OUT of the ruins rose a new Simón Bolívar. The paladin that now suddenly appears was born of sheer adversity.
Venezuela had never been in a worse state at any time during her whole history. In the hands of a ruthless conqueror, her agriculture and commerce destroyed, her leaders in prison or exile, her people homeless and starving through earthquake and pillage, there was not one little gleam of hope for her. Bolívar himself was in a strange land, penniless. The twelve thousand pesos he had brought away with him were taken by the authorities in Curaçao as a fine against the vessel for irregularities in her papers. His estates had been confiscated by Monteverde and his sisters were in hiding somewhere in the stricken land.
But there isn't one word of despair now, nor of self- pity. None of the groveling humility which he expressed in his letter to Miranda after Puerto Cabello--not now, nor ever again in his whole career. From now on he only thinks, plans and acts. His talents disciplined, he uses them wisely, coldly, to his purpose. Indiscretion falls from him like the first coat of a lion, leaving audacity in its place.
From Curaçao he looked southward and scanned, in his mind, that whole northern coast of the continent, looking for a likely spot to start again. In New Granada, the neighboring colony to Venezuela, there was one port held by patriot forces--Cartagena. That was the place, he decided