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chantings, and devotional performances. Francia is a somewhat lonesome, downThese men are fit to be drilled into some- looking man, apt to be solitary even in the thing! Their lives stand there like empty press of men; wears a face not unvisited capacious bottles, calling to the heavens by laughter, yet tending habitually toand the earth, and all Dr. Francias who wards the sorrowful, the stern. He passes may pass that way: "Is there nothing to everywhere for a man of veracity, puncput into us, then? Nothing but nomadic tuality, of iron methodic rigor; of iron idleness, Jesuit superstition, rubbish, reek, rectitude, above all. "The skilful lawyer," and dry stripes of tough beef?" Ye un- "the learned lawyer," these are reputations; happy Guachos,-yes, there is something but the "honest lawyer!" This law-case other, there are several things other, to put was reported by the Robertsons before into you! But withal, you will observe, the they thought of writing a "Francia's Reign. seven devils have first to be put out of of Terror," with that running shriek, you: Idleness, lawless Brutalness, Dark- which so confuses us. We love to believe ness, Falseness-seven devils or more. the anecdote, even in its present loose And the way to put something into you is, state, as significant of many things in alas, not so plain at present! Is it,-alas, Francia: on the whole, is it not perhaps to lay good horsewhips lustily upon you, and cast out these seven devils as a preliminary?
"It has been already observed that Francia's reputation, as a lawyer, was not only unsullied How Francia passed his days in such a by venality, but conspicuous for rectitude. region, where philosophy, as is too clear, "He had a friend in Assumpcion of the name This man had cast was at the lowest ebb? Francia, like of Domingo Rodriguez. Quintus Fixlein, had "perennial fire-proof this Naboth, of whom Francia was the open a covetous eye upon a Naboth's vineyard, and joys, namely, employments." He had much e emy, was called Estanislao Machain. Never law-business, a great and ever-increasing doubting that the young doctor, like other lawreputation as a man at once skilful and yers, would undertake his unrighteous cause, faithful in the management of causes for Rodriguez opened to him his case, and requestmen. Then, in his leisure hours, he had ed, with a handsome retainer, his advocacy of his Volneys, Raynals; he had second-hand it. Francia saw at once that his friend's prescientific treatises in French; he loved to and he not only refused to act as his counsel, tensions were founded in fraud and injustice; "interrogate Nature," as they say; to pos- but plainly told him that much as he hated his sess theodolites, telescopes, star-glasses, antagonist Machain, yet if he (Rodriguez) perany kind of glass or book, or gazing imple-sisted in his iniquitous suit, that antagonist ment whatever, through which he might should have his (Francia's) most zealous suptry to catch a glimpse of Fact in this port. But covetousness, as Ahab's story shows strange Universe: poor Francia! Nay, it us, is not so easily driven from its pretensions; and in spite of Francia's warning, Rodriguez is said, his hard heart was not without in-persisted. As he was a potent man in point of flammability; was sensible to those Anda- fortune, all was going against Machain and his lusian eyes still bright in the tenth or devoted vineyard. twelfth generation. In such case, too, it "At this stage of the question, Francia wrapmay have burnt, one would think, like an-ped himself one night in his cloak, and walked thracite, in a somewhat ardent manner. to the house of his inveterate enemy, Machain. Rumors to this effect are afloat; not at his master and the doctor, like the houses of The slave who opened the door, knowing that once incredible. Pity there had not been Montagu and Capulet, were smoke in each some Andalusian pair of eyes, with specu- other's eyes, refused the lawyer admittance, lation, depth, and soul enough in the rear of and ran to inform his master of the strange and them to fetter Dr. Francia permanently, unexpected visit. Machain, no less struck by and make a house-father of him. It had the circumstance than his slave, for some time been better; but it befel not. As for that hesitated; but at length determined to admit Francia. In walked the silent doctor to Malight-headed, smart, brown-girl, whom, chain's chamber. All the papers connected twenty years afterwards, you saw selling with the law-plea-voluminous enough I have flowers on the streets of Assumpcion, and been assured-were outspread upon the defendleading a light life, is there any certainty ant's escritoire. that she was Dr. Francia's daughter? Any "Machain,' said the lawyer, addressing him, certainty that even if so, he could and you know I am your enemy. But I know that should have done something considerable my friend Rodriguez meditates, and will cerfor her ?* Poor Francia, poor light-head-tainly, unless I interfere, carry against you an
ed, smart, brown girl,-this present reviewer cannot say!
act of gross and lawless aggression; I have come to offer my services in your defence.'
"The astonished Machain could scarcely credit his senses; but poured forth the ebulli
tion of his gratitude in terms of thankful acquiescence.
"The first 'escrito,' or writing, sent in by Francia to the Juez de Alzada, or Judge of the Court of Appeal, confounded the adverse advocates, and staggered the judge, who was in their interest. My friend,' said the judge to the leading counsel, 'I cannot go forward in this matter unless you bribe Dr. Francia to be silent.' 'I will try, replied the advocate, and he went to Naboth's counsel with a hundred doubloons (about three hundred and fifty guineas), which he offered him as a bribe to let the cause take its iniquitous course. Consider ing, too, that his best introduction would be a hint that this douceur was offered with the judge's concurrence, the knavish lawyer hinted to the upright one that such was the fact.
Salga Usted,' said Francia, con sus viles pensamientos, y vilisimo oro de mi casa.' 'Out
with your vile insinuations, and dross of gold from my house.'
"Off marched the venal drudge of the unjust judge; and in a moment putting on his capoté, the offended advocate went to the residence of the Juez de Alzada. Shortly relating what had passed between himself and the myrmidon, Sir,' continued Francia, you are a disgrace to law, and a blot upon justice. You are, moreover, completely in my power; and unless tomorrow I have a decision in favor of my client, I will make your seat upon the bench too hot for you, and the insignia of your judicial office shall become the emblems of your shame.'
"The morrow did bring a decision in favor
of Francia's client. Naboth retained his vineyard; the judge lost his reputation; and the young doctor's fame extended far and wide."
temporary way: this man seems to have got but a lean lease of Nature, and may end in a rather shrunk condition! A century ago, with this atrabiliar earnestness of his, and such a reverberatory furnace of passions, inquiries, unspeakabilities burning in him, deep under cover, he might have made an excellent monk of St. Dominic, fit almost for canonization; nay, an excellent Superior of the Jesuits, Grand Inquisitor, or the like, had you developed him in that way. But, for all this, he is now a day too late. Monks of St. Dominic that might have been, do now, instead of devotional raptures and miraculous suspensions in prayer, produce-brown accidental female infants, to sell flowers, in cion! It is grown really a most barren an indigent state, on the streets of Assumptime; and this Francia, with his grim unspeakabilities, with his fiery splenetic humors, kept close under lock and key, what has he to look for in it? A post on the Bench, in the municipal Cabildo,-nay, he has already a post in the Cabildo; he has already been Alcalde, Lord Mayor of Assumpcion, and ridden in such gilt coach as they had. He can look for little, one would say but barren monies, barren Guacho world-celebrities; Abbe-Raynal philosophisms also very barren; wholly a barren life-voyage of it, ending-in zero thinks the Abbé Raynal?
But no; the world wags not that way in On the other hand, it is admitted that he those days. Far over the waters there quarrelled with his father, in those days; have been Federations of the Champ de and, as is reported, never spoke to him Mars: guillotines, portable-guillotines, and more. The subject of the quarrel is vaguely a French people risen against tyrants; supposed to have been "money matters." there has been a Sansculottism, speaking at Francia is not accused of avarice; nay, is last in cannon-volleys and the crash of expressly acquitted of loving money, even towns and nations over half the world. by Rengger. But he did hate injustice ;-- Sleek Fatpauncho Usandwonto, sleek arisand probably was not indisposed to allow tocratic Donothingism, sunk as in deathhimself, among others, "the height of fair sleep in its well-stuffed easy-chair, or stagplay!" A rigorous, correct man, that will gering in somnambulism on the house-tops, have a spade be a spade; a man of much seemed to itself to hear a voice say, Sleep learning in Creole law, and occult French no more, Donothingism; Donothingism sciences, of great talent, energy, fidelity: doth murder sleep! It was indeed a ter-a man of some temper withal; unhappily rible explosion, that of Sansculottism; subject to private "hypochondria;" black commingling very Tartarus with the oldprivate thunder-clouds, whence probably established stars; fit, such a tumult was the origin of these lightnings, when you it, to awaken all but the dead. And out of poke into him! He leads a lonesome, self-it there had come Napoleonisms, Tamerlansecluded life; "interrogating Nature" isms; and then, as a branch of these, through mere star-glasses, and Abbé-Ray- Conventions of Aranjuez, soon followed by nal philosophies-who in that way will Spanish Juntas, Spanish Cortes; and, on yield no very exuberant response. Mere the whole, a smiting broad awake of poor law-papers, advocate fees, civic officialities, old Spain itself, much to its amazement. renowns, and the wonder of Assumpcion Guachos;-not so much as a pair of Andalusian eyes that can lasso him, except in a
And naturally of New Spain next,-to its double amazement, seeing itself awake! And so, in the new hemisphere too, arise
wild projects, angry arguings; arise armed gatherings in Santa Marguerita Island, with Bolivars and Invasions of Cumana; revolts of La Plata, revolts of this and then of that; the subterranean electric element, shock on shock, shaking and exploding, in the new hemisphere too, from sea to sea. Very astonishing to witness, from the year 1810 and onwards. Had Dr. Rodriguez Francia three ears, he would hear; as many eyes as Argus, he would gaze! He is all eye, he is all ear. A new, entirely different figure of existence is cut out for Dr. Rodriguez.
stitution, went home again to its field-labors, hoping a good issue.
Feebler light hardly ever dawned for the historical mind, than this which is shed for us by Rengger, Robertsons, and Company, on the birth, the cradling, baptismal processes, and early fortunes of the new Paraguay Republic. Through long, vague, and indeed intrinsically vacant pages of their books, it lies gray, undecipherable, without form and void. Francia was secretary, and a Republic did take place: this, as one small clear-burning fact, shedding far a comfortable visibility, conceivability over the uniThe Paraguay people, as a body, lying versal darkness, and making it into confar inland, with little speculation in their ceivable dusk with one rushlight fact in the heads, were in no haste to adopt the new centre of it-this we do know; and cheerrepublican gospel; but looked first how it fuly yielding to necessity, decide that this would succeed in shaping itself into facts. shall suffice us to know. What more is Buenos Ayres, Tucuman, most of the La there? Absurd somnolent persons, struck Plata provinces, had made their revolutions, broad awake by the subterranean concus brought in the reign of liberty, and unluck- sion of civil and religious liberty all over ily driven out the reign of law and regular- the world, meeting together to establish a ity; before the Paraguenos could resolve republican career of freedom, and compile on such an enterprise. Perhaps they are official papers out of Rollin-are not a afraid? General Belgrano, with a force of subject on which the historical mind can a thousand men, missioned by Buenos- be enlightened. The historical mind, thank Ayres, came up the river to countenance Heaven, forgets such persons and their pathem, in the end of 1810; but was met on pers, as fast as you repeat them. Besides, their frontier in array of war; was attack- these Guacho populations are greedy, sued, or at least was terrified, in the night perstitious, vain; and, as Miers said in his watches, so that his men all fled ;-and on haste, mendacious every soul of them! the morrow, poor General Belgrano found Within the confines of Paraguay, we know himself not a countenancer, but one need- for certain but of one man who would do ing countenance; and was in a polite way himself an injury to do a just or true thing sent down the river again!* Not till a under the sun: one man who understands year after did the Paraguenos, by sponta- in his heart that this Universe is an eternal neous movement, resolve on a career of Fact—and not some huge temporary Pumpfreedom;-resolve on getting some kind kin, saccharine, absinthian; the rest of its of congress assembled, and the old govern- significance chimerical merely! Such men ment sent its ways. Francia, it is pre- cannot have a history, though a Thucysumable, was active at once in exciting and dides came to write it. Enough for us to restraining them: the fruit was now drop. understand that Don This was a vaporing ripe, we may say, and fell by a shake. Our blockhead, who followed his pleasures, his old royal Governor went aside, worthy peculations, and Don That another of the man, with some slight grimace, when or- same; that there occurred fatuities, mismadered to do so; National Congress intro- nagements innumerable; then discontents, duced itself; secretaries read papers, open grumblings, and as a running accom"compiled chiefly out of Rollin's Ancient paniment, intriguings, caballings, outings, History;" and we became a Republic; with innings: till the Government House, fouler Don Fulgenao Yegros, one of the richest than when the Jesuits had it, became a botGuachos, and best horseman of the prov- tomless pestilent inanity, insupportable to ince, for President, and two Assessors with any articulate-speaking soul; till Secretahim, called also Vocales, or Vowels, whose ry Francia should feel that he, for one, names escape us; Francia, as Secretary, could not be Consonant to such a set of being naturally the Consonant, or motive Vowels; till Secretary Francia, one day, soul of the combination. This, as we flinging down his papers, rising to his feet, grope out the date, was 1811. The Para- should jerk out with oratorical vivacity his guay Congress, having completed this con-lean right hand, and say, with knit brows, in a low, swift tone, "Adieu, Senhores; God preserve you many years!"
Francia withdrew to his chacra, a pleasant country-house in the woods of Ytapúa, not far off; there to interrogate Na. ture, and live in a private manner. Parish Robertson, much about this date, which we grope and guess to have been perhaps in 1812, was boarded with a certain ancient Donna Juana, in that same region; had tertulias of unimaginable brilliancy; and often went shooting of an evening. On one of those-but he shall himself report: "On one of those lovely evenings in Paraguay, after the south-west wind has both cleared and cooled the air, I was drawn in my pursuit of game, into a peaceful valley, not far from Doña Juana's and remarkable for its combination of all the striking features of the scenery of the country. Suddenly I came upon a neat and unpretending cottage. Up rose a partridge; fired, and the bird came to the ground. A voice
sisted of three hundred volumes. There were many ponderous books on law; a few on the inductive sciences; some in French and some in Latin upon subjects of general literature, with Euclid's Elements, and some schoolboy treatises on algebra. On a large table were heaps of law-papers and processes. Several folios bound in vellum were outspread upon it; a lighted candle (though placed there solely with a view to light cigars) lent its feeble aid to illumine the room; while a maté-cup and inkstand, ble. There was neither carpet nor mat on the both of silver, stood on another part of the tabrick floor; and the chairs were of such ancient fashion, size, and weight, that it required a considerable effort to move them from one spot to
Peculation, malversation, the various forms of imbecility and voracious dishonesty went their due course in the gov
ernment offices of Assumpcion, unrestrained by Francia, and unrestrainable :-till, as we may say, it reached a height; and, like other suppurations and diseased concretions in the living system, had to burst, and
from behind called out, Buen tiro'-'a good shot.' I turned round, and beheld a gentleman of about fifty years of age, dressed in a suit of black, with a large scarlet capote, or cloak, thrown over his shoulders. He had a maté-cup in one hand, a cigar in the other; and a little take itself away. To the eyes of Paraguay urchin of a negro, with his arms crossed, was in in general, it had become clear that such a attendance by the gentleman's side. The stranger's countenance was dark, and his black eyes reign of liberty was unendurable; that were very penetrating, while his jet hair comb- some new revolution, or change of minised back from a bold forehead, and hanging in try was indispensable. natural ringlets over his shoulders, gave him a Rengger says that Francia withdrew dignified and striking air. He wore on his shoes" more than once" to his chacra, disgusted large golden buckles, and at the knees of his
breeches the same."
"In the exercise of the primitive and simple hospitality common in the country, I was invited to sit down under the corridor, and to take a cigar and maté (cup of Paraguay tea). A celestial globe, a large telescope, and a theodolite were under the little portico; and I immediately inferred that the personage before me was no
other than Dr. Francia."
with his colleagues; who always, by unflatter him back again; and then anew dislimited promises and protestations, had to gusted him. Francia is the Consonant of these absurd "Vowels ;" no business can go on without Francia! And the finances are deranged, insolvent; and the military, unpaid, ineffective, cannot so much as keep out the Indians; and there comes trouble Yes, here for the first time in authentic and rumor of new war from Buenos Ayres history, a remarkable hearsay becomes a -alas, from what corner of the great conremarkable visuality: through a pair of tinent, come there other than troubles and clear human eyes, you look face to face on rumors of war? Patriot generals become the very figure of the man. Is not this traitor generals; get themselves "shot in verily the exact record of those clear market-places ;" revolution follows revolu Robertsonian and seven senses; ention. Artigas, close on our borders, has tered accurately, then and not afterwards, begun harrying the Banda Oriental with on the ledger of the memory? We will fire and sword; "dictating despatches hope so; who can but hope so! The figure from cow-skulls." Like clouds of wolves of the man will, at all events, be exact.only feller, being mounted on horseback, Here too is the figure of his library-the conversation, if any, was of the last degree of insignificance, and may be left out, or supplied ad libitum:
"He introduced me to his library, in a confined room, with a very small window, and that so shaded by the roof of the corridor, as to admit the least portion of light necessary for study. The library was arranged on three rows of shelves extending across the room, and might have con
with pikes-the Indians dart in on us; carrying conflagration and dismay. Paraguay must get itself governed, or it will be worse for Paraguay! The eyes of all Parman of talent they have, the one man of aguay, we can well fancy, turn to the one veracity they have.
In 1813 a second Congress is got together: we fancy it was Francia's last advice to the Government suppuration, when
it flattered him back, for the last time, to [nos Ayres, or with any of these war-disask his advice. That such suppuration do tracted countries, was peremptorily waived. now dissolve itself, and a new Congress be To no Congress of Lima, General Congress summoned! In the new Congress, the Vo- of Panama, or other general or particular cales are voted out; Francia and Fulgencio congress, would Francia, by deputy or mesare named joint Consuls with Francia for sage, offer the smallest recognition. All Consul, and Don Fulgencio Yegros for South America raging and ravening like Consul's-cloak, it may be better. Don Ful- one huge dog-kennel gone rabid, we here gencio rides about in gorgeous sash and in Paraguay have peace, and cultivate our epaulettes, a rich man and horse-subduer; tea-trees: why should not we let well good as Consul's cloak ;-but why should alone? By degrees, one thing acting on the real Consul have a cloak? Next year another, and this ring of frontier "guardin the third Congress, Francia, "by insidi-houses" being already erected there, a ous manoeuvring," by "favor of the milita- rigorous sanitary line, impregnable as brass, ry," and, indeed, also in some sort, we may was drawn round all Paraguay; no commusay, by law of Nature--gets himself declared nication, import or export trade allowed, Dictator for three years," or for life, except by the Dictator's license,-given on may in these circumstances mean much the payment of the due monies, when the posame. This was in 1814. Francia never litical horizon seemed innocuous; refused assembled any Congress more; having sto- when otherwise. The Dictator's trade-lilen the constitutional palladiums, and insi- censes were a considerable branch of his diously got his wicked will! Of a Con- revenues; his entrance dues, somewhat gress that compiled constitutions out of onerous to the foreign merchant, (think the Rollin, who would not lament such a desti- Messrs. Robertson,) were another. Parany? This Congress should have met again! guay stood isolated; the rabid dog-kennel It was indeed, say Rengger and the Rob raging round it, wide as South America, ertsons themselves, such a Congress as but kept out as by lock and key. never met before in the world; a Congress These were vigorous measures, gradually which knew not its right hand from its left: coming on the somnolent Guacho populawhich drank infinite rum in the taverns; tion! It seems, meanwhile, that, even after and had one wish, that of getting on horse- the perpetual dictatorship, and onwards to back, home to its field-husbandry and part-the fifth or the sixth year of Francia's govridge-shooting. The military mostly fa- ernment, there was, though the constituvored Francia; being gained over by him-tional palladiums were stolen, nothing very the thief of constitutional palladiums.
special to complain of. Paraguay had With Francia's entrance on the govern- peace; sat under its tea-tree, the rabid ment as Consul, still more as Dictator, a dog-kennel, Indians, Artiguenos, and other great improvement, it is granted even by war-fire brands, all shut out from it. But Rengger, did in all quarters forthwith show in that year, 1819, the second year of the itself. The finances were husbanded, perpetual dictatorship, there arose, not for were accurately gathered; every official the first time, dim indications of "plots," person in Paraguay had to bethink him, even dangerous plots! In that year the and begin doing his work, instead of merely fire-brand Artigas was finally quenched; seeming to do it. The soldiers Francia obliged to beg a lodging even of Francia, took care to see paid and drilled; to see his enemy ;-and got it hospitably, though march, with real death-shot and service, contemptuously. And now straightway when the Indians or other enemies showed there advanced, from Artigas's lost, wasted themselves. Guardias, guard-houses, at country, a certain General Ramirez, his short distances were established along the rival and victor, and fellow-bandit and fireriver's bank and all round the dangerous brand. This General Ramirez advanced frontiers: wherever the Indian centaur-up to our very frontier; first with offers troop showed face, an alarm cannon went of alliance; failing that, with offers of off, and soldiers, quickly assembling, with war; on which latter offer he was closed actual death-shot and service, were upon with, was cut to pieces; and a letter was them. These wolf-hordes had to vanish found about him, addressed to Don Fulgeninto the hearts of their deserts again. The cio Yegros, the rich Guacho horseman and land had peace. Neither Artigas, nor any Ex-Consul; which arrested all the faculties of the fire-brands and war-plagues which of Dr. Francia's most intense intelligence, were distracting South America from side there and then! A conspiracy, with Don to side, could get across the border. All Fulgencio at the head of it; conspiracy negotiation or intercommuning with Bue- which seems the wider-spread the farther