Bolivar the Liberator

By Michel Vaucaire; Margaret Reed | Go to book overview
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XXXVII

DISAGREEMENTS inevitably occur between politicians and generals. Bolivar was accused of having reserved the best posts for his favourite lieutenants. The first to suffer from these attacks was the Vice-President of Colombia, General Antonio Nariño, one of the finest figures of the epoch. Nariño was impeached before the Congress of Rosario de Cucuta on a charge of abuse of power and treason. He met it by a simple story of his life.

Born at Santa de Bogotá on April 14, 1765, of a noble family, he received a very careful education and became the most brilliant pupil at Saint Bartholomew's College.

He was appointed Treasurer of Tithes by the Vice- Chancellor, and utilized the spare time which his post afforded for the completion of his studies. Being fairly rich, he was able to form a library of about six thousand volumes. He entertained all the youth of Bogotá at his house, in a room where the portrait of Franklin held the place of honour. They read aloud from French and English authors and translated Greek and Latin ones; by degrees they began to talk politics and to take an interest in the French Revolution.

One night, when Nariño was working at home, an officer brought him a book which he had found by chance and which might perhaps be of some rarity:

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