Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/70

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of Mexico, was closely invested without possibility of aid from any quarter, and could not long hold out against the increased forces that would soon be brought to bear. Nourishing a persistent hope, however, that the Imperial Commissary would return to a sense of duty and loyalty, and make a final effort to save his Emperor, Captain Roe and Mr. McGowan went on shore to confer with General Benavides and ask his opinion as to the possibility of any such terms being accepted, and whether or not he would forward a proposition of that or similar nature. It was represented that Mexico did not possess within her own borders sufficient resources to make her independent of the rest of the world, and that it would be better for her to renew friendly relations with foreign powers, and far best to have Austria for a friend in the future. On the subject being first broached the General drew himself up and exclaimed: "We want nothing from any country except the United States. Maximilian has been a robber and a murderer, and as such let him die." Subduing his passion, however, he read over the propositions and afterwards said that while it was very doubtful the President would accept the terms, he still might possibly entertain them; for it was true, as pointed out, that Vera Cruz was the key to the hopes of the city of Mexico, and its surrender would instantly be followed by the fall of the capital. The possession by Juarez of Vera Cruz, the one port of import-