a mexican journey

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Ill GOING THERE are now several ways of approach to Mexico; but the historic way is by Havana and Vera Cruz. It was from the governor of Cuba that Cortez received his commission to go in quest of gold and adventure in 1518; and while he was not the first Spaniard to visit the Mexican coast, nor Vera Cruz the first place that his vessels touched, yet the successful invasion of the country began with his landing there in the spring of 1519. It would take a long story to tell of all the invaders and adventurers that have made Vera Cruz their port since his time, despite the absence of any protected harbor. This lack made Cortez destroy his fleet, and was never remedied till about the beginning of the twentieth century. As for railroads, even a generation ago when the building of one from the United States was proposed, the rulers of Mexico were accustomed to forbid it, saying, "Between thestrong and the weak the desert is a necessity." It was in 1884 that railroad connection was first established. The land route, therefore, is not taken by any one wishing to reconstruct the past; and even for a present sense of the individuality of our neighbor nation we should not choose to step over the imaginary border line from a town nominally American but still in a degree Mexican, to a town nominally Mexican but already a good deal Americanized. The broad track of the ocean, not the narrow glistening rail, shall take us to the land of our pilgrimage. Leaving New York on a sleety and cruel Thursday of December or January, we slip down the East River, remaining on deck, whatever the cold, and letting the impression of our own perpendicular metropolis fix itself as strongly as it will on our departing vision. So we have said "good-bye" to the exigent Land of Now and have determined the p... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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