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again. So also it is a point of policy in the editor of a magazine, when he breaks up a long article, to choose that precise paragraph at which the reader will not reply to his To be continued-"Who cares?"—o "No more of that, Hal, if thou lovest me," but shall be agonized with impatience for the rest, and call upon the gods to annihilate both time and space, and to drive the moon through her lunation, as if she was one of the Melton hunt, or a member of the four-in-hand.
These cases, however, are not by any means parallel; for what would an audience say, if, at the end of a fourth act, a gentleman, dressed in a full suit of black with a cocked hat under his arm, should step forward with a supplicating "Ladies and gentlemen," and dismiss the house with a reference for the rest of the play, like a justice's mittimus, to the end of "one calendar month?" Wits, you know, on the other hand, have short memories, and the preceding number of a magazine is not always within reach to refresh our recollections; so that "Continued from our last" is often little better than an invitation to skip the article. Therefore once more, Mr. Editor, I thank you, for myself and the public, for abstaining as much as possible from this provoking practice of your rival contemporaries.
There is something in the very essence of a Magazine peculiarly congenial to my disposition, which from the cradle was discursive and miscellaneous. I never could believe that the human mind was formed to be tied down for ever to one subject; nay, not even to be trusted with an entire pursuit, but to be confined like a pin-maker's journeyman either to heads or points;-I ever thought the
Æthereum sensum atque aurai simplicis ignem
was created to expatiate at large through the wide fields of nature and of science,
From grave to gay, from lively to severe,
and, in short, to embrace the " omne cognoscibile;" to which nothing is more conducive than the reading your Magazine. Magazines hold that just medium between occupation and amusement, study and dissipation, which redeems the labour of learning, and avoids the reproach of idleness; and really, Mr. Editor, I must say you have as agreeable a variety, and as charming a list of contributors, as a reader 'could wish. What a funny fellow is "Peter Pindarics!" How agreeable the "Campaigning Cornet!" "Lips and Kissing" set one's mouth watering. "Grimm's Ghost," like all his family, grim or ghost, is truly delectable. I say nothing of your own contributions, to save your modesty a blush; but Don Leucadio was delicious-though, between you and me, is he not a bit of a Radical, or a Carbonaro, or some such thing? His dislike of Inquisitions makes him suspected of being suspicious. I hope he is gone to Spain for more news of his interesting curate. I wish also your "Silent River" would murmur once more: he flows with so sweet and melancholy a movement, that all your readers must cry out "That strain again."
"Select Company" is a most choice article; the "Reflections on a Plum-pudding" are very relishing; the "Bachelor's Thermometer" was well graduated; the "Land of Promise," a land of performance; and your "One-handed Flute-player," quite an ambidexter. Cætera quid referem!-where all excel, it is useless to particularize; but there is one of your correspondents for whose signature I always look with
a singular earnestness-for I am never disappointed, when I find M. at the end of an article. I hope I am not alone in my partiality for that writer; for whether he favours us with verse or prose I am equally prepared to admire his wit, and to venerate the deep thought which that wit involves. With this lively interest in your Magazine and its "jolly crew," you may naturally suppose I am all ears whenever the subject is started; and I heartily wish the space which I propose to occupy with the present article, would allow me to mention the half of what I have heard.
First, Sir, you are to know that the New Monthly Magazine is conducted with a vast deal of spirit, very lively and wittily written, but— as dull as an oyster; devilish clever, but―d—d stupid; full of variety, with-too much sameness; in most extensive circulation, but-does not sell. (G-d help Mr. Colburn, then, “Thinks I to myself,” for he must soon be ruined.) Mr. Campbell's Lectures are the only things worth reading in the book; but what is Greek literature to us? There's nothing amusing but Grimm's Ghost, except Peter Pindarics and the Irish Bar. Doblado's Letters are highly interesting by the air of verity they possess, though--they are evidently fictitious, and not a word of them true. The great merit of the publication is, that it does not meddle with politics; but-it is too decidedly a Tory work, the editor is a reputed Whig, and half the contributors downright Radicals. The public rejoice that the editor is no saint, but they would like the publication much better if it were a shade more "Serious." One gentleman asks for a series of geological essays, one wishes for a paper on the millennium, and another would be delighted to know the meaning of the hieroglyphics on the tomb in the British Museum. There is "a constant reader" who thinks it does not "look like a magazine,” for want of double columns; and two maiden ladies, with whom I . sometimes drink tea, would think much better of the publication if it were stitched in a blue cover.
These, Sir, are some of the lights I have collected concerning your Magazine, and the manner in which it is conducted; and I doubt not that your good sense and discrimination will enable you to profit by the information I thus afford. I rely with confidence on your candour in appreciating the industry with which I have gleaned, and the simplicity with which I have communicated these fruits of my research. So with a parting "Floreat æternum" I take my leave, subscribing myself your admirer and friend,
SKETCH OF THE POLITICAL CAREER OF SIMON BOLIVAR, President of the Republic of Colombia.
SIMON BOLIVAR, commander-in-chief of the Independent forces of Venezuela, and president of the Colombian republic, is descended from a family of distinction at Caracas, where he was born about the year 1785. He was one of the few natives of the Spanish colonies who were formerly permitted to visit Europe. After finishing his studies at Madrid, he went to France, and, during his stay at Paris, rendered himself an acceptable guest in its social circles by the amenity of his manners and his other personal recommendations; in the midst, however, of all its distractions, his strong and ardent imagination anticipated the task which the future fortunes of his country might im
pose upon him, and even in his twenty-third year, he contemplated the establishment of her independence. Whilst he was at Paris, Bolivar's favourite and principal occupation was the study of those branches of science which belong to the formation of a warrior and statesman; and he was anxious to form such connexions as might give a more perfect direction to his hopes and views. Humboldt and Bompland were his intimate friends, and accompanied him in his travels in France: nor did he think he had learned enough until he had traversed England, Italy, and a part of Germany. On his return to Madrid, he married the Marquis of Ulstariz's daughter; and shortly afterwards, went back to America, where he arrived at the very moment when his fellow-countrymen, who were wearied with the oppressions of the Spanish government, had determined to unfurl the standard of independence. The talents, rank, and acquirements of Bolivar pointed him out as the worthiest and best qualified among them to be placed at the helm; but he disapproved of the system adopted by the Congress of Venezuela, and refused to join Don Lopez Mendez in his mission to England, which was connected with the interests of the new government. Bolivar even declined any direct connexion with it, though he continued a stanch friend to his country's liberties.
In March 1812, an earthquake devastated the whole province, and among other places, destroyed the city of Caracas, together with its magazines and munitions of war. Fresh troubles followed this catastrophe, in which twenty thousand persons lost their lives; but its most disastrous result was, that it became a rallying point for the priesthood, and facilitated their endeavours to bring back a considerable portion of their superstitious flocks to the ancient order of things. In their hands, the earthquake became a token of the Divine wrath, and, indeed, it was so manifest a token, as they alleged, of the indignation of Heaven, that the anniversary of the insurrection was the chosen day of its occurrence. The credulous mind was disconcerted and overwhelmed by these insidious representations; dissension enfeebled the Independents; and a succession of disasters overtook them on the approach of the Spanish general, Monteverde, who lost no time in attacking them whilst labouring under these disadvantages. Bolivar hastened to join Miranda, who had fought in the ranks of the French revolutionists under Dumourier, and had already unsheathed his sword in the cause of freedom. But Miranda's efforts were unsuccessful, and he was obliged to retreat as far as Vittoria. Bolivar himself was unfortunate in his first attempts. He had obtained the governorship of Puerto Cabello, in conjunction with the rank of colonel; but was compelled to evacuate this place, in order to save it from the destruction which impended over it, in consequence of the revolt of his prisoners, who had made themselves masters of its citadel and well-supplied ramparts. The loss of so important a position was deeply felt by the Independent army, though it did not weaken Bolivar's ascendancy. The Congress of New Grenada gave him the command of a corps of six thousand men, which he led across the mountains of Tunza and Pamplona to the farthest extremity of New Grenada, on the banks of the Tachira. After putting some parties of Royalists to flight, he marched upon Ocana with the view of penetrating on that side into the Venezuelian territory. Rivas, his second in command, having reached him with reinforcements granted by the Con
gress of New Grenada, he attacked his enemies at Cucuta, routed them, and despatched a detachment towards Guadalito under the orders of Don Nicholas Briceno, who levied more troops in that neighbourhood, and then proceeded to occupy the province of Barinas. Bolivar, in the mean while, met with fresh successes at Grita, and seized upon the department of Merida: whilst Briceno, being defeated by the Royalists, fell into their power with seven of his officers. This event afforded the Spaniards an opportunity of applying to their own colonies the same horrible system of warfare which they had practised in Europe, under the pretext that every means is allowable to repel aggression. Tilear, the governor of Barinas, ordered these prisoners to be shot, together with several other members of families of distinction, who were accused of holding correspondence with the Independents. Bolivar, who had hitherto conducted the war with great forbearance, was inflamed with indignation at these cruelties: he swore to avenge Briceno, his brother in arms, and declared that every Royalist who should fall into his hands should be consigned over to the vengeance of his soldiery. But this spirit of inexorable justice and retaliation ill-accorded with Bolivar's character: the menaces he held out were, we are assured, never realized but on one single occasion, and that, indeed, at a time when the safety of his followers appears absolutely to have required it. His army increasing daily, he divided it into two corps, one of which he committed to Rivas; while, placing himself at the head of the other, he advanced towards Caracas through the districts of Truxillo and Barinas. After several engagements, which terminated in their favour, the two commanders were assailed by the flower of Monteverde's troops at Gestaguanes; and the obstinate encounter which ensued was finally determined by the Spanish cavalry, who passed over to the side of the Independents, and thus gave them the victory. Monteverde then shut himself in Puerto Cabello with the remains of his army. On the other hand, Bolivar followed up his success, and invested Caracas, which capitulated by the counsels of a junta suddenly collected. The conditions which he exacted were by no means severe: he declared that no one should be molested on account of his political opinions; and that those who wished to withdraw were at liberty to remove themselves and all they possessed. Whilst Bolivar was entering the place, the governor made his escape, and embarked for La Guyra, leaving fifteen hundred Royalists at the conqueror's mercy.
Monteverde, spite of the humiliating situation in which he was placed, assumed a tone of arrogance which could not fail to hasten the entire defection of the colonies from the mother-country: he refused to ratify the treaty presented to him, and declared "that it was derogatory to the dignity of Spain to treat with these rebels." The disdain which the rebel general displayed was much more in character, for he confined himself to leaving the insult unnoticed. He was received with great enthusiasm at Caracas on the 4th of August, 1813.
Marino, another commander, was equally victorious in the eastern provinces; and the entire region of Venezuela, with the exception of Puerto Cabello, was rescued from the grasp of its oppressors.
Bolivar, desirous of turning his success to the account of humanity, proposed an exchange of prisoners with Monteverde; who, regardless
of the disparity of numbers, was unwilling to lower his pride to such a compromise: he preferred applying the reinforcements which had reached him to a fresh assault upon the Independents, at Agua-Caliente. This assault recoiled upon himself: the greater part of his force was destroyed; he was saved with difficulty from falling into the hands of his enemies, and was carried to Puerto Cabello, severely wounded. Bolivar had hoped that this victory would have drawn the calamities of war to a nearer close; he again sent a flag of truce to the Royalists, accompanied by Salvador Garcia, an individual whose virtuous character entitled him to the esteem of all parties. But Salomon, the new Royalist commander, proved himself to have inherited the impolitic principles and ferocious disposition of his predecessor: he ordered the venerable priest to be loaded with irons and cast into a dungeon. It appears as if the Spaniards had been anxious to exasperate men's minds, and aggravate the horrors of a warfare, the principal miseries of which were ultimately doomed to fall on their own heads. Puerto Cabello, being vigorously attacked both by sea. and land, was speedily reduced; an event greatly hastened by D'Eluyar, a young soldier, to whom the Independent general had intrusted the operations of the siege. The citadel, however, refused to capitulate, though it was afflicted with disease, in want of provisions, and without the remotest hope of being relieved. In consequence of its obstinate resistance, Bolivar determined simply to invest it, and was deterred from attempting an assault, which must have proved murderous, and might have miscarried. During this siege, a battalion of the Independents was attacked by a party of Royalists, and behaved so ill that Bolivar thought it right to disarm it; but a short time afterwards the battalion, eager to regain its lost credit, armed itself with pikes, and rushing on the enemy, plundered them of their arms and accoutrements, and used them for its own equipment. This achievement signalized the combat of Araure. The whole of the campaign of this season was eminently conducive to the prosperity of the Independent cause.
The inhabitants of the province of Caracas, as is the case with all infant republics, were extremely jealous of the liberty which it had cost them so many sacrifices to acquire; their mistrust was roused by the continued dictatorship which was exercised by Bolivar, who delegated it to his inferiors, by whom it was abused to a degree which frequently redoubled their apprehensions; and, although he had never himself applied his power improperly, yet his refusal to resign it on the requisition of the Congress of New Grenada engendered a spirit of discontent which met him even in the midst of his own followers. He perceived that this was the proper moment for divesting himself of his authority. A general assembly of the principal civil and military officers was therefore convoked on the 2d January, 1814; and in its presence Bolivar was resolved upon renouncing his dictatorial powers; after rendering a scrupulous account of his operations, as well as of the plans he had deemed it necessary to adopt. His power was tottering; but this proceeding gave it new vigour. The leading persons of Venezuela,-men whose patriotism was above suspicion,-Don Carlos Hurlado de Mendoza, governor of Caracas; Don J. Ch. Rodriguez, president of the municipality; and the highly respected Don Alzura, sensible of the necessity which still existed for the tutelary superintendence of such a leader as Bolivar, were joined by their colleagues in