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From The Spectator, 12 June. stances, which prove that France is threatFRANCE EQUIVOCATING. ened with no danger from without, and not THE Times asks if there is any thing in the to perceive that the same circumstances may present condition of France which can ac- be construed into evidence of an opportunity count for remarkable proceedings in that for France, if she were to contemplate some country; and although the leading journal grander coup d'état than ever beyond her astonished the world on Thursday by putting own frontiers. The state of the French emthis question, and suggesting certain forcible pire admits of many conjectural interpretareasons for the inquiry, it did so with some tions. Some report that the Emperor is not reserve, by no means making the worst of so strong in health as he has been, and does the case. The “ enormous preparations

» not exercise his wonted control over those which France is making for strengthening who are second, or third, in command. The her machinery of war, by sea and land, can disappointment of the commercial, the unscarcely be explained on any inteiligible easy aspirations of all classes, may perhaps ground, save one. It may be confessed that necessitate some diversion. The army itself the maintenance of domestic tranquility re is in want of employment. Some suppose quires a large army, but how does that apply that it is not under command; others imagto the fleet, to the defensive fortifications at ine that its excitement is not unlike the wine Cherbourg, or to the replacement all over and sandwiches of Satory, supplied from the the French coasts of the batteries which gar- same imperial source, but on a grander scale. nished them during the first Empire, or to Something like the Sepoy chupatties is said the accumulation of a great naval force in to be circulating in the French army; it is that port ? Again, what foreign prince is the toast “ To the Cause," which is reported threatening the French Government with in- to be drunk with enthusiasm at mess-tables. vasion ? What surplus revenue has France What cause ? And whatever may be the to throw away? The answer to each of conjecture respecting other persons, we canthese questions is obvious. Even with the not forget certain established facts in regard: utmost straining of able and obsequious to Napoleon. At one time, not a century finance Ministers, the finance of the Empire ago, he made many besides Louis Blanc bé can only by courtesy be said to make both lieve him a Socialist; he made all France ends meet. The two last contrivances for believe him a Republican; he has made Engreviving the public funds of the Government, land believe him a faithful ally. Taciturn by and what we may call the public funds of the nature, he seldom speaks until after the commercial powers in France, the share pro- event; he always acts before he speaks; and perty in the market, have both been failures; with regard to his greatest enterprises, his for since General Espinasse's suggestion that actions, unlike most men's, have always imthe real property of the corporate charities mensely exceeded any previous warning. should be converted into French Consols, It is perhaps one of the incidents of a fee and the telegraphic advertisement of the ble Government, which is obliged “ to do the forthcoming restraint on the issue of new polite ” at home and abroad, that we have to shares, we have heard nothing of those finan- be satisfied with certain matter-of-course dipcial coups d'état. According to the state-lomatic “ assurances,” when we ought to have ments of our Ministers, the misunderstand. positive facts on unmistakable authority to ing respecting the Conspiracy Bill has been explain these unintelligible preparations. satisfactorily explained away on both sides. The refusal to explain could only bear one Montenegro cannot demand that France construction, and we ought to be in an equal should possess an army of 600,000 men, or a state of preparedness. fleet rivalling in strength that of England, a The subject ought not to be left to purely power which has to defend possessions in official assurances, or to the "energy every part of the world. Austria is not Government which is distinguisning itself in threatening active hostilities, and if she were standing, by while other persons conduct legshe might be laughed at. Notwithstanding islation in Parliament. The enormous prethe English marriage, Prussia is not likely parations in France have attracted attention to be troublesome. If Russia were to in other places besides the City. Since the threaten, France knows that she has Eng- Government has not proved itself to be perland to fall back upon. It is impossible that forming its duty, others have been impressed the Emperor, or the most timid party in with the necessity of taking the initiative. A France, can be anticipating an invasion from quiet agitation on the subject has already beEngland, when we have on our hands a gun, as is usual in this country, to assume an China war, have not yet done with the In- organized form. The grand objects are, to dian mutiny, and have our commerce to supply the deficiency which Sir Francis Head guard all over the globe.

pointed out, and the Duke of Wellington It is impossible to review these circum-l admitted, by stationing a thoroughly efficient

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Channel fleet at once at its proper post; by ate, and it is in ferred that by these prelimimanning our ships promptly, which can be naries the President and Senate are only takdone if the market price for sailors be of- ing the necessary precautions to be ready for fered ; and by instantly taking such meas- prompt action in case of need. Some part ures as would call out the Militia and enable of the popular movement is very probably the whole body of the people to supply the nothing more grave than bravado; a sort of place of an absent army.

display which costs very little, and scarcely

affords more than a specific occasion for those From The Spectator, 12 June. parades of which the very effective, and in THE AMERICAN DIFFICULTY. some cases showy New York regiments are BEFORE we are quit of the Indian war the willing enough to avail themselves. It is thunder of a war-storm across the Atlantic said that Lord Napier, as a private individual, already has begun to make its rumbling at once expressed his opinion that there has heard; and our wise men have been called in been some mistake about the instructions to exorcise the Spirit of the Storm. It was given to our naval officers, and that his Govnot a simple alarmism that excited the sudden ernment will make satisfactory explanations ; outburst of discussion on the subject; there and the tone of Ministers in Parliament is in bave been practical or supposed reasons for the same strain. Mr. Cass has transmitted some feelings of animosity in the United to London a formal demand for explanations, States. A certain heat made itself evident and the papers have been promised ; and it even in the proceedings of the Gorernment, even now depends in some degree upon the and the feeling created on this side was evi- fulness of these papers to check any needless denced by the downward tendency of the excitement which might otherwise prevail upon public funds, which were recently so buoyant, this troublous subject. and have since somewhat narrowed the con- There are indeed always means for either na'trast offered to the condition of the French tion to prevent the other from resorting to Funds. Looking to the state of the East, warlike extremes, except under the severest and of the European Continent, these adverse penalties. It is, perhaps, too readily assumed signs were any thing but welcome; but it is on the other side of the Atlantic that we must to be believed that the threat will come to submit to any demands because our responsinothing

bilities are so gigantic. The outbreak of war The steps taken by the American Govern- would cut off the supply of cotton from Livment appear to indicate a degree of precipi- erpool, and through that port from Manchestancy altogether in excess of the occasion. ter and Glasgow ; Lancashire, Cheshire, and Without waiting for explanations or negotia- Ayrshire, would soon be agitated by sometions, anticipating the action of the President, thing very like an industrial revolt, from Mr. Seward introduced into the Senate a which, of course, political considerations could measure to enable the government to obtain not be excluded : and these would be rather by force prompt redress for the perpetration tremendous visitations for commercial Lonof outrages upon the flag, soil, or citizens, of don, coming as they would after the war in the United States, or upon their property, and India, after the war with Russia, and perhaps to make reprisals wherever the adoption of before the war with France. Per contra, such a

course may be deemed necessary. very similar responsibilities hang round the This last step is remarkable, for it will be neck of the American Republic. The slaveeasily remembered that when the late Euro- owning states cannot afford either to have pean Congress endeavored to abolish the cus- their cotton-trade cut off, or the spark of tom of making reprisals upon commercial doubt and discredit thrown among their alienproperty, the

American Government, al colored industrial population. It is somethough partially consenting, in reality nega- times supposed that the north is severed in tived the proposition. In the meanwhile gun- its commercial interests from the south; but Loats have been sent to the Cuban waters, nothing can be more mistaken. In our pages and other active steps have been taken for we have explained the nature of a project for strengthening the naval force of the United establishing a direct carrying-trade between States, while the citizens of New York come some southern port and a port in this counforward to offer their services to the Ameri- try, in order that the cotton-growers of the can Government in the event of war. southern states might not be at the mercy of

There are indeed explanations to be offered the north. It was supposed that in such for the most formidable of these indications. cases there would be something like a trianIn the first place we are reminded that the gular trade instead of the rectangular trade, American President has not the privilege, which makes New York the medium both which resides in European royalty, of declar- ways, giving her a double profit at the exing war upon his own sovereign will; he can pense of the south, and degrading the trade only do so with the concurrence of the Sen of the Carolinas and Florida to the rank of a

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coasting instead of a foreign trade. The pro- previous question involved in the demand for ject was announced, but it has not been real- papers, or to the claim of certain Americans ized. The north therefore clings to its posi- for compensation : we have as yet only an ex tion as partner of the south ; and the entire parte statement, and the papers are promised. firm must consent to forego a commerce which The information conveyed should be as full as equals that with the rest of the world, in or- possible. Whatever may be the issue, we der to indulge the caprice of a little military have to deal with a powerful adversary. It is exercise with England. It is true that the not the case of Brazil over again, in which an Americans are readier than the English to English Government can bully with impunity. “sell up,” more prepared for extremes; true Whatever may be the merits of the question, also that the “Rowdy” interest has its rep- our Cabinet might have need of all the re resentatives even in the money-market. The sources by which it can strengthen its posilast circumstance, however, in part explains tion. Amongst those resources the most some of the excitement; for do not let us valuable perhaps would be the common sense forget that even in London “the Bears ” of of both countries. If any Americans have the money-market can turn something more been exaggerating, or inventing the irregularthan an honest penny by the mere report and ities that they allege, let the misrepresentaanticipation of war. Čertain it is that the tions be exposed ; let them be exposed honestly leading men of the Union, the resident repre- and fully, with complete candor, and the solid sentatives, are almost as rearly as we are in men of the Union, as well as of the United England to assume that a war between the Kingdom, will take care that justice be satistwo countries would be “impossible,” because fied. If we have been endeavoring to enforce of the immense interests involved.

our own convictions upon any alien communSo perhaps it would be, if the Governments ity without their assent, if any over-zealous of the two countries were more essentially commanders have been exceeding their inbound up with the commercial and substan- structions, if the instructions themselves have. tial interests of society than they are ; but been imprudently lax or incautious in tone, that is not so on either side of the Atlantic. let the mistake on our own side be frankly With reference to these material interests, avowed and promptly corrected. In fact, if the Governments on both sides may to a cer- either Government, our own in particular, tain extent be regarded in the light of adven- shall seek simply to satisfy the requirements turers,-persons separated from the weighty and dictates of common sense, it will stand and enduring interests of the society over on ground too safe to be impugned, and will which they rule, yet holding in their hands assume a position the best for rebutting the immense power, which may

be employed for excesses or the intrigues, whether of Governa blow at any moment. Here is the danger. ments or of individuals. A little display of “energy” in the orders issued may be the warrant for any reckless

From The Examiner, 12 June. naval commander, whether English or Ameri

THE SLAVE TRADE. can, to perpetrate some act which would SYDNEY SMITH was right. It is high arouse the people of either country beyond time that we should cease defending, and, in the control of reason. It is only fair to sup- so doing, offending all the world.

We must pose, however, at least of our own Govern- begin to take care of ourselves.

We must ment, that it feels its responsibility, alike to begin to live more within our means of serrmaintain the honor of England, and to avoid ing mankind. We must restrict our excessacrificing the solid interests of the country sire issues of philanthropy. Let every fair in the indulgence of any mere caprice. It is endeavor be made to move other nations to possible that the apprehension of material put an end to the abomination of the slave consequences will not deter the Government trade, but if they will not do their duty, we on the other side from taking that course, cannot, single-handed, make up for all their which appears to be necessitated by “dignity", omissions, and must withdraw from a work but it seems almost certain that the Govern- not only over-tasking our powers but exposing ment that should commence the war, on which us to the danger of embroilment and war soever side, would be perfectly unable to with the United States. maintain itself against the popular indigna

In the House of Lords, on Tuesday, Lord tion of its own commonwealth. Should the Brougham Government at Washington really plunge the “ solemnly adjured his noble friend Lord Republic in hostilities with its best customer, Malmesbury to take all possible means of porth and south would soon, under the suffer- urging upon the Spanish Government the ings drawn upon both, call it to account, and duty of making every effort for the extirpaappoint its successor to remedy the mischief. tion of the slave trade in the Spanish colonies We have discussed the question of war and -an object which they were bound not only peace without reference to the merits of the l by the stipulations of treaties, but by every

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principle of honor and honesty, to effect—by American flag being constantly prostituted to prohibiting the corruption of the Government cover the slave trade, and other illegal acts, and other functionaries. The slave trade in and I think it is highly desirable that some Brazil, he might remind their lordships, had agreement should be made between the two been put an end to by the honesty and firm-countries, by which it may be distinctly underness of the Portuguese Government. He stood what proceedings ought to be taken by was most anxious to see the slave trade aban-their officers respectively for effectually disdoned by Spain, because it would then be no covering the impositions to which I have longer necessary for this country to attempt alluded, and which will not be offensive to what was impossible—the blockade of the honest traders. It is to that I have directed coast of Cuba, which, from the nature of that the attention of the Government of the coast, could never be effectual, and we should United States, and that no later than in a be relieved from the many and great perils to conversation which I had this morning with which we were now exposed of being brought the American Minister, and I think I may into collision with other Powers."

say there has not been any great difference Whether or not the Spanish Government of views between us.” puts down the slave trade, at our instance, in No doubt, as Lord Clarendon stated in a conformity with its engagements, the blockade speech as commendable as that of his sucof Cuba should be forthwith abandoned, for cessor in the Foreign Office, none of the acts the reason given by Lord Brougham, that it charged are permissible under the officers’inis attempting an impossibility, and exposing structions, but the danger lies in the nature us to the chance of collision with America in of the duty, and the temper which it genthe vain endeavor. We must do Lord erates. There is a superabundance of eagerMalmesbury the justice to say that he spoke ness and activity; suspicion espies a slaver in with excellent sense and temper on this disguise in every tub, and these things comsubject.

bined with a little indiscretion, such as is be“ I trust that a great deal of exaggeration gotten sometimes on a hot day after dinner has taken place in the descriptions I have by an extra glass of wine, may cause a misseen, though, at the same time, I must con

adventure out of which may arise war, or fess I fear that some acts have been com- the danger of war, which is the next evil to mitted that are not justifiable either by inter- it as regards commercial relations. The national law or by the tre ies that exist niceties of circumspection are not to be looked between this country and the United States. for in the commanders of cruisers, while on I am informed that on one occasion a body of the other hand we have to lay our account men were landed from one of her Majesty's with the most exaggerated susceptibility on ships on the coast of Cuba, though that is of the side of those molested by any stretch of course a Spanish question, which can only be interference. Raise the blockade before misincidentally mentioned when speaking with chief is done; and that is not all, let Engregard to America. Statements have also land give notice to all nations concerned in been made that considerable annoyance has the slave trade that she will take her share in been occasioned to American trading vessels the work of humanity if they will contribute lying at anchor at Havannah from a system their quota of assistance, but that she will no of rowing round those vessels, watching their longer consent to bear the whole burden of

Our own sh cargoes taken out and taken in, exercising the task.

now call for the surveillance and espionage over them, and defences which are diverted to watching the finally chasing them out to sea after they coast board of Africa and Cuba. We must left the port. It has also been stated that begin to look at home. With the work we many American ships in the Gulf have been have on our hands actually or prospectively, brought to by our crusiers and searched. we must retrench some of our benevolence Now, I say I have not the least idea whether for blacks, and husband our resources to prothese statements are correct or not, but these tect liberty in its last European hold. We are the statements made, and your lordships have made large sacrifices for the suppression know that neither international law nor the of slavery with very inadequate results, and treaty of 1842 would justify us in taking such all the circumstances of the time counsel us

as these. I entirely agree with now to avoid cause of offence and improve what my noble friend has said as to the means of defence.

measures

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From The Times, 10 June. symptom of a wish in any quarter to attack THE ATTITUDE OF FRANCE, her. Her form of government agrees enFor what purpose, or in what quarrel, tirely with the notions entertained by the against whom or for whom, we know not, Governments of the greater part of Europe, France is undoubtedly arming on a scale, with and we in England have long learnt to rea method, a system, and a deliberation, truly nounce the Quixotic notion of forcing our formidable to all her neighbors,—whether, own ideas upon other nations. If France is like ourselves, they have the good fortune to happy we are content she should be so in her be sheltered from the impending storm under own way, and desire nothing but to see her the umbrageous branches of an entente cordi- great, peaceful, and prosperous. Why, then, ale,—whether, like Belgium, Piedmont, and is France arming ? Spain, in the consciousness of their inability It

may be that the peculiar form of governto resist, they listen with no unreasonable ment in which France has seen fit to indulge trepidation for the first howl of the coming necessitates some increase of the army for tempest,

,-or whether, like Austria, they know purposes of domestic repression, and we would not how soon they may be compelled to fight much rather believe it is so than suppose for their dominions against a brave and well- is marshalling her forces for some fofeign war; disciplined enemy. France is certainly arm- but, if we grant that the army is increased ing, and arming both by land and sea. Her for the purpose of insuring domestic tranquilarmy, already large, is undergoing considera- ity, on what ground are we to account for the ble increase. She is just on the point of corresponding and contemporaneous augmencompleting a railway which connects all her tation of her fleet? The_navy has always military stations with the fortifications of been a favorite force in England, because, Cherbourg, a port constructed at enormous among other reasons, it is a force which canpains and at vast expense, and possessing not readily be used for the purpose of coercevery facility that skill can devise for the ing the people. In France the same princisimultaneous embarkation of very large bodies ple must apply, and we are at a loss to know of troops. France is, besides, busily en- for what pacific purpose a large steam navy is gaged in the construction of a great steam being prepared. France has but few coloHeet, armed and propelled on the very best nies, and those of inconsiderable extent. She and newest principles at present developed has no large foreign commerce to protect, no by the art of war; she is gathering up her refractory India to reconquer and reorganize. colossal strength, and would appear to be on She has nothing to fear from a descent on her the eve of some vast enterprise, in the prose- coasts from any foreign Power. Why, then, cution of which that strength is to be put is France arming and augmenting her navy ? forth to the utmost. Not only is the military We have a right to ask the question ; for, element studiously strengthened and increased, whatever be the enemy against whom the but it is beginning to assert a predominance thunderbolt is forged, there is no doubt that orer civilians which shows itself more and these warlike preparations in a time of promore every day, and naturally makes us found peace tend to inflict upon us, in comanxious about our relations with a country in mon with the rest of our neighbors, many of which the balance is so completely pressed the calamities and miseries of war. If France down by the superior weight of the military will insist on increasing her armies and her class.

navies, she forces us, her neighbors and her It is in vain that we seek for any thing in allies, to do the same. We have too much at the present condition of France which can stake within this little island of ours to be account for the remarkable proceedings to content to exist by the permission and on the which we

most unwillingly allude. The sufferance of any ally, however faithful, of finances of the country are in a state that any foreign Prince, however magnanimous. must render any naval or military expenditure History warns us against incurring the fate of not absolutely called for by necessity or honor those nations who have trusted the power of peculiarly inexpedient. The people of Eng- the sword in other hands than those in which land have no wish nearer their hearts than to they were conterit to trust their freedom. If remain on the very best terms with their for- France is determined to arm we must either midable and warlike neighbor, and we are be content to lie at her mercy or prepare to sure that there is no country in Europe which arm too. If she increases her regular army would regard a rupture with France with any we can hardly do less than call out and emother feelings than those of the most genuine body our Militia. If she insists upon increasing abhorrence and dismay. We cannot believe her navy, she forces us most unwillingly, from for a moment that the enormous preparations the barest considerations of prudence, to un. which France is making are intended for de- dergo the expense of a Channel Fleet. This fensive warfare, for there is not the slightest expenditure, which is not required for domes

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