Page images

was apparent. He received us in very homely style, on the deck of his vessel, dressed in a loose surtout coat, and a large fur cap, and seated at a table made of a few loose planks laid along the top of some empty casks. He is a tall, erect, well-proportioned handsome man, with a large aquiline nose, thick black hair, and immense bushy dark whiskers, extending from ear to ear under the chin; his complex. ion is deep olive ; his manners are exceedingly cordial and engaging, and he is possessed evidently of great kindliness of disposition ; in short, I have never seen any person, the enchantment of whose address was more irresistible. In conversation he went at once to the strong points of the topic, disdaining, as it were, to trifle with its minor parts; he listened earnestly, and replied with distinctness and fairness, shewing wonderful resources in argument, and a most happy fertility of illustration, the effect of which was, to make his audience feel they were understood in the sense they wished. Yet there was nothing showy or ingenious in his discourse, and he certainly seemed, at all times, perfectly in earnest, and deeply possessed with his subject. At times his animation rose to a high pitch, when the flash of his eye

and the whole turn of his expression became so exceedingly energetic, as to rivet the attention of his audience beyond the possibility of evading his arguments. This was most remarkable when the topic was politics, on which subject I consider myself fortunate in having heard him express himself frequently. But his quiet manner was not less strike ing, and indicative of a mind of no ordinary stamp; and he could even be playful and familiar, were such the tone of the moment ; and whatever effect the subsequent possession of great political power may have had on his mind, I feel confident that his natural disposition is kind and beneyolent.' pp.

210—12. The Spaniards were beaten by the Patriot General. Bernardo O'Higgins, an Irishman by descent, the constant companion in arms of San Martin, was declared the Chief of Chili; and on the 5th of April, 1818, the decisive battle of Maypo again restored to Chili its independence, leaving it in the complete possession of the Patriots, or, as the expressive language of their country designated them, Hijos del Paysthe Sons of the land. The attention of the confederate governments of Chili and Buenos Ayres, was then turned towards Peru; San Martin was named Commander-in-Chief of their armies, and the greatest exertions were made to raise a force sufficient to emancipate the Sister territory. The inhabitants of the two free states naturally reasoned, that their own freedom could not be secure, while Peru remained in bondage. “ The Liberating Army of Peru,” as the expedition was denominated, commenced operations in the Year 1830. In the following spirited bulletin, they declared their object and their hopes.

• In the tenth year of the South American Revolution, and the three-hundredth of the conquest of Peru, a people, whose rank in the social scale has been hitherto rated below its destiny, has undertaken to break those chains which Pizarro began to forge with his blood-stained hands, in 1520. The government established in Chili, since its restoration, having conceived this great design, deems it right that it should be carried into execution by the same person (San Martin), who, having twice promised to save bis country, has twice succeeded. An expedition, equipped by means of great sacrifices, is, at length, ready to proceed; and the army of Chili, united to that of the Andes, is now called upon to redeem the land in which slavery has longest existed, and from whence the latest efforts have been made to oppress the whole Continent. Happy be this day on which the record of the movements and the actions of the expedition commences.

• The object of this enterprise is to decide, whether or not the time is arrived, when the influence of South America upon the rest of the world shall be commensurate with its extent, its riches, and its situation.' Vol. II. pp. 66-8.

While affairs were in this state, an invitation was given to our countryman Admiral Lord Cochrane, to take the command of the Chilian navy. He accepted it, and this circumstance powerfully contributed to the success of the cause. The operations of bis Lordship are detailed at some length by Captain Hall. The following instance of intrepidity and skill is too characteristic of the British seaman to be passed over. It has been justly characterised by a distinguished member of the House of Commons, as one of the most splendid actions in the annals of the British navy; "an action combining the greatest

calmness, the most skilful judgement, and the most daring • valour.'*

• In the mean time, while the Liberating Army under San Martin were removing to Ancon, Lord Cochrane, with part of his squadron, anchored in the outer Roads of Callao, the sea-port of Lima. The inner harbour was guarded by an extensive system of batteries, admirably constructed, and bearing the general 'name of the Castle of Callao ; and the merchant-ships, as well as the men-of-war, consisting at that time of the Emeralda, a large 40 gun frigate, and two sloops of war, were moored under the guns of the castle within a semicircle of fourteen gun boats, and a boom made of spars chained together. Lord Cochrane, having previously reconnoitred these formidable defences in person, undertook, on the night of the 5th of November, the desperate enterprise of cutting out the Spanish frigate, although known to be fully prepared for an attack. He proceeded in fourteen boats, containing 240 men, all volunteers from


• Speech of Sir J. Mackintosh, M. P. June 21, on presenting a petition from Manchester, praying the recognition of the independence of Spanish America.

the different ships of the squadron, in two divisions; one under the immediate orders of Captain Crosbie, the other under Captain Guise ; both commanding ships of the squadron.

• At midnight, the boats having forced their way across the boom, Lord Cochrane, who was leading, rowed alongside the first gun-boat, and, taking the officer by surprise, proposed to him, with a pistol at bis head, the alternative of “ silence or death !” No reply was made; the boats pushed on unobserved ; and Lord Cochrane, mounting the Emeralda's side, gave the first alarm. The sentinel on the gun-way levelled his piece, and fired; but was instantly cut down by the cock. swain, and his lordship, though wounded in the thigh, at the same moment stepped on the deck. The frigate being boarded with no less gallantry, on the opposite side, by Captain Guise, who met Lord Cochrane mid-way on the quarter deck, and also by Captain Crosbie, the after-part of the ship was soon carried, sword in hand. The Spaniards rallied on the forecastle, where they made a desperate resistance, till overpowered by a fresh party of seamen and marines, headed by Lord Cochrane. A gallant stand was again made for some time on the main deck; but before one o'clock the ship was captured, her cables cut, and she was steered triumphantly out of the harbour, under the fire of the whole of the north face of the castle.'

Vol. II. pp. 71-73. During the time that the Spaniards retained their authority, or rather the semblance of authority in Peru, Captain Hall visited its capital. But the patriots were at the silver gates of the city of kings,' as Lima had been proudly termed in the days of her magnificence, and all was terror and confusion. Sincerity and confidence were banished, and men looked upon each other with mutual distrust and dread. Yet, even under such circumstances of domestic and political misery, the usual sports of the people were not suspended. What Spaniard could forego the pleasures of a bull-fight, that national and royal pastime? One that took place at this period, was witnessed by our Author. He would not, we imagine, be anxious to see a second exhibition of the same kind.

• After the bull had been repeatedly speared, and tormented by darts and fire-works, and was all streaming with blood, the Matador, on a signal from the Viceroy, proceeded to despatch him. Not being, however, sufficiently expert, he merely sheathed his sword in the animal's neck without effect. The bull instantly took his revenge, by tossing the Matador to a great height in the air, and he fell apparently dead in the area. The audience applauded the bull, while the attendants carried off the Matador. The bull next attacked a horseman, dismounted him, ripped up the horse's belly, and bore him to the ground, where he was not suffered to die in peace, but was raised on his legs, and urged, by whipping and goading, to move round the ring in a state too horrible to be described, but which af. forded the spectators the greatest delight. The noble bult had thus succeeded in baffling his tormentors as long as fair means were used, when a cruel device was thought of to subdue him. A large curved instrument, called a kina, was thrown at him from behind, in such a way as to divide the bamstrings of the hind legs; such, however, were his strength and spirit, that he did not fall, but actually travelled along at a tolerable pace on his stumps, a most horrible sight! This was not all, for a man, armed with a dagger, now mounted the bull's back, and rode about for some minutes to the infinite delight of the spectators, who were thrown into ecstacies, and laughed and clapped their hands at every stab given to the miserable animal, not to kill him, but to stimulate him to accelerate his pace; at length, the poor beast, exhausted by loss of blood, fell down and died.

Vol. II. pp. 99-101. It was without regret that Captain Hall quitted the capital of Peru, and returned to Chili, after an absence of seven weeks. He afterwards made several journeys into the interior; and he describes in a very spirited manner, the habits and character of the people. This portion of the work contains some useful observations on the state of the mining districts. The intabitants of Santiago are represented to be much superior to those of the port in point of education; and it is gratifying to have the testimony of Captain Hall, that the influence of the priests is on the decline.

The following anecdote, which was current in the city at this time, is adduced to shew, that a more liberal spirit, especially in matters of education, had recently been introduced, and was fast spreading over the country.

“A gentleman had thought fit to instruct his daughter in French a circumstance which the girl, unconscious of any crime, mentioned in the course of her confession to the priest, who, after expressing the greatest horror at what he heard, denounced the vengeance heaven upon her and her father, refused to give her absolution, and sent the poor creature home in an agony of fear. The father 8009 discovered the cause, and after some correspondence with the confest sor, went to the head of the Government, who sent for the priest, questioned him on the subject, and charged him with having directly interfered with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, which gave encouragement to every species of learning. The priest affected to carry matters with a high hand, and even ventured' to censure the Director for meddling with things beyond his authority. This was soon settled ; a council was immediately called, and the next day it was known throughout the city, that the priest had been seen cross ing the frontiers, escorted by a military guard. An aceount of the whole transaction, with the correspondence between the parent and the contessor, was also published officially in the Gazette, and full authority given, in future, to every person, to teach any branch of knowledge not inconsistent with morals and religion. pp. 178–80.

The latter portion of the volumes contains some useful remarks on the Colonial system, and on the state of society in the less known districts of Guayaquil, Panama, Acapulco, and Coqnimbo. With regard to Mexico, the information is somewhat scanty; but an interesting sketch is given of the revolution, and of the state of political feeling in that country. Iturbide is described as a man who, by his address, in every case of conquest, converted into active friends, all those who had * been before indifferent; and seldom failed to gain over to his 'cause the most powerful of his enemies; while, at the same * time, he won the confidence and esteem of every one by his

invariable moderation, humanity, and justice. In the month of May 1822, he was elected, by the Constitutional Congress, the first Emperor of Mexico. After he had reigned a year, the monarchy yielded to the ascendency of the Republican party, and Iturbide was banished to Italy. By this time he is, in all probability, again in Mexico; and it is a subject of much speculation, what reception he may have met with on his arrival. It was supposed, that he would be welcomed by a powerful party; and it is not impossible, that Don Augustin de Iturbide may be re-instated as the Emperor of Mexico.

Captain Hall was already known to our readers as the Author of the very interesting account of the Loo-Choo Islanders. These volumes will not detract from his reputation. They are written in a very lively style, and will be found extremely interesting.

[ocr errors]

Art. IV. Poetic Vigils. By Bernard Barton. 12mo. pp. 304.

Price 8s. London. 1824.
R. BARTON is a fortunate man, we say it notwithstand-

ing the melancholy intimations of his prefatory sonnet,fortunate in the talents entrusted to him, fortunate in the fame that they have won, and that from quarters in which such sentiments as his are not wont to be received with complacency. The Edinburgh Review certainly did itself as much honour as

it conferred, by its kindly meant notice of Mr. Bartou's former - Folume; and whatever draw-back it might be upon their praise,

to the Author's feelings, to be exhibited as a phenomenon at the expense of the religious society of which he is a member, and to bave his genius and his Quakerism mixed up together, as if the critic was all the while chuckling at the idea how the bays would look twined round a broad-brim,--still

, the distinction conferred was flattering, and the service done the poet, Vol. XXI. N.S.


« PreviousContinue »