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Narrative of Services in the Liberation of Chili, Peru and Brazil, from Spanish and Portuguese Domination
Chapter IX


ARRIVAL AT GUAYAQUIL--ADDRESS TO GUAYAQUILENOS--INJURIOUS MONOPOLIES --MINISTERIAL FOLLY--DEPARTURE FROM GUAYAQUIL--ARRIVAL IN MEXICO--ANCHOR AT ACAPULCO--MOCK AMBASSADORS--PLOT AGAINST ME--RETURN TO GUAYAQUIL--VENGANZA TAKEN POSSESSION OF--AGREEMENT WITH JUNTA--GENERAL LA MAR--ORDERS TO WITHHOLD SUPPLIES--ABOMINABLE CRUELTY--COURTLY SPLENDOUR--DESTRUCTION OF A DIVISION OF THE ARMY--DISSATISFACTION OF OFFICERS--RENEWED OVERTURES FROM SAN MARTIN--THEIR REFUSAL BY ME--WARNING TO THE CHILIAN GOVERNMENT.

The orders of the Protector to proceed to Chili were not complied with, 1st, because having thrown off his allegiance to Chili, he had no right to interfere with the squadron; and, 2ndly, as the Spanish frigates remained at large, my mission was incomplete till they were taken or destroyed.

Before going in quest of them, it was essential to repair, equip, and provision the ships, none of which purposes could be effected in Peru, the Protector not only having refused supplies, but having also issued orders on the coast to withhold necessaries of all kinds even to wood and water. From want of stores, none of the ships were fit for sea; even the Valdivia, so admirably found when captured, was now in as bad a condition as the rest, from the necessity which had arisen of distributing her equipment amongst the other ships; and to complete her inefficiency, the Protector refused to restore the anchors which had been cut away from her bows at the time of her capture, thus adding to our embarrassment.

Many of the officers had gone over to the service of Peru, and the foreign seamen had been kept on shore in such numbers, that there were not sufficient left to perform the duties of reefing and steering. I therefore resolved on sending part of the squadron to Chili, and with the remainder to proceed to Guayaquil, in order to repair and refit for a cruise on the coast of Mexico in search of the Spanish frigates.

We reached Guayaquil on the 18th of October, and were extremely well received by the authorities, who saluted the Chilian flag, the like compliment being paid to their own. The work of repairing and refitting occupied six weeks, during which period the newly-constituted Government rendered us all the assistance in its power, entering into the most friendly intercourse with us. The expenses, which were heavy, were all defrayed out of the uncondemned prize-money remaining on board, this rightfully belonging to the officers and seamen, as never having had their previous claims satisfied by the Government, on which account it had been retained. To inspire the seamen with the reasonable expectation that the Chilian Government would reimburse them for their generosity, I added money of my own, on which they willingly consented to the appropriation of that due to the squadron.

Before quitting the anchorage, I was honoured with a public address, and thinking the opportunity good for striking a blow at those Spanish prejudices which, in spite of independence, still lingered from force of habit, the compliment was returned by the following address:--

GUAYAQUILENOS,

The reception which the Chilian squadron has met with from you not only shews the generosity of your sentiments, but proves that a people capable of asserting their independence in spite of arbitrary power must always possess noble and exalted feelings. Believe me, that the state of Chili will ever be grateful for your assistance, and more especially the Supreme Director, by whose exertions the squadron was created, and to whom, in fact, South America owes whatever benefit she may have derived from its services.

May you be as free as you are independent, and as independent as you deserve to be free! With the liberty of the press, now protected by your excellent Government, which discriminates enlightenment from that fount, Guayaquil can never again be enslaved.

See what difference a year of independence has produced in public opinion. In those whom you then looked upon as enemies, you have discovered your truest friends, whilst those formerly esteemed as friends have proved enemies. Remember your former ideas on commerce and manufactures, and compare them with those which you at present entertain. Accustomed to the blind habits of Spanish monopoly, you then believed that Guayaquil would be robbed, were not her commerce limited to her own merchants. All foreigners were forbidden by restrictive laws from attending even to their own business and interests: now you appreciate a true policy, and your enlightened Government is ready to further public opinion in the promotion of your riches, strength, and happiness, as well as to assist these, by disseminating through the press the political opinions of great and wise men--without fear of the Inquisition, the faggot, or the stake.

It is very gratifying to me to observe the change which has taken place in your ideas of political economy, and to see that you can appreciate and despise the clamour of the few who would still interrupt the public prosperity; though it is difficult to believe how any citizen of Guayaquil can be capable of opposing his private interest to the public good, as though his particular profit were superior to that of the community, or as if commerce, agriculture, and manufactures were to be paralysed for his especial behoof.

Guayaquilenos! Let your public press declare the consequences of monopoly, and affix your names to the defence of your enlightened system. Let it shew that, if your province contains 80,000 inhabitants, and that if 80 of these are privileged merchants according to the old system, 9,999 persons out of 10,000 must suffer because their cotton, coffee, tobacco, timber, and other productions must come into the hands of the monopolist, as the only purchaser of what they have to sell, and the only seller of what they must necessarily buy! the effect being that he will buy at the lowest possible rate, and sell at the dearest, so that not only are the 9,999 injured, but the lands will remain waste, the manufactories without workmen, and the people will be lazy and poor for want of a stimulus, it being a law of nature that no man will labour solely for the gain of another.

Tell the monopolist that the true method of acquiring general riches, political power, and even his own private advantage, is to sell his country's produce as high, and foreign goods as low as possible--and that public competition can alone accomplish this. Let foreign merchants who bring capital, and those who practise any art or handicraft, be permitted to settle freely; and thus a competition will be formed, from which all must reap advantage.

Then will land and fixed property increase in value; the magazines, instead of being the receptacles of filth and crime, will be full of the richest foreign and domestic productions, and all will be energy and activity, because the reward will be in proportion to the labour. Your river will be filled with ships, and the monopolist degraded and shamed. You will bless the day in which Omnipotence permitted the veil of obscurity to be rent asunder, under which the despotism of Spain, the abominable tyranny of the Inquisition, and the want of liberty of the press, so long hid the truth from your sight.

Let your customs' duties be moderate, in order to promote the greatest possible consumption of foreign and domestic goods; then smuggling will cease, and the returns to the treasury increase. Let every man do as he pleases as regards his own property, views, and interests; because every individual will watch over his own with more zeal than senates, ministers, or kings. By your enlarged views set an example to the New World; and thus, as Guayaquil is from its situation the Central Republic, it will become the centre of the agriculture, commerce, and riches of the Pacific.

Guayaquilenos! The liberality of your sentiments, and the justice of your acts and opinions, are a bulwark to your independence more secure than that of armies and squadrons. That you may pursue the path which will render you as free and happy as the territory is fertile, and may be rendered productive, is the sincere wish of your obliged friend and servant,

COCHRANE.

The English reader may consider a lecture of this nature superfluous to an emancipated people, but the adherence to injurious monoplies, in spite of independence, was one of the most marked features of the South American Republics, and one which I never lost an opportunity of combating. Even the Chilian Republic, which was amongst the first to assert its freedom, increased its monopolistic practices, instead of diminishing them. One or two examples will not be here out of place.

English malt liquor bore a very high price in Chili, from the heavy freight and customs' duties. An ingenious Scotchman, named Macfarlane, set up a brewery at considerable expense, and malt costing in Chili barely a shilling per fanega (about a bushel), soon produced beer of a fine quality, at a low price. The Government forthwith imposed a duty on his beer equal to the whole freight from England, customs' dues, and his profit, the consequence being, that the brewery was stopped and the capital employed lost. He had unwittingly interfered with the established duties on beer!

Some enterprising Americans formed a whale fishery on the Chilian coast near Coquimbo, where the sperm whale abounded, and so successful was the fishery, that the speculation promised a fortune to all concerned. A large plant had been provided, including abundance of casks to contain the oil. The Government directed the whole of the casks to be seized for the purpose of watering the squadron, that being easier than to provide them themselves, which being done, pursuant to orders, the Americans formed pits lined with clay, in which the oil was put till fresh casks could be procured. On this, the Governor of Coquimbo forbade the practice, as the wind might waft an unpleasant smell to Coquimbo, though the trade wind never blew in that direction. The Americans were therefore compelled to abandon the pursuit, and with it several sperm whales which were lying in the bay ready for boiling.

An enterprising English engineer, Mr. Miers, brought out complete machinery for smelting, rolling, and manufacturing copper, purchasing land whereon to erect his factory. As soon as his purpose became known, he was involved in a long and expensive law-suit to prevent the use of the land which he had bought, the result being great pecuniary loss, complete prevention of his operations, and the final removal of such of his machinery as was not utterly spoiled, to Brazil.

It would be easy to multiply similar instances to a great extent, but these will show that my advice to the Guayaquilenos was not unnecessary; and to give counsel of this nature, wherever it could be applied, was my invariable practice, in place of engaging in petty intrigues, or bargaining for personal power or advantages, which, situated as I was, I could have commanded to any extent by a sacrifice of my own principles. Efforts of the above nature to enlighten the people, rendered me obnoxious to men in power, as interfering with their cherished monoplies, out of which they contrived to extract individual profit.

The necessity for a speedy pursuit of the enemy's frigates, precluded more than a temporary repair of the ships; nothing, indeed, had been done to remedy the leak in the hull of the flag-ship, as, from the rotten state of her masts, we durst not venture to heave her down, so that when we got in a sea-way she made six feet of water a day.

We quitted the Guayaquil river on the 3rd of December, coasting along the shore, and examining every bay for the objects of our search. On the 5th we reached Salango, where we again watered the ships, there being only twenty-three tons of water casks on board the flag-ship. On the 11th we reached Cocos Island, when we found and took possession of an English pirate, commanded by a man, named Blair. On the following day we captured a felucca, which turned out to be a deserter from Callao. From the men on board we learned that, after my departure, San Martin had refused to fulfil the promises by which they had been induced to remain, though he had thus allured nearly the whole of the foreign seamen, who comprised the only skilled portion of the Chilian squadron, into the service of Peru. The felucca thus manned, and sent as a guarda costa to Chorillas, the men took advantage of the absence of their captain on shore, and seized the vessel, which they named the Retaliation, having put to sea, no doubt with the intention of turning pirates. As they had committed no depredations, and I had no wish to be encumbered with them, they were suffered to escape.

On the 14th we made the coast of Mexico, the leak of the flag-ship daily increasing, and on the 19th we anchored in the bay of Fonseca, with five feet of water in the hold, the chain pumps being so worn as to be useless, there being no artificers on board to repair them, the ship was only kept afloat by the greatest possible exertions, in which my personal skill in smiths' work had to be called into requisition.

After three days' constant baling at the hatchways, we got two pumps from the Valdivia; but these proving too short, I ordered holes to be cut through the ships' sides, on a level with the berth deck, and thus managed to keep her clear till the old pumps could be refitted. Nearly all our ammunition was spoiled, and, in order to preserve the dry provisions, we were compelled to stow them in the hammock-nettings.

Having transferred forty men from the other ships to assist at the pumps, we quitted Fonseca bay on the 28th, and on the 6th of January, 1822, arrived at Tehuantepec, a volcano lighting us every night. This was one of the most imposing sights I ever beheld; large streams of molten lava pouring down the sides of the mountain, whilst at intervals, huge masses of solid burning matter were hurled into the air, and rebounding from their fall, ricocheted down the declivity till they found a resting place at its base.

On the 29th we anchored at Acapulco, where we met the Araucano and Mercedes, the latter having been sent on to gain intelligence of the Spanish frigates. We were civilly received by the Governor, though not without misgivings, on his part, that we might attempt to seize some Spanish merchantmen at anchor in the harbour; so that we found the fort manned by a strong garrison, and other preparations made to receive us in case of hostile demonstration.

We were not a little surprised at this, as nothing could be more friendly than our intentions towards the newly emancipated Republic. The mystery was, however, soon cleared up. When at Guayaquil, we met with two officers, General Wavell and Colonel O'Reilly, to whom the Chilian Government had given passports to quit the country, not estimating the value of their services as tantamount to their pay. As no secret was made of the object of the Chilian squadron, they had, owing to our delay on the coast, carried their own version of our mission to Mexico, and had reported to the Mexican Government, both personally and by letter, that Lord Cochrane had possessed himself of the Chilian Navy,--plundered the vessels belonging to Peru,--was now on a piratical cruise,--and was coming to ravage the coast of Mexico; hence the preparations which had been made.

The two worthies whom I have mentioned had represented to the authorities at Guayaquil that they were ambassadors from Chili to Mexico, deputed to congratulate the Mexican Government on their achievement of independence. Knowing this to be false, I requested them to shew their credentials, which of course they could not do. Their passports were then demanded, and evinced by their dates that the pretended ambassadors had quitted Chili prior to the intelligence of the establishment of independence in Mexico. This disclosure having become known to the lady of the Captain-General of Guatemala, who happened to be at Guayaquil, she forwarded the account to her husband, and he reported it to the Mexican authorities, who were thus informed of the true character of their visitors; who, in revenge, trumped up the story of our piratical intentions, to which the Governor of Acapulco attached sufficient importance to strengthen his forts as narrated.

The reserve, however, immediately wore off, and the most cordial relations were entered into; the President of Mexico, Iturbide, writing me a very polite letter, regretting that he could not visit me personally, but inviting me to repair to his court, assuring me of the most honourable reception. This, of course, I could not accept.

On the 2nd of February, a vessel arrived at Acapulco, and reported the Spanish frigates to the southward, whither, notwithstanding the unseaworthy state of the ships, I determined to proceed in search of them.

During our stay an officer of marines, named Erescano--who by cruelty to his prisoners had made himself notorious at Valdivia--endeavoured to revenge my disapprobation of his conduct by representing to the men, that, notwithstanding the expenses we had been put to, there was still money on board the flag-ship, and that it ought to be divided amongst them. Failing in this, he had laid a plot to get possession of the chest, even at the cost of my assassination. All this was duly reported to me by the commander of the Valdivia, Captain Cobbett.

As I did not wish to produce a ferment by punishing this diabolical plot as it deserved, I contented myself with thwarting its execution, till we were under weigh, when I ordered Captain Cobbett to send Erescano on shore with a despatch to the Governor, detailing the whole plot; the result being, that the traitor was left on shore, the squadron sailing without him. What afterwards became of him I never heard.

After despatching the Independencia and Araucano to California for the purpose of purchasing provisions, with instructions to follow us to Guayaquil, we stood down the coast, and when off Tehuantepec, encountered a gale of wind, which, owing to the bad state of the frigate, threatened her destruction. To add to our distress, a sea struck the Valdivia--to which vessel we contemplated escaping--and forced in the timbers on her port side, so that she was only saved from sinking by passing a sail over the leak, till the damage could be repaired.

On the 5th of March we made the coast of Esmeraldas, and came to an anchor in the bay of Tacames, where we learned that the Spanish frigates had some time before left for Guayaquil. On receipt of this intelligence we immediately pursued our voyage, and on the 13th anchored off the forts of Guayaquil, where we found the Venganza.

Our reception was not of the same cordial nature as on the previous visit--two agents of San Martin having arrived, who by promises had gained over the Government to the Protector's interests, and had excited in their minds a jealousy of me which was as unexpected as ill-founded. Some attempts were even made to annoy me; but as, upon their manifestation, I laid the flag-ship alongside the Venganza, civility was enforced.

The Prueba and Venganza, being short of provisions, were compelled by our close pursuit, to put into Guayaquil, daily expecting us to follow. Previous to our arrival, the Peruvian envoy, Salasar, had so impressed upon the officers commanding the certainty of their being captured by the Chilian squadron, that he had induced them to give up the ships to Peru, on the promise that the Protectoral Government would pay the whole of the officers and crews all the arrears due to them, and that those who chose to remain in South America should be naturalized, with lands and pensions assigned to them; whilst such as were desirous of returning to Spain should have their passages defrayed by the Peruvian Government.

Many of the Spanish officers and most of the crews were adverse to the surrender of the ships, so that a mutiny was the consequence; when, at the instance of Salasar, the Government of Guayaquil was induced to sanction an assertion that the Chilian squadron was at anchor in the bay of La Manta, and that letters had been received from me announcing my intention to come to Guayaquil and seize the ships. This mendacity had the desired effect, and both officers and crews accepted the terms offered; so that San Martin's agents had thus tricked the Chilian squadron out of its prizes.

Under the before-mentioned impression the Prueba was hastily sent to Callao before our arrival, but the Venganza, being in a condition unfit for sea, remained at Guayaquil. On being positively assured of the dishonourable transaction which had taken place, on the morning of the 14th of March I sent Captain Crosbie on board the Venganza to take possession, of her, for Chili and Peru jointly, being unwilling to embroil Chili in hostilities with Guayaquil by seizing her on our own account, as we were indisputably entitled to do, having chased her from port to port, until, destitute of provisions, she was compelled to take refuge in that port.

My orders to Captain Crosbie were to hoist at the peak of the Venganza, the flag of Chili conjointly with that of Peru. This act gave great offence to the Guayaquil Government, which manned its gun-boats, erected breast-works, and brought guns to the river side with the apparent intention of firing upon us; the Spanish sailors, who shortly before had sold their ships from the dread of having to fight, being extremely active in these hostile demonstrations.

Upon this, I ordered the Valdivia to drift with the flood tide in the direction of the gun-boats, now filled with Spanish officers and seamen. Imagining that the frigate was about to attack them--though there was no intention of the kind--these heroes ran the boats ashore, and took to their heels in most admired disorder, not stopping till they had gained the protection of the city.

The Junta, finding that we did not consider their warlike demonstration worthy of notice, remonstrated at my taking possession of the Venganza, but without effect, as I was not going to permit the Chilian squadron to be thus cheated out of its prize. I therefore proposed such terms as were best calculated to be accepted and ratified by the Junta of Government, composed of Olmedo, Kimena, and Roco, as follows:--

1st.--The frigate Venganza shall remain as belonging to the Government of Guayaquil, and shall hoist her flag, which shall be duly saluted.

2nd.--Guayaquil guarantees to the Chilian squadron, on responsibility of 40,000 dollars, that the frigate Venganza shall not be delivered to, nor negotiated for with any Government, till those of Chili and Peru shall have decided on what they may esteem most just. Moreover, the Government of Guayaquil is bound to destroy her rather than consent that the said vessel shall serve any other state till such decision be made.

3rd.--Any Government which may henceforward be established in Guayaquil shall be bound to the fulfilment of the articles here made.

4th.--These articles shall be understood literally, and in good faith, without mental reservations or restrictions.

(Signed) &c. &c.

After the ratification of this agreement, the Government of Guayaquil addressed to me a letter acknowledging the important services which had been conferred on the States of South America, and assuring me that "Guayaquil would always be the first to honour my name, and the last to forget my unparalleled achievements," &c, &c. Yet no sooner had I sailed from the port, than the Venganza was given up to the agent of Peru, but the 40,000 dollars have never been paid.

At Guayaquil, I met General La Mar, the late governor of the fortress of Callao; and a report having been circulated by the Peruvian Government that during the recent blockade I had made an offer to supply the fortress with provisions, in order to prevent its falling into the hands of the Protector, I requested the General to favour me with a statement whether I did or did not promise to succour his garrison, to which request the General obligingly returned the following answer:--

Guayaquil, March 13th, 1823.

Most Excellent Sir,

In consequence of the official note which I yesterday received from your Excellency through the hands of the Government, it is my duty to assert that I have neither said, nor written, nor ever heard that you proposed to supply with provisions the place of Callao during the whole of the time that it was under my charge. God preserve your Excellency many years.

(Signed) JOSE DE LA MAR.

On the 27th we left the Guayaquil river, and on the 29th fell in with Captain Simpson, of the Araucano, whose crew had mutinied and carried off the ship. On the 12th of April we reached Guambucho, whither we had gone for the purpose of taking in water. To our surprise the Alcalde shewed a written order from San Martin, telling him that if any vessel of war belonging to Chili touched there he was to forbid their landing, and to deny assistance of every kind, not even permitting them to obtain wood and water.

To this order no attention was paid by us, and we took on board whatever was required, remaining further to repair the Valdivia. On the 16th we sailed, and on the 25th anchored at Callao, where we found the Prueba under Peruvian colours, and commanded by the senior Chilian captain, who had abandoned the squadron! On our arrival she was immediately hauled in close under the batteries, with guns housed, and ports closed, whilst she was so crammed with troops that three died on the following night from suffocation; these steps being taken to prevent her sharing the fate of the Esmeralda. To calm their fears, I wrote to the Government that there was no intention of taking her, otherwise I would have done so, and at midday too in spite of any such precautions.

Lima was at this time in an extraordinary condition, there being no less than five different Peruvian flags flying in the bay and on the batteries. The Protector had passed a decree ordering that all Spaniards who might quit the place should surrender half their property to the public treasury, or the whole should be confiscated, and the owners exiled. Another decree imposed the penalties of exile and confiscation of property upon all Spaniards who should appear in the streets wearing a cloak; also against any who should be found in private conversation! The punishment of death was awarded against all who should be out of their houses after sunset; and confiscation and death were pronounced on all who possessed any kind of weapons except table-knives! A wealthy lady in Lima was so annoyed at the rigour of these decrees, that her patriotism overcame her prudence, and having called the Protector ill names, she was compelled to give up her property. She was then habited in the garb of the Inquisition,--a garment painted with imaginary devils!--and taken to the great square, where an accusatory libel being fastened to her breast, a human bone was forced into her mouth--her tongue being condemned as the offending member--and then secured; in which state, with a halter round her neck, she was paraded through the streets by the common hangman, and afterwards exiled to Callao, where after two days she died from mental anguish arising from the treatment she had received. Such was the liberty conceded to Peru.

In the midst of this national degradation, the Protector had assumed the style of a Sovereign Prince. An order of nobility was established, under the title of "The Institute of the Sun," the insignia being a golden sun suspended from a white ribbon, the Chilian officers who had abandoned the squadron coming in for a full share as the reward of their subserviency.

A quasi-royal guard was established, consisting of the leading youth of the city, who formed the Protector's escort in public; a precaution which, notwithstanding that the exasperated Limenos were weaponless, was not altogether unnecessary. The Solar nobility were permitted to place their armorial bearings in front of their houses, with the sun blazoned in the centre, which was certainly an addition to, if not an improvement on all previous orders of nobility. In short, the Limenos had a Republic swarming with marquises, counts, viscounts, and other titles of monarchy, to which consummation all expected the Protector to aspire; the more so, as the only unfettered portion of the press was that which saluted him under the title of Emperor. (See Appendix, Ode of "The Dove," sung in celebration, of our Protector and Emperor of Peru!)

The strength of a State so constituted did not keep pace with the brilliancy of its court. On the 7th of April, General Cantarac had fallen upon a division of the liberating army, and cut up or made prisoners of the whole, capturing 5,000 muskets, the military chest, containing 100,000 dollars, and all their ammunition and baggage. It would have been thought that so serious a disaster occurring amongst a justly-exasperated people would have caused some embarrassment to the Government, but the Gazette of the 13th of April almost turned it into matter for congratulation.

LIMENOS,

The division of the south, without having been beaten, has been surprised and dispersed. In a long campaign all cannot be prosperity. You know my character, and you know that I have always spoken the truth! I do not mean to search for consolation in conflicts, notwithstanding, I dare to assure you, that the iniquitous and tyrannical empire of the Spaniards in Peru will cease in the year 1823. I will make an ingenuous confession to you. It was my intention to go in search of repose after so many years of agitation, but I believed your independence was not secured. Some trifling danger now presents itself, and so long as there remains the least appearance of it, till you are free you shall not be left by your faithful friend,

SAN MARTIN.

His proclamation to the army is still more extraordinary:--

Companions of the United Army,

Your brothers in the division of the south have not been beaten--but they have been dispersed. To you it belongs to revenge this insult. You are valiant, and have known long ago the path to glory. Sharpen well your bayonets and your swords. The campaign of Peru shall finish in this year. Your old general assures it. Prepare to conquer!

SAN MARTIN.

To the inhabitants of the interior, proclamations of a still more bombastic nature were despatched, in which they were assured that a reverse of this kind "weighed nothing in the balance of destiny of Peru. Providence protects us, and by this action will accelerate the ruin of the enemies of Peru. Proud of their first victory, they will spare us part of our march in search of them. Fear not! the army that drove them from the capital is ready to punish them a third time, and to punish them for ever!"

The army, however, rightly dreaded another reverse, and what remained of the Chilian force was discontented, as no promise to them had been fulfilled. All gold and silver had disappeared, and paper money was issued by the Government in its stead. Contributions from the already drained inhabitants were increased, and had to be collected at the point of the bayonet. In short, on my arrival, Peru presented the extraordinary spectacle of a court whose minions indulged in every species of costly luxury, and a people impoverished to the dregs to administer to their rapacity.

Those who had condemned my conduct in taking possession of the money at Ancon, now admitted that I had adopted the only possible step to preserve the squadron of Chili. The officers of the liberating army sent me deplorable accounts of the state of affairs; and the regiment of Numantia, which had deserted from the Spaniards soon after the capture of the Esmeralda, sent an officer, Captain Doronso, with a message, asking me to receive them on board, and convey them to Colombia, to which province they belonged.

My appearance in the port of Callao caused serious, though, as far as I was concerned, unnecessary alarm to the Government, to which I transmitted a fresh demand for the sums due to the squadron, further alluding, in no measured language, to the events which had taken place at Guayaquil. Without replying to this by letter, Monteagudo came off to the O'Higgins, lamenting that I should have resorted to such intemperate expressions, as the Protector, before its receipt, had written me a private letter praying for an interview, but on the receipt of my note he became so indignant as to place his health in danger. Monteagudo further assured me that in that letter he had made me the offer of a large estate, and the decoration of the "Sun" set in diamonds, if I would consent to command the united navies of Chili and Peru, in a contemplated expedition to capture the Philippine Islands, by which I should make an immense fortune. My reply was, "Tell the Protector from me, Mr. Monteagudo, that if, after the conduct he has pursued he had sent me a private letter, on any such subject, it would certainly have been returned unanswered; and you may also tell him, that it is not my wish to injure him; I neither fear him nor hate him, but I disapprove of his conduct."

Monteagudo, in spite of his reception, begged of me to reconsider my determination, saying that the Marquis of Torre Tagle had got ready his house for my reception; asking me further to recal the letter I had written the day before, and accept the offers which had been made. I again told him that "I would not accept either honours or rewards from a Government constituted in defiance of solemn pledges; nor would I set foot in a country governed not only without law, but contrary to law. Neither would I recal my letter, my habits were frugal, and my means sufficient without a fortune from the Philippine Islands." Finding he could make no impression upon me, and not liking the scowl on the countenances of those on board, though he wore his blazing decoration of the first order of the "Sun," and was covered with ribbons and embroideries, the minister retired, accompanied by his military escort.

Consequent upon my refusal to comply with his wishes the Protector shortly afterwards, unknown to me, despatched Colonel Paroissien and Garcia del Rio to Chili with a long series of the most preposterous accusations, in which I was represented as having committed every species of crime, from piracy to petty robbery; calling on the Chilian Government to visit me with the severest punishment.

On the 8th of May, the schooner Montezuma, which had been lent to General San Martin by the Chilian Government, entered Callao under Peruvian colours. The insolence of thus appropriating a vessel of my squadron was too great for forbearance, so that I compelled her to come to an anchor, though not before we were obliged to fire upon her. I then turned all the officers ashore, and took possession of her; the Protectoral authorities, by way of reprisal, detaining a boat belonging to the flag-ship, and imprisoning the men; but, rightly calculating the consequences of such a step, they were soon set at liberty, and the boat was, on the same night, permitted to return to the ship.

On the 10th of May we quitted Callao, and arrived at Valparaiso on the 13th of June, after an absence of a year and nine months, during which the objects of the expedition had been completely accomplished.

Having satisfied myself, that, from the oppression practised, the Protectoral Government could not endure longer than the first favourable opportunity for a general revolt which might present itself to the Limenos, and judging that the fall of San Martin might involve serious consequences to Chili, I had addressed the following letter to the Supreme Director:--

Private and confidential.

Callao Roads, May 2, 1822.

Most Excellent Sir,

You will perceive by my public despatches the points of most interest as regards the proceedings of the squadron, and the result of our pursuit of the enemy's frigates, Prueba and Venganza, both of which I have embargoed, the one at Guayaquil and the other here, until your pleasure shall be known, whatever that may be, whether to give up the squadron of Chili, or to bring those vessels to you, shall be alike obeyed.

San Martin has now laid down the external pomp of Protector, and, like Cincinnatus, has withdrawn to retirement, but not with the same view. This modesty is to captivate the crowd, who are to call on him to convert the ploughshare into an Imperial sceptre! I have excellent information to this effect, having found means to obtain it from behind the scenes of this political actor.

Great hopes are entertained, from the mission to Chili, that the squadron will at least be withdrawn, and that when the sun of Peru shall rise on the ocean, the star (the national emblem of Chili) which has hitherto shone, will be for ever eclipsed! Some spots have, however, appeared on the sun's surface. Two thousand men have ceased to see its light at Pasco; and the Numantian regiment, once dazzled by its splendour, are about to grope their way to their native land.

As the attached and sincere friend of your Excellency, I hope you will take into your serious consideration the propriety of at once fixing the Chilian Government upon a base not to be shaken by the fall of the present tyranny in Peru, of which there are not only indications, but their result is inevitable; unless, indeed, the mischievous counsels of vain and mercenary men can suffice to prop up a fabric of the most barbarous political architecture, serving as a screen from whence to dart their weapons against the heart of liberty. Thank God, my hands are free from the stain of labouring in any such work, and, having finished all which you gave me to do, I may now rest till you shall command my further endeavours for the honour and security of my adopted land.

The enemy's forces, since the destruction of the division at Pasco, under Tristan, are superior to those of San Martin at Lima, and are said to be advancing on the capital.

Everything being fully explained in my despatches, I need not trouble your Excellency with a repetition. Trusting that you will judge of my conduct and intentions by my acts--not by the vile scandals of those who have deserted their flag, and set your proclamations at defiance,

I have the honor, &c,

COCHRANE.


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