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[39] shaved his beard, renounced his title of a Spanish don, and swore that in future he would shave his face like an English marquis.

Acting with Alvaredo in founding a new government, he found the hour of his success the most critical of his life. What should he do with California? She could not stand alone. Four countries had some claim to her-Spain, England, Russia, the United States. Spain had been her nominal owner for a hundred years. England had the right of Drake's discovery, when the coast was called New Albion, and annexed to the domain of Queen Elizabeth. Russia had long possessed some points on the coast, notably the hills commanding the Golden Gate. America had the claims of neighbourhood, and a cession from the government of Mexico. What part was he to play? His bishops were in favour of submitting to the Spanish crown, Spain being their country and the bulwark of their Church. The other powers are all heretical. A Catholic seemed to have no choice; but Don Mariano, though a Catholic before he is a Mexican, is a Vallejo even before he is a Catholic. An active man, he kept his eyes open while his pastors were

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