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On the other hand, the Buenos Ayreans were not unwilling to have Artigas pitted against Otorguez. The whole thing, however, was as a sore, not healed but thinly coated over, and upon any little chafe or scratch, ready to break out anew. Buenos Ayres, in the meantime, was apparently mistress of the destinies of all the surrounding provinces; and Alvear not only seeing this, but knowing that he had been so prominent an agent in bringing affairs to their present bearing, determined at once to play the part of principal actor in the political drama.
He got the Supreme Director, Posadas, to name Don Nicolas Rodriguez Peña, Alvear's own intimate friend, a mere tool in the hand of his master, to the head of affairs in Monte Video. The governor elect was received with regal honours, installed, and Alvear, in a flourishing address (27th July, 1814), took leave of his comrades in arms, and hastened to Buenos Ayres.
Never, since the commencement of the revolution, was she in so “pingüe," or flourishing a state.
Pezuela was retreating before the auxiliary army of Peru, incapable of withstanding the desultory and guerilla warfare made against him by Rondeau
DICTATION OF BUENOS AYRES.
and Güemez; the decided feeling of the inhabitants was also against the Peruvian general; the disasters in Chile, and the fluctuating, feverish, and excited state of politics in Lima, all made Pezuela, though an able general, tremble in his shoes.
These circumstances, which, if turned to their proper account, would have laid the foundation of the permanent power, and undivided sway of Buenos Ayres, tended only to her overthrow.
Elated and inflated, its present administration began to adopt measures hateful to the provinces, rudely to overthrow their associations connected with independence, by dictating to them obnoxious laws, and by sending her own satraps to give them effect; incorporating one province with another, and granting them the privilege (save the mark) of sending deputies to the Asamblea, dependent on the government in chief.
The agitation succeeded in chilling some, disgusting others, and exciting in all a spirit of hostility, not the less inveterate, because it lay smothered, for a season, under the overwhelming pressure of the vast power of the capital.
She decreed the province of Entre Rios to be one province under her control; and she incorporated
the different departments of Tucuman, Santiago del Estero, and Catamarca into another. To all these she sent her own nominees as governors, fiscal officers, lawyers, and employés; who, not content with the quiet exercise of their lucrative appointments, were not unfrequently extortioners.
The beaux of the country towns fell prostrate before the polished Porteños; and the inhabitants, without knowing how, began to feel that not even their houses were their own.
These circumstances brought about a reaction however, which made Buenos Ayres recoil within herself, and feel that the abuse of power is sure, in the end, to visit its authors with heavy pains and
LETTER XXXVIII. THE AUTHORS to GENERAL MILLER. Don Carlos de Alvear-Public Men are Public Property-Alvear
elected Supreme Director-His State-Is a little shaken—The Coalition-Artigas Supreme Protector-Fate of Alvear's followers—His Promotions The Battle of Sipé Sipé.
London, 1842. Don CARLOS DE Alvear was, we are happy to add, is, (for he is still in the land of the living,) a man of good family, of soldier-like appearance, and deportment,-shrewd, brave, generous, and in his manners most like a gentleman. There was a tinge of aristocracy, both in his appearance and in his feel. ings, which, diminishing with his years, and sobered down by experience, are now not so observable.
When, flushed with the conquest of Monte Video and the Banda Oriental, not more than twentyfive years of age, with a splendid uniform, and a still more splendid wife,—the admiration of one sex, the envy of the other,—Alvear came to Buenos Ayres, big with the project of being elected “Supreme Director” of the State,-his bearing and carriage went rather beyond the patience and tole
PUBLIC MEN ARE PUBLIC PROPERTY.
ration of his countrymen. For one friend, he probably made ten enemies. The weak point of his character was want of originality of mind, and firmness of purpose. He got surrounded by Doctores, went to leeward in the hands of cunning statesmen, could seldom hold his wind (as mariners say) against the insetting tide of adulation, and was so kind, that he could seldom refuse to the captain who approached him with humility and deference the brevet rank of major, to the major that of lieutenant-colonel, and to the lieutenant-colonel that of colonel. From those who were his flatterers, as well as fancied friends, to whom he looked for military support, he withheld nothing.
Respecting General Alvear, as we both do,—long intimate with him, as we both have been,-a friend of ours, as we believe he now is, though we may something extenuate, we shall certainly set down nought in malice; not one word that we should be ashamed to read to General Alvear himself, in his quiet retreat from military and political jangle; nor which his own candour, liberality, and good sense would refuse to admit as true.
At the same time, General Alvear, like all public men, is now a sort of public property; and while