Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/30

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

of France, and that as a "puppet emperor" he had caused the disgrace of his supporters. The calm, well-bred Prince replied that then and there such scenes must find an end; he had been called by the Notables to be their Emperor, and he then decided to cast his lot with theirs, to govern the country with their aid, or fall with them.

Such was the immediate cause of Prince Maximilian's desperate resolve, as described by the consuls in Vera Cruz, and other persons who seemed in a position to know the circumstances. In the interests of exactness it may be stated that other accounts differ somewhat in the details. A person in Vera Cruz, in a letter to Mr. Romero, the Minister of Juarez in Washington, by whom he was considered as trustworthy, stated that the departure of Maximilian, planned without the knowledge of General Bazaine, was frustrated by an indiscretion on the part of the commander of the Austrian vessel waiting for him at Vera Cruz. The Prince had sent a despatch (at midnight of October 30, 1866) to this officer, telling him to be ready to sail by five on the following afternoon, at which time he would be there ready to embark. At early daylight the Austrian captain went to the French commander, M. Peyron, told him in confidence of the message he had received, and took his leave with the usual courteous request for commands for Trieste. M. Peyron immediately tele-