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POLICY OF ENGLAND.
harassed by exterior foes. The governor of Monte Video, Elio, blockaded Buenos Ayres with all his maritime force, and Cordova, stirred up by Liniers, who continued faithful and active in the cause of the mother-country, rose up in arms against the government of the patriots; their hostile movements being in combination with those of Elio, on the one hand, and of Goyeneche, in Peru, on the other.
The Junta, nothing daunted, sent a force of twelve hundred men against the Cordovese insurgents, who were headed by Liniers, and they bade defiance to Elio and his blockading squadron. What was less wise, they sent eight hundred men under General Belgrano, one of the vocales of the Junta, against Paraguay.
Though Paraguay, however, Cordova, Monte Video, and two or three places in Upper Peru, held out, the great proportion of the provinces gave in their adhesion to the new order of things as established in Buenos Ayres, the metropolis of the viceroyalty.
And it may also here be remarked, that though now in alliance with Spain, England quietly favoured the separation of the colonies from the
POLICY OF ENGLAND.
mother-country, finding her account in a direct and rapidly increasing trade; and the British merchants, by this time established in Buenos Ayres, began to exercise a beneficial though quite indirect influence over public affairs and public opinion at the seat of government.
We are, &c.,
LETTER XXX. THE AUTHORS to GENERAL MILLER. The Pampero of 1810—The Mercurio Frigate-Elio rejected
Vigodet—The Junta refuses to acknowledge the Regency-Liniers defeated near Cordova–His Death-General Balcarce-His Victory at Suipacha—The Provinces of Peru-Blockade of Buenos Ayres-Captain Elliot-The Misletoe and Captain Ramsay-- The Executive composed of twenty-two Members ! Cornelio de Saavedra-Doctor Moreno named Minister to England-His Death.
London, 1842. While the Spanish frigate Mercurio lay in the outer roadstead of Buenos Ayres, blockading the port, a pampero, or south wind, very nearly placed her in possession of the patriots. Of the pampero we have often had occasion to speak. On this occasion, July, 1810, its strength and fury rose to those of a hurricane, and blowing steadily from one point during the first forty-eight hours, its force seemed to increase in a geometrical ratio. Its effect is always to produce a low river, sweeping the waters into the sea with an irresistible impulse and rapidity ; but in the present instance it so far exceeded its usual powers, that in the morning after
THE MERCURIO FRIGATE.
its commencement the inhabitants of Buenos Ayres were astonished by seeing the captains of English vessels, which were anchored from seven to nine miles off the town, walking on foot to the shore, the whole intermediate distance being perfectly clear of water, and their vessels, as well as the Mercurio frigate, lying high and dry on the sands.
The River Plate, spreading out at the distance of one hundred and fifty miles from its mouth into an inconceivably large estuary,—in fact, into a fresh water sea,—is at Buenos Ayres thirty miles in width; yet in one night the pampero dried up this immense space of waters, supplied from both the rivers Paraná and Uruguay, leaving only a narrow current, the mother-bed on the north side, and all the rest being reduced to one hard dry bank of sand. It is when Nature works on a large scale, as she does throughout South America, that her phenomena strike us with wonder and awe.
Seeing the Mercurio lie powerless and capsized in the sands, a resolution was taken to attack her with troops and artillery, and the plan only failed of success from the time wasted through the fears and procrastination of Saavedra, who ordered and counter-ordered till the time for action had gone by. 108
ELIO REJECTED AS VICEROY.
On the third day the river had again filled, and resumed its usual appearance.
The Regency having been named at this time by the Central Junta of Spain, one of its first acts was to recall Elio from Montevideo and to name General Vigodet in his place. At first it was thought that this was a step towards a reconciliation on a liberal basis with Buenos Ayres; but it was soon perceived that there was no real change in the views of Spain, and still less a wish to come to any terms on the side of the patriots. Elio was rewarded when he went home, and Vigodet was a man equally imbued with a hatred of South American patriotism,-equally resolved to maintain the entire and unqualified predominance of the mother-country. Elio himself was afterwards named-vain appointment !-viceroy of Buenos Ayres.
On the 14th of August one Rivera, a naval captain, was sent to Buenos Ayres to notify the installation of the Regency ; but after some coquetting on both sides, he was dismissed by the Buenos Ayres Junta, and the Regency remained unacknowledged.
The force which we have mentioned as having been sent against Cordova was increased as it ad