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to the republican cause, and done great honour to the sagacity and talents of Nariño. *

These volumes throw much light upon the early career and fortunes of Bolivar, who, after Nariño's misfortunes at Pasto, is the individual aroun whom the interest of the history centres,—who becomes the great object of attraction to the reader. But the space which other topics have occupied, precludes our entering into one so copious as this, and which every day is rendering more and more deeply interesting to Americans. Mr. Restrepo's work contains many authentic particulars of the commencement of the Liberator's career, including his bold but unsuccessful movement upon Venezuela in 1814, called the guerra á muerte, his employment in the service of Congress, after the capture of Nariño, to compel Cundinamarca to accede to the union, his unfortunate differences with Castillo and the city of Carthagena,

in consequence of which he threw up his command, soon after Morillo's arrival on the coast, and retired to Jamaica, overcome by emotions of sorrow at the desolation of his country, but not despairing of her future fortunes. We refer the reader, who is curious of information upon these subjects, to the pages of our author, where he cannot fail of obtaining satisfaction. We proceed to appropriate a few pages to the account of Morillo's atrocious conduct, during his temporary occupation of New-Granada.

For the period of six months, Morillo reigned in Santa Fé, with all the despotism of an Asiatic sultan. Before him the civil authorities were dumb, and in the capital as well as the provinces, the arbitrary will of himself and his subordinate agents gave law to the whole land. A hundred officers of the army, subaltern tyrants, more ferocious even than their implacable chief, exercised the tremendous right of life and death over an entire people, treated as common rebels apprehended in arms. Among many examples of systematic cruelty, hardly paralleled in the annals of civilized nations, his policy towards the leading patriots is not the least remarkable. They were brought to trial before a board of officers, termed a permanent council

of war, summarily tried, without being permitted any means of defence, or allowed any communication with friends without the prison, and condemned to death under laws of Spain, no more applicable to their case than the laws of China. These executions of the best men in New-Granada, are justly characterized as judicial assassinations, because committed under the forced and illegal application of apparent forms of justice. Our author draws a heartrending picture of the miseries consequent on this procedure.

* Restrepo, t. ii., pp. 59, 162, 207 ; ii., pp. 25, 41, 56, 179, 200; iv., pp. 78, 93, 155.

† Restrepo, t. ii., iv., V., vi., ix., and x.

“ The council of war commenced its assassinations with the general of brigade, Antonio Villavicencio, whom they sentenced to be shot in the back, after having been degraded, as previously commissioned in the service of the king. This sentence was executed with much parade, in order to inspire terror, (June 5th, 1816.) From this mournful day, for the space of six months, scarcely a week passed without the execution, in Santa Fé or the provinces, of three, four, or more individuals, shot as traitors. Thus perished the persons of the greatest wisdom, the most virtuous and wealthy, in New-Granada. The object which Morillo had in view, was to extinguish intelligence, remove men of influence, and destroy property, so that, in future, there should be none capable of originating or directing another revolution. New-Granada has deplored, and will for a long time deplore, among other illustrious.victims, the loss of Doctors Camilo Torres, Joaquin Camacho, José Gregorio and Frutos Gutierrez, Crisanto Valenzuela, Miguel Pombo, Jorge Lozano, Francisco Antonio Ulloa, and Manuel Torices; and of military men, general Custodio Rovira, Libario Mejia, and the engineer Francisco José de Caldas. The murder of this celebrated mathematician and philosopher, was a piece of wanton cruelty on the part of Morillo. The exact sciences lost much by his premature death; and the geography of NewGranada especially, retrograded beyond measure, by the loss of the precious works which he had nearly perfected.”

" In order to diffuse horror and consternation in the most remote corners of New-Granada, Morillo and his tribunal of blood, invented the scheme of remitting, from Santa Fé to the different provinces, even for more than sixty leagues distant, the convicts who had been sentenced to capital execution, in order that they might perish on a scaffold in the places of their birth, or in those where they had been distinguished. It would seem, that he wished to make death more terrible to them, by causing their executions in sight of their parents, children, wives, and relations; their sufferings, also, during a long journey, being protracted by the previous knowledge of their condemnation, and the bad usage of the officers and soldiers who served as their guard. In this manner were remitted and executed various patriots, in Tunja, Socorro, Mariquita, Neiba, and other places. After they were shot, they were suspended on a gibbet, to communicate a mark of infamy to their punishment. The head and limbs of some celebrated patriots, of Torres, for instance, were exposed on hooks, or in iron cages, in the most frequented public places, to give evidence, according to these pretended messengers of peace, of Spanish justice; but as posterity will rather say, to mani. fest the cruelty and barbarism of that nation.

In Santa Fé and in the provinces, one hundred and twenty-five persons suffered the punishment of felons by order of Morillo, their goods being confiscated; and these one hundred and twenty-five, the most celebrated and illustrious men of their country.”

Restrepo, t. vii., pp. 87-83. When such was the conduct of the commander-in-chief, it is easy to imagine what must have been that of his satellites in the provinces. We select a single example.

“At this unhappy period, a father had no security that his daughter or wife would not be corrupted by the Spaniards, by means of the terror which they inspired, and the influence which their situation imparted. Any Spanish officer, who wished to free himself from the importunate presence of a father or husband, or who desired to get possession of his property, instituted a process against him as an insurgent, and was sure that his superiors would applaud his zeal in the service of the king. But nothing of this kind is so scandalous as that which happened in the province of Casanare, where lieutenant-colonel Don Julian Bayer had command. The royalist captain, Pablo Maza, and the lieutenant, Antonio Montaña, solicited favours ; the first of a niece of Miguel Daza, and the second of the wife of Luciano Buston, two patriots of distinction, inhabitants of the plains. Finding they could not accomplish their purpose, they arrested Buston and Daza, kept them suspended four days by the hands, tormenting and insulting them in a thousand different ways, until they expired in the greatest an

guish and torture, after which their goods were confiscated. The officers them. selves boasted that their conduct would be approved by Bayer, and even by the general-in-chief, showing orders of the first for the destruction of the patriots.”

Restrepo, t. vii., pp. 103-105. One more extract, containing an affecting instance of female fortitude and heroism, and we have done.

“No case made a more profound impression on the inhabitants of New-Granada, nor manifested more clearly the extent to which the cruelty of the Spanish chiefs was carried, than that of Policarpa Salavarrieta. She was a young female, enthusiastically attached to the liberty and independence of her country, favouring and giving aid to all the oppressed patriots, and to those who resolved to fly to the plains of Casanare, from whence it was hoped that freedom might come to the rest of New-Granada. She loved, and was beloved by, Alejo Sabarain, who had been an officer, under the republic, and was now compelled by the Spaniards to serve as a common soldier. Availing herself of the influence she possessed over Sabarain, she persuaded him to fly from slavery, and repair to Casanare with other companions, because, through the discovery of a conspiracy carried on at Santa Fé, there ceased to be any hope of throwing off the Spanish yoke by means of internal commotion. La Salavarrieta made arrangements for the flight of eight persons, of whom five were of the army. She procured exact statements of all the Spanish force in Santa Fé and the neighbour. ing provinces, with lists of the patriots and other persons who could be trusted, all which she transmitted to the republican chiefs in Casanare. Sabarain and his companions were discovered and apprehended in their flight. The letters and other papers betrayed la Salavarrieta, who was also thrown into prison. The cause was tried by martial law, and this young female, from the beginning, manifested much presence of mind and unshaken courage. She compromised nobody by her declarations, and the judges could not extract from her any confes. sion of the means by which she procured the statement sent to the patriots. Finally, she and seven companions were condemned by a council of war to the punishment of death, and to be shot in the back. She heard the sentence with tranquillity, preparing herself for death like a Christian and a heroine. She walked to the place of execution with a firm step, reproaching the Spaniards for their barbarous cruelty, exhorting her companions to die with the character and firmness of freemen, and announcing in a loud voice, that her blood would soon be avenged by the deliverers of her country. She was shot in the principal square. Her constancy astounded the Spaniards, and there was not a feeling heart, but lamented the premature death of this young female, sacrificed in the cause of freedom. Her grateful country ought to perpetuate the memory of Po. licarpa Salavarrieta, whose character deserves to be handed down to posterity, to the honour of the fair sex in America, and to the disgrace of the Spanish name." Restrepo, t. vii., pp. 144-148.

Our readers, we trust, will agree with us in hoping that Mr. Restrepo will speedily complete and publish the remaining parts of a work which is so much needed by the public as a complete history of the revolution of Colombia.

Art. IV.-- The Law of Libel. By FRANCIS Ludlow Holt, Esq.

of the Middle Temple, Barrister at Law. I Vol. 8vo.

The discussion of no other branch of jurisprudence has excited more the attention of the legal profession in England, and in this country, than the law of libel. The community had entered with eagerness into the debate, and felt itself deeply interested in the result. In these United States especially, a just appreciation of the question has been considered of vital importance to American liberty.

Though, however, the subject has received this attentive examination, both in and out of our courts of justice, and as we shall hereafter see, a disinclination very general has prevailed among us to sanction the maxims of the English system; yet it would seem, after all this labour and investigation, we have not generally adopted a rational view of the matter;—but that, on the contrary, both the criminal and the civil part of the libel law, are open to much animadversion. On the one hand, we are afraid that the natural right of free discussion is subjected to undue restraint; and on the other, that a proper regard for private feeling and reputation, is not so sedulously observed, as that valuable right would demand.

Wherever, from their good fortune or early assertion of their original liberty, the people have not bartered all the rights of mankind for the privileges of subjects, the government undertakes the prosecution of publications examining the public affairs of the nation, it happily for the slumbering spirit of freedom in that country, instead of stifling any scrutiny into abuses, frequently excites the direction of a more inquiring glance towards its own vices and misrule. The punishment of a libeller is the end in view,—the production of a martyr to his independence of mind and abhorrence of corruption, is the result; the roused community overlooking the frequent real insignificance of the object of its interest, in the greatness of the cause. We are not without instances to prove the truth of this assertion in the political history of England; and the case of Wilkes would teach us, that on the score of prudential considerations alone, it had been better for that crown, had it winked at the publication of the famous North Briton, and not marked the author as the victim of a prosecution which rendered him so long the lion of the British nation.

Here, as well from nobler views as from calculations of mere prudence, a liberty of the press the most unrestrained, and the most complete impunity for publications touching public men and measures, appear to us the best policy, both for rulers and peo

ple. The legislature of Pennsylvania apprehended no danger from this impunity, when, about twenty years since, they passed an act, declaring that no criminal prosecution should lie against the authors of writings examining the proceedings of the legislature, or the conduct and measures of men in an official capacity. The duration of this act was limited to three years,-it was passed pending a prosecution against an editor of a newspaper for an alleged libel on the governor. Thus suffered to expire, by its own limitation, it had, we believe, the effect of preventing the recurrence of a similar proceeding. The policy which dictated the provision was correct. “In their opinions,” says a great writer, “the people sometimes err; in their feelings they are never mistaken.” No

government in the world need entertain any apprehension from popular discussion where the press is free, if its acts be guided by patriotic motives; and if they be the result of different intentions, the sooner its subjects know of it, the better. The sentiments of the bold soldier, who by the supremacy of his talents and by actual force, obtained the mastery of the Constitution of his country, must command our applause: “My government,” said Cromwell, “is not worth preserving, if it cannot stand against paper-shot.” And should we, it need hardly be asked, have less confidence in the stability of our institutions ?

In Pennsylvania, a happy constitution asserts the most perfect liberty of the press, and the free communication of thoughts and opinions, as one of the most invaluable rights of man. In all prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in a public capacity, or where the matter published is proper for the public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence, and we consequently steer here clear of the uncertainty which in England has been thought more pernicious in its effect upon the liberty of the press than even a censorship ;-because no man there knows whether punishment will or not be the consequence of his temerity; which uncertainty would not prevail, were his production to go forth under the previous sanction of the censor.

Another advantage we possess in this respect over our English brethren, consists in this: that an indictment for a libel, as any other criminal charge, must be submitted to a grand jury, who have, consequently, the power of throwing out the bill, -no information being by our Constitution allowed to be filed, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or of oppression or misdemeanor in office; whilst in England, the officer of the Crown has the privilege of putting a man, without previous notice, upon his trial, of deferring that trial at the pleasure of the government, and keeping it suspended over the head of the offender, in terrorem, for years. The very circumstance of its being con

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