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From this view of the matter, it would appear to us, that sanguine as the British Ministers profess themselves to be of the long continuance of the present calm which they enjoy, they will have no hesitation to interrupt it, and once more put forth their might to deal in “ bloody fray,” if the coalesced Bourbons should attempt any means of increasing their power, or 'extending their empire beyond its present limits. We are persuaded, therefore, that any effort to re-annex South America to their dominions, will produce immediately the unsheathing of her sword, and her march to battle. Now, notwithstanding the assurances of the French to the contrary, we believe that such an effort will be made, and that too by means of French resources. Spain, it is true, may give name to the attempt. If fleets and armies be sent to South America, they may be called Spanish ; they may sail from Spanish ports, and the Spanish flag may float from the tops of their masts. But French money, French oflicers, and, it is very probable, even French soldiers, will form the essentials of the expedition. We do not believe that the British Ministry are such fools as not to suspect that this will be the case, and should an armament of any considerable force sail from Spain, they will have no room for doubt on the subject. What then will be their conduct? Will they, in despite of all the dictates of prudence, and policy, and duty, sit stupidly still and cheat themselves with a name, when those very measures which it is their interest to oppose, nay, which they have avowed their determination to oppose, are substantially carried into effect. We cannot believe that they possess so little energy and wisdom as this inactivity would evince. They profess an ardent desire for the continuance of peace, and they are undoubtedly serious in such profession, for peace is of great consequence to the preservation of that unexampled state of prosperity their country at present enjoys. But in the event to which we allude, one important source of that prosperity, their South American trade, will be cut off at least it will be endangered, and this will assuredly arouse them to exertion.
Under the present circumstances, we think it is politic in the British government to hold the language it does—to pretend that it is secure in the friendship of its neighbours, and satisfied that
it will enjoy that friendship for a long period to come. By such language, it may retard the rupture which it in reality. forsees, and against which it is, in the mean time, diligently providing. Mr. Canning is a sagacious politician ; he knows both what he is, and what he ought to be doing. He tells the rivals of his country, those whose ambitious projects it is incumbent on him to resist, the terms on which he will let them alone. He says to the only efficient branch of the house of Bourbon, “ You must not molest South America. It is a part of the world with whose politics you have no business. If you interfere with them, our fleets and armies will interfere with you.. In the name of our common prosperity, stay at home, therefore, and mind your own affairs, and you and we shall continue good neighbours, and obliging friends."
France professes to agree to this, provided her cousin Spain be permitted to try her own strength in reducing the Southern republics. Mr. Canning and Lord Liverpool make no objection to this, at least not such a one as to disturb their own tranquili. ty on its account, because they know well that Spain with her own strength can no more reduce South America to her yoke, than she could chain the moon to the rock of Gibraltar. If an expedition be sent out it will, by the degree of its strength, be easily ascertained whether France is concerned in it, and wo are persuaded that Great Britain will be prepared to act accordingly. At the present moment, her armed strength is considerable, and her ministers have found sufficient pretence for asking parliament to increase it both by land and sea.
Thus has the British cabinet adopted a system of profound policy. It has told the neighbouring powers what species of aggression will provoke its hostility : and having thus warned them, it speaks as if it believed that peace would be everlasting, while it acts as if it expected immediate war. haps, the most effeetual mode of preventing that state of warfare which England at present, from commercial motives, earnestly wishes to avoid. Her language soothes while her measures intimidate. But should both fail, and war become ineve, itable, she will not be taken by surprise.
This appears to us to be the true light in which to view the present political system pursued by the British government. It
This is, per
is a system framed exclusively for the benefit of Britain, founded on a thorough knowledge of her interests, and adapted solely to her particular advantage. There may be patriotism, but there is not much philanthropy in its motive. It may be nationally wise, but it is nationally selfish. A generous solicitude for the rights of man and the independence of nations, has had nothing to do in suggesting it. Mr. Canning would call such a principle of action Quixotic, and utterly unbecoming so cool and calculating a cabinet as that which now presides over the destinies of England. But a time was, when what is now called in England, Quixotism, would have received the name of generosity; when her statesmen would have considered principles to be as worthy of the support of a great and noble minded nation as interest. Yes, England has before now rescued the weak from the strong. Elizabeth feared not to provoke the terrors of the Spanish Armada by assisting the Dutch, and Anne preserved the same people from sinking beneath the formidable power of Louis the Fourteenth. The ardent and chivalric spirits of Chatham and of Burke, would have scorned to prefer pecuniary considerations to the glory of defending the weak, and arresting the progress .of unprincipled ambition.
But in these latter days there is no chivalry in politics ; we have now no Lion-heated Richards at the head of governments, and it is, perhaps as well that we have not. To blame the ministers of England, therefore, for making the interests of their own people, whose industry and enterprise entitle them to the prosperity they enjoy, their chief concern, may be wrong. They see that the governments of all nations, with whom they have any connexion, follow the same course ; and to adopt another, they may suppose, would be to abandon the highest duty which their situation calls on them to perform. We could heartily wish that they had drawn the sword in favour of the Spanish constitutionalists. It would have beeen for the benefit of mankind had they done so ; but that it would not have been for the benefit of England, the prevailing consideration with Mr. Canning and his colleagues, is scarcely questionable.
While on this subject of generosity actuating the councils of nations, we cannot byt advert with pride to the tone of several
passages in our President's late Message, as being an exception to the usual cold-heartedness of such official communications ; and, in particular, as forming a pleasing contrast to the cautious and spiritless tenor of the speech of the British King. Mr. Monroe was indeed remarkably happy in seizing on the time when he might display the magnanimity of his sentiments and feelings as a philanthropist, in perfect consistency with his duty to the particular nation over whose affairs he presides. In this respect. he was certainly more advantageously circumstanced than the British King ; but that he had the sagacity and the energy to avail himself of this advantage in the manner he did, is creditable to himself, and has reflected honour on his country.
Every account latterly received from the Greeks is of the most cheering description. They are going forward in their march to a permanent independence with a rapidity that must be truly mortifying to the Randolphites who lately treated their efforts with such contempt, while to Webster and his lbieral minded coadjutors, it must communicate feelings of the most delightful exultation. Notwithstanding the croakings of the congressional opponents of the Greeks, so persuaded are the moneyed men of London of the final triumph of their cause, that they feel no objection to take the bonds of their new government as sufficient security for millions of money. Ought not the representatives of the most liberally governed people on earth-a people whose chief magistrate lately spoke to the world concerning the Greeks in a style which made every generous American proudought they not to be ashamed, when they reflect on the cool disheartening evasion with which they declined passing a vote of encouragement to the heroic exertions of the descendants of the most illustrious republicans that ever adorned the annals of mankind? But enough of this humiliating subject. We cannot trust ourselves on it, for we become warm whenever it recurs to our recollection.
Our Congress has now before it several subjects of great national importance, among which the tariff, and the abolition of imprisonment for debt, are the most generally interesting. On the tariff, we must, for the present, refrain from expressing our sentiments, because we have not space to enlarge sufficiently on the subject, and we are unwilling on such a question to perform only half-done work. On the subject of imprisoning debtors there seems scarcely any but one opinion to exist.
We are indeed astonished that so useless and inhuman a relic of feudal jurisprudence, should have been so long tolerated in a country which has in so many instances displayed its freedom from prejudice, and emancipated itself from the barbarities of the Gothiccode under which our ancestors groaned.
The ill-fated caucus system of making Presidents, has been doomed, through the imprudence of its own adherents, to undergo a scrutiny and a flagelation in the Senate of the United States, which we hope will have the effect of opening the eyes of many who yet remain prejudiced in its favour, to the unconstitutional and anti-republican tendency of its character. Mr. Hayne deserves much credit for the patriotic zeal and ability which he displayed on this occasion. There was only one argument advanced by its advocates, which he did not triumphantly refute, merely because he did not advert to it. Had he tried it, he would have found it to dissolve into empty nothing, at the touch of that sound reason, which he has proved that he possessed the ability of applying to it. The argument to which we allude, is that so frequently used, of the benefit which caucusing on one occasion conferred on the country by securing a democratic ascendency in the government. But Mr. Hayne might have told those who eulogized its former usefulness, that even then, when it did most good, it was but a useful evil-it was the employment of a dangerous remedy for the extirpation of a more dangerous disease. But now when the system of our government is in sound health, it is surely preposterous to continue an application so manifestly possessed of such deleterious qualities.
But if a medical illustration should not have been sufficient to convince their opponents, the friends of the constitution might have also adduced a very powerful one from history. When the Dictatorship was first introduced into Roman polity, it was a necessary evil : but it saved the Commonwealth, and was several times resorted to in cases of emergency. This institu