through the fields towards the town, and the bells commenced ringing from every tower in the city and its suburbs. The number of bells which thus at once sent forth their voices in welcome to the stranger, could hardly have been less than one hundred, and the ringers worked as if life and death depended on their exertions.
When the procession reached the Plaza, two fine brass-bands—all the musicians being natives of Cholula—struck up their liveliest airs, the Prefecto Politico and the Ayuntemento of the town came forward to welcome Mr. Seward, and the party, dismounting from the carriages, marched to the town-hall, the entire population, men, women, and children, with eager curiosity depicted on their features, following, or running by their side. In the hall, behind the desk of the Prefecto, was a full-length portrait of the Virgin of Guadaloupe, and on the desk lay two silver maces with globes at the end surmounted with the eagle and nopal of Mexico. These emblems of authority are not unlike in appearance to the mace represented in the picture of Cromwell disbanding the Long Parliament, when he exclaims, "take away that fool's bauble!"
The Prefecto made a warm and sensible speech in behalf of the people and Ayuntemento of Cholula, welcoming Mr. Seward and his friends to the hospitalities of the ancient city, and alluding in warm terms to the services rendered to the cause of Mexican independence, through him, by the Government and people of the United States; to which Mr. Seward replied: