IN recording the stream of events in the Liberator's career during the southern campaigns it has been necessary, in order to preserve continuity, to neglect his private life. Not that there ever was much of it. It consisted almost entirely of the five or six hours a night when he slept, sometimes in a hammock under a thatched roof, sometimes on the ground on a square of rawhide, rolled in his cloak, sometimes--but very rarely--on the silken bed of a Spanish governor's palace in a strange city.
In 1822 he met a woman who became more important to him than any since Fanny Villars and who came as near to winning the complete surrender of his heart as any mortal woman could. She never wholly succeeded in that but she made a valiant effort; and her failure was due only to the fact that Bolívar's psychological make-up rendered such a thing impossible.
He saw her first in Quito after the Battle of Pichincha, when he rode into the city in triumph. She smiled at him from a balcony and tossed him a flower. That night he met her at a ball and found her the best dancing partner he had ever had. Hard and sinewy as himself, she was soft where a woman should be soft and her movements were light and graceful as a dove on the wing. He danced with her till dawn, forgetting everyone else, including the lady's husband.
Bolívar was thirty-nine then. In spite of the worries that had plagued him for so long and the spells of sickness that