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the ship now rested for a moment, until the breeze falling full upon the three top-sails overcame her inertia. Then soon she began to ripple through the water, increasing her velocity, until she moved with a slow majesty, that told her a thing of dignity, and life, and freedom. Thus was the Columbia now moving—the anchor having been fished and catted—when the spanker out-haul was manned, the brails cleared, and the spanker hauled out. A new impulse was felt, and another impetus given to her step.
“ Man the fore and main tacks and sheets-top-gallant. sheets and halyards—sheet home, and hoist away the topgallant-sails—let go the rigging and haul aboard !”
This order spread the main and lesser wings of the good frigate, as the two courses and the top-gallant-sails added their expanse of canvas to the breeze.
“ Loose the royals—clear away the flying-jib. Are you ready with the royals? Let fall-clear away the down-haul -hoist away!"
This order in a moment more completed the dress of white, in which the Columbia had so rapidly arrayed herself; and every ell of canvas that had been spread gave new speed to her velocity, and new grace to her movement, as she bowed adieu to Valparaiso. She stood out on her larboard tack with the fleetness and the lightness of a racer; and, in the distance, seemed like some beautiful bird of the deep, that had spread its wings for some far flight to the sunny isles of the South.
The passage of the Columbia from Valparaiso to Callao, the sea-port town of Lima, was accomplished in eleven days. Peru, in its story of conquest under Pizarro, has all the romance that characterizes the Mexican conquest under Cortez. Perhaps the very language of Spain, in its grandiloquence and mellifluous flow, when deeds of arms and senti. ment are its subjects, has contributed to add a romance to the history of all Spain's early enterprises and viceroyalties. CALLAO has been the theatre of some of the most thrilling scenes, both of nature's and man's doings, that the history of the world can present, though now there is no interest associated with it only as it is connected with the past. The present gives us only dilapidation, poverty, dust, dirt, and turkey-buzzards. But the past recalls the deeds of patriotism, wild adventure, blood and carnage, famine, the sacrifice of life, and earthquakes that submerged cities and wrecked navies.
I was on the top of one of the best houses of Callao at 12 o'clock of the day succeeding our anchorage off the town and castle. The castle, situated on the point, commands the town and the road which leads to the city of Lima. In the many revolutions of Peru, since she declared her separation from Spain, the castle has always been the resort for one of the contending parties. To reach an advancing foe, the
castle needs to throw its shot over the low houses of the town. The gentleman, on whose establishment I was promenading, pointed out to me the traces of several cannon balls and musket shot, as they, at various times, had riddled the houses, and stated, that on one occasion a cannon ball struck the roof of his building, and glancing, passed down and demolished the head of the bedstead, from which he had but a few moments before risen.
While we were yet at the top of the house, commanding a view of the town, castle, and the shipping of the harbor, a flag was seen suddenly to be run up to the main-top-gallanthead of our frigate. It was the Peruvian standard, and the first gun of a complimentary salute was fired, as its folds opened on the air. Twenty-one guns sent their loud report over the bay; and the castle opened as the cannon of the frigate ceased, and returned, with an equal number of guns, this compliment to their national flag.
THE CASTLE AT CALLAO.
The castle is a regular pentagonal fortification, with embrasures in the parapet of its curtains and bastions, sufficient for mounting between one and two hundred guns. The central area is spacious, and the fortification large enough, with its underground rooms, to accommodate thousands. As a stronghold, it proved its capabilities during the revolution which secured independence to Peru, when the Spanish general Rodil showed that nothing but famine and starvation could reduce it.
The castle, since its surrender by Spain to the Peruvians, has been, alternately, in the hands of various leaders of factions, professing to have the welfare of the country at heart, but consulting, in the greater number of
instances, their own private ends and aggrandizement. The South American States, it may be, are beginning to learn the art of self-government; but certainly, like Mexico, they have made very slow progress in their attainments of the legitimate advantages of republican institutions. Still, in a school where the power, constitutionally, is in the hands of the people, the dullest scholars must learn, at least, to appreciate the privileges and political rights which have been bequeathed to them. And the generation now coming forward, with less predilections for the old regime, and better educated in the art of thinking for themselves, will evince, we trust and hope, their capabilities for retaining and for availing themselves of the opportunities of free republican institutions.
I spent most of the afternoon in the castle, wandering through its different departments, and examining the peculi. arities of its local and general arrangements. But it is the associations of the past which overwhelm and interest, rather than the mere measurement of olden castles, towns, or palaces, in their dilapidations or architectural structure, repair, and grandeur. Here, in this pile of stone and mortar, there are evidences of vast works, though not of very durable materials. But vast or durable as the fortification may be, it all dwindles into brevity of durability, and is cir. cumscribed in its extent, when compared with the records of the doings to which these works have been witness, and which have been recorded for imperishable history. Thou. sands on thousands, in the various revolutions, have perished here; while earthquakes have added to the number of the sacrificed. There is food for romance as well as tragedy in the dark passes, the secret doors, the spiral staircases leading to different apartments or cut off by drawbridges, or ascending to the two towers which rise above the rest of
the work as places for final retreat, when other portions of the work may have been carried.
The southern gate of the castle leads out towards the right of old Callao, which was prostrated by the earthquake of 1746, and where the vaulted arehes of sunken churches are still seen, now level with the soil, and above which the tramp of the horse's hoof strikes its hollow sound, as the horseman sports over the ruins of the city. Within these arches, open at their ends, thousands of bodies have found their common grave, as they have been passed out from the southern gate of the Castle. Here, too, the Marquis of Truxillo and family lie, who perished by starvation, with hundreds of others, during the siege of 1825. His wealth was unbounded ; and once, it is said, he was the most popular Spaniard in Peru. But he adhered to the cause of his sovereign ; and so low were the besieged reduced for provisions, that the Marquis, it is affirmed, offered a gem of the value of $30,000 for a chicken. I rode over this ground of mingled ruins, skulls, and dismembered bones of skeletons. gathered in heaps, and bleaching in the hot sun, on the outer surface of the soil. And in greater numbers still, similar relics were seen reposing, with their upper tiers in full view of the passer by, in their place, as they have been thrown together into the Gothic vaults, once cathedral arches, but rocked by the earthquake into their oblique position, as if in preparation for the entombment.
How mighty are the movements of nature! The deeds of men must accumulate for centuries, to secure the emotion of the sublime from the contemplator of human actions, as he muses through the medium of antiquity. But here is food for the deep emotions of the bosom, amid all the desolation which reigns in the scenery and the mingled elements of this spot, as one looks abroad on the expanse around him. So I thought, when standing on the towers of the castle,