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in the management of a negotiation, be made to nourish the sentiment of brothwholly left to their own discretion. erhood, to promote the cause of science, They do not simply execute the will of and to weave alliances from the “rectheir master, but, by their wisdom, form ords of the mind”; it accords with the and model it also." Precepts like these benign aspirations and responds to the indicate how special and limited com- latent appeals of intelligence, culture, paratively the function of the diplomate and character; and, when associated was of old. Now it includes much vol- with benevolent sympathies and high untary service, and is subject to gen- convictions, renders the national repreerous interpretation, owing to the social sentative a social benefactor. Bunsen, and scientific range it has attained. when ambassador at Rome, became a The courtly smile, the sagacious nod, disciple of Niebuhr, and was one of the contravention, conciliation, and con- the few to appreciate and encourage cealment associated with the office, are Leopardi ; and, in England, he was the no longer essential, and the snuff-box, ally of Arnold and Hare ; ostensibly a parchment, and ribbon have little sym- Prussian envoy, in reality he was an bolic meaning. Beyond and often above apostle of knowledge, freedom, and his specific duties, the ambassador of our truth, ever intent upon diffusing the day is expected to furnish his country eternal elements of progress and huwith facts of interest in every sphere of manity, by the magnetic earnestness knowledge, to represent not merely au- and noble spirit of a Christian scholar; thority but culture, and to illustrate, in and in his quality of ambassador he did his own person and influence, progress not regard himself, according to the sarand the arts of peace as well as the castic definition of Sir Henry Wotton, as dicta of Power. More or less of this gen- one “sent to lie abroad for his country.” ial ministry has been always recognized. The foreign representatives of nations Hence men of letters and science are to-day are social rather than selfish wisely selected, for the double purpose agents, purveyors of knowledge, minisof doing honor to their country's repu- ters of civilization, auspicious to their tation and enjoying the best oppor- own, without being antagonistic to alien, tunity for research and observation. nationalities. Their office is urbane, In English literature many illustrious their spirit cosmopolitan; and if intrepid names are associated with these ap- in the performance of national duty, they pointments, from those of Sir Kenelm are none the less genial in the observDigby to Addison, and from Sir Wil- ances of international courtesy. The liam Temple to Mackintosh, Sir Henry "smooth barbarity of courts" and the Bulwer, and Sir Francis Head. It “insolence of office” are not indeed is incalculable what indirect, but none extinct; but the ameliorations of modthe less memorable, influence suchern society have harmonized and hua foreign representative as Baron manized them. Vast mutual interests Bunsen may exert; the prestige and have developed in the consciousness, even the official service being subordi- and are recognized in the foreign policy, nate to the social mission. And a recent of nations; and the history, the posiEnglish writer has well said that “to tion, the resources, and the destiny of know thoroughly the history, literature, the United States give them a promiand politics of different countries, so nence and a part therein too evident to far as the length of their residences in be ignored. Unfortunately, many of our each permits, has become the ideal of members of Congress are men of purely diplomatists of the new school.” Such local affinities, devoid of the comprean exercise of the authority and im- hensive views born of travel and culprovement of the opportunities incident ture, and therefore prone to treat with to the diplomatic career elevates it as indifference and ignorance the diploa medium of civilization and a mission matic interests of the government, — of humanity; the life of nations is thus apparently unconscious of their renewed importance to the national dignity and defence in this representative of his honor, and their social necessity and nation ; when sick and alone, or when possible elevation and utility.
grasped by the power of an alien govWhen an important treaty is nego- ernment, or when desirous of promottiated, a national right vindicated, the ing an enterprise, or exploring a region, country honored by the conduct or in- or searching the arcana of Nature or fluence of her representative abroad, the archives of History, or forming reor even an American citizen protected sponsible social relations, - in all the when in peril of life, liberty, or prop- varied occasions when he needs official erty, in a foreign country, these legis- sanction or social indorsement, there is lators acknowledge that an efficient and one spot as sacred to his rights as his respected agent of the Republic abroad native soil, one friend upon whom he is very useful and desirable ; that his has a legitimate claim, one watchword salary is a profitable investment, and that enables him to assert his individhis office no sinecure. But, apart from uality and exercise his birthright. And these exceptional occasions, they are there are circumstances incident to apt to regard foreign missions as the every stranger's lot, and every absenbest sphere for economical experiments, tee's interest, when the embassy of his —as a branch of the government rather country becomes a sanctuary, a court ornamental than requisite, and chiefly of justice, or a shrine before which the valuable as affording convenient means marriage vow, the funeral rite, or the of rewarding partisan services. In- weekly worship have the hallowed indeed, this latter abuse of a class of fluence, if not the local associations, of appointments which, more than any home. In times of war he seeks and other, should be based on disinter- finds security beneath the recognized ested motives, regulated by absolute and respected flag of his native land; considerations of capacity and charac- his nationality has a significance never ter, has brought our diplomatic ser- before realized, for it is upheld and vice into disrepute. During the war guarded by the law of nations; and, for the Union, when so much depended when adequately and worthily repreon the intelligence and patriotism of sented, links him, by a permanent and our foreign representatives, - when the powerful agency, to all the honors and national honor was assailed, and trea- privileges of his country. son to the flag stalked, with arrogant Much of the usefulness of diplomatic front, through the aristocratic ranks of relations is negative, the advantages Europe, — the nation felt to her heart's whereof are not like those of official core the vital necessity of selecting for duties nearer home, constantly recordthese duties and dignities men of hon- ed and announced ; obligations thus or, ability, and national sentiment; such conferred on the citizen often have no men, indeed, saved the country at that testimony but that of private gratitude, memorable crisis, and their services and hence inexperienced legislators are endear their names, and should perma- apt to ignore them. Yet many a pilnently exalt their office, to the American grim never knows how much of love heart.
and pride are associated with the land One who has been a wanderer on the of his birth, how much of latent patriotface of the earth, who has known what ism glows in his heart, until such farit is to be alone in a foreign land, learns away tribute and triumph are accorded to appreciate the signal benefit of citi- by the deference of foreign governments, zenship when he encounters the flag or and enjoyed by the errant children of escutcheon of his country, and experi- his own. This personal gratification is, ences the protection and advantages however, but an incidental good, comafforded by an accredited agent of her pared to the prestige, the consideration, authority. Especially in every exigen- and the influence thus obtained for a cy and vicissitude he finds support and nation, the facilities of intercourse, the advancement of mutual interests, the tions to envoys, that, in matters of desirable knowledge and faith propa- etiquette, the minister, chargé, or consul gated by intelligent and faithful rep- shall conform to the customs of the court resentative agents.
Herein the so- or country to which he is accredited; it cial amelioration of the world has a is simply vulgar to insist on intruding civic demonstration; the brotherhood one's idea of dress, as a guest, in the of man is recognized as a political fact, face of precedent. the supremacy of law is illustrated as a An American sojourning along the cosmopolitan principle, and the primi- shores of the Mediterranean, thirty tive virtue of hospitality rises to na- years ago, had a memorable experience tional significance. In this broad and of the incongruities of our diplomatic social light, Diplomacy is a great ele- system. At one post he found a genment of Civilization; and just in pro- tleman of alien birth exercising conportion as our country is exempt from sular functions, with hospitable courthe dynastic necessities which have tesy, merely to enjoy the opportunities dwarfed and perverted it in Europe, is thus secured of frequent association she bound, in the interests of freedom with the citizens of a land he honand education, to contribute generously ored and loved. At another the inand graciously thereto.
temperate habits or ignorant assumpAnd this conviction suggests the tion of a consul of native birth made necessity of a more liberal provision him blush for his citizenship; while, for our diplomatic system, which is due as he looked from a consular mansion to the honor of a vast and prosperous on the destructive feats of a Sicilian country, to a just American pride, to mob, goaded to revolution by pestithe increased costliness of living and lence, ascribed, in their savage ignoentertainment abroad. It has long rance, to wells poisoned by their rulbeen a matter of publicity, that the ers, or walked amid the batteries of a leading missions of the United States British fort, side by side with his nacan, with the present salaries, be filled tion's official representative, a glow of only by men of large private means; in pride and a consciousness of security those of the second class the salaries under the honored flag of his distant are rarely equal to the expenses. It home made him realize, as never beis a paltry economy, unworthy a great fore, its auspicious significance. But nation, to deny foreign representatives too often such honest elation was subthe means to maintain their households dued by the contrast between the intelwith dignity and comfort, or to exercise ligent efficiency, the personal accoma liberal hospitality. Whatever places plishments, and the thorough fitness of them on a basis inferior to that of their the other members of the diplomatic brother diplomates should be depre- corps and our own. If the necessity of cated by every true patriot. If repre- reform was then so apparent, it is insented at all, let our nation be repre- finitely more so now, when the standard sented in no niggardly fashion ; without of official culture is higher, the numextravagance or ostentation, but, at ber of our errant countrymen so much least, in that refined and prosperous larger, and the fusion of states, as well style which should characterize a peo- as social interests, so continuous and ple in whom self-respect is engendered prevalent, as to make enlightened and by freedom and industry; otherwise humanitarian diplomatists the vanguard we pay an equivocal compliment to the in the “ federation of the world.” government with whom we exchange It requires no elaborate argument to the amenities of official intercourse. prove that the normal benefits and the On the same principle, the absurd cav- legitimate utility of Diplomacy, in the illings in regard to diplomatic costume actual condition of the world, depends should be ignored by virtue of the law mainly upon the character and equipof courtesy prescribed in our instruc- ment of national representatives. WhatVOL. XXI!. NO. 32
ever may have been the requisites of pointment to something other than the past, those of the present are obvi- personal merit. And again, all these ous. Probity, knowledge, and patriot- are liable to be removed, and a similar ism are essential qualifications; a cer- class of successors appointed, at the tain sympathy with liberal studies, and next change of party. If patriotism some grace of manner and accomplish- ever prompted the desire for office, ment of mind, are indispensable. His- such a system would tend to eradicate torical acquisitions, in order to be en that sentiment. It tends to weaken all rapport with previous relations, self- the obligations of society for the purrespect, and broad views are implied in pose of strengthening a mere party; it such a position. “Steady and impartial elevates private interests above the observation, free though cautious cor- welfare of the state ; it tends to disinrespondence, friendly, social relations tegrate the political fabric; and at last, with the members of the diplomatic as we have felt in our bitter experience, body at the place of residence,” are it destroys allegiance itself. That eledesignated in the regular instructions to ment which invigorates a monarchy envoys ; and the duty is prescribed of corrupts the life of a republic. "transmitting such information relating “Social standing and consideration, to the government, finances, commerce, by reason of such employment, is not arts, sciences, and condition of the coun- thought of. The administration is tries where they reside as they may deem always saying, in effect, to each of its useful.” Such functions are only pos- civil servants : 'Your skill, your expesible for men of education, judgment, rience, your long and faithful service, industry, and tact; and to secure these, are as nothing to us ; we can discharge the system should be progressive. The you to-morrow, and at once find a hunsuperiority of European diplomats is dred others who will answer our purowing to their vocation being a recog- poses as well.' Each one thus suffers nized official career with grades, ad- a standing discredit. His place is due vancement, and preparation, as well as to accident, and gives him no title to permanence assured. Legal and lin
respect. It implies, rather, a damaged guistic training and social efficiency reputation, and a character that can be are more than ever desirable. Lord
tampered with. A tide-waiter can be Clarendon has shown that the impor- nothing more, nor is he sure of even tance of the diplomatic branch of gov- being that, although he proves to be ernment has increased within the last the most faithful and capable of tidedecade; that its standard has risen, waiters. If he does not bury his talent and its capabilities grown with the himself, it is buried for him, and his progress of science and society ; and possible skill in making usance by it the time has arrived when its higher can avail him nothing. No grades, no claims should be practically realized in promotions, no hopes, no honors, no our country.
rewards, are open to the most faithful, The needed reforms and the argu- diligent, and honest officer, and while ment therefor are clearly stated by the the incentive to excellence in service representative in Congress who advo- which these might give is wholly lost, cated and reported the bill to “regulate his office itself gives him no character the civil service of the United States, or social position. But if by merit and and promote the efficiency thereof. A fidelity the tide - waiter can win the brief extract will illustrate his reason- higher places in the customs, his place, ing:
himself, and the service itself acquire “We see at every change of admin
respectability. The cadet of either of istration over fifty thousand persons the warlike services has a prestige in removed from office to make way for this regard over even the higher grades others of a different partisan creed, of the civil service. All doors may be every one of whom will owe his ap
open to him, for his uniform is evidence
of his education, character, and of an range disputes and decide questions in opening career. Although the lowest his own person, the voluminous corresubaltern, he may become a general or spondence of interested parties, and the an admiral. A lieutenant or an ensign expense of sending a ship of war to has a standing in society, by virtue of the scene, emphatically indicate the his being in the service of the govern- false economy which, in failing to proment, but there is no element of re- vide a minister, incurs, in a few weeks, spectability in the service of a clerk, an expense which would have maininspector, or special agent, which would tained him for years. Occasionally, entitle him to be recognized, even by a also, when grave international problems member of Congress. I cannot believe are discussed, or political changes, and that the reason of this is that the civil military or commercial facts cited or service is in itself less worthy of re- described, these reports abound in luspect than the military, but is it not minous expositions and interesting debecause the element of honor, which is tails, alike creditable to the vigilance, inherent in the one, has not hitherto ability, and humane sympathies of the been added to the other? All serve writers, and of rare worth and interest alike under the flag; and while the to our government and people. When glory cannot be equal, no discredit a foreign war is being waged, a treaty should be cast on either class of public under consideration, a revolution immiservants by reason of their service.” *
nent or in progress, — when a citizen is The bill, the necessity and advantages despoiled of liberty, a fugitive from jusof which are thus ably set forth, pro- tice is running the gauntlet of our legavides for the appointment by the Presi- tions, when an equitable pecuniary dent, with the consent of the Senate, of claim is withheld, or the decease of an a Board of Four Commissioners, with eminent or wealthy fellow-countrymen the Vice-President as their head, who demands the active protection of the shall prescribe the qualifications for civil law of nations, or when this law is viooffices, provide for the examination of lated, and only prompt and judicious candidates therefor, and periods and explanation can ward off serious conconditions of probation, and report rules sequences, and when scientific or merand precedents ; the candidate who cantile enterprise or emigration calls for stands highest to have the preference. special arrangements, with the sanction
No one unfamiliar with the diplomatic of foreign rulers, - in these and other correspondence of the United States exigencies the labors and influence of can estimate the great conveniences the diplomatist impress the public as an and facilities which faithful government invaluable civil economy, and benignant agents afford American citizens. as well as indispensable provision of civlegal guaranties in the transaction of ilization ; but it should be remembered business abroad, the immense saving of that, beyond these conspicuous duties time and money in cases of contested and sometimes brilliant achievements, local rights and personal claims, the which attain historical prominence, maintenance of the national influence there are the less-known but equally imand honor, and the suggestions and in- portant ministries to the country's welformation of vital importance only to be fare, fulfilled in obedience to private obtained at head-quarters and through needs, in the use of social privileges only official authority, are fruits of diplo- attainable through official claims, in the matic service that make the record one protective and hospitable exercise of of patriotic interest and practical value diplomatic functions, so requisite for of which few of our citizens are aware. the stranger, and so grateful to the citiIn some cases, where the official repre- zen, to whom his passport is not only a sentative is not of adequate rank to ar- shield but thus becomes the most au
Speech of Hon. Thomas A. Jenckes of Rhode spicious letter of introduction and a Island, May 14th, 1868.