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The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, G.C.B., Admiral of the Red, Rear-Admiral of the Fleet, Etc., Etc. by Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald

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close of the contest, their ships-of-war were dismantled, the topmasts
and spars being formed into a double boom across the anchorage, so as
to prevent approach. The Spaniards were also previously unaware of my
being in command of the Chilian squadron. On becoming acquainted with
this fact, they bestowed upon me the not very complimentary title of
'El Diablo,' by which I was afterwards known amongst them."

Two hundred and forty years before, almost to a day, Sir Francis
Drake--whom, of all English seamen, Lord Cochrane most resembled in
chivalrous daring and in chivalrous hatred of oppression--had secretly
led his little _Golden Hind_ into the harbour of Callao, and there
despoiled a Spanish fleet of seventeen vessels; for which and for his
other brave achievements he won the nickname of El Dracone. Drake the
Dragon and Cochrane the Devil were kinsmen in noble hatred, and noble
punishment, of Spanish wrong-doing.

Retiring to San Lorenzo, after the fight in Callao Bay on the 28th
of February, Lord Cochrane occupied the island, and from it blockaded
Callao for five weeks. On the island he found thirty-seven Chilian
soldiers, whom the Spaniards had made prisoners eight years before.
"The unhappy men," he said, "had ever since been forced to work in
chains under the supervision of a military guard--now prisoners in
turn; their sleeping-place during the whole of this period being a
filthy shed, in which they were every night chained by one leg to an
iron bar." Yet worse, as he was informed by the poor fellows whom he
freed from their misery, was the condition of some Chilian officers
and seamen imprisoned in Lima, and so cruelly chained that the fetters
had worn bare their ankles to the bone. He accordingly, under a flag
of truce, sent to the Spanish Viceroy, Don Joaquim de la Pezuela,
offering to exchange for these Chilian prisoners a larger number of
Spaniards captured by himself and others. This proposal was bluntly
refused by the Viceroy, who took occasion, in his letter, to avow
his surprise that a British nobleman should come to fight for a
rebel community "unacknowledged by all the powers of the globe."
Lord Cochrane replied that "a British nobleman was a free man, and
therefore had a right to assist any country which was endeavouring to
re-establish the rights of aggrieved humanity." "I have," he added,
"adopted the cause of Chili with the same freedom of judgment that I
previously exercised when refusing the offer of an admiral's rank in
Spain, made to me not long ago by the Spanish ambassador in London."

Except in blockading Callao and repairing his ships little was done by
Lord Cochrane during his stay at San Lorenzo. On the 1st of March he
went into the harbour again and opened a destructive fire upon
the Spanish gunboats, but as these soon sought shelter under the
batteries, which the _O'Higgins_ and the _Lautaro_ were not strong
enough to oppose, the demonstration did not last long. Unsuccessful
also was an attempt made upon the batteries, with the aid of an
explosion-vessel, on the 22nd of March. The explosion-vessel, when
just within musket-range, was struck by a round shot, and foundered,
thus spoiling the intended enterprise. But other plans fared better.

At the beginning of April, Lord Cochrane left San Lorenzo and
proceeded to Huacho, a few leagues north of Callao. Its inhabitants
were for the most part in sympathy with the republican cause, and the
Spanish garrison fled at almost the first gunshot, leaving a large
quantity of government property and specie in the hands of the
assailants. Much other treasure, which proved very serviceable to
the impoverished Chilian exchequer, was captured by the little fleet
during a two months' cruise about the coast of Peru, both north and
south of Callao. Everywhere, too, the Spanish cause was weakened,
and the natives were encouraged to share in the great work of South
American rebellion against a tyranny of three centuries' duration. "It
was my object," said Lord Cochrane, "to make friends of the Peruvian
people, by adopting towards them a conciliatory course, and by strict
care that none but Spanish property should be taken. Confidence was
thus inspired, and the universal dissatisfaction with Spanish rule
speedily became changed into an earnest desire to be freed from it."

Having cruised about the Peruvian coast during April and May, Lord
Cochrane returned to Valparaiso on the 16th of June. "The objects of
the first expedition," he said, "had been fully accomplished, namely,
to reconnoitre, with a view to future operations, when the squadron
should be rendered efficient; but more especially to ascertain the
inclinations of the Peruvians--a point of the first importance to
Chili, as being obliged to be constantly on the alert for her own
newly-acquired liberties so long as the Spaniards were in undisturbed
possession of Peru. To the accomplishment of these objects had been
superadded the restriction of the Spanish naval force to the
shelter of the forts, the defeat of their military forces wherever
encountered, and the capture of no inconsiderable amount of treasure."
That was work enough to be done by four small ships, ill-manned and
ill-provisioned, during a five months' absence from Valparaiso; and
the Chilians were not ungrateful.

Their gratitude, however, was not strong enough to make them zealous
co-operators in his schemes for their benefit. Lord Cochrane was eager
to start upon another expedition, in which he hoped for yet greater
success. But for this were needed preparations which the poverty and
mismanagement of the Chilian Government made almost impossible. He
asked for a thousand troops with which to facilitate a second attack
on Callao. This force, certainly not a large one, was promised, but,
when he was about to embark, only ninety soldiers were ready, and even
then a private subscription had to be raised for giving them decent
clothing instead of the rags in which they appeared. For the assault
on Callao, also, an ample supply of rockets was required. An engineer
named Goldsack had gone from England to construct them, and, that
there might be no stinting in the work, Lord Cochrane offered to
surrender all his share of prize-money. The offer was refused; but, to
save money, their manufacture was assigned to some Spanish prisoners,
who showed their patriotism in making them so badly that, when tried,
they were found utterly worthless. There were other instances of false
economy, whereby Lord Cochrane's intended services to his Chilian
employers were seriously hindered. The vessels were refitted, however,
and a new one, an American-built corvette, named the _Independencia_,
of twenty-eight guns, was added to the number.

After nearly three months' stay at Valparaiso, he again set sail on
the 12th of September, 1819. Admiral Blanco was his second in command,
and his squadron consisted of the _O'Higgins_, the _San Martin_, the
_Lautaro_, the _Independencia_, the _Galvarino_, the _Araucano_, and
the _Puyrredon_, mounting two hundred and twenty guns in all. There
were also two old vessels, to be used as fireships.

The fleet entered Callao Roads on the 29th of September. On this
occasion there was no subterfuge. On the 30th Lord Cochrane despatched
a boat to Callao with a flag of truce, and a challenge to the Viceroy
to send out his ships--nearly twice as strong as those of Chili in
guns and men--for a fair fight in the open sea. The challenge was
bluntly rejected, and an attack on the batteries and the ships in
harbour was then planned. On the 1st of October, the smaller vessels
reconnoitred the bay, and there was some fighting, in which the
_Araucano_ was damaged. Throughout the night of the 2nd, a formidable
attack was attempted, in which the main reliance was placed in the
Goldsack rockets; but, in consequence of the treacherous handling
of the Spanish soldiers who had filled them, they proved worse than
useless, doing nearly as much injury to the men who fired them as
to the enemy. Only one gunboat was sunk by the shells from a raft
commanded by Major Miller, who also did some damage to the forts and
shipping. On the night of the 4th, Lord Cochrane amused himself, while
a fireship was being prepared, by causing a burning tar-barrel to be
drifted with the tide towards the enemy's shipping. It was, in the
darkness, supposed to be a much more formidable antagonist, and
volleys of Spanish shot were spent upon it. On the following evening
a fireship was despatched; but this also was a failure. A sudden calm
prevented her progress. She was riddled through and through by the
enemy's guns, and, rapidly gaining water in consequence, had to be
fired so much too soon that she exploded before getting near enough to
work any serious mischief among the Spanish shipping.

By these misfortunes Lord Cochrane was altogether disheartened. The
rockets, on which he had chiefly relied, had proved worthless, and,
one fireship having been wasted, he did not care to risk the loss of
the other. He found too that the Spaniards, profiting by the warning
which he had previously given, had so strengthened their booms that it
was quite impossible, with the small force at his command, to get at
them or to reach the port. His store of provisions, also, was nearly
exhausted, and the fresh supply promised from Chili had not arrived.
He therefore reluctantly, for the time, abandoned his project for
taking Callao.

He continued to watch the port for a few weeks, however, hoping for
some chance opportunity of injuring it; and, in the interval, sent
three hundred and fifty soldiers and marines, under Lieutenant-Colonel
Charles and Major Miller, in the _Lautaro_, the _Galvarino_, and the
remaining fireship, commanded by Captain Guise, to attack Pisco and
procure from it and the neighbourhood the requisite provisions. This
was satisfactorily done; but the sickness of many of his men caused
his further detention at Santa, whither he had gone from Callao. On
the 21st of November the sick were sent to Valparaiso, in the charge
of the _San Martin_, the _Independencia_, and the _Araucano_. With the
remaining ships, the _O'Higgins_, the _Lautaro_, the _Galvarino_, and
the _Puyrredon_, Lord Cochrane proceeded to the mouth of the River
Guayaquil. There, on the 28th of the month, he captured two large
Spanish vessels, one of twenty and the other of sixteen guns, laden
with timber, and took possession of the village of Puna. At Guayaquil
there was another delay of a fortnight, owing to a mutiny attempted
by Captains Guise and Spry, whose treacherous disposition has already
been mentioned.

Not till the middle of December was he able to escape from the
troubles brought upon him by others, and to return to work worthy of
his great name and character. Then, however, sending one of his ships,
with the prizes, to Valparaiso, and leaving two others to watch
the Peruvian coast, he started, with only his flag-ship, upon an
enterprise as brilliant in conception and execution as any in his
whole eventful history. "The Chilian people," he said, "expected
impossibilities; and I. had for some time been revolving in my mind
a plan to achieve one which should gratify them, and allay my own
wounded feelings. I had now only one ship, so that there were no
other inclinations to consult; and I felt quite sure of Major Miller's
concurrence where there was any fighting to be done. My design was,
with the flag-ship alone, to capture by a _coup de main_ the
numerous forts and garrison of Valdivia, a fortress previously deemed
impregnable, and thus to counteract the disappointment which would
ensue in Chili from our want of success at Callao. The enterprise
was a desperate one; nevertheless, I was not about to do anything
desperate, having resolved that, unless I was fully satisfied as to
its practicability, I would not attempt it. Rashness, though often
imputed to me, forms no part of my composition. There is a rashness
without calculation of consequences; but with that calculation
well-founded, it is no longer rashness. And thus, now that I was
unfettered by people who did not second my operations as they ought
to have done, I made up my mind to take Valdivia, if the attempt came
within the scope of my calculations."

Valdivia was the stronghold and centre of Spanish attack upon Chili
from the south, just as were Lima and Callao on the north. To reach it
Lord Cochrane had to sail northwards along the coast of Peru and Chili
to some distance below Valparaiso. This he did without loss of time,
to work out an excellent strategy which will be best understood from
his own report of it.

"The first step," he said, "clearly was to reconnoitre Valdivia. The
flag-ship arrived on the 18th of January, 1820, under Spanish colours,
and made a signal for a pilot, who--as the Spaniards mistook the
_O'Higgins_ for a ship of their own--promptly came off, together with
a complimentary retinue of an officer and four soldiers, all of whom
were made prisoners as soon as they came on board. The pilot was
ordered to take us into the channels leading to the forts, whilst the
officer and his men, knowing there was little chance of their finding
their way on shore again, thought it most conducive to their interests
to supply all the information demanded, the result being increased
confidence on my part as to the possibility of a successful attack.
Amongst other information obtained was the expected arrival of the
Spanish brig _Potrillo_, with money on board for the payment of the

"As we were busily employing ourselves in inspecting the channels, the
officer commanding the garrison began to suspect that our object might
not altogether be pacific, a suspicion which was confirmed by the
detention of his officer. Suddenly a heavy fire was opened upon
us from the various forts, to which we did not reply, but, our
reconnoissance being now complete, withdrew beyond its reach. Two days
were occupied in reconnoitring. On the third day the _Potrillo_ hove
in sight, and she, being also deceived by our Spanish colours, was
captured without a shot, twenty thousand dollars and some important
despatches being found on board."

That first business having been satisfactorily achieved, Lord Cochrane
proceeded to Concepcion, there to ask and obtain from its Chilian
governor, General Freire, a force of two hundred and fifty soldiers,
under Major Beauchef, a French volunteer. In Talcahuano Bay, moreover,
he found a Chilian schooner, the _Montezuma_, and a Brazilian brig,
the _Intrepido_. He attached the former to his service, and accepted
the volunteered aid of the latter. With this augmented but still
insignificant force, very defective in some important respects, he
returned to Valdivia. "The flag-ship," he said, "had only two naval
officers on board, one of these being under arrest for disobedience
of orders, whilst the other was incapable of performing the duty of
lieutenant; so that I had to act as admiral, captain and lieutenant,
taking my turn in the watch--or rather being constantly on the
watch--as the only available officer was so incompetent."

"We sailed from Talcahuano on the 25th of January," the narrative
proceeds, "when I communicated my intentions to the military officers,
who displayed great eagerness in the cause--alone questioning their
success from motives of prudence. On my explaining to them that, if
unexpected projects are energetically put in execution, they almost
invariably succeed in spite of odds, they willingly entered into my

"On the night of the 29th, we were off the island of Quiriquina, in
a dead calm. From excessive fatigue in the execution of subordinate
duties, I had lain down to rest, leaving the ship in charge of
the lieutenant, who took advantage of my absence to retire also,
surrendering the watch to the care of a midshipman, who fell asleep.
Knowing our dangerous position, I had left strict orders that I was
to be called the moment a breeze sprang up; but these orders were
neglected. A sudden wind took the ship unawares, and the midshipman,
in attempting to bring her round, ran her upon the sharp edge of a
rock, where she lay beating, suspended, as it were, upon her keel;
and, had the swell increased, she must inevitably have gone to pieces.

"We were forty miles from the mainland, the brig and schooner being
both out of sight. The first impulse, both of officers and crew, was
to abandon the ship, but, as we had six hundred men on board, whilst
not more than a hundred and fifty could have entered the boats, this
would have been but a scramble for life. Pointing out to the men that
those who escaped could only reach the coast of Arauco, where they
would meet nothing but torture and inevitable death at the hands of
the Indians, I with some difficulty got them to adopt the alternative
of attempting to save the ship. The first sounding gave five feet
of water in the hold, and the pumps were entirely out of order. Our
carpenter, who was only one by name, was incompetent to repair them;
but, having myself some skill in carpentry, I took off my coat, and
by midnight, got them into working order, the water in the meanwhile
gaining on us, though the whole crew were engaged in baling it out
with buckets.

"To our great delight, the leak did not increase, upon which I got
out the stream anchor and commenced heaving off the ship; the officers
clamoured first to ascertain the extent of the leak; but this I
expressly forbade, as calculated to damp the energy of the men,
whilst, as we now gained on the leak, there was no doubt the ship
would swim as far as Valdivia, which was the chief point to be
regarded, the capture of the fortress being my object, after which the
ship might be repaired at leisure. As there was no lack of physical
force on board, she was at length floated; but the powder magazine
having been under water, the ammunition of every kind, except a little
upon deck and in the cartouche-boxes of the troops, was rendered
unserviceable; though about this I cared little, as it involved the
necessity of using the bayonet in our anticipated attack; and to
facing this weapon the Spaniards had, in every case, evinced a rooted

The _O'Higgins_, thus bravely saved from wreck, was soon joined by the
_Intrepido_ and the _Montezuma_, and these vessels being now most fit
for action, as many men as possible were transferred to them, and the
_O'Higgins_ was ordered to stand out to sea, only to be made use of in
case of need. The _Montezuma_ now became the flag-ship, and with her
and her consort Lord Cochrane sailed into Valdivia Harbour on the 2nd
of February.

"The fortifications of Valdivia," he said, "are placed on both sides
of a channel three quarters of a mile in width, and command the
entrance, anchorage, and river leading to the town, crossing their
fire in all directions so effectually that, with proper caution on the
part of the garrison, no ship could enter without suffering severely,
while she would be equally exposed at anchor. The principal forts on
the western shore are placed in the following order:--El Ingles, San
Carlos, Amargos, Chorocomayo, Alto, and Corral Castle. Those on the
eastern side are Niebla, directly opposite Amargos, and Piojo; whilst
on the island of Manzanera is a strong fort mounted with guns of large
calibre, commanding the whole range of the entrance channel. These
forts and a few others, fifteen in all, would render the place in the
hands of a skilful garrison almost impregnable, the shores on
which they stand being inaccessible by reason of the surf, with the
exception of a small landing-place at Fort Ingles.

"It was to this landing-place that we first directed our attention,
anchoring the brig and schooner off the guns of Fort Ingles on the
afternoon of February the 3rd, amidst a swell which rendered immediate
disembarkation impracticable. The troops were carefully kept below;
and, to avert the suspicion of the Spaniards, we had trumped up a
story of our having just arrived from Cadiz and being in want of a
pilot. They told us to send a boat for one. To this we replied that
our boats had been washed away in the passage round Cape Horn.
Not being quite satisfied, they began to assemble troops at the
landing-place, firing alarm-guns, and rapidly bringing up the
garrisons of the western forts to Fort Ingles, but not molesting us.

"Unfortunately for the credit of the story about the loss of the
boats, which were at the time carefully concealed under the lee of the
vessels, one drifted astern, so that our object became apparent, and
the guns of Fort Ingles, under which we lay, forthwith opened upon
us, the first shots passing through the sides of the _Intrepido_ and
killing two men, so that it became necessary to land in spite of the
swell. We had only two launches and a gig. I directed the operation in
the gig, whilst Major Miller, with forty-four marines, pushed off in
the first launch, under the fire of the party at the landing-place,
on to which they soon leaped, driving the Spaniards before them at
the point of the bayonet. The second launch then pushed off from the
_Intrepido_, while the other was returning; and in this way, in less
than an hour, three hundred men had made good their footing on shore.

"The most difficult task, the capture of the forts, was to come. The
only way in which the first, Fort Ingles, could be approached, was
by a precipitous path, along which the men could only pass in single
file, the fort itself being inaccessible except by a ladder, which the
enemy, after being routed by Major Miller, had drawn up.

"As soon as it was dark, a picked party, under the guidance of one
of the Spanish prisoners, silently advanced to the attack. This party
having taken up its position, the main body moved forward, cheering
and firing in the air, to intimate to the Spaniards that their
chief reliance was on the bayonet. The enemy, meanwhile, kept up
an incessant fire of artillery and musketry in the direction of the
shouts, but without effect, as no aim could be taken in the dark.

"Whilst the patriots were thus noisily advancing, a gallant young
officer, Ensign Vidal, got under the inland flank of the fort, and,
with a few men, contrived to tear up some pallisades, by which a
bridge was made across the ditch. In that way he and his small party
entered and formed noiselessly under cover of some branches of trees,
while the garrison, numbering about eight hundred soldiers, were
directing their whole attention in an opposite direction.

"A volley from Vidal's party convinced the Spaniards that they had
been taken in flank. Without waiting to ascertain the number of those
who had outflanked them, they instantly took to flight, filling with a
like panic a column of three hundred men drawn up behind the fort.
The Chilians, who were now well up, bayoneted them by dozens as they
attempted to gain the forts; and when the forts were opened to receive
them the patriots entered at the same time, and thus drove them from
fort to fort into the Castle of Corral, together with two hundred more
who had abandoned some guns advantageously placed on a height at Fort
Chorocomayo. The Corral was stormed with equal rapidity, a number
of the enemy escaping in boats to Valdivia, others plunging into the
forest. Upwards of a hundred fell into our hands, and on the following
morning the like number were found to have been bayoneted. Our loss
was seven men killed and nineteen wounded.

"On the 5th, the _Intrepido_ and _Montezuma_, which had been left near
Fort Ingles, entered the harbour, being fired at in their passage by
Fort Niebla, on the eastern shore. On their coming to an anchor at the
Corral, two hundred men were again embarked to attack Forts Niebla,
Carbonero, and Piojo. The _O'Higgins_ also appeared in sight off the
mouth of the harbour. The Spaniards thereupon summarily abandoned the
forts on the eastern side; no doubt judging that, as the western forts
had been captured without the aid of the frigate, they had, now that
she had arrived, no chance of successfully defending them.

"On the 6th, the troops were again embarked to pursue the flying
garrison up the river, when we received a flag of truce, informing us
that the enemy had abandoned the town, after plundering the private
houses and magazines, and with the governor, Colonel Montoya, had
fled in the direction of Chiloe. The booty which fell into our
hands, exclusive of the value of the forts and public buildings, was
considerable, Valdivia being the chief military depot in the southern
side of the continent. Amongst the military stores were upwards of 50
tons of gunpowder, 10,000 cannon-shot, 170,000 musket-cartridges, a
large quantity of small arms, 128 guns, of which 53 were brass and the
remainder iron, the ship _Dolores_--afterwards sold at Valparaiso for
twenty thousand dollars--with public stores sold for the like value,
and plate, of which General Sanchez had previously stripped the
churches of Concepcion, valued at sixteen thousand dollars."
Those prizes compensated over and over again for the loss of the
_Intrepido_, which grounded in the channel, and the injuries done to
the _O'Higgins_ on her way to Valdivia.

But the value of Lord Cochrane's capture of this stronghold was not to
be counted in money. By its daring conception and easy completion
the Spaniards, besides losing their great southern starting-point for
attacks on Chili and the other states that were fighting for their
freedom, lost heart, to a great extent, in their whole South American
warfare. They saw that their insurgent colonists had now found a
champion too bold, too cautious, too honest, and too prosperous for
them any longer to hope that they could succeed in their efforts to
win back the dependencies which were shaking off the thraldom of three




Lord Cochrane returned to Valparaiso on the 27th of February, 1820.
By General O'Higgins, the Supreme Director, and by the populace he was
enthusiastically received. But Zenteno, the Minister of Marine, and
other members of the Government, jealous of the fresh renown which he
had won by his conquest of Valdivia, showed their jealousy in various
offensive ways.

In anticipation of his failure they had prepared an elaborate charge
of insubordination, in that he had not come back direct from
Callao. Now that he had triumphed, they sought at first to have him
reprimanded for attempting so hazardous an exploit, and afterwards
to rob him of his due on the ground that his achievement was
insignificant and valueless. When they were compelled by the voice of
the people to declare publicly that "the capture of Valdivia was the
happy result of an admirably-arranged plan and of the most daring
execution," they refused to award either to him or to his comrades any
other recompense than was contained in the verbal compliment; and,
on his refusing to give up his prizes until the seamen had been
paid their arrears of wages, he was threatened with prosecution for
detention of the national property.

The threat was impotent, as the people of Chili would not for a moment
have permitted such an indignity to their champion. But so irritating
were this and other attempted persecutions to Lord Cochrane that, on
the 14th of May, he tendered to the Supreme Director his resignation
of service under the Chilian Government. That proposal was, of course,
rejected; but with the rejection came a promise of better treatment.
The seamen were paid in July, and the Valdivian prize-money was
nominally awarded. Lord Cochrane's share amounted to 67,000 dollars,
and to this was added a grant of land at Rio Clara. But the money was
never paid, and the estate was forcibly seized a few years afterwards.

Other annoyances, which need not here be detailed, were offered to
Lord Cochrane, and thus six months were wasted by Zenteno and his
associates in the Chilian senate. "The senate," said Lord Cochrane,
"was an anomaly in state government. It consisted of five members,
whose functions were to remain only during the first struggles of the
country for independence; but this body had now assumed a permanent
right to dictatorial control, whilst there was no appeal from their
arbitrary conduct, except to themselves. They arrogated the title
of 'Most Excellent,' whilst the Supreme Director was simply 'His
Excellency;' his position, though nominally head of the executive,
being really that of mouthpiece to the senate, which, assuming all
power, deprived the Executive Government of its legitimate influence,
so that no armament could be equipped, no public work undertaken,
no troops raised, and no taxes levied, except by the consent of this
irresponsible body. For such a clique the plain, simple good sense
of the Supreme Director was no match. He was led to believe that a
crooked policy was a necessary evil of government, and, as such a
policy was adverse to his own nature, he was the more easily induced
to surrender its administration to others who were free from his
conscientious principles." Those sentences explain the treatment to
which, now and afterwards, Lord Cochrane was subjected.

He was allowed, however, to do further excellent service to the nation
which had already begun to reward him with nothing but ingratitude. As
soon as the Chilian Government could turn from its spiteful exercise
to its proper duty of consolidating the independence of the insurgents
from Spanish dominion, it was resolved to despatch as strong a force
as could be raised for another and more formidable expedition to
Peru, whereby at the same time the Peruvians should be freed from the
tyranny by which they were still oppressed, and the Chilians should be
rid of the constant danger that they incurred from the presence of a
Spanish army in Lima, Callao, and other garrisons, ready to bear down
upon them again and again, as it had often done before. In 1819 Lord
Cochrane had vainly asked for a suitable land force with which to aid
his attack upon Callao. It was now resolved to organize a Liberating
Army, after the fashion of that with which Bolivar had nobly scoured
the northern districts of South America, and to place it under the
direction of General San Martin, in co-operation with whom Lord
Cochrane was to pursue his work as chief admiral of the fleet.
San Martin had fought worthily in La Plata, and he had earned the
gratitude of the Chilians by winning back their freedom in conjunction
with O'Higgins in 1817. Vanity and ambition, however, had since
unhinged him, and he now proved himself a champion of liberty very
inferior, both in prowess and in honesty, to Bolivar.

His army, numbering four thousand two hundred men, was collected by
the 21st of August, and on that day it was embarked at Valparaiso in
the whole Chilian squadron. Lord Cochrane proposed to go at once to
Chilca, the nearest point both to Lima and to Callao. San Martin,
however, decided upon Pisco as a safer landing-place, and there the
troops were deposited on the 8th of September. For fifty days they
were detained there, and the fleet was forced to share their idleness,
capturing only a few passing merchantmen. On the 28th of October they
were re-embarked, and Lord Cochrane again urged a vigorous attack on
the capital and its port. Again he was thwarted by San Martin, who
requested to be landed at Ancon, considerably to the north of Callao,
and as unsuitable a halting-place as was the southerly town of Pisco.
Lord Cochrane had to comply; but he bethought him of a plan for
achieving a great work, in spite of San Martin. Sending the main body
of his fleet to Ancon with the troops, no the 20th, he retained
the _O'Higgins_, the _Independencia_, and the _Lautaro_, with the
professed object of merely blockading Callao at a safe distance.
"The fact was," he said, "that, annoyed, in common with the whole
expedition, at this irresolution on the part of General San Martin, I
determined that the means of Chili, furnished with great difficulty,
should not be wholly wasted, without some attempt at accomplishing the
object of the expedition. I accordingly formed a plan of attack with
the three ships which I had kept back, though, being apprehensive
that my design would be opposed by General San Martin, I had not
even mentioned to him my intentions. This design was, to cut out the
_Esmeralda_ frigate from under the fortifications, and also to get
possession of another ship, on board of which we had learned that a
million of dollars was embarked."

The plan was certainly a bold one. The _Esmeralda_, of forty-four
guns, was the finest Spanish ship in the Pacific Ocean. Now especially
well armed and manned, in readiness for any work that had to be done,
she was lying in Callao Harbour, protected by three hundred pieces
of artillery on shore and by a strong boom with chain moorings,
by twenty-seven gunboats and several armed block-ships. These
considerations, however, only induced Lord Cochrane to proceed
cautiously upon his enterprise. Three days were spent in preparations,
the purpose of which was known only to himself and to his chief
officers. On the afternoon of the 5th of November he issued this
proclamation:--"Marines and seamen,--This night we shall give the
enemy a mortal blow. To-morrow you will present yourself proudly
before Callao, and all your comrades will envy your good fortune.
One hour of courage and resolution is all that is required for you
to triumph. Remember that you have conquered in Valdivia, and have no
fear of those who have hitherto fled from you. The value of all the
vessels captured in Callao will be yours, and the same reward will be
distributed amongst you as has been offered by the Spaniards in Lima
to those who should capture any of the Chilian squadron. The moment of
glory is approaching. I hope that the Chilians will fight as they have
been accustomed to do, and that the English will act as they have ever
done at home and abroad."

A request was made for volunteers, and the whole body of seamen and
marines on board the three ships offered to follow Lord Cochrane
wherever he might lead. This was more than he wanted. "A hundred
and sixty seamen and eighty marines," said Lord Cochrane, whose own
narrative of the sequel will best describe it, "were placed, after
dark, in fourteen boats alongside the flag-ship, each man, armed with
cutlass and pistol, being, for distinction's sake, dressed in white,
with a blue band on the left arm. The Spaniards, I expected, would
be off their guard, and consider themselves safe from attack for that
night, since, by way of ruse, the other ships had been sent out of the
bay under the charge of Captain Foster, as though in pursuit of some
vessels in the offing.

"At ten o'clock all was in readiness, the boats being formed in two
divisions, the first commanded by Flag-Captain Crosbie and the second
by Captain Gruise,--my boat leading. The strictest silence and the
exclusive use of cutlasses were enjoined; so that, as the oars were
muffled and the night was dark, the enemy had not the least suspicion
of the impending attack.

"It was just upon midnight when we neared the small opening left in
the boom, our plan being well-nigh frustrated by the vigilance of a
guard-boat upon which my launch had unluckily stumbled. The challenge
was given, upon which, in an undertone, I threatened the occupants of
the boat with instant death if they made the least alarm. No reply
was made to the threat, and in a few minutes our gallant fellows
were alongside the frigate in line, boarding at several points
simultaneously. The Spaniards were completely taken by surprise,
the whole, with the exception of the sentries, being asleep at their
quarters; and great was the havoc made amongst them by the Chilian
cutlasses whilst they were recovering themselves. Retreating to the
forecastle, they there made a gallant stand, and it was not until the
third charge that the position was carried. The fight was for a short
time renewed on the quarterdeck, where the Spanish marines fell to
a man, the rest of the enemy leaping overboard and into the hold to
escape slaughter.

"On boarding the ship by the main-chains, I was knocked back by the
sentry's musket, and falling on the tholl-pin of the boat, it entered
my back near the spine, inflicting a severe injury, which caused me
many years of subsequent suffering. Immediately regaining my footing,
I reascended the side, and, when on deck, was shot through the thigh.
But, binding a handkerchief tightly round the wound, I managed, though
with great difficulty, to direct the contest to its close.

"The whole affair, from beginning to end, occupied only a quarter of
an hour, our loss being eleven killed and thirty wounded, whilst that
of the Spaniards was a hundred and sixty, many of whom fell under
the cutlasses of the Chilians before they could stand to their arms.
Greater bravery I never saw displayed than by our gallant fellows.
Before boarding, the duties of all had been appointed, and a party
was told off to take possession of the tops. We had not been on deck
a minute, when I hailed the foretop, and was instantly answered by our
own men, an equally prompt answer being returned from the frigate's
main-top. No British man-of-war's crew could have excelled this minute
attention to orders.

"The uproar speedily alarmed the garrison, who, hastening to their
guns, opened fire on their own frigate, thus paying us the compliment
of having taken it; though, even in this case, their own men must
still have been on board, so that firing on them was a wanton
proceeding. Several Spaniards were killed or wounded by the shot of
the fortress. Amongst the wounded was Captain Coig, the commander of
the _Esmeralda_, who, after he was made prisoner, received a severe
contusion by a shot from his own party.

"The fire from the fortress was, however, neutralized by a successful
expedient. There were two foreign ships of war present during the
contest, the United States frigate _Macedonian_ and the British
frigate _Hyperion_; and these, as had been previously agreed upon with
the Spanish authorities in case of a night attack, hoisted peculiar
lights as signals, to prevent being fired upon. This contingency being
provided for by us, as soon as the fortress commenced its fire on the
_Esmeralda_, we also ran up similar lights, so that the garrison did
not know which vessel to fire at. The _Hyperion_ and _Macedonian_
were several times struck, while the _Esmeralda_ was comparatively
untouched. Upon this the neutral vessels cut their cables and moved
away. Contrary to my orders, Captain Gruise then cut the _Esmeralda's_
cables also, so that there was nothing to be done but to loose her
topsails and follow. The fortress thereupon ceased its fire.

"I had distinctly ordered that the cables of the _Esmeralda_ were not
to be cut, but that after taking her, the force was to capture the
_Maypeu_, a brig of war previously taken from Chili, and then to
attack and cut adrift every ship near, there being plenty of time
before us. I had no doubt that, when the _Esmeralda_ was taken, the
Spaniards would desert the other ships as fast as their boats would
permit them, so that the whole might have been either captured or
burnt. To this end all my previous plans had been arranged; but, on
my being placed _hors de combat_ by my wounds, Captain Gruise, on whom
the command of the prize devolved, chose to interpose his own judgment
and content himself with the _Esmeralda_ alone; the reason assigned
being that the English had broken into her spirit-room and were
getting drunk, whilst the Chilians were disorganized by plundering.
It was a great mistake. If we could capture the _Esmeralda_ with her
picked and well-appointed crew, there would have been little or no
difficulty in cutting the other ships adrift in succession. It would
only have been the rout of Valdivia over again, chasing the enemy,
without loss, from ship to ship instead of from fort to fort."

Lord Cochrane's exploit, however, though less complete than he had
intended, was as successful in its issue as it was brilliant in its
achievement. "This loss of the _Esmeralda_," wrote Captain Basil Hall,
then commanding a British war-ship in South American waters, "was a
death-blow to the Spanish naval force in that quarter of the world;
for, although there were still two Spanish frigates and some smaller
vessels in the Pacific, they never afterwards ventured to show
themselves, but left Lord Cochrane undisputed master of the coast."
The speedy liberation of Peru was its direct consequence, although
that good work was seriously impaired by the continued and increasing
misconduct of General San Martin, inducing troubles, of which Lord
Cochrane received his full share.

In the first burst of his enthusiasm at the intelligence of Lord
Cochrane's action, San Martin was generous for once. "The importance
of the service you have rendered to the country, my lord," he wrote on
the 10th of November, "by the capture of the frigate _Esmeralda_, and
the brilliant manner in which you conducted the gallant officers and
seamen under your orders to accomplish that noble enterprise, have
augmented the gratitude due to your former services by the Government,
as well as that of all interested in the public welfare and in your
fame. All those who participated in the risks and glory of the deed
also deserve well of their countrymen; and I have the satisfaction to
be the medium of transmitting the sentiments of admiration which such
transcendent success has excited in the chiefs of the army under my
command." "It is impossible for me to eulogize in proper language,"
he also wrote to the Chilian administration, "the daring enterprise
of the 5th of November, by which Lord Cochrane has decided the
superiority of our naval forces, augmented the splendour and power of
Chili, and secured the success of this campaign."

A few days later, however, San Martin wrote in very different terms.
"Before the General-in-Chief left the Vice-Admiral of the squadron,"
he said, in a bulletin to the army, "they agreed on the execution of
a memorable project, sufficient to astonish intrepidity itself, and to
make the history of the liberating expedition of Peru eternal." "This
glory," he added, "was reserved for the Liberating Army, whose efforts
have snatched the victims of tyranny from its hands." Thus impudently
did he arrogate to himself a share, at any rate, in the initiation of
a project which Lord Cochrane, knowing that he would oppose it, had
purposely kept secret from him, and assign the whole merit of its
completion to the army which his vacillation and incompetence were
holding in unwelcome inactivity.

Lord Cochrane was too much accustomed to personal injustice, however,
to be very greatly troubled by that fresh indignity. It was a far
heavier trouble to him that his first triumph was not allowed to be
supplemented by prompt completion of the work on which, and not on
any individual aggrandisement, his heart was set--the establishment of
Peruvian as well as Chilian freedom.

San Martin, having done nothing hitherto but allow his army to waste
its strength and squander its resources, first at Pisco and afterwards
at Ancon, now fixed upon Huacha as another loitering-place. Thither
Lord Cochrane had to convey it, before he was permitted to resume the
blockade of Callao. This blockade lasted, though not all the while
under his personal direction, for eight months.

"Several attempts were now made," said Lord Cochrane, with reference
to the first few weeks of the blockade, "to entice the remaining
Spanish naval force from their shelter under the batteries by placing
the _Esmeralda_ apparently within reach, and the flagship herself in
situations of some danger. One day I carried her through an intricate
strait called the Boqueron, in which nothing beyond a fifty-ton
schooner was ever seen. The Spaniards, expecting every moment to see
the ship strike, manned their gunboats, ready to attack as soon as she
was aground; of which there was little danger, for we had found, and
buoyed off with small bits of wood invisible to the enemy, a channel
through which a vessel could pass without much difficulty. At another
time, the Esmeralda being in a more than usually tempting position,
the Spanish gunboats ventured out in the hope of recapturing her, and
for an hour maintained a smart fire; but on seeing the _O'Higgins_
manoeuvring to cut them off, they precipitately retreated."

In ways like those the Spaniards were locked in, and harassed, in
Callao Bay. Good result came in the steady weakening of the Spanish
cause. On the 3rd of December, six hundred and fifty soldiers deserted
to the Chilian army. On the 8th they were followed by forty officers;
and after that hardly a day passed without some important defections
to the patriot force.'

Unfortunately, however, there was weakness also among the patriots.
San Martin, idle himself, determined to profit by the advantages,
direct and indirect, which Lord Cochrane's prowess had secured and
was securing. It began to be no secret that, as soon as Peru was
freed from the Spanish yoke, he proposed to subject it to a military
despotism of his own. This being resented by Lord Cochrane, who on
other grounds could have little sympathy or respect for his associate,
coolness arose between the leaders. Lord Cochrane, anxious to do
some more important work, if only a few troops might be allowed to
co-operate with his sailors, was forced to share some of San Martin's
inactivity. In March, 1821, he offered, if two thousand soldiers were
assigned to him, to capture Lima; and when this offer was rejected, he
declared himself willing to undertake the work with half the number of
men. With difficulty he at last obtained a force of six hundred; and
by them and the fleet nearly all the subsequent fighting in Peru
was done. Lord Cochrane did not venture upon a direct assault on the
capital with so small an army; but he used it vigorously from point to
point on the coast, between Callao and Arica, and thus compelled the
capitulation of Lima on the 6th of July.

Again, as heretofore, he was thanked in the first moment of triumph,
to be slighted at leisure. Lord Cochrane, on entering the city, was
welcomed as the great deliverer of Peru: the medals distributed on
the 28th of July--the day on which Peru's independence was
proclaimed--testified that the honour was due to General San Martin
and his Liberating Army. That, however, was only part of a policy long
before devised. "It is now became evident to me," said Lord Cochrane,
"that the army had been kept inert for the purpose of preserving it
entire to further the ambitious views of the General, and that, with
the whole force now at Lima, the inhabitants were completely at the
mercy of their pretended liberator, but in reality their conqueror."

With that policy, however much he reprobated it, Lord Cochrane wisely
judged that it was not for him to quarrel. "As the existence of this
self-constituted authority," he said, "was no less at variance with
the institutions of the Chilian Republic than with its solemn
promises to the Peruvians, I hoisted my flag on board the _O'Higgins_,
determined to adhere solely to the interests of Chili; but not
interfering in any way with General San Martin's proceedings till they
interfered with me in my capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Chilian
navy." He was not, therefore, in Lima on the 3rd of August, when San
Martin issued a proclamation declaring himself Protector of Peru, and
appointing three of his creatures as his Ministers of State. Of the
way in which he became acquainted of this violent and lawless measure,
a precise description has been given by an eye-witness, Mr. W.B.

"On the following morning, the 4th of August," he says, "Lord
Cochrane, uninformed of the change which had taken place in the
title of San Martin, visited the palace, and began to beg the
General-in-Chief to propose some means for the payment of the seamen
who had served their time and fulfilled their contract. To this San
Martin answered that 'he would never pay the Chilian squadron unless
it was sold to Peru, and then the payment should be considered part of
the purchase-money.' Lord Cochrane replied that 'by such a transaction
the squadron of Chili would be transferred to Peru by merely paying
what was due to the officers and crews for services done to that
State.' San Martin knit his brows and, turning to his ministers,
Garcia and Monteagudo, ordered them to retire; to which his lordship
objected, stating that, 'as he was not master of the Spanish language,
he wished them to remain as interpreters, being fearful that some
expression, not rightly understood, might be considered offensive.'
San Martin now turned round to the Admiral and said, 'Are you aware,
my lord, that I am Protector of Peru?' 'No,' said his lordship. 'I
ordered my secretaries to inform you of it,' returned San Martin.
'That is now unnecessary, for you have personally informed me,' said
his lordship: 'I hope that the friendship which has existed between
General San Martin and myself will continue to exist between the
Protector of Peru and myself.' San Martin then, rubbing his hands,
said, 'I have only to say that I am Protector of Peru.' The manner
in which this last sentence was expressed roused the Admiral, who,
advancing, said, 'Then it becomes me, as senior officer of Chili,
and consequently the representative of the nation, to request the
fulfilment of all the promises made to Chili and the squadron; but
first, and principally, the squadron.' San Martin returned, 'Chili!
Chili! I will never pay a single real to Chili! As to the squadron,
you may take it where you please, and go where you choose. A couple
of schooners are quite enough for me.' On hearing this Garcia left the
room, and Monteagudo walked to the balcony. San Martin paced the room
for a short time, and, turning to his lordship, said, 'Forget, my
lord, what is past.' The Admiral replied, 'I will when I can,' and
immediately left the palace.[A] "One thing has been omitted in
the preceding narrative," said Lord Cochrane. "General San Martin,
following me to the staircase, had the temerity to propose to me
to follow his example--namely, to break faith with the Chilian
Government, to which we had both sworn, to abandon the squadron to his
interests, and to accept the higher grade of First Admiral of Peru.
I need scarcely say that a proposition so dishonourable was declined;
when, in a tone of irritation, he declared that 'he would neither give
the seamen their arrears of pay nor the gratuity he had promised.'"

[Footnote A: W.B. Stevenson, "Twenty Years' Residence in South
America." 1825.]

Lord Cochrane lost no time in returning to his flagship in Callao
Roads. Thence, however, on the 7th of August, he wrote a letter to San
Martin, couched in terms as temperate and persuasive as he could bring
himself to use. "My dear General," he there said, "I address you
for the last time under your late designation, being aware that the
liberty I may take as a friend might not be deemed decorous to you
under the title of Protector, for I shall not, with a gentleman of
your understanding, take into account, as a motive for abstaining to
speak truth, any chance of your resentment. Nay, were I certain that
such would be the effect of this letter, I would nevertheless perform
such an act of friendship, in repayment of the support you gave me
at a time when the basest plots were laid for my dismissal from the
Chilian service. Permit me to give you the experience of eleven years,
during which I sat in the first senate in the world, and to say what I
anticipate on the one hand, and what I fear on the other--nay, what
I foresee. You have it in your power to be the Napoleon of South
America; but you have also the power to choose your course, and if the
first steps are false, the eminence on which you stand will, as though
from the brink of a precipice, make your fall the more heavy and the
more certain. The real strength of government is public opinion. What
would the world say, were the Protector of Peru, as his first act, to
cancel the bonds of San Martin, even though gratitude may be a private
and not a public virtue? What would they say, were the Protector to
refuse to pay the expense of that expedition which placed him in his
present elevated situation? What would they say, were it promulgated
to the world that he intended not even to remunerate those employed
in the navy which contributed to his success?" Much more to the same
effect Lord Cochrane wrote, urging honesty upon San Martin as the only
path by which he could win for himself a permanent success, and making
a special claim upon his honesty in the interests of the seamen and
naval officers, to whom neither pay nor prize-money had been given
since their departure from Chili nearly a year before.

It was all in vain. San Martin wrote, on the 9th of August, a
letter making professions of virtue and acknowledging much personal
indebtedness to Lord Cochrane and the fleet, but evading the whole
question at issue. "I am disposed," he said, "to recompense valour
displayed in the cause of the country. But you know, my lord, that the
wages of the crews do not come under these circumstances, and that I,
never having engaged to pay the amount, am not obliged to do so. That
debt is due from Chili, whose Government engaged the seamen."

Lord Cochrane knew that Chili would decline to pay for work that, if
intended to be done in its interests, had been perverted from that
intention; and his crews, also knowing it, became reasonably mutinous.
After much further correspondence--in which San Martin suggested as
his only remedy that Lord Cochrane should accept the dishonourable
proposal made to him, and, becoming himself First Admiral of Peru,
should induce the fleet to join in the same rebellion against Chili to
which the army had been brought by its general, and in which Captains
Guise and Spry, always evil-minded, had already joined--Lord Cochrane
adopted a bold but altogether justifiable manoeuvre. A large quantity
of treasure, seized from the Spaniards, having been deposited by San
Martin at Ancon, he sailed thither, in the middle of September, and
quietly took possession of it. So much as lawful owners could be
found for was given up to them. With the residue, amounting to 285,000
dollars, Lord Cochrane paid off the year's arrears to every officer
and man in his employ, taking nothing for himself, but reserving the
small surplus for the pressing exigencies and re-equipment of the

It is unnecessary to detail the angry correspondence that arose out
of that rough act of justice. Before the money was distributed,
treacherous offers to restore it and enter into rebellious league with
San Martin were made to Lord Cochrane; and with these were alternated
mock-virtuous complaints and bombastic threats. Both bribes and
threats were treated by him with equal contempt.

"After a lapse of nearly forty years' anxious consideration," he wrote
in 1858, "I cannot reproach myself with having done any wrong in
the seizure of the money of the Protectorial Government. General San
Martin and myself had been in our respective departments deputed to
liberate Peru from Spain, and to give to the Peruvians the same free
institutions which Chili herself enjoyed. The first part of our object
had been fully effected by the achievements and vigilance of the
squadron; the second part was frustrated by General San Martin
arrogating to himself despotic power, which set at naught the wishes
and voice of the people. As 'my fortune in common with his own' was
only to be secured by acquiescence in the wrong he had done to Chili
by casting off his allegiance to her, and by upholding him in the
still greater wrong he was inflicting on Peru, I did not choose to
sacrifice my self-esteem and professional character by lending myself
as an instrument to purposes so unworthy. I did all in my power
to warn General San Martin of the consequences of ambition so
ill-directed, but the warning was neglected, if not despised. Chili
trusted to him to defray the expenses of the squadron, when its
objects, as laid down by the Supreme Director, should be accomplished;
but, in place of fulfilling the obligation, he permitted the squadron
to starve, its crews to go in rags, and the ships to be in perpetual
danger for want of the proper equipment which Chili could not afford
to give them when they sailed from Valparaiso. The pretence for this
neglect was want of means, though, at the same time, money to a
vast amount was sent away from the capital to Ancon. Seeing that no
intention Existed on the part of the Protector's Government to do
justice to the Chilian squadron, whilst every effort was made to
excite discontent among the officers and men with the purpose of
procuring their transfer to Peru, I seized the public money, satisfied
the men, and saved the navy to the Chilian Republic, which afterwards
warmly thanked me for what I had done. Despite the obloquy cast upon
me by the Protector's Government, there was nothing wrong in the
course I pursued, if only for the reason that, if the Chilian squadron
was to be preserved, it was impossible for me to have done otherwise.
Years of reflection have only produced the conviction that, were I
again placed in similar circumstances, I should adopt precisely the
same course."

In spite of his treachery to the Chilian Government, General San
Martin professed to retain his functions as Commander-in-Chief of the
Chilian liberating expedition to Peru; and, accordingly, when he found
it useless to make further efforts, by bribes or threats, to seduce
Lord Cochrane from his allegiance, he ordered him to return at once to
Valparaiso. This order Lord Cochrane refused to obey, seeing that the
work entrusted to him--the entire destruction of the Spanish squadron
in the Pacific--had not yet been completed.

He determined to complete that work, first going to Guayaquil to
repair and refit his ships, which San Martin would not allow him to do
in any Peruvian port. He was thus employed during six weeks following
the 18th of October, 1821.

On his departure, a complimentary address from the townsmen afforded
him an opportunity of offering some good advice on a matter in which
his long and intelligent political experience showed him that they
were especially at fault. The inhabitants of Guayaquil, like many
other young communities, sought to increase their revenues and
strengthen their independence by violent restrictions upon foreign
commerce and arbitrary support of native monopolists. Lord Cochrane
eloquently propounded to them the doctrine of free trade. "Let your
public press," he said, "declare the consequences of monopoly, and
affix your names to the defence of your enlightened system. Let it
show, if your province contains eighty thousand inhabitants, and if
eighty of these are privileged merchants according to the old system,
that nine hundred and ninety-nine persons out of a thousand must
suffer because their cotton, coffee, tobacco, timber, and other
productions, must come into the hands of the monopolist, as the only
purchaser of what they have to sell, and the only seller of what they
must necessarily buy; the effect being that he will buy at the lowest
possible rate and sell at the dearest, so that not only are the nine
hundred and ninety-nine injured, but the lands will remain waste, the
manufactories without workmen, and the people will be lazy and poor
for want of a stimulus, it being a law of nature that no man will
labour solely for the gain of another. Tell the monopolist that the
true method of acquiring general riches, political power, and even his
own private advantage, is to sell his country's produce as high, and
foreign goods as low, as possible, and that public competition can
alone accomplish this. Let foreign merchants, who bring capital,
and those who practise any art or handicraft, be permitted to settle
freely. Thus a competition will be formed, from which all must reap
advantage. Then will land and fixed property increase in value. The
magazines, instead of being the receptacles of filth and crime, will
be full of the richest foreign and domestic productions; and all will
be energy and activity, because the reward will be in proportion to
the labour. Your river will be filled with ships, and the monopolist
degraded and shamed. You will bless the day in which Omnipotence
permitted to be rent asunder the veil of obscurity, under which the
despotism of Spain, the abominable tyranny of the Inquisition, and the
want of liberty of the press, so long hid the truth from your sight.
Let your customs' duties be moderate, in order to promote the greatest
possible consumption of foreign and domestic goods; then smuggling
will cease and the returns to the treasury increase. Let every man
do as he pleases as regards his own property, views, and interests;
because each individual will watch over his own with more zeal than
senates, ministers, or kings. By your enlarged views set an example
to the New World; and thus, as Guayaquil is, from its situation,
the central republic, it will become the centre of the agriculture,
commerce, and riches of the Pacific."

Lord Cochrane left Guayaquil on the 3rd of December, and cruised
northwards in search of the _Prueba_ and the _Venganza_, the only two
remaining Spanish frigates, which had made their escape from Callao
and gone in the direction of Mexico. He sailed along the Colombian
and Mexican coasts as far as Acapulco, where he called on the 29th
of January, 1822, without finding the objects of his search. He there
learned, on the 2nd of February, from an in-coming merchantman, that
the frigates had eluded him and were now somewhere to the southwards.
Upon that he at once retraced his course, and, in spite of a storm
which nearly wrecked his two best ships, one of them being the
captured _Esmeralda_, now christened the _Valdivia_, was at Guayaquil
again on the 13th of March. There, as he expected, from information
received on the passage, he found the _Venganza._ Both the frigates
had been compelled, by want of provisions, to run the risk of halting
at Guayaquil, whither also an envoy from San Martin had arrived,
instructed to tempt the Guayaquilians into friendship with Peru and
jealousy of Chili. On the appearance of the Spanish frigates, he had
persuaded their captains, as the only means of averting the certain
ruin that Lord Cochrane was planning for them, quietly to surrender to
the Peruvian Government. In this way Chili was cheated of its prizes,
although Lord Cochrane's main object, the entire overthrow of the
Spanish war shipping in the Pacific, was accomplished without further
use of powder and shot. The _Prueba_ had been sent to Callao, and the
_Venganza_ was now being refitted at Guayaquil.

Lord Cochrane had now done all that it was possible for him to do in
fulfilment of the naval mission on which he had quitted Chili a year
and a half before. Proceeding southward, he anchored in Callao Roads
from the 25th of April till the 10th of May. San Martin's Government,
fearing punishment for their misdeeds, prepared to defend Callao. Lord
Cochrane, however, wrote to say that he had no intention of making
war upon the Peruvians; that all he asked was adequate payment for
the services rendered to them by his officers and seamen. In the
same letter he denounced the new treachery that had been shown with
reference to the _Venganza_ and the _Prueba_.

The answer to that letter was a visit from San Martin's chief
minister, who begged Lord Cochrane to recall it, and impudently
repeated the old offers of service under the Peruvian Government,
adding that San Martin had written a private letter to the same
effect. "Tell the Protector from me," said Lord Cochrane, "that if,
after the conduct he has pursued, he had sent me a private letter, it
would certainly have been returned unanswered. You may also tell him
that it is not my wish to injure him, that I neither fear him nor hate
him, but that I disapprove of his conduct."

Lord Cochrane's brief stay off Callao sufficed to convince him that,
though the people of Peru were being for the time subjected to a
tyranny almost equal to that practised by Spain, no one was likely to
be long in fear of San Martin, as his treacheries and his vices were
already bringing upon him well-deserved disgrace and punishment. To
that purport Lord Cochrane wrote to O'Higgins on the 2nd of May. "As
the attached and sincere friend of your excellency," he said, "I hope
you will take into your serious consideration the propriety of at once
fixing the Chilian Government upon a base not to be shaken by the
fall of the present tyranny in Peru, of which there are not only
indications, but the result is inevitable--unless, indeed, the
mischievous counsels of vain and mercenary men can suffice to prop up
a fabric of the most barbarous political architecture, serving as a
screen from whence to dart their weapons against the heart of liberty.
Thank God, my hands are free from the stain of labouring in any such
work; and having finished all you gave me to do, I may now rest till
you shall command my further endeavours for the honour and security of
my adopted land."




Lord Cochrane returned to Valparaiso on the 3rd of June, 1822, having
been absent more than twenty months. An enthusiastic welcome awaited
him. Medals were struck in his honour, and in various ephemeral ways
the public gratitude was expressed.

It was, however, only ephemeral. There was no substantial recognition
of his great services. His men were left unpaid, and he himself was
subjected to further indignities of the sort already described. It is
not necessary here to give any detailed account of them, or to enter
into a particular rehearsal of his efforts during the next six months
to continue his beneficial services to Chili. He had done the great
service for which he had been invited to South America. In the course
of about three years he had scoured the Pacific of the Spanish ships,
which had offered an obstacle too serious for the patriots to overcome
by any force or wisdom of their own. He had made it possible for
them to assert their independence of a foreign yoke, and, if their
patriotism had been genuine enough, to work out internal reforms, by
which the sometime colonies of Spain in South America might have been
able to vie in greatness with the sometime colonies of England in the
northern continent. The benefits which he conferred especially upon
Chili were shared by all the liberated communities along the whole
Pacific coastline up to Mexico. But all were alike ungrateful, except
in fitful words and in sentiments that prompted to no action.

Shortly after his return to Chili, Lord Cochrane went to live upon the
estates that had been conferred upon him. Soon, however, he was forced
to go back to Valparaiso, there to look after the interests of the
officers and crews who had served him and Chili during the previous
fighting time. His earnest arguments on their behalf were not heeded.
The poor fellows were left to starve and be perished by the cold of
a South American winter, against which the pitiful rags in which they
were clothed afforded no protection. And before long fresh incidents
arose which made it impossible for him to persevere in fighting their

General San Martin, having run his course of petty tyranny in Peru,
was soon forced to resign his protectorate and seek safety in Chili.
He reached Valparaiso on the 12th of October, and then Lord Cochrane,
who had long before seen good reasons for suspecting it, was convinced
that Zenteno and many other influential men in Chili were in league
with him. He claimed that San Martin should be tried by court-martial
for his treasons, known to all the world. Instead of that San Martin
was loaded with honours, and fresh indignities were heaped upon
his chief accuser. This monstrous action of the ministers led to a
revolution, which, if Lord Cochrane had stayed to the end, might have
proved much to his advantage. But the revolution, headed by General
Freire, an honest man, had for its object the overthrow of O'Higgins,
also an honest man, though too weak to withstand the influences
brought to bear upon him by the bad men by whom he was surrounded.
Lord Cochrane refused Freire's offers to join in opposition to
O'Higgins, always, as far as his small powers permitted, his good
friend. He preferred to abandon Chili, or rather to allow it to
abandon one who had done for it so much and had received so little in
return. "The difficulties," he said, in a dignified letter addressed
to General O'Higgins, still nominally the Supreme Director, in which
he virtually resigned his appointment as Vice-Admiral of the Republic,
"the difficulties which I have experienced in accomplishing the naval
enterprises successfully achieved during the period of my command as
Admiral of Chili have not been mastered without responsibility such as
I would scarcely again undertake, not because I would hesitate to make
any personal sacrifice in a cause of so much interest, but because
even these favourable results have led to the total alienation of
the sympathies of meritorious officers--whose co-operation was
indispensable--in consequence of the conduct of the Government.
That which has made most impression on their minds has been, not the
privations they have suffered, nor the withholding of their pay
and other dues, but the absence of any public acknowledgment by the
Government of the honours and distinctions promised for their fidelity
and constancy to Chili; especially at a time when no temptation was
withheld that could induce them to abandon the cause of Chili for the
service of the Protector of Peru. Ever since that time, though there
was no want of means or knowledge of facts on the part of the Chilian
Government, it has submitted itself to the influence of the agents
of an individual whose power, having ceased in Peru, has been again
resumed in Chili. The effect of this on me is so keen that I cannot
trust myself in words to express my personal feelings. Whatever I
have recommended or asked for the good of the naval service has been
scouted or denied, though acquiescence would have placed Chili in
the first rank of maritime states in this quarter of the globe. My
requisitions and suggestions were founded on the practice of the first
naval service in the world--that of England. They have, however, met
with no consideration, as though their object had been directed to
my own personal benefit. Until now I have never eaten the bread of
idleness. I cannot reconcile to my mind a state of inactivity which
might even now impose upon the Chilian Republic an annual pension for
past services; especially as an Admiral of Peru is actually in command
of a portion of the Chilian squadron, whilst other vessels are sent to
sea without the orders under which they act being communicated to
me, and are despatched through the instrumentality of the governor of
Valparaiso [Zenteno]. I mention these circumstances incidentally as
having confirmed me in the resolution to withdraw myself from Chili
for a time, asking nothing for myself during my absence; whilst, as
regards the sums owing to me, I forbear to press for their payment
till the Government shall be more freed from its difficulties. I have
complied with all that my public duty demanded, and, if I have
not been able to accomplish more, the deficiency has arisen from
circumstances beyond my control. At any rate, having the world still
before me, I hope to prove that it is not owing to me. I have received
proposals from Mexico, from Brazil, and from a European state, but
have not as yet accepted any of these offers. Nevertheless, the habits
of my life do not permit me to refuse my services to those labouring
under oppression, as Chili was before the annihilation of the Spanish
naval force in the Pacific. In this I am prepared to justify whatever
course I may pursue. In thus taking leave of Chili, I do so with
sentiments of deep regret that I have not been suffered to be more
useful to the cause of liberty, and that I am compelled to separate
myself from individuals with whom I hoped to live for a long period,
without violating such sentiments of honour as, were they broken,
would render me odious to myself and despicable in their eyes."

That letter sufficiently explains the reasons which induced Lord
Cochrane to resign his Chilian command. He had, as he said, received
invitations to enter the service of Brazil, of Mexico, and of Greece.
The Mexican offer he declined at once, as acceptance of it would
involve little of the active work in fighting which, if for a good
cause, was always attractive to him. Assistance of the Greeks who, a
year and a half before, had begun to throw off their long servitude to
Turkey, and who were now fighting desperately for their freedom,
was an enterprise on which he would gladly have embarked, but
the invitation from Brazil was more pressing, and he therefore
conditionally accepted it. "The war in the Pacific," he said, on the
29th of November, in answer to two letters written on behalf of the
newly-elected Emperor of Brazil, "having been happily terminated by
the total destruction of the Spanish naval force, I am, of course,
free for the crusade of liberty in any other quarter of the globe. I
confess, however, that I have not hitherto directed my attention
to the Brazils; considering that the struggle for the liberties of
Greece, the most oppressed of modern states, afforded the fairest
opportunity for enterprise and exertion. I have to-day tendered my
ultimate resignation to the Government of Chili, and am not at this
moment aware that any material delay will be necessary previous to my
setting off, by way of Cape Horn, for Rio de Janeiro; it being, in the
meantime, understood that I hold myself free to decline, as well as
entitled to accept, the offer which has, through you, been made to me
by his Imperial Majesty. I only mention this from a desire to preserve
a consistency of character, should the Government (which I by no means
anticipate) differ so widely in its nature from those which I have
been in the habit of supporting as to render the proposed situation
repugnant to my principles, and so justly expose me to suspicion, and
render me unworthy the confidence of his Majesty and the nation."

In accordance with the terms of that letter, Lord Cochrane wrote as we
have seen to the Supreme Director of Chili, not completely resigning
his employment, but proposing to absent himself for an indefinite
period. His proposal was at once accepted by the Chilian Government,
to whom his honesty and his popularity with the people made him
particularly obnoxious. He thereupon made prompt arrangements for his
departure. He quitted Valparaiso on the 18th of January, 1823, in a
vessel chartered for his own use and that of several European officers
and seamen, who, like him, were tired of Chilian ingratitude, and who
begged to be employed under him wherever he might serve.

Of the subsequent occurrences in the Western States, for which he had
done so much, and tried to do so much more than was permitted, it is
enough to say that Peru, sadly abused by San Martin, and almost won
back to Spain, was rescued by the valour and wisdom of Bolivar, and
that Chili, destined to much future trouble through the bad action
of its false patriots, was temporarily benefited by the successful
revolution which placed General Freire in the Supreme Directorship.

Lord Cochrane had not been absent three months before a new Minister
of Marine wrote to inform him of Freire's accession and to solicit his
return. From this, however, he excused himself, on the grounds that
he had now entered into engagements with Brazil which he was bound
to fulfil, and that his past treatment by the Chilian Government
discouraged him from renewal of relations which had been so full of
annoyance to him. "On my quitting Chili," he said in his reply, "there
was no looking to the past without regret, nor to the future without
despair, for I had learned by experience what were the views and
motives which guided the counsels of the State. Believe me that
nothing but a thorough conviction that it was impracticable to
render the good people of Chili any further service under existing
circumstances, or to live in tranquillity under such a system, could
have induced me to remove myself from a country which I had vainly
hoped would have afforded me that tranquil asylum which, after
the anxieties I had suffered, I felt needful to my repose. My
inclinations, too, were decidedly in favour of a residence in Chili,
from a feeling of the congeniality which subsisted between my own
habits and the manners and customs of the people, those few only
excepted who were corrupted by contiguity with the court, or debased
in their minds and practices by that species of Spanish colonial
education which inculcates duplicity as the chief qualification of
statesmen in all their dealings, both with individuals and the
public. I now speak more particularly of the persons lately in power,
excepting, however, the Supreme Director, whom I believe to have been
the dupe of their deceit. Point out to me one engagement that has been
honourably fulfilled, one military enterprise of which the professed
object has not been perverted, or one solemn pledge that has not been
forfeited. Look at my representations on the necessities of the navy,
and see how they were relieved. Look at my memorial, proposing to
establish a nursery for seamen by encouraging the coasting trade, and
compare its principles with the code of Rodriguez, which annihilated
both. You will see in this, as in all other cases, that whatever I
recommended, in regard to the promotion of the good of the marine, was
set at nought, or opposed by measures directly the reverse. Look to
the orders which I received, and see whether I had more liberty of
action than a schoolboy in the execution of his task. Sir, that which
I suffered from anxiety of mind whilst in the Chilian service, I will
never again endure for any consideration. To organize new crews, to
navigate ships destitute of sails, cordage, provisions, and stores,
to secure them in port without anchors and cables, except so far as I
could supply these essentials by accidental means, were difficulties
sufficiently harassing; but to live amongst officers and men
discontented and mutinous on account of arrears of pay and other
numerous privations, to be compelled to incur the responsibility
of seizing by force from Peru funds for their payment, in order to
prevent worse consequences to Chili, and then to be exposed to the
reproach of one party for such seizure, and the suspicions of
another that the sums were not duly applied, are all circumstances so
disagreeable and so disgusting that, until I have certain proof that
the present ministers are disposed to act in another manner, I cannot
possibly consent to renew my services where, under such circumstances,
they would be wholly unavailing to the true interests of the people."

Writing thus to the Minister of Marine, Lord Cochrane wrote also at
the same time to General Freire, who, as has been said, asked him to
join his revolutionary movement. "It would give me great pleasure, my
respected friend, to learn that the change which has been effected in
the government of Chili proves alike conducive to your happiness and
to the interests of the State. For my own part, like yourself, I have
suffered so long and so much that I could not bear the neglect and
double-dealing of those in power any longer, but adopted other means
of freeing myself from an unpleasant situation. Not being under
those imperious obligations which, as a native Chilian, rendered it
incumbent on you to rescue your country from the mischiefs with which
it was assailed, I could not accept your offer. My heart was with you
in the measures you adopted for their removal; and my hand was only
restrained by a conviction that my interference, as a foreigner, in
the internal affairs of the State would not only have been improper
in itself, but would have tended to shake that confidence in my
undeviating rectitude which it was my ambition that the people of
Chili should ever justly entertain. Permit me to add my opinion that,
whoever may possess the supreme authority in Chili, until after the
present generation, educated as it has been under the Spanish colonial
yoke, shall have passed away, will have to contend with so much error
and so many prejudices as to be disappointed in his utmost endeavours
to pursue steadily the course best calculated to promote the freedom
and happiness of the people. I admire the middle and lower classes
of Chili, but I have ever found the senate, the ministers, and the
convention actuated by the narrowest policy, which led them to adopt
the worst measures. It is my earnest wish that you may find better men
to co-operate with you. If so, you may be fortunate and may succeed in
what you have most at heart, the promotion of your country's good."

For the real welfare of Chili Lord Cochrane was always eager; but in
the treatment which he himself experienced he had strong proof, both
during his four years' active service under the republic and in all
after times, of the difficulties in the way of its advancement.
Not only was he subjected to the contumely and neglect of which he
complained in the letters just quoted from: he was also directly
mulcted to a very large extent in the scanty recompense for his
services to which he was legally entitled, and indirectly injured to
a yet larger extent. "I was compelled to quit Chili," he wrote at
a later date, "without any of the emoluments due to my position as
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, or any share of the sums belonging
to myself and the officers and seamen; which sums, on the faith of
repayment, had, at my solicitation, been appropriated to the repairs
and maintenance of the squadron generally, but more especially at
Guayaquil and Acapulco, when in pursuit of the _Prueba_ and the
_Venganza_. Neither was any compensation made for the value of stores
captured and collected by the squadron, whereby its efficiency was
chiefly maintained during the whole period of the Peruvian blockade.
The Supreme Director of Chili, recognizing the justice of payment
being made by the Peruvians for at least the value of the _Esmeralda_,
the capture of which inflicted the death-blow on Spanish power, sent
me a bill on the Peruvian Government for 120,000 dollars, which
was dishonoured, and has never since been paid by any succeeding
Government. Even the 40,000 dollars stipulated by the authorities
at Guayaquil as the penalty for giving up the _Venganza_ was never
liquidated. No compensation for the severe wounds received during the
capture of the _Esmeralda_ was either offered or received.
Shortly after my departure for Brazil, the Government forcibly and
indefensibly resumed the estate at Rio Clara, which had been awarded
to me and my family in perpetuity, as a remuneration for the capture
of Valdivia, and my bailiff, who had been left upon it for its
management and direction, was summarily ejected. Unhappily, this
ingratitude for services rendered was the least misfortune which my
devotedness to Chili brought upon me. On my return to England in
1825, after the termination of my services in Brazil, I found myself
involved in litigation on account of the seizure of neutral vessels
by authority of the then unacknowledged Government of Chili. These
litigations cost me, directly, upwards of 14,000_l._, and, indirectly,
more than double that amount. Thus, in place of receiving anything for
my efforts in the cause of Chilian and Peruvian independence, I was a
loser of upwards of 25,000_l._, this being more than double the
whole amount I had received as pay whilst in command of the Chilian




In 1808, King John VI. of Portugal, driven by Buonaparte from his
European dominions, took refuge in his great colonial possession of
Brazil, and the result of his emigration was considerable enlargement
of the liberties of the Brazilians. Thereby the immense Portuguese
colony in South America was prevented from following in the
revolutionary steps of the numerous Spanish provinces adjoining it.
In Brazil, however, during the ensuing years party faction produced
nearly as much turmoil as attended the struggle for independence in
Chili and the other Spanish, colonies. Those Brazilians who were
still intimately connected with the inhabitants of the mother country
rallied under Portuguese leaders, and did their utmost to maintain
the Portuguese supremacy over the colony. Quite as many, on the other
hand, were eager to take advantage of the new state of things as a
means of consolidating the freedom of Brazil. Plots and counterplots,
broils and insurrections, lasted, almost without intermission, until
1821, when King John returned to Portugal, leaving his son, Don Pedro,
as lieutenant and regent, to cope with yet greater difficulties. The
Cortes of Portugal, able to get back their king, desired also to bring
back Brazil to all its former servitude. So great was the opposition
thus provoked that the native or true Brazilian party induced Don
Pedro to throw off allegiance to his father. In October, 1822, the
independence of the colony was publicly declared, and on the 1st of
December Don Pedro assumed the title of Emperor of Brazil.

Only the southern part of Brazil, however, acknowledged his authority.
The northern provinces, including Bahia, Maranham, and Para, were
ruled by the Portuguese faction and held by Portuguese troops. A
formidable fleet, moreover, swept the seas, and the independent
provinces were threatened with speedy subjection to the sway of

That was the state of affairs in the young empire of Brazil during the
months in which Lord Cochrane, having destroyed the Spanish fleet
in the Pacific, was being subjected to the worst ingratitude of his
Chilian employers. Don Pedro and his advisers, hearing of this, lost
no time in inviting him to enter the service of the Brazilian nation.
Equal rank and position to those held by him under Chili were offered
to him. "Abandonnez vous, milord," wrote the official who conveyed the
Emperor's message, on the 4th of November, 1822, "a la reconnaisance
Bresilienne, a la munificence du Prince, a la probite sans tache de
l'actuel Gouvernement; on vous fera justice; on ne rabaissera
d'un seul point la haute consideration, rang, grade, caractere, et
avantages qui vous sont dus." In yet stronger terms a second letter
was written soon afterwards. "Venez, milord; l'honneur vous invite;
la gloire vous appelle. Venez donner a nos armes navales cet ordre
merveilleux et discipline incomparable de puissante Albion."

Lord Cochrane, as we have seen, accepted this invitation; not,
however, without some misgivings, which, in the end, were fully
justified. Having quitted Valparaiso on the 18th of January, 1823, he
arrived at Rio de Janeiro on the 13th of March. He had not been there
a week before he discovered that, while all classes were anxious to
secure his aid, the Emperor Pedro I. stood almost alone in the desire
to treat him honourably and in a way worthy of his character and
reputation. Vague promises were made to him; but, when a statement
of his position was asked for in writing, very different terms were
employed. He was only to have the rank of a subordinate admiral, with
pay of less amount than the Chilian pension that he had resigned. His
employment was to be temporary and informal, subjecting him to the
chance of dismissal at any moment. When, however, resenting these
trickeries, he announced his intention of proceeding at once to
Europe, and accepting the Greek service offered to him, a different
tone was adopted. Under the Emperor's signature he was appointed, on
the 21st of March, First Admiral of the National and Imperial Navy,
with emoluments equal to those he had received from Chili.

He did not then know, though he was soon to learn it by hard
experience, how strong, even at the imperial court, was the influence
of the Portuguese party, and by what meanness and trickery it sought
to maintain and augment that influence. "Where the Portuguese party
was really to blame," he afterwards said, "was in this,--that, seeing
disorder everywhere more or less prevalent, they strained every nerve
to increase it, hoping to paralyze further attempts at independence by
exposing whole provinces to the evils of anarchy and confusion. Their
loyalty also partook more of self-interest than of attachment to the
supremacy of Portugal; for the commercial classes, which formed the
real strength of the Portuguese faction, hoped, by preserving the
authority of the mother country in her distant provinces, to obtain as
their reward the revival of old trade monopolies which, twelve years
before, had been thrown open, enabling the English traders--whom
they cordially hated--to supersede them in their own markets. Being
a citizen of the rival nation, their aversion to me personally was
undisguised--the more so, perhaps, that they believed me capable
of achieving at Bahia, whither the squadron was destined, that
irreparable injury to their own cause which the imperial troops had
been unable to effect. Had I, at the time, been aware of the influence
and latent power of the Portuguese party in the empire, nothing would
have induced me to accept the command of the Brazilian navy; for to
contend with faction is more dangerous than to engage an enemy, and a
contest of intrigue is foreign to my nature and inclination."

Having entered the Brazilian service, however, Lord Cochrane applied
himself to his work with characteristic energy and success. He hoisted
his flag on board the _Pedro Primiero_ on the 21st of March, and
put to sea on the 3rd of April. His squadron consisted of the _Pedro
Primiero_, a fine and well-appointed ship, rated rather too highly for
seventy-four guns, commanded by Captain Crosbie; of the _Piranga_, a
fine frigate, entrusted to Captain Jowett; of the _Maria de Gloria_,
a showy but comparatively worthless clipper, mounting thirty-two
small guns, under Captain Beaurepaire; of the _Liberal_, under Captain
Garcao. He was accompanied by two old vessels, the _Guarani_ and
the _Real_, to be used as fireships. Two other ships of war, the
_Nitherohy_, assigned to Captain Taylor, and the _Carolina_, were left
behind to complete their equipment, and the first of these joined
the squadron on its way to Bahia, which, being the nearest of the
disaffected provinces, was the first to be subdued.

The coast of Bahia was reached on the 1st of May, and Lord Cochrane
was arranging to blockade its capital and port, on the 4th, when the
Portuguese fleet came out of the harbour. It comprised the _Don Joao_,
of seventy-four guns; the _Constitucao_, of fifty; the _Perola_, of
forty-four; the _Princeza Real_, of twenty-eight; the _Regeneracao_,
the _Dez de Fevereiro_, the _San Gaulter_, the _Principe de Brazil_,
and the _Restauracao_, of twenty-six each; the _Calypso_ and the
_Activa_, of twenty-two; the _Audaz_, of twenty; and the _Canceicao_,
of eight; being one line-of-battle ship, five frigates, five
corvettes, a brig, and a schooner. Lord Cochrane did not venture with
his small and as yet untried force to attack the whole squadron, but
he proceeded to cut off the four rearmost ships. This he did with the
_Pedro Primiero_, but, to his disgust, the other vessels, heedless
of his orders, failed to follow him. "Had the rest of the Brazilian
squadron," he said, "come down in obedience to signals, the ships cut
off might have been taken or dismantled, as with the flag-ship I
could have kept the others at bay, and no doubt have crippled all in
a position to render them assistance. To my astonishment, the signals
were disregarded, and no efforts were made to second my operations."
The _Pedro Primiero_, after fighting alone for some time, and during
that time even doing but little mischief, by reason of the clumsy way
in which her guns were handled, had to be withdrawn.

At that failure Lord Cochrane was reasonably chagrined. Worse than the
fact that the Portuguese had escaped uninjured for this once, was the
knowledge that he could not hope thoroughly to punish them without
first effecting great reform in the materials at his disposal. On the
5th of May he wrote to the Government to complain of the miserable
condition of the ships and crews provided for him by the Brazilian
Government. "From the defective sailing and manning of the squadron,"
he said, "it seems to me that the _Pedro Primiero_ is the only one
that can assail an enemy's ship-of-war, or act in the face of a
superior force so as not to compromise the interests of the empire and
the character of the officers commanding. Even this ship, in common
with the rest, is so ill-equipped as to be much less efficient than
she otherwise would be. Our cartridges are all unfit for service,
and I have been obliged to cut up every flag and ensign that could
be spared to render them serviceable, so as to prevent the men's arms
being blown off whilst working the guns. The guns are without locks.
The bed of the mortar which I received on board this ship was crushed
on the first fire, being entirely rotten. The fuses for the shells are
formed of such wretched composition that it will not take fire with
the discharge of the mortar. Even the powder is so bad that six pounds
will not throw out shells more than a thousand yards. The marines
understand neither gun exercise, the use of small arms, nor the sword,
and yet have so high an opinion of themselves that they will not
assist to wash the decks, or even to clean out their own berths, but
sit and look on whilst these operations are being performed by seamen.
I warned the Minister of Marine that every native of Portugal put on
board the squadron, with the exception of officers of known character,
would prove prejudicial to the expedition, and yesterday we had clear
proof of the fact. The Portuguese stationed in the magazine actually
withheld the powder whilst this ship was in the midst of the enemy,
and I have since learnt that they did so from feelings of attachment
to their own countrymen. I enclose two letters, one from the officer
commanding the _Real_, whose crew were on the point of carrying that
vessel into the enemy's squadron for the purpose of delivering her
up. I have also reason to believe that the conduct of the _Liberal_
yesterday in not bearing down upon the enemy, and not complying with
the signal which I had made to break the line, was owing to her being
manned by Portuguese. The _Maria de Gloria_ also has a great number
of Portuguese, which is the more to be regretted as otherwise her
superior sailing, with the zeal and activity of her captain, would
render her an effective vessel. To disclose to you the truth, it
appears to me that one half of the squadron is necessary to watch over
the other half. Assuredly this is a system which ought to be put an
end to without delay."

Other indignant complaints of that sort, which need not here be
repeated, were reasonably made by Lord Cochrane. The bad equipment
of his squadron, both in men and in material, had hindered him, at
starting, from achieving a brilliant success over the enemy, and
though his subsequent achievements were of unsurpassed brilliance,
he was to the end seriously hindered by the wilful and accidental
mismanagement of his employers.

Lord Cochrane lost no time, however, in correcting by his own prudent
action the evil effects of this mismanagement. Not choosing to run the
risk of a second failure, and believing that two good ships would be
more serviceable than any number of bad ones, he took his squadron to
the Moro San Paulo, where he transferred all the best men and the most
serviceable fittings to the flag-ship and the _Maria de Gloria_. There
he left the other vessels to be improved as far as possible, directing
that instruction should be given in seamanship to all the incompetent
men who showed any promise of being made efficient, and that several
small prizes which he had taken on his way from Rio de Janeiro should
be turned into fireships for future use. With the two refitted ships
he then went back to Bahia, to watch its whole coast and blockade the

The wisdom of this course was at once apparent. Several minor captures
were made; the supplies of Bahia were cut off, and the enemy's
squadron was locked in the harbour for three weeks. Lord Cochrane went
to the Moro San Paulo on the 26th, leaving the _Maria de Gloria_ to
overlook the port, and then the Portuguese fleet ventured out for a
few days. It dared not show fight, however, and was driven back by the
flag-ship, which returned on the 2nd of June. "On the 11th of June,"
said Lord Cochrane, "information was received that the enemy was
seriously thinking of evacuating the port before the fireships were
completed. I therefore ordered the _Maria de Gloria_ to water and
re-victual for three months, so as to be in readiness for anything
which might occur, as, in case the rumour proved correct, our
operations might take a different turn to those previous intended.
The _Piranga_ was also directed to have everything in readiness for
weighing immediately on the flag-ship appearing off the Moro and
making signals to that effect. The whole squadron was at the same time
ordered to re-victual, and to place its surplus articles in a large
shed constructed of trees and branches felled in the neighbourhood of
the Moro. Whilst the other ships were thus engaged, I determined to
increase the panic of the enemy with the flag-ship alone. The position
of their fleet was about nine miles up the bay, under shelter of
fortifications, so that an attack by day would have been more perilous
than prudent. Nevertheless, it appeared practicable to pay them a
hostile visit on the first dark night, when, if we were unable
to effect any serious mischief, it would at least be possible
to ascertain their exact position, and to judge what could be
accomplished when the fireships were brought to bear upon them.

"Accordingly," the narrative proceeds, "having during the day
carefully taken bearings at the mouth of the river, on the night
of the 12th of June, I decided on making the attempt, which might
possibly result in the destruction of part of the enemy's fleet, in
consequence of the confused manner in which the ships were
anchored. As soon as it became dark we proceeded up the river; but,
unfortunately, when we were within hail of the outermost ship, the
wind failed, and, the tide soon after turning, our plan of attack was
rendered abortive. Determined, however, to complete the reconnoisance,
we threaded our way amongst the outermost vessels. In spite of the
darkness, the presence of a strange ship under sail was discovered,
and some beat to quarters, hailing to know what ship it was. The
reply, 'An English vessel,' satisfied them, however, and so our
investigation was not molested. The chief object thus accomplished, we
succeeded in dropping out with the ebb-tide, now rapidly running,
and were enabled to steady our course stern-foremost with the stream
anchor adrag, whereby we reached our former position."

That exploit was more daring than Lord Cochrane's modest description
would imply; and, though the bold hope that it might be possible for
a single invading ship to conquer the whole Portuguese squadron in its
moorings was not realized, the effect was all that could be desired.
The Portuguese Admiral and his chief officers were at a ball in
Bahia while Lord Cochrane was quietly sailing round and amongst their
squadron, and the report of this achievement was brought to them in
the midst of their festivities. "What!" exclaimed the Admiral,
"Lord Cochrane's line-of-battle ship in the very midst of our fleet!
Impossible! No large ship can have come up in the dark." When it was
known that the thing had really been done, and that the construction
of fireships at the Moro San Paulo was being rapidly proceeded with,
the Portuguese authorities, both naval and military, considered that
it would be no longer safe to remain in Bahia Harbour. They were
seriously inconvenienced, moreover, by the success with which Lord
Cochrane had blockaded the port and all its approaches. "The means
of subsistence fail us, and we cannot secure the entrance of any
provisions," said the Commander-in-Chief, in the proclamation
intimating that the so-called defenders of the province were
thinking of abandoning their post. This they did after a fortnight's
consideration. On the 2nd of July the whole squadron of thirteen
warvessels and about seventy merchantmen and transports, filled with a
large body of troops, evacuated the port.

That was a movement with which Lord Cochrane was well pleased. He had
been in doubt as to the prudence of leading his small fleet into a
desperate action in the harbour, by which the inexperience of his
crews might ruin everything, and which might have to be followed
by fighting on land. But now that the Portuguese, both soldiers and
sailors, were in the open sea, he could give them chase without much
risk, as, in the event of their turning round upon him with more
valour than he gave them credit for, the worst that could happen would
be his forced abandonment of the pursuit. The valour was not shown.
No sooner were the Portuguese out of port, with their sails set for
Maranham, where they hoped to join other ships and troops, and so
augment their strength, than Lord Cochrane proceeded to follow them
and dog their progress.

His scheme was a bold one, but as successful as it was bold.
Attended first by the _Maria de Gloria_ alone, and afterwards by the
_Carolina_, the _Nitherohy_, and a small merchant brig, the _Colonel
Allen_, in which he had placed a few guns, he pursued and harassed
the cumbrous crowd of Portuguese warships, troop-ships, and trading
vessels, about eighty in all, through fourteen days. The chase,
indeed, was practically conducted by his flag-ship, the _Pedro
Primiero_, alone. The other vessels were ordered to look out for any
of the enemy's fleet that lagged behind or were borne away from the
main body of the fugitives, either to the right hand or to the left.
Of these there were plenty, and none were allowed to escape. The
pursuers had easy work in prize-taking. "I have the honour to inform
you," wrote Lord Cochrane in a concise despatch to the Brazilian
Minister of Marine, on the 7th of July, "that half the enemy's army,
their colours, cannon, ammunition, stores, and baggage have been
taken. We are still in pursuit, and shall endeavour to intercept the
remainder of the troops, and shall then look after the ships of war,
which would have been my first object but that, in pursuing
this course, the military would have escaped to occasion further
hostilities against the Brazilian empire."

Most of his prizes and prisoners Lord Cochrane sent into Pernambuco,
the port then nearest to him, and he despatched two officers to hold
Bahia for Brazil. With his flag-ship he continued his pursuit of the
enemy, losing them once during a fog, and, when, he found them,
being prevented from doing all the mischief which he hoped, as a calm
enabled them to keep close together and present a front too formidable
for attack by a single assailant. The Portuguese, however, continued
their flight as soon as the wind permitted. Lord Cochrane did not
trouble them much during the day, but each night he swept down on
them, like a hawk upon its prey, and harassed them with wonderful
effect. They were chased past Fernando Island, past the Equator, and
more than half way to Cape Verde. Then, on the 16th of July, Lord
Cochrane, after a parting broadside, left them to make their way in
peace to Lisbon, there to tell how, by one daring vessel, thirteen
ships of war had been ignominiously driven home, accompanied by only
thirteen out of the seventy vessels that had placed themselves under
their protection.

Lord Cochrane would have continued the pursuit still farther, had not
some of the troop-ships contrived to escape; and as he was anxious
that these should not get into shelter at Maranham, or, if there,
should not have time to recover their spirits, he deemed it best to
hasten thither. He reached Maranham before them, and thus found it
possible to carry through an excellent expedient which he had devised
on the way.

Maranham, the wealthiest province of the old Brazilian colony, was
best guarded by the Portuguese, and now served as the centre and
stronghold of resistance to the authority of the new Emperor. Lord
Cochrane's plan had for its object nothing less than the annexation of
the whole province singlehanded and without a blow. With this intent,
he entered the River Maranham, which served as a harbour to the port
of the same name, on the 26th of July, with Portuguese colours flying
from the mast of the _Pedro Primiero_. The authorities, deceived
thereby, promptly sent a messenger with despatches and congratulations
on the safe arrival of what was supposed to be a valuable
reinforcement from Portugal. The messenger was soon undeceived, but
Lord Cochrane at once made him the agent of a much more elaborate
and altogether justifiable deception Announcing to him that the swift
sailing of the _Pedro Primiero_ had brought her first to Maranham, but
that she was being followed by a formidable squadron, intended for the
invasion of the province, he sent him back with letters to the same
effect, addressed to the Portuguese commandant and to the local Junta
of Maranham. "The naval and military forces under my command," he
wrote to the former, "leave me no room to doubt the success of
the enterprise in which I am about to engage, in order to free the
province of Maranham from foreign domination, and to allow the people
free choice of government. Of the flight of the Portuguese naval and
military forces from Bahia you are aware. I have now to inform you of
the capture of two-thirds of the transports and troops, with all their
stores and ammunition. I am anxious not to let loose the imperial
troops of Bahia upon Maranham, exasperated as they are at the injuries
and cruelties exercised towards themselves and their countrymen, as
well as by the plunder of the people and churches of Bahia. It is
for you to decide whether the inhabitants of these countries shall be
further exasperated by resistance, which appears to me unavailing, and
alike prejudicial to the best interests of Portugal and Brazil," "The
forces of his Imperial Majesty," he said to the Junta, "having freed
the city and province of Bahia from the enemies of independence, I now
hasten--in conformity with the will of his Majesty that the beautiful
province of Maranham should be free also--to offer to the oppressed
inhabitants whatever aid and protection they need against a foreign
yoke; desiring to accomplish their liberation and to hail them
as brethren and friends. Should there, however, be any who, from
self-interested motives, oppose themselves to the deliverance of their
country, let such be assured that the naval and military forces which
have driven the Portuguese from the south are again ready to draw the
sword in the like just cause, and the result cannot be long doubtful."

Those mingled promises and threats took prompt effect. On the
following day, the 27th of July, after a conditional offer of
capitulation had been rejected, the members of the Junta, the Bishop
of Maranham, and other leading persons, went on board the _Pedro
Primiero_ to tender their submission to the Emperor of Brazil. The
city and forts were surrendered without reserve, and in less than
twenty-four hours from Lord Cochrane's first appearance in the river
the flag of Portugal was replaced by that of Brazil. A great province
had been added to the dominions of Pedro I. without bloodshed, and
with no more expenditure of ammunition than was needed for the volleys
discharged in honour of the triumph.

The liberation of Maranham was publicly celebrated on the 28th of
July, and on the following day the Portuguese troops embarked for
Europe, special concessions being made to them by Lord Cochrane, who
deemed it well that they should be out of the way before the device
by which he had outwitted them was made known. No resentment was to
be expected from the civilians, as even those most hearty in their
adherence to the Portuguese faction in Brazil would not dare to offer
direct opposition to the sentiments of the majority. But Lord Cochrane
wisely set himself to conciliate all. "To the inhabitants of the
city," he said, "I was careful to accord complete liberty, claiming
in return that perfect order should be preserved and property of all
kinds respected. The delight of the people was unbounded at being
freed from a terrible system of exaction and imprisonment which, when
I entered the river, was being carried on with unrelenting rigour by
the Portuguese authorities towards all suspected of a leaning to
the Imperial Government. Instead of retaliating, as would have been
gratifying to those so recently labouring under oppression, I directed
oaths to the constitution to be administered, not to Brazilians only,
but also to all Portuguese who chose to remain and conform to the new
order of things; a privilege of which many influential persons of that
nation availed themselves."

With the capture of Maranham alone, however, Lord Cochrane was not
satisfied. Without a day's delay, he despatched a Portuguese brig
which he had seized in the river and christened by its name, under
Captain Grenfell, to follow at Para, the only important province of
Brazil still under the Portuguese yoke, the same course which he
had just adopted with such wonderful success. He himself found it
necessary to remain at Maranham for more than two months, where he had
to curb with a strong hand the passions of the liberated inhabitants,
eager to use their liberty in lawless ways and to retaliate upon the
Portuguese still resident among them for all the hardships which they
had hitherto endured.

On the 20th of September, having heard that Captain Grenfell had
entirely succeeded in his designs on Para, he started for Rio de
Janeiro, and there he arrived on the 9th of November. "I immediately
forwarded to the Minister of Marine," he said, "a recapitulation of
all transactions since my departure seven months before; namely,--the
evacuation of Bahia by the Portuguese in consequence of our nocturnal
visit, connected with the dread of my reputed skill in the use of
fireships, arising from the affair of Basque Roads; the pursuit of
their fleet beyond the Equator, and the dispersion of its convoy; the
capture and disabling of the transports filled with troops intended
to maintain Portuguese domination on Maranham and Para; the device
adopted to obtain the surrender, to the _Pedro Primiero_ alone, of
the enemy's naval and military forces at Maranham; the capitulation of
Para, with the ships of war, to my summons sent by Captain Grenfell;
the deliverance of the Brazilian patriots whom the Portuguese had
imprisoned; the declaration of independence by the intermediate
provinces thus liberated, and their union with the empire; the
appointment of provisional governments; the embarkation and departure
of every Portuguese soldier from Brazil; and the enthusiasm with which
all my measures--though unauthorised and therefore extra-official--had
been, received by the people of the northern provinces, who, thus
relieved from the dread of further oppression, had everywhere
acknowledged and proclaimed his Majesty as constitutional Emperor."

Lord Cochrane's services had, indeed, been, many of them,
"unauthorised and therefore extra-official." He had been sent out
merely to recover Bahia; but, besides doing that, he had gained for
Brazil other territories more than half as large as Europe. For this,
however, nothing but gratitude could be shown, and the gratitude was,
for the time at any rate, unalloyed. On the very day of the _Pedro
Primiero's_ return, the Emperor went on board to offer his thanks in
person. Further, thanks were voted by the legislature, and tendered by
all classes of the people.

"Taking into consideration the great services which your excellency
has just rendered to the nation," wrote the Emperor on the 25th of
November, "and desiring to give your excellency a public testimonial
of gratitude for those high and extraordinary services on behalf
of the generous Brazilian people, who will ever preserve a lively
remembrance of such illustrious acts, I deem it right to confer upon
your excellency the title of Marquis of Maranham." The decoration
of the Imperial Order of the Cruizeiro was also bestowed upon Lord
Cochrane, and on the 19th of December he was made a Privy Councillor
of Brazil, the highest honour which it was in the Emperor's power to
grant. On the same day he also received from the Emperor a charter
confirming his rank and emoluments as First Admiral of Brazil, "seeing
how advantageous it would be for the interests of this empire to avail
itself of the skill of so valuable an officer," and in recognition of
"the valour, intelligence, and activity by which he had distinguished
himself in the different services with which he had been entrusted."




All the rewards bestowed upon Lord Cochrane for his wonderful
successes in the northern part of Brazil, except the confirmation of
his patent as First Admiral, be it noted, were unsubstantial. He had
for ever crushed the power of Portugal in South America; he had added
vast provinces to the imperial dominion, and had thus augmented the
imperial revenues by considerably more than a million dollars a-year,
besides the great and immediate profits of his prize-taking. And all
this had been done with a small fleet, poorly equipped and unpaid.
The ships entrusted to him had been rendered efficient by his own
ingenuity, unaided by the Government, and with scant addition to his
resources from the numerous captures made by him. In excess of his
instructions, and with nothing but cheap compliments and cheaper
promises to encourage him, he had acquired Maranham and Para, and all
the provinces dependent upon them, as well as Bahia. Relying on the
honour of his employers, he had pledged his own honour, that on their
returning to Rio de Janeiro, his crews, who were clamouring for
some part, at any rate, of the wages due to them, should be fully
recompensed, and he had the reasonable expectation, that, out of
the abundant wealth that he had gained for Brazil, he himself should
receive his lawful share of the prize-money gained by his exertions.
Instead of that he and his subordinates, both officers and men, were
subjected to an unparalleled course of meanness, trickery, and fraud.

This partly resulted from an unfortunate change in the Government that
had occurred during his absence. When he left Rio de Janeiro, Pedro
I.'s chief secretary of state had been Don Jose Bonifacio de Andrada
y Silva, a wise and patriotic Brazilian. The Emperor and his minister
had all along been seriously crippled in fulfilment of their good
purposes by subordinates of the Portuguese faction, who persistently
twisted their instructions, when they did not act in direct
opposition to those instructions, so as to promote their own and their
countrymen's selfish and unpatriotic objects; but there had been hope
that the zeal of Pedro and Jose de Andrada would overcome these evil
devices, and secure the healthy consolidation of the empire. When Lord
Cochrane returned, however, he found that the honest minister had
been deposed, that his party had been ousted, and that the Emperor was
surrounded by bad counsellors, who, unable to pervert his judgment,
were strong enough to restrain its action, and who were robbing him,
one by one, of all his constitutional functions, and doing their
best to bring Brazil into a state of anarchy, with a view to the
re-establishment of Portuguese authority in its old or in some new but
no less obnoxious form. The Emperor, desiring to do well, had hardly
improved his position, a few days before the _Pedro Primiero's_
arrival, by violently dissolving the Legislative Assembly, banishing
some of its members, and threatening to place Rio de Janeiro itself
under military law.

That was the state of affairs when Lord Cochrane entered the port.
Only five days afterwards, on the 14th of November, 1823, he wrote a
bold letter to the Emperor. "My sense of the impropriety of intruding
myself on the attention of your Imperial Majesty on any subject
unconnected with the official position with which your Majesty has
been pleased to honour me," he said, "could only have been overcome by
an irresistible desire, under existing circumstances, to contribute to
the service of your Majesty, and the empire. The conduct of the late
Legislative Assembly, which sought to derogate from the dignity and
prerogatives of your Majesty, even presuming to require you to divest
yourself of your crown in their presence--which deprived you of your
Council of State and denied you a voice in the enactment of laws and
the formation of the constitution--and which dared to object to your
exercising the only remaining function of royalty, that of rewarding
services and conferring honours--could no longer be tolerated; and
the justice and wisdom of your Imperial Majesty in dissolving such
an assembly will be duly appreciated by discerning men, and by those
whose love of good order and their country supersedes their ambition
or personal interests. There are, however, individuals who will
wickedly take advantage of the late proceedings to kindle the flames
of discord, and throw the empire into anarchy and confusion, unless
timely prevented by the wisdom and energy of your Imperial Majesty.
The declaration that you will give to your people a practical
constitution, more free even than that which the late Assembly
professed an intention to establish, cannot--considering the spirit
which now pervades South America--have the effect of averting
impending evils, unless your Imperial Majesty shall be pleased to
dissipate all doubts by at once declaring--before the news of the
recent events can be dispersed throughout the provinces, and before
the discontented members of the late congress can return to their
constituents--what is the precise nature of that constitution which
your Imperial Majesty intends to bestow. As no monarch is more happy
or more truly powerful than the limited monarch of England, surrounded
by a free people, enriched by that industry which the security of
property by means of just laws never fails to create, permit me humbly
and respectfully to suggest, that if your Majesty were to decree that
the English constitution, in its most perfect practical form--which,
with slight alteration, and chiefly in name, is also the constitution
of the United States of North America--shall be the model for the
government of Brazil under your Imperial Majesty, with power to the
Constituent Assembly to alter particular parts as local circumstances
may render advisable, it would excite the sympathy of powerful states
abroad, and the firm allegiance of the Brazilian people to your
Majesty's throne. Were your Majesty, by a few brief lines in the
'Gazette,' to announce your intention so to do, and were you to banish
all distrust from the public mind by removing from your person for a
time, and finding employment on honourable missions abroad for, those
Portuguese individuals of whom the Brazilians are jealous, the purity
of your Majesty's motives would be secured from the possibility of
misrepresentation, the factions which disturb the country would be
silenced or converted, and the feelings of the world, especially those
of England and North America, would be interested in promoting the
glory, happiness, and prosperity of your Imperial Majesty."

That advice, in the main adopted by the Emperor, led to a
reconstruction of the Brazilian Constitution in its present shape, and
so added another to the many great benefits which Brazil owes to Lord
Cochrane. But the whole, and especially the last part of it, being
directly at variance with the plans and interests of the Portuguese
faction, it won for him much hatred and many personal troubles.

"That I, a foreigner, having nothing to do with national politics," he
said, "should have counselled his Majesty to banish those who opposed
him, was not to be borne, and the resentment caused by my recent
services was increased to bitter enmity for meddling in affairs which,
it was considered, did not concern me; though I could have had no
other object than the good of the empire by the establishment of
a constitution which should give it stability in the estimation of

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