From thenceforth annexation to the United States, or else a "Cuba Libre," was the determined, and even desperate aim. After a ten-years' war, 1868-78, the people yielded to what proved a delusive promise of home-rule. How could Spain bestow upon her colony what she did not possess herself?
The dukes were constantly waging war against each other, and these internal dissensions greatly weakened the central government. At the same time the empire was exposed to the incursions of the Magyars or Hungarians, whose wholesale depredations and cruelties so dismayed the child-king that he concluded a treaty of peace with the invaders and consented to pay them a ten-years' tribute.
It was also America, he went on, which had given China moral support and active backing in her ten-years' struggle against the drug. We had called together the Opium Conference at Shanghai, and later the Hague International Opium Conference, and owing to the publicity gained through these conferences China had had the courage to demand the opportunity to eradicate the curse.
A postal subsidy had long been in operation, the subsidies being all awarded to a single steamship company the Austrian Lloyd, earlier the Austro-Hungarian Lloyd. Ten-years' contracts were at first made with this company. The contracts, executed in 1888, particularly guarded domestic interests. In the purchase of materials it was required that preference be given to Austro-Hungarian industries.
From that time till her unhappy fate she was never in United States waters. At Aspinwall and in the ports of Venezuela and the West Indies she was known for three years as the most daring and the most successful of filibusters, making repeated landings on the Cuban coast with supplies of arms, ammunition, food and clothes for the insurgents who were then fighting the Ten-Years' war.
This was a small shirt-like vest, with pockets front and back, opening at the belt, a handy way of carrying their cartridges devised by them through necessity during the previous ten-years war. A panama hat turned up in front and fastened with a silver star, completed his attire; for as to his feet, they were innocent of a covering.
He was one of those who, at the discharge of the carbines of the patrolling cavalrymen, joined in the deafening shout raised by men of all conditions and from almost every state in the Union a shout as of triumph over the fulfillment of a ten-years' dream.
Think of China's position having to await with "feverish interest" the decision of the British Government as to whether or not it will be possible for China to suppress the opium traffic at the end of the ten-years' agreement! The sale and manufacture of opium is a monopoly of the British Government, just as vodka was a monopoly of the Russian Government at the beginning of the war.
He was glad to be employed of an errand; to go and make inquiries about a horse or a servant, or to carve the roast mutton for the dinner of the children. He was beat and cowed into laziness and submission. Delilah had imprisoned him and cut his hair off, too. The bold and reckless young blood of ten-years back was subjugated and was turned into a torpid, submissive, middle-aged, stout gentleman.
In the ten-years' war at Troy, the Olympians were active partisans upon both sides at times, now screening their favorites from danger, and now even pitting themselves against combatants of more vulnerable flesh and blood. But in the matter of vulnerability they seem not to have enjoyed complete exemption, any more than did Milton's angels.