American affairs in London.
speeches of Mr. Adams
, Federal Minister, and Lord Palmerston at the Lord Mayer
At the Lord Mayor
's dinner, on the 9th of November, the following speeches were made:
Remarks of the Lord Mayor.
I have now to propose to you the health of a distinguished body of men, whose mission is the loftiest which can be committed to any class.
To the gentlemen whose health I am now about to propose is committed the charge of preserving the peace of the world.
I allude to the diplomatic body.
But for their exertions, their talents, tact and ability, there have been hundreds of occasions during the last fifty years in which we might have been involved in war. We have here to-night several gentlemen, the elite
of their respective countries, chosen for their great ability and knowledge, who are sent here to represent their respective countries, to negotiate all questions difficult or easy, to save us from that resource which would land us in great calamities.
I am about to associate with this toast the name of a gentleman whose mind must necessarily, under the circumstances, be occupied much with the affairs of his own country, which unhappily is at this moment in a condition to require the sympathies of the world.
In no country will those sympathies be yielded more readily than in this.
[Cheers.] I need not say I allude to America.
I will associate with this toast the name of the American Minister
, and I can assure him — taking on myself, for the moment to be the exponent of the feelings and sentiments of this great city, over which I have the honor to preside — I can assure him of the entire sympathy of the citizens of London
, and I think I may say of the whole British people.
I can assure him that our most earnest desire is to see the day when those difficulties, which we hope are only temporary, shall be entirely eradicated from the soil of that great and free country, [Loud cheers.]
My Lord Mayer, Ladies and Gentlemen:
--In behalf of my brethren of the Corps Diplomatic
, I desire to express our grateful thanks for the compliment which you have paid it. I take pride in being a member of that body, not for any trifling distinction it may give me, but because it opens an opportunity for doing good.
Whatever may have been said of diplomacy, it has ever seemed to me one of the great inventions of modern times.
Its mission is to preserve peace.
In antiquity, the quarrels of nations were immediately followed by war. The sword was the only negotiation, the victorious chieftain commonly ended by dictating terms of humiliation to his fallen enemy.
All this has been materially changed, now that negotiation always precedes war, and very often averts it altogether.
Indeed, it may safely be said that the chain of relations established by diplomacy furnishes perpetual means for the restoration of friendly feeling between nations.
When they are rushing into a state of mutual tradition, either accidentally or by the agency of ill-tempered mischief-makers on both sides, (for such people will always be found in every community,) then is felt the value of an authorized agency ever present to explain mistakes, to correct misapprehensions, and to retract errors in season — to check the growth of the trouble and restore good feeling.
In these latter days few Governments go to war for the mere love it. The prodigious exhaustion it soon brings on, not less than the growing influence of public opinion throughout the civilized world, teaches a lesson of patience and forbearance that gives full play for the active intervention of a wise negotiator.
A friendly voice may then soothe the waves in the midst of their agitation, and then reduce the surface once more to sunny calm.
[Cheers.] There is, moreover, another beneficial change of a still later date, which I will take the liberty to notice as having happened to the diplomacy of nations.
Not a great while ago it had the reputation of being tricky and false — of taking advantage of the secrecy with which it was conducted to play an unfair game.
The history of the past is filled with examples of eminent men, who considered it the height of merit to snow skill in outwitting their neighbors in negotiation.
Indeed, there is an anecdote told, of a very distinguished public character of the last age in France
— I know not with what justice — that such was the reputation he had obtained as an adept in deception in one part of his life, that from that time he made up his mind airways to tell the truth, being confident nobody would ever think of believing him, and that thus he might the better conceal his objects.
[A laugh.] Be this as it may, I prefer to appear from the old example of Prince Talleyrand, to a later one of a veteran diplomatise of your own country, who, after serving a long career of distinction abroad, has come back to enjoy the honors he has won so well in a green old age at home.
I allude to Lord Stratford do hedcliffe, [cheers,] who, in the testimony he gave before a committees of Parliament, recorded his deliberate opinion that the present practice in negotiation, so far as his experience went, was plain and straightforward, and in good faith; that there was little desire for secrecy merely as a screen for deception, and that most countries acted under a sense of their share of responsibility for honesty of conduct before the world.
I say that I prefer to adopt this later theory on my coming in as a member of the Diplomatic Corps
, because I should scarcely know how to act upon any other.
we are so used to speaking what we think — perhaps with too much freedom — and I have got into such a habit of it, I should not be fit to come to play my part here if I were expected by my employers to say what I did not mean.
[Cheers.] Permit me, then, to assure you that my main object has been, and is, to endeavor to continue and perpetuate the friendly relations that have so long existed between the two countries.
[Cheers.] Indeed I see the strongest reasons why they should never be changed.
[Cheers.] To be sure there are many points in which we materially disagree, and there will be people on both sides whose disposition will be to magnify them.
You do not approve our democracy; we do not appreciate your distinctions of rank.
You think us altogether too free and easy in our ways; we consider you as lar soon stiff and stately.
All this may be so, and yet so long as there is a broad ocean between us, there is no reason why we may not indulge our respective tastes without risk of difficulty.
On the other hand, I perceive many and vastly higher particulars in which we harmonize.
Surely it must be remembered that, with only the exception of the last eighty years, we claim to be joint heritors with you in all that is great and noble in your past history.
Every bold acroke for liberally, whether civil or religious, is matter of pride for us as it is for you. Magna Charla is a common landmark for us all. And it from this I turn to the field of literature or of science, where, I ask, is there a great name in England
which is not equally venerated in America
?. It was but the other day that I took a little trip to the banks of your little river Avon
, to visit the birth-place and the last resting-place of your great poet, and there I found on the record of the pilgrims who go to that shrine a proportion are from America
[Cheers] So, among philosophers, we know no greater guide than Bacon
, in science no higher authority than Newton
, and, if I may be permitted to come down to the limits of your own municipality of London
, there is not a street, nor an alley, nor a lane, which is not scrutinized with eagerness by my countrymen, on account of their associations with persons and events of which they can read at home in the historical or the library productions of the mother country.
[Cheers,] Neither is there a deed of heroism recorded here that does not elicit its tribute of applause in the remotest hamlet of the western hemisphere.
I have myself met with the story of Grace Darling
's courage stuck up in the small public room of an sun in an obscure American town; so the example of self-devotion of your Florence Nightingale
[Cheers] has raised the admiration and stimulated the ardor of imitation of many of my fair countrywomen, as it has done of her own. And perhaps I may be permitted here to make an allusion to a higher character, so far as to say that through the breadth of the United States
, from sea to sea, the name of Her Majesty, the Queen
, is held in the highest honor, [cheers.] not because she is a Queen — no, that's not the reason, for there have been many Queens whom we do not admire at all — but because, while a pattern of a daughter, and an example of a wife and a mother, she yet rules like a Christian Sovereign over a noble people.-- [Loud cheers.] It is, then, a community of descent, of language, of literature, of sympathy in all that is good, and noble and true, that teaches the lesson of harmony between our respective peoples.
I therefore cannot but echo the sentiment with which my Lord Mayor
did me the honor to accompany the mention of my name, and, glancing around to the various points where I see the word inscribed along these walls, I say, also, peace here peace there, peace everywhere.
Remarks of Lord Palmerston.
When Mr. Adams
resumed his seat, the Lord Mayor
gave as the next toast, ‘"The health of Her Majesty's Ministers,"’ which was acknowledged by Lord Palmerston, in a cursory reference to the political state of the country.
his Lordship closed by saying:
The condition of our revenue is altogether satisfactory, [cheers;] and, although circumstances beyond our control may threaten for a time to interfere with the full supplies of that article so necessary for the productive industry of the country, yet no doubt that temporary evil will be productive of permanent good, [cheers;] and we shall find in various quarters of the alone sure and certain and ample supplies, which will render us no longer dependent upon one source of production for that which is so necessary for the industry and welfare of the country--[Cheers.]
Gentlemen, when we look, without, we see no doubt, in many parts of Europe
stances which, if not dealt with by prudence and discretion, may lead to local disturbances, which I trust will not at least extend themselves to bring us within their range.
[Cheers.] On the other side of the Atlantic
we witness with the deepest affliction--[cheers] --with an affliction which no words can express--[cheers,--differences of the most lamentable kind among those whom we call our cousins and our relations.
[Cheers] It is not for us to pass judgment upon these disputes; it is enough for us to offer a fervent prayer that such differences may not be of long continuance, and that they may speedily be succeeded by the restoration of harmony and of peace.
The London times on the speeches.
indulges in the following polished irony upon the foregoing cunning discourses of the two diplomatic old foxes:
[From the London Times.]
There was nothing warlike about the speech of Mr. Adams
, and, as he took great pains to tell us that it was wrong to suppose diplomatists ever say the thing which is not, we are bound to believe that he is fully empowered to meet with cordiality all those peaceful sentiments which seemed to fill the Guildhall last Saturday.
In some most important respects, Mr. Adams
's speech might have been made five years ago. There is not one word about civil war, or battles on the Potomac
, or blockade of Southern ports.
He does not even tell us that there are some bad fellows among his countrymen, or advise us to have no intercourse with them.
We ought to congratulate ourselves on this, for Mr. Adams
assures us that the only fault possible to be attributed to American diplomacy is that it might sometimes be thought too open, free and careless; so that if there had been anything of the least importance likely to arise out of those matters he would not have entirely omitted them.
's speech was so highly complimentary that we could wish America could speak more frequently to us by the mouth of her Minister, and never at all in the tone common to her press and Secretary of State
. Mr. Adams
ran through our whole history, from Prince Arthur to Florence Nightingales, and claimed to annex it all. We are only delighted to find from Mr. Adams
, speaking in all his candor, that we are on such excellent terms, and that, a between us and America
, the civil war and the blockade are Literally not worth mentioning.
Nor does Lord Palmerston give us less promising hopes that all the value tablets in the Goldhall will be prophetic of national tranquility.
Lord Palmerston yielded not a jot to any. one present as a peace lover.
He was anxious for peace even with his political opponents, and seemed to took about in vain for some hero of the opposite faction on whom to bestow his affections; he adopted all the tablets and images as emblems of the state of feeling of the country, and raised no possibility of war, except against some, happily only, so far as we know, imaginary, ‘"persons who may wish, with rude and profane steps, to disturb the peace and tranquility which reigns."’ Let us, then, be confident and at peace.
Looking abroad upon the world in the cool morning, it may seem to some of us that men grow sanguine after dinner, and that it is scarcely a time to sleep too soundly.
If, however, the world will consent to be at peace, the world may be well assured that England
will not break it.
[From the London Herald
Would Lord Palmerston travel as far as Lancashire
and hear what the mill owners say about the hard times that are in store for their operatives and themselves, he might be inclined to speak of the that threaten the North
as something scarcely summed up in the conventional phrase ‘"a temporary evil."’ Doubtless, the time will arrive when Indian cotton will supply the gap now created by the American
war. But never was the old proverb, ‘"While the grass is growing the seed is starving,"’ more literally illustrated than in the present dearth of cotton.
Twenty millions of bates this time next year will not make up for the misery to which the industrial populations of our great towns in the North
seem doomed during the early months of the ensuing year.
The question of the blockade considered
[From the Court
We have the best source of information to warrant us in positively asserting that at the last Cabinet Council the question of the propriety of breaking the blockade of the South American ports was discussed, when it was agreed that no countenance could be given to such a proceeding.