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proclamation ordering the celebration of the great festival of the declaration of Peruvian Independence to be deferred from the 25th of July, to the 6th of August, the anniversary of the battle of Jairu. On the evening of the 25th July, he went to the theatre with his usual state, but left it early and suddenly; double guards were posted at the doors, and a number of officers apprehended as they went out. Next day it was alleged that a conspiracy had been discovered, the object of which was, to seize Bolivar in his box, and either put him to death, or to imprison him. Numerous arrests continued to be made during the whole of that day; an additional regiment of cavalry, and a battalion of artillery were brought into the city; and Bolivar, leaving his country seat in the neighbourhood, took up his residence in the palace closely surrounded by centinels. The principal parties arrested were military officers of high rank, and extensive influence, among whom were generals Nicochea, Alvarado, and Correa. The last of these attempted to commit suicide; some of the more turbulent of the inferior military were shot; and Bolivar's own admiral, Guise, was imprisoned as implicated in the conspiracy.
It was difficult to account for the stay of Bolivar at Lima, now that the spirit of disaffection in Colombia had spread even to Guayaquil, except on the supposition that he wished to perpetuate his power over Peru, and secure to himself a formal right of continually interfering in and controlling its affairs. His whole
conduct, now that the state of Colombia imperatively demanded his presence in the revolted provinces, confirmed the suspicion. Ever and anon he was on the point of departing, but generously sacrificed his own wishes to the prayers of Peru, which, in the shape of his own obsequious adherents, entreated him to remain, and to retain for their sakes, a power which he was sighing to laydown. On the 15thof August, the assembled negroes of Lima, humbly petitioned him to remain, to save the republic from anarchy and slavery; but their prayers were more successfully backed by the good reasons brought forth by a deputation of ladies, who actually proceeded to the palace, and succeeded in convincing the dictator of the impropriety of saving Colombia at the expense of quitting Peru. Bolivar was mollified and overcome; he declared himself unable to resist "the assembled beauty" of Lima; he consented to remain; set "the assembled beauty" a-dancing with his aide-de-camps, and the city bells a-ringing. This farce was followed next day by a more serious performance, to which it had only been introductory. The Electoral college of the department of Lima assembled, and, by an unanimous vote, elected Bolivar president for life. He accepted the boon, recommended to them the form of constitution which he had framed for Bolivia, discovered that his absence threatened Peru neither with anarchy nor despotism, and set out immediately for Colombia, leaving the government in the hands of the vice-president Santa Cruz. The failure of the Peruvian governnient to negociate a new loan in London in the beginning of the year, disabled them from paying the interest of their debt; and the public creditors were added to the multitude who had already found reason to repent of the trust which they had reposed in the energy and honesty of the new states. The executive, to raise revenue, had no other resource than taxation; the country was neither in a condition, nor in a temper, to submit to direct imposts; and therefore additional burthens were laid upon commerce. The duties levied on imports in the harbours of Peru were already enormous; a diminution of them had long been faithfully promised j the termination of the war, bringing with it, as it ought naturally to have done, a large reduction of expenditure, seemed to justify the hope that it would now be effected. But, by a decree of the government, issued in the beginning of June, all foreign goods imported, whether in foreign or national vessels, were subjected generally to an ad valorem duty of 30 per cent, and some of them, contained in a long list, to a similar duty of no less than 80 per cent, on the ground that their importation was injurious to the agriculture and industry of the state.
Before his departure, Bolivar gave a constitution to La Paz, Santa Cruz, Potosi, and the other provinces of Upper Peru, which had been formed into an independent confederation under his own auspices, and, in gratitude to its creator, had taken the name of Bolivia. Three public bodies were fixed by this constitution instead of two, because thus, said
Bolivar, very profoundly in the speech with which he presented it, you will avoid the difficulties which arise, where there are only two without a third body to form a majority. The Chamber of Tribunes was to have the exclusive right of proposing all laws re.garding war, peace, and finance; the second chamber, the Senate, was to watch over the administration of justice and public worship, choose the prefects and judges, and propose the members of the high ecclesiastical courts. The third and highest chamber, the Chamber of Censors; was to " exercise a moral and political authority, having some resemblance to that of the Areopagus of Athens, and the Censors of Rome; the censors were to be, as it were, the fiscals of the nation against the government, to watch over the religious observance of the constitution and public treaties." The elective franchise, though to be exercised indirectly, was to be distributed according to the most approved modes of liberality: "nothing is required but capacity; even property is not necessary to the exercise of the august functions of sovereignty; the elector requires only to be able to sign his name to his vote, and read the laws, and to be honestly employed." A president was put at the head of all these bodies; he was to hold his office for life; and, amid the absurdities of this mass of crude conceptions, none was more ridiculous than the anxiety which Bolivar manifested to deprive this executive magistrate of all power, and the pride with which he boasted to the Bolivians of having so contrived it, that the president would be able totfo-riStlfo*.'''*<He.feidi*prrrtd,"' sai^'kie,"'" bf ail • influence; he appoints neither the magistracy, nor the judges; he does not nominate to ecclesiastical -offices.' 'This deprivation of power has never yet taken place in any well-constituted government; it puts obstacle after obstacle in the way of the authority of the chief, who will always find the whole people under the influence of those who fill the most important situations, and exercise the most important functions. Such were the things that were adopted as constitutions in the New World. The Bolivians, out of respect to their founder and legislator, elected one of his officers, general Sucre, to the presidency. There can be little doubt that, in all this, Bolivar had an eye to the establishment of that presidency for life over Peru in his own person, which he very speedily effected.
In the republic of Chili, Spain, at the end of the preceding year, was still in possession of the province of Chiloe, consisting of an archipelago of which the island of that name is the principal. Political disorder, and the military assistance furnished to Bolivar for the liberation of Peru, had hitherto disabled the government from attempting the subjugation of the province; but, in the beginning of the present year, they fitted out an expedition, and succeeded in reducingit. On the 8th of January, the squadron being unable from the state of the weather to enter the port of San Carlos, cast anchor in the roads, and immediately a small party of marines and soldiers was ordered to take possession of the battery of La Corona, Hi J
which was instantly effected. On the 10th, apart of the army began to debark on the shore of Yuste, and a small detachment took the road to Balcacuri, for the purpose of capturing the fort of the same name, which defends the anchorage of the port of San Carlos; while the fleet cast anchor atBalcas, that the remainder of the army might debark at Lechagna. The disembarkation was successfully effected under the fire of the enemy's batteries and six gun-boats. On the 12th, the soldiers joined the squadron, and the best troops having been • ■selected to make the general attack, on the 13th the whole army marched to encounter the enemy, without having taken any refreshment. On the 14th,fourteenbargesbelonging to the squadron attacked the gunboats of the enemy, and captured three of them; and on the same day, in the afternoon, an engagement took place, which terminated in the total overthrow of the royal general, Quintilla, and the dispersion of all the forces under his command. To prevent the further effusion of blood, articles of capitulation, very favourable to the royal party, were agreed to.> ••<,■; ■■
But this conquest was speedily ravished from the Chilians by a more formidable enemy than Spain —by civil dissention, and the intrigues of an ex-president, which excited apprehensions that Chili, as well as Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, were to be governed only by, or for, the great liberator. O'Higgins, once supreme director of the republic, had been expelled from. the. Chilian government in 1822, and was now living at Lima, enjoyingtheconfidence and friendship of Belivar, bywhose assistance •he probably'hoped to recover his lost authority. For this purpose, don Pedro Aldunate, the brother of the governor of Chiloe, was despatched from Callao, with a commission from O'Higgins, to excite the garrison of Chiloe to insurrection. Aldunate arrived in Chiloe on the night between the 24th and 25th of April; and, though he found his brother ab*sent, he met with no difficulty in executing his task. Fuentes, the officer in command, joined readily in the plot: and, on the 3rd of •May, the troops threw off their allegiance, and declared for O'Hig-gins. Emissaries were sent, at the same time, to seduce the troops in other districts, and to excite disturbances in Santiago, Conception, andCoquimbo. A sort of assembly was immediately convoked at Chiloe, under the auspices of the military authorities, which declared the province to be henceforth free, 'and independent of Chili, until a ■government, legally constituted by the-people, should be formed, retaining in the mean time the constitution of Chili. 1 ■That Bolivar was one of the contrivers of this insurrection, could scarcely be doubted. It was from Lima, that the emissaries of rebellion were sent. O'Higgins was actually with Bolivar; and the liberator had long been anxious to extend the influence of his arms beyond Peru. He had offered in the preceding year to assist the Chilians in the reduction of Chiloe; but they dreaded the proffered aid, and declined it. He was eager, too, to march some thousands of troops to co-operate with the provinces of the Rio de la Plata; but the authorities' of Buenos Ayres -were too suspicious of his intenVoi,. LXVIII.
tions, to avail themselves of his kindness. If he had that share in this transaction, which every thing seemed to prove, it was a mostin-auspicious omen for the future tranquillity of South America.; ;lt indicated a spirit—if not of military usurpation—at least, of ambitious and unnecessary interference, and that, too, by exciting insurrection, which might lead to a succession of revolutions in countries, whose prosperity and happiness depended entirely on the permanence and stability even of the imperfect governments which they possessed. But, infact, Chili could scarcely be said to possess a government; the administration was a matter of cabal to a faction of great proprietors mingled with some lawyers; the people at large took no share in it, and had little orno influence on its course. In October, 1825, the deputies of Santiago, thecapi-tal, had usurped to themselves the functions of the general congress of the republic. Thereupon their constituents, in a tumultuary assembly, recalled their commissions!, the Supreme Director dissolved them, and banished from the territories of the confederation eleven of the most noisy, who insisted on his recognising them. As the directorship of Freire was about to expire, and there was no constitutional modeof re-electing him, or choosing a successor, without a National Assembly, anew Congress was convoked in July. Don Manuel Blanco Encalada was chosen Supreme Director; the Congress resolved "that the republic should be consolidated under the Federal system;" and, so soon as the acclamations attendant on these empty words had died away, they proceeded to tear the