Recognition in Europe.
--Although we have not the form of recognition from the European
powers, we have secured the substance.
, and probably order powers, have made formal protect to Secretary Seward
against the arrest of Mason
If these men had been more rebels, from an insurrectionary section not considered competent to achieve its independence, the matter could not have attracted proceedings so formal and so stern.
were more rebels escaped from rebellious provinces — provinces rebelling against a friendly and respectable power, England
would hardly have dignified them with an official passage across the ocean and a public reception upon her shores.
She might have resented the act of boarding the Trent
; but she would have allowed the two rebels to be cropped anywhere outside of the jurisdiction of the offending power and have for them go about their business.
Something more is ascribed to these Commissions than the invidious character of rebels.
There is much more meaning in their transmission to England
in a Government vessel than the mere purpose of vindicating the inviolability of the British
flag; and, whether the intentions were more than this or not, there is certainly much more in the fact of such an escort than is altogether agreeable to Northern pride.
The Southern cause has gained an e in Europe
by this transaction which it could scarcely have obtained by any other mode.
The inside of Manassas
was an affair between ourselves and the enemy, at which individuals abroad might shout our praises, but at which Governments of necessity stood passive and silent.
But this progress of our Ambassadors to Europe
under the triumphant flag of Great Britain
, and in a national vessel of that power detailed for the special service, brings an solar upon our cases to which Governments and crowned heads are parties.
will have been on tiptoe to see these men, in expectation of their arrival.
They will be the lions of the day. They will attract a consideration, official and popular, that could never have been hoped for if they had gone quietly over in the West Indian royal steamer.
But for the universal concession of our actual independence, and the settled intention of the European Governments
to formally recognize it, the British Cabinet
would be embarrassed by the possession of a few insignificant rebels of a few revolting provinces.
The fact that our independence is deject established and virtually conceded relieves her of all embarrassment on this score.
She may content herself with setting our Commissioners down respectively in London
, and may await her convenience before formally acknowledging their mission and entering into conference with them; but she has already done enough to commit her if retrievably to recognition.
She has taken her measures in full view of their significance; and she has advanced at least one grand stride in that direction by a means that deprives the Yankee Cabinet
of the power of protestation.
It there had been no insult to the British
flag, and no boarding of the Trent
, and if the British Cabinet
had sent a public vessel to Havana
, and offered a public escort to those men to the rests of their mission; the United States
would hardly have had greater cause of insult and protest than has been afforded them by the manner in which the British Government
has received and honored these commissioners.
The simple surrender of these men and payment of their passage across the ocean in a Cunard steamer, was all that was necessary to the vindication of British honor, so far as these commissioners were themselves concerned.
But to receive them on board a national vessel, and to transport with the distinction last year accorded to the heir expectant of the crown, was a mark of consideration bestowed upon the country from which they proceeded, most flattering and most significant.
The intention of the proceeding as to ourselves, and the quiet insult it inflicts upon the Washington Cabinet
, are subjects concerning which that Government has broad ground of complaint, and upon which they would immediately make a new quarrel if they had a single spark of courage or statesmanship.