‘  goes back from church on Sabbath morning; and each soldier reentered upon the avocations of peace a better citizen than he was before he became a soldier [renewed applause]. This was the grandest lesson of the war. It shows that the power of a nation to maintain its dignity and integrity does not result from or depend upon its form of government; that the greatest national strength—the power to mass the largest armies in time of war—is entirely consistent with the broadest liberty of the citizen in time of peace [enthusiasm]. Permit me, in conclusion, to propose a toast which I know will be heartily responded to by every true American— “The old friendship between France and the United States: may it be strengthened and perpetuated! ” ’ General Schofield's toast was drunk with great enthusiasm, and upon his taking his seat the applause which followed his remarks was deafening.The situation of Napoleon's government at that time was extremely critical. The opposition was powerful and aggressive. The intervention in Mexican affairs was very unpopular in France, and yet the national pride of the people would not permit the Emperor to yield to menace even from the United States, nor allow his army to be driven by force from Mexico without a supreme effort to maintain it there. Napoleon could not have submitted to such humiliation without the loss of his throne. In short, forcible intervention by the American people in the Mexican question, or the public threat of such action, arousing the national pride of France, must have led to a long and bloody war, resulting, doubtless, in final success in America and probably in a revolution in France. Such a result would have been a just punishment to Napoleon for his conduct toward the United States and Mexico during our Civil War. But why involve the people of France and the people of the United States in this punishment Why make enemies of our ancient friends? Our sister republic of Mexico must be relieved from foreign domination, at whatever cost; but strife and lasting enmity between the United States and France
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