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and most of their equipments, although they succeeded in reaching the neighbourhood of Tangia in the valley of Sagamoso on the 1st of July. They found its heights occupied by three thousand five hundred Spaniards: these were instantly attacked by Bolivar, and completely overthrown; the result placed Tunja in his power. The battle of Boyaca a few days afterwards gave him possession of Santa Fè. These two victories achieved the deliverance of New Grenada, and were accompanied by the surrender of Barreyro, the Spanish commander-in-chief, and the remnant of his
army, together with all their arms, ammunition, horses, artillery, &c. “ The advantages (observes Bolivar in his official despatch) are incalculable which will result to the cause of the Republic from the glorious victory of yesterday. Our troops never triumphed more decidedly, and have seldom engaged soldiers so well disciplined, and so ably commanded.” In Santa Fè, from which Samano, the viceroy, had scarcely time to escape, Bolivar found a million of piastres, and resources of every description ; but more than this, he was joined by a host of recruits, and enabled effectually to repair the losses he had sustained both in the battles he had gained, as well as in the hardships he had encountered in crossing the mountains. The province, which he had so signally emancipated, hailed him with enthusiasm as its deliverer ; he was nominated President of New Grenada at Santa Fè, and in his proclamation of the 8th of September following he complied with the public voice by reuniting this province with Venezuela.
Inaction was ill-suited to his disposition and the auspicious circumstances of the moment; but before he embarked in a new enterprise he nominated General Santander as vice-president, proposed an exchange of prisoners to Samano, regulated every thing that concerned the administration of the government, and made a levy of five thousand men. Having so done, he resumed his route to Angostura.
The fame of his successes had reawakened universal confidence throughout the province of Venezuela; his advance across that country resembled a triumphant progress; and the 17th of September, 1819, crowned the great and dearest wish of his heart,--that the two provinces should form one undivided commonwealth; to which the Congress attached the title of “ Republic of Colombia.” A new capital was ordered to be constructed, which should be known to after-ages by the illustrious name of Bolivar: in the interim, the provisional seat of the General Congress was directed to be fixed at Rosario-Cucuta. Seven days had scarcely elapsed before Bolivar was again in motion at the head of the most formidable army which the Independents had hitherto mustered ; and the flames of intestine discord being extinguished, the promise of a happy and unclouded futurity dawned upon the fortunes of Colombia. Such indeed was the general spirit of animosity prevalent at this moment against the Spanish government, which had endeavoured to prop its declining authority by acts of the most atrocious cruelty, that the people eagerly joined his standard from every quarter. The
peace seemed no longer a dream, and the true friends of American liberty lent themselves to it with eager sincerity. On the 5th of January, 1820, Bolivar made himself master of Calobozo, and this was afterwards followed by a series of memorable advantages over his opponents; but no sooner was he informed of the favourable change which had taken place in the mother-country in the commencement of 1820, than he made proposals to Morillo for the
purpose of terminating a contest which had involved both nations in so long a course of bloodshed and calamity. The Spanish general listened joyfully to these overtures ; commissioners on both sides were despatched to Truxillo, and speedily agreed to an armistice, by which Spain recognised Bolivar as president, or supreme chief of Colombia. In vain did Morillo's delegates endeavour to secure an acknowledgment of the sovereignty of Spain over the two provinces; the Independents would neither listen to their representations, nor subsequently to those of Morillo himself. During the continuance of these negotiations, both commanders appeared to entertain sentiments of reciprocal es-teem and admiration; nor could a more signal proof be given of the confidence which each of them placed in the honour and integrity of his late antagonist, than that they twice passed a whole night together within the same chamber at Truxillo.
On the conclusion of the armistice, in November 1820, the two armies retained the respective positions they had occupied previously to it, on the banks of the Unare and Guanare; but Morillo shortly afterwards returned to Spain, leaving La Torre in command of the Spanish forces, and about the same time the Independents despatched M. Zea and two other commissioners to Madrid with a view to bring about a final pacification between the two governments. The constancy with which the Colombians insisted upon an unreserved recognition of their independence, would probably, at all events, have rendered every attempt at such a pacification abortive: in spite, however, of this barrier, the Madrid negotiations lingered on until the intelligence of the rupture of the armistice broke them off. On the 10th of March, 1821, Bolivar announced to La Torre, that he would, in conformity with the terms of the armistice, renew hostilities on the 28th of April ensuing ; being forty days after the notification he then made. The privations to which his army was exposed in their cantonments, and the great mischiefs which were accruing to the cause of Independence by the continuance of the armistice, were the principal motives which he assigned for adopting this course. In the beginning of May, therefore, Bolivar took the field with a force of upwards of eight thousand men, which he divided into three corps, respectively commanded by generals Paez, Cedeno, and Anzoategui. These divisions advanced by separate routes to the plains of Tinaquillo, where they formed a junction on the 23d of June, and then advanced towards Calobozo, where the Spanish head-quarters were fixed. In their advance the Independent army had to penetrate through a narrow precipitous defile in the mountains. The leading division was that of general Paez, who was at the head of the battalion of British troops, the battalions called “ The Bravos of the Apure," and a corps of thirteen hundred horse. The position occupied by the Spaniards was one of great strength ; the heights, commanding the only pass by which it could be approached were crowned with artillery ; and the pass itself did not, in many places, admit of more than one person advancing at a time. At eleven in the morning of the 24th, Paez's division defiled in front of the enemy, under a heavy fire from the heights : and without waiting the advance of the other divisions, its gallant leader, as it impatient of dividing the victory with his brave colleagues, determined on an immediate assault of the Spanish position. In spite of the superior advantages, which numbers and strength of position afforded, his enemics
were, in the short space of half an hour, driven from their intrenchments with great slaughter by the valour and impetuosity of his troops, whose assault he led in person. Stores and artillery were alike abandoned by the vanquished, and victory smiled on the cause of freedom before the second division could arrive to share in its achievement: a few of its Tirailleurs alone had come up, and at their head Cedeno impatiently placing himself, rushed upon a square of Spanish infantry, in the midst of which he and the greater part of his companions found a glorious death. The British troops distinguished themselves highly on this occasion, and, indeed, were the principal instruments of this brilliant victory: nor was Bolivar slow to recognise their good conduct: he conferred upon the remnant of the battalion of which they consisted, the title of “ Battalion of Calobozo," and on the surviving heroes, both officers and privates, the decoration of the order of Liberators. The Spaniards, after losing one half of their force in this decisive conflict, Aed with dismay in the direction of Puerto Cabello.
The independence of this portion of the American continent was the happy consequence of the battle of Calobozo, and the first fruit which it yielded was the retaking of Caracas : whence Bermudez, who had already once captured it in the course of the campaign, had been almost immediately afterwards driven out by Colonel Pereyra. Bolivar again retook it on the 30th of June without resistance; and four days afterwards, La Guyra capitulated, the garrison under Pereyra being allowed to proceed by sea to Puerto Cabello. On the 6th of July, Bolivar (now called the President Liberator) declared Caracas the capital of the department of Venezuela, and transferred the Court of Admiralty from the island of Margarita to La Guyra. It has been stated, that not a white person was found in either of these once flourishing towns, when Bolivar took possession of them; the only inhabitants remaining in them being a handful of negroes.
He issued a proclamation in consequence, intreating all its former inhabitants to return to the enjoyment of their properties, and solemnly assuring them, whether they were Royalists or Independents, of the future and sacred protection of the new governmemt.
The Independent forces were now intent upon reducing the other towns which remained in the hands of the Spaniards. Carthagena capitulated on the 25th of September, and Cumana about a month afterwards. Puerto Cabello has however continued to baffle every effort to reduce it, and the possession of a superior naval force has enabled the Spaniards to do considerable mischief to the commerce and tranquillity of the neighbouring coast.
The General Congress had been summoned to meet at Rosario de Cuenta on the 1st of January, but the delay which occurred in the assembling of the deputies prevented the formal opening of their sittings before the 1st of May. Other objects having called Bolivar away, Antonio Marino, the vice-president of the republic, was deputed by him to preside at its opening; on which occasion he addressed his colleagues in a tone of warm congratulation on the flattering prospects which the achievement of their independence held out. This was considered as the first Colombian Congress, and its first decree confirmed that of the Venezuelian legislature, which, in December 1819, had ordained the perpetual union of Venezuela and New Grenada, under the title of the Republic of Colombia.”
Republic of Colombia.” An amnesty for all past offences was proclaimed ; whilst every person, whatever might have been his political conduct or opinions, was promised the restoration of his property on his taking an oath of fidelity and allegiance to the state.
After decreeing every possible mark of the national gratitude to their brethren in arms, the Congress applied itself diligently to the drawing up of the Constitutional Charter of the Republic, and closed its important labours on this head before the termination of the session. The constitution of the United States of America seems to have served as a model to the Colombian legislators, who vested the executive functions in a president and vice-president, and conjointly with them, the legislatorial office in a senate and house of representatives; making, however, a noble and beneficent improvement on the constitution which was their prototype, by abolishing slavery; declaring that the children of slaves born after the promulgation of the constitution should be free, and enjoining that measures should be adopted for gradually redeeming and emancipating all existing slaves. This object being despatched, the Congress next discussed the plan for public education, and the laws for regulating the commerce of the republic. Bolivar, who was elected president in conjunction with Santander as vice-president, hesitated at first to accept this high office; but the general voice compelled him to give way, and the same talents, activity, and perseverance, which entitled him to this just mark of the veneration and confidence of his fellow-countrymen, have ever since distinguished his exercise of the important dignity conferred upon him. The Congress, having brought its useful labours to this termination, broke up on the 13th of October; and some weeks afterwards, Bolivar rè moved the seat of government to Santa Fè de Bogota, to co-operate the more readily in the liberation of Quito and Cuença, and thus rethin the former as the frontier province towards Peru, which is itself engaged in the struggle for its independence.
The introduction of the trial by jury, the toleration granted to all religions, and the establishment of schools on the Lancasterian system, are sufficient pledges of the provident and enlightened spirit by which the infant republic and its high-minded president are actuated. Nor have its powerful neighbours, the United States, been slow to avail themselves of the opportunity, which the promise of its future prosperity affords, for advancing North American interests, by placing their relations with the Colornbian people at an early hour on the most 'friendly footing. The President of the United States had already observed to Congress, “ It has long been manifest that it would be impossible for Spain to reduce these colonies by force; and equally so, that no conditions short of their independence would be satisfactory to them." The American executive has since sealed this declaration, by formally recognising the independence of South America, and appointing ministers to Colombia, Buenos Ayres, and others of the new governments, Surely, the character of that country whose sons have bled in the contest for South American freedom, and the dignity of that throne whose strength and glory consist in the affections of a free, enlightened, and generous people,--surely, neither the good name of Great Britain can be defiled, nor can its future prosperity be compromised, by taking example from its Trans-atlantic offspring, and inscribing over the threshold of Colombian freedom its own sacred motto-—" Esto perpetua !"
« The Past is all by death possessid,
And frugal fate that guards the rest,
By giving, bids us live To-day." FENTON. To-Day is like a child's pocket-money, which he never thinks of keeping in his pocket. Considering it bestowed upon us for the sole purpose of being expended as fast as possible in dainties, toys, and knick-knacks, we should reproach ourselves for meanness of spirit were we to hoard it up, or appropriate it to any object of serious utility. It is the only part of life of which we are sure; yet we treat it as if it were the sole portion of existence beyond our control. We make sage reflections upon the past, and wise resolutions for the future, but no one ever forms an important determination for to-day. Wharever is urgent must be reserved for to-morrow; the present hour is a digression, an episode that belongs not to the main business of life; we may cut it out altogether, and the plot will not be the les.s complete. Every sundial on the church-wall thrusts out his gnowion, as if he would enforce his dictum at the point of the bayonet, or drive wisdom down our throats, to inform us that eternity hangs from the present moment; but we revolt from the schooling of this iron ferula. Who would be made wise by compulsion, and what ignorance is poltroon enough to surrender at discretion ? Moral lessons may be too pertinaciously obtruded ; we may be reminded till we forget to listen, or we may retain the words and not the sentiment, learning our task by rote rather than by head or heart. This is the fault of modern education, which teaches the sound rather than the sense of things. Children taken from the nursery and pinned down to Latin and Greek, are instructed to name an object in three or four different languages, not to analyse its nature,ma process which may often make them learned, but rarely wise; for as knowledge is not confined to names, a great linguist may be a great fool. It is an equal mistake to give children mental food which they cannot digest, and dangle aphorisms before their eyes from sundials and church-sides, which they learn so early to repeat that they are sure never to feel their influence. What he who runs may read, nobody will stop to consider, which is probably the reason why this didactic hand-writing on the wall has ever proved an unavailing warning. Besides, there are many of maturer age who above all things dislike an apophthegm, which, preventing the complacent exercise of their own faculties, deprives them of the merit of discovery; while there are others so paradoxically inclined, that they will admit any thing rather than a truism, and can never be brought to see that which is self-evident. Hartleys in morals, they deny matter-of-fact as sturdily as he did physical matter.
In spite, however, of its being a truism, it must be admitted that today is a portion of our existence. Granted, exclaims the idler, but, after all, what is a single de y ?-A question which is peevishly repeated three hundred and sixty-five times in a year, when we commence a new score of similar interrogatories, so that we might as well say at once “ what is a single life?" Short as the interval may be, and however indolently we may have passed it, to-day has not been altogether unimportant. Perched upon our goodly' vehicle the Earth, we have
VOL. VII. NO. XXV.