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news, Amigo ?" The sentry quoted “ Your Excellency's order;" Francia cannot recollect such an order ; commands now, that, at all events, such order cease.
It remains still that we say a word, not in excuse, which might be difficult, but in explanation, which is possible enough, of Francia's unforgivable insult to human Science in the person of M. Aimé Bonpland. M. Aimé Bonpland, friend of Humboldt, after much botanical wandering, did, as all men know, settle himself in Entre Rios, an Indian or Jesuit country close on Francia, now burnt to ashes by Artigas ; and there set-up a considerable establishment for the improved culture of Paraguay tea. With an eye to botany ? Botany? Why, yes,— and perhaps to commerce still more. “Botany!” exclaims Francia : “ It is shopkeeping agriculture, and tends to prove fatal to my shop! Who is this extraneous French individual ? Artigas could not give him right to Entre Rios ; Entre Rios is at least as much mine as Artigas's! Bring him to me!" Next night, or next, Paraguay soldiers surround M. Bonpland's teaestablishment; gallop M. Bonpland over the frontiers, to his appointed village in the interior ; root-out his tea-plants; scatter his four-hundred Indians, and—we know the rest! Hardhearted Monopoly refusing to listen to the charmings of Public Opinion or Royal- Society presidents, charm they never so wisely! M. Bonpland, at full liberty some time since, resides still in South America ;-and is expected by the Robertsons, not altogether by this Editor, to publish his Narrative, with a due running shriek.
Francia's treatment of Artigas, his old enemy, the bandit and firebrand, reduced now to beg shelter of him, was good; humane, even dignified. Francia refused to see or treat with such a person, as he had ever done; but readily granted him a place of residence in the interior, and thirty piasters a month till he died.' The bandit cultivated fields, did charitable deeds, and passed a life of penitence, for his few remaining years. His bandit followers, such of them as took to plundering again, says M. Rengger, were instantly seized and shot.'
On the other hand, that anecdote of Francia's dying Father -requires to be confirmed! It seems, the old man, who, as, we saw, had long since quarrelled with his son, was dying, and wished to be reconciled. Francia “was busy ;-—what use was it ?—could not come.” A second still more pressing message arrives : “ The old father dare not die unless he see his son ; fears he shall never enter Heaven, if they be not reconciled.”—“Then let him enter —— !” said Francia ; " I will not come !”17 If this anecdote be true, it is certainly of all that are in circulation about Dr. Francia by far the worst. If Francia, in that death-hour, could not forgive his poor old Father, whatsoever he had, or could in the murkiest sultriest imagination be conceived to have, done against him, then let no man forgive Dr. Francia ! But the accuracy of public rumour, in regard to a Dictator who has executed forty persons, is also a thing that can be guessed at. To whom was it, by name and surname, that Francia delivered this extraordinary response ? Did the man make, or can he now be got to make, affidavit of it, to credible articulate-speaking persons resident on this earth ? if so, let him do it,—for the sake of the Psychological Sciences.
One last fact more. Our lonesome Dictator, living among Gauchos, had the greatest pleasure, it would seem, in rational conversation, with Robertson, with Rengger, with any kind of intelligent human creature, when such could be fallen-in with, which was rarely. He would question you with eagerness about the ways of men in foreign places, the properties of things unknown to him ; all human interest and insight was interesting to him. Only persons of no understanding being near him for most part, he had to content himself with silence, a meditative cigar and cup of maté. O Francia, though thou hadst to execute forty persons, I am not without some pity for thee!
In this manner, all being yet dark and void for European eyes, have we to imagine that the man Rodriguez Francia passed, in a remote, but highly remarkable, not unquestionable or unquestioned manner, across the confused theatre of this world. For some thirty years he was all the government his native Paraguay could be said to have. For some sixand-twenty years he was express Sovereign of it ; for some three, or some two years, a Sovereign with bared sword, stern as Rhadamanthus : through all his years and through all his
days, since the beginning of him, a Man or Sovereign of iron energy and industry, of great and severe labour. So lived Dictator Francia, and had no rest; and only in Eternity any prospect of rest. A Life of terrible labour ;-but for the last twenty years, the Fulgencio Plot being once torn in pieces, and all now quiet under him, it was a more equable labour : severe but equable, as that of a hardy draught-steed fitted in his harness; no longer plunging and champing ; but pulling steadily,—till he do all his rough miles, and get to his still home.
So dark were the Messrs. Robertson concerning Francia, they had not been able to learn in the least whether, when their Book came out, he was living or dead. He was living then, he is dead now. He is dead, this remarkable Francia ; there is no doubt about it: have not we and our readers heard pieces of his Funeral Sermon ! He died on the 20th of September 1840, as the Rev. Perez informs us ; the people crowding round his Government House with much emotion, nay
with tears,' as Perez will have it. Three Excellencies succeeded him ; as some · Directorate,' Junta Gubernativa,' or whatever the name of it is, before whom this reverend Perez preaches. God preserve them many years !
AN ELECTION TO THE LONG PARLIAMENT.
[1844.] Anthony Wood, a man to be depended on for accuracy, states as a fact that John Pym, Clerk of the Exchequer, and others, did, during the autumn of 1640, ride to and fro over England, inciting the people to choose members of their faction. Pym and others. Pym rode about the country to promote elec• tions of the Puritanical brethren to serve in Parliament ;
wasted his body much in carrying-on the cause, and was him'self,' as we well know, elected a Burgess. As for Hampden, he had long been accustomed to ride : being a person ' of antimonarchical principles,' says Anthony, he did not only • ride, for several years before the Grand Rebellion broke out, • into Scotland, to keep consults with the Covenanting breth'ren there ; but kept his circuits to several Puritanical houses • in England ; particularly to that of Knightley in Northamp'tonshire,' to Fawsley Park, then and now the house of the Knightleys, and also to that of William Lord Say at Broughton near Banbury in Oxfordshire :'?—Mr. Hampden might well be on horseback in election-time. These Pyms, these Hampdens, Knightleys were busy riding over England in those months : it is a little fact which Anthony Wood has seen fit to preserve for us.
A little fact, which, if we meditate it, and picture in any measure the general humour and condition of the England that then was, will spread itself into great expanse in our imagination! What did they say, do, think, these patriotic missionaries, 'as they rode about the country'? What did they propose, advise, in the successive Townhalls, Country-houses,
1 FRASER'S MAGAZINE, No. 178. 2 Wood's Athenæ (Bliss's edition), iii. 73, 59; Nugent's Hampden, i. 327. and Places of Consult’? John Pym, Clerk of the Exchequer, Mr. Hampden of Great Hampden, riding to and fro, lodging with the Puritan Squires of this English Nation, must have had notable colloquies! What did the Townspeople say in reply to them? We have a great curiosity to know about it : how this momentous General Election, of autumn 1640, went on; what the physiognomy or figure of it was ; how the re
markablest Parliament that ever sat, the father of all Free • British Parliaments, American Congresses and French Con' ventions, that have sat since in this world,' was got together!
To all which curiosities and inquiries, meanwhile, there is as good as no answer whatever. Wood's fact, such as it is, has to twinkle for us like one star in a heaven otherwise all dark, and shed what light it can. There is nothing known of this great business, what it was, what it seemed to be, how in the least it transacted itself, in any town, or county, or locality. James Heath, Carrion Heath' as Smelfungus calls him, does, in his Flagellum (or Flagitium3 as it properly is), write soine stuff about Oliver Cromwell and Cambridge Election ; concerning which latter and Cleaveland the Poet there is also another blockheadism on record :-but these, and the like, mere block. headisms, pitch-dark stupidities and palpable falsities,—what can we do with these ? Forget them, as soon as possible, to all eternity ;—that is the evident rule : Admit that we do honestly know nothing, instead of misknowing several things, and in some sense all things, which is a great misfortune in comparison !
Contemporary men had no notion, as indeed they seldom have in such cases, what an enormous work they were goingon with ; and nobody took note of this election more than of any former one. Besides, if they had known, they had other business than to write accounts of it for us. But how could anybody know that this was to be the Long Parliament, and to cut his Majesty's head off, among other feats ? A very
spirited election,' I dare believe :--but there had been another election that same year, equally spirited, which had issued in a Short Parliament, and mere 'second Episcopal War.'
8 Or, Life of Oliver Cromwell (London, 1663): probably, all things considered, the brutalest Platitude this English Natiori has to show for itself in writing.