Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/282

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DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT'S FAMILY.

This speech contained a revelation of some diplomatic secrets, the chief of which was, that at that time, Mr. Romero and prominent military men, were so determined to bring about an armed intervention, that they coalesced, with the object of securing Mr. Seward's removal from the Cabinet, but failed.

On the 24th of November, the party accompanied Mr. Seward to Chapultepec, to dine with the family of President Juarez. This dinner was a most sumptuous and elegant affair. Nothing that money could procure, and good taste suggest was lacking, and the decorations of the grand dining-hall, reception-rooms, and parlors were beautiful and tasteful in all their details. Senor "Don Benito,"—as his friends love to call him—and his amiable wife, did the honors of the house in a manner which put all the guests—fifty in number—perfectly at their ease, and they were assisted by all the sons-in-law and daughters, Miss Soledad, and Don Benito Juarez, jr. As the dinner was strictly a private one, and the toasts and sentiments such as would be given only at a family reunion of old and dear friends, I shall say no more about it.

The table was spread in the grand saloon in which the "Feast of Belshazzar"—as it has been not inaptly termed—took place, on Maximilian's return from Orizaba, just previous to his departure for Queretaro on the fatal expedition which resulted in the collapse of his mushroom empire, and the erection of a little mound of stones and three black crosses, at the foot of the Cerro de Las Campanas, as a monument and a warning to unscrupulous and ambitious adventurers for all coming time; the table, too, was the same.

We went up on the roof, and looked down on the