« ПредишнаНапред »
come. As with Austria, so with Prussia and people of the United States, then and Denmark, experience shows the pro- does that of Mr. Cobden or Mr. Duliy per course to be one of straightforward set forth the opinions of the British indifference. They will take their re- people. We were wrong in the affair spective parts on either side as circum- of the foreign enlistments, and having stances may determine, and not until confessed to the fact, by the word of neutrality shall cease to be profitable our foreign minister, there is an eod or possible. The adhesion of Sweden of it. But late arrivals from America to the alliance, and the change in the bring statements that “it is a fixed character of the war that would effect, fact that a new ambassador is to be sent would, in all likelihood, soon bring by Russia to Washington, and that be about a condition of affairs which would will bring, besides his regular crsrender it easy to deal with the Prussian dentials, a confidential communication and the Dane. Until then they may from the Czar, of the most important be safely left to the perplexing opera- character, relative to the terms en tion of their own reflections upon the which alone Russia will consent to s dangers of indecision, which would peace. Russia mediated between Great probably be sped, to their own and to Britain and the United States, and the public advantage, by a practical now the United States may mediste hint now and then that a profession of between Russia and the Allies. She neutrality confers no privilege of aiding does not ask American mediation, but or injuring belligerents.
she will accept it, and will at once iaWe must now extend our vision dicate her terms, which, as I [s across the Atlantic to examine for a Washington correspondent of the New moment that cloud in the West, which York Herald] stated in a former comhas recently risen into view. Brother munication, will embrace such vast Jonathan is not satisfied, it would commercial advantages for all the seem, with the brisk trade he has world, that the industrial classes of driven, in munitions of war, with all France and England will clamour for the belligerents, under cover of the their acceptance as soon as they are doctrine of " free ships, free goods;" generally understood.” We also hear but he must also aspire to the charac- of great doings, in the way of byeter of a mediator, and qualify for that play, between the Russian and Ameoffice by assuming an air of swagger- rican ministers, at the respectable ing, fussy importance. This aspira- court of Athens, and of a negociation tion has been quickened by the ap- that is on foot for the cession of the proach of the presidential election, volcanic island of Milo to the United which seems to require for its proper States. It is not impossible that the conduct a grand melodramatic specta- Americans may so far disregard the cle of a terrific combat, in which the precepts of Washington, as to covet stars and stripes shall be waved the possession of this standing-room triumphantly over some real or ima- for intermeddling in the broils of the ginary foe. An opportunity, too, bas old world. But as the island, although been unfortunately given for parading only thirteen miles long, possesses an the union-jack on the boards, by the excellent bay, and contains large supblunder of the Foreign Enlistment plies of iron, alum, sulpbur, and salt, Act, and the unwarrantable proceed- it is not likely that the Western ings taken under its provisions. A Powers, who are now the acting trusmighty noise has, therefore, been made, tees of the kingdom of Greece, will and too much notice has probably permit its alienation. It is too distant been taken of it by the prominent and in too dangerous a neighbourhood organs of British opinion. Mr. Ca- to suit the filibusters, and we must be leb Cushing, the Attorney - General permitted to doubt that the President of the United States, has penned a and Congress have so far lost their vast amount of vulgar fustian, which senses as to make such an object an has been answered, also in the Cam- excuse for national war. byses' vein, by the Times, in apparent posed Russian embassy and its objects forgetfulness of the fact, that Mr. it is unnecessary to speak, until we Cushing fills no international political shall be further informed respecting position, and that his raving no more them; but as braggart words may ocexpounds the views of the Government casionally lead to blows, contrary to
Of the pro
the intent of those who use them, it within the fortified ports of the Baltic, may not be amiss to state how the case that of America existing chiefly in her really stands as to a war between Great forests-tbe enormous commercial ma. Britain and America. The idea is ab. rine of the United States would fall an horrent to every feeling of the British easy prey to the allied squadrons. heart; and so united in this sentiment The days of Paul Jones, or even of are all classes of the British people, that the frigates of the last war, have gone we verily believe nothing short of ac- by; those of countless merchantmen, tual violation of our flag would force us bearing the wealth of American citi. to engage in the unnatural conflict. It
zens, safely in peace, helplessly in is the beart, nevertheless, that is our war, over every sea, have come in their main counsellor in this matter, and it stead. These are simple, intelligible is possible for the head to advise very facts. We state them in no desire to differently. It is, in our opinion, cause irritation. Our words breathe no scarcely doubtful that the one-sided threatenings. We are convinced that neutrality of the United States is pro- no respectable American—we may even ductive of more injury to the Allies say no American in a prominent public than could attend their open hostility. position-contemplates war with France A single sentence, in which The New and England; but they may not know York Journal of Commerce explains the the whole truth as to British feelings demand for saltpetre that has recently and views, and a knowledge of it may sprung up in America, will show how
suggest to them the reasoning suitable the neutrality system now works. for them to use with desperadoes of " The invoices," says the journalist, the stamp of Mr. Caleb Cushing. " of this contraband article now on And while we are looking out be. the way from England to Boston, as yond the Atlantic, we must not fail to already stated, have been shipped under turn a passing glance upon Canada. bonds not to be reshipped to Europe; A few months since we called attenbut they will supply the place of direct tion to the remarkable material proinvoices originally destined for con. gress of that colony, and to its cordial sumption here, and the latter will be relations with home. We have heard sent to Germany for Russian use." since of the truly loyal spirit in which Were the Allies at war with Ameri. they hailed the great achievement of ca, and linked in an offensive and de
If, then, it be true, as has fensive alliance with Sweden, the Bal- been alleged, that the Canadians oftic might be hermetically closed. We fered their services, in complete colo. should have no more Samuel H. Apple- nial regiments, at the seat of war, tons slipping into Riga with a cargo may we not ask why was the offer disof revolvers and other Yankee war. regarded ? May we not hope that the notions, in the early spring, before failure of the stupid experiment of foBritish caution would try the ice with reign enlistment will teach the Govern our screw steamers ; not a pound of ment to repair, as far as possible, the any article contraband of war need be double error they committed in insulto suffered to pass to the enemy's frontiering British citizens, by declining to refrom the seaboard. It is consideration ceive them into the ranks of the army, for (if they like it better, fear of) the and in drawing on quarrels with other United States, and not any delicacy states, by an unsuccessful endeavour towards Prussia, Denmark, Holland, to recruit their ranks with vagrant foBelgium, or the other European ma- reigners, who even in the class of offi. ritime states, that has influenced the cers find their place, as deserters and great powers to forbeår so long from robbers, in the police-courts of Lonstopping the supplies of Russia, or to don?* continue so patiently fighting with But it is time that we should turn their own hands bound. On the other our eyes homeward, and review the side, in the present relative position of circumstances of the central position the naval power of the world—the fleet from which we have been examining of Russia being at the bottom of the this extended field of political action. harbour of Sebastopol, or cooped up And bere, again, although we may
* See proceedings at Thames Police Court, in Dublin Evening Mail, Nov. 7, 1855.
have occasion to point out defects and suspicion of being influenced by hos. laches, it is now our good fortune to tility to his Government, in the few see matters in a somewhat brighter comments we propose to make upon its light than has usually shone upon them proceedings in the way less of criticism of late. The nation remains unchang- than of friendly suggestion. ed in opinion in regard to the great It is a prevalent, but we believe very question of the day. The popular in. ill-founded notion, that Englishmen of stinct still perceives that the way to the high official class have the means of peace is to be found in a vigorous and acquiring, and do actually possess, the effectual prosecution of the fullest information attainable in rela. Among the people, notwithstanding tion to their proper business of Govern. the grievous burdens under which they ment, and as to the popular estimate Jabour, there is no change ; but the entertained of themselves and their Government no longer sets itself be. policy, which is the basis of their pubfore the world as the unwilling agentlic position. Credit for such valuable of the popular will. It is said, and knowledge is sometimes power. Thus, there is some reason to fear too truly, when an obvious blot in a ininister's that neither Court nor Cabinet is yet game is hit-when it is seen by every altogether free from the leaven of Ger. one that he had no plan or a bad one, man, if not of Russian, leanings; but and that his action was feeble or too there is homage to public opinion in the late—he is yet able to hold his ground significant facts, that the statesman under the shelter of the general belief, who, but a few years ago, was dis. that he must bave had a design bid missed from the Queen's service for under his apparent imbecility, only it the crime of having rendered himself was too deep to be understood by the distasteful to foreign despots, is now at uninitiated. “Be sure he is not the fool the head of the ministry; and that the you take him for,” is the common minister who, on that occasion, became formula in which a minister is accorded the ready agent in his colleagues' de- another trial. Thus Lord Aberdeen gradation from office, has been removed was encouraged in a course which from public life. That Lord Palmer- every man in the country saw, and, in ston is sincere in his declared intention, common conversation, most men said, to go heartily and fully with the nation was leading inevitably to war, and yet, in its determination not to sheathe the no doubt, he was in complete ignorsword until a safe, honourable, and ance of the public judgment upon his lasting peace shall be insured, we can policy, and very probably does not yet see no reason to doubt.
know it. In all likelihood be still in. should any mental reservation have agines, with Mr. Gladstone, * that the lurked beneath the words in which he nation was madly desirous of war, and made that declaration before the as. that he only endeavoured to restrain a sembled citizens of London, the cheers paroxym of rage, the very violence of that then encouraged him, and still which ensured its speedy subsidence. more plainly the hisses that saluted The simple truth is that the people Lord John Russell, must have told were, to a man, sincerely anxious for him the time for hesitating and faltering peace ; but seeing farther and clearer was past. Onward he must go, boldly, than the ministers, they perceived that or fall ignominiously from what he it could not be obtained by humbly himself describes as one of the noblest suing for it. Events have shown that positions to which a high-minded man the people were right, and that Lord can aspire. It is the duty of every Aberdeen, Mr. Gladstone, and their honest citizen to support Lord Pal- peace-at-any-price colleagues, were merston in making good the pledges wrong ; but the indulgence of trial he gave at Guildhall; and supported after trial failed to bring those gentle. he assuredly will be if he prove true men to an acquaintance with the real to himself. Having thus frankly sentiments of the nation, until the basis stated our general view with respect to of public opinion, upon which alone a the minister, it will, we trust, be un. ministry can long stand, crumbled from necessary to clear ourselves from any under their feet. Has Lord Palmer
* See Mr. Gladstone's Lecture at Chester, in Spectator for Nov. 17, 1855.
ston profited by this example? If he port on Administrative Reform ; but has, he will know, and he will show that we will mention an instance or two in he knows, that to secure his position he point, not of gigantic malversations, but needs but to prove his fidelity to the of such blots as are continually hit in national idea, that peace must be con- the daily converse of the people. Thus quered by a repression of Russia with. we have heard a number of intelligent in safe boundaries, and to throw him- men, casually assembled together, pros self in full confidence upon the sense of nounce a unanimous verdict of " guilty the country He may thus attain to of intent to render war impossible," security from intrigues in the Court, against the minister, upon evidence divisions in the Cabinet, and factious which satisfied them that a case occurcoalitions in Parliament; and such is red in which military stores were carthe common opinion of all observant ried by waggon from the Tower to men, But having already premised Euston-square, thence by railway to that we see no reason to doubt the Liverpool, from Liverpool to Dublin sincerity of the Premier's confession by steamer, and then by railway, wagof faith at Guildhall, we may be asked gon, and boat to Cork, Queenstown, what further proofs can be required? and so on board a store-ship. The Those wbose sight and hearing are not statement is, we have reason to believe, dulled by the smoke and noise of Lon perfectly correct, and it involves the don will be at no loss to recognise, in charge of a public outlay of about £8 the answer to the question, the all but 10s. per ton, for a transit which could unanimous opinion of the public have been effected by a steamer that upon the principles that should at this plies regularly from the Tower wharf crisis direct a British Government and to Queenstown, at a cost of thirty shil. their judgment upon the practices of lings. In larger and more numerous the present administration.
circles more generally known facts are At the very root of the matter lies cited in support of a similar conclusion. the subject of public expenditure ; and Men find, for example, seven commisthe cheerfulness with which the people sioners on the Board of Inland Rehave submitted to the heavy pressure venue, which has been repeatedly acof the last two years, while it entitles knowledged to be over-manned, and them to be respectfully listened to, they see a vacancy in it filled up at ought not to be misunderstood. It is this time of public distress, and by an the will of the nation that the war individual whose appointment cannot should not be pinched ; but while they be considered in any other light than set no bounds to useful outlay, they ex- as a gross job. Only last month, a pect a war minister to waste not, while barrister was provided for by making he wants not. The main object in the him one of seven magistrates who are popular mind is the war ; but the peo- charged with police duties in Dublin ; ple do not accept the war as an excuse while in Liverpool, we believe, at least for recklessness and lavish profusion in as much magisterial work is performed the civil departments of the State. by a single stipendiary. As to the Wise men see, in the necessities jobs of retirement and pensioning acand pressure of war, the soundest and complished in the Irish Post-office, most practical reasons for undertaking Poor Law and Board of Works Deinternal reforms, and the urgency of partments within the last year, they are the tax-gatherer now popularises such known to every one, and their name is wisdom. Retrenchments, that in the legion. A minister, bold enough to abundance of peace were languidly throw himself upon the people, would asked for, perhaps opposed on grounds find in most of these cases and in of tenderness for vested interests, or hundreds of others—the surest means a generous distaste for cheese-paring, of proving the sincerity of his own poare now thought of as though their licy. If it was seen that he was dissum would fit out a floating battery, or posed to husband the public resources, set another squadron in the field. he need feel no fear of opposition to Jobs, that a little while ago were but his war estimates. Viewed by this the subject of a passing speer or jest, light, a season of war is of all others are now pointed to with bitterness as the most proper for civil retrenchments a wasting of the bread of the poor. and reforms: it enables the minister to · We have no time now to write a re- do, with the aid of the people, what in
peace he could not perform by reason trained soldiers into the line. On the of the cupidity of partisans.
other hand, the mere authorisation of But the nation also looks for guaran- volunteer corps has always been in these tees for the honest and vigorous pro- kingdoms, a sort of levee en masse, from secution of the war in the military ad- which, in addition to some social beneministration itself ; and here again fits that we think we could show na there is much to try their faith. We turally attend such organisations, & do not propose to advert to many large per centage of the best recruits points on which the public opinion has might be expected to be continuonsly been very freely expressed, as, for ex. supplied. In a word, we can conceive ample, the organisation of the several no measure that would be more likely war departments, promotion, or the than this to convince the nation that strategic conduct of the war, but shall the Government is thoroughly in ear. content ourselves with mentioning one nest in its war policy, and to impress or two untoward arrangements wbich upon the mind of the Czar a convic. show so remarkable an ignorance of tion that the nation is ready to support the public feeling as to look very like a fighting ministry at all bazards. In. an intentional disregard of it. Even stead, however, of rousing the ardour with the command of money, war can, of the masses, in these extraordinary not be carried on without men ; and times, by a somewhat extraordinary next to financial arrangements, a sound exhibition of military pomp and cir. recruiting system is the main require. cumstance, the authorities take unusual ment. But this latter has no solid pains to hide the glitter of arms. A basis, except in the military spirit of red coat is seldom seen in our cities; the country, and to curb and stifle the sound of the spirit-stirring drum this seems almost to have been the ob- is rarely heard in the streets of our ject of some measures of the Govern, market-towns; and men scarcely know ment. Thus the recent regulation, by of the existence of British soldiers which militia officers are subjected to but by dismal lists of killed and wound. dismissal, as a penalty for encouraging ed, and vacant seats in almost every their men to volunteer into the army,
family circle is, no doubt, a mere blunder, but why Finally, it is not to be denied that a has it not been repealed ?
Lord strong impression prevails in the counPalmerston may possibly be ignorant try that there is too much of the that it has been committed, or he may peace-at-any-price element within the not know that the reduction of officers cabinet; and the recent endeavours to in a ratio with the diminution of the introduce more by the successive offer strength of their corps must have the ef- of the Colonial Office to Lord Stanley fect we have stated. Nevertheless, we and Mr. Sidney Herbert, have unhave heard the circumstance adduced in questionably shaken, though perbaps proof of his philo-Russianism. To our slightly, the popular faith in the antimind, however, he seems chargeable Russian disposition of Lord Palmerwith a still graver error of omission, in ston. To us those events certainly so far as he may have shared in the re- seem to contain additional proof that fusal of the Aberdeen ministry to re- the Premier's knowledge of the state spond to the general offer of the country of popular feeling is defective. The to form volunteer corps, and we own support of men pledged, like those we wecannot comprehend why that error is have named, to anti-popular views of persisted in. Such organisations would the war and of foreign policy genebe much cheaper recruiting agencies rally, would bring him not strength than militia regiments, and they would but weakness; their active opposition be, at least, as efficient. A militia would rally the nation around him. raised by voluntary enlistment, in fact The general acquescence in we may scarcely differs from a regular army. alınost say approval of his ultimate The regiments become influenced by committal of the colonies to the care an esprit de corps that indisposes the of Mr. Labouchere, ought to convince men to exchange from them; the con- him that the people will not object to nexion between them and their coun- his clothing any lay-figure with the ties is but slight, and the interest of robes of office, provided only it be not the higher officers is, at all times, ad- suspected that the Russian uniform is verse to the volunteering of their worn underneath. But in truth it