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· On the prudence-nay, obvious necessity of the neutrality of Great Britain in this civil war, and the help which their position has enabled the Federal States to derive from this neutrality, we need not here say many words. Seeing how loyally our suffering manufacturing population has accepted this nonintervention policy, in the sincere belief it is right and every way best for the cause of freedom, it is hard for us, amidst all our sacrifices, to be thus misunderstood. But during their fierce conflict our Northern American kinsmen can perhaps be hardly in fairness expected to reason calmly or truly. They complain now in the bitter feelings caused by the injuries they have received from this vessel. A time, we trust, is not far distant when they will render us kindlier justice.
Mrs. Stowe, rejecting with indignation the counsel to abolish slavery in the North and let the South go free, asks (page 58) « What! give up the emancipation of these four million slaves ?” It is impossible for the North by prosecution of the war to bring about this emancipation on any terms saving the negroes from being killed-again reduced into bondage, or perishing from famine. As this will soon be further examined, we will now content ourselves with pointing out that all her declamation here rests upon the assumptions before noticed.
Yet we can hardly wonder at those immersed in the strife being unable to reflect calmly or reason truly when their national welfare, their holy cause, trembles in the balance of uncertain war, whilst we see so many in our own land sharing their delusions. True it is that most of these are loose-tongued speakers and glib writers, who, like their prototypes in America, inflame themselves and all who lend them credence, with burning words, but are wholly incapable of any process of thought that could lead them to true conclusions. It is so easy to declaim on such a theme ! so easy to cheat ourselves with the fancied realization of all our golden dreams! But whilst these men in England write and harangue, the best in America pour out blood and treasure. We confess to but little feeling for many of the foreign mercenaries who perish by thousands in the Federal ranks. These, and the jobbers who make wealth by the pillage of their country, are and long have been the blight and curse of the Union ; and their removal is a positive benefit to the commonwealth. Not so of those who rush to the fight from the holiest and highest motives as to a sacred war of freedom. The United States cannot spare one of these men. Upon these and such as these- men with a conscience and sense of duty-hang all her hopes of the future. However gratefully to all the feelings of the abolitionists she might now speak, Great Britain would be the direst foe of freedom and right in America if our voice hounded them on to prolong a single day this cruel war; which, if allowed to run its course, will hand over all power to a ruthless army and bands of unprincipled robbers of the State, by destroying all the men who could really save the freedom of their land ; and thus leave the Northern States desolate like Germany after the thirty years' war.
REAL MOTIVES AND CONDUCT OF THE WAR.
All examination confirms at every point the repeated emphatic declarations of President Lincoln, that the Federal States carry on this war to restore the Union in its former integrity. This is perhaps the only point as to which the various parties in the North are all agreed. The Southern States proclaim with one voice that they will fight to the death for secession, and never again, on any terms or under any condition, consent to renew their connection with the Federal States.
We have noticed the reverential care with which the sages and warriors of the great times in America founded this Union; how true were their perceptions of the only means by which it could be preserved to be a benefit to their great country; and how almost mournfully prescient were their fears of the dangers menacing its permanency. We have also remarked how the rapid growth of the nation in later years, both in wealth and population, corrupted the patriotism and virtue of the earlier days, and converted the periodical elections of the president into rancorous and venal struggles for the emoluments and power of office. One class of the inflammable speeches and writings used upon these occasions has produced on the national character and later actions of the United States effects so widely demoralizing, and bearing so large a share in causing and embittering the present social strife, as to claim especial attention.
The lust of universal empire has led many a despot and conqueror to his ruin; and our own times have furnished a remarkable proof that this · insatiable demon can animate heroes of modern as well as ancient times. But since that remarkable instance, when a dream of this kind came to speedy ruin in the plains of Shinar, perhaps no nation,* save for a time the Moslem, before the United States has deliberately avowed and maintained this purpose as a national mission and right, —an article of faith in the creed of their land's worship, to be identified indissolubly with their love of country, and maintained at whatever sacrifice, as if comprising all their national honour and renown.
This seems a singular mania in a people founded in their best part by the voluntary expatriation from a great country of a few remarkable men seeking freedom in the wilderness; and it was assuredly not contemplated in the foundation of their Union for mutual protection and good government. In their rapid growth (so far surpassing the most sanguine hopes of the great founders of the nation), and in the vast expanse of fertile ter
* The Romans for some centuries almost realized this dream of universal empire. But in their better and earlier days they made war only in defence of their country, or to punish injuries for which they could not otherwise procure any redress. Only when ambitious generals had subverted their national institutions and subjected the Republic to military despotism, and in the later times of the empire, were wars carried on avowedly for extensions of dominion.
ritory thus rapidly peopled, must be sought the germs of this idea which, once awakened, was found by demagogues of all parties to be a ready means of intoxicating the national pride. The growth of the young Republic, almost visible from day to day, seemed to its people watching this progress with pride and delight like a new creation; as if they were sent forth with the Divine command “to replenish the earth and subdue it.” Reckless writers and speechifiers have incessantly dwelt upon this grateful theme, until the whole nation became “drunk, as with new wine," and losing all sober sense, has fancied it could succeed in reversing those moral laws, the operation of which, depending on the nature and constitution of man, is as certain as that of the material laws upholding and guiding the Universe.
It would be superfluous to dwell long on exposing the madness of this deification of size which has so entirely affected the whole country. The people accept their very misfortunes half complacently, if assuming vast proportions at which the world stands aghast in pity and horror; and fancy it is a kind of glory proving them to be the greatest nation in the universe to have the greatest war, the greatest army, the greatest debt, that were ever heaped together in so short a time. It is mournful to mark their entire forgetfulness “What constitutes a State,”—that, as Milton says, “ Bulk without spirit, vast,” is merely extended weakness. We have truly reason to thank Providence that our British Isles are bound in by the friendly seas, bringing us intercourse for good with all lands, but forbidding any idea of extension of territory.