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lombia. His long delay, after he had received intelligence of the in. surrection of Paez, was a subject of mystery, and afterwards of suspicion; but was at last too clearly disclosed. The surrender of the fortresses of Callao, by effecting the liberation of Peru from the last remnant of the Spanish armies and influence, had accomplished the object for which Bolivar and his Colombian troops had marched to Peru. The continuance of the auxiliary army in the country, was an intolerable expense; and for no proper object, which the Peruvians could discern. But that of Bolivar himself was yet more inex. plicable. By one plausible pretext and another, he contrived to prevent the assembling of a regular congress in 1826, and thus retain. ed the supreme authority, although without any vote of the nation, or of any body of persons entitled to speak the voice of the nation. For if the delegates of 1826 were not legally a congress, they were not legally any thing; and of course, their vote, continuing Bolivar in power, merely carried the semblance of authority, but possessed none of its substance. Hence the growing jealousy of Bolivar in Peru, gave rise to conspiracies, which enabled him to strengthen his power, by banishing some of the firmest republicans; and thus Peru lost, for a time, the services of Luna Pizarro, Nicochea, and
others of her patriots. But they carried abroad with them such an idea of his intentious, as contributed to fill Chile, and the provinces of La Plata, with alarm; which, being out of the reach of his power, they scrupled not freely to express. And, whatever unwillingness the Peruvians might have felt to distrust the integrity of his views; whatever reluc tance to accuse him of aiming at tyranny, their gratitude for his eminent services might inspire, his last acts in Peru, left them no alternative.
Long before he quitted Lima for Guayaquil, he well knew that civil war threatened to stain the plains of the Apure, and that nothing but his unaccountable absence occasioned the danger. But he did not leave it long uncertain for what object he remained. It was evident he wished to perpetuate his power over Peru, and after imposing the Bolivian code upon the people, to unite Colombia, and the two Perus under his authority as president for life. Ever and anon it was given out that he was on the point of departing; and thereupon deputations were got up by his adherents, to entreat him to remain for the sake of Peru, and sacrifice his own wishes in her behalf, by retaining the power which he was anxious to resign.. These devices were kept in play until he had completed his arrangements for
establishing his dictatorship, as he confidently believed, in Bolivia, Peru, and the southern depart ments of Colombia, which Leocadio Guzman was despatched to revolutionize. We have adverted to the machinery by which the latter object was effected; and it was not long after this was done, ere Bolivar set out for Venezuela, which he designed for the next scene of his operations. Our first business now is to show how his object was effected in Peru.
On his departure he committed his usurped authority to a council of government, consisting of general Andres Santa Cruz as president, D. Jose de Larrea y Loredo, minister of the treasury, D. Tomas Heres, minister of war and marine, and D. Jose Maria de Pando, minister of state. The Colombian troops garrisoned the towns of Peru, many of whose troops had been transported to the isthmus, so as to leave the country in the hands of Bolivar's generals, Lara and Sands, and of the army under their command. The government was therefore a military despotism, in the pure sense of the term; and a military despotism of the worst kind, because administered by the subaltern officers of a successful general, responsible only to him for their acts, and sustained by an imposing standing army; the general, his officers, and his troops, being all foreigners, and
governing the country as conquerors. The business of the council of government was to procure the adoption of the Bolivian cons itution in Peru, and the election of Bolivar himself as perpetual president or dictator for life. means by which they accomplished their task appear in a memorable collection of documents printed in Lima, at "the press of liberty," in December 1826, in all the luxury of typography, entitled "Constitution for the Peruvian Republic." It is an everlasting monument of the laborious efforts of Bolivar to give to his usurpation the colour of legal title by free election, published under the hand of himself and his creatures, and therefore to be considered as an authoritative de. velopement of his views.
When the deputies of the congress of 1826 assembled, it is known to our readers, that a portion of its members subscribed a representation, declaring that body to be dissolved; or rather declaring it to be impossible it should ever be legally organized. The fifty-two delegates who subscribed the instrument, were, induced, partly by threats, and partly by promises, to sign the evidence of their own incompetency; the whole procedure being a device to prevent the organization of a body, which, there was good reason to believe, would speak out boldly concerning the political condition of the country.
The object was effected by the pretext, that eighteen of the deputies had received from their constituents full authority to deliberate on public affairs, when the decree for convoking the congress referred only to specific subjects. For this reason, their election was declared to be void. There remained in Lima but fifty-two deputies, whose instructions were sufficiently limited to meet the views of the Liberator. Now seventy delegates being requisite to constitute a quorum of two thirds of the persons elected, it followed, that when eighteen or twenty were decreed to have been unlawfully elected, the rest would be insufficient to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The regular course in such a case, would have been, for these fifty. two to meet, organize the body provisionally, and take measures to compel the attendance of a part, or all of the thirty-five absent delegates; which they might easily have done. Instead of this, which would not have answered the purposes of Bolivar, they were induced to subscribe a declaration of political suicide.
This servile instrument is addressed to the council of government, and dated, Lima, April 21st, 1826. It begins by discoursing in good set phrases upon the topic, which then pervaded all the public acts of Bolivar, as it has of every other aspirant after supreme power
before him; namely, that the primary and surest safeguard of the rights of man, is general equality under the law, while a strong arm sustains its integrity, beneath whose potent sway, the institutions of the country flourish in tranquillity; while peace, prosperity and abun. dance flow from it, as from an everspringing fountain of health. To attain these blessings, they hinted, it was necessary that social order, the child of obedience and repose, should be protected by one whose pre-eminent services rendered him worthy to be the depositary of sovereignty, and who could exercise it only to diffuse universal happiness. Rigid adherence to the laws of the land; resistance to the turbulent spirit of innovation; absolute servility to a foreign military usurper, to translate their meaning into plain language, was the first, they almost affirmed, the only duty worthy of a good citizen and upright member of a civilized community. From this subject the transition was easy to the inconvenience of having a deliberative body assemble, whose members, or any portion of them, had been invested by their constituents with authority to inquire into the character and measures of the government, or to attempt to amend its organization. Its assembling, they said, could produce nothing but disorder, and thus run counter to the great duty of a citizen, as they had previously
stated it, that of implicit obedience to the existing laws, and scrupulous avoidance of all attempts to interfere with the march of a paternal government. These considerations satisfied them, that if a legal meeting of congress could be had, it would be inexpedient; and for the reasons before explained by us, the defective powers of some of the delegates, a legal meeting was declared to be impossible. If so, why then should the delegates continue in Lima, to lose their time, become involved in perplexing questions, and by embarrassing the operations. of the administration, paralize the noble plans and beneficent views of the supreme authority of Peru?
Having thus reached, by means satisfactory to themselves, the conclusion, that they should do much harm, and no good, by remaining at Lima, the government being in the hands of the man who seemed appointed by Providence to fulfil the happy destinies of Peru; the delegates conceived that they should best correspond to the hopes of the people, by continuing that extraordinary power which the constituent cong ess deposited in his beneficent hands; that power which he accepted with repugnance, which he had exercised with wonderful moderation, and which his own glory would cause him to resign with sublime disinterestedness. Certainly he would resign it; but this he could not do, until the time when,
peace being deeply rooted in the land, and the foundations of the public good firmly established through the empire of the law, and the citizen who should succeed in directing the ship of state, indicated by the express and unanimous vote of the nation, he should have discharged the obligation which he yoluntarily assumed on accepting his trust, by solemnly promising not to abandon the country, so long as his presence was demanded for its independence, its internal freedom, and the political organization of the republic. This period had not yet arrived. They were not ignorant how insupportable was the exercise of such extraordinary power to the extreme delicacy of the Liberator's feelings. But he should reflect, that honour was attainable not on the field of battle alone; for glory equally durable, arose from the sacrifice of repose, and of our dearest affections, when consecrated to the establishment of our country's prosperity. The republic demanded this sacrifice of Bolivar; and would not permit his abandonment of her, because the permanence of his present power was the first interest of Peru. And they obscurely intimate, in a clause which probably they did not fully comprehend themselves, but to which subsequent events imparted a terrible significance, that nothing less could secure the public peace, than the elevation of Bolivar, not as
constitutional president, but under some other mysterious qualifica. tion, to supreme authority in both Colombia and Peru. .
Such is the tenor of this singular address. It concludes, as may readily be conceived, by suspending the convocation of the congress to the coming year; by recommending to the government to con. sult the provinces in the mean time, as to the form of constitution which they severally desire; and to procure from them a nomination of the citizen who shall exercise the supreme authority.
Following the address, there is a decree of the council of govern. ment, submitting it, on account of the grave nature of its contents, to Bolivar himself; who immediately returned it, with a communi. cation as singular as the address, whose object, he said, he entirely approved. Nothing was more conformable to popular doctrines, than to consult the nation in the mass, upon those two capital points whereon states are founded, the fundamental laws, and the supreme magistracy. Select bodies were liable to errors, or corruption; but not so the people, who possessed in a pre-eminent degree, the know. ledge of their own interests, and the measure of their independence. Their judgment was for this reason pure, and their will strong; and consequently, they could neither be corrupted nor intimidated.
For these considerations, Bolivar said, he highly approved the plan of the fifty-two delegates, of referring to the people themselves, the legitimate source of power, to decide upon the constitution of Peru; for he had irrefragable proof of their perspicacity in affairs of the greatest moment; and therefore always preferred their opinions to those of the wise. And to ascertain the wishes of the people, it was proper they should be consulted through their immediate representatives, the electoral colleges of the provinces. And however anxious he might be to return to Colombia, which demanded his presence, yet he was resolved to postpone all other considerations for the advantage of Peru. /
This document disclosed the machinery, by which Bolivar calculated to accomplish his ambitious designs.. A congress of delegates, composing the selected wisdom of the nation, he could not trust; because he knew they must and would see through the flimsy disguises which concealed his object. But the electoral colleges were small and scattered bodies, whom he might easily intimidate into adopting any code of laws which he should dictate; and who would not be very ready to oppose a fruitless resistance to the overwhelming power of Bolivar, with the Colombian army at his back. His flattering expressions of confi