BUT even there in Bogotá, where Santander had done so much to undermine his prestige, the old magic charm began at once to do its work. The mere presence of the Liberator in their midst created a stir in the people's hearts. Something went into them like an electric charge and brought the old veneration surging out. Underneath, the common people and the soldiers always, then and after, idolized him.
The change of climate had a good effect on his health. His strength came back and with it some of his old vigor and a renewed will to accomplish the stabilization of the nations he had created. His speeches and proclamations began once more and in only a few days the capital was his, heart and soul--the Congress, the army, the ministers. The foreign representatives, who had always disliked Santander personally and distrusted him politically, were impressed at once by Bolívar, were charmed by his distinguished manners and wrote favorable accounts of him to their governments.
He was ready to make any sacrifice to hold the union together. To Páez he wrote, "Believe me, I do not attempt, nor shall I ever attempt, to make one party triumph over another. I shall not oppose federation; still less shall I demand that the Bolivarian Constitution be adopted. I only want to insure that the citizens are united, that liberty will leave them free to work, that wisdom guides them; and then that they may accept my resignation and let me go far, far away from Colombia."