Page:Vol 4 History of Mexico by H H Bancroft.djvu/814

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communication between the capital and the insurgent army, and in the hope of effecting a peaceable reconciliation. But a conciliatory line of action in no way tended to avert the catastrophe. He consented to the immediate convocation of a new congress;[1] a dividing line between the troops was agreed upon; and a stipulation made that both sides should await the inauguration of the national assembly without further action and abide by its decision. But these arrangements were little conducive to Iturbide's advantage, nor even carefully adhered to, emissaries being despatched all over the country advocating the new movement. Moreover, the revolutionists were in no haste; their cause was making rapid headway, and a little delay was actual gain to them, while to Iturbide they foresaw that it would be fatal. The falling emperor also fully recognized this; he saw the mistake he had made in not having taken measures to assemble congress at the earliest possible date, when it might still have been largely composed of adherents of his own; and several times he expressed his desire for a personal interview with the chiefs, in the hope of settling matters. But they would hold no conference with him.[2] To await the slow work of assembling a congress would be certain defeat, for its composition would be mainly of members hostile to him. Two courses remained: either to reinstall the dissolved congress, or lay aside his imperial title, and, adopting the plan of Casa Mata, place himself at the head of the revolution, as invited to do.[3] The latter

  1. The convocatoria had already been drawn up at the beginning of the preceding December, and was now to be put in circulation. Iturbide, Manifiesto, 55. A draft of a constitution had also been prepared, Mex. Proyecto Constitucion, 40, as also one for the provisional regulation of the government during the mean time. Mex. Proyecto Regl. Polit., p. 34.
  2. He says that they were ashamed to meet him: 'El delito les retraia, y los confundia su ingratitud.' Iturbide, Manifesto, 60.
  3. He was invited to do this by many of the principal leaders, among whom he mentions the names of Negrete, Vivanco, and Cortazar. He remarks that if ambition had been his aim, by accepting this proposal and retaining the command, time would have afforded him a thousand opportunities of exercising it to his own pleasure. Id., 65.