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of March, 1814. The royalists thought to take it by surprise whilç the armies were fighting at some distance, and sent for this purpose a strong detachment of troops to attack the magazine. The young Ricaute having observed the movements of the enemy, saw the impossibility of resistance, and gave orders to his soldiers to join the army, asserting that he was sufficient alone for the defence of the magazine. The Spaniards surrounded it, and took possession of the building, and having discovered Ricaute, were just seizing him, when he set fire to the powder. The magazine was destroyed by an instantaneous explosion, and he fell a victim to that inevitable death he had foreseen.'
New Grenada is an inland region of great extent, stretching from Venezuela on the north to Peru on the south, and containing nearly three millions of inhabitants: its capital, Santa Fé de Bogota, has a population of 35,000. Here, as throughout Spanish America at large, a desire for independence existed among the Creoles, or descendants of former settlers; which was checked, however, for a time, by their habitual indolence, and their unacquaintance with the proceedings of foreign countries. At last, following the example of Caraccas, a native junta was established, and the Spanish authorities were removed from office: but, dissentions taking place, a civil war began, and led, as in the neighbouring provinces, to miserable scenes of bloodshed.
Mexico is by much the most populous and opulent division of Spanish America, the capital containing 140,000 inhabitants, and the country having not fewer than 6,000,000. The first insurrection arose here in the end of 1810, and was followed by a long series of conflicts and executions; until the government was intrusted to admiral Apodaca, formerly the Spanish ambassador in Lona don, a man of much superior views to the majority of his countrymen, and whose system is not to intimidate the Mexicans, but to gain their confidence by mild measures.
This conduct seems to have been attended, for the present at least with success: but the vicinity of the United States, and the general wish of the inhabitants for independence, forbid the expectation of any thing beyond temporary tranquillity.
Buenos Ayres, Chili, and Paraguay-In Buenos Ayres, the revolutionary spirit is not of old date, having been excited chiefly by our invasion in 1806, and the confusion created in Old Spain by the insurrection against Bonaparte. Though in possession of European settlers for nearly three centuries, this country is in a very backward state; agriculture has been little followed; and im. mense tracts are abandoned to herds of cattle, from which little profit is derived except for the hides. The population is still thinly scattered, not exceeding 1,000,000 for a tract of country equal to France, Germany, Great Britain, and Spain united. Of these the great majority are descendants of Spaniards, while a part, small in nuinber, but considerable from their comparative efficiency, are natives of Old Spain: the former are partisans of separation and
independence; the latter, of a continued connexion with the mothercountry. Unfortunately, divisions and even hostilities have taken place among the former, who would otherwise have been amply competent to repel the Spaniards. Monte Video being open to the sea, and strongly fortified, enabled the Spanish troops to make a stand there in the early part of the revolution, and their surrender did not take place till after long continued efforts on the part of their opponents. Among the latter, a great difference of opinion unluckily prevailed, respecting the form of government most proper for Buenos Ayres and the adjacent provinces; some urging a federal association, as in the United States; and others advising a renunciation of provincial privileges, and a consolidation of power in the hands of a central body.
Chili, an extensive and narrow tract of country to the south of Peru, lying along the shore of the Pacific, as the United States lie along that of the Atlantic, contains a thinly scattered population of less than a million, and has for its capital St. Jago, an inlandtown of 40,000 inhabitants. Here also the ardour of the Creoles led to revolutionary movements, so early as 1811: which were followed by partial dissentions, and by a formidable invasion of Spanish royalists from Peru, who for a time were successful, but were afterward driven out by a patriotic force from Buenos Ayres, commanded by general St. Martin.
Finally, Paraguay, a country with peculiar habits and institutions, has followed a distinct course in the career of revolution; establishing a government of its own, but avoiding any connexion with the colonies either to the north or to the south.
After these details of the occurrences in particular provinces, we proceed to those that are common to Spanish America at large. The insurgents have made repeated attempts to interest foreign powers in their cause, an envoy having gone to Washington so early as 1810, and having since been followed by several negotiators; to all of whom the answers of the American government have expressed a cordial feeling in their cause, but have been followed by a refusal to join in hostilities against Old Spain, with which, if not in alliance, they are at peace. Bonaparte, when in power, had a much more decided disposition: but his want of naval means, and his disasters after 1812, prevented him from interfering at the time when it would have been most effectual. England was long the great object of the hopes of the revolutionists; the plan of separating the colonies from the mother-country having been disa closed by general Miranda to Mr. Pitt at the time of our armament against Spain in 1790, and subsequently urged whenever the existence of hostilities between the two countries seemed to afford a favourable opening. This was more particularly the case in 1797, when Spain had allied herself with the revolutionary govern. ment of France, and had taken part in the war against us; and, Trinidad having fallen into our possession, general Picton, the governor of the island, was ordered to circulate a proclamation
(dated 7th of April, 1797,) in which Mr. Dundass, as minister for the war and colonies, recommended the adoption of the means best adapted to liberate the people of the adjacent continent from the commercial monopoly of the mother-country. In this remarkable state-paper, Mr. D. assured the Spanish Americans of being supported in their resistance by British troops, or aided by supplies of arms and ammunition; and he added that the views of the British government pointed solely to the establishment of their independence, without pretending to any sovereignty over their country. Such was the object of our ministers not only in the latter years of the first war with revolutionary France, but in the years 1805, 1806, and 1807 of the late contest. In 1808, the measures of our cabinet proceeded in the same spirit, and seemed even to put on the appearance of an actual invasion of Spanish America in behalf of the insurgents; an armament being assembled at Cork, and the news-papers in the interest of government containing political disquisitionsin recommendation of the emancipation. At this important moment, came the news of the insurrection in Old Spain against the oppression of Bonaparte; when the troops who were embarked, and ready to put to sea, received a new destination, and were sent under sir Arthur Wellesly to Portugal, where they fought the battle of Vimeira and afterwards entered Spain. From that time forwards, our government considered itself as in close alliance with the mother-country, and declined to give either aid or countenance to the insurgents. Envoys from them have repeatedly come to London, and resided there, but without obtaining assistance from ministers; who, in compliance with the solicitation of the Spanish government, have even discouraged our half-pay officers from taking service in a private capacity in the colonial cause.
It remains to add a few words with regard to the composition of the book under review. We are not disposed to be severe on' A South American' for the occasional introduction of a foreign idiom, as 'junta central,' instead of central junta; and still less are we inclined to affix that blame which he seems to apprehend in his preface, for passing over several scenes of bloodshed: but we must complain in rather pointed terins, of the want of care in the selection of the materials. The narrative is very unequal, being occa. sionally short and abrupt, while at other times it contains official papers of too great length to be introduced into the text: though several of them, as the letters of Morillo, (pp. 206. 214.) are interest. ing; and on the whole the account appears to have been composed from respectable sources. The author is an ardent well-wisher to the cause of the Independents, and takes great care to avoid any admission of the disappointments experienced by those officers who have gone out from Europe to carry arms in their behalf. We admire his zeal in the cause of freedom; and we should express our wishes more warmly for its success in Spanish America, were not the in-: habitants of many of the provinces in a state so ignorant and backward as to afford little hope of their being able to enjoy liberty
without abusing it. The excesses of which they have been guilty, we mean the destruction of peaceful dwellings, the violation of solemn promises, and, above all, the execution of prisoners, present a far less encouraging prospect than that which was exhibited forty years ago by our insurgent colonists in the northern states.
ART. XIII.-Chinese Justice. (From the Indo-Chinese Gleaner,' a periodical paper published at Malacca.)
Peking Gazette, August 9, 1817. CHOW, the Yu-she (or Censor) of Ho-nan, kneels to report,
with profound respect, in the hearing of his majesty, the following circumstances, and to pray for his sacred instructions.
'The clear and explicit statement of punishments, is a means of instruction to the people; the infliction of punishments, is a case of unwilling necessity. For all courts there are fixed regulations to rule their conduct by, when cases do occur that require punishments to be inflicted in questioning. Magistrates are not, by law, permitted to exercise cruelties at their own discretion.
“But of late, district magistrates, actuated by a desire to be rewarded for their activity, have felt an ardent enthusiasm to inflict torture. And though it has been repeatedly prohibited by Imperial Edicts, which they profess openly to conform to; yet they really and secretly violate them.
Whenever they apprehend persons of suspicious appearances, or those charged with great crimes, such as murder or robbery, the magistrates begin by endeavouring to seduce the prisoners to confess, and by forcing them to do so. On every occasion they torture by pulling, or twisting round the ears, (the torturer having previously rendered his fingers rough by a powder) and cause them to kneel a long while upon chains. They next employ what they call the beauty's bar;* the parrot's beam; the refining furnace; and other implements, expressed by other terms, which they make use of. If these do not force confession, they double the cruelties exercised, till the criminal dies, (faints, and is restored to life again, several times in a day. The prisoner unable to sustain these cruelties, is compelled to write down or sign a confession (of what he is falsely charged with,) and the case any how is made out, placed on record, and with a degree of self-glorying, is reported to your majesty. The imperial will is obtained, requiring the person to be delivered over to the board of punishments, for further trial.
* After repeated examinations, and undergoing various tortures, the charges brought against many persons are seen to be entirely unfounded,
* A torture said to be invented by a judge's wife, and hence the name. The breast, small of the back, and legs bent up, are fastened to three cross-bars, which causes the person to kneel in great pain.
The prisoner is raised from the ground by strings round the fingers and thumbs, suspended from a supple transverse beam.
| Fire is applied to the body.
As for example, in the case of the now degraded Taeu-tae, who tried Lew-te-woo; and of the Che-chow, who tried Pih-keu-king. These mandarins inflicted the most cruel tortures, in a hundred different forms, and forced a confession. Lew-te-woo, from being a strong robust man, just survived life was all that was spared. The other, being a weak man, lost his life: he died as soon as he had reached the board at Peking. The snow-white innocence of these two men was afterwards demonstrated by the board of punishments.
• The cruelties exercised by the local magistrates, in examining by torture, throughout every district of Chih-le, cannot be described; and the various police runners, seeing the anxiety of their superiors to obtain notice and promotion, begin to lay plans to enrich themselves. In criminal cases, as murder and robbery; in debts and affrays, they endeavour to involve those who appear to have the slightest connexion. The wind being raised, they blow the spark into a fiame, and seize a great many people, that they may obtain bribes from those people, in order to purchase their liberation. Those who have nothing to pay, are unjustly confined, or sometimes tortured, before being carried to a magistrate. In some instances, after undergoing repeated examinations in presence of the magistrate, they are committed to the custody of people attached to the court, where they are fettered in various ways, so that it is impossible to move a single inch; and without paying a large bribe, they cannot obtain bail. Their oppressions are daily accumulated to such a degree, and for so long a time, that at last death is the consequence.
"Since there is at this period particular occasion to seize banditti, if there be suspicious appearances, as the age or physiognomy corresponding to some offender described; it is doubtless proper to institute a strict inquiry.
• But it is a common and constant occurrence, that respecting persons not the least implicated, who are known to possess property, and to be of a timid disposition, pretences are made by the police to threaten and alarm them. If it be not affirmed that they belong to the Pih-leën-keaou, (a proscribed sect, it is said, that they are of the remnant of the rebels, and they are forthwith clandestinely seized, fettered, and most liberally in-used and insulted, The simple country-people become frightened and give up their property to obtain liberation, and think themselves very happy in having escaped so.
'I have heard that in several provinces, Chih-le, Shan-tung, and Ho-nan, these practices have been followed ever since the rebellion; and wealth has been acquired in this way by many of the police officers. How can it be that the local magistrates do not know it! or is it that they purposely connive at these tyrannical proceedings?
I lay this statement with much respect before your majesty, and pray that measures may be taken to prevent these evils. Whether my obscure notions be right or not, I submit with reverence.'