The contradictory views of the conduct and character of President Lopez, taken by those who have felt an interest in the struggle between the Paraguayans and the Allied Powers opposed to them, have led me to think that a short work, written by one who has resided eleven years in Paraguay, might not be unacceptable. Having been engaged in the defence of the country, I am enabled to give authentic information on the subject.
As will be seen from the following narrative, I consider Lopez to be a monster without a parallel, but I did not discover his character before the latter end of 1868. All his outrages at the commencement of the war I only heard by vague rumours. His manner, however, was such as entirely to dispel and throw discredit on any whispers which might be uttered against him. Latterly, however, I have received overwhelming corroborations of what I have stated against him in the early part of the book.
The mode in which President Lopez began the war on the Argentines was outrageous, but with Brazil war was apparently unavoidable; and had he not commenced the war when he did, Brazil would have taken Paraguay at a disadvantage.
My personal motives for taking a part in the war were not, however, so much political as physical.