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"capital of the kings" should be reduced to ashes! Latterly, he decreed the punishment of death for the removal of any of the bodies of those who fell on the Callao road in November last; and said, that “they should remain where they fell, to be devoured by vultures and dogs.” None, of course, were removed, and they presented, for many days, a spectacle of disgusting horror, which language cannot paint. A foreigner travelling the road a short time afterwards, fainted at the sight of these unburied and half-devoured carcasses.
There were forty-two bodies lying in or near the road, within the distance of a mile, and there they remained until devoured, as Rodil had decreed. Of the nine killed within the gates of Lima, and whose mangled remains I saw immediately after the action-if such it may be called and which were lying within a stone's throw of each other, one had received five mortal wounds; and I was told by an eye-witness of the scene, that this poor wretch was attacked by at least half a dozen of the Spanish cavalry, himself unarmed; and in begging on his knees for quarters, was answered, that “ they would give him quarters in hell ;": and instantly a lance was driven through his body, his chin entirely chopped off by the stroke of a cutlass, two balls shot through his neck, and one through his heart! This man was butchered like a wild beast; and I can only say, that if the ordinary details of the “pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war," present such scenes as these, man may claim precedence of the bear and the wolf.
The history of this revolution is a tale of horror ; indeed, it has been exultingly said by a Spanish adjutant general, Garcia Camba, in his " Notes on the Revolution," that "the only monuments which they have erected in Peru, are monuments of white stones, (piedra blanca,) meaning human bones," and tombs and sepulchres !" And it is true from Pedro de Candia,* who first landed on these then peaceful shores, with the
* This man, who was a Greek, was the first of the adventurous band of Pizarro, consisting only of thirteen companions, who landed at Peru. Garcilasso minutely describes even his dress, and informs us, that in addition to his coat of mail, which completely encased him in steel, his sword, &c. " he bore a cross of half a yard in length in his right hand.” It appears, that the valley of Tumbez, where he landed, was immediately in an uproar at the sight of the monster, who is described to have been of an extraordinary size, “wearing a most formidable beard, &c. ;" and that a lion and a tiger were let loose upon him, but, like another Daniel, they harmed him not ; for, as Garcilasso informs us, on seeing the Christian, and more especially the cross, they lost their natural ferocity, and crouched before him like two spaniels.” It appears that Pedro
cross in one hand, and the sword in the other, down to Rodil. After nearly three centuries of havoc and murder, the last miserable remnant of the descendants of the conquerors, as they proudly style themselves, are perishing of hunger in the castles of Callao, which have now become the last intrenchment, and soon will be the tomb, of their despotic power. The first act of this tragic drama was opened by a swine herd, who could neither read nor write,* and the last will probably soon be closed, by the present worthy representative of the Pizarro dynasty, in starvation and despair. And thus may every conquest of lawless ambition, begun in blood—whether staining the cross, the crescent, or the sword-be concluded; and then may we exclaim, under the conviction of resistless truth-verily, the finger of God is in this thing."
With respect to the Archipelago of Chiloe, already mentioned, as held by the Spanish arms, it is understood to be the intention of General Bolivar to attempt its reduction in the ensuing summer, (December, January, &c.) as in the present season it cannot be safely approached by hostile shipping, which must cruise outside of its harbours. In the winter, storms of wind and rain are incessant, and it is the very “Patria nimborum, loca foeta furentibus austris." It is remarkable, that Lord Cochrane was once repulsed there, and latterly, General Freyre, the present director of Chile, at the head of 2,800 men. But the government does not seem to be well settled, and there was recently a revolt or popular insurrec
availed himself of the “miracle, as he considered it, and plucking up more courage, patted the animals on their backs, and laid the cross on them, to exhibit its virtues to those Gentiles, and that it could even quell the ferocity of wild beasts; and the Indians consequently believed bim to be the child of the sun, come from Heaven."
called la Cruz del Milagro, (ihe cross of the miracle,) is still preserved in one of the churches of the city of Piara ; and once a year, the anniversary of the miraculous quelling of the wild beasts received the adoration of all the devout in that part of the country.
* This is matter of history, and if true, I do not know that it reflects any great discredit upon Pizarro, considering the character of the age in which we lived. In the preceding age, at least, learning of any description was not considered as an accomplishment of a cavalier, but was almost exclusively confined, I believe, to the cloister.
It is remarkable, that Pizarro was upwards of fifty years of age when he undertook the conquest of Peru, and that although he was two years in effecting his voyage from Panama to Tumbez, and all his companions turned back, except thirteen, he pushed on with all the ardour of youth, and his final success was almost miraculous. The “possunt quia posse videntur" -a most excellent maxim, by the bye-was completely verified in the history of this daring adventurer.
tion there, when Quintanilla, the governor, resigned his clubthe only ensign of his high office
but no greater bully than himself appearing, who dared to accept of it, he soon assumed it again peacefully, without bloodshed, and with the tacit consent, at least, of the patres conscripti of the islands. His salary is fixed at $12 per month ; and on the arrival of Freyre's expedition, he had $750 in the public chest, which he distributed among his soldiery, at the rate of 62; cents each; which appears to have perfectly satisfied them, for they fought like lions, and left 360 of the enemy dead on the field. A sloop of war was also lost in the harbour, and altogether, the expedition ended in complete disgrace. Chiloe was considered by Humboldt, as the commercial key of the Pacific coast; and it is a fact, that the Spanish privateers, or rather pirates, which found a refuge there, during the two last years, absolutely annihilated the Patriot commerce from Valdivia to Panama. It was formerly under the government of the viceroy of Peru, but in the event of its independence, will probably be aggregated to that of Chile, on account of its proximity to that country; a measure, however, which is known to be contrary to the wishes of the Chilotes, and the idea of which has, no doubt, retarded their efforts, or weakened their desire for independence. They possess one characteristic, common, I believe, to all islanders; a jealousy and hatred of their continental neighbours Their power, at present, is nothing, except in resistance on their own soil—they cannot act offensively; and I have no doubt, that on the appearance of the contemplated expedition on their coasts, they will immediately declare their independence.
General Bolivar, or the libertador, as he is more usually called, is at present making a tour through the interior provinces, to regulate the internal government of the country. He possesses the power and style of dictator, and although absolute, and having the life, liberty, and property of every Peruvian at his disposal, yet I have never heard of any grievous act of oppression that he has committed.* He probably “bears
* I do not know but I ought to qualify this observation, and except from it his treatment of the ex-President Riva Aguero, Admiral Guise, and Colonel Brandsen. They have made loud complaints against him, but I have now neither leisure nor inclination to present to you the pros and cons upon this subject. “ Much, no doubt, may be said on both sides." I have been told that Bolivar fully approved of the arrest of Guise; and in a letter to the governor of Guayaquil, (Castilla,) said, that “by this arrest he had gained a second victory of , Ayacucho for Colombia.” While Admiral Guise had the command of the Peruvian squadron, (it is now under the command of a Colombian officer,) some fears were, no doubt, entertained for the safety of Guayaquil. It formerly belonged
his faculties as meekly” as any mortal ever did in his situation-which no mortal ought to hold ; and I believe he may be presented as a model to all the sons of ambition, who thus get the start of the majestic world. He is not popular among the Peruvians, or rather the Limanians, although, in reading the government gazette, you might think otherwise; for in that he is declared to possess more virtues than Titus or Washington; and his exploits are said not to have been surpassed by those of Hercules or Theseus, or by the marches and conquests of Alexander or Napoleon! But the same was said of San Martin three years ago. His great project at present is the congress at Panama, to confederate, in a permanent league, all the independent states of Spanish America ;* “ to form literally," as it is expressed__" but one family"-perhaps a consolidated government, under one chief magistrate. But his measures or intentions can only be conjectured; one strong trait in his character is, that his own bosom is the depository of his secrets. All the politicians of South America at present, I believe, pretend to follow our form of government as their model, but I never knew one who appeared to comprehend its precise nature. They, invariably, either consider our different states as so many provinces of the same empire, or as independent sovereignties, united together like the republics of ancient Greece, for some temporary or single purpose. But whatever are Bolivar's private sentiments respecting our system, he openly, and I presume candidly, professes the greatest respect for it.f Different opinions, however, have heretofore prevailed. The late Colonel Monteagudo, minister of state
to the republic of Peru; was detached from it by Bolivar; is the only naval depot on the coast, and is necessary to Peru in that respect. Besides, the profits of its commerce are considerable, probably $1,500,000 per annum, and the people are extremely anxious to be re-united to Peru. The attempt may hereafter be made.
* These states at present are Mexico, the United States of central America, (Guatemala,) Colombia, the republic of Peru, the republic of Bolivar, (Alto Peru,) Chile, and the provinces of the Rio de la Plata. All but the two last have joined in the league.
+ In a letter addressed by General Bolivar to our consul here, deploring the melancholy death of the late Judge Prevost, he says" his talents and moral qualities were worthy of the agent of the most free and best governed people of the universe." (Cuyos talentos y calidades morales, eran dignas de un agente del pueblo mas libre, y bien constituido, del universo.)
HI must detain you à moment, to state the manner in which this man came by his death. The public prints may have informed you that he was assassinated. This re ting crime was committed on the 26th of February last, at about eight c'olock, in a bright moonlight evening, and in the public streets of Lima. A long, double-edged Spanish knise,
under the celebrated protectorate of San Martin, in a memoir, published in 1823, declared, that our * federal system was merely a political experiment, and that forty-five years duration did not argue very strongly in favour of its stability—that if Peru adopted it, she would be shipwrecked ;" in short, "she would descend to perdition with the same velocity that the thunder-riven masses of the Andes are precipitated from their loftiest summit.” His opinion was, that Peru required
energetic government; one which should preserve to the ancient nobility their hereditary titles, honours, and wealth; to the clergy, their prerogatives, and increase them;" and as for the tiers etat, or mob, they were “to aspire to be happy”aspirar a ser felices! Does not this remind you of that notable argument upon the subject of the poor laws, which is said once to have been delivered in Alma Mater. "I divide my subject into three heads, or rather my subjects into three classes," says the disputant——“ that is to say, the Lord's poor, the devil's poor, and the poor devils. Now, the Lord will take care of his poor, the devil may take care of his, and as for the poor devils, let them take care of themselves.” But this
ground sharp, with the handle wound with twine, and waxed, to prevent its slipping in the grasp, was driven directly thi ugh his heart, the point appearing through the skin on the back! The knife was left sticking in the wound; I afterwards saw it, and it had evidently been prepared for the fatal purpose. He was not robbed of the inost trifling article ; a diamond breastpin of the value of $1000 and more, a gold watch, soine doubloons, &c. were all found upon his person. It was, no doubt, a political assassination, instigated by the enemies created by him during his adıninistration, under the protectorate of San Martin. He had been solemnly exiled, and declared an outlaw by the sovereign congress of Peru; and, in fact, in case of his return to the country, every ruffian of Peru was invited to murder him. He incautiously returned, under the protection of Bolivar, and in about ten days, or little more, fell a victim to his own imprudence, and diabolical hate. The fate of Yturbide and Monteagudo, should serve as a warning to other turbulent spirits of South America, who are wandering about the world.
The immediate instruments of this terrific deed, which equals, in horror, the fictions of tragedy, were a negro and a Sambo They were discovered by means of the knife-the barber who ground it being discovered, and identifying one of them. But strange to say, they have not been punished to this hour, and for aught I know, may be again let loose to prowl upon society. They have implicated several persons of consideration--one, the father of a member of congress, &c. stating the recompense they were to receive, ($300,) and that they had been prowling about for some time previous, for a convenient opportunity to commit the deed. The crime, in my opinion, is not a greater stigma upon country, than this most extraordinary delay of puuishment is upon the government.