As none of these were forthcoming, the squadron began to shew symptoms of mutiny at the conduct of the Protector. On the 11th of August I wrote to him, apprising him of the increasing discontent of the seamen, again requesting payment. On this a decree was issued, ordering one-fifth of the customs receipts to be set aside for the joint pay of the army and navy, but as the fortress and port of Callao were in the hands of the Spaniards, these receipts were most insignificant, and the measure was rightly regarded by the squadron as a subterfuge.
To this communication the Protector replied, on the 13th of August—at the same time hinting that I might reconsider my refusal to accept the command of the contemplated Peruvian navy.
The subjoined is his letter:—
Lima, 13th of August, 1821. MY LORD,
In my official letter addressed to you on the disagreeable business of paying the squadron, which causes us so much uneasiness, I have told you that it is impossible to do as we wish. I have nothing to add, unless my previous declaration, that I shall never view with indifference any thing that interests you. I told you in Valparaiso, that “your lot should be equal to mine” and I believe myself to have proved that my intentions have not varied—nor can vary, because every day renders my actions more important.
No, my Lord, I do not view with indifference anything which concerns you, and I shall be deeply grieved, if you do not wait till I can onvince you of the truth. If, however, in despite of all this, you determine on the course, which, at our interview a few days ago, you proposed to take, it will be for me a difficulty from which I cannot extricate myself, but I hope that—conforming yourself to my wishes—you will conclude the work begun, on which our common lot depends.
Adieu, my Lord, I repeat that I am, with
sincere esteem, your eternal
JOSE DE SAN MARTIN.
The assertion, that he could not satisfy the seamen, was a subterfuge; he had abundance of money, derived from the wholesale spoliation of the Spaniards, to which indefensible course I had alluded in my letter of August 7th. He also hoped that “conforming to his wishes,” I would accept the appointment of “First Admiral;” the consequence of which—together with the decree transferring the Chilian officers—without their consent—to the service of Peru, would have been to turn over to his Government the Chilian squadron.
TAMPERING WITH CHILIAN OFFICERS—THE ARCHBISHOP OF LIMA—HIS EXPULSION—NEGOCIATION FOR SURRENDER OF THE FORTS—THIS COUNTERACTED—SAN MARTIN’S BOMBASTIC PROCLAMATIONS—HIS REFUSAL TO ENCOUNTER THE ENEMY—THE SPANIARDS RELIEVE CALLAO—DELUSIVE PROCLAMATION—THE UNBLUSHING FALSEHOOD—SPANIARDS CARRY OFF THE TREASURE—DISCONTENT OF THE SQUADRON.