|NICARAGUA AND THE MOSQUITO COAST.|
EVERY once in a while something happens to rouse Americans out of that complaisant frame of mind which has become habitual, and in which they have come to regard their imperial domain, bounded by the Great Lakes and the Rio Grande to the North and South, and the broad ocean to the East and West, as a sort of little world all to themselves, whence they could look out upon the doings beyond with a patronizing half-humorous indifference, as upon things in which they had no possible concern. A few months ago the shock was supplied by the unheralded supplication from a small island nation out in the Pacific to be taken under the broad wing of the "bird of freedom," and we awoke to the fact that perhaps in spite of ourselves and our national prejudices the logic of events had extended our zone of political influence far beyond our supposed definitive boundaries. Now comes Nicaragua, her warring factions having concluded an armistice, and asks Uncle Sam to arbitrate, with suggestions even of the advisability of an American protectorate; and it is quite possible that upon a little reflection we may discover that this fussy little republic is as essentially an integral portion of the United States of the future as if it lay between Chicago and Denver. Possessing the most practicable water way over the isthmus which divides New York from San Francisco, it may well be that the increasing necessity of a purely American ocean highway between these two ports must soon render inevitable a political predominance on our part which shall amount to virtual sovereignty over these regions.
But for a trifling incident it would never have occurred to me to go to Nicaragua. Excepting as an eligible site for a canal and