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ready for the combat; but as it has as yet the upper hand in Congress, it talks less than the North of sundering the Union. Gold cups, gold-headed canes, and other testimonials, to the disgrace of humanity, are being presented by the Virginians to the ruffian Brooks. The attack on Mr Sumner, indeed, may be regarded as a typical act as a symbol of the open rupture to which the Slavery and Anti-Slavery parties have now come, as well as of the fierce lawless tactics which the former are ready to put in force against their antagonists. "Sumner and Kansas" will be watchwords of the Abolitionists, which the future is likely to hold memorable.
Such was the state of feeling in the Union in the second week of June, when the last mail left. The Great Convention of the Democrats at Cincinnati had just terminated in the nomination of Mr James Buchanan as the Democratic candidate for the Presidency, to the defeat of Douglas, Cass, and Pierce-the present President having lost prestige so dreadful that he was the very first struck off the list! It is probable, therefore, that Mr Buchanan will be the next President, although, as he is vowed to the support of slavery, the Freesoilers will make a strong effort to defeat him. He is regarded as an astute man, who likes to swim with the tide, but who has certain underlying tendencies which render him unsafe" in the estimation of the moderate party in the States. This is a character as to whose future line of action it is difficult to speculate. One thing, however, marks the man unpleasantly in the memories of European Governments; for he was the leading man at the Ostend Convention, where the United States representatives in Europe met to consider what should be done in the Cuban question, and in their Manifesto publicly announced their opinion that it was necessary for the interests to get possession of Cuba without delay, and, if necessary, by means of war! This bodes ill for a pacific settlement of the Central American question; but
as we do not see that Mr Buchanan can be more arrogant or anti-British in his policy than his existing predecessor, we do not feel called upon to make any lively expression of concern. We should deeply regret if our difficulties with the United States were in any way to acquire fresh aggravation; but we have always our own good cause and ample strength to fall back upon,-and if it come to that, we shall know how to maintain our rights, whoever is President of the Union.
The late hour at which we write prevents us entering upon any minute or detailed review of the American Dispute, and such is not needed. The various statements and counter-statements of the quarrelling Governments have nearly all been made public, and in these our readers will find ample evidence of how much may be written about little. When Governments begin splitting hairs, whether of fact or of law, there is, on one side, if not on both, a want of honesty at bottom. What the public has to regard is the broad facts of the case, and the spirit in which the two Governments have been acting towards each other; and if we can widen our view so as to embrace the original deep-seated root of the evil, so much the better. To discern it, as we shall see, is a different thing from curing it--nevertheless it leads in that direction.
The position of the United States is a peculiar one, and Britain's posi tion with respect to them is not less peculiar. First of all, it is to be noted that the circumstances of the American Union have taught its Government arrogance; and, secondly, the relations in which Britain stands to it have hitherto secured for us a monopoly, as it were, of the jealousy and dislike of the United States people. The dominant power of the New World, and with three thousand miles of sea separating it from the great military states of Europe, the Union has found on its own continent no power which unaided can check its aggressions, and as yet no European state but Great Bri
gles, Theodore McNamee, Thaddeus Hyat, Roe Lockwood, and C. S. Francis, be appointed a committee to receive and apply funds contributed for that purpose."
tain has had either an interest or the power to enter the lists against it. People wonder why the United States and England should be ever quarrelling but the reason is obvious: the United States have had Ino one else to fight with. England is the great rival of the Union at sea, and, however pacific in essence that rivalry may be, even it has its heartburnings, she borders with the Union in Canada and Oregon, along its whole northern frontier, -she holds Jamaica and other islands in the south, and lat terly the Union has found her existing as a pre-established rival in Central America. On both sides of her, accordingly, the Union finds England. Such being the case, the two rivals are sure to be perpetually quarrelling, unless the policy of both is marked by great discretion and forbearance. The policy of neither has been so distinguished, but in recent times the balance of arrogance and irritability is assuredly to be found on the side of the United States.
The lamentable misunderstanding -to use the mildest term-which has now arisen between these two Powers is the most serious that has occurred for many long years. It was surely in an evil hour that the Aberdeen Ministry resolved upon the Foreign Enlistment Act. At first defeated, they at length forced the measure upon Parliament by the threat of resigning; yet in almost every respect the measure proved a failure. "Soldiers are immediately wanted," said the Ministers, "and we can only procure them by carrying enlistment abroad;" whereas the result has been, that of the Foreign Legions not a regiment was got ready in time to fire a shot in the war,-while of our despised homepopulation not less than 30,000 passed from the ranks of the militia into the line and took part in the war, and other 10,000 volunteered for service in the Mediterranean. Of all these foreign contingents the American was the most paltry and useless- a mutiny at Plymouth being the last feat recorded of them; yet at what a cost have they been procured! It would be far from the
truth to lay the main fault of the present quarrel with the United States to the charge of our own Government. A quarrel was watched for by the Cabinet of Washington, and the enlistment question was seized on as an opportune peg whereon to hang the ostensible grounds of complaint. The broad facts of the case lie in a nutshell. The Neutrality Laws of the Union, as explained by its own Government, forbid enlistment for foreign service within its territories, but do not forbid subjects of the Union proceeding abroad to be enlisted. Now, any infringement of the Neutrality Laws by British agents, if these laws can really be said to have been infringed at all, was "constructive" merely-the main allegation relied on by the Cabinet of Washington being the payment of money by British Consuls to persons authorised by them to intimate that any one who chose to repair to certain spots on British ground would be received as recruits. This is all. And note the manner in which the Cabinet of Washington deported itself throughout the affair. Without making any complaint either to our Government or ambassador,, they set themselves to lie in wait for and search out causes of complaint, and lent a ready ear to knaves who, by their own confession, had sought to entrap British agents into breaches of the Neutrality Laws, with the view of reporting these breaches to the American Government! What followed is familiar to every one. Having got up its proofs-or what in the absence of better it chose to regard as such-the Cabinet of Washington made a vehement complaint against the British Government, and demanded the recall of the British ambassador. To this the British Government replied by regretting that Mr Pierce and his colleagues should have taken offence at what had been done, and assuring them that the proceedings to which they objected had already been stopped and should not be repeated; but at the same time defending Mr Crampton, pointing out the discreditable character of the witnesses relied on by the American Govern
ment, and arguing against the overnice construction which that Government put upon the bearing of its Neutrality Laws.
Such is the import of the long correspondence which took place between the two Governments. At length it became evident that the matter could not any longer be kept open; and as peace had been proclaimed in Europe, Mr Pierce and his colleagues resolved upon a course which might save their own prestige, and sound very bold and warlike, without leading to a war with Great Britain, which they were in no condition to encounter. Accordingly, on 27th May a despatch was written exonerating the British Government of all blame in the enlistment question, but declaring that Mr Crampton and three British consuls had acted illegally, and were therefore dismissed. The despatch is cleverly worded, but from beginning to end it is visibly nothing better than an elaborate attempt to gain an end by a side-wind, and to carry the point of dismissing the British ambassador without having their ambassador dismissed in return. They profess an earnest desire to "keep the relations between the two governments on the most friendly footing," and anxiously announce as an inducement for us not to dismiss Mr Dallas, that he is empowered to treat in an amicable manner about the affairs of Central America. It is also to be noted, in this elaborate ruse of the Pierce Cabinet, that, in order to avoid coming to an issue with the British Government, they affect to rest their grounds of com
plaint against Mr Crampton and the consuls upon information newly received (and upon which, of course, our Government had pronounced no opinion); and they express their belief, with what degree of sincerity we shall not say, that when our Government has read the new evidence, it will be satisfied with the course they have adopted. This is not a creditable spectacle. A Government hunting for a cause of complaint, and with so little success that nine months elapse before they can get up a shadow of a case,-so that (by their own confession) they only obtain proof enough in May to justify a step which they imperiously demanded in the autumn preceding! Finally, as if a spirit of "cleverness" were meant to pervade the policy of President Pierce in this matter to the last, the despatch announcing the dismissal of Mr Crampton was sent off without a word of notification either to Mr Crampton or the public, and his passports and letters of dismissal were kept back until the steamer had sailed-in order, by delaying his departure, to prevent the British Government having immediate communication with him, and in this manner put another obstacle in the way of the summary dismissal of the American ambassador.
The more we consider the Enlistment quarrel, the more it appears to us that it ought never to have assumed its present proportions, and that it never would have done so but for the unfriendly spirit of the United States Government. Had the position of parties been reversed--had
*In au article on the dismissal of Mr Crampton, the New York Erening Post of 31st May makes the following remarks on the unworthy character of the witnesses relied on by the United States Government :-"On the statements and confessions of Strobel and Hertz, it has always seemed to us that our Goverment laid infinitely too much stress. The fact that these men had been employed by the British Government makes them none the more worthy of belief, and we cannot see by what process of logic Mr Marcy extracts from that circumstance any proof of their credibility. Mr Marcy himself may employ in a private job of his own a man who proves to be a rogue, but that is no reason for believing all that he may say to Mr Marcy's discredit. Both Strobel and Hertz were adventurers, floating loose about the world, ready to give their services where they are best paid, and to turn against their employers if they did not find them sufficiently liberal of their rewards. They found themselves at length in that class of persons who are called ill-used men, and in making what they call their confessions, had an old quarrel to avenge and new friends to make. It seems to us, therefore, that the stories of Strobel and Hertz are in themselves unworthy of credit."
the Enlistment project been an American one put in force in England, we are very sure that our Government would have found means to settle the question without offence, by a timely official warning, or simple remonstrance,-if indeed they had taken exception to the proceedings at all,—which is doubtful. And in what circumstances, and with what antecedents, let us ask, do the United States thus "strain at a gnat" in this matter? Do they come into court with clean hands? Far from it. Need we speak of the Lopez expeditions which a few years ago sailed to attack Cuba, then at peace with the Union? Need we tell how, two years ago, Walker, with a band of filibusters, sailed from San Francisco, under the eyes of the authorities, to invade the Mexican province of Sonora ; and how, foiled in Mexico, that adventurer again set out openly from the same port to carry his arms into Nicaragua. Nay, more, during the war between the United States and Mexico, was not recruiting for the American Government openly carried on in our Canadian provinces! Lieutenant Colonel Cummins (of Canada) testifies to this effect in a letter to the Times :-"During the Mexican war the United States openly enlisted men for their service both in Upper and Lower Canada; they had agents both at Niagara and in the eastern townships. Surely this is a sufficient precedent, and justifies the action of the English Government about which so much noise has been made." Finally, with what decency can the American Government strain the verbal stringency of its neutrality laws against us, and resent so wrathfully our unintentional infringement of them, when ships are actually sailing, in open defiance of those laws, from Orleans and other ports of the Union, with arms and recruits for the army of Walker in Nicaragua ?
As to the conduct of our own Government, we do not see that it is open to very grave objection. The case is not quite closed, and it is still rather premature to pronounce a judgment which aims at being correct down to the minutest detail. Nevertheless it seems to us manifest that,
so far as the conduct of the British Government is concerned, there ought to have been no quarrel at all. In ordinary circumstances there would have been none. And if the American Government chose to stand upon extraordinary punctilio in the Enlistment question, and was resolved to strain the law and accept the testimony of discreditable witnesses, in order to obtain a cause of quarrel with the British Government, it ought at least to have given notice of the unusual course which it intended to adopt. Not having done so, the Cabinet of Washington need not wonder if we object to the exceptional spirit by which its policy in this matter has been regulated. Grant that there was ground for remonstrance, what need was there for more? There was not the slightest desire on the part either of the British Government or its consuls to infringe the laws of the United States
such a desire, in fact, would have been as objectionable as preposterous; and therefore it must have been plain to any candid person that any infractions of these laws, on our part, must have proceeded from inadvertency or mistake. And the subsequent conduct of our Government was in accordance with this; for all the arrangements connected with the Enlistment project were immediately stopped, with an official expression of regret that the Cabinet of Washington should have seen reason to complain. With any ordinary government this would have ended the matter; but President Pierce was too delighted to have a pretext for exhibiting a bullying spirit towards the "old country;" and so he did all in his power to magnify the matter,and now, after nine months' blowing into his wind-bag, he conceives that he has imparted to it sufficient amplitude of appearance to justify him in dismissing our ambassador. The Palmerston Cabinet has not in return dismissed Mr Dallas; and in acting thus, we believe, they have done well, by choosing the lesser of the two evils presented to them. Until we know the reasons they assign for taking this course, however, and their meditated line of action through the delicate complexities of the future,
it is impossible to arrive at a satisfactory verdict on their policy. But this much we must say it will not do for them to repudiate Mr Crampton now, after so long supporting him. We observe that certain journals in this country-some of which are in the habit of taking their cue from the Government -have begun to abuse Mr Crampton, and to assert that he is quite an unfit person to represent our country abroad. assertions would in any circumstances stand in need of ample corroboration, especially as Mr Crampton has been the choice of four Foreign secretaries in succession, and has been eulogised by some of the best statesmen of the Union; and we moreover find, after all that has passed, the New York correspondent of the Times writing home (June 3) that personally Mr Crampton will be much regretted." Be the facts as they may, this much at least is plain, that in so long supporting Mr Crampton in opposition to the complaint of the Cabinet of Washington, the Palmerston Ministry have identified their cause with his. We cannot believe that they will stoop to so mean a course as to sacrifice him now, as a means of lessening the difficulties of their position; but if they attempt this course, the country's honour, as well as the interest of the State service, require that the attempt be frustrated. If Mr Crampton deserved to be recalled, they should have recalled him last autumn;-not having done so, they cannot offer him as a scapegoat now. We repeat, however, we do not anticipate that the Palmerston Cabinet will take such a course. Throughout this affair they have been "more sinned against than sinning," and are more likely to abide by the simple facts of the case than to have recourse to subterfuge and
prevarication. As to the main question, the duty of Parliament and the Country is plain. Whatever may have been the indiscretions of our Government, they were trivial, and have been apologised for; and it remains for us to support the honour of the country against the quarrelsome spirit which President Pierce has infused into the diplomacy of the American Government.
Where there is a resolute desire to quarrel on one side, it is seldom possible for the other side to avoid the embroilment,--as is shown in the old fable of the Wolf and the Lamb, as well as in the more recent and authentic case of the Czar and the Sultan. Fortunately England is neither the Sultan nor the Lamb, and can resist fleecing very effectively. And this furnishes the best security for there being no war. Brother Jonathan is naturally overbearing, and likes to see his Government bullying other powers; but he will not forgive the Government if it allow its bullying tactics to involve the Union in war-at least, with any power that is its match. A profitless expenditure of the national money, and a fearful curtailment of the national commerce, which would be the the mildest consequences of a war with England at present, would be resented by the American community as an unpardonable charge against any administration. Even in the war of 1812, when England was simultaneously engaged with Napoleon in Europe, the effects of our hostility were so grievously felt in the States of the Union, that several of the Northern States openly took steps towards breaking off from the Union rather than continue the war.*
Assuredly the consequences of our hostility would be still more disastrous now. Not only are we
The following is the striking and instructive narrative of the effects of that war upon the internal condition of the Union, as given in Alison's History :-"The discontents of the Northern States had now risen to such a height as seriously threatened the dissolution of the Union. The two states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire continued to refuse to send their contingents to the army; and the governor of the former state thus addressed the State Legislature in the beginning of the year: If our conduct to both belligerents had been really impartial, all the calamities of war might have been avoided. We had assumed the character of a neutral nation; but had we not violated the duties imposed by that character? Had not every subject of complaint against one belligerent been amply displayed, and those against the other palliated or concealed? When France and England