The Spaniards awaited the approach of the Americans with a display of exultation. Governor-General Augusti announced that after the expected battle Spanish cruisers would be dispatched against San Francisco. The capture of an American trading bark by a Spanish gunboat was made an occasion of popular rejoicing. The means adopted to excite native hatred against the Americans by inspiring dread of them seems incredible and would only be possible in a country where press censorship and general ignorance combined to leave the people at the mercy of unscrupulous rulers. The Governor-General issued a bombastic address in which, after declaring that "the hour of glory had arrived," he reviled in abuse of the Americans:--
"The North American people, constituted of all social excrescences, have exhausted our patience and provoked war by their perfidious machinations, their acts of treachery, their outrages against the laws of nations and international conventions. .
"Spain, which counts upon the sympathies of all nations, will emerge triumphant from this new test, humiliating and blasting the adventurers from those United States that, without cohesion, offer humanity only infamous traditions and ungrateful spectacles in her chambers, in which appear insolence, defamation, cowardice, and cynicism.
"Her squadron, manned by foreigners, possessing neither instruction nor discipline, is preparing to come to this archipelago with ruffianly intention, robbing us of all that means life, honor, and liberty, and pretending to be inspired by a courage of which they are incapable.
"American seamen undertake as an enterprise capable of realization the substitution of Protestantism for the Catholic religion, to treat you as tribes refractory to civilization, to take possession of your riches as if they were unacquainted with the rights of property, to kidnap those persons they consider useful to man their ships or to be exploited in agricultural and industrial labor.
"Vain designs, ridiculous boastings! Your indomitable bravery will suffice to frustrate the realization of their designs. You will not allow the faith you profess, to be made a mockery, or impious hands to be placed on the temple of the true God. The images you adore, thrown down by the unbelief of the aggressors, shall not prove the tombs of your fathers. They shall not gratify lustful passions at the cost of your wives' and daughters' honor, or appropriate property accumulated in provision for your old age.
"They shall not perpetrate these crimes, inspired by their wickedness and covetousness, because your valor and patriotism will suffice to punish a base people that is claiming to be civilized and cultivated. They have exterminated the natives of North America instead of giving them civilization and progress."
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