Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/316

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
304
DON BENITO JUAREZ.

He rides in a common plain coach—no "better than a first-class hack in New York—and will allow no servants in livery about him. His manner is always quiet, and his demeanor toward strangers courteous and affable, without in the least tending towards familiarity. His complexion is quite dark, with the reddish tinge indicative of Aztec Indian blood, eyes small and black, features strongly Indian, and the expression of his smooth-shaven face indicative of great self-possession, quiet self-reliance, decision and indomitable resolution. There is nothing quick, nervous, or "fidgety" in his manner. I doubt if any man living can say he ever saw Benito Juarez scared, excited, or irresolute for a moment.

He impresses you as one who moves slowly but with irresistible force, and is capable of any sacrifice and any expenditure of time, money, or blood to carry out his plans when once adopted. Whether entertaining the Nation's guest, as we saw him on this night, when thousands of eyes were upon him; sitting in his bare-walled room at El Paso del Norte, with a price upon his head, and but two hundred Indian troops to support him and the Republic, against the mercenary hordes of Europe, and domestic traitors; or walking in the garden of Chapultepec, smoking his cigarrito, and meditating on plans for putting down pronunciamentos, crushing the power of the Church, or establishing schools and providing for the education and improvement of his people, he is ever the same taciturn, self-reliant, hopeful, unexcitable man, believing in himself, and confident of the final triumph of Republicanism, over all trial and opposition. A horse-fancying friend described him once to me as "not a three-minute trotter,