Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Was he of high or low degree?

Did grandeur smile upon his lot?
Or, born to dark obscurity,

Dwelt he within some lowly cot,
And, from his youth to labour wed,
From toil-strung limbs wrung daily bread ?

Say, died he ripe, and full of years,

Bowed down, and bent by hoary eld,
When sound was silence to his ears,

And the dim eye-ball sight with-held;
Like a ripc apple falling down,
Unshaken, 'mid the orchard brown;

When all the friends that bless'd his prime,

Were vanish'd like a morning dream;
Pluck'd one by one by spareless Time,

And scatter'd in oblivion's stream;
Passing away all silently,
Like snow-flakes melting in the sea :

Or, 'mid the summer of his years,

When round him throng'd his children young, When bright eyes gush'd with burning tears,

And anguish dwelt on every tongue,
Was he cut off, and left behind
A widow'd wife, scarce half-resign'd ?

Or, ʼmid the sunshine of his spring,

Came the swift bolt that dash'd him down ; When she, his chosen, blossoming

In beauty, deem'd him all her own, And forward look'd to happier years Than ever bless'd their vale of tears?

Perhaps he perish'd for the faith,

One of that persecuted band,
Who suffer'd tortures, bonds, and death,

To free from mental thrall the land,
And, toiling for the Martyr's fame,
Espoused his fate, nor found a name!

Say, was he one to science blind,

A groper in Earth's dungeon dark?
Or one, whose bold aspiring mind

Did, in the fair creation, mark
The Maker's hand, and kept his soul
Free from this grovelling world's control ?

Hush, wild surmise !—'tis vain-'tis vain

The Summer flowers in beauty blow,
And sighs the wind, and floods the rain,

O'er some old bones that rot below;
No other record can we trace,
Of fame or fortune, rank or race !

Then, what is life, when thus we see

No trace remains of life's career Mortal! whoe'er thou art, for thee

A moral lesson gloweth here; Put'st thou in aught of earth thy trust? 'Tis doom'd that dust shall mix with dust.

What doth it matter then, if thus,

Without a stone, without a name,
To impotently herald us,

We float not on the breath of fame;
But, like the dew-drop from the flower,
Pass, after glittering for an hour.

Since soul decays not ; freed from earth,

And earthly coils, it bursts away ;-
Receiving a celestial birth,

And spurning off its bonds of clay,
It soars, and seeks another sphere,
And blooms through Heaven's eternal year !
Do good ; shun evil ; live not thou,

As if at death thy being died ;
Nor Error's syren voice allow

To draw thy steps from truth aside;
Look to thy journey's end-the grave!
And trust in him whose arm can save.

SKETCH OF THE REVOLUTION IN MEXICO.

TO CHRISTOPHER NORTH, ESQ. Sir, I beg leave to offer you a sketch of one of the numerous American Revolutions, drawn up from authentic sources in the country itself. I am well aware of the indifference, I might almost say disgust, with which South American or Mexican politics used to be received by the public ; and I by no means wish you to give this sketch a place, if such be still the general feeling. Nevertheless, there are one or two features in the Mexican Revolution which distinguish it from all those of Chili, Peru, &c. First, the circumstance of the change having been brought about principally by Spanish officers, and eventually receiving its confirmation at the hands of a Spanish Viceroy of high character, and who either acted from the most culpable weak. ness, the most unnational liberality of political spirit, or the deepest treachery. Secondly, there having been little or no bloodshed, nor any confiscations of property, nor any arrests, nor any extensive enthusiasm on either sideand, finally, the singular mixture of moderation and ambition in the Chief, who certainly wished to possess kingly authority ; but who, throughout, conducted himself with so much temper and forbearance, and shewed so much real goodness and kindness, and was always so much more ready to forgive his political enemies than to crush them, that it is difficult to view him as a common usurper.

I have many thanks to return you for the gratification your Magazine afforded me in those distant regions, for I was sure to find it in all those places where the dawning light of knowledge was beginning to appear.

Your most obedient Servant,

VIATOR.

ABOUT the middle of 1820, accounts by their own feelings ou the subject, rewere received in Mexico of the revo- solved to resist, if possible, this change, lution in Spain, and it was soon made by force of the army under their orknown that orders had been sent to ders. The popular sentiment, as may Apodacca, the Viceroy, to proclaim the be supposed, was against such a proConstitution to which Ferdinand the ject; and the seeds of an extensive reSeventh had sworn. But it appears volt were in this way unconsciously that Apodacca, as well as some of the sown by the very persons who, of all principal generals, either acting under others, it may be supposed, had the secret orders from Spain, or prompted interests of the mother country most at heart. New levies of troops were It bears date the 24th February, made in consequence of these determi, 1821, the day after Iturbidé had posnations on the part of the royalists; sessed himself of the treasure under and the whole country was gradually his escort. and almost insensibly roused into military action.

Article 1st Secures to the country T'he chief obstacle, as it was thought the Roman Catholic religion, to the by these leaders, to the success of their entire intolerance of any other plan, was the presence of Don N. Are 2d, Declares New Spain independent migo, whose attachment to the cause of Old Spain, or any other country. of the Constitution was too well known 3d, Defines the government to be a to admit a doubt of his supporting it. limited monarchy, “ regulated accord, He was therefore dismissed from the ing to the spirit of the peculiar coulcommand of the military division sta- stitution adapted to the country.” tioned between Mexico and Acapulco; 4th, Proposes that the Imperial Crown and in his place was appointed Don of Mexico be offered first to Ferdinand Augustin Iturbidé, an officer who, on VII.; and, in the event of his declining the occasion of an insurrection some it, to several of the princes of that famiyears ago, had shown himself a steady ly, but specifying that the representaadherent to the interests of the King, tive government of New Spain shall although a native of the country. There have the power eventually to name the is also reason to suspect that he was a Emperor, if these Princes shall also reparty to the secret projects alluded to fuse. Article 8th points this out more above ; and that, when he left Mexico explicitly. in February 1821, he was implicitly 5th, 6th, and 7th Articles relate to confided in by the Viceroy and his as the details of duties belonging to the sociates. It is difficult otherwise to Provisional Government, which is to conceive, how he should have been in consist of a Junto and a Regency, till trusted at that time with the escort of the Cortes or Congress be assembled more than half a million of dollars, at Mexico. destined for embarkation at Acapulco. 9th, The government is to be supAnd it is not improbable, that, even af. ported by an army which shall bear ter he had seized this money, the Vice- the name of “The Army of the Three roy and the Generals were under a be. Guarantees.”—These guarantees, itaplief that he had taken this step in fur- pears by the 16th article, are, Ist, The therance of their views, since he was Religion in its present pure state. 2dly, allowed to enter the town of Leon with The Independence; and, 3dly, The his prize, where it is notorious he might intimate Union of Americans and have been taken, had not the com- Spaniards in the country. mander of another division of troops, 10th and 11th, Relate to the duties who was called upon to assist in the of Congress with respect to the formrecapture, declared that he had or- ation of a constitution on the princiders from General Cruz not to act hos. ples of this “ Plan.” tilely against Iturbidé. Be these sur 12th, Declares every inhabitant of mises true, or otherwise, it is certain New Spain a citizen thereof-of whatthat Iturbidé, on seizing the money at ever country he be ; and renders every a place called Iguala, about 120 miles man eligible to every office, without from Mexico, commenced the revolu, exception even of Africans. (Subsetion by publishing a paper, wherein he quently, a modification of this article proposed to the Viceroy that a new excluded slaves.) form of government should be esta 13th, Secures persons and property. blished, independent of the mother 14th, Strong assurances of maintaincountry.

ing, untouched, the privileges and imAs this document, which bears the munities of the church. title of the “ Plan of Iguala," has been 15th, Promises not to remove indimade the foundation of all the subse- viduals from their present offices. quent proceedings of the revolution 16th, (See 9th.) ists, and is still the text, the spirit and 17th, isth, 19th, and 20th, About principles of which direct, or are said the formation of the army, and other to direct, the councils of the govern- military details. ment, it may perhaps prove not unin 21st, Until new laws be framed, teresting to give a sketch of its leading those of the present Spanish constitufeatures.

tion to be in force.

221, Declares treason against the sions. Such also was Iturbidé's address, independence, to be second only to sa that, in every case of conquest, he concrilege.

verted into active friends all those who 238, To the same effect.

had been indifferent before ; and he 24th, Points out that the Cortes, or seldom failed to gain over to his cause Sovereign Congress, is to be a consti the most powerful of his enemies, and tuent assembly; to hold its sessions at the same time he won the confi. in Merico, and not in Madrid.

dence and esteem of every one, by his It may be remarked, by the way, invariable moderation. that this plan dexterously weaves into While the independent cause was its essence the direct and obvious in, thus rapidly advancing, that of the terests of all classes in the communi Spanish Government was falling fast ty, especially of those who have most to pieces. The Viceroy, who found to lose-the clergy and the old Spa- it impossible to stem the torrent, was niards, and who, besides, have by far glad to abdicate his authority at the the most extensive moral influence suggestion of the officers, who appear to over society; the one by being in pos- have adopted a similar course to that of Session of nearly all the capital in the their countrymen in Peru in the case of country, and the other by having gaine Pezuela. But his successor, Field-Mared, in times past, an influence over inen's shal Novella, could do nothing to reminds, to wbich, perhaps, there does store the cause of the King, and Iturnot now exist a parallel in the Christian bidé drew his armies closer and closer world. But, although this be unques. round the capital, with a steady protionably the case, yet both these pare gress, and subduing everything before ties, especially of late, have been made him. At this critical moment Gen. O'to feel, that their influence, and even Donaju arrived from Spain, vested with existence, turn upon opinion alone, powers to supersede the Viceroy Apoand they are sufficiently aware that dacca. To bis astonishment he found they may lose both in a moment. To the country he came to govern no longthem, therefore, the countenance of er under the orders of his master, but power wis of great consequence, and raised into an independent state. He their most immediate interest became had come alone, without troops, and, that of supporting the views of a par- seeing at a glance that the country was ty, which, instead of oppressing them, irrecoverably lost, on the terms at least as bad been the case elsewhere, con- on which it had been held heretofore, descended to borrow their support. he endeavoured to make the best condi

Again, by not holding out a vague tions he could for the mother country; prospect of a representative govern- and, in order to pave the way, issued a ment, but beginning at once by calle proclamation to the inhabitants, which ing the deputies together, and mean- breathed nothing but liberality and while naming a junto and a regency, hearty congratulations upon their pros

-doubts and jealousies were dissipa- pect of happiness—a singular docuted, or put to sleep. And yet, if exa- ment to come from such a quarter! mined closely, there is, with a show Iturbidé, seeing this disposition on of much disinterestedness, a cautious the part of O'Donaju to take all that had looseness of expression in all parts passed in good part, invited him to a of this " Plan," which may, and conterence. They accordingly met at probably will, be taken abundant ad- Cordova, where a treaty, which bears vantage of by and by. This remark the name of that city, was signed on applies more particularly to article 3d. the 21th of August, 1821. By this

In the interim, this “Plan"answered treaty, O'Donaju recognize the Plan. Iturbide's purposes fully, as the flame of Iguala ;” and not only engaged which it had kindled soon spread over to use his influence in conformity the whole country. He was also soon therewith, but, in order to manifest joined by several of the most distin- his sincerity still further, he actually guished of the King's officers; amongst agreed to become a member of the Proothers, by Don Pedro Celestino Ne- visional Government: to dispatch comgreti, (a Spaniard, but married in the missioners to Spain to offer the crown country, and by Colonel Bustaman- to Ferdinand ; and, in short, in the te, who brought with him 1000 caval- name of Spain, to make common cause ry. On every side the great cities yield with Iturbidé. edat once to his forces, or to his persua. The accession of such a man to his

V

party, circumstanced too as O'Donaju liberty to go, would have felt less dewas, became of incalculable importa sirous of remaining. ance to Iturbidé. It broke down the A rumour, too, was put about at this hopes of those, who, up to this mo time, that the Inquisition might proment, had looked for the re-establish bably be re-established-a prospect ment of the ancient order of things ;- which was no less grateful to the hopes it justified completely the conduct of of the clergy, than a free export of the Spanish residents who had in a si specie was to the merchants; and, as milar manner yielded to the popular Iturbidé himself, at this juncture, contide ;-and it was very naturally hail. descended to advocate the cause of the ed, from the one end of the country to army, by writing appeals, with his the other, as a confirmation of the name at full length, in the publie justness and solidity of the indepen, prints, in favour of the merits and dent cause.

claims of his fellow-soldiers, he dexThe capital was soon persuaded to terously contrived to bring all parties yield, in consequence of O'Donaju's re- into the best possible humour with presentations, and Iturbidé entered it him individually. on the 27th of September.

On the 18th of May, 1822, he pre, - At this important moment O'Do- sented to the Congress two Madrid naju died, to the great sorrow of the gazettes of the 13th and 14th of FeSpaniards in the country, who had bruary, by which it appeared that the calculated much upon his countenance. Cortes of Spain had declared the treaty But it is difficult to say, whether or of Cordova entered into by O'Donajú not his death was detrimental to Itur. to be null and void, totally disavowbide's views. O'Donaju had already ing all his acts. done all that was possible to establish This was, undoubtedly, what IturIturbide's immediate objects, particu- bidé had expected ; and the “ Sorelarly in preventing disunion; and it reign Constituent Congress” immedi. may be questioned, whether he would ately decided, “ that, by the foregoing have co-operated so heartily when these declaration of Spain, the Mexican naobjects came to take a more personal tion were freed from the obligations and ambitious direction, and when the of that treaty, as far as Spain was coninterests of the Spanish crown were cerned; and that, as, by the third arless and less considered.

ticle of the treaty, the Constituent From that period, up to the end of Congress were left at liberty, in such March, 1822, Iturbide's plans were event, to name an Emperor, they steadily carried forward ; the deputies thought fit, in consequence not only to Congress were gradually drawing of their own opinion, but in concordtogether from the different provinces, ance with the voice of the people, to and he had time to collect in his fa- elect Don Augustin de Iturbide the vour the suffrages of the remotest First Constitutional Emperor of the towns. The “ trigaranti” colours were Empire of Mexico, on the basis proworn by all classes; and by a thousand claimed in the ‘Plan of Iguala,' which other ingenious manœuvres the people had already been received throughout were gradually taught to associate their the Empire.” present freedom with Iturbide's cele- What has since been the fate of brated “ Plan of Iguala," and, thence, Iturbide, I have not had any good by an easy transition, to look to him, means of knowing. The public prints individually, for their future prospe- say that he has been deposed and ill

treated. This is very likely. He unThe Cortes finally met on the 24th dertook too much for the force he had February, and one of their first, if not under his command-and, even if he their very first act, was, an edict, per had had one a hundred times greater, mitting all who chose it, to leave the he was not of a temper to have wieldcountry, and allowing the export of ed it in the despotic manner indispenspecie at a duty of only three and a sable to the maintenance of quiet in half per cent. This good faith, (for so vast a country. it had been long before promised by Recent accounts, which have arri. Iturbidé,) gave great confidence to the ved since the above went to press, mercantile capitalists, and probably state, that Iturbidé and his family decided many of them to remain in the have been banished to Italy, and that country, who, had they been less at his property has been confiscated.

rity.

« ForrigeFortsæt »