Is the Czar our friend or enemy?
--Not long ago, the Emperor
, through his prime minister, Prince Gortschakoff, addressed a letter to Baron Stoeckle
, to be read to the President
of the United States
, abounding in friendly expressions: but marked throughout by the most careful non-committalism as to the quarrel raging on this continent between North and South.
To a plain person uninitiated in the mysteries of diplomacy, it seemed to be a letter intended, while expressing the autocrat's regard and friendship for all America
, to announce his entire neutrality in the war of the sections; to assign to his American minister his position in respect to the belligerents, and to announce to the Washington Government
the policy he would pursue in respect to either side.
Other European Governments had taken means to announce their neutrality;--Spain
by the proclamation of her Captain-General
; Great Britain
by the declarations of her ministers in Parliament; and France
, by her official organ, and her proclaimed concurrence in the policy of Great Britain
The letter of the Czar in its language purported to be nothing more than a similar declaration on his part; in which, while announcing his policy of strict neutrality, and while carefully declining to express an opinion upon the issues of the sectional quarrel, he embraced the occasion to remind our country of the long friendship that had subsisted between the two rising powers, and his unfeigned regret that the unity and greatness of our own country, so necessary to the equilibrium of power among the great nations of Christendom, should be lost by the separation of the two sections.
Such seemed to be the plain tenor and purport of the Autocrat
It seemed to require no deep knowledge of or initiation into the mysteries of European
diplomacy to interpret it. It seemed to carry its meaning in its face, and was accepted by the South
as creditable to the heart and head of its Imperial author.
But it is claimed that the South
has been deceived; that the Czar is not the plain-spoken, straightforward man that we conceived, and his letter indicated, him to be; that beneath all his benignity of language there was a strong undercurrent of sympathy with the North
, and of repulsion towards the South
; that we must infer his feelings towards our seceding States from his hereditary animosity towards rebellious Poland
; and that his expressions of friendship for the United States
were intended only for the Northern States
that are about entering upon a grand enterprise for the liberation of millions of slaves, such as he himself has just accomplished in the liberation of millions of serfs.
At least such is the gloss which the North
has given to the letter of the Czar.
That potentate, without reference to recent divisions, spoke of the United States
; are not they the United States
He is profuse of expressions of sympathy and regard for the United States
--that is to say, for the Northern States
; is not this a stinging rebuke of ‘"Secession?"’ He is strong in his expressions of regret over the dissensions existing between the North
and the South
; is not the South
the sole, unprovoked author, without provocation, cause, or excuse, of these dissensions, and the party indirectly, but most severely, condemned by the Czar on account of them?
By this sort of self-complacent logic, they find a most favorable interpretation in their own behalf of the Emperor
's letter; and then they go to work to account for this most demonstrative sympathy for their cause and their section.
The inevitable Edward Everett
comes forward in a letter to Bonner
's New York Ledger
to account for this sympathy, and to unravel and explain the diplomatic mysteries connected with it. Mr. Everett
doubtless has some other objects in view.
, the ultra abolitionists, of Boston
, have shot far ahead of him of late years in political life.
As violent an abolitionist as either of them, he long thought it most politic to take the conservative tack, and cultivate the favor of both South and North.
Secession has left him high and dry in that path, and he now must ‘"'bout face,"’ and endeavor to outstrip Sumner
in the announcement of an extreme fanatical Northernism.
He fancies himself, with probable truth, the best diplomatist in the whole North
, imagines that his term in the State Department must come next after Seward
's, and by way of attracting the attention of Lincoln
's administration to himself, and of reminding the Northern
public of his powers, airs his diplomacy in the widely circulating columns of the mountebank Bonner
It is Mr. Everett
who suggests that the imputed dislike of the Czar for the South
arises from his dislike to slavery.
He reminds the North
of the Czar
's devotion since the Crimean war, ‘"to the great work of abolishing serfage in his vast dominions,"’ and claims his consequent sympathy with ‘"the United States
,"’ in a struggle ‘"forced upon them for the extension of slavery."’ He also explains with more truth than in the other case, the grounds of the Czar
's solicitude for preserving the power of the United States
in all its integrity, as necessary to preserve the equilibrium of power that has been established by circumstances among the great nations of Christendom.
's insular position, and almost boundless colonial empire, give her a constantly growing naval strength, and continually increasing resources of political energy and of material wealth, which perpetually threaten the prevailing equilibrium; and this growth of Great Britain
was only compensated by the equal growth in power and wealth of the United States
It is the loss of this counterpoise to Great Britain
that the Czar deplores; and Mr. Everett
, with the usual modesty of a Northern man, interprets this natural chagrin of the Czar, at a great national event, into a sentiment of indignation and rebuke towards the section which Mr. Everett
conveniently saddles with all the blame of the rupture.
Although we are not yet prepared to believe it, it matters very little to the South
whether the Czar be in secret her enemy in fact.--The late American Minister to Prussia
brought over with him assurances of the Prussian King
's sympathy with the North
We suppose the Austrian Emperor
feels also somewhat warmed towards Lincoln
, since the imprisonments at Forts Lafayette and McHenry
, and the domiciliary barbarities practised in Baltimore
is the strongest military power in the world; Great Britain
the strongest naval power, and the English
people the freest in the world, besides the Southern
These two Powers are certainly not our enemies; and so if the partitioners of Poland
turn against us, and would, desire the North
, with Hessian soldiers to make a Poland of the South
, why we should have to make the most of the misfortune.