BOLÍVAR was ready to begin the task of liberation in Perú, the project which had so long filled his dreams; but circumstances held him in the province of Quito for more than a year. Envoys came up from the government of Lima with urgent appeals couched in the most grandiose and flattering terms, and Bolívar sent them back with the assurance that he would come to their aid with his conquering army as soon as conditions allowed and when permission arrived from the Colombian Congress. Four such delegations arrived in Guayaquil during that year. But the permission was slow in coming and the Liberator, as always, had a thousand other things that demanded his attention.
Word came from Venezuela that the Congress there was playing with the idea of renouncing the Colombian Constitution in favor of the old, federalistic code of the First Republic--the code to which Bolívar had always attributed the republic's downfall. The Colombian Constitution had been specifically adopted for a period of ten years. Seeing the hand of Santander in this intrigue, Bolivar wrote him a stern letter in which he said, "The Constitution of Colombia is sacred for ten years. It will not be violated with impunity while blood flows in my veins and the army of Liberators is under my orders." The letter had the desired effect, for the time being at least.
In his campaign in the province of Quito, he had defeated the Spanish armies and driven them from the land; but he had not quenched the fanatical spirit of the native