Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

From The Fixaminer. ; in a petrified death-in-life, to point a moral

or adorn a tale.'"--New York Times. THE general opinion undoubtedly is that the Government dares not yield, but we still

Will the civilized Christian world suffer a cherish the hope that when the attitude of warfare carried to this fiendish pitch of dethis country is seen, with its powerful fleet structiveness, choking up forever nature's ready for prompt action in the American channels of life, intercourse, and plenty? waters, the fleeting wrath of a mob will A blockade is an injurious interference with seem a less danger to brave than a war with the business of nations, but it is temporary, England, with its tremendous consequences

and when the purpose is effected, or abanpresent and future. It would probably be doned as impracticable, there is a return to followed by the secession of the North- the slatus quo ante ; but this infernal expeWestern States, as much interested in sup- dient of the channel-choking is resorted to plying us with food as the South with cot-as permanently destructive, depriving a ton. And this would be the beginning of whole region of one of its natural outlets the end of the Northern Republic.

of production, and ruining its cities more But supposing reparation to be made for effectually than by fire and sword, whose the Trent outrage, and the prisoners to be ravages may be repaired, not so those of restored safe from Lynch Law, which seems this hollish device of malice, according to too natural a sequence to Wilkes Law, will the calculation of its authors. Rivers are it not be for the powers of Europe to con- the highways of the world, and to destroy sider whether the measures the North is one of these means of communication is an taking against the South are consistent with injury to all, which should not be permitted the interests of civilization ? Is it to be en- to the malice of any power. dured that the Federal Government shall eke out the inefficacy of its blockade by the detestable means described in this malignant

From The Spectator. passage respecting the fleet of vessels laden

ENGLAND is waiting still, the Government with stone to be sunk to choke up Southern

providing agair.st the worst contingency, and ports ?

the people coldly resolved, whatever the cost, "The main ship channel leading to Sa. to maintain the national honor and internavannah is but two hundred and fifty yards tional law. There are no signs of impatience across in the narrowest place, and can be or anger or exultation ; the press discusses perfectly barred by half a dozen of these the chances without concealing the points on vessels. Charleston harbor is equally cligi- which we may be allowed to be weak, and ble to the same treatment. One sunk, these public speakers, without an exception, are old hulks become points for the accumulation of alluvials which the rivers bear down, and grave, regretful, and firm. The precise feelof the sands which the tides carry back. ing was, perhaps, most exactly expressed by There is a natural tendency in such ports to Mr. Frederick Peel, who, on Thursday, told form obstructions, and all we have to do is, the people of Bury, that if the American as the physicians say, to assist nature.' Government were reasonable, England should Becoming thoroughly imbedded in the sand, hear their reasons, but if they, acknowledgthese accumulations but advance with time, ing the wrong, still refused redress, she would forming unconquerable obstacles to re-open: maintain her right, which was also the coming the barbors, and establishing a blockade which the kighest pressure diplomacy of the mon right of civilized powers. Mr. Horsworld will be utterly powerless too* raise.' man, at Stroud, though his speech was most It must be confessed there is something self-contradictory in argument, laid down wonderfully gratifying in this silent, resist the same principle, and Mr. Fitzgerald, while less piece of Rhadamanthean justice. The promising the support of the Tories, if neccalmness of the method is fine, and a chej; essary, still hoped for reasonable concessions. d'ouvre in its way; no vulgar theatrical vengeance, no laying of the city in ashes,

At Guilford, men of all parties exbibited a as ihose heated' braggarts of Charleston similar spirit of calm decision. Mr. Briscoe threatened, but a silent blight falling on (Liberal) would rejoice if the Washington them as though out of the nighi-ucudlij, in- Cabinet disavowed Captain Wilkes, and Mr. evitalleand leaving those porjidious cilies g. Cubitt (Tory) “ hoped for the best though

a

a

he was prepared for the worst,” while eren can only mourn. But if we take up this po Mr. Onslow, who lately confessed himself a sition through any undue sensitiveness and delegate, that worst form of Radicalism, pique of our own, we shall stain the name of though he detested war, would not calmly England with responsibility for a political stand by and see the Government submit to evil deeper and more hideous than any with an intentional insult.” This tone is univer- which Warren Hastings ever loaded her. sal, and our only fear is lest the utter absence of clamor, the steadfast reliance on the And now, when every mail brings proof courage of governing men, should be mis- that the cause of true liberty is gaining head taken by Mr. Seward, as it has been by the in the North, that they wish to fight for huLondon American, for dread of war. man freedom and not merely for the Feds

Military preparations continue uninter- eral Government and its empire, we are in rupted. The dockyards and arsenals are in danger of being drawn by a cruel necessity full activity, and Armstrong guns have al- into the cause of the South. No doubt, at ready been shipped for Canada. A corps present, it is the cause to which intellectual d'armée, numbering twelve thousand men, men incline. It has statesmen, it has a with batteries, commissariat, and military strength and a dignity of its own ; its fortrain complete, are under orders, and will eign policy will probably be far cooler and sail this week, whatever the American reply. more respectable than that of the competing Canada, with Mr. Seward in power, can no democracy. In short, it will be nothing if longer be left defenceless, and means have not a government. But we may be in dan been provided to arm all volunteers whom ger of forgetting that all these things form the danger to the colony is sure to bring to after all but the shell of political life. What the front. Invention is of course at work, is the inward principle which the machinery and all the sledges sent are fitted with a new of government subserves ? That is the test. axle, by which the breadth between the ing question. If both the hostile causes de: wheels can be widened or contracted to fit velop as rapidly as they have recently done, any width of rut. The only arm not em- we can answer it in a word. The whole end ployed is cavalry, English troop horses be- and aim of the Southern Government will be ing too thin-skinned to face a Canadian to strengthen the guard over slavery and the winter.

menial white class, in doing which they may

long show a very dignified and respectable While England is waiting with as much side to the outer world. The end and aim misgiving as hope for the decision to know of the Northern Government will be to from the United States, whether she is or is strengthen liberty, in doing which they may not to become the involuntary ally of slar- long show a very vulgar and undignified asery, the great conflicting causes there en- pect to the outer world. But which of the gaged are gradually developing that sharp- two will England prefer, if there be any ness of outline and precision of character choice left her by grace of the Northern which mark the maturer stages of every real statesmen ? battle of principle. The principles on both sides are casting away those accidental adhesions which have perplexed half-observant, and deceived unobservant eyes, and reveal- Paris Correspondence of the London Review. ing their essential character. It is well, Of course people here think a great deal while we wait our own issue, to fix them of the Anglo-American question, though not distinctly in our minds, for though we see no perhaps so much as you do in England, but escape from the impending war if the Ameri- the tone in which it is spoken of is altering can Government proves irritable and obsti- rapidly. The first frenzy of love and affec nate, yet should it exhibit any really cordial tion for us, which was shown by the “inand lond fide wish to give us ungrudgingly our spired” journals, is considerably abated, and full rights, we should deem it not only a great has given place to a somewhat different sort disaster, but a national sin to refuse such of language; and, perhaps, the whole matter overtures. If our national duty compels us may not be very hard to explain: the Emperto be the involuntary ally of the South, we or Napoleon-as I have labored to convince

n

you-cannot now afford to govern, sare ac- | mediate interest. The thing to note for us cording to the wishes of the large majority is, the unmistakable feeling of hostility of France. A French policy must now be raised up at once against us throughout this his. Well, he has, upon the American com- country—a feeling which surprises no one plication, tried what he so often tries in who has a thorough acquaintance with the similar conjectures ; namely, to see which Frenchmen of the Second Empire, but which way the wind blows here; and for that pur- is not the less curious to observe. It would pose, the Patrie was instructed to hint at a be worse than folly, it would be the height possible co-operation!” and I have the best of wilful blindness in us, to shut our eyes to reason for believing that the Emperor him- what is looming in the distance; and it is self gave it to be understood that he was quite evident to those who in any way come anxious to “co-operate” with England in contact with the nations of the Continent, against America. But his scheme of testing that upon our attitude just now will depend opinion answered as usual—what might be much of the prestige with which we shall be called the voice of France responded with surrounded when the hour for action arrives. extraordinary unanimity to the challenge ; The great and really all but inconceivable and from the Journal des Débats downwards, mistake made about us throughout France the same sentiment has been expressed in is that we should be so “ embarrassed” by a different words by nearly every newspaper, war with America that we should be obliged in town and country: “Leave England to to look on tamely at whatever France her embarrassment!” That is the senti- might choose to do on the European contiment, absurd and mistaken as it is, which nent. This is the point to look at steadily, animates all France. One thing is made for this is the source of all French opinions clear by this, and that is, that Louis Napo- and delusions about us, and it is this that leon will not get anything out of Frenchmen will be the cause of whatever faults may be for a “ combined action" with us. Yet "get later committed by the Imperial Government. something out” of France (and something Noman in France—not even Louis Napoleon very considerable, too) he must soon, and —is able to master that peculiarity of our the means for so doing must be devised in national temperament, and to comprehend the end, for the position is a disastrous one, that we should never be so difficult to trifle and will not right itself all alone.

with, as when adverse fate should have willed ." Will peace or will war best help us out that our “ hand should be in” at the work of this ? " That is the question men ask of fighting ; that a nation may be so great each other just now in high Imperialist cir- and so powerful as to need no bragging, as clas, and there is more than a doubt as to to feel compassionately towards weaker rithe answer. The only measure of the Em- vals, and as to attempt no outward seeming peror's hesitation in all this, will be the ex- of force. This will enter into no French tent of his hope or of his despair. As long mind, neither will it be conceived that a as he can play any other card he will not people who can do the “greater” may be play the war-card, but that card is neverthe- careless of achieving the “less.” I never less his last. Of that no one of any party at any period (unless during the Crimean in France has the shadow of a doubt. war) so thoroughly and clearly saw to what Whether the time has already come for a degree France was incapable of compreplaying the last card—for risking all upon hending England. And I again say, upon one grand supreme chance events will this perfect failure to understand what we teach. For the moment, I fancy perfect are, and what, in certain cases, we should neutrality will be the line adopted, and for a do, will be founded some of the most extraortime it will be genuinely adhered to. France dinary mistakes of conduct. Therefore it will keenly and narrowly watch the incidents behooves us to note distinctly every shade of of the coming conflict (if unluckily it should the opinion which Frenchmen entertain of come), and she will shape her course accord- us just now. ing to what she believes to be her own im

[ocr errors]

From The Esaminer. fiend in their own breasts, but catch with LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP.

eagerness at every incident that has in it the Berone another week has elapsed, we promise of sanguinary conflict. It were shall know the answer of the Federal Gov- worse than idle to deny that men of this sort ernment to the demand made by ours, for are too often found occupying positions in the restoration of the Southern emissaries society and in the State, that renders them taken from on board the Trent. We have influential for evil. Government is beset by never doubted what that answer would be in their sinister importunities, and urged by substance, although as to its form we have their violent councils. We dare say it is so wasted no words in conjecture. Mr. Seward in Washington ; we know it is so here; and is a rhetorician, and the case is too tempting we should betray our highest trust if we an opportunity for talk, to be suffered to pass failed to warn betimes all whom it may conunused. And considering the difficulty of cern of the danger. What is the danger P the position, we must own that apt and plau- Not that any Administration will seek to sible words will prove to be worth some-plunge their country into a warpuring which thing after all, if they facilitate the libera- every blow inflicted must recoil on him who tion of Messrs. Slidell and Mason from Fort gives it ; but that an Administration, howWarren. The heroes of classic verse, when ever temperate and wise, may be involuntasore pressed in battle, were generally made rily drawn into exciting controversies on away with, in a cloud, by the timely inter- subjects that ought to afford no room for convention of some tutelary divinity; and if the troversy at all: and that out of such contenAmerican Secretary of State can cnvelop tions war at any moment may suddenly the question in such an elusive mist of words, spring. The present difficulty we hope and as will enable the right thing to be quietly trust will be got over ; but the permanent done, we shall not trouble ourselves to crit- danger of a breach between this country and icise too nicely the manner in which it has America will not be set at rest thereby. been effected. The one thing ncedful is the For that two things are necessary,— the vindication of the inviolability of our flag, by one, that controverted questions of neutralthe restitution of those who were forcibly ity, blockade, privateering, and contraband taken from under its protection ; and the should be disposed of speedily and forever ; justice of our demand in this respect being the other, that a watchful spirit should be once admitted, we shall be only too glad if the awakened throughout the community-to affair be made the occasion for a permanent guard against precipitancy or passion whensettlement of the controversy so long pend- ever international difficulties arise. Governing as to the maritime rights of belligerents ment alone can discharge the former duty; and neutrals.

the intelligent and thoughtful body of the It is deeply to be regretted that this has community must perform the other. still to be done. The feverish spirit mani- Before we leap into the gulf let us look fested among certain classes of the commu- into its depths. We cannot see very far nity since the commencement of this unfor- into the abyss, but we can discern quite tunate discussion, warns us of the latent peril enough, if we have reason or conscience, to to which we are exposed, by suffering ques- make us pause. Increased taxation and tions of such gravity to remain unsettled. diminished employment meet us at the outTo the end of time offences will come ; but set. A doubled income-tax, and augmented woe unto them through whose neglect or ob- duties on the four great articles of consumpstinacy they are wantonly allowed to comc. tion left in the tariff, are necessary prelimLet us speak plainly what we mean, for 'tis inaries to which we must make up our in truth a time for speaking plain. There minds. There is an end, thank God, in are amongst us, as there are in every com- this country to paying for wars out of the munity, men who care not bow soon the pocket of posterity; and if our belligerent blast of war is heard, many perhaps deceive classes are to be indulged in the glory of a themselves with the idea that they are ani- deadly struggle with a kindred nation whose mated only by a special zeal for the honor of institutions they happen to dislike, we, and their country: many more, we foar, are not not our children, must pay for it. But this even at the pains to try to juggle with the is not all. Six months' blockade of the sea

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

:

ports of the Union would inflict no tempo- the other side of the globe to encounter the rary blow on the vast and various commerce armaments of a nation kindred in blood, that for half a century has been carried on language, and religion,-a nation with whom without interruption between the two coun- twice before we have maintained desperate tries. For every merchant and shopkeeper, and costly struggles, without being able to agent and clerk injured on the other side of subdue ? This is no question like that of the ocean one of the same class must be 1854, when in alliance with France we sent similarly injured here, since trade is barter, our fleets and armies against Russia. This and if it is forbidden to buy, it is likewise is no question like that of 1857, when, with forbidden to sell. The butchery and rapine the same ally, we sent out an invading force would come to an end within a definite time; to China. If we should be betrayed or bebut the consequences to international com- fooled into a war with the United States, merce would not end in our day. Protec- France will stand by with grounded arms tion and prohibition would no longer be an until she has seen us thoroughly committed exceptional pr subordinate error of American in the affray; and then, though half a dozen policy. It would become a fundamental transports were never mustered at Chermaxim of the State ; and no longer depend- bourg, or half a dozen regiments brigaded ing for sustainment on the greed of gain together on the heights of Boulogne, though in a comparative few, it would strike its not a captious note were interchanged beroots deeply and retentively in the nation's tween Paris and London, or a provoking heart: for national stability and independ- paragraph permitted to appear in the Conence would thenceforth be felt to depend on stitutionnel, we should speedily find out the commercial severance from England. The difference in our position as an arbiter of best and most far-sighted men in America European peace. If, as we have stood the now repudiate the prohibitory system on last five years and as we stand now, we are political as well as economic grounds; but but strong enough and no more to be able foresight and patriotism would plead the to interdict ambitious schemes and aggresopposite cause with irresistible force were it sive projects, what will be the condition of once made plain that the stability of Ameri- Europe three months after a war of devastacan trade and credit lay at the mercy, not tion between England and America had beof the people of England, but of a war-faring gun? Without imputing any bad faith to few whom they permitted to bully them. the absolute ruler of France, it must be palLook at it how we may, the disastrous re- pable to all who choose to see, that such an sults of such a fratricidal conflict exceed all altered state of facts would present to him, power of calculation; and all we can be sure as well as to other absolute sovereigns, a of is, that the first would not be the worst temptation never tasted before. Treaties consequences.

and conventions, and promises of neutrality, But there is another, and if possible a diplomatic or dynastic, are all very well in a graver view of the matter. For the last five speech from the throne, or an announcement years or more the people of England have from a ministerial organ, while as yet tranbeen told to arm by sea and land for self- quillity prevails. But the first broadside defence. Enormous sums have been de- from a British steel-clad frigate into an 'manded by Government from the people, American ship or fort would consume all and have been unmurmuringly paid by them, such phantom guarantees for the status quo for the express purpose of enabling England in Europe as so much chaff. The faith in to hold her owa with the menacing might of our moral ascendency would pass away France. Every day during that time the a dream ; and if we were not prepared to nation has been told that not a shilling was sacrifice all the influence for good we have exacted unnecessarily; and that when year cxercised for the last thirty years in the after year extra millions were spent on army, Councils of Christendom, we must prepare pavy, and ordnance, we had not, after all, a

to fight for its maintenance, inch by inch, in battalion, a ship, or a gun to spare. But every land and on every sea, from the Hel. what is to become of the balance of power in lespont to the Sound, and from the Gulf of Europe if the flower of our army, and the Bothnia to Cadiz Bay. best of our vessels of war, are to be sent to

like

« ElőzőTovább »