IT was no longer a moment for disputing details or delaying over paltry quarrels. People realized the serious state of affairs and at all the public meetings they showed an unaccustomed zeal. They no longer defended the rights of Ferdinand VII against Bonaparte or the Regency; they spoke of a republic, and the rights which they asserted were the rights of man.
All the representatives of the public assembled on July 3 , in the cathedral. No other roofed place was so large. A tribune had been arranged in front of the altar, an immense table set up and covered with a red cloth.
At ten in the morning, Miranda arrived, delegate for the obscure commune of Pao. He strode up and down examining the fifteenth-century Stations of the Cross. Bolivar was all on edge. He felt that something extraordinary was going to happen.
When the deputies were all there, the main doors were opened and the crowd was allowed to enter, held back by barriers of prayer desks.
President Rodriguez Domingues opened the session on the question of absolute independence. Immediately there was an uproar; it was who could speak first. There were noblemen, young and old, priests, officers, merchants; the speeches followed one another all day in an atmosphere of passion. The heat was