83.--opinion of the Liverpool times.
The latest accounts from America
are ominous in the extreme, and it is greatly to be feared that the North
and the South
will, after all, come to blows.
We had hoped a different result, and we hope so still, but it is useless to disguise the feeling which prevails not less in New York
than in Charleston
, that a deadly collision is impending — a fratricidal war imminent.
For this melancholy state of things people in Europe
were not prepared.
The tone of the new President
's inaugural address pointed to war; but his subsequent conduct has been at variance with this belief, and hopes were entertained that, as the South
could not be again seduced into the Union
, she would not be coerced.
We may receive, at any hour or any day, intelligence that the deadly conflict has begun; and once commenced, there is no telling how long it may continue, or where it may end.
America, in this hour of her fate, can be said to owe little to the judgment of her Presidents
— the last or the present.
's illomened message to Congress, at the end — of his term, was a direct incentive to the breaking up of the Federal
compact; and now we have the pacific policy which followed Mr. Lincoln
's accession to office cast aside, and a policy of force substituted which may end in destruction of thousands of lives and the flowing of river of blood.
Matters had proceeded to such a pass that a pacific solution of the difficulty was the only reasonable and proper one.
It may be that the accounts which have reached us are exaggerated and unreliable; but when the business men of New York look on civil war as imminent, and when the capital of the South
is moved by a similar belief, we, in England
, have no alternative but to accept the probability, however much we may deplore it.
As war, then, between the two Republics seems to be regarded as certain, the question that remains to be asked is, what will the principals gain by it?
It is evident that President Lincoln
has neither an, army nor a navy at hand to make the South
submit; and it is equally certain that the South
is even more anxious than the North
to test it by a trial of strength.
The old Government has certainly one alternative to which it may resort; but it is so terrible in conception, and would prove so malignant in practice, that we will do Mr. Lincoln
the justice of expressing our disbelief in his ever having recourse to it. The South is so strong on its own ground that no amount of Federal force which can be brought into the field, within any reasonable period, would stand a chance of success
; but the Washington Government
might readily make the slaves the instruments of vengeance, by putting arms into their hands to be turned against their masters.
A servile war, thus inaugurated, would probably be one of the bloodiest and fiercest in the whole records of mankind, and, while the men of the South
were engaged in putting it down, their seaboard might be scoured, their cities ravaged, their property confiscated or destroyed, by the Unionist party.
An extreme and desperate alternative like this would test the strength of the South
; but the probability is that, even against such accumulated difficulties and odds, the South would ultimately triumph
. But what would be the feeling that
such an act would leave behind?
The contempt with which the white planter regards his black slave would be substituted for the most malignant hatred towards his own color and his own countrymen in the other sections of the Republic
— an animosity would be engendered that time could not soften nor circumstances mollify, and the foundation would be laid for internecine wars more furious and destructive than any which the Republicans ever waged against the Red Indians
of the prairies.
We cannot, as we have said, suppose that Mr. Lincoln
and his supporters, after their recent declarations, would have recourse to this diabolical policy
; and yet, short of it, we can see no reasonable prospects of success in soliciting an encounter with the South
Three or four millions of black auxiliaries, pressed into the service of the Washington Cabinet
, might turn the scale — but at what a price!
If civil war has really commenced between the North
and the South
, we hope that the representatives of England and France at Washington have been instructed by their respective governments to tender their aid as mediators before the struggle has roused all the fierce passions which if continued for any length of time, are certain to be called into play
. Both nations wish well to the American
people: both are alike interested in the general prosperity of the country in every latitude; and both are impelled towards it by the strongest sympathy that can animate friendly nations.
This seems to us the last resource before the sword is drawn and the scabbard thrown away, and probably the suggestion would meet the approval of that large class in both extremes of the country which must look with horror and dismay at the prospect of men and brothers cutting each other's throats under circumstances so fearfully provocative of vengeance.--Liverpool Times
, April 20.