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GARDENING OPERATIONS FOR THE…

THE MYSTERY OF FRENCH EGGS.

The LAW of FOREIGN DECORATIONS

HOW MAXIMILIAN WAS CAPTURED.

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HOW MAXIMILIAN WAS CAPTURED. The following letter, dated Queretaro, May 20, gives some details of the betrayal of the unfortunate Maximilian :— The principal defence of this town consists in the vast convent of La Cruz, situated at the south and on the side of the city of Mexico. This building, a relic of the splendours of the Spanish domination, is con- structed of stone and adobe (bricks hardened by the sun) a part of its enclosure is, besides, protected by earth intrenchments. The convent covers, with its dependencies, more than ten acres of ground, and forms a citadel on which siege artillery only could make any impression. Such, five days ago, was the principal position of Maximilian, who for some time had made it his head-quarters. Immediately opposite in the Corretas mountains, the Mexican General Escobedo was established, and his advanced guard occupied the valley which separates La Cruz from the Corretas. In the night of May 14 there was a council of war in the town. The Imperialist army had exhausted all its supplies, and was likely to be soon reduced to the last extremities. As flour was wanting, the Intend- ance every day caused to be slaughtered a certain number of horses and mules which there was no means of feeding from want of provender. Even this resource threatened to fail before long, and for that reason Maximilian resolved on at- tempting a vigorous sortie, and opening for himself a passage through the enemy's lines. At eleven o'clock the troops were under arms and the artillery in position; everything was ready for the attack. But at the last moment, in consequence of the slow movements of his generals, the Emperor found himself obliged to coun- termand the expedition. Already at that moment the army had been sold to the enemy. The fort of La Cruz was to have been occupied an hour later by the troops of the Liberals. It was notorious that there were a considerable number of persons in the ranks of the Imperialists disposed to give up the town, but who would ever have suspected the Colonel of the regiment of the Empress, the keeper of the key of Queretaro, the commander of the fort of La Cruz, Miguel Lopez himself ? He was the man who, in the evening of the 14th, sent to Escobedo a letter in which he offered to betray his companions in arms for 3,000 ounces of gold (48,000 dols.) Escobedo naturally did what any other general would have done in his place—he accepted the proposal. Towards midnight the advanced guard of the Liberals, protected by the darkness, left the camp, and arrived without noise before the con- vent. Colenel Lopez, ordering his soldiers to ground their arms, opened the gates to the enemy. From that moment, the Emperor Maximilian, who was sleeping tranquilly in another part of the building, was irretrievably lost. At the first gleam of the morning the Archduke was on foot, and immediately perceived that some extraordinary event had taken place. Rousing up the Prince of Salm-Salm, his aide- de-camp, Maximilian directed his steps towards the outer enclosure of the convent, but had scarcely advanced a few paces when he was surrounded by a detachment of soldiers commanded by Colonel Ringon Gallardo. Lopez himself accompanied the detach- ment, and pointed out the Emperor to the troops, crying out, That is the man—seize him." A curious incident then occurred. Colonel Gallardo, a brave soldier, who did not seem greatly to relish the treachery of Lopez, stepped up to Maximilan, and said to him, You are a private person and not a soldier; we have nothing to say to you, go about your business. With these words he pushed His Majesty outside the convent. Five minutes later I met Maxi- milian, who seemed not to have yet recovered from his surprise. He was walking as fast as possible towards Cerro de la Campana, at the other extremity of the town. This position is a fortified hill commanding the northern part of the place. On his arrival there he was joined by Generals Mejia, Castillo, and Avellano, the Prince de Salm-Salm, and several others of his officers; but it soon became evident that any resistance was impossible. Four battalions of infantry and all the Liberal cavalry were surrounding the Cerro. The white flag was then hoisted, and the Archduke with all his staff surrendered to General Corona. The prisoners were allowed to retain their horses, arms, and personal effects and a ) few hours later they were conducted to the convent of La Cruz. The first companies of the Mexican ad- vanced guard which had entered the town committed some excesses several houses were pillaged and some persons rifled in the streets, but immediately after the arrival of the general officers order was re-established. On the whole, fewer acts of violence were perpetrated than might have been expected. A subsequent letter from Queretaro, dated May 25, con- tains the following:- From the convent of La Cruz the Prince was con- ducted, with his officers, to that of Santa Teresita, where they were placed in rooms devoid of all comfort. During three or four days they slept on the bare ground, and their food was very insufficient. The arrival of the Princess de Salm-Salm and her remon- strances with Escobedo had the effect of ameliorating the condition of the prisoners. They were transferred to another convent, that of Las Capuchinas, and they were permitted to receive from their friends provi- sions, wine, and clothing. The adventures of the Princess de Salm-Salm would form a strange chapter in a romance. Twice did she traverse the Liberal lines to reach the capital and return from it, and on two occasions was fired at by the Mexican sentries. She was afterwards detained prisoner for two days at Guada- loupe by General Diaz for having distributed money to the German captives at that place. She at length ob- tained a passport authorizing, or rather ordering her to proceed to the coast and quit the country. But with that passport she made her way to Queretaro and San Luis during the siege of the first-named town. She was accompanied by only one female Mexican servant. Subsequently she had interviews with Pre- sident Juarez and General Escobedo to intercede in favour of Maximilian and her husband. It is said that the Archduke wept like a child on hearing a narrative of the heroic peregrinations of this courageous lady.

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