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Doc. 10.-English press on the battle. The Northern army at Bull Run.

The people of the Northern States of America are behaving after their defeat in a manner which is somewhat unaccountable. They do not seem at all inclined to lessen its importance. They do not affect to conceal that they have been totally and disgracefully defeated, that their opinions of their own merits and of their enemies' deficiencies were unfounded, and that, instead of a short and brilliant campaign, they must either prepare for a desperate war, or give up their scheme of subjugating the South. And yet this national calamity and this grievous shame do not seem to affect them as they would affect an European community. They even take a pleasure in the sensation caused by their unparalleled defeat. Excitement is to all classes a necessary daily dram, and, if they have it, it matters not whether it is bought by success or misfortune. Then the people have so little realized the meaning of war, and they have such confidence in their own energy and fortunes, [112] in their faculty of what they call coming “right side up'ard,” that as a community they are no more depressed by a total rout than they would be in their individual capacities by a pecuniary loss. A singular trait in human character is exhibited in their open acknowledgment to all the world of defeat, coupled with the “enthusiastic reception” which they are giving to whole regiments of volunteers, who, on pretence of their time being up, are marching homeward on the morrow of a great defeat and on the eve of an expected advance of the Southern army. The more aristocratic New York volunteers had returned home long before the battle at Bull Run, and now regiments from almost every State are hastening back to their respective districts, to be received with the loudest plaudits of their friends. The 14th Ohio, on returning to Toledo, “experienced a cordial reception.” It was mentioned that, after a few weeks' furlough, they would be ready to reenlist--those few weeks, for all that they know, being destined to decide the fate of the Union forever. But the most extraordinary case is that of General Patterson's army. The general, according to his own account, was in front of General Johnston, who had 40,000 men. “My force is less than 20,000 men. Nineteen regiments, whose term of service was up, or would be within a week, all refused to stay an hour over their time, with the exception of four. Five regiments have gone home, two more go to-day, and three more to-morrow. To avoid being cut off with the remainder, I fell back and occupied this place.” This is, we think, one of the most astounding incidents in the history of war. It entirely agrees with the statement given by our Special Correspondent, that while the cannon of Beauregard were thundering in their ears, a regiment of volunteers passed him on their way home, their three months terms of service being complete. If such a thing had happened to one corps, it might have been set down to the bad counsels of one or more discontented spirits, or to the injudicious conduct of some commanding officers. But here it is evident that the whole volunteer army of the Northern States is worthless as a military organization. It is useless to comment on the behavior of men who, pretending to rush to arms for the salvation of their country, make off in thousands when the enemy comes in sight, and leave their general to take care of himself. This is certainly carrying to its furthest limit that right of secession which they flew to arms to punish. In any other country such conduct would be looked upon as the extreme of baseness. But the Americans do not visit it as such, and they, perhaps, have an instinctive sense of the justice of the case. They feel how hollow has been so much of the indignation expressed by their party — how much the campaign against the South is a sham, entered into in obedience to a “sensation” policy, and differing widely from the earnest and steady resolve which animates men who are fighting for objects really dear to them. If England or France were invading the Northern States, no one can believe that a whole American army would evaporate because three calendar months were up; nor, to bring matters nearer home, can we imagine that the Southerners will take the rail homeward while New York rowdies and Boston abolitionists are desolating the villages of Virginia.

In all ages success in war has inclined to the party which is fighting for its existence, and is consequently steeled to a sterner resolve. There is a want of this earnestness to be noticed in the conduct of the Northerners. They take things easy to a degree which astonishes an Englishman who recollects the frenzy which followed the first misfortunes of our army at the end of 1854. The whole story of the battle of Bull Run is given by the Northern papers, of course with many variations, but, we are bound to say, with entire candor. The completeness of the defeat, the courage of the enemy and the panic of their own army, are not extenuated or denied in any way. There is, of course, the usual tendency to lay the blame on the commanders, and to save the self-love of the army at the expense of its chiefs. But, making allowances for this, it is probable not only that the leaders were incompetent, but the mass of the troops felt that they were. From the first there seems to have been little purpose in any thing that was done. The advance began before dawn, and one writer says that even at that hour there seemed a lack of unity and direct purpose among the officers, which sometimes was made too evident to the troops not to affect their spirit and demeanor. At the very opening of the day it was plain to all, that real and sound discipline was abandoned. On the other hand, the Confederates were evidently commanded by men who knew something of war. The ground on the Federal side was wooded almost down to the ravine, through which the stream flows, but on the other side “the enemy had cleared away all obstructive foliage, and bared the earth in every direction over which they could bring their artillery upon us.” The battle began about sunrise, and was at its height a little after noon. The accounts given by the Northern correspondents describe the enemy as almost destroyed by the repeated charges of the Federalists. Allowing for exaggeration, it may be taken as pretty certain that they were hard-pressed, and that some, at least, of the Federal troops behaved with gallantry. The 71st New York Regiment is described as having inflicted severe loss on the enemy. Indeed, the bulletins published by the Confederate authorities appear to admit that the Southern army suffered severely at one point of the action.

But this was but the beginning of the day's work. Whether the Confederates had any plan of fighting settled beforehand by their commanders, we do not as yet know; but the account [113] of the Northerners is that “the enemy appeared upon the left flank between us and our way of retreat.” A panic then seized the Federal troops. We have looked through the different narratives in vain for any probable cause of this terror, but the word “cavalry” appears so frequently that we must suppose that a body of Southern horsemen did appear somewhere, though the country is obviously not well suited to the action of that force. From the same description of the battle we quote as follows: “The rebel cavalry, having completely circumvented our left, charged in upon a number of wounded and stragglers.” Then followed the scene which has been sufficiently described in these columns. On the whole, the newspapers which have come from the North within the last few days are most interesting. The tone in which the calamity is discussed is, we think, very creditable to the people of the Northern States; and, strange to say, it has not increased, but, as far as one can judge, has lessened the bitterness toward the Southerners.--London Times, August 10.

We have as yet no detailed official account of the battle at Bull Run; but the additional information received during the last few days all tends to show that the earliest accounts of the engagement published were not only inaccurate, but, so far as the defeat of the North was concerned, absurdly exaggerated. This was perfectly natural, as the narratives were those of sutlers and civilians, who saw and knew nothing of the action except the retreat, and who appear to have formed their estimate of the Northern army and its behavior in the field from the hurried flight and terrified exclamations of a mere panic-stricken mob of camp-followers. Even these accounts, however, were sufficient to convict the wholesale sentence--“that 75,000 American patriots fled for twenty miles in agony of fear” --of being a wanton and malignant fiction. That any English journal of position and influence should be capable of making such a statement in a tone of mockery and exultation, is a humiliation and disgrace to the press of this country. Such writing proves that, notwithstanding our boasted superiority over the journals on the other side of the Atlantic, an English organ of opinion may occasionally equal in rancorous scorn, selfish passion, and vulgar prejudice, the worst rowdy hacks of the lowest New York prints. Instead of 75,000 Northern troops having been engaged in the action at Bull Run, it appears that not half that number were present, and their gallant behavior in the field is attested, not only by the facts, but by the explicit testimony of their enemies. Success in such an enterprise would probably have been, even to trained troops, almost impossible; and Gen. Scott is reported to have reproached himself for allowing the attack to have been made so soon — prematurely, in fact. But, once begun, the struggle was obstinately maintained by troops half fasting and worn out by a twelve hours march. An official despatch to Richmond from the Confederate camp, says that the Northern troops on the left fought so valiantly and pressed the Southern forces under Gen. Johnston so severely, that the issue seemed doubtful. “It was here,” the same despatch states, “that Col. Bartow's Georgian regiment was posted, which was so terribly cut up that a large body of our troops from the centre was sent at a critical moment to the left's assistance, and turned the tide of the battle.” When at length obliged to retire, it is evident that the Northern troops soon fell into disorder. But this, so far from being inexplicable, is only what might naturally be expected under the special circumstances of the case. The army was composed of volunteers, and however well such troops may fight, it is the most difficult achievement in the world to bring them from the field in good order. And most probably, which ever army had been compelled to retire, would soon have fallen into confusion, and converted the retreat into a rout. The confusion of the retreat is, no doubt, a lesson to volunteers which ought not to be forgotten either in this country or America. But the fact that the Southern army failed to follow up its advantage, proves that the retreat of the Federal army was not, as it has been unjustly represented, the flight of cowards. The nine hours fighting had evidently inspired the Southern troops with a respect for Northern valor.

But however imperfect our knowledge of this first great collision may be, we may predict some of its results with tolerable certainty. It will put an end to hollow and deceptive schemes of compromise. The grand controversy between the North and the South has at length reached the point it has been for years past gradually approaching — the ultima ratio of force; and the sword having now been drawn in earnest, it must be fought out. The defeat of the Federal forces in this first great encounter, will, however, in evitably tend to protract the war, and the delay will work to the advantage of the North. The Federal States are in character, position, and means, far better able to sustain a protracted contest, than the secessionists. The reverse they have experienced will but rouse their latent energy, and develop their ample resources, moral and material. It will help to give to the national struggle of the North the depth and seriousness it ought to possess. It will do this by bringing clearly out, and keeping prominently in view, the profounder motives and nobler issues — in a word, the whole moral significance — of the conflict. We cannot for a moment regret this. Whatever may have been the immediate occasion of the actual appeal to arms, the real causes and objects of this war are of supreme gravity and importance. The Federal States are, in fact, fighting for the very elements and essence of social order, civic prosperity, and national life. The revolted States pretend, indeed, according to Mr. Stephens' [114] ingenious speech, that all they want is to be allowed to manage their own affairs in their own way. But this is, as every one knows, the merest delusion in the world. So long as their peculiar institution remains, the slave States must adopt a violent aggressive policy, or perish. That is the policy they have adopted and successfully carried out for years past in the Federal Government; they gained power, kept it, and used it for their own ends. But the constitutional despotism they have enjoyed so long having been at length constitutionally broken up, they appeal to the sword. For what purpose? To gain by force the criminal and degrading ends thay have hitherto secured by policy. The one object for which they have broken up the Union and taken the field against their fellow-countrymen, is to extend and perpetuate slavery. It is neither more nor less than a wild and despotic crusade on behalf of the greatest curse that ever afflicted or ever can afflict any people. That this is the true character of the war in the South, is demonstrated by the formal acts and declarations of the secession leaders and representatives. Mr. Stephens, the Vice-President of the Confederate States, publicly declares to all the world, “The foundations of our new Government are laid, its corner-stone rests upon, the great truth, that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is the natural and moral condition of the negro.” Hitherto, while its evils were admitted, Slavery was defended in the South on the ground of its necessity. Now it is declared to be absolutely right, a new moral truth, the centre or cornerstone of a new State, the symbol and watchword of a new and sanguinary crusade. The deepest wrong and most cruel injury that man can possibly inflict on his fellow, is formally consecrated as right, while Heaven is profanely invoked in its defence. The one social curse which destroyed free and noble nations of old, and which modern civilization has repudiated as essentially destructive of national life and progress, is now, for the first time in history, proclaimed as the one grand principle of the new Confederation. Such a State, were it possible to set it up, must be the. permanent enemy, the natural foe, of all free peoples. To talk of coming to an understanding with such a State, of living on terms of amity and peace with it, would be out of the question. Such a State brands the notion of freedom as a falsehood, and stigmatizes industry as a disgrace. The moral influence of a free and industrious people would be more fatal to it than the sword — than any display of mere material force. Its policy must be violent and aggressive in mere self-defence. It would be essentially, by nature, constitution, and necessity, filibustering and piratical. This is the real meaning of the struggle in the South, and this would be its result were it successful. In view of such results, mere constitutional arguments, true as as they may be, sink to the level of idle pedantry. If the Southern leaders and their adherents owed no obligations to the Union, but were perfect strangers, the Northern leaders, intrusted by Providence with the necessary material force, would be morally bound to prevent the formation of such a State--such a portentous anomaly in the history of human progress.--London Daily News, Aug. 9.

'Tis in the New World as in the Old — treason never prospers; for if it prospers, “none dare call it treason.” All the waiters on events, all the idolaters of success, all the secret sympathizers with despotism, are on the alert to catch the first gleam of good fortune that lights on the dark banners of a wicked cause. The rebellion that aims to enlarge and perpetuate slavery, is the only rebellion to which the Times and its tributary streamlets of un-English opinion ever wafted encouragement. As oft as an oppressed people snatched at the sword in tho desperate hope of cutting its way to freedom, they poured derision and censure on the gallant effort. If Frenchmen essayed to establish a French Government — if Germans passed in a moment of energetic inspiration from dreaming to working — if Hungarians renounced an allegiance that had become a national death — if Poles or Italians writhed from prostrate subjection into erect and sublime resistance — the Times and its emulative followers hissed forth their scorn of such romantic courage, their hatred of such irreverent boldness. They maligned the motives, defamed the characters, perverted the principles and objects of the leaders in such adventures for freedom. Men of mild and noble natures were portrayed as blood-thirsty ruffians. Men of the most practical sagacity were painted as reckless enthusiasts. Men whose first acts were the abolition of capital punishment and the institution of legal relief for destitution, were branded as enemies of life and property. Nations whose humble hopes were bounded by the expectation of just and equal laws, were confounded with a few half-crazed philosophers, in whom imprisonment or exile had bred an excess of philanthropy. Yet even Red Republicans were extolled if they chanced to gain a victory at the barricades; and the conspirator who, by superior craft, obtained a crown, was lauded as an example of laudable ambition. When the tide turned again — when deposed kings and proscribed revolutionists were thrown on the strand, fragments of successive wrecks, victims of a storm that uplifted only to abase — when the reign of force was reestablished, and order was vindicated by the crowd of captives and fugitives that looked and longed in vain through the bars of adverse fate, or across the waters that mocked their change of fortunes — the Times was ready again with its parable for the day; ready, as before, to flatter the successful, to fawn on the powerful, to insult the fallen, to libel human nature, and to outrage the generous sympathies of Englishmen, with freedom in arms or with freedom trodden under foot.

As with the European peoples, so with the [115] American. What paeans to the honor of the Jupiter in the Capitol at Washington should we have heard resounding from the Olympus in the Blackfriars, if the battle of Bull Run had filled Manassas Gap with the corpses of the Confederates! Then would the swelling strain have rolled across the Atlantic in notes outpealing the loudest New York thunder. Then would history and imagination have been stretched for parallels to the greatness of the conflict and the glory of the victors. Then would the Confederate cause have been denounced as abhorrent to gods and men-treason of the utmost turpitude, rebellion of parricidal wickedness. Then should we have been told that Beauregard had chosen his own ground, the strongest between the Potomac and Richmond, had strengthened it with all military strength, concealed within a cincture of wood and hill, ninety thousand men, and had been driven from his intrenchment by twenty or thirty thousand undisciplined volunteers, fired with the ardor of conscious rectitude, and made invincible by the heroism of disinterested valor. The battle has gone the other way,--and, behold, the laurels that have been woven for President Lincoln are proffered to President Davis. Yet, not quite so. “We” who were in the “route” had the momentary candor to admit that it was a drawn battle, not a disgraceful defeat. The fugitives may rally. The numbers may be balanced. The event may be reversed. It is not safe to crown Beauregard till McClellan has been vanquished. Meanwhile, till the eagle settles on this banner or on that, let us revile the combatants. Let us say the National army was “a screaming crowd,” and the Confederates only less frightened than the “mob” that fled when no man pursued. Let us say, in the face of plainest facts, that the forces were equal, and the encounter an open and stand — up fight. Let us require of soldiers from the counting-house and farm, the steady courage of veterans. Let us suppress all reference to frequency of panic in battle; make the “riffraff” of the regiments represent “the grand army ;” transfer, from a few lawless ruffians who escaped the Provost-Marshal, to the entire expedition, the shame of burning houses on the outward march, and fleeing back pale-faced over the smoking embers. Let us do all this with an affectation of surprise and regret, and hold off till we see whether the Confederates capture Harper's Ferry.

It is thus the Times seems to have taken counsel with itself, after the perusal of its Special Correspondent's graphic narrative of the panic that followed on a well-sustained fight. The fight he did not see. The panic naturally shocked and enraged an historian who has seen as much of wars as Xenophon. The Special Correspondent will, doubtless, be able to make good his story against the reclamations of men who saw less and felt differently. But what can we expect from the American press, when it finds a leading English journal deliberately and recklessly pouring vinegar and vitriol into the wounds of the national pride and sensibility? How can we expect our kinsmen of the North to believe in our friendship and good wishes, when our newspapers go out laden with columns of scornful comment upon a disaster that might prove fatal to a people less high-spirited and resolute? What can they think of our anti-slavery sentiment, or even of our international neutrality, when they see the slaveholding rebellion treated with far greater respect than the Government elected by millions of freedom-loving freemen, and the atrocious rhapsodies of the New York Herald quoted as the utterance of a settled transatlantic policy? If there were no sin or shame in exaggerating and ridiculing an event fraught with poignant suffering to a friendly and consanguineous nation — if decency did not restrain us from laughing aloud at the fears of the brave and the errors of the great — surely prudence should teach us not to provoke the bitter resentment of a people of eighteen millions, by scoffing at their momentary humiliation. Must we make enemies on both sides the Atlantic, in both hemispheres of the globe and of government? Are we to provoke beyond bearing imperial France and republican America? Ought we not rather to guard our speech by the friendly wisdom that errs, if at all, on the side of friendliness? If it were true that the Americans of the North are braggart cowards, they would still be our nearest of kin, and their cause would still be that of solid government and universal liberty. But we trust that the press of England, as a whole, will make it to be felt wherever the just authority of President Lincoln is recognized, that we grieve when they are humbled — that we confide in the strength of their resources and purposes as in the goodness of their cause — and that while we heartily desired them to avert civil war by a peaceful separation, we now as heartily pray God to give them a happy issue out of their fiery trial.--London Morning Star.

The disaster which has befallen the army of the United States is undoubtedly a great one, though we cannot say that it was wholly unexpected, and still less that it is irretrievable. Vast bodies of men new to arms, unversed in the ordinary evolutions of warfare, and almost as much so in regimental discipline, are brought face to face with one of the most difficult tasks that soldiers can be called upon to perform, and they prove unequal to it. In this there is nothing wonderful. If they had succeeded, it would have been immensely to their credit — not merely for raw heroism, but for disciplined valor — precisely that quality which they have had the least opportunity of acquiring. The intrinsic magnitude of the misfortune is a repulse before a position which was deliberately selected for its strategical advantages, and which has since been diligently fortified with [116] all the aids that practised ingenuity could suggest. Such a defeat could be borne without dishonor, and without material effect on the issue of a campaign. If it had been received by disciplined troops, they would probably have retired to a safe distance for the night, and renewed the attempt the next day, with a victory as the gross result. The apparent magnitude of the calamity, that which makes it look overwhelming, is due to the unnecessary and disorderly flight. The best troops in the world are liable to panics, but the liability is infinitely greater with raw levies, abounding in patriotic zeal and native courage, but necessarily wanting in cohesion and self-reliance. It is remarkably easy now to point out several blunders which are fairly responsible for the defeat; but, instead of assuming for ourselves the credit of the discovery, we will assign it to a quarter where it had at least the honor of being prior to the event. The New York Times, in an article published the day before the battle, distinctly pointed out the circumstances which might justify the prediction of an untoward result. In truth, it was a foolhardy step to hurl untried troops against a position of unknown strength, and which turned out to be an amphitheatre of masked batteries, supported by an overwhelming force of the enemy. In such a game, all the advantages are on the side of the defence. To the assailants, nothing was likelier than a defeat, and with an army so heterogeneous in its composition, imperfectly disciplined, and officered by yesterday's civilians, a defeat was certain to end in something worse — a universal break — up and pell-mell rout. In the delirious excitement which followed, the disaster was no doubt greatly exaggerated. It was gradually found out that all the men were not slaughtered, that all the artillery was not taken, and that regiments which presented a miserably broken appearance on the morning after the battle, soon filled up their ranks as the runaways came in. The affair was a fight and a scamper, the scamper being unquestionably the worst part of it. The consequence of the disaster will be lamentable, no doubt, chiefly by protracting the war, and exciting intenser passions on both sides; but to describe it as an “Austerlitz,” is a blunder only possible to those who sacrifice accuracy to a taste for grandiloquence.

After such a disaster, recrimination naturally rules the hour. The great question is, Whom shall we hang? Of course a victim will be found, even if justice itself expires in the effort to make its own award. The gentleman who is likeliest to figure as culprit-in-chief is Gen. Patterson, who commanded the troops at Harper's Ferry, and whose special business it was to give an account of Gen. Johnston, the rebel commander, who was at the head of 25,000 men. The favorite theory is, that the junction of Gen. Johnston's troops with those of Gen. Beauregard, on the 21st, decided the fortune of the day, and that if Gen. Patterson had done his duty, that unpropitious junction would have been avoided. It is the old tale of Grouchy and Blucher at Waterloo. Every Frenchman knows that if Grouchy had not been culpably negligent, Blucher would never have been able to come to the assistance of Wellington, who in that case would have been beaten hollow. The theory is very natural, since it interposes an “if” as a shield against the dishonor of defeat, but there is something to be said against it. In the first place, Gen. Johnston was known to have joined the main army of the rebels long before the fight on the 21st, so that the advantage thus acquired by the enemy was foreseen. It is the same as if Blucher, instead of arriving at Waterloo at 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the 18th June, 1815, had joined Wellington the day before, and Napoleon had known that he had two enemies to contend against instead of one--a circumstance which would have made all the difference. In the next place, before blaming Gen. Patterson, we ought to ask whether he was in a position to do all that was required of him. The same journal which censures him so loudly, tells us of his success on the 15th, and adds that his men were so mutinous for want of shoes and other necessaries, that he had to appeal to them in the most pathetic terms to stand by him, and not forsake the flag of the Union, but without success. If this is true, it is arrant injustice to blame him. We trust our Northern friends will not copy the Carthaginians, by crucifying a general just because he is unsuccessful. That will be a sorry way of mending their misfortune. The advance on Manassas Gap was doubtless imprudent, and has turned out most unfortunate; but the people were in favor of it — they demanded it, they howled for it. They had their way, and they have been taught a lesson. Their sole business is to improve it. If they are wise, magnanimous, and brave men, they will not make this misfortune more ignoble by wrangling over it, but try to find in defeat the discipline and patience which lead to victory.--Manchester Examiner.


Reply to the London times on American Democracy.

A new and singular charge is brought against “unlimited Democracy.” We are told that it does not furnish the “slightest security against the worst of wars,” the proof being the civil war in the United States. We must observe at the outset, that the writer's superlatives are sadly at fault. War, it is true, has broken out between the North and the South, but, for any thing that is urged to the contrary, this catastrophe may have happened in spite of the sagest precautions and the strongest securities that human wisdom could suggest. It may be that under any other form of government known to the world, the Americans would have been fighting twenty years ago, end that civil strife has been delayed so long simply because of the palliative and remedial tendencies of Democratic institutions. [117] It may be that the boiler has burst, notwithstanding the best preventive appliances of science, the steam-plug, the safety-valve, and the water-gauge, in which case the true description of the accident would be, not that these appliances do not furnish the “slightest security,” but that in political, as in other machinery, the strongest precautions cannot always prevent an accident. Then, as to the “worst of wars,” it may safely be maintained that the civil war in America is not the worst that has been recorded in history. So far, there has been astonishingly little bloodshed, and it seems likely to prove “civil” in more senses than one. The alienation which has long existed between the North and South may teach us to be sparing of our rhetoric about fratricide. The Americans are brothers much as all people that on earth do dwell are brothers, but there has been far more real fellowship of feeling between Frenchmen and Englishmen during the last forty years than between the citizens of South Carolina and Massachusetts. As for the causes of the present strife, they are infinitely more respectable than the keys of the Holy Sepulchre, which took us to the Crimea, and cost the lives of tens of thousands of Englishmen. Finally, it is not true that democracy in America is “unlimited,” as the writer will find by turning to M. de Tocqueville. One great object of the framers of the American Constitution was to limit the power of the people. Both in the mode of its election and its appointment of its representative power, the Senate is essentially an aristocratic and conservative body, while the clause in the Constitution which ordered that three-fifths of the slave population in the South should be added to the white population, as a basis for calculating the number of representatives to be returned to Congress, runs full in the teeth of that doctrine of civil and political equality which is the essence of democracy. Moreover, it is clearly demonstrable that the civil war has sprung out of those elements of the American Constitution which are not Democratic; and, indeed, so far as analysis can establish any sort, of probability, it is inconceivable how, if democracy in America had been “unlimited,” the war could have arisen. If the foes of free government are really anxious to array the experience of the new world against the theories of the old, if the expediency and the justice of a six-pound franchise in England are to be determined by the merits of the contest now waging between President Lincoln and President Jefferson Davis, we shall be glad, especially at this season of the year, to enter into the controversy. But by all means let us know what we are arguing about. Let us import into the discussion so much discrimination at least as would suffice to distinguish a root of horse raddish from a watermelon.

We are slightly surprised to find it set down among the special disadvantages of Democracy that it offers no security against war. We should rather have been prepared for an opposite assertion. War in a just cause has been described to us as a glorious thing. We have been told that there are times when a nation by refusing to take up arms, shows that it has lost its manhood, and is fit henceforth to be snubbed as sneaks and cowards. It is a dreadful thing, truly, for men deliberately to aim a rifle at each other's skulls, and send daylight by a bayonet thrust into a living heart; but then the irrefragable answer to sentimental maundering of this sort has been that there are things more precious to mankind than life. Honor, principle, conscience, liberty, the balance of power, the integrity of an empire, or the glory of an “idea,” have been put singly into the scale, and declared to be immeasurably heavier than limbs, life, or wealth. One great objection to the extension of political liberty at home has been that it might beget an indifference to national honor, and interfere with that steady prosecution of a foreign policy which is supposed to be safest in aristocratic hands. Commerce has been assailed for the same reasons. A nation of merchants and shopkeepers it was feared would prefer the security of trade, and the opportunity of quietly getting rich, to the obligation of assisting a distressed ally, maintaining the sacred principle of international justice, or even washing with bloodshed a suspicious taint from the national escutcheon. The people who have been dinning our ears with such arguments for the last ten years ought to hail the American war as an apology for civilization, as one of the most auspicious signs of the times. Here we have politically the freest nation on the globe, as well as the most commercial, flinging their wealth and their lives away in order to fight for a principle. At trumpet call the merchant closes his glutted warehouse and sends his young men off to the battle-field; the capitalist unstrings his purse, and pours out its contents to supply arms and provisions for the troops; the manufactories are closed, for there is no work, and the artisan exults in idleness and poverty because they are sanctified in his eyes by adherence to a holy cause. On the theories that have hitherto found favor with our critics, this sight is one of the most glorious and inspiriting that the world ever beheld. It proves beyond contradiction that commerce does not rust the national energies, and that the freest people are the most prompt to fight for any object they consider just. Only imagine what would have been said if the North had submitted peaceably to a partition of the Republic. That course might have been wise, beneficent, and best in harmony with their institutions; but on that point we need say nothing; but how the world would have rung with bitter taunts on their pusillanimity! We should then have been told that Democratic institutions were an utter failure; that they had proved themselves unable to nurse and mature a great national sentiment; that their tendency was to endless disintegration, and to the rendering all [118] Government impossible. See, it would have been said, the meanness, the cowardice, the insensibility to a great name and lofty destinies which Democracy produces. These people were yesterday one of the greatest nations on the globe, and at the first check they abdicated their greatness rather than draw the sword. Democracy begets and nourishes poltroons. We must look elsewhere for those manly virtues by which States contend successfully with perils that threaten their existence, and, at length, emerge from their trials stronger, purer, and more glorious than ever.

Alas for Democracy! its enemies will give it no quarter. In their desperate hurry to mangle its limbs, to cut its throat, to demonstrate that it has forfeited all right to live, they do not even care to be just. Whether it fights or abstains from fighting, it is all the same; whether it obeys the fiery impulses which have made Europe for eighteen centuries one continuous battle-field, or meekly drops its arms in mute submission to fortune, its reputation is fore-doomed. What else could we have expected when its enemies assume to sit as judges, and the critic who professes impartially to try its conduct never lays aside his vulgar, unphilosophic, unsparing, and indiscriminating hate? If, however, we must try democratic institutions by this new test, we challenge its application with pleasure. Only let it be applied fairly. There are a great many nations under heaven, some of which have lasted long enough to furnish ample materials for comparison. Our own country is one of the most highly favored. Society here is strong, having its roots far back in an immemorial past, long before the date of Bunker's Hill or even the discoveries of Columbus. Yet we have had our civil wars. Not to go back to the time of the Plantaganets, when the claims of rival dynasties swept the land with fire and slaughter for a century together, we have had one great rebellion which sent a monarch to the block, another rebellion which drove another monarch from his throne, and two more rebellions, the last of which saw an army of Highlanders in the heart of the kingdom. Within the memory of men still living we had a great rebellion in Ireland, where battles were fought and scaffolds well furnished with victims. Even within the last thirty years the Duke of Wellington regarded that country as one that required to be held with a large garrison, and ruled over by a mitigated form of martial law. Do the recurring disasters of half a dozen centuries prove that monarchy “conveys not the slightest security against the worst of wars” ? We will not send our readers abroad, to Paris, to Vienna, or to Warsaw, where civil war exists in its worst form, the helpless struggle of a brave people against omnipotent battalions. If the civil war in America proves any thing to the disparagement of democracy, what do the convulsions of Europe prove for monarchical institutions? But ours, it may be said, is neither the one nor the other. Be it so. We are not republicans. Let it, however, be admitted that whatever special security our own constitution supplies, it has obtained the means of giving that security by departing from the ideal of pure monarchy and approximating to that form of self-government which has been established in the United States. We have far more in common with Washington than with Vienna; and in calumniating the free institutions of any country, we merely disparage and denounce the indisputable source of our own greatness.--Manchester Examiner.


The Impressment of British subjects in New Orleans.

There are no people so thoroughly on their good behavior before all the world as the two unfortunate parties in the fratricidal contest now raging in America. They have to prove not only their sense of justice and their regard for truth, and also that they are not needlessly sensitive or too ready to fall into a quarrel. There is a general persuasion in this part of the world — indeed, all over the world, except between Niagara and the Gulf of Mexico, that the present state of affairs there is the natural result of a defiant, offensive, and intolerable tone of talking and acting on all matters whatever. The American is rather too apt to consider himself absolutely right, and is pleased to think he is so occasionally to the confusion of others. A high civilization holds it in the greatest of social misfortunes that there should be a difference at all. An American does not regard this as so great a misfortune, compared with having to own himself a little mistaken, or misinformed as to a trifle. With such people, when a quarrel has once arisen, there can be only one appeal — that appeal to arms, which has now assumed such terrible proportions, and the issue of which no man can venture to foretell. But if there is any hope of a compromise — if, even in our own time, we are ever to see the Northerner and the Southerner discussing their differences amicably in Congress, it can only be by the introduction of a less positive, less domineering, less provoking tone than that on which the Americans have hitherto prided themselves.

Mr. Russell has been for some time in the United States discharging for the British public, not to say for the whole world, the same services that he did so well before in the Crimea and in India. He has everywhere had to perform his laborious duties under difficulties inconceivable to most of his readers, and little shared by writers compiling narratives at a library table, or taking down the words of some customary informant. He has had to write in haste, in exhaustion, in noise, in danger, in the very turmoil of war, with disputation and even menace still in his ears. He has been occasionally contradicted, generally confessed to be right, and sometimes has frankly and courageously avowed himself to be mistaken or misinformed. His letters are now before the world [119] in the form of volumns, and, having passed through the ordeal of criticism, are part of the literature of his country. Nowhere has his liberty of speech been so furiously arraigned, and his vocation so denounced, as in the United States. A correspondence in another column will show how little support, truthful, exact, and candid as he is, he is likely to receive there, even from those who might be supposed above the madness of a mob.

He had stated that at New Orleans British subjects had been forcibly impressed into the ranks of so-called volunteers. On their resistance he said that they had been knocked down and dragged off, and only released after energetic representations by the British Consul to the authorities. When we find it admitted by Colonel Manning, aide-de-camp to the Governor of the State of Louisiana, that there do exist at New Orleans volunteer corps called the Carroll Guards, which he admits to be without any recognized military organization, to be so far beyond the control of the authorities, and for whom, therefore, he wisely declines to be responsible, our readers will easily understand how British subjects, in common with other people at New Orleans, would be liable to great outrage, notwithstanding earnest wishes to the contrary on the part of the authorities. Those authorities wish two things not easily compatible. As politicians they wish to enjoy the benefit of a strong popular feeling and a large force of volunteers. As the conservators of public order, they wish no man to be forced, and British subjects, at all events, to be left alone. Mr. Russell frankly admits that they acted on the latter feeling as soon as the opportunity occurred, and that he erred in charging them with a degree of evasion before they released the British subjects who had appealed to the Consular aid. They had been released, it appears, with as little delay as was necessary to receive the statement of their case. Thus far the story is very intelligible. The Carroll Guards go about the workshops and wharves of New Orleans compelling this man or that to join their ranks. They meet with occasional resistance and excuse, particularly that of being subjects of the British crown. They don't care much for this, perhaps because they don't believe it, perhaps because they have heard the American theory that every person who lands in America with the intention of residing there acquires the rights and the duties of an American citizen. The Consul is asked to appeal in their favor, and the Governor, on hearing their statement and that of their captors, lets them go, but not till they have suffered some detention and outrage. When this is undisputed, when it must be admitted that it was matter for record, and when the Governor of Louisiana cannot think himself ill-used, we do not see why he should seize on the admission that no evasion had been practised to invite general disbelief in Mr. Russell's statements. In every good society in this country, when a man frankly confesses that subsequent information leads him to withdraw or qualify a word, the conclusion is that he sacrifices every thing to truth. In the deportment of the Governor of Louisiana the conclusion is that he may be safely put out of the question altogether.

This is a matter that should be known, for it helps to illustrate the state of things in the United States; and the government of Louisiana has not mended matters, or served its cause, by attempting to discredit the informant who has told the simple truth.--London Times, August 13.


War expenses and war taxes in America.

Every Englishman knows, by the experience of his own country, where the shoe would begin to pinch the American belligerents. In that country, as elsewhere, any number of men can be procured to fight, after some fashion, in any cause, good or bad, if they are only well paid, well fed, well clothed, well housed, and moderately well commanded, with some prospect, if not of booty, at least of a whole skin. So it becomes a question of money. A confidence in money alone has always proved false; but money there must be, and there is no country in which it is more necessary than in the United States, where wages are high and work is abundant. A war will cost there almost as much as it did here, for if the work is nearer home, and the area of the war somewhat less than the whole surface of this terraqueous globe; still, for that very reason, there is much interruption of the ordinary pursuits of life. In the first place, all the bonds of debtor and creditor, whether public or private, and all the relations of business in cotton and other cultivation, are at an end. The State Governments themselves set the example of repudiation by refusing to cash bonds, or coupons, which can be traced to the possession of the other party in the struggle. Searching interrogatories are put, and must be answered on oath, before a State will pay interest which may find its way to hostile hands. Meanwhile commerce is interrupted by blockades and privateers, and immense works commenced in the depth of peace are stopped by the withdrawal of hands and resources, and not less by a general diminution of confidence in the prospects of the country. At Washington, finance observes the old forms of Union, and supposes a tax to be levied on all the States. It is obliged, however, to condescend to fact, and calculate on the certainty that only half the States will respond to the call.

So the Congress of Washington is looking the difficulty, as they say there, “square in the face;” not so “square,” however, as they will one day have to look it. There appears to be no difficulty in the authorization of loans to any amount; indeed, at this moment Government has large powers for the issue of Treasury notes for three years, and has found the market, we presume, unfavorable for the exercise of its powers. The real question is how to find [120] a proper basis for loans in an augmented and well-paid revenue. This involves taxation, and, unfortunately, taxation appears to be a point on which the Eastern and Western States of the Federal Union are almost as much at variance as both are with the Southern Confederacy. The Western States have a particular objection to taxes; and when we read the war budget which the Congress seems finally to have decided on, one feels that such an objection may be expressed not only in good sentences on the floor of Congress, but also in a not less formidable manner far West. Besides a direct tax of $20,000,000 apportioned among the States, and expected from only one-half, the new budget proposes a tax upon carriages, varying from one dollar to fifty; a tax upon watches, an excise duty on spirituous liquors of five cents a gallon, and on fermented liquors of sixty cents a barrel; and a general tax upon incomes, the rate of which, as well as the incomes liable, is not yet decided. Meanwhile the Morrill tariff is untouched except by the imposition of additional duties. Every item in this budget suggests a financial war, as difficult, if not so sanguinary, as the war in the open field.

But there is another question which presents itself to the capitalist before even the solvency of a State, or the yield of a tax, or the final success of a cause; and that is the number and frequency of similar calls. If we are to judge from the immense figures on paper paraded by the Northerners, this is a war that may take rank with any of ours — with the European war, which cost us from first to last more than a thousand millions of money, or the Russian war, which cost us a hundred millions in two years. If the Government of Washington is obliged to ask for a hundred million dollars to-day, when and how soon will it have to repeat that demand; and how many such demands will it have to make this year, and for how many years? Every such demand will compete in the market with the bonds of the last, and our old folks can remember with what celerity a promise to pay £ 5 a year became worth not so much as £ 50. Prudent people do not like buying stock at its present price when they know that twenty or thirty millions more will soon be thrown on the market for what it will fetch. Nor is this the only apprehension to damp the courage of the lender. Already, while this war is still in its very cradle, the bankers of the seaboard States are suggesting, in the form of Treasury bonds, a very large increase in the paper currency. How long would this be convertible? We may safely predict that if the war lasts as long as it now threatens to last, both sides will be driven to the same pitiable expedient of a depreciated paper currency as the mother country was in a similar extremity. No doubt there are enthusiasts in the United States who will lend money and buy Treasury bonds for three or ten years, and all the more freely because they feel deeply the social and religious aspects of the quarrel. There may, too, for aught we know, be abolitionists and philanthropists in this country who will buy American notes in a falling market, and prefer to give a good price for them rather than a bad one, because they care more for the credit of the Federal cause than they do for the amount of their own fortune. We cannot think, however, there are so many such people as largely to affect the quotation of American securities in our market.--London Times, August 14.


General M'Clellan's appointment.

The appointment of General McClellan to the command of the Federal army is a circumstance which not unnaturally has excited considerable discussion in the New York papers. By one lie is described as a military dictator, who is to act entirely free from the control of General Scott and the War Department; and by another a loud complaint is raised because the gallant general, in compliance with the intrigues of certain selfish politicians at Washington, is to be hampered in the selection of the general and regimental officers who are to serve under his command. But all the accounts agree in one particular, that General McClellan, leaving accepted the responsible post of commander-in-chief, is examining every thing with his own eyes, and is endeavoring to enforce that stern and rigorous discipline, without which, as the disaster at Bull Run shows, a great army may speedily become a disorganized and panic-stricken rabble.

* * * * * * *

But when the New York papers talk of a military dictatorship, we hardly know what they mean. Civil war necessarily implies the suspension of ordinary law, and the substitution of the rule of the sword. As far as the interests of the North are concerned it matters little whether this extreme power is wielded by the President at Washington or by the general at the head of the army in the field. Mr. Lincoln, it is admitted, has travelled far beyond the principles of the Constitution. He has proclaimed, martial law, he has suspended the habeas corpus act, and he has deposed and imprisoned the municipal authorities at Baltimore. We do not say that these measures are not perfectly justifiable. The indemnity acts of Congress prove them to be so. Mr. Lincoln can delegate to the chief of the army any power which the head of the Executive Government is permitted to exercise; and for the purposes of the. campaign it matters little, we repeat, whether Mr. Lincoln or General McClellan exercises powers which are beyond the strict letter of the Constitution.

It still appears to be doubtful whether the Confederate troops, flushed with success, intend to attack Washington. As their object will be accomplished by clearing the secessionist States of Federal troops, sound policy would seem to dictate that the enemy should be quietly left to improve their organization in the comparative [121] security of Arlington Heights. Actual warfare in the United States has now been waged for several months. Every advantage, with the exception of General McClellan's successes in Western Virginia, has been on the side of the South. What has the North gained in exchange? A disgraceful defeat, an amount of taxation which is unparalleled in the history of European nations, the utter subversion of constitutional liberty, and, by means of prohibitory tariffs, the alienation of the sympathies of their best customers and friends. It appears, further, that slavery is not the cause of this lamentable contest. It arises from commercial jealousy, and thus we see that in America the great battle of free trade as opposed to protection is fought out, not by hustings and platform speeches, but by the ultimo ratio regum.

--London Post, (Government Organ,)Aug. 13.

British interest in the war.

Never was there a war in which the people of this country took a greater interest. We watch with the utmost solicitude all the proceedings of the belligerents, and observe not only the operations of their armies, but the manifestation of popular feeling, with sentiments which no other struggle could excite. We can say more. Though it is impossible to avoid reflecting that the division of the Union into two great States may relieve us from many of the troubles with which we were menaced by the overbearing policy of the old Federal Government, we can safely assert that Englishmen desire nothing more than to see the quarrel terminated and the strife appeased. We wish no harm to either party, and would far rather see America strong, united and prosperous, than speculate on the advantages which its premature disruption might possibly bring to its neighbors. But when we have said this, we have said all that the Americans are likely to hear with much satisfaction. For the rest, our conclusions are certainly not favorable to those institutions under which this great catastrophe has been matured. What the Americans call freedom, but what we call democracy, does not show to advantage at this critical time. The theories attributing immeasurable superiority to republican forms of Government have all been falsified in the plainest and most striking manner, and the last six months have proved beyond all question that the preponderance of popular will without check or limit is at least as likely to hurry a nation into war and debt, as the caprice of the most absolute despot or the intrigues of the most selfish of aristocracies.

We are not finding fault with the Northern States for going to war. We have repeatedly admitted that the Federal party could not be expected to view the dismemberment of the Union without an effort to avert the loss. But, though civil war is the most frightful of all wars, the Americans plunged into it with less concern than would have been shown by any European State in adopting a diplomatic quarrel.

If the reader will refer to any speech of any Manchester orator he will find the Government of the United States extravagantly eulogized for the very qualities of which it is now proved to be utterly destitute, and the Americans exalted beyond all other people on account of gifts which it is plain they never possessed. It is this. if the Americans wish to know the truth, which points the remarks of Englishmen on their civil war and its incidents :--It is not that they are any worse, or more foolish, or more intemperate than was to be expected under the trials to which they have been exposed, but that they have been held up to our admiration by a certain party among us as a people in whose counsels no intemperance or folly would ever be likely to prevail. When we see that unlimited democracy conveys not the slightest security against the worst of wars and the most reckless extravagance, we may apply the moral at home, and congratulate ourselves that the old British constitution has not been precipitately remodelled after a Manchester design.--London Times, August 14.


The Financial aspects of the war.

The mercantile letters from New York by the present packet describe great despondency, owing to the impression produced by the bad management and inefficiency shown at Bull Run. People, it is said, are losing confidence in the Government, and another defeat would bring a large number over to the policy of allowing secession to take place peaceably. Some persons now express a belief that the North will have to acknowledge the South before the end of the year, but the real tendency of events seems to be more and more in the direction of the state of affairs that will render both parties glad of a compromise. The Federal troops are stated to have evacuated both Harper's Ferry and Hampton, and much anxiety was evidently felt as to the safety of Washington. The opinion was, however, that it would be a great mistake on the part of the Confederates to attack that city. If defeated, they would lose all the prestige gained at Bull Run; and, if successful, they would again unite the North against them as one man; while, if they abstain from needlessly arousing animosity and remain on the defensive, the North, it is asserted, will soon divide into two parties, an event which would greatly interfere, not only with enlistment, but with the raising of money.

The expenses of the Federal Government are enormous, being estimated by a good authority at considerably more than £ 200,000 per diem. The six per cent. Treasury notes are already at four discount, and as they have only twelve months to run, this is equal to the rate of ten per cent. interest. As they were being issued as fast as possible a further depreciation seemed imminent. The abundance of money at New York was much in their favor, and it is clear that if, owing to the scale of expenditure, this abundance should not continue, a rate far above [122] ten per cent. will speedily be found necessary.--London Times, (city article,) August 13.


The Americans and ourselves.

The effects of the war in America are beginning to react on this country. Hitherto we have been mere spectators of the sanguinary struggle, hoping that the course of events would bring it to a speedy and satisfactory close; but recent events show that we are only at the beginning of the end, and that, great as the sufferings of the immediate combatants are, these sufferings must be felt more or less by the whole of Europe, and more especially by the great producing countries, France and England. One of the first consequences of this unfortunate civil strife is a serious diminution in the amount of English railway dividends. Almost every great artery of communication which pierces England from one extremity to the other acknowledges a decrease of business, and this is reflected in the reduced division of profits — a condition of things which is painfully felt by those whose property is embarked in such undertakings, and the worst feature is that, bad as the present prospect is, the future holds out little encouragement. Every week the stock of cotton — for the manufacture of that article is the staple produce of England — becomes “small by degrees and beautifully less,” and the question arises where shall we look for a fresh supply when the present one is exhausted? The East Indies may send us 300,000 or 400,000 extra bales; but this is a mere “sop to Cerberus,” when measured by our actual necessities. What supplies may we hope for from Australia, from the West Indies, from the West Coast of Africa, or the other portions of the earth to which we were told to direct our eyes? Ultimately, we may perhaps receive from these and other sources enough to keep the mills of Lancashire and Lanarkshire going; but “while the grass grows the seed starves,” and the difficulty is how to manage during the painful interval. This difficulty must have been present to the minds of the Southern planters when they raised the standard of revolt. They argued that the first law of nature, self-preservation, would compel England and France to force the blockade of the Southern ports to supply themselves with an article the possession of which is essential to keep down starvation and insurrection at home, and in this sense they reasoned wisely. We may rub on with comparative ease until the Fall of the year, but towards November and December next, when cotton-laden vessels from New Orleans, Mobile, Charleston, and other ports in possession of the Southern Confederacy, usually make their appearance in British and French waters, the question will arise — a serious one for all parties — what is to be done? There are those among us who contend that, unless peace between the North and south has been secured in the interval, we must in self-defence violate the blockade to secure that great essentia of life — cotton. Better, these persons argue, to risk a war with America than to see millions of our operatives turned into the streets to die of want — better to provide ourselves with what we cannot do without, at whatever cost, than to bring worse than war — famine, disease, and pestilence — to our own doors. These we admit are extreme views; but it was the belief that they would be realized that induced Mr. Jefferson Davis and his abettors to defy the power of the President and attempt to dismember the Union.

Now, we cannot, for the life of us, see, unless some desperate alternative of this kind is to be encouraged, why a large section of the English press takes a morbid delight in inflaming the passions between the North and South, which already burn so violently. Every consideration of humanity ought to induce us to act in the very opposite spirit. We are far removed from the scene, and however much we may deplore the conflict, can look on while the game of war is played out without becoming heated partisans on one side or the other. But some of our cotemporaries appear to exult at the reverse which the Northern States sustained at Bull Run, and the spirit of their comments cannot fail to make a very unfavorable impression on the other side of the Atlantic. Charges of cowardice against the men, and of want of gallantry against the officers, are as plentiful as blackberries in Autumn; and to make the draught still more bitter, we are reminded of the inherent vices of democracy, and of the usually vaporing character of the Americans. Such charges, at such a moment, exhibit, we cannot help saying, singular bad taste. It is not conduct which the Americans pursued to us in our days of adversity — and that we have had to struggle against misfortunes, it would be useless to deny. When Ireland was stricken with famine, America, in the spirit of the good Samaritan, rushed to her assistance in a way that ought not to be forgotten. When it was believed, in the early days of the Second Empire, that Louis Napoleon had inimical designs against us, a loud and almost simultaneous cry of aid came from the Western shores of the Atlantic. But, apart from these considerations, there are no people in the world to whom we are united by so many and such close ties — no people on the earth in whose material prosperity we are more interested, and with whom we do a greater amount of reciprocal trade. When Parliament was sitting, its good taste refrained from all allusion to a subject which can hardly be handled without giving offence; but now that Parliament is adjourned, too many of our public writers and public speakers cannot refrain from giving an expression, often in a very coarse and offensive way, to what they think of the working of American institutions, and the vast superiority of a Limited Monarchy to an absolute President. The contrast is the more remarkable because, of recent years, the [123] tone of the English press towards America has been respectful and friendly, an example which has been set by the leading journal, and followed by newspapers reflecting every shade of political opinion.

The kind of criticism which we see indulged in by Conservative and Liberal organs alike, is not calculated to shorten this struggle but to prolong and embitter it. It may require a great effort on the part of certain ambitious candidates for a seat in the House of Commons to refrain from abusing the ballot, and universal suffrage, as they exist in America, but good taste as well as good feeling ought to induce them to make the attempt. These and all other public questions will bear a good deal of discussion at the proper time; but it is not friendly, nor neighborly, nor just, to open a broadside of invective against these and similar features in a Republican form of Government, when that government is engaged in fighting for its own preservation. Two or three years ago a similar course of policy was pursued by the bulk of the English press against the person of the Emperor Napoleon, when Lord Palmerston, Lord Russell, Mr. Disraeli, and Mr. Bright-politicians of the most opposite views — declared in Parliament that if these attacks were continued, it would be impossible to preserve peace between England and France. These attacks were not levelled so much at the people of France as at the head of the chief personage in the State; but the French nation felt insulted when their monarch was assailed, though they might have serious grounds of dissatisfaction with him themselves. It is the same with every nation. We are just as much inclined to praise and glorify our own institutions as the Americans are their own, and we quote with avidity from foreign journals whatever contributes to our own self-esteem. This national vanity, so far from being censurable, is, within certain limits, to be respected and admired, and as we so largely indulge in it ourselves, we ought at least to make a liberal al lowance for those who follow our example, and, it may be, exceed it.--European Times, Aug. 17.


An English comment on English criticism.

The battle of Bull Run has produced an extraordinary effect upon our English asses. Ever since the news arrived they have been lifting up their voices in one huge bray, and there is no telling when they will give over. It is not a bray of sympathy, of sorrow, or even of triumph. On the contrary, it is a highly moral bray, articulating lofty lessons for the advantage of all people, Englishmen especially. Yesterday we dealt with one of these big utterances, which had just been bellowed forth by the monarch of the race; to-day we pay our respects to the tamer creature which lowers its ears to the salutations of the dowager-duchesses and political flunkeys of Belgravia. Thus ruminates the Post: “A Democratic Republic which, for warlike purposes, raises one hundred millions sterling in one year, and which imposes an income tax on real and personal property, is certainly a model which Englishmen ought neither to admire nor imitate.” Now, is not this asinine? We appeal to our readers, whether this stupid effusion left us a choice of similitudes. It is purely and outrageously donkeyish. We were not aware that a Democratic Republic of any sort ought to be admired, or imitated by Englishmen. We are satisfied with our Constitution, asking only that it be perfected and developed in harmony with its native spirit. We are attached to our monarchy, and should start at the idea of exchanging the throne for a President's chair. Are we to infer that, if we could only obtain solid guarantees against extravagant expenditure, the Post would go in for a “Democratic Republic” ? But the sting of the objection is that this extravagant expenditure is raised for “warlike purposes,” --we as a people loving peace so well that we never spent and never will spend a stiver upon armaments. Why, the objection is disarmed in stating it. The “Democratic Republic” over the water was never more like ourselves than it is now. Yesterday it was thrifty, economical, raising a miserable revenue, denying itself the luxury of a standing army and navy, except on a scale ridiculously small. To-day it has an army almost as big as the Queen of England maintains for the defence of her wide dominions, and it is spending money on just such a lavish scale as we were only six years ago. The Americans and we are brethren at last; equally warlike, equally prodigal. Ah! but look at the burdens which this extravagant expenditure imposes upon the people. This Democratic Republic is actually levying an income tax on real and personal property! Wherein consists the grievance? Is it that the incidence of the tax is on income? or that personal property is taxed? or that real property is taxed? Well, we have the tax in all these shapes, and have had it these last eighteen years. Suppose, when the Russian war was at its height, some of our New York contemporaries had said: “A Constitutional Monarchy which, for warlike purposes, raises one hundred millions sterling in the year, and which imposes an income tax on real and personal property, is certainly a model which Americans ought neither to admire nor imitate” --what should we have said to the argument? Should we not have derided their pettifogging estimate of human interests, and held them up to contempt as a miserable race, incapable of sentiment, chivalry, and glory? Yet this is precisely what Englishmen are now told they ought to have said themselves. We do not wonder that Balaam struck his ass, if the animal he rode was half as stupid as ours.

Having been furnished with this new test, let us apply it by the aid of a few figures to the glorious Constitution under which it is our privilege to live. The raising of a hundred millions [124] for warlike purposes in a single year is the fact selected to excite our horror. Well, the reply is that we have done it again and again. In 1813 we raised and spent one hundred and eight millions, and one hundred and five millions the year after. For eleven years together, during the war with Napoleon, our average expenditure was not less than eighty millions per annum, and the aggregate of our expenditure for the fourteen years ending 5th January, 1816, was upwards of one thousand millions. Twenty-seven years before the commencement of that period we also had an American rebellion on our hands. The population of the United Kingdom was not half what it is now. The whole number of our colonists in America did not much exceed three millions, and they were separated from us by the breadth of the Atlantic; yet to suppress that rebellion we borrowed one hundred and two millions sterling, adding it to our permanent debt, besides the extra sums obtained by increased taxation from the people. At the beginning of the war with Napoleon, our national debt was two hundred and thirty-three millions; by the close of the war we had trebled it. Every farthing of this money was spent in war, and hundreds of millions besides, the accumulating debt being bound, like a millstone, round our necks forever. The Russian war shows that we have only to get our blood heated to be as extravagant as ever. In 1856 our expenditure was eighty-four millions, the year after nearly as much, and the whole expense of the war has been estimated at not less than one hundred millions. And what was the object for which we threw away such vast sums of money? The integrity of the Empire was not threatened. An insurgent host was not encamped within thirty miles of the capital. We were not called upon to wage a struggle for national existence, and to preserve intact the glorious traditions of our country. No, the object which aroused us to such sacrifices was a paltry dispute in a distant corner of Europe. We fought not for the integrity of the British Empire, but in defence of the Turks. If Englishmen are told that they ought not to admire a Democratic Republic which spends a hundred millions in maintaining its own existence, what attitude must they assume towards a Constitutional Monarchy which lately expended the same sum in fighting Mahometan battles? A model which, when exhibited by others, we are bound neither to admire nor to imitate, we are also bound to destroy if it should unluckily prove our own. Here is a task worthy of the flunkies of Belgravia. In the name of the Morning Post, upset these extravagant institutions, and give us, ye powdered heroes, a cheaper form of government! Why, at this moment we are raising seventy millions a year on the mere surmise and suspicion of possible hostilities, besides sanctioning an expenditure of ten millions more on fortifications. If a hundred millions raised under the instant pressure of war dooms one form of government to perdition, what shall we say of another government which spends eighty millions on the mere expectation that war may break out in a year or two?

The practical inference from the foregoing comparison is, that of all known forms of Government, a “Democratic Republic” is the best because it is the cheapest; and we presume the verdict in its favor will not be disputed because, though economical as a rule, it is nevertheless ready to spend money to any extent when necessity requires an exceptionally large expenditure. This is not our verdict, nor is it our belief, but it is a conclusion which flows irresistibly from the premises furnished by our assailants. On these principles we ought to pull down the British Constitution, since, with all its virtues, it is unquestionably the largest spending machine ever constructed by the wit of man. For ourselves, we deny altogether the relevancy of the facts to the conclusion which has been forcibly wrung from them. We deny that the merits of this or that form of Government can by any ingenuity be legitimately imported into the contest now waging in the United States. The law of self-preservation acts with equal force upon all Governments. They are made to live; they make no provision for their own sepulchre; when assailed either from within or from without, they will fight to the last to defend themselves against extinction. It is so with Governments of all shapes, autocracies, mixed monarchies, and republics. The inference to be drawn from the money expended and the sacrifices incurred by any Government in defending its existence against inward or outward foes, relates to its comparative strength or weakness, its vitality or decay. Applied in this manner, the extraordinary exertions which the Americans are putting forth prove the vigor of their patriotism, the depth of their attachment to the institutions under which they live, the benefits which they believe to have derived from then, and, so far, the excellence of the institutions themselves. The vast sum that has been voted for the service of the year is not exacted by a despot's decree, nor will it be dragooned from them by military force. It is their own free gift, granted in their name by representatives whom they have all had a share in electing, and the costliness of the offering measures the worth of the equivalent. The expenditure may be wise or foolish; that is a question fairly open to dispute; but on the principles common to all Governments, on the principles which we have uniformly recognized ourselves, we are bound to regard it with admiration as a splendid act of patriotism. If, however, it is to be branded as an act of political delinquency, we ought, in justice, to acknowledge ourselves far greater culprits; and if it binds us neither to admire nor imitate the form of government established in the United States, we must first stop to curse our own.--Manchester Post.


[125]

The blockade.

We believe that we are only stating a simple truth when we say that every dispute which has existed between this country and the United States, during the present century, has arisen from the susceptibilities of the American people with respect to some supposed invasion of their national dignity and rights. The war of 1812 was occasioned by the right of search — a question which the treaty of Ghent and the Ashburton capitulation alike left unadjusted. The affair of the Caroline, McLeod's trial, the Maine boundary and Oregon disputes, and the recent San Juan difficulty, (now happily forgotten), are all examples of the boastful and offensive spirit in which successive Presidents have endeavored to assert the national dignity and rights of the once great American people.

In the civil war which at present afflicts the United States the Cabinet at Washington has acted in strict conformity with public law, at least in intention, if not in actual practice. It has adhered to the declaration of neutral rights annexed to the Treaty of Paris, it has abolished the odious practice of privateering, and, in imitation of the policy of European nations, it has practically conceded belligerent rights to the enemy. It has not treated captured secessionists as traitors, but has extended to them the usual courtesies of war. The Southern authorities, on the other hand, have commissioned letters of marque, and these sea rovers, if the account be true, have proved in a very satisfactory manner that the Federal blockade, extending over a coast of more than two thousand miles, is only valid on paper. An American correspondent writing from Pensacola the other day, not only stated, but professed to give, the text of a letter in which Admiral Milne, the commander of the British squadron, had officially notified to the Admiralty that the blockade of the Southern ports was altogether ineffectual. On a former occasion we expressed a doubt whether so discreet and experienced an officer as Admiral Milne would have committed an act so obviously beyond the pale of his duty. The authoritative contradiction which has been given to this clever American fabrication was scarcely necessary, because everybody knows, as a matter of fact, that the Federal Government does not possess at present a naval force sufficient to close all the Southern ports from Virginia to Texas. All that it can hope to do is to blockade the most important points, such as the mouths of the Mississippi, and the great seats of the cotton export trade. We are, however, now informed that by means of gunboats, and other vessels of little draught, an attempt is to be made to enforce the entire line of blockade. If the Federal Government can accomplish this object, neutral nations will have no cause of complaint, because the blockade would then be effectual. If, on the other hand, the attempt should fail, merchant vessels would practically share in the immunity which the Southern privateers appear at present to enjoy. Of course it is extremely annoying to neutral commerce to be warned off the coast and compelled to return home, or to sail to New York or Canada, where the freight may be at a discount, and a return cargo cannot be obtained without a great sacrifice of time and money. But these are necessary evils which spring from a state of war; hard, we admit, to be endured by innocent parties; but so long as the action of the Federal Government is in conformity with public law, no one has a right to complain. When the American courts condemn foreign vessels for the breach of a mere paper blockade, the intervention of diplomacy will then be requisite, but at present no case has occurred either to merit or command the interference of neutral Powers. If Admiral Milne had made the report which has been attributed to him, the Federal Government would have a just right of complaint, because questions of the validity of blockades are not within the jurisdiction of an admiral commanding a squadron in the neighboring seas, but belong to those great courts which, either in belligerent or neutral countries, administer the law of nations. Knowing and fully appreciating the feelings with which the people of America regard every expression of foreign opinion, we are, upon the whole, glad that this idle story has received not only timely but official contradiction. If Admiral Milne had volunteered the statement which has been attributed to him, the Northern people, who are not likely to be much pleased with English criticism and comments upon the recent battle of Bull Run, would say that England preferred the pursuit of cotton to the obligations of honesty and fair play. As Lord Palmerston at the commencement of the contest stated, every question of neutral rights must be decided when a fitting case arises. This contingency has not yet arrived; and if the Federal Government can succeed in efficiently maintaining so enormous a blockade, it will in all probability never occur. It is the duty of this country, in the terms of her Majesty's declaration, to observe strict and impartial neutrality. For simply doing this England has been abused and vilified by the Northern press, and Canada was to be annexed to compensate for the loss of the South. We can afford to despise all this ludicrous and impotent malice, but as happily we have hitherto escaped all difficulties about American native dignity and rights, let us leave the two contending parties to fight their battles as best they may, without the slightest interference or even advice on our part. If the blockade be ineffectual, neutral commerce will comparatively suffer little injury; if effectual, the first principles of public law tell us that we must obey with a good grace, however disagreeable the restriction may be for one great staple of British industry and British wealth.--London Post, (Government Organ,) Aug. 14.

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