Capital of New Granada, in South America, unsuccessfully attacked in 1747 by Admiral Vernon.
Wasteful, forth Walks the dire power of pestilent disease ... Such as, of late, at Carthagena quenched The British fire. You, gallant Vernon, saw The miserable scene; you, pitying, saw To infant-weakness sunk the warrior's arm.
Thomson: Summer, 1034-43.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894