Page:The Rambler in Mexico.djvu/230

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NEW SPAIN.

No one who has ever spent a month in Mexico will pretend to say that the present state of the country is flattering to the advocates of republicanism. He detects want of system; want of public and private faith; want of legitimate means of carrying on the government, of enforcing the laws, or maintaining order; total absence of patriotism; a general ignorance; indifference to the value of education, linked to overweening arrogance and pride; an incredible absence of men of either natural or acquired talent of any description; and intolerant support of the darkest bigotry and superstition. The meanest partisanship stands in the place of patriotism. The government of the moment has not the power of effectually governing, even if it were sincere in the desire. No party is trusted; no man in the country can command even the respect, much less the co-operation of all; (I say respect, because a man of undoubted talent and probity and honest views, will be respected even by his political adversaries;) and why?—because self-seeking and self-aggrandizement is the purpose of all. They vapour about patriotism, and know not the signification of the word.

The people of the United States, and the partisans of their system all the world over, find a ready answer or apology for the disreputable state of things among these their imitators; and lay the present disorganization to the charge of the ancient tyranny. No—even granting that Spain in the government of her colonies was tyrannical, there are other causes which incapacitate the Mexicans from treading in the footsteps of the states more to the north, and which will, it is probable, always prevent them attaining to their respectable position, however it were to be wished. They have neither the principles of government, nor the reason, nor the conviction of the value of education, and more than all, the strong moral sense and general diffusion of religious principle, which distinguish their more northern neighbours. And what is to give it them?

 

I have now but little more to add of a character likely to interest you.