Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/408

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made use of the troops and funds he was able to raise in the capital in order to attack General Diaz who was advancing upon Puebla. Diaz captured Puebla, after a siege of twenty-five days, and then turned round and utterly routed Márquez, who, taking refuge in flight, returned almost alone to the capital under cover of the night. Had he brought back his troops to the succor of Querétaro, the immediate result might have been different, but the fall of the Empire could not be long delayed. During this long and trying siege, the conduct of Maximilian was admirable. He won everybody by the gentleness and cheerfulness of his bearing, brave to a fault, and exposing himself fearlessly to the fire of the enemy. Several plans of escape were formed, by which the Emperor, with a few guards, was to disappear from the city and place himself at the head of his troops elsewhere, but these were generally frustrated at the last moment by the unwillingness of Maximilian to abandon his brave companions, from a delicate sense of honor.

Maximilian, at Querétaro, is described by the Prince of Salm-Salm, as generally in citizen's dress; but when he stood at the head of his troops he wore the uniform of a general of division.

He was about six feet high, of a slender figure. His movements and gait were light and graceful, his greeting especially genial. He had fair hair, not very thick, which he wore carefully parted in the middle. His beard was fair and very long, and he nursed it with great care, parting it in the middle, and frequently stroking it with his hand. His skin