Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/434

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XLIII.

PHYSICAL ADVANTAGES.

The physical advantages of Mexico are favorable to its future prosperity. Of its great range of climate, the temperate one of the plateau may be said to be almost perfect. By descending towards the coast all the delights of the tropics may be enjoyed, while its lofty peaks afford adventure for the enterprising climber, ice for lower regions, and all the attractions of mountain scenery. Large lakes enhance the beauty of the landscape; rivers, though not large, answer the purposes of irrigation and boundary lines; an extended coast-line on the Pacific and that of the Gulf of Mexico offer opportunities, not yet much developed, for admirable harbors.

There is every variety of vegetation in this varied climate. Forests of valuable woods, such as mahogany, ebony, and rosewoods, extend over the tierra caliente; higher up, oak and pine in abundance furnish supply for any demand. It is safe to say that any thing may be cultivated somewhere in Mexico. Corn, beans, wheat, rice, sugar-cane, tobacco, cotton, cocoa, indigo, vanilla, are at present raised; above all, coffee, which has a high reputation—that of Córdova and of Uruápam especially. The latter is con-

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