Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IV / The Story of the Maid of Bogota >> Page 44

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 44 SOUTHWARD HO
true to yourselves�openly true and the danger disappears
as the night-mists that speed from before the rising sun. There
is little that deserves the name of peril in the issue which lies
before us. We are more than a match�united, and filled with
the proper spirit�for all the forces that Spain can send against
us. It is in our coldness that she warms�in our want of unity
that she finds strength. But even were we not superior to her
in numbers�even were the chances all wholly and decidedly
against us --- I still can not see how it is that you hesitate to
draw the sword in so sacred a strife �a strife which consecrates
the effort, and claims Heaven's sanction for success. Are your
souls so subdued by servitude, are you so accustomed to bonds
and tortures, that these no longer irk and vex your daily con-
sciousness ? Are you so wedded to inaction that you cease to
feel ? Is it the frequency of the punishment that has made you
callous to the ignominy and the pain ? Certainly, your viceroy
gives you frequent occasion to grow reconciled to any degree of
hurt and degradation. Daily you behold, and I hear, of the
exactions of this tyrant�of the cruelties and the murders to
which he accustoms you in Bogota. Hundreds of your friends
and kinsmen, even now, lie rotting in the common prisons, de-
nied equally your sympathies and every show of justice, perish-
ing daily under the most cruel privations. Hundreds have per-
ished by this and other modes of torture, and the gallows and
garote seem never to be unoccupied. Was it not the bleaching
skeleton of the venerable Hermano, whom I well knew, for his
wisdom and patriotism, which I beheld, even as I entered, hang-
ing in chains over the gateway of your city ? Was he not the
victim of his wealth and love of country ? Who among you is
secure ? He dared but to deliver himself as a man�and, as he
was suffered to stand alone, he was destroyed. Had you, when
he spoke, but prepared yourselves to act, flung out the banner
of resistance to the winds, and bared the sword for the last
noble struggle, Hermano had not perished, nor .were the glorious
work only now to be begun. But which of you, involved in the
same peril with Hermano, will find the friend, in the moment of
his need, to take the first step for his rescue ? Each of you, in
turn, having wealth to tempt the spoiler, will be sure to need
such friendship. It seems you do not look for it among one