Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/13

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Prince Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria, for him and his descendants.

"Fourth. In case, from circumstances which cannot be foreseen, the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian should not take possession of the throne which is offered to him, the Mexican nation shall place it under the consideration of His Majesty Napoleon III., Emperor of the French, that he may indicate another Catholic Prince to whom the crown shall be offered."

These propositions were accepted and published in the form of a decree.

The nobleness of the ambitious young Archduke, in refusing to accept the proffered crown unless the votes of the entire country should ratify the wishes of the capital city, was only clouded by his lamentable blindness to the mockery of a plebiscite taken in a country whose patriot army had been almost destroyed, and which was overrun by the amalgamated forces of the regency and of France.

Referring to this proposed election, M. Drouyn de l'Huys, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, intimated to the United States Minister in Paris that "an early acknowledgment of the proposed Empire by the United States would be convenient to France, by relieving her, sooner than might be possible under other circumstances, from her troublesome complications in Mexico." To this Mr.