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English opinion of American affairs.[From the London Herald — Opposition organ.] If the tone of the American press, in discussing President Lincoln's massage, is undecided and halting, the English public will readily be excused for not jumping at once, to a conclusion respecting its merits as the programme of the policy of the United States Government, the honesty of its purpose, and the possibility of its realization. The secret seems to have been well kept to the last moment, and the effect of its publication, we can readily imagine, must have been electric. But when the first surprise was over, and the American mind had time to look through the imposing grandeur of the scheme propounded, to its practical object, many doubts and some suspicions must have arisen as to the reality of its aim. Our Transatlantic cousins have the true nobility of Republicanism, and they are not strangers to those great impulses which sometimes alter the destiny of nations. It is natural to expect, therefore, that a glow of enthusiasm may have kindled in the breasts of some millions of Northerners when this prospect of concluding a fratricidal strife by a noble act of self-sacrifice opened upon them, and that even when the first blush of excitement is past there will still be found men ready to approve and carry out the President's policy. But let us look calmly at this tremendous project. It is a proposition to buy up four millions of slaves, at a cost to the United States of some £400,000,000 or £00,000,000 sterling. When the Parliament of this country, in the cause of humanity, voted £20,000,000 to the emancipation of the slaves in British colonies, the world was astonished. They could not comprehend the unheard-of generosity. They sought for some carriers peaces to explain it away. Multiply this £30,000,000 by 40, conceive a Government utterly bankrupt, afraid to impose a heavy taxation, and engaged in the costliest war that was ever waged, proposing this prospective expenditure as a means of reconstructing the Union, terminating the war, and at the same time abolishing slavery as an institution. The world may stand against at the very conception of such a sacrifice, and prudence compels us to be chary of our approval, however much the originality of the design may command our admiration. Is the President in earnest? Does he really propose this gigantic measure as a solution of all the difficulties which are now overwhelming the Government and the people of the United States; or does he put it forward as a device to detach the border States from the Southern cause, and to gain for the North the sympathies of the world? His mode of introducing it is cautious in the extreme. Its operation is to be gradual; the scheme is only initiatory. But its application is universal; every slaveholder in the South is to be invited to get rid of his slaves. All the States in common are to co-operate and form a common fund to buy up his "human chatties" at a fair valuation. It seems to us that the greatest danger to the success of the proposition would be its immediate acceptance by the South. This is obviously not contemplated. It is a gradual process that is desired. But whether is be effected in one year or twenty years, the sum which it will cost will not be diminished. In fact, the longer it is delayed the costlier will be the redemption; and, for the sake of the reconstructed Union, if it is to be resoldered, the sooner the purchase is completed the better. Where, then, is the purchase-money to come from? From taxation? But the sources of taxation are already dried up. North and South are impoverished. And it requires more faith in human nature, and especially Transatlantic human nature, than we possess, to believe that, for the sake of emancipating the "niggers," and placing millions of acres in the Southern States on a per with the desolated plantations of our West Indian colonies, the population of the North will undergo such a burden. The hope of raising a sufficient fund by taxation is plainly fallacious. It must be obtained by loans. But the Americans have no money to lend. The Government have no adequate security to offer even to native capitalists, and the idea of borrowing anything like the sums required from foreign sources cannot be seriously entertained. But, supposing the capital to be forthcoming, could is be so applied with success? Would the offer to purchase the slaves at a fair price bring back the South into the Union? The whole weight of evidence is against such a supposition. It is not in the midst of a strite such as is now wracking the South with fire and sword that the voice of conciliation will be listened to. And, we believe, if the question of slavery could, by any possibility, be eliminated from the problem now pressing for solution in America, the South would still remain as resolute in its hostility to any reunion with the Northern States as it was twelve months ago. No doubt slavery lies at the bottom of the deadly hate of these two sections of the American people. But it is not for their slaves that the South is now fighting. It is fighting for independence, for its rights, for rights which the Constitution elaborated by the fathers of the Republics consecrated to it, and for honor, and to suppose that the Union can be rebuilt over the prostrate necks of a people tracing back to English Aires their hatred of tyranny, cherishing the traditions which Englishmen are proud of, and resolutely bent on accomplishing their freedom from a despotism as black as any the Old World can show, is to ignore history. We believe, then, that President Lincoln's project is not feasible. The North cannot, the South will not, accept it. Both sides will, we believes, regard it as a dishonoring compromise. By the North it will be looked upon as a humiliating concession in the hour of victory; by the South as a ruse to detach the border States, to create disunion in its councils, and to pave the way for its subjugation. There is no mistaking the alternative the President offers. "War," he says, "has been and continues to be, an indispensable means to the preservation of the Union. If resistance continues, the war must also continue, and it is impossible to foresee all the incidents which may attend and all the ruin which may follow it: Such as may seem indispensable or may obviously promise great efficiency towards ending the struggle must and will come. The words are bold and the meaning is clear. If the South will not sell the slaves, the North will free them; a servile war is lately in contemplation, and the sanguinary anticipations of the Abolitionists may yet be fulfilled. The South, however, is not yet cowed. It has made great sacrifices: it will make greater still. The resisting efforts which have been opposed to the conquering armies of the North in the border States will be redoubled in the slave States. Flourishing towns may disappear, and the great garden of the South may be devastated. But at the present hour there is no flinching. What would the Union be worth, and how long would it last, if it could be reconstructed over the embers of a hatred so intense as that which animates the Southerner in his desperate struggle against the overwhelming odds brought against him?
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