Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/64

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58
INVITATION TO THE PALACE.

called at once and offered the hospitalities of the city and State, as Señor Huarte did those of his house.

We had hardly time to finish breakfast on the morning after our arrival, when two elegantly-dressed gentlemen, Señors Firmin Gonzalez Castro, and Francisco Santa Cruz, were introduced; they informed Mr. Seward that they came in behalf of the officers Aduana Maritima and the Governor and people of Colima, to invite the party to attend a ball and banquet at the palace, on the evening of the 12th of October, to be given in honor of his visit. The address being duly translated, Mr. Seward replied as follows:

"Gentlemen: I have received only hospitalities, undeserved, since I landed in Mexico. I thank you sincerely for the hospitalities you have now tendered me. Desirous of extending my acquaintance with the citizens of this ancient and respected city of Colima, I will attend the entertainment you tender me this evening with much pleasure."

When evening came, the party entered the carriages in attendance at 10 o'clock, and were driven to the palace. Arriving there, all were surprised beyond measure at the oriental magnificence of the decorations and preparations for the occasion. Outside, the building, which is of pure Moorish style, was one blaze of light A crowd of the common people standing in respectful silence blocked the way, and were kept back from the portal by the bayonets of a company of regular troops, under command of Capt. Reyes. The sidewalks on either side were lined with rows of feathery palm-leaves fastened upright and decorated with lamps, and the whole front of the building was similarly decorated. Entering the portal, the soldiers presenting arms as we