We make up an interesting miscellany of foreign news from the latest European, papers: The Presidential Campaign in the United States--British Opinion of Lincoln's Policy and Atseppect.
[from the London times, Oct. 20.]But the four years tenure of office is not the only feature of the American Constitution that will be put to the proof next year. It will give the whole Constitution an opportunity of showing its the strength or its weakness. The appeal will its to the American people — that is, the portion still comprised in the Federal lines. The chief subject of that appeal will be the wisdom of prosecuting the war with a determination to subjugate the South at all risks and at any cost. There will also be another question before the people — a question which may not only acquire fresh force from the events of the next twelvemonth, but which may even now cast into the shade the choice between peace and war. That minor but perhaps more prominent at question is the competency of Mr. Lincoln and his colleagues to conduct the war they have undertaken. It would ill become us to criticise the management of an enterprise which we believe to be impossible under the best management, and the next twelvemonth may bring great changes in the aspect of the war. Without a doubt, however, American opinion has already compelled Mr. Lincoln to change both measures and men, for so other reason than that he was supposed not to have done so well as he ought; and the comparison between the North and South must be unfavorable to the military qualities of the former. So there is a possibility and something more that Mr. I Dacian will have to retire from the conduct of the war on the personal merits alone. But then comes the choice of his successor, and, in the pledges exacted from him, the judgment of the American people as to the wisdom of persisting in the attempt to conquer the South. What weight will opinion have on this point. What weight with local or corrupt Interests? Which way will the numbers, the wealth, the education and the intelligence of the country lie on this point? If the true patriotism of the country pronounce the war to be hopeless and ruinous, will it be supported? Should to turn out that the numbers find their interest in a war which increases some kind of employment and diminishes the competition for it — should they watch with pleasure the sufferings of the classes above them — should they conclude that war will not rob them of bone and sinew, but will only increase the value of a man.--should they listen to some cry, or be cleated by some momentary success and elect another war President, then a fresh light will be shown on the policy of appealing to universal suffrage every four years to fill the chief offices in the State. It passes the power of human computation to say how the multitudes will incline, and meet, and decide, and act a twelvemonth hence. We only know that the multitudes are shortsighted in their views, partial in their interests, and impulsive in feeling. An appeal to them is, not to say worse, an appeal to blind chance. * * * * * There can be no doubt that the wise, the humane, and the intelligent among the Americans, are every day more wearied of a war which cannot possibly avert the disruption of the States. --Of course it is not they who profit by the occasion to revive the old cry against this country. What they want is rest, not merely from arms, from bloodshed and extravagance from incessant blustering and infinite corruption, but from a state of things which brings to every corner of the continent, and every hearth in it, the worst miseries of a faction fight. But rest they cannot have so long as America is in the hands of brawlers, impostors, and adventurers of every kind. It remains to be seen what place these men occupy in Washington's Constitution. Their voice has not been much heard hitherto. They have sat apart, and cherished a wisdom which it was vain to exhibit. But there are occasions when such men have events in their power, and are listened to because the rest of the world are silenced at last. If this lucid interval is ever to come on America, we trust it will be in the course of the next twelve months, and before the fatal vote for peace or war. That vote once given, all good Americans will have to shut themselves up for another four years.
The "Confederate rams" in France — prospect
The Paris correspondent of the New York Times writing on the 26th ult., thus speaks of some steam rems which he alleges are building in France for the Confederacy:
Some weeks' ago it was announced in the journals of Nantes and Bordeaux that vessels-of-war were being built in those towns for an unknown destination, but which were suspected to be for the Confederates Since then investigations have taken place which appear to establish the following tacts: After the judicial decision in England in the case of the Alexandria, several of the leading shipbuilders of France, who, till then, had resisted the offers of the Confederate agents, agreed to enter into a contract for the building of ships for the Confederate navy and privateer service, M. Arman, member of the Legislative Corps, and the largest shipbuilder in France, taking the contract for four vessels, and another large house at Nantes a contract for two. Four of the six vessels were contract for in April, and these four were to be finished in December; the other two were contracted for in July, and were to be delivered next spring.
All of these vessels, it appears, are in a state of forwardness corresponding to the dates indicated in the contracts, and they appear also to be vessels of a very formidable character.
The contracts are said to be signed by Messrs. Slidell and Erlanger--the latter paying for the vessels out of the proceeds of the fifteen million Confederate loan.
But as the builders of these ships are not working from any particular enthusiasm for the Confederate cause, they exact current payments, and three millions of francs, in French money, appear to have been already paid by Mr. Erlanger on account.
The builders of these vessels, as agreed upon with the Confederate agents, maintain that they are for the service of the Chinese Government, and that a part of them, at least, are intended for the mail line between Shanghai and San Francisco.
What a happy man must be the Emperor of China, to have all the world occupied in building him a navy without his knowledge !
These ships will he stopped by the French Government.
of their Seizure.
Rev. H. Ward Beecher at Exacter Hall was the excitement in London on the 23d ult. A correspondent of a New York paper gives the following account of the scene: The papers, of course, had duty reported the excitement, "noise and confusion" which had attended Mr. Beecher's public appearance in Liverpool, where the Southern sympathizers gathered in force, and were as noisy as an English mob knows how to be. A similar scene was expected in London. On Tuesday morning the streets were found placarded with no less than six different posters, quoting from former speeches of Mr. Beecher and denouncing President Lincoln, Gen. Butler, &c. Mr. Beecher's saying that the hest blood of England must alone for the affair of the Trent, and his demand some years ago for a dissolution of the Union as a means of getting rid of slavery, were conspicuously quoted. Crowds were seen all day around these posters. In the meantime every seat in Exeter Hall had been sold at half a crown or a shilling. Not one could be had after noon, while the demand grew every hour more pressing. At night a vast crowd gathered in the Strand and filled the whole square around the bail. Those who had tickets, and could get through the crowd filled the house. The rest stayed out in the cold and tried to get up some speaking; but the English were not up to these outdoor meetings. There is a lack of speakers. In an American crowd every tenth man can make a speech. Not so here. When the centre of all this attraction came to the circumference of the crowd, that is to say, when Mr. Beecheressayed to make his way into Eexeter Hall, there was a difficulty. It was useless to try to elbow through, and not easy to walk over. At last a body of policemen took their shoulders, formed themselves into a wedge, and pushed through, carrying the Yankee preacher, in a sort of triumph, into the temple of British philanthropy. He came upon the platform a mid a tremendous excitement. The City Chamberlain tried to introduce him in a complimentary speech, English fashion. No use. The people wished to hear Mr. Beecher and nobody else. They drowned out or dried up the domestic orator, and Mr. Beecher took the platform. Then came an uproar. A storm of cheers, then an undercurrent of hisses, then another louder and longer storm of cheers, with waving of hats, handkerchiefs, and umbrellas, which only subsided to let the hisses come out again. But as the cheerers were ten to one to the hissers, the contest was soon over, and Mr. Beecher made an able address of more than two hours in length, without much interruption. "How about the Russians?" shouted somebody. This was a poser. It happens that the papers and the public in England, who support the Northern cause, also sympathize with the Poles and detest the Russians. The Morning Star, for example, the only "out and out" Northern paper in London, (for the News sometimes wavers,) is, at the same time, the most strennon advocate of Polish independence. You will see that it was putting Mr. Beecher in a rather right place. He got out of it with a pleasantry and a disclaimer. He said it was only a bit of coquetry. America was like a girl whose lover was not so ardent as she wished him to be, and who was trying to pique him by pretending to favor another suitor. But there was nothing in it. England was really the only country in Europe that the Americans cared for, and now he could go home and assure them that their affection was fully reciprocated! There was a dose for Exeter Hall ! They swallowed it however. Gruff John Bull does not get flattered often — when he does, it comes to him with all the charm of novelty. "This true," said Mr. Beecher, (of course I do not give his words,) "that we have been annoyed at what we consider unfriendly treatment; but we love England after all and since the rams have been stopped, and Earl Russell has said that a majority of the English people favor the North, it is all right once more.--We shall have nothing to do with the Russian."