Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/291

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279
AN ERA OF GOOD FEELING.

ble in the brilliantly lighted hall, was one such as is seldom witnessed on our continent, and never twice in a life-time. Juarez and Seward sat together, and the guests, Mexicans and Americans, were so distributed through the hall as to produce the most striking contrasts. Confederate officers, in exile, sat side by side and drank with veterans of the army of the Union, and next them, officers of the army of the Republic of Mexico, with their breasts covered with decorations commemorative of gallant deeds performed in the late war, or even as far back as the war between the United States and Mexico in 1846—7. Members of the Cabinet of President Juarez sat by the side of the most violent leaders of the opposition, and for the time, at least, all hostility and ill-feeling appeared to be laid aside, out of mutual good-will and respect for the guest of the nation.

Of the four hundred guests present, about three hundred appeared to have come charged with speeches and "brindisis," the military men forming the exceptional one hundred. Conspicuous in the vicinity of the President was General Mejia, Minister of War, in his gorgeous uniform of Commander-in-Chief, and directly opposite him I noticed Col. Geo. M. Green, late Commander of the American Legion of Honor, wearing the decoration for the highest order of merit for services rendered in the war against the Empire.

The hall, though of immense length, is quite disproportionately narrow, so that but one table was set through its entire length. This naturally made it impossible for the after-dinner speakers to be heard at either end of the table, and led to much confusion late in the evening.