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The benevolent solicitude of the manufacturing and commercial men of England, for the continuance of the war in America, which was so agreeably relieved by intelligence of the successful resistance of Fort Fisher to Admiral Porter's first assault, must be once more painfully excited by the subsequent intelligence. The fall of Fort Fisher will be aggravated by the first news of the coming of a Peace Commission to Fortress Monroe. We could not wish our worst enemy more bitter pangs than those which are, perchance, while we write, torturing the hearts of the merchant princes of London and the lords of the loom in Manchester. War, with all its blessings,--as to English commerce and manufactures — is threatening to recede from the western horizon, and Peace, with all its horrors, darkening the sky. The probability that a hundred thousand men will not be killed in America this year, and a hundred thousand homes clothed in mourning, is enough to break their benevolent hearts. We doubt whether Palmerston or Russell will sleep a wink from the time they hear that a Peace Commission has started from Richmond till they learn that it has ended in a perfect failure. What would become of them if every two weeks they could not announce that "Her Majesty's Government sees no reason to depart from the course of rigid neutrality which it marked out for itself at the beginning of these unhappy differences, and that the time for intervention has not yet arrived" ?

We envy them the exquisite relief of their agonizing suspense which the next steamer from America will bring. Perhaps, some day, the rest of the world will be permitted to indulge a like philanthropical satisfaction over affairs in England. We know it is improbable at present; but stranger things have happened. The English cannot imagine that England will ever be ruined and conquered, and for no other reasons, as one of their wittiest writers has said, but because it seems so very odd it should be ruined and conquered. Austrians, Russians and Prussians have had the same conceit, and had it taken out of them. England has now enjoyed more than the usual allowance of peace. A period has elapsed, since she was disturbed by internal war, as long as that which Rome enjoyed after the battle of Actium. For three hundred years after that event Rome was as solid and undisturbed as the corner-stone of a granite monument. The tempests of war only raged on the remote limits of the mighty empire; the Roman spear and shield were unseen in the streets of the "Eternal City," except in the gay pageantries of triumph. On one occasion, when a gust of alarm, out of all proportion to the cause, was raised by an insurrection in the East, "Hush, ye palpitations of Rome !" was the message of Aurelian from the distant deserts of the Euphrates. "We have chased, we have besieged, we have crucified, we have slain." And Rome sunk back upon her luxurious pillows, and the wings of Peace fanned her into voluptuous repose. I would have seemed very odd indeed to a Roman of that day, with his country's foot on the neck of the world, to imagine that Rome would be ever ruined and conquered.

We know that the English are brave, and we have heard often enough that they will make a heroic defence when their time comes. This is no more than the world has a right to expect. The Confederacy, which has been furnishing a gladiatorial display for England's entertainment for the last four years, is also brave, and her courage has given the English spectators special satisfaction. Fighting, bleeding, dying, sword in hand, and with a smile of stern defiance upon their lips, the conduct of our Confederate gladiators has drawn down Bravo after Bravo, and Encore after Encore, from all parts of the amphitheater. We have a right then to insist that, when England's turn comes, we shall not be swindled. We confess that we are not without some misgivings on the subject. Sidney Smith once said: ‘"As for the spirit of the peasantry, in making a gallant defence behind hedge-rows and through plate-racks and hen-coops, highly as I think of their bravery, I do not know any nation in Europe so likely to be struck with panic as the English; and this from their total unacquaintance with the science of war. Old wheat and beans blazing for twenty miles round; cart mares shot; sows of Lord Somerville's breed running wild over the country; the minister of the place wounded solely in his hinder parts; all these scenes of war an Austrian or a Russian has seen three or four times over; but it is now three centuries since an English pig has fallen in a fair battle upon English ground. The old edition of Plutarch's Lives, which lies in the corner of your parlor window, has contributed to work you up to the most romantic expectations of our Roman behavior. You are persuaded that Lord Amherst will defend Kew Bridge like Coelas, and some maid of honor break away from her captivity and swim over the Thames. I hope we shall witness all this, if the French do come; but, in the meantime, I am so enchanted with the ordinary English behavior of these invaluable persons that I earnestly pray no opportunity may be given them for Roman valor, and for those very un-Roman pensions which they would all, of course, take especial care to claim in consequence."’

If the Rev. Sidney Smith is a true prophet, we shall never have half the fun out of England that she has had out of the Confederacy. Medicated with the drugs of a long peace, she will not be able to make even a respectable fight when the long,-dead lull of three centuries generates the tornado.

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