During this last revolution in Nicaragua, the Government of that Republic having admitted its inability to protect American life and property against acts of sheer lawlessness on the part of the malcontents, and having requested this Government to assume that office, it became necessary to land over 2,000 marines and bluejackets in Nicaragua.
The grave and reverend Wilson, excited beyond all considerations of Puritanical propriety, climbed a tree, and made a vigorous speech to the throng of people, in which many malcontents were at work urging on an opposition that proved fruitless.
Despite the threats, the insults, the clamours of the Mountain and the galleries, Lanjuinais denounced the projects of the commune and of the malcontents; his courage rose with the danger. "You accuse us," he said, "of calumniating Paris! Paris is pure; Paris is good; Paris is oppressed by tyrants who thirst for blood and dominion."
The Cardinal, who is the minister of everything in the State, replies, without a moment's hesitation, to the old sovereign: "In the first place, there are no abuses: in the next place, if there were any, we must not touch them. To reform anything is to make a concession to the malcontents. To give way, is to prove that we are afraid.
It may not be pleasant to us to recognize this fact; but I am confident that we shall make sure progress toward securing domestic tranquillity and the general welfare, just in proportion as we act upon it. It should be kept in mind that comparatively few of those who won renown on the field were promoters of rebellion or secession. The original malcontents, ah! where are they?
Perhaps you do not know the meaning of the word." The nose went down, and the temper went up. "I do, sir, quite as much as you. But I don't call truckling to the enemy honour." "Nor do I," said Tournier. The perfect quietness of his manner provoked the other more than any angry words would have done. "But that's what you are doing truckling to the English." The malcontents applauded.
Fifty supernumeraries were a poor stop-gap for the one hundred and seventy. Only the weakest could be relieved, and even those wept and pled to continue at the benches a little longer. The thunderous threat of Ameinias, that he who refused a proffered relief must stand all day by the mast with an iron anchor on his shoulder, alone sufficed to make the malcontents give place.
We may suspect that the malcontents were chiefly, if not solely, those of Greek race, who may have been tolerably numerous, and whose strength would lie in the towns. Hecatompylos, the chief city of Parthia, was among the colonies founded by Alexander; and its inhabitants would naturally be disinclined to acquiesce in the rule of a "barbarian."
Here again we are reminded of the Spaniards under Narvaez and Soto, who struggled through the swamps and interminable pine-barrens of Florida, cheered on by the delusive assurance that when they came to the country of Appalachee they would find gold in abundance. Another class of malcontents took matters into their own hands.
The administration stood at a point where safety lay rather in defying than in evading the ill opinion of the malcontents, where the best wisdom was to commit itself, the party, and the nation decisively to the "bold, far-reaching, radical, and aggressive policy," from which it would be impossible afterward to turn back "without deliberately resolving to sacrifice our nationality."