not appear to me like a sunny meadow, as it does to the
Don Bernardino meanwhile was preparing for the great adventure of his life. He seems to have believed most firmly that no power on earth had any right to remove him from the governorship of Paraguay. In a letter which he addressed to Don Juan Romero de la Cruz* he says he is on the point of distinguishing himself by heroic exploits and great victories; that he had on his side justice and force (a most uncommon combination); that the entire capital was favourable to him; and that he was resolved neither to readmit the Jesuits nor to recognise Don Sebastian de Leon as Governor.
-- * Charlevoix, book xii., p. 115. --
Asuncion was once again convulsed, and all was preparation for the holy war. The Bishop had given out that angels were to help him, and this so reassured his soldiers that they provided themselves with cords to bind the Indians in the army of Don Sebastian Leon, thinking they would fall an easy prey to them. This matter of the cords explains, perhaps, why the population of Asuncion was almost unanimous in favour of the Bishop.
In the army of Don Sebastian, as well as the militia of the province, marched three thousand Indians from the Jesuit reductions on the Parana. The Spaniards of the capital were all determined not to kill any of them, but keep them alive for slaves, and hence the cords with which they armed themselves.
The sacred generalissimo led out his army from Asuncion in person, celebrating Mass himself, and then heading his troops like many another Spanish ecclesiastic has done before and after him, and continued doing even to the latest Carlist war.
The armies met not far from Luque, in a little plain known as the Campo Grande. An open plain with sandy soil, which gave the horses a good footing, with several little stagnant pools in the centre where the wounded men could drink and wash their wounds, with a most convenient forest on all sides for the deserters and the cowards to hide in, made a good battlefield. The village of Luque, grouped round its church, and with a little plaza in the middle in which sat Paraguayan women selling mandioca, chipa,*1* and rapadura,*2* with sacks of maize and of mani,*3* stood on the summit of a little hill. Upon the plain the earth is red, and looks as if a battle had been fought upon it and much blood spilt. In all directions run little paths, worn deep by the feet of mules and horses, and in which the rider has to lift his feet as if he were going through a stream. To Asuncion there leads one of the deep-sunk roads planted with orange and paraiso*4* trees, constructed thus (as Barco de la Centenera tells us in his `Argentina') so as to be defensible against the Indians after the country was first conquered by the Spaniards.
-- *1* Chipa is a kind of bread made of mandioca flour. *2* Rapadura is a kind of coarse sugar, generally sold in little pyramid-shaped lumps, done up in a banana leaf. It is strongly flavoured with lye. *3* Mani is ground-nut. ["Peanut" in American English. -- A. L., 1998.] *4* The paraiso is one of the Paulinias. --
On the Bishop's side hardly a soldier but thought himself an emissary of God, or doubted of the victory for a moment in his heart. Angels themselves had promised victory to their leader, who, to make all things safe, had issued a proclamation punishing surrender with the pain of death; so they stood quietly in array of battle waiting to be attacked.
he website materials are all from the internet. If there are any infringement issues, please contact us and delete them immediately after verification!