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at some non-compliance with his orders as captain-general; but instead of returning to his family, started off to join the party of the President in Valparaiso, setting himself in opposition to the Junta, and calling upon all the officers to join him. Unfortunately, some of the foreign officers did so. He embarked from Coquimbo with troops, and thence proceeded to the south, landed, and was met at Lircai by General Prieto's army, on the 17th April, 1830, when Freyre was entirely defeated. This offence resulted in his banishment. Most of the foreign officers were killed; it is said, after they had surrendered. The elections now went forward; Don Francesco Tagle was returned President, and Don Tomas Ovalle as Vice-President: both extensive land proprietors and respectable men. The first soon resigned. and Ovalle exercised the honour but a short time, dying soon after his accession. The President of the Senate acted until elections were again held, when General Prieto was returned President, July 14th, 1831, and continued to hold the office at the time of our visit. It appears throughout the history of the different administrations which have ruled the country since its separation from Spain, that all have been directed by a common spirit of advancement to the country. All their decrees prove this, and under any one of them, had they retained power but a few successive years, it would have prospered. As the people of Chili (that is to say, the mass of the population,) are proverbial for their apathy, and disposed to submit to authority without questioning its origin, the main error of the early administrations was their extensive lenity towards political offenders, whose turbulent spirit and restless ambition no clemency checked. The impunity with which such disorganizers returned to their intrigues after repeated pardons, and the too liberal, or, more properly speaking, visionary schemes of government, no doubt operated to produce the sudden and frequent changes of government, before any one of them had had time to mature plans of improvement or organize a system of legislation, or a mode for the proper administration of laws. A want of energy and resolution of purpose encouraged factions to hope for success in their attempts to gain the ascendency. Imaginary abuses were charged home against each successive ruler, and the country was a prey to convulsions. This state of affairs prevailed in a greater or less degree till 1831, when the present administration came into power. Its course was totally different from its predecessors. It adopted at once the most energetic measures to establish order; introduced a necessary severity, which produced a hue and cry against it, in the country. But it was not diverted from its purpose. It went on reforming abuses, nipping revolution in its bud, and banishing the most refractory; by a salutary terror awed the many factions, and pursued vigorously its career of improvement in every branch of government. No one felt disposed to give it credit. All its acts were ascribed to one or other of the former parties. Every one spoke of them as being proposed, projected, or introduced by O'Higgins, Freyre, or Pinto, forgetting that their good intentions were never carried out, and that it was the abuses permitted by them that led to civil war. The present administration proved itself fit to rule. It wielded its power energetically but beneficially. Its vigilance never slept; and the parties which occasionally showed symptoms of movement, have at last made up their minds to come into the fold of good citizens. The actual president at the time of our visit, was General Joaquim Prieto, a man of umblemished private character, full of benevolence, but who, no doubt, had he been left to the direction of his own feelings and judgment, at several periods of his official career, would by his mistaken lenity have brought upon his government the fate of all the preceding ones. Fortunately for the lovers of order, he had for several years to aid him, as minister of war and the interior, Diego Portales, one of those master spirits a country but rarely produces; a man whose early life was engaged in commerce, but who, in the progress of revolutions, evincing more than ordinary ability, became a prominent politician, and eventually one of the leading men of the country. From his resolute and unbending temper, he was permitted to become the head of a party, and soon gained such an ascendency, that they abandoned themselves to his guidance. He might have obtained the presidency, had ordinary ambition directed him ; but, impelled by a more noble one, he chose to attach himself to the administration as one of its ministers, in order, as subsequent events proved, that he might be better able to carry out the plans he meditated. He possessed a resolution in his political career which never swerved from what he conceived his duty, or what he thought the interests of his country required. He had the unyielding temper of a reformer; and never was one more wanted in any country. He recommended the establishment of a militia system, with a view to check every future military interference in the government; and when it was opposed, on the ground that it would only endanger the peace of the country to place arms in the hands of the people, he answered, “No 1 depend upon it, the only way to secure permanent order, is to create a power in the people which may be enlisted on their side; and if this should declare against the government, it would be evidence enough that it ought no longer to rule, for such a power should consist of the best portion of the population of the country. The first object

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must be to counteract military influence; for it too frequently happens amongst us, that when we make a colonel, and give him a regiment, his aspirations soon extend to supreme command.” His counsel was listened to : a militia system was organized; the army was reduced; numerous generals and other officers were struck off the list; the number of civil officers in the various departments was diminished, salaries cut down, and the most rigid economy observed in every branch of the government. Setting an example of unwearied industry in the discharge of his duties, he exacted from those under him a strict performance of theirs. He corrected abuses which had the countenance of time for their practice; he aroused his countrymen from their indolence; corruption ceased, persons were selected to fill office from their fitness, and not, as formerly, from family influence. His militia system worked admirably; it produced a feeling of order among a population notoriously irregular in their private habits and domestic economy; it became a national guard, exercising a certain kind of police over the whole land. Indeed, all his energies were called into play, to improve and advance his country; roads were planned to open communications to the coast, from sections abounding in agricultural wealth, but remote from the seaboard. He set about raising the public credit by husbanding the revenue, so as to enable it, after consolidating domestic and foreign debt, to appropriate a certain amount, first towards the periodical payments on account of interest, and then to effect an arrangement with the English-bond-holders. For the latter purpose, an agent was named to proceed to England. To accomplish such radical changes great perseverance and firmness were requisite, and these qualities eminently characterized Portales. It is surprising how well he adapted his march to the actual state of the country, and its prejudices of education. He supported the clergy, to obtain their instrumentality as a moral power to strengthen the government, knowing that otherwise they would, as they frequently had, become its most formidable opponents. All this created much discontent among many speculative politicians, who fancied they could establish a refined system of government over an uneducated and prejudiced mass of men like the Chilians; a population that had but a few years emerged from a political state little different from that of Europe in the middle ages, whose predilections were deeply rooted, whose habits only change by an increasing intercourse with nations more enlightened than themselves, and who gradually and almost imperceptibly yield to such an influence. This government came into power after military rule had been in possession of authority almost ever since the nation became independent. It had been the custom to consult military men on every change of government; the rivalry of generals consequently kept up a constant revolutionary propensity. A government, to establish civil rule supreme in the land, and in order to have its laws obeyed, would be obliged to exercise more severity with it than pre-existing circumstances had called for. Portales incurred the sole odium of this severity. His activity and energy were ever present and before the public. He had a difficult task to perform in reconciling jarring interests, and pushing out this system of reform, but he did it fearlessly. No selfish feeling seemed to actuate him. His enemies admit that his disinterestedness was extraordinary, and that neither himself nor his family were benefited by his public employment. The remains of that unquiet military spirit, the growth of revolution, would occasionally show itself; but the government instantly crushed it, and sent the offenders out of the country. A good understanding was sought with foreign powers. A treaty was effected with Mexico, and one with the United States; and a mission to accomplish one with Peru, sent up by President Orbejoso, was met with confidence. Unfortunately, when the ratification of the latter was about being exchanged, a military revolt broke out in Peru, headed by a Colonel Salaverry, which succeeded in driving the legal government from Lima, and established one there of which Salaverry declared himself supreme chief. The Chilian government, too anxious to complete the treaty, which was advantageous to the two countries, sent it to Peru, and exchanged ratifications with Salaverry, who was at the time acknowledged to be the de facto ruler, as far as decrees and possession of the capital went. In this view of the case, Chili had an undoubted right to conclude the treaty, and to expect that it would be observed. The ratification of the treaty by Salaverry was followed by his sending a minister to Chili, although the ambassador of the former government (Orbejoso's) was still there. This was the germ from which grew the misunderstanding that occurred on the restoration of Orbejoso's government, which was effected through the intervention of the President of Bolivia, General Santa Cruz, who had been called upon by Orbejoso for assistance. This resulted in the defeat of Salaverry, the establishment of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, and the naming of Santa Cruz as Supreme Protector, for life, by assemblies convoked by him, and the appointment of Orbejoso as President of North Peru. While these matters, however, were in progress, Orbejoso, who had returned to Lima after the battle of Socabaya, immediately on his arrival annulled the treaty with Chili, with no other notice to the latter government than the public decree, by which she was informed VOL. I. T 28

that four months were allowed her to renew it or not, otherwise it would be of no effect. • Chili took umbrage at this abrupt mode of proceeding, and allowed the time to pass, when both governments restored the former retaliatory duties on their respective products. Santa Cruz framed a new commercial code for Peru, and among its articles, was one imposing double duties on all vessels touching at any Chilian port, before going to Peru. This measure was odious to Chili, and was considered as evincing unfriendly feelings. Whilst Chili was in the full tide of prosperity, and attending to her own internal regulations, the administration, satisfied that all was quiet at home, appears to have been utterly regardless of the course things were taking in Peru. President Prieto at this time was re-elected for a second term, upon which General Ramon Freyre, the former director of Chili, but for some years banished the country, and living in Peru, set out with a few other exiled Chilian officers, on a revolutionary adventure to Chili. Embarking in two Peruvian government vessels, hired from Orbejoso ostensibly for a trading voyage to Central America, his real intention was to proceed to the south of Chili, and make a descent upon the coast. He entertained the expectation of being joined by the old military, and other dissatisfied persons, and was in hopes of finally establishing himself again in power. Some few days subsequently to Freyre's departure from Lima, the Chilian consulgeneral hearing of it, despatched a fast-sailing vessel to apprise his government. The vessel had a very short passage, and the intelligence took the government entirely by surprise. They were wholly unprepared for an attack from any quarter. Their only armed vessel was a small schooner, and this was employed at the time to bring the electoral returns from Chiloe. The intelligence, however, caused government no alarm. With a promptitude characteristic of Portales' system, which was now fairly established, a dismantled brig-of-war was rigged, a crew shipped, and made ready for sea in four days. Gun-boats were armed, and every precaution taken to guard against surprise. At the same time the government received tenders of service from people of property and influence throughout the whole republic, and few felt any doubts that the result of the affair would be in favour of the government. Soon after, the largest of Freyre's vessels, with some of his best officers on board, was brought in by her crew, and delivered up. It was ascertained that the rendezvous was to be Chiloe. No time was lost in sending off the prize, with a good equipment, to decoy Freyre, if possible. He was found in possession of Chiloe. The stratagem

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