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tainly of a nature to inspire the highest idea of the perseverance and energy of the two populations; but this spectacle which does so much honor to their courage, is only given at the price of numberless calamities and at a prodigious ef fusion of blood. To these results of a civil war, which from the very first assumed vast proportions, there is still to be added the apprehension of a servile war, which would be the culminating point of so many irreparable disasters."
"Under the influence of the intimate relations which the extension of intercourse has multiplied between the various regions of the globe, Europe itself has suffered from the consequences of à crisis which dried up one of the most fruitful sources of the public wealth, and which became for the great centres of labor the cause of the most sad trials.
"When the conflict commenced we held it our duty to observe the most strict neutrality, in concert with the other maritime Powers, and the Washington Cabinet has repeatedly acknowledged the honorable manner in which we adhered to that line of conduct. The sentiments which dictated it to us have undergone no change. But the benevolent character of that neutrality, instead of imposing upon the Powers
an attitude which might resemble indifference, ought rather to make them of service to the two parties, by helping them out of a position which seems to have no issue."
"All these circumstances taken together point to the opportunity of an armistice."
"The three Cabinets would exert their influence at Washington, as well as with the Confederate States, to obtain an Armistice for six months, during which every act of war, direct or indirect, should provisionally cease on sea as well as on land, and it might be, if necessary, ulteriorly prolonged.
"These overtures would not imply on our part any judgment on the origin or issue of the struggle, nor any pressure upon the negociations which might, it is to be hoped, ensue in favor of an Armistice. Our task would consist solely in smoothing down obstacles and in interfering only in the measure determined upon by the two parties. We should not, in fact, believe ourselves called upon to decide, but to prepare the solution of the difficulties which hitherto have opposed a reconciliation between the belligerent parties."
"Should the event not justify the hope of the
three Powers, and should the ardour of the struggle overrule the wisdom of their councils, this attempt would not be the less honorable for them. They would have fulfilled a duty of humanity, more especially indicated in a war in which excited passions render all direct attempts at negociation more difficult. It is the mission which international law assigns to neutrals, at the same time that it prescribes to them a strict impartiality, and they could never make a nobler use of their influence than by endeavoring to put an end to a struggle which causes so much suffering, and compromises such great interests throughout the whole world.
Finally, even without immediate results, these overtures would not be entirely useless, for they might encourage public opinion to views of conciliation, and thus contribute to hasten the moment when the return of peace might become possible."
In the sentiments expressed in this admirable State Paper most impartial minds will concur.
THE AMERICAN QUESTION.
To doubt the cause of Secession, or to attribute it to anything but Slavery, is to show little acquaintance with the history of the American Union.
That secession of the Southern States from the Northern was an inevitable consequence of such a Union, if slavery had not existed, may be assumed, but that is not the question.
The question is,—What has been the cause of secession ?
The answer is,-Slavery; and this is the only answer which will bear examination.
Political causes, to be found in conflicting interests arising out of the union of so many and distant States, of different capacities and powers, under one Federal Government, have all operated, but as secondary causes only.
These, in time, without Slavery, must have operated to the disruption of such a Union, and would then have been primary causes.
All these have been hastened in their operation by the baneful effects of Slavery, and the Union is broken for ever.
The mischief, if it be a mischief, is irreparable, and the abolition of Slavery now could not restore the Union. Secondary causes would then be primary, and must prevail. The Union is gone for ever.
No Union, under a Republican form of Government, ever has held together, or ever will hold together, for any great length of time, so great an extent of territory as comprised in the American Union. As population increases, and interests become diverse, the struggle for power will arise and grow, and the machinery of government will become weaker and weaker, until it stops and falls to pieces. Those who look closely into the question will see that, this is a vain attempt to set aside providential laws by human ingenuity.
A purely republican form of government never has endured for any considerable length of time; not that there is any Divine right in a King, but that a constituted head is a Divine institution.
It is quite true that the power is with the People, but it is no less true that they will exer cise the power to their own destruction, without a constituted and acknowledged head, whether