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[275] neither to count the cost nor regard the odds which Spain might enlist against us. We forbear to enter into the question whether the present condition of the island would justify such a measure. We should, however, be recreant to our duty, be unworthy of our gallant forefathers, and commit base treason against our posterity, should we permit Cuba to be Africanized and become a second St. Domingo, with all its attendant horrors to the white race, and suffer the flames to extend to our own neighboring shores, seriously to endanger, or actually to consume, the fair fabric of our Union.

We fear that the course and current of events are rapidly tending toward such a catastrophe. We, however, hope for the best, though we ought certainly to be prepared for the worst.

When this dispatch was made public in Europe through the newspapers, the first sensation created by it was one of stubborn incredulity. The journal which contained it having a far higher reputation for enterprise than for accuracy, our minister at one of the minor courts did not hesitate at once to assure the diplomatic circle that it was a transparent and unquestionable hoax; and such it was quite commonly adjudged until later advices had left no room for doubt.

The civilized world, unhappily, was not now for the first time to make the acquaintance of the rule of the strongest. The partition of Poland, Napoleon's perfidious clutch of Spain and her royal Bourbons, with a portion of the doings of the triumphant despots who resettled Europe by dividing it among themselves at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and several less conspicuous examples, had already guarded the intelligent classes against the delusion that, in Christendom any more than out of it, temptations to gigantic robbery will be uniformly resisted even by nations and their rulers — that rapacity ever needs any other excuse than the proximity and defenselessness of its prey. But, though the exactions of morality are often disregarded by monarchs and cabinets in our day, the requirements of decorum are very rarely defied and derided by any power north of the Mediterranean; and the blackest political crimes of the present age have usually been perpetrated in the abused names of Order, of Legitimacy, and of Religion. That the United States should covet Cuba, and seek by any means to acquire it, did not severely shock Europe's sense of decency; that we should openly, boldly, set forth such justifications of our lust, clearly did. The coarseness, the effrontery, and the shamelssness of the Ostend Manifesto seemed to carry the world back to the days of Attila or Genghis Khan, and to threaten the centers of civilization and refinement, the trophies of art and the accumulations of wealth, with a new irruption of barbarians from the remote, forbidding West. No other document that ever emanated from our Government was so well calculated to deepen and diffuse the distrust and apprehension wherewith the growth and power of our country had already come to be regarded by the more polite, intelligent, and influential classes of the Old World.

The doctrines of this Manifesto were in no respect disavowed, modified, or explained, by our Government. None of our citizens who had openly, notoriously contributed to fit out and man the Lopez expedition were brought to justice, or exposed to any punishment whatever. While strenuous efforts were made to procure the pardon and release of such Americans as had been captured while participating in that ill-fated adventure, evidence was

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