Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/334

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

for the highest post of office. Many were tried, but all were found wanting. Some gave it up themselves; others returned again and again to the futile task of making stable the shifting sands of popular opinion.

The only appeal was to arms. Blood was shed, powder and ball were spent, and a crop of military heroes sprung up, full of ardor, ready to pronounce at the slightest occasion, and bring an army to the field at a moment's notice. The sound of rolling cannon was familiar to every ear in Mexico. The smell of powder had nothing alarming about it. The very children were satiated with the sight of soldiery, and scarcely troubled themselves to run to the door to see a regiment go by.

But this was not warfare, real and serious. These armies were not thoroughly trained to the discipline of battle, and the generals were not educated in the science of war. Brave they undoubtedly were, and familiar with scenes of danger and bloodshed; too familiar, it may be, to value at its proper cost the waste of life and property caused by so much fighting. Exaggerated ideas of honor and glory, inherent to the Latin race, pervaded society, and the impression prevailed throughout the country that the Mexican arms were invincible, because every regiment and every general had, in turn, put to rout every other in the country.

In this game of independence, the Mexican peoples had exhausted their resources, destroyed in a great measure the industries of the country, spent their money, and wasted rivers of blood. Many