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States, and was much pleased with his modest unassuming deportment. But doubts had been raised in my mind as to the true character of his patriotism. “The outline of the revolutions in South America,” a work which bears the character of impartiality, and which certainly evinces abilities, represents his conduct, in the political transactions of Chili, as actuated by an inordinate ambition to secure power in his own hands, to which the misfortunes of his country are chiefly attributed. The accounts published in our newspapers, tending to bring the patriot cause into disrepute, though apparently designed merely to discredit those who had the management of affairs, I had reason to believe, were principally derived from him, and looked as if resentment against those who had recently directed the contest with so much success, was in his breast the predominating passion. This might be expected in ordinary men, in the middle and mixed character, but not in heroes such as Plutarch holds up as models. Without saying any thing of his abilities, which I did not think .very extraordinary, I judged from the sentiments which he expressed, that he was more of a Coriolanus than a Themistocles. That is, more likely to turn his sword against his country for the gratification of revenge, than to destroy himself, rather than take sides with her enemies against her. He seemed to me one of those we should call in prosperity a fine fellow, possessing popular and pleasing manners, but without the extraordinary talents or lofty sentiments, which render men respected in adversity. It is possible, if he had been permitted to continue at the head of affairs in Chili, he would have been an or. nament to his country; but when deprived of this, he was not possessed of sufficient greatness of mind, to despise the dictates of narrow and selfish passions; and instead of giving up his whole thoughts to what might tend to the ultimate good and advantage of bis country, his personal wrongs seemed to engross his attention. He could much more easily forgive the defeats of his rivals by the common enemy, than their victories. Of an ancient and aristocratic family, in being excluded from power, he seemed to think himself deprived of his birthright. Such, at least, was the im. pression made on my mind, for the circumstance of his being out of authority, was continually uppermost in his discourse. He spoke at the same time, enthu. siastically and feelingly, of the charms of his native country, but bis language was more that of a banished prince than of a citizen.*
The accounts which he gave of the state of the pa. triot cause, were in every particular extravagantly exaggerated. According to him, every thing bad gone to ruin; the Buenos Ayreans were defeated every where; Belgrano would be compelled to withdraw
* I had intended to have given an explanation of many of those personal affairs, which at one time attracted a good deal of public attention; but on reflection, I did not think them of sufficient importance. An effort was made to enlist the American public in these private quarrels and bickerings, but there was too much good sense here for it to succeed, and I should be sorry to revive the recollection. We neither know nor care who is the best patriot; all we look to, is the great contest between South America and Spain. A year ago, it might have been necessary to have explained those things, but it is no longer so. To the one-sided, and partial statements of these affairs, I might have said,
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
from Peru; the Spaniards had got possession of Conception, in Cbili, and were joined by the inhabitants; the people of Buenos Ayres were distracted by factions, and on the eve of another revolution, while the greatest cruelty had been manifested by the present leaders to his family, in consequence of the attachment of the people, and their wish to have them as their chiefs. When we first saw him, he spoke of Puerrydon with an apparent candor and generosity, which excited surprise; he declared him to be the fittest man in the country to be at the head of the government, and observed, with respect to the charge of oppression, for having deposed some of the citizens of Buenos Ayres, in this he has done right-they were bad men,” and then drew the character of each in revolting colors, with what justice, or truth, I shall not pretend to say. He spoke in the most unfavorable manner of the people of Buenos Ayres, whom he seemed cordially to detest. I afterwards remarked some inconsistency in his language, wben he and his companion, White, took every means in their power to prejudice our minds against Puerrydon, San Mar. tin, O'Higgins, &c.; whom they represented as a pack of scoundrels, which, with respect to the first, I thought strange, after telling us, that he was the most fit man to be at the head of the government. I might have reconciled the contradiction, by supposing him to mean that he was suited to the people; but I could not understand how, on principle, he could justify the banishment of the citizens of Buenos Ayres already spo. ken of; I concluded, therefore, that his seeming can. dor and liberality, was merely intended to enable him the more effectually to prejudice our minds against the chief magistrate of Buenos Ayres. There was one sentiment úttered by him, which, in my conception, was incompatible with genuine patriotism. He observed, in substance, that as long as the country was still in danger from Spain, it would be well enough to accept the aid of the army of San Martin; but, that as soon as the Spaniards were driven off, the army of Buenos Ayres might be expelled in turn! From this, it was natural for me to infer, that he had already endeavored to excite his partisans in Chili to raise the standard of civil war; but that on the approach of a new danger from the common enemy, he had resolved to postpone his design, until they were a second time driven out by San Martin. For my part, I could see no object to be answered by such an act, but that of placing the family of Carrera in power. The story of Buenos Ayres having made a conquest of Chili, and intending to hold it under a kind of subjection, nearly as bad as that of Spain, is not worth a refutation That some temporary political influence is exerted by Buenos Ayres, I have no doubt; and it is a salutary one; it will keep down, at least until the danger from Spain be passed, the two rival factions of the country, which have already caused so much mischief. The common mind can easily discover great advantage in the strict union between Chili and Buenos Ayres, until their independence shall be established; it would be an incredible act of madness and fully on the part of the latter, to be actuated by the thirst of conquest, when engaged in a doubtful contest for existence, or to oppress their own brethren, when they must stand so much in need of their friendship and assistance. Besides, to think of holding them in a state of subjection for any length of time, is utterly impossible; the only mode in which the Spaniards could effect it, was, by disarming them, and depriving them of all participation in the government; the reverse of which has been done by Buenos Ayres. Was not the expulsion of the Spanish authorities a deliverance? They are, then, surely better off than they were before. But they might have accomplished it themselves--general Carrera might have done it; here is the drowning man complaining of the guilty familiarity of plucking him up by the locks.” Is the chance of freedom better than the certainty? It is much more probable that the idea originated in the ambition of Carrera, whose conduct proves that he considers the government of Buenos Ayres, not so much inimical to his country as to his own peculiar views. I shall probably have occasion to say more on this subject hereafter.
His companion White, from his own account, was an expatriated American, and had been settled in the country eighteen or twenty years; had rendered important services to the government of Buenos Ayres, for which he had been treated with great ingratitude; he had been banished from that place, and had sued in vain from the present director for permission to return. According to others, he was a desperate and unprincipled adventurer, possessed of considerable talents, but had got himself into many scrapes, and had been frequently in prisons. It was said that he was a native of Boston, and had been bred to the bar, but that he followed in this country the profession of a merchant. I was told that he was odious to the people of Buenos Ayres for having rendered assistance to the expedition of Benesford, and that he