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this service, his circumstances are rather narrow. Another officer of distinction is general Soler, a remarkably fine figure, six feet two or three inches in beight, and of a very soldierly appearance. In private life, however, he is said to be dissipated, and some anecdotes are related of him which give a somewhat unfavorable cast to the state of manners. His wife is a very beautiful but high spirited woman. Soler commanded the vanguard wbich - crossed the Andes, and for his conduct at the battle of Chacabuco, was presented with a sword on the field by San Martin. This gave rise to a series of publications; his enemies not conceiving bim entitled to the reward: those who are inclined to take the middle course, say, that it was an act of generosity on the part of San Martin, that the act for which be rewarded Soler, was in reality, performed by bimself, but that Soler had rendered important services as a disciplinarian, and in crossing the mountains. Thus it will be perceived, that the same jealousy of their military fame prevails in this country as in others. A collection of the different publications of this description that have issued from the press of Buenos Ayres, will furnish some valuable materials for history. We were sometimes visited by Sarratea, who has once been a conspicuous member of the government, and afterwards an agent of the court of London. He is a man of considerable talents and general information; but from all I could learn, does not stand high in the government, and still lower with the people.
We were frequently visited by a venerable old man, Funes, dean of Cordova, and the author of the Civil History of Buenos Ayres. Few have taken a more
active part in the political events of the country. He received the rudiments of his education from the Jesuits, and afterwards completed it in Spain. He is an excellent belles lettres scholar, and his writings bear evidence of his extensive reading, and classic taste. In the year 1810, at a council convened by Leniers and Concha, he was the only one who voted in favor of acknowledging the junta of Buenos Ayres; when the troops of that place marched against Cordova, he and his brother interceded for the life of Leniers, and the bishop Orillana; but as respects the first, without success. He was afterwards a member of the junta of observation, and took an active part in the politics of the day. In the revolutionary convulsions which ensued, he experienced bis share of mortifications. He does not seem to have foreseen the troubled and distracted state necessarily produced by such events, and, in consequence, to be somewhat under the influence of chagrin and disappointment. His interests and feelings attaching him to Cordova, his native place, he is inclined towards what is called here the federative system; which is essentially different from ours; but he also thinks that until their independence can be accomplished, it is absolutely necessary to waive all pretensions of this kind, for the sake of a concentration of their strength. I cultivated his acquaintance with assiduity, and through him became acquainted with a number of others, who frequented his house. The native priests, in general, though enthusiastic in the cause, and fond of indulging in eloquent declamations, are rather timid politicians. They want nerve for action, and they have a kind of time serving suppleness, acquired by the
early habits of slavish and monastic education. In the profession of the law there is much more boldness, arising from their daily intercourse with the world, and ordinary transactions of life. Funes is thought to be rather unfriendly to the present administration, but his having withdrawn from political scenes is rather to be attributed to alarm at finding himself on a rougher sea than he had been accustomed to navigate.
A visit was received from the bishop of Salta, a man of very advanced years, upwards of eighty, and who was thought not to be much attached to the cause of the revolution; indeed it has been hinted, that his residence here is very little else than a kind of respectful surveillance. He said little on the subject of politics, but dropped something about the want of stability in the government, the turbulent and restless spirit that prevailed, and then shook his head. It would certainly have been a phenomenon to have found a revolutionary patriot at his years, with his previous education and habits. Mr. Rodney and myself, paid a visit to a respectable old man, who fills the office which we should call postmaster general; he appeared to be about the same age with the bishop, but we found him a much more agreeable character, his conversation remarkably sprightly and entertaining. He told us that he had organized the establishment, and had occupied the same arm chair in which he then sat at his desk, upwards of fifty years. Although a native of Spain, he was attached to the patriot cause, having children and grand children who were all natives of the country. We inquired of him the news from Chili, and he informed us that from the
last accounts, general Osorio was advancing into the province of Conception, at the head of five or six thousand men. We learned, that besides the regular post establishment which brought the mail once a week from the different provinces, there were expresses continually employed between this place and Chili, as also the provinces of Peru, so as to bring intelligence from the armies of San Martin and Belgrano, with a speed almost incredible. * He told us, that bis establishment was so arranged, as to enable bim, in the course of ten days, to collect horses enough for the different posts to enable the government to send reinforcements of a thousand, or two thousand men, to these different points, with a rapidity unknown in any other country. He said, that since the commencement of the war, he had contributed his assistance in sending three armies to Peru; one of four, another of five, and a third of seven thousand men; and in speaking of the perseverance of these people in the midst of all their defeats and reverses, he exclaimed, “que pecho, que pecho, tiene esta gente!" "what fortitude do these people possess."
We were also visited by Iregoyen, the secretary at war, a young man of thirty-five years of age; he had been a cadet in the Spanish naval service, and had travelled a good deal in Europe. He is rather a shewy man, and from what I could learn, extremely ambitious, but his ambition containing a considerable portion of the alloy of self aggrandisement. He ap
* The journey from Mendoza to Buenos Ayres, upwards of nine hundred miles, was performed by the express, Escalera, in five days, and from Potosi to Buenos Ayres, 550 leagues, by Dobo, in twelve days.
peared to be one of those who are tormented by envy at the success of others, and disposed to attribute to a want of discernment in the public, or the administration, that he is not placed above every
We were also visited by members of congress, Zavaletta, Pacheco, Villegas, and a number of others. Among the priests, who visited us, was Dr. Belgrano, brother of the general, and who appeared to be a man of solid and respectable talents. The term doctor is given indiscriminately to lawyers, and clergymen, but not to physicians; in fact the science of medicine is extremely low in all the Spanish colonies, and it is very unusual to meet with a Spanish physician of science and learning.
Among our acquaintances, there were two or three with whom I was particularly pleased; the first, a réspectable old man, and a near neighbor, of the name of Escalada, the father-in-law of San Martin; this old man was what we should have called, in our revolutionary war, a true whig. He has a large and fine family of children, and grand children; his house the place of most agreeable resort for all strangers, of any in the city. I frequently spent my evenings here, being almost always sure to find an agreeable party of ladies and gentlemen; the evening was usually passed in sprightly conversation, or in dances, which the old gentleman seemed to take a peculiar pleasure in promoting, very frequently taking part himself, though upwards of seventy years of age: these dan . ces were minuets, to the music of the piano, touched by one of the young ladies. He had adopted a beautiful and interesting girl, then about seventeen, the daughter of a Spanish governor and intendant, and