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were, in the short space of half an hour, driven from their intrenchments with great slaughter by the valour and impetuosity of his troops, whose assault he led in person. Stores and artillery were alike abandoned by the vanquished, and victory smiled on the cause of freedom before the second division could arrive to share in its achievement: a few of its Tirailleurs alone had come up, and at their head Cedeno impatiently placing himself, rushed upon a square of Spanish infantry, in the midst of which he and the greater part of his companions found a glorious death. The British troops distinguished themselves highly on this occasion, and, indeed, were the principal instruments of this brilliant victory : nor was Bolivar slow to recognise their good conduct: he conferred upon the remnant of the battalion of which they consisted, the title of “ Battalion of Calobozo," and on the surviving heroes, both officers and privates, the decoration of the order of Liberators. The Spaniards, after losing one half of their force in this decisive conflict, fled with dismay in the direction of Puerto Cabello.
The independence of this portion of the American continent was the happy consequence of the battle of Calobozo, and the first fruit which it yielded was the retaking of Caracas : whence Bermudez, who had already once captured it in the course of the campaign, had been almost immediately afterwards driven out by Colonel Pereyra. Bolivar again retook it on the 30th of June without resistance ; and four days afterwards, La Guyra capitulated, the garrison under Pereyra being allowed to proceed by sea to Puerto Cabello. On the 6th of July, Bolivar (now called the President Liberator) declared Caracas the capital of the department of Venezuela, and transferred the Court of Admiralty from the island of Margarita to La Guyra. It has been stated, that not a white person was found in either of these once flourishing towns, when Bolivar took possession of them; the only inhabitants remaining in them being a handful of negroes. He issued a proclamation in consequence, intreating all its former inhabitants to return to the enjoyment of their properties, and solemnly assuring them, whether they were Royalists or Independents, of the future and sacred protection of the new government.
The Independent forces were now intent upon reducing the other towns which remained in the hands of the Spaniards. Carthagena ca pitulated on the 25th of September, and Cumana about a month afterwards. Puerto Cabello has however continued to baffle
effort reduce it, and the possession of a superior naval force has enabled the Spaniards to do considerable mischief to the commerce and tranquillity of the neighbouring coast.
The General Congress had been summoned to meet at Rosario de Cuenta on the 1st of January, but the delay which occurred in the assembling of the deputies prevented the formal opening of their sittings before the 1st of May. Other objects having called Bolivar away, Antonio Marino, the vice-president of the republic, was deputed by him to preside at its opening ; on which occasion he addressed his colleagues in a tone of warm congratulation on the flattering prospects which the achievement of their independence held out. This was considered as the first Colonbian Congress, and its first decree confirmed that of the Venezuelian legislature, which, in December 1819, had ordained the perpetual union of Venezuela and New Grenada, under the title of the 56 Republic of Colombia.” An amnesty for all past offences was proclaimed; whilst every person, whatever might have been his political conduct or opinions, was promised the restoration of his property on his taking an oath of fidelity and allegiance to the state.
After decreeing every possible mark of the national gratitude to their brethren in arms, the Congress applied itself diligently to the drawing up of the Constitutional Charter of the Republic, and closed its important labours on this head before the termination of the session. The constitution of the United States of America seems to have served as a model to the Colombian legislators, who vested the executive functions in a president and vice-president, and conjointly with them, the legislatorial office in a senate and house of representatives; making, however, a noble and beneficent improvement on the constitution which was their prototype, by abolishing slavery; declaring that the children of slaves born after the promulgation of the constitution should be free, and enjoining that measures should be adopted for gradually redeeming and emancipating all existing slaves. This object being despatched, the Congress next discussed the plan for public education, and the laws for regulating the commerce of the republic. Bolivar, who was elected president in conjunction with Santander as vice-president, hesitated at first to accept this high office; but the general voice compelled him to give way, and the same talents, activity, and perseverance, which entitled him to this just mark of the veneration and confidence of his fellow-countrymen, have ever since distinguished his exercise of the important dignity conferred upon him. The Congress, having brought its useful labours to this termination, broke up on the 13th of October; and some weeks afterwards, Bolivar removed the seat of government to Santa Fè de Bogota, to co-operate the more readily in the liberation of Quito and Cuença, and thus retain the former as the frontier province towards Peru, which is itself engaged in the struggle for its independence.
The introduction of the trial by jury, the toleration granted to all religions, and the establishment of schools on the Lancasterian system, are sufficient pledges of the provident and enlightened spirit by which the infant republic and its high-minded president are actuated. Nor have its powerful neighbours, the United States, been slow to avail themselves of the opportunity, which the promise of its future prosperity affords, for advancing North American interests, by placing their relations with the Colombian people at an early hour on the most friendly footing. The President of the United States had already observed to Congress, " It has long been manifest that it would be impossible for Spain to reduce these colonies by force; and equally so, that no conditions short of their independence would be satisfactory to them.” The American executive has since sealed this declaration, by formally recognising the independence of South America, and appointing ministers to Colombia, Buenos Ayres, and others of the new governments. Surely, the character of that country, whose sons have bled in the contest for South American freedom, and the dignity of that throne whose strength and glory consist in the affections of a free, enlightened, and generous people,—surely, neither the good name of Great Britain can be defiled, nor can its future prosperity be compromised, by taking example from its Trans-atlantic offspring, and inscribing over the threshold of Colombian freedom its own sacred motto“ Esto perpetua !”
" The Past is all by death possess'd,
And frugal fate that guards the rest,
By giving, bids us live To-day." FENTON. To-Day is like a child's pocket-money, which he never thinks of keeping in his pocket. Considering it bestowed upon us for the sole purpose of being expended as fast as possible in dainties, toys, and knick-knacks, we should reproach ourselves for meanness of spirit were we to hoard it up, or appropriate it to any object of serious utility. It is the only part of life of which we are sure ; yet we treat it as if it were the sole portion of existence beyond our control. We make sage reflections upon the past, and wise resolutions for the future, but no one ever forms an important determination for to-day. Whatever is urgent must be reserved for to-morrow; the present hour is a digression, an episode that belongs not to the main business of life ; we may cut it out altogether, and the plot will not be the less complete. Every sundial on the church-wall thrusts out his gnomon, as if he would enforce his dictum at the point of the bayonet, or drive wisdom down our throats, to inform us that eternity hangs from the present moment; but we revolt from the schooling of this iron ferula. Who would be made wise by compulsion, and what ignorance is poltroon enough to surrender at discretion ? Moral lessons may be too pertinaciously obtruded; we may be reminded till we forget to listen, or we may retain the words and not the sentiment, learning our task by rote rather than by head or heart. This is the fault of modern education, which teaches the sound rather than the sense of things. Children taken from the nursery and pinned down to Latin and Greek, are instructed to name an object in three or four different languages, not to analyse its nature,-a process which may often make them learned, but rarely wise ; for as knowledge is not confined to names, a great linguist may be a great fool. It is an equal mistake to give children mental food which they cannot digest, and dangle aphorisms before their eyes from sundials and church-sides, which they learn so early to repeat that they are sure never to feel their influence. What he who runs may read, nobody will stop to consider, which is probably the reason why this didactic hand-writing on the wall has ever proved an unavailing warning. Besides, there are many of maturer age who above ali things dislike an apophthegm, which, preventing the complacent exercise of their own faculties, deprives them of the merit of discovery ; while there are others so paradoxically inclined, that they will admit any thing rather than a truism, and can never be brought to see that which is self-evident. Hartleys in morals, they deny matter-of-fact as sturdily as he did physical matter.
In spite, however, of its being a truism, it must be admitted that today is a portion of our existence. Granted, exclaims the idler, but, after all, what is a single day?-A question which is peevishly repeated three hundred and sixty-five times in a year, when we commence a new score of similar interrogatories, so that we might as well say at once “ what is a single life ?” Short as the interval may be, and however indolently we may have passed it, to-day has not been altogether unimportant. "Perched upon our goodly vehicle the Earth, we have
Vol. V. No. 25.-1823.
swung through space at a tolerably brisk rate in the performance of our annual rotation around the sun ;-so many miles of life's journey have at all events brought us so much nearer to its end; they are struck off from our account; we shall never travel over them again. With every tick of our watch in that brief space of time, some hundreds or thousands have started from the great antenatal infinite to light and life ; while as many have returned into the darkness of the invisible world. And we ourselves, though we sometimes, exclaim like the Emperor Titus, that we have lost a day, may be well assured that today has not lost sight of us. The footsteps of time may not be heard when he treads upon roses, but his progress is not the less certain; we need not shake his hour-glass to make the sands of life flow faster; they keep perpetually diminishing ; night and day, asleep or awake, grain by grain, our existence dribbles away. We call those happy moments when Time flies most rapidly, forgetting that he is the only winged personage who cannot fly backwards, and that his speed is but hurrying us to the grave. The hours, his couriers, and outriders, are at this instant hovering around us, busy as the Sylphs and Gnomes of the Rosicrucians, though we be not sensible of their ministry. Yet, now that I strictly watch my sensations, methinks I feel one busy imp faintly tracing the outline of the abhorred crow's foot at the corner of my eye, which future urchins will gradually stamp in ineffaceble lines. Another is craftily indenting a wrinkle by the mouth, to be hereafter chiselled into a deep furrow; a third plucks out a single hair, the precursory theft to final baldness; a fourth is boring his gimlet through my most potential masticator,-fatal prelude to toothach and extraction ! a fifth malignant, grinning spitefully in the consciousness of his superior powers of annoyance, is distilling the first drop of his bleaching liquid upon my whiskers; while a sixth yellow-faced tormentor, the master-devil of the whole pandemonium, has leaped clean down my throat, and is at this moment, with a ladle of melted-butter in one hand and the drumstick of a goose in the other, concocting the ingredients of a bilious attack. Our face is chronometer, revealing our age with a fearful punctuality. The hour-hand leaves its impress with every rotation; nay the minute-hand makes its mark, though it may not write legibly. Smiles and laughter turn up the ends of the lines and indentations, as melancholy drags them down, turning our sixes into nines, and so putting us forward fifty per cent. Can we desire a better argument for merriment?
Alas! these are not the worst pranks of the horal legion, some of whose more subtle members fly from one chamber of the brain to another, muddying the current of clear thought, dulling the imagination, and undermining the memory. One hoaxer in particular is ever prompting me to repeat the same joke which I have recounted to the same people twenty times before, and then bursts out a laughing because nobody else does. And lo! even now sits one of these mischievous sprites upon the top of my pen, mocking and mowing, and perforating the quill, that so the spirit of the goose from whose wing it was plucked may flow down to the nib. Hence, senilising tribe! avaunt, ye piecemeal destroyers! Which of ye thus flutters at mine ear? Ah! your reproach is too true. I recall my words: pursue your tasks, most dainty dilapidators, for your successors will set to work with a still more unsparing hand.
To-day has a triple claim to our consideration, for, besides its present appeal, it has been the future, and will be the past. He is wise, says an ancient philosopher, who lives to-day; he is wiser still, exclaims his commentator, who lived yesterday. But what is the best mode of life for the attainment of happiness? This question has puzzled the philosophers of all ages. Pyrrho, denying the existence of any beatitude, maintained that life and death were alike, and when asked why he did not seek the latter, since the former was so little attractive, replied, “ Because they are both indifferent to me.” Cresus placed the chief good in riches ; Periander of Corinth in honour; Socrates in knowledge ; Plato in idea; Orpheus in beauty; Milo the Crotonian in bodily strength; Thales the Milesian in the union of prudence and knowledge; Pittacus in benevolence ; Aristotle in the practice and operation of virtue; and Epicurus affirms that happiness is the chief good, and virtue the only happiness. Confirming this last theory by the sanctions of religion, we shall probably make the nearest approaches to perfect enjoyment which our nature will admit; and it may be laid down as an universal maxim, that no mind is so constituted as to be capable of unalloyed happiness while it can reproach itself with any crime towards man, however secret and undiscovered, since it must be always conscious of having offended a superior power from which nothing is hidden.
The To-day of England, nationally considered, cannot be reckoned happy. It is too bustling, laborious, and excessive. In France pleasure is almost the only business ; in England business is almost the only pleasure, and this is pushed to an extremity that surrounds it with hazard and anxiety. By devoting all its energies and faculties, physical and intellectual, to this one object, for a series of years, the nation has attained an eminence so fearfully beyond its natural claims and position, that nothing but a continuance of convulsive efforts, even in the midst of distress and exhaustion, can enable it to uphold the rank it has assumed. Hence every thing is artificial, and in all directions we contemplate tension, excitement, fever. Her navy exceeds that of the collected world—so does her debt, a co-existence that cannot be very durable. Her establishments of all sorts are proportioned to what she owes rather than what she has; her grandeur can only be equalled by her embarrassments. In one colony she has sixty millions of subjects, while a great proportion of her native population are paupers, and in her sister island famine has lately stalked hand in hand with rebellion. Nor have her intellectual developements been less extraordinary, for she possesses a constellation of living luminaries, who, pouring forth their streams of light with a profusion as unparalleled as their intensity, at this moment irradiate and supply all Europe. Splendid talents have excited public admiration, and procured unprecedented remuneration ; while fame and riches have reacted upon and stimulated latent genius, until the existing literature of the country presents a universality of diffusion, an unbounded copiousness of production, and a magnificence of encouragement hitherto totally unknown in the history of the world. No social system was ever pushed to such an energetic extremity, or afforded so curious and glorious a spectacle ;