the eastern side of the Atlantic.
She must send here all the men on whom she can rely by means of ships.
Now, all the ships of all the navies, military and commercial, cannot transport troops enough to resist one million of men. Her troops will fight gallantly, beyond a doubt--French troops always do — but they cannot resist the pressure of numbers, to say nothing of the possibility that their marine might be destroyed and the sources of supply entirely cut off. It is the idlest of fancies to imagine that France or any other power of Europe can sustain a colony in any part of North America if the Government of the United States do not wish it. England holds Canada, even, by sufferance, and the United States could drive off Russia if it were profitable or desirable.
Still we, as Southern men, do not desire to see a war at this time.
It would be ruinous to us especially, and we believe it would bring great calamities on the country, let the result be as favorable as it might.
We have the cities of Richmond.
Petersburg and Norfolk, and a number of small towns on our great rivers, with depth of water sufficient to qualify them to take rank as important ports.
Such are Urbana, on the Rappahannock, and York, on the river of the same name.
The importance of Norfolk, however, is so transcended as to throw all others in the shade.
It is, we have always heard, with the exception of Havana and San Francisco, the finest and most capacious harbor on the Continent of North America, or in any of its islands.
We are by no means satisfied that the improvements of Virginia ought not to have all converged to that point, and had in view the establishment of that one great commercial emporium.
It would have been by no means detrimental to the prosperity of any other town or city.
A great trade, like that which will pass through Virginia if the water line be completed, must discharge itself into some port which the largest vessels can enter — must go at once to the wh
ll the hands of the four continents of the globe a century ago. The savages themselves, insensible as brutes to the kindly influences exerted in their behalf, have ceased to mar and disfigure the virgin hemisphere, and have taken up their march to hunting grounds beyond the reach of civilization.
Mexico, where the native inhabitants cling with most tenacity to the soil, and mingle the muddy waters of their inferior blood with the ruddy currents of European civilization, alone remains of North America impenitent and unreformed.
The United States, from a morbid conscience and false sense of delicacy, has long avoided the duty of "civilizing," which any European Power would long that ago have performed to a depraved and impotent neighbor.
Thus neglected by its natural guardians, and apparently forsaken by all earthly sympathy, the good and great Napoleon has undertaken the benevolent enterprise of "civilizing" Mexico.
Thirty-five or forty thousand French missionaries, under the auspi