Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IV / The Story of the Maid of Bogota >> Page 36

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 36 SOUTHWARD HO



WHENEVER the several nations of the earth which have
achieved their deliverance from misrule and tyranny, shall point,
as they each may, to the fair women who have taken active part
in the cause of liberty, and by their smiles and services have
contributed in no measured degree to the great objects of na-
tional defence and deliverance, it will be with a becoming and
just pride only that the Colombians shall point to their virgin
martyr, commonly known among them as La Pola, the Maid of
Bogota. With the history of their struggle for freedom her
story will always be intimately associated; her tragical fate,
due solely to the cause of her country, being linked with all the
touching interest of the most romantic adventure. Her spirit
seemed to be woven of the finest materials., She was gentle,
exquisitively sensitive, and capable of the most true and tender
attachments. Her mind was one of rarest endowments, touched
to the finest issues of eloquence, and gifted with all the powers
of the improvisatrice ; while her courage and patriotism seem to
have been cast in those heroic moulds of antiquity from which
came the Cornelias and Deborahs of famous memory. Well
had it been for her country had the glorious model which she
bestowed upon her people been held in becoming homage by
the race with which her destiny was cast � a race masculine
only in exterior, and wanting wholly in that necessary strength
of soul which, rising to the due appreciation of the blessings of
national freedom, is equally prepared to make, for its attainment,
every necessary sacrifice of self. And yet our heroine was but
a child in years � a lovely, tender, feeble creature, scarcely
fifteen years of age. But the soul grows rapidly to maturity in
some countries, and, in the case of women, it is always great in
its youth, if greatness is ever destined to be its possession.
Dona Apolinaria Zalabariata�better known by the name
of La Pola�was a young girl, the daughter of a good family
of Bogota, who was distinguished at an early period, as well for
her great gifts of beauty as of intellect. She was but a child