France and England are not the close and confidential allies they were a few years ago. The orders which the French press has received to say that the alleged cession of the Sonora district to France is a manœuvre of the English journals to excite sentiments of hostility in North America against French policy and Maximilian's empire, and to avert the danger which threatens England in the direction of Canada by making a diversion,--these orders are significant. The late harmonious firm of Napoleon, Palmerston & Co. is evidently threatened with dissolution. The partners are bidding against each other for North American favor, and preparing each to do business on his own account.

There never was much love or confidence between these ancient enemies and recent friends. The temporary alliance for self-preservation against Russian encroachments did not contemplate nor provide for possibilities like those which have been developed by the American war. The two have pulled uncomfortably together since that war arose. Napoleon, who was long ago solicitous to have the co-operation of England in American intervention, received the cold shoulder, and has ever since been pursuing his own course. It is quite in keeping with the craft and subtlety of the British Government to use all manner of underhand means to circumvent and embarrass him, and he has let them know that he is aware of the fact.

The puissant and invincible United States will soon be called upon to decide which of those two effete and impotent European Powers the great and terrific American Eagle shall lift out of its boots. The two together, at the same moment, might be too heavy a weight for the Eagle, great and irresistible as he is.--Perfectly happy would he be with either, "were the other dear charmer away."--One at a time is as much as he can recommend to his digestion. One, let us say, for breakfast, and the other for dinner. Between meals he might regale himself with a snack of Cuba. As disinterested friends of all parties, we venture to suggest to our late friend, the Eagle, some views upon the election which he will be called upon to make, that we trust may meet his magnificent consideration.

Our advice then is, that, before picking out the animal which he proposes to make meat of as soon as he has picked the bones of the Southern Confederacy, he lay aside his well-known magnanimity, and disdain of all voracious instincts, and feed upon that game which has been most mischievous to himself in times past, and which has grown fat and lusty upon his own peculiar prey. In plain words, if the United States has an intelligent view of its own interests, it will get England out of its way before devoting its energies to any abstractions like the Monroe Doctrine. These will keep for awhile, and can be attended to hereafter. In the meantime, the French occupation of Mexico can neither be injurious to the commercial nor political power of the United States.--Whereas, if she goes to war with France about the barren sceptre of Maximilian, her old commercial rival and unforgiving enemy--Great Britain--will have another harvest to her shipping interests in the long and destructive struggle that will ensue between France and the United States upon sea and land — a struggle from which both combatants will come out with ruined commerce and bankrupted finances, whilst England will be overflowing with wealth, strength and resources of every kind, and fully prepared to victimize the United States either by arts or arms, as shall seem most expedient. That little bill for the damages committed by English privateersmen, under the Confederate flag, can never be collected under such circumstances, nor any other of the long arrears which that Government has run up in this war.

We, outside barbarians, have no reason to be especially solicitous for the welfare of France. If England has been the priest who passed by the wounded man on the other side, France has been the Levite, who came and looked on him — and also passed by. We owe neither of these nations the slightest debt of gratitude. If England has withheld her recognition, so has France; so has even its petty potentate, Maximilian. Our ships have been detained in the harbors of both; our institutions have been in both the subject of misrepresentation and odium. But, looking at the two from a United States point of observation, there can be no hesitation in selecting that Power which American instincts of vengeance and interest combine to select as the first victim.--England is the traditional enemy, as France is the traditional friend, of the United States. Without her aid, it is doubtful whether American independence could have been finally achieved. France was openly and sincerely opposed to the dissolution of the American Union, and England brought about that dissolution by the cold-blooded and persistent intrigues of thirty years. France is neither the commercial, naval nor political rival of the United States. England is all and more. It is essential to her stability that Carthage must be destroyed; and the United States must choose between her own ultimate ruin and the ruin of England. The two Powers cannot live in the same world together.

We therefore advise the United States, if it shall feel disposed at the close of this war, which may possibly occur before the end of this century, to "gobble up" any European nation, to bestow its regards upon England. The Independent Confederacy will promise to stand off and see fair play. We propose to observe a rigid neutrality between the belligerents, and never so much as to offer our intervention or give our moral weight to either of the combatants.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (10)
France (France) (10)
Russian River (Alaska, United States) (1)
North America (1)
Mexico (Mexico, Mexico) (1)
England (United Kingdom) (1)
Cuba (Cuba) (1)
Canada (Canada) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Maximilian (3)
Napoleon (2)
Palmerston (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: