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without perceiving the meaning of the words. Then they fastened the prisoner to the stake by iron hoops, and closed up the circle of faggots around him. At this moment I was thrust forward so suddenly by my companion, that I was urged within a few feet of the pile. I stood without motion, rather as a machine, than a thinking being, and a torch was put into my hand by a halberdier. The sheriff, who stood by, addressed me, but I understood not his words. I only comprehended from his gesture, that I was to light the pyre. A dead silence
A prevailed among all the assembled people, and we might bave heard the whisper of an infant, or the falling of a leaf. A brief struggle passed through my frame, and hastily, by the same seemingly mechanical impulse, of which alone I appeared to be conscious, I advanced with the fatal brand. One instant I cast my eyes upwards on the victim. His countenance was serene and cheerful ; and he bent his eyes upon me with a settled calmness and forgiveness, which now lives before my sight, as though it were yesterday. I thrust the torch among the light stuff and combustibles at the foot of the pile ; and the flame speedily ran all around it, and mounted among the wood. I thought I felt it at the same moment encircling my own brain. I dropt the torch and returned to my companion. There was a weight upon my feet that seemed to clog them to the earth at every step, and a death-like coldness at my heart. Then, as I lifted up my eyes, I beheld, behind the surrounding guards, a melancholy train, in sable apparel. There was a mother with a little infant in her bosom. She was tall and of a dignified aspect; but her cheeks were pale; and her eyes, swollen and red, were fixed in the direction of the pile where her husband was suffering. There were two lusty and stately youths, who stood gaz- . ing sternly and sadly ; but as the fire began to crackle fiercely behind me, they lifted up their voices and wept aloud. There was a maiden, just arrived at womanhood, slender and graceful, with a saintly countenance, such as I have seen in pictures
1 of the Holy Virgin ; and she clung weeping to her elder brother. There was a younger girl, with golden hair and blue eyes, like a young cherub, weeping, shrieking out for mercy for her father, and a boy, deformed, and supporting himself with a crutch, who had an obliquity in one eye, that gave to the agony of grief, expressed in his face, a strange peculiarity. And there were little children clinging around their mother's garments, all crying bitterly ; the youngest, poor souls, for company, not knowing why the rest were so afflicted. Methought that, at the same instant, they all directed their eyes towards me, and ever since I have retained the individual ex
pression of each of those wo-begone faces. I turned around, and saw the father of this family, surrounded by the ascending blaze, that burnt fiercely, but with a pale unnatural lustre, in the broad glare of day. His look was serene, and he stretched out his hands, and washed them in the consuming element.'
(Here there is a large defect in the manuscript.) The vessels were in sight of the coast of Florida. A delightful perfume was wafted from the shore, and the adventurers beheld the banks, even down to the edge of the water, covered with luxuriant vines and groves of magnolia. Some boats put off from the ship in which Rogers was a passenger, for the purpose of paying a visit to this land of promise ; and in one of them the unhappy man, whose history is herein-before recorded, went on shore. He was never seen more. Those who were in the same boat with him, said that he had wandered into the interior of the country, and could not be recalled in time. It is more probable that they purposely left him.
The ship under command of Sir Francis Drake, a few years afterwards, took from the Virginian coast the remnant of the colonists, who were unfortunate in their settlement. Among the survivors, Rogers returned to England, by whom the foregoing facts were narrated. And notwithstanding many traditions and legends that have been popular, the above are the only authentic particulars, in relation to the MAN WHO BURNT John ROGERS.
Hæc scripsi, invitâ Minervâ, Richmond, August 27th, 1724
La Biblioteca Americana. London. 1824. It has been the fashion, for several years past, with some of our shrewdest political speculators, to underrate the importance, and even to doubt the success, of the revolutionary efforts of Southern America. We have been told with oracular solemnity, that the patriots are weak, irresolute, ignorant, and prejudiced ; that they are struggling for the forms of a freedom, the essentials of which they cannot comprehend; and that they are too feeble and divided to establish, or, at least, too bigoted to enjoy, and too inconstant to retain the possession of their civil and political liberties. In support of this opinion, arguments are drawn, with an air of imposing plausibility, from the protracted duration of their contest; from their endless variety of plan and diversity of effort; from the frequent changes in the organization of their temporary governments; and, lastly, from the anti-republican aspect of all their political experiments. These symptoms have been thought to indicate some incurable defect in the legislative principle of the South American provinces, the proximate causes of which have been made to consist in the want of political illumination; in the exclusive spirit of the Catholic faith ; in the intricate variety of colours and the odious distinction of castes; in the hurtful influence of the gold and silver mines, and even (for the visions of the ingenious romancer of La Brède, are still often mistaken for realities,) in the relaxing and debilitating influence of the rays of a tropical sun. The qualifications which a people should possess who aspire to be free, have been formally discussed and gravely enumerated ; and these indispensable requisites, (very much overrated, we believe.) are denied to belong to the patriots of the South. Much has been said of the necessity of serving a patient apprenticeship in the study of political philosophy; of the difficulty of distinctly comprehending the policy, and the utter impossibility of acting in the spirit, of free and democratic institutions, until the minds of a people are prepared for initiation into all the mysteries of liberty, by a gradual development of liberal opinions. Of this preparatory discipline and elementary experience, so difficult to acquire and so dangerous to neglect, it is asserted by these political hierophants that the Spanish Americans are absolutely destitute. We are even told, and that by a writer whose talents we admire, and whose judgment we respect, that it does not appear that there exist, in any of the provinces of South America, the materials and elements of a good national character, and that, besides, there is very little reason to hope for their importation from abroad, or their formation at home.
We confess we are disposed to regard the political capabilities of our meridional brethren with a much more favourable eye. With respect to the speedy liberation of the whole South American continent from all European control, it is difficult to imagine how more than oje opinion can possibly prevail. We are not in the number of those who profess an opinion that the infant liberties of the emancipated colonies may yet be crushed by a stroke from the strong arm of confederated tyranny. There is, doubtless, every reason to believe that the sovereigns of Europe contemplate, with fearful apprehension, the rapid dissemination of the doctrines of democracy; and it is equally certain, that every effort will be made, to the full extent of practicability and safety, to arrest the progress of those glorious principles which these united tyrants have denounced
as blasphemous and damnable heresies. That there will be
. abundance of empty bravadoes and blustering threats; that the alarmed and irritated sovereigns of Europe will assume an attitude of assault no less ridiculous in the eyes of the philosopher than formidable in the apprehensions of the fearful; that artifice, intrigue, and corruption will be freely resorted to; that attempts will be made to intimidate, to seduce, to distract and to delay the leaders of a revolution too powerful to quell by compulsion,-all this is, no doubt, to be expected. Sove- reigns, like subjects, will seek by fraud what cannot be obtainai i ed by force, and when stratagem and strength prove alike una
vailing, can often, like creatures of a meaner mould, find a solace for the bitterness of disappointinent in the utterance of vulgar boasts, or in the clamour of unmeaning menaces. But we canot, for a moment, believe that any serious attempt will be made, to assemble, in avowed and deliberate hostility, the armies of the old world, with the mad and iniquitous design of subduing, by force, the opinions of the new. Not tbat these royal conspirators against the rights of man would be at all deterred by a sense of the baseness of their purposes, but, because, even in the height of exasperated rage, they will remember the strength, when they have forgotten or despised the majesty, of truth. Necessity, the tyrant of ty: rants, will ever compel them to retain at home the cumbrous and expensive machinery of despotism. The first object of every autocrat's solicitude, is the secure possession of the slaves he has inherited, and to this the whole scheme of the conspiracy is directly and exclusively subservient. However desirous the members of the Holy Alliance may severally be to extend or perpetuate the system of arbitrary government, it is obvious that this never will be attempted, at the hazard of losing their respective individual possessions. The liberties of America are secured by the very selfishness of monarchs ; for we do not believe that the best, or the worst, of them all, (it is hard to say wbich he would be,) was ever animated by a regard for the general interests of the whole fraternity. It is not so much the cominon cause of despots, as the individual security of each, which is consulted in the deliberations of the congresses, and the one is not always, or of necessity, in accord with the other. In this respect, virtuous institutions possess obvious and peculiar advantages over all combinations created for injurious purposes. In every benevolent association the interest of each individual is either actually promoted or cheerfully surrendered at every advance of the general prosperity, but no one, perhaps, can be found so disinterestedVol. I. No. VI.
ly wicked, as to sacrifice a serious and irrecompensable interest to the success of his associates' iniquitous designs. If, therefore, with all the vigilance, policy, and power, which the allied lords of Europe can exert, they are scarcely able to suppress the struggle of their slaves at home; it is evident that no part of the apparatus of tyranny can be diverted from its present occupation, without greatly endangering the weaker members of the league. The consequence of this would be serious interruption to that concert of action without which it would be utterly impossible to accomplish, what some have seriously believed to be the design of the Holy Alliance, a deliberate crusade against all unbelievers in the doctrine of the divine right of kings.
Accordingly we find, that even in Brazil and Peru, where the patriot cause meets with more opposition than in any other part of South America, the obstacles do not, in reality, arise from the strength or resistance of the armies of Portugal or Spain ; for although the adherents of Canterac are denominated royalists, it is not to be supposed that they really obey the authority of the impotent Ferdinand. How far the emperor Don Pedro is controlled by the house of Braganza may admit of a question, notwithstanding the declared independence of the empire; but we conceive it of very little consequence whether or not bis imperial majesty is indebted for the purple, to a sccret understanding with Don Joas VI. In either case, his crown must rest on an uneasy brow, for the friend of the Portuguese king can scarcely expect to fulfil with success the incompatible obligations to his father and his people ; and the independent emperor, deprived of European support, will learn to his cost, that a nation in the midst of republics will not patiently endure the pretensions of hereditary monarchy.
In Colombia, Mexico, Guatimala, Chili and Buenos Ayres, whatever be the constitution of the existing government, the authority of Spain is utierly, and, we trust, forever at an end. The idea of the forcible recovery of these provinces by the unassisted strength of the mother country is chimerical in the extreme, and after the positive refusals on the part of the French and English cabinets to encourage or support the pretensions of Spain, it is impossible any longer to deny the capacity of the emancipated colonies to defend and maintain their acquired independence.
But, here it is replied, there is a vast difference between a free and an independent nation. Admitting that the people of South America have nothing farther to fear from the impotent menaces of Spain, yet it remains to be seen how far they