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
. 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
, 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
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
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
, 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.
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