Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

America more distant. The Northern penetrated with a belief that the life of States, whatever the result of the re- the rebellion is sustained by hopes of rebellion, must continue to be a first-rate cognition in England and in France. The naval power, and the South are not Government at Washington have signifilikely soon to eclipse them upon the sea. cantly warned the British Cabinet that Both Federals and Confederates at the they are not prepared to tolerate such a close of this war will find themselves diplomatic injury. “It seems to me,” financially disqualified for a contest with says Mr. Seward, in his despatch of the any great European navy. But the 30th of November last, " that the British North has internal resources that will “ Government has been inattentive to enable her to recover rapidly from her “ the currents that seemed to be bringprostration, while the South cannot "ing the two countries into collision. easily surmount the desperate and ap- “.... I have never for a moment beparently permanent blow which the war “ lieved that such a recognition could take has inflicted upon the cultivation of the “ place without producing immediately cotton plant. Maryland, Delaware, “a war between the United States Western Virginia, and part of Missouri “and all the recognising Powers.” That and Kentucky, in any case, must be lost the French Government should be bent to the slave-owner. The consequent upon such a measure is not unlikely. Trade weakness of the South, coupled with the in France finds itself terribly affected by material necessities which urge the planter the stoppage of all Confederate exports. continually to annex fresh territory, will It would seem, too, in the interests of probably in time impose a restless the world that the nominal blockade, foreign policy on the Confederate Go- which is too ineffectual to do more than vernment; and, if the Slave States stretch intimidate Southern commerce, should southwards, the Federal Union may not either be broken or, at least, confined improbably look for corresponding com- within valid limits. Charleston Harbour pensation in the direction of the Canadian has been wantonly and vindictively lakes. Europe cannot count with too injured, even if, as Northern apologists much assurance on the jealousy which assert, it has not been effectually a struggle for the privilege of secession destroyed; and an act of such blind may have bred between the two kindred atrocity is certainly an outrage upon the and coterminous Republics. Southern commonwealth of nations. Southern politicians have always rivalled and sur commissioners are actively engaged, both passed the North in hostility and inso- in this country and in Paris, in purchaslence towards the English people; and ing the moral support of England and of the sister communities may find it their France, on such terms as they judge best best interest to combine for purposes of suited to please the manufacturers and foreign policy and intimidation.

philanthropists whose mediation they - Meanwhile the cold and unfriendly require. While no consideration should attitude of this country is exasperating prevent our loudly denouncing the still further the old animosities and objectless destruction of Southern ports, petulance of the North towards us. To it is our duty to control rather than to add to the gloomy nature of the prospect, obstruct the military and naval energy the Federals are determined to mark of the officers of the North. No temptwith suspicion and anger any steps we ing proffer of gradual negro emancipamay take towards recognising their rebel tion-if any such be made by the Southenemies as an independent nation. In- ern commissioners in accordance with numerable problems of international law the programme of M. Renouf-should may evidently arise in the course of a tempt us to abandon a friendly and conflict, which we, from the magnitude free Government in the hour of its of the interests involved, call war, but distress. The eyes of the Continent to which the Union refuses to give its are upon us this day to see if we act

inition

selfishness. Whatever our past wrongs, let us repair one greater wrong done by us to America at her birth, nearly a century ago, and refuse, as far as we can, to assist at the dissolution of a great, a self-governed, and an AngloSaxon republic. When the Southern Confederacy has clearly shown that it is something more than the bubble of a year, it will have a right to those international courtesies which permanent Governments alone can claim. It is yet possible that the flame of revolution may expire in the Southern sky as suddenly as it has risen, and leave behind it no sign but the smouldering embers of an extinct conflagration. The suspension of specie payments in the North is an ominous symptom of financial exhaustion, but the Confederates have already passed this landmark on the road to ruin. If the North deserves victory, it will have spirit enough to do what the mother country has done before now, and cheerfully to support taxation proportioned to a grand emergency. During the next few months we may expect a series of military movements, the effect of which in all human likelihood will be the serious discouragement of the Confederates. No irreparable affront should be offered to the North by an English cabinet, until the course of events and the tardy justice due to the South require us to acknow ledge—what generous Englishmen will never acknowledge but with pain—that the Union is finally dissolved.

The fortune that attends on genius, out of the mortifying occurrences of the last two months, has brought honour and advantage to the French Emperor. The affair of the Trent furnished Napoleon III. with an opportunity of making a diplomatic stroke and winning a diplomatic triumph. A short-sighted politician, in his eager anxiety to break the Southern blockade, might have hailed with satisfaction the prospect of an impending collision between England and the Union. But the French Emperor plays a longer and a more brilliant game. Since the American revolution, it

to defend the cause of neutral rights and the so-called liberty of the seas; for it is the interest of all Continental powers that the belligerent rights of England-who will always be the greatest maritime belligerent in the world-should be strictly defined. Within twelve hours of the news of the proceedings of the San Jacinto, the official Parisian press seized on the golden occasion, and England was encouraged by France to commit herself to a declaration of the rights of neutral navies. The proceedings of the Paris Congress of 1856 prove sufficiently that Great Britain, in return for the suppression of privateering, and the rule which compels a blockade to be effective, is not unwilling that immunities should be granted to neutral goods on board an enemy, and to enemy's goods on board a neutral. But Continental Europe is so firmly impressed with the idea that England is the tyrant of the ocean, that it rejoices at our solemnly estopping ourselves from future violations of international law. The Emperor of the French has been in this instance-what he loves to be the leader of the European Chorus, and the champion of the principles of progress. Nor is it merely that he has officiated as the spokesman of the Continent. It is in a difference between England and America that his authoritative and friendly sentence has made itself heard ; and both England and the New World have heard with profound attention his trenchant and vigorous words. Slowly but surely he is creeping into the first place at the council-board of Europe. It is something that he has proved his loyalty to England, and at a critical moment conciliated our respect and good-will by a mark of his good faith. It is something, too, that he has hindered the navy of the North from dashing itself to pieces in an encounter with an unequal foe. But not the least useful of the advantages he has gained by his prompt action is that he has once more taught the powers of Europe to accustom themselves to listen for his voice.

MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE.

MARCH, 1862

UNIVERSAL INFORMATION AND “THE ENGLISH CYCLOPÆDIA.”

BY THE EDITOR.

The time was when every man whose them, it does not appear that, in any business lay in intellectual matters was article of erudition, they could be taxed bound to be his own encyclopædia with ignorance, or with knowledge under Having picked up, one way or another, the highest contemporary mark. Later the amount of knowledge which he re- still, the alleged necessity of something quired, he walked about, carrying this like universal learning, each one for stock with him, increasing it as means himself, among those whom nations offered, and serving as a source of infor- would recognise as their intellectual mation to which others could refer that chiefs, was not palpably opposed to the chanced to be in his neighbourhood. fact. When Plato philosophized, it was Nor, in those days, did the knowledge not the mere flight of a splendid specuof a man so situated necessarily fall far lative faculty in empty space, but the short of all the knowledge that was to action of a mind that had grasped and be obtained. The world was yet young; digested all accessible knowledge respectand, as all that we call learning or eru- ing the whole world of matter and men dition really resolves itself into history round which it flew and whose sublimer -into a recollection of what has hap- relations it sought to establish. In pened among men, or men have thought Aristotle, even more conspicuously, we and found out-the burden of legends behold, with wonder unabated to this that had been rolled down from the begin- day, universality and minuteness of ning of things in any one land was not acquisition, combined, as a matter of too great for one man's memory. Homer, course, with the spirit of philosophic if there was such a person, was not only system. the poet of the Greek world, but also a Nor did the tradition which required walking compendium, from one Greek universality of knowledge in those who “storefarm” to another, of all the history would tower highest in a community, as and science then existing on both sides its men of intellect, die out with the of the Ægean. Herodotus carried in his Greeks. Different ages and countries single head a recollection, most diligently have had different notions as to the kind got together, of all that it seemed worth of intellectual functionary most to be while for a Greek to know respecting the held in honour. Over large tracts of present and the past of mankind as time, as with us perhaps now, the poet ranged round and away from the vast has had the undisputed pre-eminence, margin of the Mediterranean. What and been voted, nem. con., the tip-top of with the strong memories of those old created beings; but there have been worthies, what with the small helps of times when possibly because a poet of tablets, note-books, and scrolls, which the right order seemed a blessing past the later of them may have had about praying for-men have been content to

selfishness. Whatever our past wrongs, let us repair one greater wrong done by us to America at her birth, nearly a century ago, and refuse, as far as we can, to assist at the dissolution of a great, a self-governed, and an AngloSaxon republic. When the Southern Confederacy has clearly shown that it is something more than the bubble of a year, it will have a right to those international courtesies which permanent Governments alone can claim. It is yet possible that the flame of revolution may expire in the Southern sky as suddenly as it has risen, and leave behind it no sign but the smouldering embers of an extinct conflagration. The suspension of specie payments in the North is an ominous symptom of financial exhaustion, but the Confederates have already passed this landmark on the road to ruin. If the North deserves victory, it will have spirit enough to do what the mother country has done before now, and cheerfully to support taxation proportioned to a grand emergency. During the next few months we may expect a series of military movements, the effect of which in all human likelihood will be the serious discouragement of the Confederates. No irreparable affront should be offered to the North by an English cabinet, until the course of events and the tardy justice due to the South require us to acknow ledge—what generous Englishmen will never acknowledge but with pain—that the Union is finally dissolved.

The fortune that attends on genius, out of the mortifying occurrences of the last two months, has brought honour and advantage to the French Emperor. The affair of the Trent furnished Na poleon III. with an opportunity of making a diplomatic stroke and winning a diplomatic triumph. A short-sighted politician, in his eager anxiety to break the Southern blockade, might have hailed with satisfaction the prospect of an impending collision between England and the Union. But the French Emperor plays a longer and a more brilliant game. Since the American revolution, it

to defend the cause of neutral rights and the so-called liberty of the seas ; for it is the interest of all Continental powers that the belligerent rights of England—who will always be the greatest maritime belligerent in the world-should be strictly defined. Within twelve hours of the news of the proceedings of the San Jacinto, the official Parisian press seized on the golden occasion, and Eng. land was encouraged by France to commit herself to a declaration of the rights of neutral navies. The proceedings of the Paris Congress of 1856 prove sufficiently that Great Britain, in return for the suppression of privateering, and the rule which compels a blockade to be effective, is not unwilling that immunities should be granted to neutral goods on board an enemy, and to enemy's goods on board a neutral. But Conti. nental Europe is so firmly impressed with the idea that England is the tyrant of the ocean, that it rejoices at our solemnly estopping ourselves from future violations of international law. The Emperor of the French has been in this instance—what he loves to be the leader of the European Chorus, and the champion of the principles of progress. Nor is it merely that he has officiated as the spokesman of the Continent. It is in a difference between England and America that his authoritative and friendly sentence has made itself heard ; and both England and the New World have heard with profound attention his trenchant and vigorous words. Slowly but surely he is creeping into the first place at the council-board of Europe. It is something that he has proved his loyalty to England, and at a critical moment conciliated our respect and good-will by a mark of his good faith. It is something, too, that he has hindered the navy of the North from dashing itself to pieces in an encounter with an unequal foe. But not the least useful of the advantages he has gained by his prompt action is that he has once more taught the powers of Europe to accustom themselves to listen for his voice.

MACMILLAN’S MAGAZINE.

MARCH, 1862

UNIVERSAL INFORMATION AND « THE ENGLISH CYCLOPÆDIA.”

BY THE EDITOR.

The time was when every man whose business lay in intellectual matters was bound to be his own encyclopædia Having picked up, one way or another, the amount of knowledge which he required, he walked about, carrying this stock with him, increasing it as means offered, and serving as a source of information to which others could refer that chanced to be in his neighbourhood. Nor, in those days, did the knowledge of a man so situated necessarily fall far short of all the knowledge that was to be obtained. The world was yet young; and, as all that we call learning or eru dition really resolves itself into history -into a recollection of what has happened among men, or men have thought and found out—the burden of legends that had been rolled down from the beginning of things in any one land was not too great for one man's memory. Homer, if there was such a person, was not only the poet of the Greek world, but also a walking compendium, from one Greek “storefarm” to another, of all the history and science then existing on both sides of the Ægean. Herodotus carried in his single head a recollection, most diligently got together, of all that it seemed worth while for a Greek to know respecting the present and the past of mankind as ranged round and away from the vast margin of the Mediterranean. What with the strong memories of those old worthies, what with the small helps of tablets, note-books, and scrolls, which the later of them may have had about

them, it does not appear that, in any article of erudition, they could be taxed with ignorance, or with knowledge under the highest contemporary mark. Later still, the alleged necessity of something like universal learning, each one for himself, among those whom nations would recognise as their intellectual chiefs, was not palpably opposed to the fact. When Plato philosophized, it was not the mere flight of a splendid speculative faculty in empty space, but the action of a mind that had grasped and digested all accessible knowledge respecting the whole world of matter and men round which it flew and whose sublimer relations it sought to establish. In Aristotle, even more conspicuously, we behold, with wonder unabated to this day, universality and minuteness of acquisition, combined, as a matter of course, with the spirit of philosophic system.

Nor did the tradition which required universality of knowledge in those who would tower highest in a community, as its men of intellect, die out with the Greeks. Different ages and countries have had different notions as to the kind of intellectual functionary most to be held in honour. Over large tracts of time, as with us perhaps now, the poet has had the undisputed pre-eminence, and been voted, nem. con., the tip-top of created beings; but there have been times when possibly because a poet of the right order seemed a blessing past praying for-men have been content to

« ElőzőTovább »