« AnteriorContinuar »
"Go in,” he said to the American captains. " Trust to me to protect you from attack or to revenge you if injured.”
This promise put new spirit into the captains. Captain Blackford, of the barque " Amy,” and two other captains, gave notice on Sunday, January 29, 1894, that they would take their ships in to the wharves the next morning. When Da Gama heard of this he announced that he would fire on any vessel that dared attempt it.
When Monday morning dawned there was a state of excitement in Rio Janeiro harbor. Da Gama might keep his word, and what would the American admiral do in that event? The commanders of the other war-vessels looked on with interest and anxiety. They soon saw that Benham meant business. The dawn of day showed active movements in the small American squadron. The ships were clearing for action, and the cruiser "Detroit took a position from which she could command two of Da Gama's vessels, the “Guanabara" and the “Trajano."
When the “ Detroit was in position, the “ Amy'' began to warp in towards the pier. A musket-shot came in warning from the deck of the “Guanabara." Instantly from the “Detroit' a ball hurtled past the bow of the Brazilian ship. A second followed that struck her side. Seeing that two Brazilian tugs were moving inward as if with intent to ram his vessel, Captain Brownson of the "Detroit'' took his ship in between the two Brazilian war
vessels, in a position to rake them and their supporting tugs.
This decisive act ended the affair. Da Gama's guns remained silent, and the “ Amy," followed by the other two vessels, made her way unharmed to the wharves. Others followed, and before night all the British and other merchantmen in the harbor were hastening in to discharge their cargoes. Benham had brought to a quick end the "intolerable situation” in Rio Janeiro harbor.
This ended the last hope of the naval revolutionists to bring Floriano to terms. Some of the ironclads escaped from the harbor and fled to Santa Catharina, where they were captured by the republicans. A few months sufficed to bring the revolt to an end, and republicanism was at length firmly established in Brazil.
FRANCIA THE DICTATOR, THE
LOUIS XI. OF PARAGUAY.
AMONG the varied countries of South America the little republic of Paraguay, clipped closely in between Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil, presents the most singular history, this being due to the remarkable career of the dictator Francia, who ruled over it for a quarter of a century, and to the warlike
energy of his successor Lopez. The tyranny of Francia was one of the strangest which history records, no man ever ruling with more absolute authority and more capricious cruelty. For many years Paraguay was completely cut off by him from the rest of the world, much as Japan was until opened to civilization by Commodore Perry. Unlucky was the stranger who then dared set foot on Paraguayan soil. Many years might pass before he could see the outer world again. Such was the fate of Bonpland, the celebrated botanist and companion of Humboldt, who rashly entered this forbidden land and was forced to spend ten years within its locked confines. Such is the country, , and such was the singular policy of its dictator, whose strange story we have here to tell.
In May, 1811, Paraguay joined the other countries of South America in the general revolt against Spain. There was here no invasion and no blood