Page:Guatimala or the United Provinces of Central America in 1827-8.pdf/173

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profiting both by the struggles and errors of their fathers, have been left to complete the work, and to reap the harvest. But the glory of the enterprise does not rest with them. It belongs to the rough and restless spirits, who, wearied by oppression, first rose and shook themselves for the conflict; it is the crown of those who first succeeded in planting the lever, and overthrowing the strong fortresses of tyranny, although themselves perished in the ruins.

It is interesting to watch the slow and silent steps by which men arrive at that height of daring which induces them to risk every thing for freedom; and to observe, as far as possible, the first dawnings of that love of liberty, which “growing with their growth, and strengthening with their strength,” becomes the ruling passion, till, like the rod of the prophet, it swallows up every other.

The Centro-American character would seem of all others, the least susceptible of violent impressions. Mild almost to effeminacy, and inert in the extreme,—to a superficial eye, it would seem the work of ages to awaken them to exertion, or even to make their breasts glow with any thing like patriotic ardour. That very much remains to be done on this point is undoubted, but considering the character of the people, and the limited space of time which has elapsed since the