Page images
PDF
EPUB

that no ship of war that ever doubled Cape Horn with the Spanish flag bas returned to view the waters of the Atlantic ? [Applause and shouts of “ Viva Lord Cochrane” !]. And do you believe, in fine, that she would have claimed from Perú the payment of a prodigous sum of millions in which are included the expenses of the war of Independence, exacting for this outrage

, the double mortgage of her honor and her revenue ? And do you believe, finally, that only in quest of respect Admiral Pareja exacted that Chile should burn a little powder for the penon of her Admiral's ship, and because she did not do so declares war against her and treacherously seizes her ships ? Oh! No.

It is esa sential that this undignified farce should be concluded, for us and for the world. It is essential that the armed hand of America should lift up the curtain of this comedy with which an attempt is made to deceive all nations and Spain herself; and to declare, once for all, that the cause is one, that the principle is common, that the danger is identical for all. For in truth, gentlemen, that which is being done is the excavation on our entire borders of one sepulchre, in which if they thrust us one by one it is only to render more facile the task of these royal gravediggers who still believe they do us an honor because, on easting our dead bodies in the pit, they enshroud us with their purple robes. . (Bravos). And in this coming war, I should say, in this war raging this very day, permit me to point out two distinguished points which will have a vast influence in the development of this contest; the Chincha Islands, the sole object which Spain covets, and the Isthmus of Panamá, the sole strategetic route by which Europe can attack the Republics of the Pacific in their vulnerable side. And do not believe that the Chincha. Islands should be always a property solely and exclusively American, because of the treasures which they contain, but because a maratime European Power of the first or second rank, once mistress of them, could maintain in the Pacific à squadron so powerful that it would be necessary for us to sail out of our ports with hats in our hands to plead permission of these new lords of this same sea which half a century ago we made ours by force of victory. [Applause.] And will all America consept that

[ocr errors]

this shall happen ? Will England and America, apart from every moral affection, from every notion of justice, from every interest of the balance of power, tolerate that their commerce shall be submitted anew to the same laws which governed the Peninsular monopoly in the days of the famous affairs in Portobello and Panamá ? Will they consent that Spain, whose financial ruin reaches the last extremity, - not to say the utmost disgrace, according to the news which the steamer that arrived this very day at Colon has brought us,-should cancel her bankruptcy with English capital, North American capital, the capital of all the markets of Europe, invested on a gigantic scale in the commerce of the Pacific ? This, gentlemen, is what we shall know when the news arrives, from Europe and the United States in the early days of the coming year, of the effect which the conduct of Admiral Pareja has produced ; and the war between Spain and Chili which, if to-day

, it be an isolated aggression, will to-morrow be a continental act. But with regard to what you will do on the Isthmus of Panamá, this route which to-day is the property of all free and enlightened nations, but which to-morrow may possibly be also the momentary property of invading rulers, we need not await news from any part. Will you consent, all the ports in the Pacific once closed, as I deeply hope they soon will be, to the Spanish squadron, that their public or private emmisaries should take from this Isthmus a single naval supply, a single grain of powder, a single grain of wheat, a single grain of sand ? (Unanimous cries of No! No!) And if to sustain these noble intentions you should have to fight among your picturesque mountains, in the wild defiles of your grand railway, against a bold invader, I am sure of this, you will not fight alone. There will fight by your side every man of courage who has come to reside in this city, the centre of the universe from its furthermost extremities ; there will fight with you the English, the German, the Scandinavian, the Italian, and above all there will fight with us, those sons of North America whom I perceive here in a considerable number ; for all those men adore in their hearts that sublime motto, the Isthmus of gold, as eternal as the Isthmus of land on which we tread, and which must always unite the two Continents of America in one single group, in one single family, in one single home-the Doctrine of Monroe America for the Americans!

(Enthusiastic and prolonged applause, Long live Chile and America.)

Dr Pablo Arosemena was next called for, who made a few pertinent remarks in the same strain, which were interrupted by frequent applause. The meeting then adjourned until the commission shall again convoke it for

[ocr errors]

their report.

LETTER OF

B. VICUÑA MACKENNA,

To the Editor of "La Epoca," of Madrid,

UPON THE REAL CAUSES AND MOTIVES OF

THE WAR BETWEEN CHILI AND SPAIN.

“On board the steamer Pacific, in the latitude of

Panamá, November 4, 1865. “MY DEAR SIR-It would hardly be possible for you to comprehend the sudden and deplorable war which has sprung up between Chili and Spain if a frank voice from these far-distant zones were not to explain to your just mind and enlightened patriotism so unexpected and extraordinary an event. However, not because unknown and humble do I refrain from assuring you that that voice is the voice of an honest man, and a sincere friend of the Spanish people, in the inidst of whom I was so fortunate as to pass some of the happiest days of my life. The manner in which I am going to have the honor of addressing you will be the strongest proof of the noble motives which prompt me to write to you these few words, which, although hurriedly written, refer to the gravest affair with which true Spaniards and true Americans can occupy themselves to-day.

“ After forty years of peace and independence, South America had become thoroughly reconciled to the old mother country. Chili had signed a treaty of peace with her, and that country-model of loyalty, prudence, and energy-offered to Spaniards the most unlimited and cordial hospitality. You may assure yourself, beyond a doubt, that there is not a single Spaniard settled in Chili who may not have made a fortune more or less considerable,

[ocr errors]

and there is not a single one who may not have Chilian children. I do not purpose to cite special cases. Inform yourself of any honest Spaniard whatever who may have visited our shores, and if that man does not wilfully distort the truth, I am not afraid for a single moment of being falsified. On the contrary, Chili, on account of her mild climate, her productions similar to those of the Peninsula, the serious character of her people, her traditions of order and respect for the laws, had become the favorite resort of those who came from Spain to these regions in search of a home and a new country.

“How is it, then, that all this has disappeared in an instant, and, according to the latest dates (Oct. 17), Admiral Pareja should be in Valparaiso, threatening that rich and splendid city, and that there should be collected in Santiago, under the vigilance of the police, all the Spaniards, to serve as hostages for the consequences of an attack, otherwise unpunished, against her defenceless people.

“It is that which the Lima periodical I have the honer to enclose will explain to you, in the article entitled Fortuightly Review," and which I will try to make clearer in a few, words.

“Since the announcement of the coming of Admiral Pinzon, there has been in Chili and in Perú a vague rumor of alarm. The aggressive tendencies of Marshal O'Donnell were well known, and the annexation of Santo Domingo -the first threat against American nationalities—was recent. The personal conduct of the Admiral, and the arrival of Commissary Mazarredo converted that rumor into a suspicion. The military occupation of the Chinchas, and the famous declaration of recovery, unfortunately gave cause for those doubts and fears, and converted them into an international scandal,

“ The aggression of Admiral Pinzon was against Perú, but Chili could not be indifferent. Her geographical and commercial position, her history, her security, were all involved in that question. Picture to yourself Portugal invaded by France, declaring the right of conquest, or any other offense aginast her nationality. Could the Government of Spain, without being guilty of treason and mibecility, remain indifferent, simply because the attack was not directed against her own territory ?

« PreviousContinue »