DISAGREEMENTS inevitably occur between politicians and generals. Bolivar was accused of having reserved the best posts for his favourite lieutenants. The first to suffer from these attacks was the Vice-President of Colombia, General Antonio Nariño, one of the finest figures of the epoch. Nariño was impeached before the Congress of Rosario de Cucuta on a charge of abuse of power and treason. He met it by a simple story of his life.
Born at Santa Fé de Bogotá on April 14, 1765, of a noble family, he received a very careful education and became the most brilliant pupil at Saint Bartholomew's College.
He was appointed Treasurer of Tithes by the Vice- Chancellor, and utilized the spare time which his post afforded for the completion of his studies. Being fairly rich, he was able to form a library of about six thousand volumes. He entertained all the youth of Bogotá at his house, in a room where the portrait of Franklin held the place of honour. They read aloud from French and English authors and translated Greek and Latin ones; by degrees they began to talk politics and to take an interest in the French Revolution.
One night, when Nariño was working at home, an officer brought him a book which he had found by chance and which might perhaps be of some rarity: