European News.From our late Northern files we continue to extract from the latest European intelligence as follows:
The American question — Attitude of France.The correspondent of the New York Times, writing from Paris, under date of Jan, 24th, says: ‘ The French Government has probably protested against the closing of the Southern ports with stones, but if it has, it is done in more becoming language than that employed by the English Foreign office, for the same purpose. In London they continue to write to Paris that the French Government is taking the lead in the matter of a recognition of the Confederacy, and declaration of the nullity of the blockade, while in Paris they write to London that it is the English Government which is taking the lead. The statement so often repeated, that in July last the French Government proposed a recognition to the English Government, continues to circulate uncontradicted, and yet it would be important to know what foundation there is for such a report. It would be difficult to say upon what fact or facts the irritation against us al Paris is cased. The commerce at Rouen and at Lyons is arrested, and a hundred thousand workpeople at least are now living on contributions from the Government and from private individuals; but to provoke a war with the people of the United States, or even the ill-will of its people, would not be a remedy, since we suppose that in such a contingency there would be a total prohibition of trade with France, and that while gaining the trade of eight millions of people, they would lose the trade of twenty millions--facts which the public men of France must perfectly comprehend. But the people seem to be irritated because of the inactivity or incompetency of the army, and the constant boasting about triumphs in perspective. They disapprove also of the sinking of obstructions in the ports of the South, on the general principle that it is an unnecessary abridgment of the resources which, nature has offered for increasing the world's riches. They are irritated, also, because the Government of Washington does not boldly declare the abolition of slavery. ’
The Emperor's source of information.The Paris correspondent of the London Star, writes as follows: ‘ It will, doubtless, be interesting to your readers to hear that the Emperor does not in any way consult these oracles on the subject, any more than does generally the public here. His Imperial Majesty, I can with the greatest confidence assert, derives much of his information on American subjects from an American gentleman with whom he is in the habit of conversing frequently on Transatlantic affairs, and who has lived so many years in Europe as to enable him to take a less prejudicial view of men, parties, and political events in America than he could under any other circumstances. Yesterday, this gentleman had the honor of being summoned to the Tuileries, where he was, in the course of a long interview with the Emperor, interrogated, with evident interest, about the probable effects on the Charleston harbor of the sinking of the granite blocks; the geographical features of the region round the Potomac, the probable chances of the Secessionist party succeeding in breaking up the Union, and more especially the parentage, education, character, and general antecedents of McClellan. The person of whom his Imperial Majesty demanded this information is acquainted thoroughly with the South and the coast line along the Southern States. He is a fellow-townsman of McClellan, was on intimate terms with the General's father, an Irish surgeon, who settled at Philadelphia, and who was noted for his kindness of heart, shrewdness of character, and straightforward, original manners, as well as his great success as a medical practitioner. Surgeon McClellan was also celebrated for the good advice he was in the habit of giving to the young folk of the city in which he lived, and gave, years age, to the gentleman who yesterday enlightened the Emperor as to his habits and manners, some that was followed, and by being followed brought in Europe a young and unknown American, after a few years steady industry, to a position honorable in the highest degree. After listening to the history of the respectable old Irish emigrant, who, His Majesty was also informed, from the rapid manner in which he performed the old-fashioned operation on those afflicted with the Dolores was nicknamed ‘"Core tic doloreux instanter,"’the conversation turned to the Commander-in-chief of the United States army. If Napoleon was not already aware that Gen. McClellan was trained in the art of war at the military academy of West Point, and in the Crimean war with the ‘"Jeunesse strangere,"’ which attached itself to the French army, he was on this occasion informed of it, as well as the high probity and unflinching strength of character which, irrespective of great intellectual qualities, would be sufficient to mark him out as one of the leading men in the American Union. Circumstances illustrative of them were brought for ward, and the narrator of the previous history of the Commander-in-Chief of the Federal army, with an honest pride, laid great emphasis on the fact, that if his parents were not obscure, they were the opposite of illustrious, in the sense generally attached to that word. The conversation then turned upon Charleston harbor. His Imperial Majesty seemed to blame the recent course of the Federal Government in relation to it, and said, if I remember rightly, that France would not think it necessary to pursue such a course were it at war with a neighbor. ’
Messrs. Mason and Slidell left Fort Warren, at Boston, where they had been, confined, on the 1st of January, the first intimation of their release being conveyed to them by the arrival of a tipstaff to tell them to go out of their prison. Mr. Slidell asked him for his papers, to show his authority for the course he was taking. The tipstaff replied that he had none, on which Mr Slidell declined to leave; but he at length yielded to the solicitations of Col. Dymock, the commandant of the fortress, who begged him to go, as he knew the man, and that no papers could be produced. The four prisoners were taken from Fort Warren in charge of the tipstaff and six marines, without any officer, and conveyed forty miles in a steam tug to Cape Sable, where they were transferred to Her Majesty's gunboat Rinaldo, Captain Hewitt, which was lying off to receive them. The Rinaldo bore up for Halifax for four days, and was then driven by the violence of the storm that was raging to Bermuda They all landed at Bermuda, and remained there one day. Admiral Milue ordered the Rinaldo to take them on to St. Thomas to catch the mail steamer for England, offering the Commissioners, however, if they preferred it, to send them on in Her Majesty's ship Racer, but they expressed themselves well satisfied with the Rinaldo, and accordingly proceeded in her. She left Bermuda on the 10th inst., and arrived at St., Thomas on the 14th, about two hours before the Fleta sailed for this port. The health of the prisoners has not suffered in any way by their confinement in Fort Warren, although they describe both the prison and the treatment they received as being very bad. Capt. Hewitt, of the Rinaldo, did everything in his power to testify the kindly feelings of the British Government towards the prisoners, and to promote their comfort on board his ship; and they speak in the same manner of the behavior and conduct of all the British officers, both of the naval and merchant service, with whom they have come in contact. Mr Slidell left here by the 11.30 A. M. Train for London, whence he proceeds to Paris, where Mrs. Slidell and family are awaiting his arrival. Mr. Mason followed by the 2 o'clock train, a telegram having been received from Captain Pegram, who is in London, that he would wait there to meet him. There was a considerable crowd of persons collected on the dock-quay when the Plata came alongside, as, indeed, there always is on the arrival of a West India mail steamer, and the number was undoubtedly increased as the news spread that Mason and Slidell were on board — curiosity to see the four men whose case has figured so prominently before the world during the last two months, and who are said by the Times to have cost this country a million sterling apiece, having drawn some people to the spot. There was, however, not the least attempt to get up any sort of demonstration on the part of the spectators; not a cheer was raised, and when the released prisoners left the Plata they passed on shore, and to their hotel, just as any ordinary passengers. Some of the officers of the Nashville waited upon Messrs Mason and Slidell to pay their respects, immediately on the arrival of the Plata. ’
Reward's letter to Smith O'Brien.
Mr. Dear Sir.
William H. Seward.
To Smith O' Brien, Esq., Killiney, county Dublin, Ireland.