IN the little country house whither he had retired with Manuela, Bolivar experienced the deepest grief at the news of this death. He too had loved his country and he loved it still, but he was more and more sickened by the lack of honesty in his countrymen. He knew that they feared him and that in his presence anarchy dared not fully reveal itself; but after his death what a deluge, what disorder! Every one would wish to rule and Colombia would fall into the hands of any foreign Power.
For too long Bolivar had despised illness; even had it not been so, his anxieties had been too many to allow him to take care of himself. Now came the consequence of all that fatigue. San Martin was tired out and his people were unstable, Bolivar had not even the right to be tired of his: his departure would be the signal for terrible disasters. José de Sucre might perhaps be able to finish the work of liberation, but Sucre was too straightforward, too honest to withstand the intrigues of the lowest sort of politicians. At the same time, in a moment of depression, Bolivar wrote to him:
MY DEAR JOSÉ: To make an end of the war I am ready to fight one battle against the Spaniards and no more. I feel that I have come to the end of my tether, an old man in spite of my forty years, and I have