner which showed their alarm, but were at length compelled to surrender to the brave soldiers who defended the just cause. They were soon made prisoners, and were consequently shot, according to the sentence passed by a military Commission. The infamous Novales, Ruiz, and wenty-one other traitors thus received the punishment due to their crimes ; the corporals and privates were pardoned, as being only blind instruments of the iniquity of others. Novales intended to declare himself Emperor of the Philippine Islands, to sack the churches, the hospitals, and private houses, and to murder every individual, whether European or Indian, who opposed his wishes ; to levy fresh taxes on the inhabitants, by which he meant to enrich himself, and, as soon as he had made his fortune, to abscond; but divine Providence, which watches over this chosen part of the Spanish nation, would not permit such atrocities. The terrible sword of justice placed in my liand, and guided by the God of armies, will fall upon the heads of evil doers, who disturb the public tranquillity and good order.
Philippines! the Spanish Government protects you, and its beneficent laws secure your liberty. You shall not be subjected to the command of tyranvical usurpers, who will plunge you into misery, and into the most ignominious slavery. You may live in the perfect assurance that the Captain-general, Governor of these Islands, will always be ready to shed his blood in your defence. June 6th, 1823.
Juan Antonio MARTINEZ. You will remark here, that although it was Mariano Novales, the brother of the unfortunate Andres, who was Commandant of the fort, and in that capacity had the power of delivering it into his brother's hands, which he refused to do, General Martinez makes no mention of him in his proclamation, but gives all the credit of the resistance to Placido Duro. Not content with this injustice, he threw him into prison, where he remains to this day, without any prospect of liberation; such is the reward of his zeal and loyalty. Lieutenant-colonel Santa-Romana saw with indignation that General Martinez, in his proclamation, appropriated to himself the whole credit of subduing the rebellion, while it was notorious that he had fled at the sound of the first gun, and had shown the utmost indifference about everything but his own preservation: as he naturally wished the Spanish Government should know to whom it was indebted for the suppression of a revolution which would probably have become very serious, he determined to unmask General Martinez, and to prove that his valour had been displayed in flying to a country-house, three miles from the scene of danger. He therefore, at length, determined to issue the following proclamation :
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLAND,
I am far from wishing to boast of what I did on the 3d of June in subduing the rebellion, which, but for prompt measures, might have caused serious disorder in the country. it is, however, right that you should know, that General Martinez, the Governor of these Islands, being informed of what was passing in the town, instead of concerting any such measures, thought fit to devote his whole attention to his own safety and that of his family, and to issue no orders whatever for the conduct of the army on this critical occasion. Being, therefore, the oldest superior officer, and having the good of my country at heart, I determined immediately to collect all the forces I could. After I had accomplished this, it was with the utmost difficulty I could prevail on his Excellency, the Captain-General, to take the command ;, and on our arrival at the gate of the town, he thought fit to desert his post, for personal reasons which I shall not here animadvert upon. This being the case, I immediately took the command of the small column I had assembled, and after five hours' fighting, succeeded in quelling the revolt. The moment General Martinez heard of this le hastened back to the town, resumed the command, and appropriated to himself the merit of what had been done by others. I thought it my duty to lay before you a statement of my own conduct on this occasion, not with a view to obtain any reward for it, but solely to give you a proof of my attachment to my country and to my fellow-citizens. September 9th, 1823.
Jose SANTA-ROMANA, Lieut-Col. Santa-Romana caused a great many copies of this proclamation to be stuck about the town. The people, who knew the insatiable ambition of General Martinez, read it with great pleasure. Several of the Governor's parasites immediately brought him copies of it, and urged him to write an answer, in order to justify himself in the eyes of the people; with this advice he complied, and ordered the following reply to be instantly printed, and fixed up in all the usual places in the capital and throughout the islands. Reply of the Captain-General of these Islands to the Manifesto of Lieutenant-Colonel
Don Josè Santa-Romana concerning the Occurrences of the 2d and 3d of June, 1823.
Sir,-Chance has placed in my hands the Manifesto which you have addressed to the public, for the purpose of raising yourself in the estimation of your country, your fellow-citizens and fellow-soldiers, on account of your military and political conduct, on the night of the 2d, and the morning of the 3d of June. It does not appear to me, sir, that it was necessary for you to publish these uncalled-for details of your conduct, since I had made quite sufficient mention of it in the general order of the day of the 8th of August ; but since you have thought fit to give a more full report of the part you took on that occasion, I think you ought not to have arrogated to yourself the credit of all the measures that were taken for the chastisement of a small number of wretched men, headed by a mad captain, without means or influence, and a sublieutenant of a similar character, who were the sole leaders of a rebellion. You forget, sir, that you were not the only individual who entered the palace, or who drove them out of it, and that you were not the first who presented himself before the Piazza ; that you entered at the same moment with the lieutenant of the Queen's battalion, Don Salvador Gonsalez, Captain Don Gabriel de la Ballina, of the King's Regiment, Don Francisco Lecarequi, Lieutenant of the Light Horse of Luzon, and D. Vincente Santa Clara, Lieutenant of the Prince's battalion. The former, at my desire, collected some troops and entered, the second voluntarily did the same, the third fought bravely and wounded the miserable Ruiz, and the fourth protected the entrance of Gonzalez into the palace, with a small detachment of his regiment and that of Pampangos. You have forgotten, sir, or you never knew, the precautions I took, and that D. Felix Ruiz, and D. José Carillas, and the intrepid Captain la Ballina attacked the rebels according to my orders. You have endeavoured to throw blame on all the chiefs and commanders of the army, although they all acted with the greatest zeal, and are deserving of the highest praise ; yet, with a modesty equal to their courage, they contented themselves with executing my orders, without endeavouring to court the applause of the people for actions which they thought in the common course of their duty. My moderation, my dignity, and my magnanimous character, do not permit me to address any reproaches to you, sir, which could only wound my own self-esteem. The people, who are just judges, saw my actions, and the army knows the measures I pursued for the chastisement of the rebels and the preservation of public tranquillity, both within our walls APRIL, 1826.