Press enter after choosing selection

Literary Notes

Literary Notes image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

HUtory of tlie Pacific States of North America. By Hubert Howe Uancroft. Volume XV, of the series. " North Mexlean States." Vol. I, 1513-1S0O. l'ubItebetl by A.L. Bancroft .t Co., San Francisco. Mexico every year is mo-e and more claiming the attcntion of American statesmen. As we obtain better railroad and steamship commnnicatioii with that interesting Republic, its resources are opened up to us and we becorae better acquainted with its people, its custoins aud its characteristics. In the line of literature anent the history and description of Mexico, nothing better can come to us than the ubove work from the facile pen of Bancroft. It brings the hitherto littlekiiown history of our southeru neighbor down to the opening of tliis centnry, and Erom the historian's complete facllltiea for Information, it i.s valuable bccause authentic. Indeed Mexico has bad a strange history and this volume vividlj' sets bcfore us the story of her fabulous treasurep, her life, lier ftirriufr events aud her developmcnt. The writer has a keen sense of the liunior of ludicrous situations and his pases at times are enlivened by such little sketches as the following In regard to the war with England: "It had been known to the Californiuns that Spain was on the verge of a war with England, the eflect beinj; much foolis-h exciteinent. All foreisners were regarded as possible focs ; harmless traders were nrrested and sent to Mexico; and couriers dashed to and f ro with orders and reporta as if the country were already nvaded. The mere rumor of possible war causini all ttiis ado the reader may Imagine the excitemeut when it was known in 1797 that war had actually been declared. The records overflow with inartial correspondence; nearly $2,000 was contributed for defense; muskets by the half dozen were sent to exposed points; the militia was organized; aud elabórate instructions were issued to subordínate olh'cials. There were onlj' about tifty soldiers in the whole pen Ínsula; and the garrison at San José del Cabo, one of the pointe regarded as most important and most likely to be attacked, was iive soldiers and two armed citizens. But the people were not discouraged, and the Governor was confident that the invaders would be repnlsed witli jgnominy. The drowsy spell ever hanging over the península was for a time exorcised; and more paper was used for official coirespondence than for cigarettes. The shabby, unpaid trooper patched up lus leathern armor in (trim anticipation of a brush willi a foewoithyof hl Spauish valor ; the vecino turbished up his rusty lirelock, au heirloom trom the days of Otondo, more deadly to the patriot at the butt than to the Invader at the muzzle; and even that poor, eowed creature, the neophyte, twanged the bow of his savage sire and footed it in the war dance to show his anxiety to defend the country lie had lost in behalf of those who had robbed him of it. Unhappily for those who hoped to earu glorious ïaurels, but f 01 tunately for the natives of Great Britaln, the conquest of California was not attemptad. True, a fleet of sixteen sail was sightod ofl" Han Mijíuel, but atter $1,OÜÜ had been spent in publishing the alarm, the disappointed and warlike watcbers had to admit that they had been thieateried by nothing more formidable than au armada of clouds."


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News