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If the conduct of the Federal Government boarding and searching for rebels, envoys, since the commencement of their unhappy and despatches, every mail packet that plies civil disputes had been in the main friendly between Dover and Calais, and between towards this country; if they had manifested Holyhead and Dublin. any wish to be fair or courteous ; if their de- Again : we do not believe that, even if partures from courtesy and friendly behavior the United States Government were inclined had been such as could reasonably have been to apologize and restore, they would dare to attributed to excessive irritution arising out do it. The temper of the people and the of their home perplexities and griefs, and press, as is clear by our last accounts, would such as might have been excused in consid- make such a course instantaneously fatal to eration of these circumstances ; if they had the official career of the ministers who should ever manifested the faintest desire to miti- propose it. Even if the case of wrong were gate to us as far as they could the inevitable so perfectly clear that even Americans could inconveniences and sufierings which their not gainsay it, we doubt whether any Amerbelligerence and our neutrality combined ican Government would venture, or would to intlict upon us; if, in a word, their habit- be able, to make an acknowledgment of erual language and proceedings had been at ror and to deliver up the captives. But, unall indicative of, or compatible with, a desire fortunately, the case is not so clear as this : to remain in amity with us,then it would —we are right, no doubt; but the Ameri. have been easy for them to have made such cans, as we see by their papers and speeches, an acknowledgment in reference to the seiz- have no doubt also that they are right. They ure of the commissioners as we could have are already crowing over the assumption accepted, and we should on our part have been that we must pocket the affront because we too happy to make such acknowledgment as have no legal ground of complaint. The little onerous to their pride and as little dam- matter--obvious as we hold the justice of aging to their popularity with their vain and the transaction to be — at least admits of irritable countrymen as possible. But the discussion ;--and if our antagonists would very contrary of all these “ifs" is unfortu- scarcely yield to us if they had no case, is it nately true. From the beginning of their likely they will concede an inch when they difficulties they have been as cantankerous have persuaded themselves they have a very and uncivil as they could; they have stretched good case?? every inconvenient and vexatious right of Beyond all question it is something very belligerents to the utmost; what they have like insanity for the Federalists to bring done they have done in an unusually' offen- upon themselves a war with England, when sive manner; rightly or wrongly, from tem- they have enough and more than enough on per or from design, they have given the im- their hands already. But they do not think pression that they were not only willing but so. They—that is the voting, electioneerrather anxious to insult us ;-and to crown ing, spouting, rowdying public - do not the whole it is believed by many well-in- think either that their hands are full, or that formed persons that the act of Captain a war with England is a thing to be dreaded Wilkes was the result of a deliberate and or deprecated. The depth of their ignowell-considered design ; and that it was only rance is unfathomable. The height of their a matter of accident that the outrage was frenzy is inconceivable. Their talk is not not perpetrated a fortnight earlier and in our mere conscious bombast and rhodomontade. own waters. Believing and considering all They actually believe that they can easily this, we cannot for a moment expect either conquer the South, and lick Great Britain that the authorities at Washington intend into the bargain. They are already growto apologize for the act of their officer, or ing wild with the prospect of crowning their to make restitution of their captives. Nor do victories by adding Canada to Texas. Oi we entertain much doubt that, even were we course Mr. Seward knows better than this, -if such a thing were possible-to pass over and so do Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Chase. So this outrage or to be content with an inade- does Mr. Adams over here. So do the hunquate and informal reparation, we should dreds of well-informed and travelled gentlesoon have to submit to some further insult men in Boston. So do the trembling and even more flagrant and intolerable. We victimized merchants of New York. But greatly fear, from all that we can learn of what of that? These are not the menihe temper of the Cabinet at Washington, these are not the classes—who habitually or at least of those members of it who have decide the policy of the United States, who hitherto determined its policy;--as well as elect the Congress, and enthrone the Presifrom that of the trading and agitating pol- dent. Only in the rarest crises are their iticians who guide or drive it, - that the voices heard ; and even then they are too Government of the United States are quite commonly drowned in the fierce and tumulcapable, if we yield or temporize now, of tuous roar of a passionate, misled, and un
governable populace, Raccustomed to make sure sign that they at least have abandoned their own law, to avenge their own wrongs, all hope of a successful issue of the civil to trample on all obstacles, moral, legal, and war. If they offer us reparation, it is bematerial,-sincerely fancying—for they have cause they still cling to and hope for the been always taught so- --that nobody ought restoration of the Union. to oppose them, and that nobody can resist Thirdly. They may, however, pursue a them.
middle course, and this, we apprehend, is There appears to be three chances~feeble the one they will adopt. How we shall reones unquestionably—that the dire extremity ceive it, it will be for us to determine. They of war may yet be escaped. First. The mer- I may see that they cannot fight Great Britain chants and bankers of the North, who have and the Southern Confederacy at once, and entered into such heavy engagements to so may endeavor to put us off by diplomatic supply the Government with money, may stratagem. In this case, they will express get thoroughly frightened at the utter ruin their unfeigned surprise that "Great Britain which a rupture with England would entail should take so strange a view of internaupon them; may make the best use of the tional law,—their conviction that they have secret power they are said to have over the only acted within the strict limits of belligCabinet ; and, - calling to their aid the erent rights, and according to precedents moderation, good sense, and sound knowl- set by England herself. They will disclaim edge which undoubtedly pervade the edu- any intention of insult, and ask how we can cated classes of the Union, but are usually attribute such folly and such discourtesy to 80 silent and inoperative, ---may rise in their a people who are notoriously models of forinherent strength, brave and curb the violent bearance and good sense. But since the two mob and the corrupt jobbers and contractors, Governments take such diametrically oppoeject Mr. Seward from the Ministry, and site views of the matter, and as they are compel the Government to yield. Such an sincerely desirous that no hostile discussion issue is unquestionably possible, and much should arise between nations so closely conto be desired. There can be no doubt of the nected by interest and kindred, and to show existence of the party we speak of, nor of their willingness to soothe our wounded senits wealth and numbers ; we only mistrust sibilities, they have no objection to express its courage and its power.
regret for any transgression as to form of Secondly. Those enthusiastic patriots who which Commodore Wilkes may have been are bent, heart and soul, upon the subjuga, guilty, and to refer the question of substantion and re-annexation of the South, and tial right and law to the proper legal authorthose untaught fanatics who sincerely believe ities, to American prize courts, of which all in their power of achieving these results, the world has long admired the impartiality, may perhaps be awakened—it is at least in -or if England insists, even to a Court of the power of their leaders to awaken them- Joint Commission. to the conviction that a war with England Such a course on their part might embarwould be at once and irretrievably fatal to rass us not a little. It might, at all events, their hopes. The first step of England as postpone a war;—and our Government would soon as hostilities broke out, would natu- then have to consider whether a partial apolrally be to recognize the Southern Confed- ogy and a reference of the essentials of the eracy, and the second, to terminate the complaint to a court whose decision we feel blockade. These things once effected, the e confident must be in our favor, would secure independence of the Seceding States be- us from similar outrages in future, and save comes a fait accompli, which nothing could us from the painful necessity of avenging undo. Now we know that the restoration our own wrongs with our own hands, of the Union is with the majority of the Northerners the dearest object of their whether, in fact, a partial and imperfect rep
aration be preferable to a sanguinary and heart-dearer even than insult and injury to desolating war. England. They still prefer the recovery of their own grandeur to the humiliation of their rival; and they may be willing to apol.
From The Economist, 7 Dec. ogize to us now, reserving vengeance and compensation for a future day, rather than EFFECT OF WAR RUMORS ON COTTON. give up at once the sacred purpose of the It is earnestly to be hoped that whatever civil war. There is no doubt of the exist- answer the United States give to our deence of this party, nor of their numbers, nor mand for reparation will be a prompt and of their earnestness :-the only question is decisive one. It is to be hoped, also, that as to their rationality and their political in- whatever our Government find it necessary fluence. Thus much seems certain : if the to do will be done speedily. Suspense and Government refuse our demand, it will be a uncertainty are death to commerce. War
with America may afford immediate relief
From The Press, 7 Dec. and plenty to the famished cotton market:
THE “ CASUS BELLI." expectation of war only brings increased pressure and menaces decreased supply. If It is sometimes advantageous to narrow a we are to have a war with the Federal Gov- question, in order not to leave a wider field ernment, we shall, of course, recognize the for controversy than is necessary. Possibly Southern Confederacy, break the blockade Her Majesty's Ministers were influenced by of the Southern ports, and scatter to the this consideration when they chose to narrow winds the squadron that for so many months a great question of international law down to has been sealing up our cotton. Ships will a single legal point of form. But they could at once sail to New Orleans, Mobile, Charles- not have adopted a course more ini politic ton, and Savannah, laden with all that the and unsatisfactory. It is at least doubtful Confederates need, and will return to us in whether, when the issue may be war, it is at three or four months with cargoes of that any time expedient to rest á casus belli upon raw material which is wanted to save the a mere point of form,-for this necessarily operatives of Lancashire from idleness and makes it appear as if the nation were fightprivation. If we are not to have war, then ing for a trifle. In the present case Her the high prices which will be maintained will Majesty's Ministers have not only done this, secure as large a supply from India, as can but they have done it in such a way as to cut be furnished to us for the money. But if the ground from under their feet. It was we are to have for a considerable period an open for them to demand reparation for the imminent probability of war, followed by a outrage as a violation of the broadest prinresumption of pacific relations which will ciples of international law. It was also open leave the blockade and the civil conflict in to them to do so on the ground that the CabAmerica untouched, then there is every dan- inet of Washington has not recognized the ger, not to say certainty, that we shall ob- Southern States as belligerents but simply tain cotton from neither quarter. Peace as rebels; and, therefore, that the seizure will prevent its coming from America—the of these “ rebels” when under the protecdread of war will have deterred its coming tion of the British flag was a flagrani violafrom India.
tion of the rights of asylum, condemned by Already much has been jeopardized, and the very principle on which the Federal Govall parties connected with the cotton manu- ernment proclaims itself to be carrying on facture are under great uneasiness.
The the war. effect of the news of the San Jacinto out- But Her Majesty's Ministers have folrage and of our consequent proceedings has lowed neither of these courses. They have already been to cause a fall of price in Liver- admitted, not directly indeed, but by implipool of nearly 2d per lb.,-quite 2d from cation, that if the captain of the San Jathe highest point previously reached. This cinto had carried the Trent into port, and if fall, and still more the further one which an American Admiralty Court had declared would ensue from complete rupture, will be the passengers contraband, the commissionsufficient to render unprofitable a considera- ers might have been lawfully seized though ble part of the importations ordered and ex- under our protection. Suppose, then, the pected from India. Many of the orders Cabinet of Washington say, • We are not recently sent out are, therefore, being coun- responsible for the seizure of these men, but termanded ; and of many more the limits of here they are—and here they would have price at which they were to be executed are been all the same if our captain had acted being much reduced. Those merchants who in the way you declare to be right. We are have had the courage to direct Indian cot- quite willing now to complete the formality ton to be bought at Calcutta, Bombay or which you require, by sending these men to Mirzapore, on the basis of a price in· Liver. be dealt with by our Admiralty Courts, and pool of 8d per lb., will lose enormously if we shall abide by the decision.” In the the United States apologize and if peace is present temper of the people, and knowing maintained. The knowledge of this, and as we do how subservient the Bench in Amerthe feeling that, under any circumstances, ica is to popular feeling, can any one doubt what has happened shows how very precari- that the Admiralty Court would declare the ous must be the continuance of the Ameri- commissioners contraband of war? Becan blockade, will, we fear, greatly dis- sides, if we admit that the captain of the courage the shippers of cotton from Indian San Jacinto was entitled to carry one of Her ports. Every day of uncertainty risks, and Majesty's mail-packets into port to be tried costs millions. As we said at the outset, by the American prize courts, à fortiori is actual war with the North will bring with he not still more justified in letting the vesit material compensations. The prospect of sel go free, and in carrying into port only war carries with it no compensation what- four of her passengers to be so tried by the
proper tribunals? A great outrage has un- officers of the crown, has addressed to the questionably been committed upon the Brit- Cabinet of Washington, demands that the ish flag; but Her Majesty's Ministers, by a captive commissioners and their secretaries strange misfortune, have chosen to rest their shall not only be set free, but shall be redemand for satisfaction upon a mere law- placed on board a British vessel under the yer's quibble, and not a very tenable one. protection of the British flag. What an
swer may we expect to this ? As we thought last week, we have more reason still to think
We fear that the judgment of the From The Press, 7 Dec. calmer minds of the American Cabinet will A WAR WITH AMERICA.
be overborne by the warlike views of Mr.
Seward and the clamor of the American THE English people are at present in the mob. What, then, is to follow ? Shall we position of a strong good-hearted man who withdraw our ambassador, and content ourgets a slap in the face from an ill-tempered selves with a protest ?-or must we declare younger half-brother, who never at any time war? was a match for him, and who at present After the first burst of indignation is over, has his right arm in a sling. What are we every man in this country, we feel assured, English to do? Are we tamely to turn our will be in favor of, and will demand of the cheek to the smiter, in the perfect conscious- Government that it shall pursue, a policy of ness that in such a case he will not scru- the utmost moderation and forbearance. We ple to repeat the blow? This is one of our believe that if the question were not comdifficulties. If we yield to the present out- plicated and aggravated by the captivity and rage on our flag, we are sure to have a peril of the men taken from under our prodozen similar outrages in quick succession. tection, the right course would be simply to We are dealing with a people who have ever withdraw our ambassador, and refrain from been disregardful of established rights, and doing more. But is this enough when the who single out us, their own brethren, as commissioners are in captivity and in danthe special objects of such violations of in- ger of being condemned to death? This it ternational courtesy and law. But this is is, in our opinion, which imparts such gravnot all. It is not simply a question of na-ity to the crisis. Were these four men, or tional dignity and self-respect-vital as such any of them, to be hung as rebels-and in a question is: we are concerned also for the the present reckless mood of the American fate of four men who were under the pro- Government and people, such a result is tection of our flag, and who are victims of more than possible--what would Europe, this outrage, Though apparently a subsidi- what would the world say if we stood by, ary point, this in fact is a consideration without exerting the power of England to which of all others cannot be passed over. avert or avenge such a catastrophe ? What It is one which goes to the heart of the is more to the purpose, as a question of pracnation. It is as if the Austrian captain tical statesmanship, what would our own who in 1849 seized the Hungarian refugee people say? Would they be content with Kossta on Turkish soil had refused to give a Government that left these men to their him up. Every one remembers the excite- fate? Would not rather the indignation ment occasioned in this country by the mere which at first burst forth so unanimously acprobability of such a refusal; and no one quire renewed and augmented force ? We can doubt how violently our sympathies feel assured it would. We trust, therefore, would have been manifested against Austria that whatever be the reply of the Cabinet had such a course been followed. As for of Washington, it will at least contain an the Americans, though they had no more assurance that the commissioners will be interest in the matter than we had, the cap- treated merely as prisoners of war, and not tain of one of their frigates actually cleared as rebels. Indeed this is indispensable, acfor action rather than permit the Austrians cording to the plea advanced in justification to carry off their prisoner : and this conduct of their seizure. To do otherwise—to prowas applauded both by the American Gov- ceed to try and condemn these men as rebels ernment and people.' How, then, can the --would be political madness, as well as an same Government expect us now to be indif- atrocious crime. It would at once occasion ferent to the fate of the four“ rebels" which similar procedure---we might almosi call it it has seized and carried into captivity from just reprisals-on the part of the South ; under the protection of our tag ?
and it would so embitter and aggravate the We can announce that, besides claiming rupture with this country that nothing but an apology for the outrage, the despatch war, in its full and dread severity, would be which Her Majesty's Ministers for Foreign deemed by our people an adequate retaliaAffairs, based upon the opinion of the law- tion for the wrong.
We trust-we are willing to believe-we corresponding amount of money, the sinews earnestly pray that the Cabinet of Washing- of war. ton will listen, at least on this point, to the Should war come and we sincerely trust dictates alike of justice, of policy, and of hu- it may be avoided—it will be the incumbent manity. As long as a hope is left to us- duty of our Government to carry it on with and at present, thank God, we have much the utmost forbearance. Break the blockmore than a hope,—we shall take this for ade of the Southern ports, and blockade the granted. Assuming this, then,--and assum- harbors of the North to prevent privateering also, as we fear we have at least equal ing ; that is all we ought to do. "In every reason to do, that the American Govern- other respect, if the Northerners let us alone, ment will refuse satisfaction to this country we must let them alone. At this present for the outrage upon our flag,—what will be moment, as we know from Americans themthe position, and what consequences will it selves, our mail-coated ships the Warrior entail ? If the American Government, while and Black Prince could, without difficulty or refusing to restore to us the prisoners, an- danger, steam up into New York harbor, nounce that they have no intention of ill- burn the shipping and bombard the city. treating them, the rupture between the two But it would be the imperative duty of the countries would lose its worst feature of ag- British Government to refrain from all such gravation, although it would still remain suf- acts of hostility, however legitimate. We ficiently grave. Were war, in such a case, repeat ix-should war prove unavoidable, it to follow, assuredly it ought to take the most must on our part be virtually a war of derestricted forın in which a state of belliger- fence: a war in which the only moves to be ence can show itself.
made are, to protect Canada by sending The superiority of force is beyond meas- thither reinforcements, and to protect our ure on the side of England. Not only are commercial marine by blockading the ports the whole military forces of the North fully of the North. The latter of which moves, of employed in keeping in check the armies of course, involves the opening of all the ports the South, but the main difficuity which we of the South. experienced in past wars with the United But not less imperative is it upon our States—namely, to protect our commercial Government to avoid war altogether, if such marine from the attacks of American pri- an avoidance be possible. And it may be vateers — would now be wholly removed. possible, even though the demands of our When American privateers had a seaboard Government are not complied with to the of three thousand miles, from Portland to letter. That will depend upon the mode and New Orleans, to start from and return to, it conditions under which the refusal (for we was no easy matter for our navy, numerous fear it wirl be a refusal) of the American as it was, to arrest their depredations. But Government is made. But war with our own now, by the secession of the South, two. kinsmen is a catastrophe above all others to thirds of that extent of seaboard has been be deprecated—to be shrunk from. The rent from the Union. The harbors of Port- very thought of it, we confess, fills us with land and New York, and the waters of the grief and repugnance. We deplore even Chesapeake, are almost the only points from that such a thing is possible: how much which privateers could sail, or to which they more deplorable would it be were it to becould return with their prizes. And to block- come a reality! Until Parliament meetsade these points, thoroughly and effectually, and we hear that is to be soon-the whole would be the easiest task in the world for responsibility of this most serious crisis must our fleet of war-steamers. The danger to rest with Her Majesty's Ministers. We earour commercial marine, therefore, in the nestly trust that they will prove equal to the event of a war, would be almost nothing. emergency, and maintain the rights and digAnd as to that other great drawback upon a nity of England, without compromising the war with America, wbich has acquired such interests, or misinterpreting the true and enimmense importance in recent times--we during feelings of the nation. mean the loss of the raw material for threefourths of our manufacturing industry,-it no longer has any weight at all. We have already lost our supply of cotton-we have
Correspondence of The Press. nothing more to fear on that account: and
GERMAN OPINION. war would only give us it back. A declara
Berlin, Dec. 4. tion of war against the North would open to As you will be prepared to hear, the attius the ports of the South, and would at one tude which your Government has taken in and the same time give us an abundant sup- the affair of the Trent is absorbing public ply of cotton, and give the secessionists a attention here, and it invests with a certain