The French proposition of mediation.
The reply of Lord Russell to the French
proposition of mediation confirms what we have often taken occasion to remark, that the present Government of Great Britain
is the most deadly enemy we have in all Europe
It is believed that this is not the first time the Emperor
of the French
has proposed a joint mediation to the ministry of Lord Palmerston.
A similar proposition was made last winter, when Lord Russell met it by the promise of Seward
to conquer the South
, and send a plenty of cotton in sixty days. As the cotton to be sent was to be first taken by violence, and without payment, from the Southern
planters, the proposal amounted to a gratuitous and glaring insult, since it placed Great Britain
in the attitude of a receiver of stolen goods.
But Lord Russell had neither the brains nor the heart to receive it as such, but actually presented it to the French Emperor
as reason for not offering mediation at that time.
Some of our contemporaries appear to think that this rejection of the Emperor
's proposal will lead to the overthrow of the Palmerston Ministry
We do not coincide in this opinion.
We have seen very few indications of any desire on the part of the British
people to change the relations now existing between that country and the Confederate States
Indeed, they are ignorant of the true character of the war in which we are engaged, and so far from recognizing it as a struggle between two powerful nations, they evidently regard it as nothing more than a rebellion on our side.
This is proved by the speech of Mr. Gladstone
, who told his hearers that President Davis
had ‘"made a nation."’ evidently not understanding the nature of the Constitution
of the old United States
, and not perceiving that every one of the States united by it was an independent nation.
As a rebellion, then, the English
people regard it, and towards us as rebels they have shown some sympathy, and not a little admiration.
But they have contented themselves with patting us on the back, as they might do a favorite dog, and have not shown the slightest disposition to part us. It has been sport for them, and they would by all means see it fought out.
The French Emperor
would gladly put an end to the war, but he is bound to England
by engagements which it would be inconvenient to break through.
He neither will, nor can consistently with policy, interfere without her, and her consent he will never get. It is for the interest of Great Britain
that we should cut each other's threats, until not a man be left on either side, if such a consummation were possible.
Such, at least, Lord Russell thinks is her interest.
That he is a man of the smallest possible calibre, we think no man who has ever read his compilation of the Holland
papers, and his life of Moore
, will be disposed to deny.
If it be objected that the Duke
once said ‘"Lord John (Russell
) is a heat in himself,"’ It must be remembered that he said nearly the same thing of Sir Hudson Lowe
, and that he praised Talleyrand
as one of the most upright men in Europe
Whatever may be the disposition of the French Emperor
, he will never act without the concurrence of the English Government
, and that he will never get while Palmerston
and Lord Russell Foreign Secretary
The reply of Lord Russell is characteristic enough.
He fears that a proposition like that indicated by France
might not be relished at Washington
There it is. He is afraid of offending Lincoln
This is the bugbear that has haunted him throughout the war. It is manifest that he stands in mortal terror of the Yankees
, and the debates in Parliament last session showed that he was not alone in his fears.
Other members expressed direful apprehensions about Canada
, and the Yankees
taking the hint, are open-mouthed in expressing their determination to seize it, as soon as they shall have ‘"crushed cut the present unnatural rebellion."’ It is a pity such a nation as that of Great Britain
cannot find somebody better than two old septuagenarians to put at the head of their Government.
Let our people be satisfied.
They are not going to be recognized by any European Government until they establish their own independence by hard fighting.
If any such Government be so disposed, England
will prevent it if she possibly can. That Government is hand and glove with the Yankees
, and Seward
is as powerful at St. James
as he is in Washington
As for England
itself, it is far more probable that she will join the Yankees
in oppressing us than that she will recognize our independence.
She is in the hands of small men, and these small men are in the last extremity of old age — drivellers and dotards — from whom it is vain to expect a liberal or manly policy.
Interest, fear, and senility are all against us.