tences one day condemning the offender, yet defending the offence; another day sentences taking the opposite line, and so written as to be quoted as proofs of consistency should the turn of events render the cry for Cuba' an available one at the next elections. The trimming of some of the Whig papers during several weeks displayed as complete a want of principle as the aggression, and a less amount of determination than the democratic papers exhibited in their bold and unscrupulous adoption of it from the beginning..

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This high opinion of themselves, and low estimate of other powers, which pervades, I believe, the numerical mass of the people of the United States, renders it by no means improbable that they may at any moment, in a period of popular excitement, hurry along the upper and more sober-minded classes of the community, and their government, into a course of national policy which those classes might in reality condemn, but which they would have no power to arrest or alter. Such an instance, to refer to no others, occurred in the case of the Mexican war, which was condemned by all their best statesmen, and against which they were warned in the most earnest manner by nearly all that deserved to exercise any moral weight in the community. But the popular current was too strong for them, and they were finally led to acquiesce in what they could not prevent; one imprudent step of the government, in risking a small body of troops in an exposed position, having been held to commit irretrievably both government and people. Such periods of popular excitement must be expected to recur at no very great intervals, where their causes fall in with the principles of a large, not to say preponderating body in the state; where so many eager expectants are ever on the watch to profit by them; and where an unscrupulous press is ever at hand to mislead the popular mind, and to play upon the excitable temperament of the people.

When such occasions arise, I believe there is no more effectual mode of keeping the peace than to show unmistakably to those persons who pull the wires of these popular excitements, that there is no weakness in the counsels of Great Britain, nor any failing in the strength of her arm, if need be, to sustain them. Those persons, indeed, know full well, that no more than a minute fraction of that strength was ever put forth in the unfortunate collisions that have hitherto taken place between Great Britain and the United States. The great mass of their readers are profoundly ignorant of that fact. It will not be the fault of these newspaper-writers, if their fellow-countrymen are not some day rather roughly awakened to their error."

Looking back over the whole matter, and endeavouring to look back upon it dispassionately, we must avow that our anticipations are by no means sanguine or pleasing, whether as regards the improvement and elevation of American policy or the permanence of the existing American Union. On both subjects we cannot help sharing to the utmost those sad and gloomy fears which we know to fill the minds of many of the most thoughtful


and far-seeing Americans themselves, and which appear in every page of Judge Story's writings. We see few elements of amendment, and many of deterioration. We entertain only the faintest hopes that the Union will last another generation. We are not sure that we feel any earnest desire that it should. A state whose power was so vast, while its political morality and wisdom were so low, would be of ill augury to the well-being of the rest of the world. The official avowals, plain or thinly disguised, of Mr. Fillmore and Mr. Pierce, of intended territorial aggrandisement; and the language of Mr. Everett, when secretary of state, as to the impossibility of resisting the conquering and filibustering tendencies of American citizens,-to say nothing of the orations delivered in both Houses of Congress,-leave little prospect of arresting a career of aggression and injustice, which, as the extension of slavery and the preponderance of slave-states are among its chief motives, cannot be tamely acquiesced in by the north. The New-England states, New York and Philadelphia, will not choose long to be dragged through national iniquities of which the object and effect must be to give a preponderance to their southern rivals. Sooner or later issue must be joined on this question. And when the north and the south shall separate, the west will not choose to be linked to the destinies of either. Besides this, as every year extends the boundaries of the United States, admits new territories into its fold, complicates its interests, multiplies the questions and increases the perplexities with which its statesmen have to deal,statesmen of greater ability, experience, character, and commanding grasp of mind are required to deal with concerns of such ever-growing magnitude. The politicians fit to manage the national affairs of a Republic reaching from Maine to Mexico must be few and rare indeed! Yet every year fills the halls of Congress and the Presidential chair with men of briefer training, shallower capacity, and lower, because more popular, views of statesmanship and public morals. A task tenfold greater than that which was a sore weight to Washington and Adams is laid upon the shoulders of a Pierce, a Marcy, and a Cass. As matters become more delicate, more difficult, and more perilous, a poorer, a feebler, and a rasher set rush in to handle them. What must be "the end of these things," it needs no prophet to foretell. When that end may come, we are not anxious to conjecture.

In conclusion: the remarks which we have made above as to the non-representative character of the government and the press of the United States may suffice to suggest the line of conduct to be adopted by this country on those occasions when, as recently, endeavours are made, for personal or party purposes,

by American officials to fix a quarrel on Great Britain, and when those endeavours are disavowed and condemned by the classes whom we have ventured to designate as constituting par excellence the American NATION. We must assume, as far as possible, a passive and impassive attitude; ignoring all that we are suffered to ignore; hearing nothing that we are not compelled to hear; taking no notice of provocative speeches in Congress or bombastic articles in newspapers, which, though spoken and written at us, are not addressed to us; and heeding, as little as we can in courtesy, Presidential and State documents which, though addressed to us, are written and spoken at Americans and for American political designs. We must pass by all insults in mere words, as not the deliberate language of national organs, but only the bluster of men untrained to statesmanlike decorum or refined courtesy, whom temporary accident has raised to high positions. If they proceed to acts, we must meet and repel them with the quiet repression becoming men who feel that they are dealing with antagonists as much blamed by the nation in whose name they act, and whose power they abuse, as by the nation whom they gratuitously assail. We must be especially on our guard against identifying the Washington officials, whose term of office is expiring, with the permanent PEOPLE of America; and we must be careful, by no angry or intemperate language of ours directed against that people, to lead them to make common cause with their temporary and mischief-making rulers.

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We are aware that it is never an easy thing, and not always either a decorous or a possible one, thus to separate a nation from its government, especially when that government is ostensibly and pre-eminently the creature of the popular choice. Nevertheless in this case we must do it, and the notorious facts of the case justify us in doing it. And before laying down the pen, we wish to forestall a possible misunderstanding and a probable charge. We have no desire, and have had no intention, to speak with disrespect of that portion-the numerical majority-of the American people which does elect the legislative and administrative officers of the United States, and whose sentiments, therefore, those officers may fairly be assumed to speak. Towards this majority -the actual electoral body-we feel no disrespect. They are

no worse than the corresponding class in our own country; on the contrary, in many respects they are better. They are less docile, modest, and respectful, certainly; but they are more intelligent, more shrewd, more intensely energetic, and, as a rule, far better educated. The difference between the two countries is this: in the United States this class of men govern; in England they do not. In the United States the government is elected, the national tone is given, the standard of public morality is fixed by the mass, the operatives, the tradesmen, the pioneers of the West, the cultivators of the soil, the lower professional electioneerers-by those, in fact, who correspond to what are termed the middle and lower classes in settled countries. In England the government is chosen, the national tone is given, the standard of public morality is fixed by the middle and upper classes the educated minority, the merchants, the aristocracy, the thinkers, and the writers. If our parliament and our ministers were named, as in America, by universal suffrage and for brief periods, what sort of men would rise to the head of affairs with us? How long should we preserve even that modified degree of moderation, decorum, wisdom, and public purity which still prevails among our Transatlantic cousins?


The Moniteur of the 2d of February 1856.

THOSE Who still consider-according to a view at one time current among liberal politicians-that a state of war must necessarily be full of passionate impulses,—some of them sufficiently generous, but others, and those perhaps the most practically influential, of a widely different character,-must feel no little surprise at the mode in which the question of peace and war is now discussed. That it is not contemplated through any distorting medium of ambition or revenge is certain, and may to many appear to be a fact of unmixedly cheerful augury. The received imagery is at fault. The picture on the mental retina is not of ardent warriors meeting with hateful eyes-a bloody field-spent combatants-a foe struck down-and a peace dictated by the victor; nor, on the other hand, do we see a vision of aims lost sight of, and hopes disappointed on all sides—a return to a mere status quo, with the addition of universal weariness and disgust-the unsatisfactory outcome of a series of inconsistent and transitory alliances and combinations, topped by

some dexterous move acquiesced in by all as giving the finishingstroke to a game which has been deprived of its higher interests, and only needs to be ended, and, if possible, forgotten. The latter is a result so much to be apprehended in all wars where complex interests are at stake, that a conviction of our being at all events spared that ought possibly to awaken in humble and reasonable minds a more lively feeling of satisfaction and thankfulness than we find ourselves able to avow. The war and the negotiations have progressed with something like the steady march of a Chancery-suit, in which the plaintiff has gained some new point at each stage, and the antagonists have been strictly kept by the court to the issues raised in their preliminary altercation. Diplomacy can state its successive feats in parallel columns, and make up its record of a statesman's war by appending a scientific award, drawn up in all clerkly neatness by untrembling hands-a monument of practice, a precedent for future learners.

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Yet, is this safe, calm, judicial procedure, this legal, precise operation, all that a great war and its close ought to be? Is the feeling of disappointment, of shortcoming, of dissatisfaction with nicely-elaborated expedients, which we believe to be tolerably universal in England, either immoral or even mistaken? If the Austrian pacification is completed, will its annals be the very best contribution that ever was made to the historic food which nourishes the souls of nations? Be it observed, that if the maxims at present in vogue among statesmen are really the maturest fruits of political wisdom and virtue, then this peace (supposing it to include the greater number of the points understood to be contended for by the Allies) must be a model peace. It cannot be looked on merely as an inevitable solution, or a wise practical mode of reconciling conflicting difficulties. It must be a type in its way-a pattern for the world—a specimen of the best that Christian civilisation has yet been able to effect; it must consecrate the admission that the knightly sword has no more work to do, and that international rights may henceforward be safely left to the vindication of the policeman's staff.

The maxims to which we refer are briefly reducible to two: first, that appeals to the nobler and deeper passions of mankind -to the enthusiasm for liberty and to the throbbings of patriotism-are so dangerous that they should be left to the last, and only made under the stress of inexorable necessity; and secondly, that wars should be confined to the removal of the immediate casus belli, and not be allowed to extend to any effectual dealing with the remoter causes of the wrongs complained of. No one can doubt that these maxims have been stated by the most influential persons more broadly than it is customary in

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