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La Barre sailed for home; and the Marquis de Denonville, a pious colonel of dragoons, assumed the vacant office. * Faillon, Colonie Fran?aise, II. 244.
FLIGHT OF THE ROYAL FAMILY OF PORTUGAL. (See p. 547.)
* La Hontan, II. 81 (ed. 1709).We left Wellington occupying his impregnable lines at Torres Vedras during the winter, and Massena occupying Santarem. Buonaparte thought he could suggest a mode of putting down the provoking English general which Massena did not seem able to conceive. After studying the relative situations of the belligerents, he sent word to Soult to make a junction with Massena by crossing the Tagus, and then, as he would be much superior in strength, to continually attack Wellington, and cause him, from time to time, to lose some of his men. He observed that the British army was small, and that the people at home were anxious about their army in Portugal, and were not likely to increase it much. Having thus weakened Wellington, as soon as the weather became favourable they were to make an attack from the south bank of the Tagus. But there were two difficulties to overcome of no trivial character in this plan. Wellington was not the man to be drawn into the repeated loss of his men, and the Tagus was too well guarded by our fleet and by batteries for any chance of taking him in the rear. However, Napoleon sent Massena a reinforcement, under General Drouet, who carried along with him a great supply of provisions: he assembled an army in the north of Spain, under Bessires, of seventy thousand men, and Soult moved from Cadiz, leaving Sebastiani to continue the blockade, and advanced to make the ordered junction with Massena. But he deemed it necessary, before crossing into southern Portugal, to take possession of Badajoz. In his advance, at the head of twenty thousand men, he defeated several Spanish corps, and sat down before Badajoz towards the end of February. Could Massena have maintained himself at Santarem, this junction might have been made; but, notwithstanding the provisions brought by Drouet, he found that he had no more than would serve him on a retreat into Spain. He had ten thousand of his army sick, and therefore, not waiting for Soult, he evacuated Santarem on the 5th of March, and commenced his march Spain-ward. Wellington was immediately after him, and the flight and pursuit continued for a fortnight. To prevent Massena from finding a temporary refuge in Coimbra, Wellington ordered Sir Robert Wilson and Colonel Trant to destroy an arch of the bridge over the Mondego, and thus detain him on the left bank of that river till he came up. But Massena did not wait; he proceeded along a very bad road on the left bank of the river to Miranda, on the river Coira. Along this track Massena's army was sharply and repeatedly attacked by the British van under Picton, and suffered severely. Ney commanded the rear-division of the enemy, and, to check the advance of the British, he set fire to the towns and villages as he proceeded, and, escaping over the bridge on the Coira, he blew it up. But before this could be effected, Picton was upon him, accompanied by Pack's brigade and a strong body of horse, and drove numbers of the French into the river, and took much baggage. Five hundred French were left on the ground, and to facilitate their flight from Miranda, which they also burnt, they destroyed a great deal more of their baggage and ammunition. Lord Wellington was detained at the Coira, both from want of means of crossing and from want of supplies; for the French had left the country a black and burning desert. The atrocities committed by the army of Massena on this retreat were never exceeded by any host of men or devils. The soldiers seemed inspired with an infernal spirit of vengeance towards the Portuguese, and committed every horror and outrage for which language has a name. The Portuguese, on the other hand, driven to madness, pursued them like so many demons, cutting off and destroying all stragglers, and shooting down the flying files as they hurried through the woods and hills. The whole way was scattered with the carcases of the fugitives.
 This appears from the letters of Denonville, La Barre's successor.
The Government of Spain was sunk into the very deepest degradation and imbecility. Charles IV. was one of the weakest of Bourbon kings. He was ruled by his licentious wife, Maria Luiza, and she by Manuel de Godoy, a young and handsome man, who, about the year 1784, had attracted her eye as a private in the Royal Guards. By her means he was rapidly promoted, and at the age of twenty-four was already a general. He was soon created a Grandee of Spain, and the queen married him to a niece of the king. He was made Generalissimo of all the Spanish Forces, and, in fact, became the sole ruling power in the country. He was styled the Prince of the Peacea title acquired by his having effected the pacification of Basle, which terminated the Revolutionary War between France and Spain. By the subsequent Treaty of St. Ildefonso he established an offensive and defensive alliance with France, which, in truth, made Spain entirely subservient to Napoleon.321 To return to Druilletes. The smoke of the wigwam blinded him; and it is no matter of surprise to hear that he was cured by a miracle. He returned from his winter roving to Quebec in high health, and soon set forth on a new mission. On the River Kennebec, in the present State of Maine, dwelt the Abenaquis, an Algonquin people, destined hereafter to become a thorn in the sides of the New-England colonists. Some of them had visited their friends, the Christian Indians of Sillery. Here they became converted, went home, and preached the Faith to their countrymen, and this to such purpose that the Abenaquis sent to Quebec to ask for a missionary. Apart from the saving of souls, there were solid reasons for acceding to their request. The Abenaquis were near the colonies of New England,indeed, the Plymouth colony, under its charter, claimed jurisdiction over them; and in case of rupture, they would prove serviceable friends or dangerous enemies to New France.  Their messengers were favorably received; and Druilletes was ordered to proceed upon the new mission.