[Footnote 1: Much of the material of this chapter is taken from Victor Tissot's book of travels in Austria; the chapter on Maximilian as archduke and emperor I translated from advance-sheets, and it was published in the "Living Age" under the title "From Miramar to Queretaro." - E. W. L.]

Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, was born the same week that his cousin, the unfortunate son of Napoleon and Marie Louise, had died. He grew to manhood handsome, well educated, accomplished, and enterprising. He had the great gift of always making himself personally beloved. The navy was his profession, but his great desire was to be made viceroy of the (then) Austrian provinces of Italy. He felt sure that he could conciliate the Italians, and a great Italian statesman is reported to have said that it was well for Italian unity that his wish was never granted. His ideas were all liberal, and opposed to those of Metternich. His family mistrusted his political opinions, but the Italians, when brought into personal contact with him, soon learned to love him. They saw a great deal of him, for Trieste and Venice were at that period the naval stations of the Austrian Empire. He was, therefore, often in those places, and finally took up his residence in an earthly paradise upon the Adriatic, created by himself and called by him Miramar.

In June, 1857, when the Indian Mutiny was at its height, though tidings of it had not yet reached the western world, the Archduke Maximilian, whom the English royal family had never met, arrived at Windsor, and was hailed there as one who was soon to become a relative, for he was engaged to King Leopold's only daughter, the Princess Charlotte of Belgium.

The queen and her husband were charmed with Maximilian. "He is a young prince," writes Prince Albert, "of whom we hear nothing but good, and Charlotte's alliance with him will be one of the heart. May Heaven's blessing," he adds, "be upon a connection so happily begun, and in it may they both find their life's truest happiness!"

The queen also wrote to her uncle Leopold, -

"The archduke is charming, - so clever, natural, kind, and amiable; so English in his feelings and likings. With the exception of the mouth and chin, he is good looking, but I think one does not the least care for that, he is so very kind, clever, and pleasant. I wish you really joy, dearest uncle, at having got such a husband for dear Charlotte. I am sure he will make her happy, and do a great deal for Italy."

Prince Albert crossed over to Belgium for the wedding, and wrote to his wife: "Charlotte's whole being seems to have been warmed and unfolded by the love that is kindled in her heart. I have never seen so rapid a development in the space of one year. She appears to be happy and devoted to her husband with her whole soul, and eager to make herself worthy of her present position."

At the time of her marriage the princess had just entered her seventeenth year. The wedding-day was made a little family fete at Windsor, in spite of Prince Albert's absence. "The younger children," the queen writes to her husband, "are to have a half-holiday. Alice is to dine with us for the first time, in the evening. We shall drink the archduke's and the archduchess's healths, and I have ordered wine for our servants, and grog for our sailors, to do the same."

Maximilian had been round the world in his frigate, the "Novara;" he had travelled into Greece and Asia Minor, he had visited Spain, Portugal, and Sicily; he had been to Egypt and the Holy Land. He loved the ocean like a true sailor, and in 1856 he had taken up his residence at Trieste, to be near its shores. He would frequently go out alone in a light boat, even in rough weather, a dash of danger lending excitement to a struggle with the wind and waves.

One day in a storm his light craft had been borne like a feather round Cape Gignano. In a moment it lay at rest under the lee of the land. Maximilian landed, and found the spot so charming and the sea-view so superb that he resolved to build a little villa there for fishing. He bought the land at once, and began by setting out exotics, persuaded that the soil of such a spot would be favorable to tropical vegetation. A year later he brought his young bride to this favored spot, and with a golden wand transformed his bachelor's fishing-hut into the palace of an emperor.

At this period of his life, Maximilian (an author and a poet) was greatly interested in architecture. He drew the plans for an exquisite church (now one of the beauties of Vienna), and draughted with his own hand those for the grounds and castle of Miramar. The work was pushed on rapidly, yet in 1859, when Austria was forced to give up Lombardy, nothing at Miramar was complete except a fancy farm-house on one of the heights of the property. Maximilian, however, made his home there with his wife, and they found it so delightful that when at length the castle was ready for occupation, they lingered in the farmhouse, which they loved as their first home. It was a large Swiss chalet, covered with vines and honeysuckle, surrounded by groves of camellias and pyrus japonicas. How delicious life must have been to the husband and wife in this solitude, fragrant with flowers, vocal with the songs of birds, a glory of greenness round the house, the blue sky overhead, the glittering ocean at their feet, and holy love and loving kindness everywhere around them!

Maximilian's generosity rendered wealth indispensable to his complete happiness, for he loved to surround himself with artists, learned men, and men of letters. He paid them every kind of attention in his power, and did not omit those little gifts which are "the beads on memory's rosary."

"One feels how happy life must have been to husband and wife in this new Paradise!" cries M. Victor Tissot. "Yet it was Paradise Lost before long, for alas! in this, as in the other Paradise, the Eve, the sweet young wife, was tempted by ambition. She took the apple, ate, and gave it to her husband."

On April 10, 1864, the Mexican deputies commissioned to offer Maximilian the imperial crown, arrived at Miramar. "We come," said Don Gutierrez de Estrada, "to beseech you to ascend the throne of Mexico, to which you have been called by the voice of a people weary of anarchy and civil war. We are assured you have the secret of conquering the hearts of all men, and excel in the rare knowledge of the art of government."

Maximilian replied that he was ready to accept the honor offered him by the Mexican people, and that his government would be both liberal and constitutional. "I shall prove, I trust," he said, "that liberty may be made compatible with law. I shall respect your liberties, and uphold order at the same time."

Don Gutierrez thanked the archduke in the name of the Mexican nation, and then the new emperor swore upon the Gospels to labor for the happiness and prosperity of his people, and to protect their independent nationality. Don Gutierrez was then embraced by Maximilian, who hung around his neck the cross of the new Order of Guadeloupe, of which he was the first member.

But this acceptance of the imperial crown of Mexico was by no means a sudden thought with Maximilian. For eight months he had been debating the matter in his own heart, urged to acceptance of the crown by his wife, but dissuaded by his family.

The history of the offer, connected as it is with one of Napoleon III.'s schemes for extending French influence, must be briefly told.

Before the Civil War broke out in America, it had already entered the head of the emperor that he would like to intermeddle in the affairs of Mexico. That unhappy country, which the United States have been accused of doing their best to keep in a chronic state of weakness, turbulence, and revolution, had been left to recover itself after the Mexican War, which had shorn away its fairest provinces.

In 1853, Santa Ana, who had been president, dictator, exile, and conspirator by turns for thirty years, was recalled to Mexico, and a second time was made dictator. He assumed the title of Serene Highness, and claimed the right to nominate his successor. A popular revolution soon unseated him. Juarez, of Indian parentage, was at its head. The clerical party was outraged by the confiscation of the enormous possessions of the Church, and by the abolition of the right of mortmain (i. e., wills made upon death-beds were pronounced thenceforth invalid, so far as bequests to the Church were concerned). Mexico is a country with eighteen hundred miles of coast-line, but few harbors. It had in 1860 no railroads, and hardly any highroads of any kind. Its provinces were semi-independent, its population widely scattered, a large part of it was Indian, a still larger portion consisted of half-breeds; pure-blooded Spaniards were a small minority. The feeling that stood Mexico in lieu of patriotism was a keen hatred and jealousy of foreigners. Their very pride still keeps the Mexicans from believing that there can be anything better than what they possess. Perpetual revolutions had educated the people into habits of lawlessness; and as to dishonesty, rank itself was no guarantee against petty larceny, while in the larger rascalities of peculation, bribe-taking, and political treachery, no nation had ever such opportunities for exercising its national capacity, nor, apparently, did many Mexicans have conscientious scruples as to its display.

Under these circumstances it is no wonder that foreign bondholders complained loudly to their Governments, or that in the general confusion all manner of wrongs to Englishmen, Frenchmen, Austrians, and Spaniards called loudly for redress. That cry reached the French emperor's ears. He proposed to England and Spain that as Mexico had at last got a government under Juarez, an interventionary force should appear off her coast, composed of English, French, and Spanish ships-of-war, and that Mexico should be summoned to redress their common wrongs.

All this was harmless. The expedition was commanded by the Spanish General Prim; but under the avowed object of demanding a redress of grievances, the Emperor Napoleon concealed a more ambitious aim. The United States were at war; all their resources were absorbed in civil strife. The most sagacious statesmen could not foresee that the end of that strife would be to make the country more great, more rich, more formidable; and Napoleon thought it was the very moment for attacking the Monroe doctrine, and for making, as he said, "the Latin race hold equal sway with the Anglo-Saxon over the New World." If he meant by the "Latin race" the effete half-Indian, Mexican and South American peoples, which were to be set as rivals against the Anglo-Saxon race, represented by Yankees, Southerners, men of the West, and the English in Canada, he was widely wrong in his calculation; but it is probable that "Latin" was his synonym for "French" in this connection.

The Monroe doctrine, as all Americans know, took its rise from certain words in a Presidential message of Mr. Monroe in 1822, though they were inserted in the message by Mr. Adams. They were to the effect that the United States would disturb no nation or government at present (i. e., in 1822) existing on the North or South American continent, but that they would oppose all attempts by any European Government whatever to put down any free institutions that were the choice of the people, or to impose upon them any form of government against their will.

Napoleon III. did not quite dare to fly in the face of the Monroe doctrine, even though the United States were embarrassed by civil war. There were plenty of Mexican exiles in Paris, among them the Don Gutierrez who offered Maximilian the imperial crown. These men had secret interviews with the emperor. Thus the way was paved for Maximilian long before the time came to act, and possibly before he heard of the matter; for there was a power behind the throne that was urging his elevation on the French emperor with all a woman's persuasive powers.[1]

[Footnote 1: Pierre de Lana.]

It was not until after the Empress Eugenie had been left regent of France, during the campaign of Italy, in 1859, that she took any part in politics; but from that time her influence was freely exercised, though she interested herself chiefly in foreign affairs. She did not like Victor Emmanuel, nor her husband's policy as regarded Italy. She dreaded the destruction of the pope's power as a temporal prince. Her sympathies were Austrian, and in conjunction with her friends the Prince and Princess Metternich she lost no opportunity of urging the establishment of Maximilian and Carlotta on the imperial throne of Mexico. She looked upon this as in some sort a compensation given by France to the House of Hapsburg for its losses in Italy. To her imagination, the expedition to Mexico seemed like a romance. She saw two lovers seated upon Montezuma's throne, - the oldest throne in the New World, - surrounded by the glories of the tropics. When there, they would restore the privileges of the Catholic clergy, and would curb the revolutionary aspirations of the mongrel population of Mexico, - a population which, as a Spaniard, she hated and despised. To this end she intrigued with all her heart. Indeed, she and her friends the Metternichs acted in the preliminary arrangements of the plan the part of actual conspirators.

After the French and Spanish forces landed in Mexico, accompanied by a few Englishmen, Juarez offered to make compensation for the wrongs complained of, and an agreement was drawn up and signed by General Prim and the French and English commanders at a place called La Soledad.

England and Spain, when the agreement was sent to Europe for ratification, considered it satisfactory. France, having ulterior designs, repudiated it altogether. The Spaniards and the English therefore withdrew their forces, and the French remained to fight out the quarrel with Juarez alone.

Up to this time no allusion had been made as to any change in the Mexican government; but now French agents began to intrigue in favor of an empire and Maximilian. A small assembly of Mexican notables was with great difficulty convened in the city of Mexico, from which Juarez was absent, being engaged in carrying on the war. The only persons concerned in this assembly who took any real interest in its objects were the clergy, who believed that a prince of the House of Austria would be likely to restore to them all their property and privileges.

There can be no doubt that such a government as Maximilian would have established in Mexico would have been a happy thing for that country and for civilization; but it is equally certain that the Mexicans (meaning by that term the great mass of the people) did not want such a government. Above all, they did not want for their ruler a foreigner, backed by a foreign potentate. The only raison d'etre for Maximilian's government in any Mexican's mind was not that it would bring order and peace into the country, but that it might bring money from the coffers of the new emperor's ally. But when, after a while, the reverse of peace and order was the result of this new government, and when the French emperor declined to advance any more funds, nothing kept any man true to Maximilian but the dread of what the party of Juarez might do to him when the cause of the emperor should be overthrown.

With this explanation we will go back to Miramar, where Maximilian and Carlotta, unquestionably deceived by the political manipulations of the French emperor, believed, with joy and pride, that they were the choice of the Mexican people, and that they had nothing to do but to go forth and take possession of the promised land.

On April 13, 1864, almost the darkest date during our war for the cause of the Federal Union, the Archduke Maximilian and his wife quitted the soil of Austria.

Early in the morning, in the port of Trieste and on the road to Miramar, all were astir. Friends from all parts of the Austrian Empire were hastening to bid farewell to the Archduke whom they loved.

The "Novara" and the French frigate "Themis" were lying off Trieste, ready to start; and near them, riding at anchor, were six steamships belonging to the Austrian Lloyds, full of spectators.

At about one o'clock P. M. the emperor, with his wife leaning on his arm, entered the town-hall of Trieste, where about twenty deputations were assembled to offer him farewell addresses. Maximilian was much moved, and when the burgomaster spoke of the grief that all the people of the city would feel at his departure, he burst into tears. He embraced the burgomaster, shook hands with those about him, and whispered, as if to himself: "Something tells me that I shall never see this dear country more." His sensitive and poetic nature was very susceptible to sad presentiments; his book teems with them.

After the leave-taking, their Majesties entered the magnificent barge prepared for their use by the city of Trieste; a salute of one hundred guns reverberated from the sides of the mountain, while twenty thousand hats and handkerchiefs waved a sad farewell.

Maximilian and Carlotta embarked on board the "Novara," which carried the Mexican flag. By four o'clock both vessels were well down in the offing, and not till then did the crowd separate. Those with telescopes had seen up to the last moment a figure standing on the poop-deck, with its face turned towards Miramar, and knew it for the form of Maximilian.

The "Novara" touched at Jamaica. On May 28 it came in sight of the shores of Mexico, and cast anchor in the harbor of Vera Cruz.

The emperor and empress had expected a public reception. There was nothing of the kind. No welcome awaited them, - not even an official one. This was the more extraordinary because the "Themis" had been sent forward to announce the approach of the imperial party. Their disappointment at the want of enthusiasm was great. The French vice-admiral did his best to repair unfortunate omissions. He gave orders for a show of festivity; but it was plain to see, from the indifference of the people in the streets, that they had no part or lot in the demonstration.

After leaving the sea-coast, Maximilian proceeded towards his capital in an old shabby English barouche, his journey seeming rather like the expedition of an adventurer than the progress of an emperor. Passing through Orizaba and Puebla, the emperor and empress entered Mexico on June 12. French agents had paid for flowers to be scattered in their path, and a theatrical kind of procession was prepared, which was not agreeable to either of them. The only part of the population which hailed their coming with delight were the descendants of the Aztecs, many of whom appeared on the occasion in feather dresses preserved in their families since the time of Montezuma. In the evening there was a public performance at the theatre in honor of the new sovereigns, but not half the boxes were filled.

The palace of Chapultepec, which had been assigned them as their residence, was destitute of comforts of any kind, and was much more like a second-class hotel than a habitation meet for princes. Yet even here, one of Maximilian's first cares was to layout the grounds and to plant flowers.

He was advised to make an immediate journey through his new dominions, in order to judge for himself of the aspirations and resources of the people. But he found a country broken down by war, without roads, without schools, without agriculture. "The only thing in this country which is well organized, sire," said a Mexican whom he was questioning about the state of things, "is robbery."

There was thieving everywhere. The emperor's palace, and even his private apartments, were not spared. One day, after a reception of officers high in military command, his revolver, inlaid with gold and ivory, which had lain on a table by his side, disappeared, and the empress missed two watches, which had gone astray under the dexterous fingering of her maids-of-honor. General Lopez, who was then commandant of the palace, wishing to give the emperor a proof of the accomplishments of his subjects in matters of this kind, offered to steal off his writing-table, within two hours, and without being noticed, any object agreed upon. He said he believed he could even carry off the table, - a joke at which the emperor laughed heartily.

When Maximilian returned to his capital, after a journey of great peril, he ordered the construction of several high-roads, granted lands and privileges to two or three railroad companies, founded a good many schools, and set on foot a Mexican Academy of Sciences. His own taste for natural history was so great that he gave some foundation for the charge made against him that he would frequently shut himself up in his workroom to stuff birds. He devoted great attention to improvements in agriculture, and planned a manufacturing city, and a seaport on the Gulf of Mexico which he intended to call Miramar.

His wife was an indefatigable helpmeet. She wrote all his European correspondence, but resented the interference of the French, and could be curt and energetic when the occasion called for self-assertion.

An American gentleman who saw her at a court-ball at this period thus describes her: "She was imperial in every look and action. The dignified and stately step so well suited to her station, and with herperfectly natural, would have seemed affectation in another. She did not seem remarkably tall, except in comparison with others. Her voice possessed a refinement peculiar to birth, education, and superior natures."

But while the emperor and empress were laboring for the improvement of their realm, the Juarists were increasing in strength, and banditti carried on their enterprises with impunity up to the very gates of Mexico. Day after day the stage was robbed between Mexico and Jalapa. The Marquis de Radepont, a quiet traveller, saved himself by killing half-a-dozen highwaymen with his revolver; but the Belgian ambassador, on his way to announce to their Imperial Majesties the accession of Leopold II., the brother of Carlotta, was robbed of all his jewelry and money.

In consequence of these disorders the emperor signed, on Oct. 3, 1865, in spite of the remonstrances of Marshal Bazaine, the French general-in-chief in Mexico, an order to the civil and military authorities to treat all armed guerilla bands as brigands, and to apply to them the utmost rigor of martial law.

This was at once interpreted into permission to shoot all prisoners; and three promising young Juarist generals who had fallen into the hands of one of Maximilian's commanders were shot immediately, leaving behind them pathetic farewell letters to their friends. Maximilian did not foresee that he was signing his own death-warrant when he put his hand to this act of severity.

Juarez himself, with a body of his followers, had retreated to the frontier, ready to pass over into Texas if the French attacked him. But the French were too few and too scattered to occupy a vast region of country where every inhabited house was a refuge for their foes. Moreover, the interest of Napoleon in the empire of Mexico was at an end. He hated a long war at any time, and was always ready to abandon an enterprise when he could not carry out his projects by a coup de main. The war was extremely unpopular in France. Financial ruin had come upon many Frenchmen from the failure of the Mexican bonds negotiated by the banker, Jecker, to pay interest to their bond-holders. The Civil War in the United States was at an end, and Mr. Seward was instructing the American ambassador in Paris to threaten the Emperor Napoleon with the enforcement of the doctrine of President Monroe. He resolved to withdraw his troops from Mexico, and to advance no more money to Maximilian. He wrote these orders to Marshal Bazaine.

Maximilian, who fully understood by this time the condition of Mexico, and foresaw all the dangers of his position when the French troops should be withdrawn, sent the empress at this crisis to Europe to represent the situation of affairs to the French emperor, and to remind him of his promises.

She embarked hurriedly and like a private person on board a French mail-steamer. Her stateroom was close to the propeller. The noise, coupled with her great anxiety and excitement, deprived her almost entirely of sleep during the voyage. On landing, she hastened to Paris, went to an hotel, and sent a message to the emperor, requesting an interview. This the emperor declined. Carlotta then hired a carriage and drove out to Saint-Cloud, where she insisted on seeing him. Their interview was very painful. At its close she exclaimed that she felt herself to blame, being a daughter of the house of Orleans, for ever having put faith in the Emperor Napoleon or his promises. Notwithstanding this reproach, the emperor, who was soft-hearted, pitied her extremely. She remained at Saint-Cloud for some hours, and that evening, when surrounded by the court circle, she threw back her head and begged for water. The emperor hastened to bring it to her with his own hand; but she exclaimed that she would not take it from him, for she knew he wished to poison her. It was her first attack of mania. She was calmed, and the symptoms passed off, but continued at intervals to return.

From Paris she went to Rome, and there her mental malady more and more declared itself. She refused to eat anything but fruit, for fear of poison. Her first visit to the pope was made while he was breakfasting, when she snatched the cup of chocolate from his lips and swallowed it eagerly, exclaiming: "I am sure no one can have wished to poison you!" After several other manifestations of her disordered brain at the Quirinal, steps were taken to forward her to Miramar. On reaching that beloved place, she grew more calm. She recovered for a time her interest in music, painting, and literature. The Sclavic peasants around her considered her a saint. When she passed, they used to kneel down on the highway. For years they refused to believe in Maximilian's death. "He will come back! We know he will come back!" was the cry of the Dalmatians, who cherished his memory.

After a time Carlotta was removed to Belgium, where she has been since secluded from the world, but tenderly watched over by her relations. From time to time she partially recovers her reason.

Matters in Mexico after her departure grew worse every day. Bazaine had received orders to withdraw all French troops from the country. He was directed to withhold from Maximilian all French support, and in obedience to these instructions he flung into the river Sequia and Lake Texcoco[1] all the guns and ammunition he could not take away.

[Footnote 1: Prince Salm-Salm, Diary in Mexico.]

Prior to the withdrawal of the French troops, the French Government made several efforts to induce Maximilian to abdicate. The Marquis de Gallifet (of whom we shall hear again in another chapter) was sent, with two other French gentlemen, to urge him to leave Mexico. "I know all the difficulties of my position," Maximilian replied, "but I shall not give up my post. A son of the house of Hapsburg never retreats in the face of danger." Nevertheless, after receiving the first letters from his wife, Maximilian's resolution was shaken. He hoped at least to return to Europe as an emperor, and not a fugitive, and to lay aside his crown of his own accord. With this view he set out for Orizaba, where the "Dandolo" corvette was waiting to receive his orders. On his way he was delayed some hours, because the white mules that drew his carriage had been stolen.

At Orizaba he was attacked by malarious chills. There, too, he received news of his wife's insanity. Some of his generals surrounded him, and prayed him not to abandon his followers to the vengeance of their enemies. The leaders of the clerical party also begged him, for the sake of the Church, to return to Mexico, promising him the support of the clergy throughout the country if he would but give up liberal ideas, and support, at all costs, the temporal prosperity of the Church.

Maximilian, on the strength of these assurances, went back to his capital, protesting that he remained only for the good of other people, and was influenced neither by personal considerations nor political wishes of his own.

But Maximilian was not the man to contend with the difficulties that beset him in Mexico. His very merits were against him. As we read the sad history of his failure, we feel that in his hands the regeneration of Mexico was hopeless. Men like John or Henry Lawrence, heroes of the Indian Mutiny, accustomed to deal with semi-savages, might perhaps have succeeded; but Maximilian was the product of an advanced civilization, and all his sentiments were of a super-refined character. He was no general; his forces were kept scattered over an immense area. He seems to have been no administrator. He was accustomed to deal with Italians, - men of enthusiastic natures and fanatical ideas. Mexicans had no enthusiasms; and in place of patriotism there was a prevailing sentiment of thorough aversion to the French and to the foreigners they had brought with them. Maximilian had come to Mexico with all kinds of liberal projects for its civilization. It was like forcing sanitary improvements on the inhabitants of an Irish shanty, or catching a street gamin and imposing on him the restraints and amenities of high-class culture.

The departure of the French troops left the way clear for the party of Juarez. It rapidly gained strength, and prepared to besiege the emperor in his capital. "I cannot bear to expose the city to danger," said Maximilian, who, in spite of being continually harassed and cruelly deceived day after day, never failed in consideration for those about him. He retired to Queretaro, where Generals Miramon, Castillo, Mejia, Avellano, and Prince Salm-Salm had gathered a little army of about eight thousand men.

Maximilian at Queretaro showed all his nobleness of spirit, kindness of heart, and simplicity of life. During the siege, which lasted over two months, he shared the fatigues and privations of his common soldiers, and lived as they did, on the flesh of mules, while his officers' tables were much better supplied. He exposed his person upon all occasions, taking daily walks upon the bastions as tranquilly as he might have done in the green alleys of his distant home. One day his eye fell upon six dead bodies dangling from the branches of six trees. He turned away, with intense emotion. They were the bodies of six of his own couriers, who had fallen into the hands of the enemy.

He might have cut his way out of Queretaro at the head of his cavalry, but he hesitated to abandon his foot-soldiers. "I will die sword in hand," were now his daily words.

Every day his men brought in prisoners. Even when such persons were suspected of being spies, Maximilian would not order their execution. "No, no," he said; "if things go well, there is no need; if ill, I shall not have their blood upon my soul."

When the siege had lasted seventy days, provisions grew so scarce that the only alternatives seemed a sortie or a surrender. The sortie was decided on. On the night of May 14, 1867, the seven thousand men still in Queretaro were to break through the lines of the enemy and endeavor to make their way to Vera Cruz. Singularly enough, the Juarist general, Escobedo, had fixed on the 15th of May for his final assault.

Neither sortie nor assault took place. The treason of General Lopez prevented the one, and rendered the other unnecessary. Lopez, whom Maximilian had loaded with all sorts of kindness, - Lopez, who called himself the most devoted adherent of the emperor, - had sold the life of his friend and benefactor for two thousand ounces of gold!

One year before, when Lopez had been at Puebla in attendance on the empress, he had sent for his wife, who, having made a hurried journey, was prematurely confined. "I cannot allow your son," wrote Maximilian, "to come into the world in another man's house. I send you the I enclosed sum. Purchase the house where your son was born."

Having kept up constant communication with the camp of the besiegers, Lopez, on the morning of May 13, sent a note to Escobedo, offering to deliver over to him the convent of La Cruz, which was the emperor's headquarters. Escobedo accepted his proposals. About midnight Lopez and the troops under his command went over to the enemy. The soldiers of Juarez quietly entered the town, and surrounded the convent where the emperor and his staff were sleeping.

At dawn Maximilian rose, dressed himself, woke Prince Salm-Salm, and they went out together, with no arms but their swords. As they reached the gates of the convent the emperor perceived Juarist soldiers on guard, and turning to his companion, cried, "We are betrayed; here is the enemy!" At this moment Lopez, who had seen them come into the court-yard, pointed out the emperor to Colonel Rincon Gallardo, who was in command of the detachment from the army of Juarez. Rincon was an honorable soldier and kind-hearted. He said, loud enough to be heard by his own men: "They are citizens; let them pass: they are not soldiers." The emperor was dressed in a black frock-coat, but with military trousers and epaulettes. He and Prince Salm-Salm then walked through the convent gates and made their way in haste to the opposite quarter of the city. The streets were silent and empty. Suddenly a sharp fire of musketry was heard, mingled with Juarist and Imperial war-cries. Miramon with his troops was holding one of the widest streets of Queretaro, when a ball hit him in the face. He fell, half blinded, and was taken prisoner. Miramon was the son of a French father and a Spanish mother, and was one of the very few generals on either side who were of pure white blood.

The emperor, with Generals Mejia, Castillo, Avellano, and Prince Salm-Salm, retired to a little hill which commanded the city. They had no artillery, no means of defending their position. They stood on the bare rock where they had taken refuge, like shipwrecked sailors waiting for the fatal rising of the tide. General Escobedo, a coarse man, who had formerly been a muleteer, prepared to charge up the hill with four battalions of infantry and a strong party of cavalry.

"Do not fire; you will shed blood to no purpose," said the emperor to the little band of followers who surrounded him. Then, in a low, sad voice, he ordered one of his aides-de-camp to fasten a white handkerchief on the end of a bayonet. The Juarists, who were ascending the hill, came to a halt. Then, amid profound silence, the emperor came forward. He paused a moment as he stepped out of the little group of his followers and looked around him. Then he descended the hill with a firm step, followed by several of his generals.

The Juarists saluted him by their party cry, "Viva la libertad!" They recognized the emperor. Maximilian walked straight up to their commander, an ex-Federal United States officer, who under the name of Corona was in command of a party of Americans who had entered the service of Juarez, and were called the Legion of Honor. This legion was composed of fifty men. Some had worn the blue, and some the gray. Each held rank in the Mexican army as an officer.

"General," said Maximilian to Corona, "both men and fortune have betrayed me. There are widows and orphans enough already in the world. Here is my sword."

"Sire," said the general, forgetting that the man who addressed him was no longer emperor, "keep your sword." He then proposed to Maximilian to mount a horse, and escorted him, with the other prisoners, to the convent of Santa Teresita.

There the emperor and his generals were shut up at once in a dark cellar, and not only had to sleep upon the damp earth floor, but were left to suffer from hunger. In a few days, however, Princess Salm-Salm brought them some relief. They were then transferred to the convent of La Capuchina, and their friends obtained permission to send them wine, clothes, and provisions.

Princess Salm-Salm, in the last act of this tragedy, showed herself to be a brave and generous woman. When her husband left the capital she had crossed the enemy's lines in order to get out of Mexico, but was twice in danger of being shot by the soldiers of Diaz. She was accused of supplying money to a troop of Austrian soldiers who, having been captured, were confined at Chapultepec, and she was imprisoned at Guadalupe. After a short detention, however, she obtained leave to quit Mexico for Europe; but changing her route, she managed to rejoin her husband at Queretaro. Thence, hiding by day and travelling by night, she made her way back to San Luis de Potosi, where Juarez had his headquarters. She threw herself at his feet, and implored his mercy for the emperor; but Juarez told her (not without some signs of compassion) that he felt no inclination to spare his life, and that if he were willing to do so, he would not be permitted by his followers to show him any clemency.

When Maximilian heard of this brave enterprise on his behalf, he could not refrain from tears.

The prisoners were three weeks at La Capuchina, in complete uncertainty as to what would be done with them. Indeed, the Juarists seemed much embarrassed by their prize. On June 10 they were informed that Juarez had sent an order to have them tried by a court-martial, which would be held on the 12th of June.

"Where are you going to take me?" asked Maximilian on that day of the officer who came to escort him. "To the court-martial," was the reply. "Where is it held?" said Maximilian. "In the theatre." "Then I refuse to accompany you. I will not be made a public spectacle at a theatre. You may go alone."

The officer, not being authorized to use force, went away. The trial proceeded without the presence of the prisoner. Generals Miramon and Mejia, however, were dragged upon the stage where the court-martial was sitting. The play-house was crowded with spectators. It was a tragedy with no admission-fee. The proceedings lasted three days. The emperor was accused of usurpation, of instigating civil war, and of causing the death of forty thousand patriots, hanged or shot in consequence of his order of October 3, intended to operate only against armed bands of robbers.

On the morning of June 15, 1867, General Escobedo presented himself in the prison, holding the sentence of the court-martial in his hand. Maximilian, who could guess his fate, said quietly: "Read it, General; I am ready to hear you."

Maximilian, Miramon, and Mejia were condemned to be shot.

"I understand you," said the emperor, with perfect calmness. "The law of October 3 was made to put down robbers: this sentence is the work of murderers."

Escobedo laid his hand on his revolver with a sudden exclamation. Then, recovering himself, he said sarcastically: "I suppose that a criminal must be allowed the right to vilify his judges."

Maximilian turned his back on him, and Escobedo left the prison.

The execution had been ordered for the next morning, but was put off till the 19th, by order of Juarez.

Meantime the English and Prussian ambassadors hastened to Juarez, hoping to obtain mercy for the late emperor. The French and Austrian courts, by telegraph, implored the mediation of the United States. There was no American minister at that time in Mexico, but Mr. Seward sent telegraphic despatches to Juarez, pointing out that the execution of Maximilian would rouse the feelings of the civilized world against the Mexican Republic.

All was of no avail. The idea of foreign intervention in the affairs of Mexico was so distasteful to the Mexicans that these pleadings on the late emperor's behalf by foreign Governments only accelerated his fate.

During the night before his death, Maximilian asked his jailers for a pair of scissors. He was refused. Then he implored one of them to cut off a lock of his hair. When that was done, he wrote the following pathetic letter to Carlotta: -

MY BELOVED CARLOTTA, - If God should permit you one of these days to get well enough to read these lines, you will know how sad has been my fate ever since your departure. You took with you my happiness, my very life, and my good fortune. Why did I not take your advice? So many sad things have taken place, so many unexpected catastrophes and undeserved misfortunes have fallen on me, that I have now lost heart and hope, and look upon death as my good angel. My death will be sharp and sudden, without pain. I shall fall gloriously, like a soldier, like a conquered sovereign.... If you cannot, dearest, bear up under your load of sorrow, if God in His mercy soon reunites us by your death, I will bless His fatherly hand, which now seems very heavy upon me. Adieu, adieu! 
                     YOUR POOR MAX.

He kissed this letter, folded into it the light silky lock of his own hair, and placed it with other letters which he had written to his mother and friends. They were all in French, and written in a clear, firm, regular hand. His noble nature shone in every line. They give the key to the irresistible personal sympathy he inspired in all who knew him. His enemies were aware of this, and no judge or general who had ever known him sat on his court-martial.

As six o'clock was striking on the morning of June 19, the door of the prison was unbarred. "I am ready," said Maximilian.

As he stepped forth from the door of the convent, he exclaimed: "What a beautiful morning! I have always fancied I should like to die in sunshine, - on a summer day."

He entered the carriage in waiting. Miramon and Mejia followed him, with the priest who attended them in their last moments. They were escorted by a body of four thousand men, and were driven to the same rocky height on which they had been captured, called the Cerro della Campana. They sat upright in the carriage during the drive, with proud smiles upon their faces. They were carefully dressed, as if for an occasion of festivity. The population of the place was all abroad to see them pass, and looked at them with silent pity and admiration. The calmness and self-possession of the emperor, about to die, touched even the most indifferent spectators. The women freely shed tears.

Maximilian was a handsome, striking-looking man. His beautiful light hair was parted by a straight line from his forehead to the nape of his neck. His blue eyes were clear and soft, with a beseeching look in them. His hands were beautifully white, his fingers elegant and taper.

As they neared the place of execution, General Mejia suddenly turned pale, covered his face, and with a sob fell back in his place in the carriage. He had caught sight of his wife, agonized, dishevelled, with her baby in her arms, and all the appearance of a madwoman.

The party arrived at the foot of the little hill. The emperor sprang out, brushed off some dust which had settled on his clothes, and going up to the firing party, gave each man an ounce of gold. "Take good aim, my friends," he said. "Do not, if possible, hit me in the face, but shoot right at my heart."

One of the soldiers wept. Maximilian went to him, and putting his cigar-case, of silver filigree, into his hand, said: "Keep that, my friend, in remembrance of me. It was given to me by a prince more fortunate than I am now."

The non-commissioned officer then came near, and said he hoped that he would forgive him. "My good fellow," replied Maximilian, cheerfully, "a soldier has but to obey orders; his duty is to do his duty."

Then, turning to Miramon and Mejia, he said: "Let me, true friends, embrace you for the last time!" He did so, and then added: "In a few minutes we shall be together in a better world."

Turning to Miramon, he said: "General, the bravest man should have the place of honor. Take mine."

Mejia being very much cast down by the sad spectacle presented by his poor, distracted wife, Maximilian again pressed his hands, saying: "God will not abandon our suffering survivors. For those who die unjustly, things will be set right in another world."

The drums began to beat. The end was near. Maximilian stepped forward, mounted on a stone, and addressed the spectators.

"Mexicans! men of my rank and of my race, who feel as I feel, must either be the benefactors of the people over whom they reign, or martyrs. It was no rash ambition of my own that called me hither; you, you yourselves, invited me to accept your throne. Before dying, let me tell you that with all the powers I possess I sought your good. Mexicans! may my blood be the last blood that you shed; may Mexico, the unhappy country of my adoption, be happy when I am gone!"

As soon as he had resumed his place, a sergeant came up to order Miramon and Mejia to turn round. As traitors, they were to be shot in the back.

"Farewell, dear friends," said Maximilian, and crossing his arms, he stood firm as a statue.

When the command was given: "Shoulder arms!" a murmur of protestation, accompanied by threats, rose among part of the crowd, in which there were many Indians. Their national superstitions and traditions had attached this simple people to the emperor. They had a prophecy among them that one day a white man would come over the seas to set them free, and many of them looked for this savior in Maximilian.

The officers in command turned towards the crowd, shaking their swords. Then came the words: "Take aim! Fire!"

"Long live Mexico!" cried Miramon.

"Carlotta! Poor Carlotta!" exclaimed Maximilian.

When the smoke of the volley had cleared away, three corpses lay upon the earth. That of the emperor had received five balls. The victims were placed in coffins which lay ready near the place of execution, and, escorted as they had been before, were carried back to the convent of the Capuchins.

"The emperor being dead, we will do all honor to the corpse of the Archduke of Austria," said Colonel Miguel Palacios, to whom this care was given. The corpse was embalmed, and the body placed in a vault.

The Russian ambassador, Baron Magnus, and the American commander of a United States vessel of war which layoff Vera Cruz, in vain solicited the body of the late emperor. The Austrian Vice-admiral Tegethoff (the illustrious conqueror at Lissa) had to come and personally demand it in November of the next year. He at the same time time obtained the release of the Austrian soldiers still retained as prisoners, and of Prince Salm-Salm, lying under sentence of death since the execution of the emperor.

As for the traitor Lopez, instead of the two thousand ounces of gold that he expected, he got only seven thousand dollars. His wife refused to live with him after his treachery to Maximilian; and once when he went to see General Rincon Gallardo to request his influence to get himself restored to his former rank in the Mexican army, which he had forfeited by his connection with the Imperial Government, the answer he received was: "Colonel Lopez, if I ever recommend you for any place, that place will be under a tree, with a rope round your neck tied to one of its branches."

Maximilian will live in history as a good man and a martyred sovereign. Long after his death, the Indians in Queretaro would not put up an adobe hut without inserting in it a pebble from the hill on which he was executed.

On the very day of his death an order signed by him was received in Europe, not for rifled cannon, not for needle-guns, but for two thousand nightingales, which he desired to have purchased in the Tyrol to add to the attractions of his empire.