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WHAT PRESCOTT SAYS.
the plains are as the race of old left them; no added pyramids, palaces or temples, yet the same Sun glows on the same hills, over the same savannahs; but the present race are broken in energy, they shrink from foreign contact, they are content in gazing mournfully upon the wrecks about them, and they dream, poetically, of the Past, and sigh for the grandeur of the era of Montezuma.
Prescott, in his "Conquest of Mexico," remarks in relation to the Mexicans of the present compared with the ancient race: "The difference is not so great as between the ancient Greek and his degenerate descendant, lounging among the master-pieces of Art, which he has scarcely taste enough to admire-speaking the language of those still more imperishable monuments of literature which he has hardly capacity to comprehend." And again: "The same blood flows in his veins that flowed in theirs. But ages of tyranny have passed over him he belongs to a conquered race." The panegyrics of Sonnini and Eaton have led us astray, no doubt, on this subject, while Thornton and De Pauw have debased the Greeks. If they, the Mexicans and Nicaraguans, may never be truly independent, may they not be subjects, or citizens, without being slaves?
The Jews, and the Catholic peasantry of Ireland, suffer moral and physical ills-they live, struggling against truthAre they vicious? If so, is it not in self-defense? Is the
Nicaraguan accustomed to gentleness from the outside world? His Atlantic sea-board occupied by England, his town of San Juan del Norte taken from him, and even its old name whitewashed or greywashed into the very English one of Greytown. Tigre Island once summarily occupied, Buccaneers and Fillibusters invading his home, is he to be thankful for these foreign invaders, and grateful for the introduction of such elements? Dogs, oft-beaten, snap at the fingers that casually caress them, and to the journalist who abuses, the traveler who misquotes and decries, and the foe who plunders and destroys them, the Nicaraguan and Mexican are to return a Laus Deo! Although they are divided, dismembered, they have Hopethe future will determine whence it tends.
The flag which waved over the throne of Isabel I. is less hanghty, and flaunts over a shorn territory now under the reign of Isabel II. Under the enterprising regime of the former, Spain occupied an eighth part of the known world, its inhabitants numbering seventy millions, and its dimensions comprising a space of eight hundred thousand square miles. Of this vast domain, more than two-thirds have been lost. In 1565, the Isle of Malta was given up to the Order of St. John. In 1620, the Lower Navarre.and Bearne were yielded to France, and in 1649, the Rousselon. In 1640 she lost Portugal and her colonies. In 1648 she recognized the sovereignty of the Netherlands. In 1626, the English wrested
from her the Barbadoes; in 1665, Jamaica; in 1704, Gibraltar; in 1718, the Luccas; in 1759, Dominica; and in 1797, Trinidad. In the seventeenth century, France took possession of Martinico, New Grenada, Guadaloupe, and the half of the Isle of San Domingo, and in 1800, Louisiana.
In the eighteenth century she yielded up Sardinia to the Duke of Savoy, and to Morocco her rights on Mazalquivir and Oran. She ceded to Princes of the House of Bourbon, Parma, Placencia, and Lucca, with other dominions in the north of Italy, and in 1759, Naples and Sicily were emancipated from her government. In 1819, Florida was sold to the United States; in 1821 she lost her half of the Isle of San Domingo; and before 1825, all the vast continent which her ancestors had acquired by chivalrous conquest, was alienated forever. Of all her past immense power, what remains? Her African possessions, the Philippines, Porto Rico, and the Isles of Cuba. The Antilles comprise nearly all of her ancient empire in the New World.
At no period in her national existence did she occupy a more haughty position than under the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. We find, in reverting to her history, that this was truly a warlike regime; then Charles I. the era of the soldier; under Philip II. the cowl and toga; then the Bourbons, courtiers, ribboned and starred; and again the soldier in Ferdinand VII. Her succeeding eras have been devoid of
enlightened diplomats, marked by no generous spirit, but rather by the vacillating policy of yore, and a settled aversion to the introduction of improvements which, encouraged by other nations, have rendered Old Castile but a third-rate power in our century. Engineers, picks, shovels, railways, steam-engines, and the various paraphernalia of material development, have now commenced the grand work of restoration, and her Future may be yet as glorious as her Past has been chivalrous and brilliant.
Unnecessary expansion weakens States as well as individuals. Nations may develop themselves too suddenly; but by amassing their energies, their wealth, and by innate cultivation, by the proper protection of national interests, they will strengthen themselves, rendering the citizen a soldier at the approach of war, a producer in the calm hours of peace and prosperity. That country which imports to flatter idle tastes, or gratify popular vanities, cannot, in the hour of peril, expect heroes in her pampered populace. When the tocsin hath sounded, she discovers, too late, that the rank and file are indeed degenerate, while the leaders are, at best, but bevies of lute-voiced orators, improvident with cologne, but averse to powder!
The well-adjusted fabric of our Republic can stand the wear and tear of bomb and expletive, and our hardy pioneers are already well-nigh on the Pacific bulwarks. Mexico profits
THE DESTINY OF THE UNITED STATES.
not from the Past! Will Nicaragua? If not, her shattered wreck will strew the waters, and the coming of Montezuma will indeed remain a traditional echo-a hope-while the Anglo-Saxons, ripe with energy and intelligence, will people the arid plains, and rescue the minerales from oblivion. Were the Ship Canal through Nicaragua, and the Pacific Railroad. from our East to the West completed, what would be the destiny of the United States? Her Pacific borders would resound with commerce-thrift on the mountains-wealth in the valleys and from the fastnesses of her northwesternmost stations long trains of mules would wend, laden with gold, to barter for the silks of the Indies, the spices of the Orient, the velvets of Genoa, the embroideries of France, the wines of Spain. and Portugal, the cutlery of England, and the manufactures of thorough Europe. Within the Constantinople of the Americas, the turbaned Turk would display his gems and perfumes, and the dark Asiatic his ivory and cachmeres. The mines of Mexico would here find veut, and to the Castilian, who, of yore, deemed that land alone desirable which teemed with gold and gems, our remote possessions would prove El Paraiso regained.
The intervening and neighboring domains, sooner or later, will imitate, if they do not merge. 'Tis the reason we would conquer-Step by step we shall advance, surely if slowly.Not by violence is the great battle to be won, the prize to be