previous next


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? The Sampson 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.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (4)
Central America (2)
Fortress Monroe (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Jonathan Stewart Walker (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: