Democracy in London.
this is an age of new loves and unwonted affections.
That must have been a curious concatenation of events which has brought our Democratic Party into such high favor in Printing-House Square. When it was young and wickedly vigorous, the queer old women who create public opinion in England
always denounced it as dangerous and disreputable; and it is only now when its vices have brought it to a premature dotage, with no virility to improve its fortuitous conquests, that they have suddenly grown in love with its stammering speech and shattered corporation.
Our readers must pardon the peculiarity of the figure, for the sake of that emasculation which can only thus be indicated.
The London Times
suffers itself to be cheated by majorities as fortune-hunters allow wealth to hide decay and infirmity; and fancies that if the Democratic Party was once more dominant in Congress, our feuds would be in a fair way of adjustment.
This is an eminent instance of forgetfulness and forgiveness.
Democracy has proved its political skill and pure singleness of purpose, by uttering bitter slanders and bitterer truths whenever its policy has clashed with that of England
; by taking the lead.
in every debate in which that country has been severely handled, by formal and perpetual denunciations of monarchies and aristocracies; by avowing itself from its Presidents
down to its bob-tail at the polls, always and upon principle unrelentingly the enemy of the British Empire
Nor has the favor been unrepaid.
Whigs and Tories in the Imperial Parliament, if they have united in nothing else, have agreed that American Democracy was but another name for license and the synonym for anarchy.
Can any one doubt, when The Times
thus suddenly shifts its key-note, and affects to be in love with what it considers to be the popular party in America
, that it cares for nothing but a change in the Administration, and patronizes our opponents because they would be least likely, if in office, to negotiate a lasting and honorable peace?
It is strange that even the most distant observers should so soon.
forget that four years of a Democratic Administration, with little or no check upon a policy which had for its sole object the conservation and consolidation of Slavery and its minutest interests, failed to propitiate those conspirators who mean to mount upon Southern passions and prejudices into a permanent oligarchy.
It is strange that a fact so modern in history as the assassination of the Democratic
Party by its Southern members should be forgotten.
Are these members likely to consider as valuable now what they then thought valueless?
Are they likely now to heed in the heat of insurrection, voices to which, in the calmness and solemnity of high counsel, they turned an utterly deaf ear?
We do not question the willingness of Northern Democrats to do whatever service the feudal lords of the South
may prescribe, as the tenure of the old tugs at the Treasury teats.
But however willing the Seymour
party may be to be bought, the rebels are not yet desperate enough to buy them.
What, indeed, could a new Administration of the bad Buchanan
variety offer, which could tempt these traitors back to loyalty?
When with hasty passion they repudiated all Constitutional obligations, they gave up a legislative and judicial power far greater than that of the North
, but still not great enough to satisfy their most unreasonable appetite.
It was not enough for them to be potent in practice, but they insisted on being considered omnipotent in theory.
We caught and surrendered their fugitives; we gave them in spite of prescription a fairer chance in the new Territories
than we reserved for ourselves; and we hesitate not to say, that at the moment of rebellion, if we except the pressure upon it by the progressive moral sense of the world, slaveholding never was safer, never more profitable in States where it was by law established.
Within the limits of the Constitution
, upon the most liberal construction, slaveholders could ask for nothing
more than they already possessed.
It was not because they were dissatisfied with existing securities that they revolted; but because they could no longer bear the moral dissent of the conscientious and enlightened North.
Nor of the North
By the violence of their demonstration and by the inconveniences to which it inevitably subjected the commercial world, they sought to set aside that indignant verdict which was everywhere making up against them.
They instituted an experiment, not only upon the morality, through material interests, of the Free States
, but upon the integrity of Great Britain
They revolted not against the Federal Government
, but against the Christianity of the Nineteenth Century.
Strong in their monopoly of a single agricultural staple, they boasted of their power to change the religious convictions of great empires by sordid influences and pecuniary temptations.
The Northern States of America
were not to be deluded into so much as a quasi endorsement of cruelty and barbarism even by old associations and cherished traditions, and still less by gross and direct appeals to the pocket.
But the man-owners were more fortunate abroad, where we should have supposed the speculation would have been more desperate.
It is at this juncture that England
invokes the aid of her old enemies, the American Democracy
, and tempts them to an utter abnegation of honor and honesty.
It is now in a spirit of pure selfishness that she hints to them that by bated breath and whispered humbleness, by unlimited concessions and a thorough-paced
flunkeyism, they may secure their own power and advance her prosperity.
The leading journal of Europe
, as some have called it, is hot ashamed to stimulate what remains of the dough-faces to lower cringing and ingenuities of humiliation.
It would use as the wheedled instrument of its selfish purposes, the very party which yesterday it affected to despise, and unquestionably detested.
We do not think that political scheming has ever made a baser or more ludicrous descent than this, even when under the influence of commercial appetites.
November 19, 1862.