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Great Britain is destined one day to pale before us as Tyre paled before her daughter Carthage, and when there will be no Rome to avenge her, or to ingulf us in our turn.
The latest news that has reached us at the time of writing, is that our English cousins are less alarmed, and begin to feel assured that there will be no war between them and us. We can tell them that there certainly will be no war at present, that none has for a moment been contemplated by our government, and we beliere none even by theirs. Whatever was the motive of despatching an English fleet to the West Indies, we feel quite confident that it was sent without any hostile intent towards us. Lord Palmerston could not have been so ill advised as to suppose that the presence of a fleet would aid his diplomacy, and tend in any degree whatever to induce our government to modify its demands, or to change its settled policy with regard either to this continent or the European.
It may be that the fleet was sent there in consequence of some false reports as to the fitting out, in our ports, of Russian privateers to prey upon British commerce; it may be that it was sent there to intercept proposed filibustering expeditions from New York for the coast of Ireland ; or it may be that it was sent there merely to keep the fleet in a state of efficiency for renewing its brilliant exploits and achievements in the Baltic, on the reopening of navigation next spring; but we cannot helieve that it was sent there with a view of overawing our government, and preventing it from carrying out its policy with regard to Central America. Of such folly and madness, we do not believe even Lord Palmerston to be capable.
But though there is no danger, at least no immediate danger of a war between Great Britain and the United States, there are some grave questions between the two
governments not yet settled, and apparently not as yet in a train of being settled. Something more than a simple apology is due us for the recent ontrage on the part of the British ministry, in undertaking to enlist recruits for their meagre Crimean army on our territory, in violation of our municipal laws. The fact is proved, is conceded even, and the excuse that instructions were given to the British agents to be careful not to wound our susceptibilities, and in doing the thing which our laws expressly forbid, to be careful not to come within the reach of those laws, is justly represented by Attorney-General Cushing as an aggravation of the offence. No doubt our government feels that it can afford to be forbearing with Great Britain, but the dismissal or recall of the British minister at Washington, under whose auspices, and with whose advice, the outrage was committed, is no more than the case demands. The silly attempt to throw the blame on General Cushing, and to ask of our government to apologize for his calling British agents, engaged on our own territory in violating our laws, malefactors, is worthy only of the London Times and the New York Herald. The ground taken by General Cushing is good in law and morals, and the common sense of the country will sustain him. His letter, so much complained of, has elevated him, and the administration of which he is a distinguished member, in public estimation, whatever Wallstreet gentlemen may say to the contrary. One thing is certain, that no administration can stand in this country that shows the slightest disposition to truckle to Great Britain ; and nothing will render one more popular than its readiness and firmness in maintaining the national dignity and independence against her arrogant pretensions and overbearing conduct. That word malefactor was well applied to the agents of a foreign government knowingly and intentionally doing on our territory what the laws make a crime, and we thank General Cushing for it.
But a still graver matter is the question concerning Central America. We do not pretend to be able to decide what is the true interpretation of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, but this much we are sure of, namely, that this country can never consent that Central America shall pass under the permanent control of the British, or any other European power. We never approved the proclamation by our government of what is called the Monroe doctrine, but we expect, and the country expects, the government to act on that doctrine whenever the occasion occurs. There must be no more European colonization on this continent. We do not interfere with the nations of the Old World, and we leave them to adjust the balance of power, and settle their disputes at home as best they can, or as best suits themselves: but here on this continent we must have our say, and can suffer no Enropean power to interfere in settling the international relations of American states. We have as much right to look after our own interests on this continent, as England and France have to look after theirs in Europe, Asia, and Africa. They are now at war with Russia to protect their trade and possessions, and to secure commercial advantages to themselves; and we see no reason why we should quietly suffer them to regulate the affairs of this continent, and secure to themselves the control of its commerce. The American states have interests of their own, and are as competent to the management of American affvirs as Europeans are to the management of Euronean affairs. This is a fact which European statesmen would do well to bear in mind.
At the commencement of the eastern war. the sympathies of this country were very generally with the allies ; now they are as generally with Russia. Whence this change in less than two short years? It comes from our regard to our own interest, which would be more or less compromised by the success of the allies, and from our perceiving that the success of Russia would work is no injury, however it might affect western Eurone. The success of the allies against Russia would give to France and England an undue preponderance in both worlds, and throw the balance of power quite too much on one side. We need the preservation of Russia as a formidable European power, in order to have a balance in Europe against France and England. So long as the war appeared to be only for the protection of the Ottoman empire against the aggressions of Russia, this country generally approved it, for it is for onr interests that the independence and integrity of that empire should be preserved. But now, when it is manifest to all, as in the beginning it was to a few who had studied the subject, that the maintenance of the integrity and independence of Turkey was but a pretext, when that independence and integrity are already lost and no longer heard of, and the allies are pushing on the war for purposes of their own, quite irrespective of the object for which they professed to commence it, the American people see that they must in selfdefence shift their sympathies. They see that the interests of the New World as well as the Old are involved, and that were Russia to fall, our American policy would be more or less compromised. In the success of the allies we see the success of the British policy, which, as it affects this continent, is hostile to ours. Here is the secret of the change in American feeling in regard to the allies and their cause.
For ourselves, personally, we have opposed the eastern war from the ontset; and the masterly speeches of Lord Grey, Mr. Bright, and Mr. Cobden, in the British parliament, against the war before its declaration, we have all along regarded as the speeches of statesmen, and unanswerable, as certainly they have not been answered. As a republican, and especially as a Catholic, we have and can have no sympathy with Russia. We detest, and have always de. tested the miscalled “Holy Alliance," founded by Alexander I. We abhor Russian despotism, and are as willing to see it humbled as any Englishman or Frenchman can be. But we do not consider that liberty or religion enters for any thing into the motives of the allies. The war is undertaken and carried on for purely secular interests, and when the question is of secular interests only, the secular interests of our own country are those which must determine our sympathies. Great Britain is as strongly and as bitterly anti-Catholic as Russia; and France, in leaguing with Turkey and the present governments of Spain
and Sardinia, shows herself any thing but a friend to the Holy See. We can find no reason, as a Catholic, why we should sympathize with the allies, and as we have many reasons, as an American citizen, why we should not, we confess that we have no wish for their success.
We are not disposed to deny that Great Britain has done much for the cause of civil freedom, and we trust that we shall never forget how much that is excellent in our laws and institutions we have borrowed from hers; but her present war can do nothing for the advancement of civil freedom, or the consolidation of liberal institutions. We have none of the red-republican hostility to the emperor of the French, and we have never been among those who traduced his character, or depreciated his abilities. He has not disappointed us, and has done no more than justify the high opinion we had formed of him before his election as president of the French republic. But we do not like his imperial policy, for we regard it as hostile to the best interests of religion and society. We believe the interests of Enropean society demand the entire freedom of religion, and the gradual introduction and consolidation of liberal institutions. The success of the allies will, however much it
redound to the glory of France, tend to consolidate a system of cæsarism which binds both religion and society in one common slavery. We believe civil liberty and religious freedom have much to fear and little to hope from the success of the allies. Germany will become more and more despotic, and France will lose all the fruits of her century of revolutions and sacrifices. We are no Bourbonists, we are no democrats for France; we are firm in the belief, that for that country
the Bonaparte dynasty is the best; we should most deeply deplore any movement against the present emperor; we only wish to see the senate and legislative body he has created becoming real institutions, and developing themselves into really independent and coördinate branches of the national government. We want no change but such a change as the emperor may himself concede, and which the interests and permanency of his dynasty require that he should concede. A great nation like France cannot be long deprived of all effective voice in the management of its affairs, and it will rebel against the attempt to do it, unless first reduced to a state of moral and intellectual imbecility. Men must become weak and servile in their souls, before they can be governed as slaves, or as children. While the horror of red-republicanism, or of socialisin lasts, Napoleon III. may govern France by his arbitrary will; but he must take measures to make the new generation grow up a race of slaves, or he will not be permitted to govern her one moment longer; the new generation will neither feel nor remember that horror. The modification of the law of conscription, changing the admirable constitution of the French army, and converting it into an army of mercenaries instead of an army of citizen soldiers, the strict surveillance of the press, the rigid control by the state of education, and the prohibition of all free thought and free discussion, silencing alike the voice of the good and of the bad in all political matters, would seem to indicate a systematic effort to stitle the last flame of liberty in the French heart, and to train up the new generation to be the slaves, the instruments, and the tools of an unmitigated imperial despotism. The word seems to be, “ Order at any price,” which to us is as odious as that other word, “ Liberty at any price.” Believing that such is the policy of imperial France, we own that we have no wish to see it consolidated, and therefore dread the success of the allies. In this respect we carry with us the great inajority of the American people, whether Catholic or nonCatholic
But to return. We well know the policy of Great Britain. It is to maintain for herself the supremacy of the sea, and to command by her ships and her colonies all the chief points or routes of commerce, so as to make the commerce of the world pay toll to her. Her present war has for its object the destruction of Russia as a maritime power, by the destruction of her fleets and harbors; to protect her own