Thankful for small favors.
The London Times
is of opinion that the people of the United States
ought to be very thankful to the British Government
for taking General Walker
off their hands and delivering him to the executioner.
We suppose, also, that the arrest and detention of United States
naval officers lately in Central America
should form another subject of national gratitude.--But there are people who never can be made to appreciate a kind action.
There are hard-hearted ingrates in the United States
who, instead of overflowing with love and sensibility for these and many like favors, would actually rend and devour the hand that caresses and blesses us. We apprehend that if the people of the United States
were a united people, and had the faintest conception of their own strength, England
would be repaid in kind for every such favor as the Times
boasts of, and repaid with compound interest.
It is because the Governments of Europe
cannot understand American forbearance, that they constantly suspect us of acting on a similar policy of selfish aggrandizement to that which dictates their own counsels.
They know that we are powerful, and wonder that we do not use that power.
So far as England
is, concerned, we can reconstruct the political equilibrium on this Continent, and make the Monroe
doctrine something more than a figment, without any dread of her resentment.
She cannot afford to go to war with a nation whose products are the first elements of industry in all parts of the world, and whose commercial intercourse makes an important branch of industry for her Government.
Such a war would be a violent rupture of all the arteries of commercial circulation.
It would be a fatal separation between England
which needs America and America
which does not need England
Take from England
the cotton of the South
and what becomes of her manufacturing and commercial prosperity?
However, knowing we have the power of doing as we choose, and that she cannot afford to resist it, we are constantly suspected of using that power improperly, and are closely watched by the European
governments upon the principle of "set a rogue to catch a rogue."
Lately, however, we have developed elements of weakness, which encourage England
to bestow upon us gratuitously such favors as those for which the Times
calls upon us to be thankful.
To the machinations of her agents we are indebted, in no small measure, for the internal strife and discord which threaten our overthrow.
Who believes that if we were a united people, she would ever have employed her cruisers upon this coast in overhauling American vessels, or acted the part of a policeman generally in Central America
of the West
is shorn of his locks by his own folly, and he seems to be destined hereafter to make sport for the Philistines.