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From The Spectator, 14 Sept. when they are merely indulging hallucinaUN-ENGLISH WISHES FOR AMERICA. tions, fighting against windmills, striving
The news of every succeeding mail from after the impossible, dashing a great naAmerica makes it more and more evident tion's energies on an impassive rock ?" that the slavery issue is the practical hinge This argument makes a great impression on of the civil war. It is stated on authority the English people, because it looks so apparently official, that on the 31st August purely intellectual, so entirely free from Major-General Fremont was to issue a proc
moral prepossessions. It is well to rememlamation to the State of Missouri, “ declar- ber, however, that this impossibility is ing the whole state under martial law, and rather a new invention ; that it dates from offering freedom to the slave population.” the battle of Bull's Run; that no one This is but a new step in the irresistible thought of the “impossibility” argument march of events, obliging the North to rec- before that “well-fought field” was turned ognize, however reluctantly, the fundamental by the slightest possible balance of advanmeaning of the whole contest, and to fortify tage against the Federalists ; and that, had itself by openly adopting the great cause,
it turned in the other direction, the Confedand enlisting on its behalf the
strong cur- erates might already be reduced nearly to rents of force, without the support of which the position of the Bourbonist bands in NaUnionism would be a hollow cry. We do ples. In truth, every honest mind will recnot mean that, on national grounds alone, ognize the fact that the tide has turned the North is not both justified and called against the North since the great discourupon to vindicate the power of the national agement of the Northern army; that a great Government; but it is idle, while taking up victory would more than destroy the balance arms against disunion, to strive to ignore of probabilities, and extinguish this “ imthe very centre and spring of all disunion; possibility” argument altogether. Even and that is a prudent audacity which, by now Georgia is withdrawing her forces in striking at the cause rather than at the ef- fear or discontent; the Union party in North fect, would attempt to extinguish the evil at
Carolina are rallying, and have elected its source.
Union representatives for Congress; and But our business is rather with English Tennessee is still bitterly divided. The dancounsellors than with American administra- ger of the North is no doubt imminent, but tion. England is necessarily a moral power to talk of their endeavor as an impossibility in the great conflict, and we can never cease is an abuse of human language. Look at to regret the narrow, cowardly, and short- the resources of the two governments. The sighted spirit in which some of the great or- South has some cotton wealth, and the gans of English opinion continue to speak. usual unlimited resources in paper money, The view taken by the Conservatives, and that is all. The Northern popular loan whether avowed or concealed under the is, we are assured by the official accounts, cloak of moderate Liberalism, is unworthy being applied for very eagerly. The small of the great English nation, and we believe peasant savings are coming forward, as in not participated in by the masses of the France, tempted by the Government offers, English people. Let us outline it as truly and also by patriotic impulses ; and in other as we can in order to test its intellectual respects Northern wealth is, of course, insoundness and its moral temper.
comparably superior to that of the South. 1. The first point, which is always and Distress, no doubt, is great in the North, very skilfully assumed as the basis of the but what is distress in the South ? Comargument, is that the North are fighting for pare only the latest prices of food in the an impossibility. “It can never be right,” Northern and Southern cities. we are reminded with impartial candor, “to
This table * shows that, for all the most praise the noblest idealism if there is noth- necessary articles of food, the price in the ing real about it. The wish for the moon South is already between twice and three may be a poetical and even natural childish times that in the North, and this when the aspiration, but it should be checked, be- drift of fortune had for many weeks been cause it is idle and an impossibility. And dead against the North. Who can deny that 80, why urge on the Quixotism of the North, * We omit the table.--Living Age.
a great reverse might not only annihilate the concentrate in one fearful spasm a series of nonsense about “impossibilities,” but re- chronic petty wars and passions and jealousduce the Southern States to almost any ies among groups of rival states in time to terms that the North might choose to dic-come. The real truth is—and this very untate? We are quite aware of the great un- English feeling distinctly discerns this truth, certainty of any such success. The chances though it cloaks it in decent phrases—that may even be against it. But we do main- rival groups of American States could not tain that the talk of impossibility, of which live together in peace and harmony. The we have heard so much, is a mere conscious chronic condition would be one of maligor unconscious logical ruse to justify the dis- nant hostility rising out of the very causes couraging and hostile tone adopted to the which have produced the present contest. It North. Englishmen do not like to say, is asserted that the different groups of states “We entirely disapprove your cause, and have different tariff interests. These differthink
your adversaries in the South are fight- ent tariff interests would be the sources of ing for the liberties of free men." So they constant petty wars if the States were once say instead, “We would sympathize with dissolved ; and slavery, the root of all the you, but that we could not justify words of strife, would be the spring of innumerable encouragement in a course which dashes you animosities, discords, and campaigns. No on inevitable ruin."
stable equilibrium could ever again be es2. What, then, do the anti-Northern or- tablished among the rival states. And yet gans really profess to think desirable, under it is maintained that this long future of in. the justification of this plea of deferring to cessant strife is the providential solution of the “ inexorable logic of facts”? They the great question now at issue ;-the only argue that disunion is desirable, just be- real reason why it is looked upon favorably cause, as we have said, it is the only pos- being this, that whereas the present greatsible step to a conclusion of this “causeless scale conflict may issue in a restored and and fratricidal strife ;” and next—of course, stronger political unity, the alternative of only as an after-thought, and as an humble infinitely multiplied small-scale quarrels will apology for Providence, and “justification issue in a weak and divided continent that of the ways of God to man,” now that the England cannot fear. inevitable necessity stands revealed-for Now we do not deny that the Americans further reasons discovered as beautiful adap- have themselves sowed the seeds of this tations to the moral exigencies of the coun- petty and contemptible state of feeling, by try, when once the issue is discerned. It is the unfriendly and bullying attitude they have discovered that it will be very much for the so often manifested to England ; but we do advantage of the States to be dissolved into say that the state of feeling on our part is rival groups. They will mutually check each petty and contemptible. We see that in a other's ambition ; they will neutralize each deferred issue there is no hope of a deep other's power, and if ever England should and enduring tranquillity for America, that get into a dispute with one or more of them it means a decline and fall of the American
mere jealousy will bring the antagonistic nation into quarrelsome clans and tribes, groups to our aid. This will be, it is urged, and yet we hold up our hands in horror at à very wholesome state of things, for it will the present “fratricidal” strife, because it relieve us from anxiety, and it will encour- holds out hopes of finality. We exhort them age political competition,” that great safe to look favorably on the indefinite future of guard of honesty and purity, among the small strifes, equally fratricidal and probably States themselves.
far more demoralizing, because the latter Such is the case-very gravely urged-of would draw out of our side the thorn of the numerous class of Southern sympathiz- American rivalry. ers now sprung up amongst us. Translated We have as little respect as any of our into English-and we grieve that an English contemporaries for the American democracy argument on such a subject should be of a of the last twenty years, and its irritating nature that requires translating-it means and blustering foreign policy ; but we must that we deplore the present great scale of say this attitude on our part is a shameful of this “fratricidal” war, because it may land ignoble one, and is not the right way
either to attain or deserve consideration more or less degree of a similar range of inamong that excitable and thin-skinned peo- telligence, it is scarcely possible to imagine ple. Let us pull the beam out of our own its horrors where the insurgent race would eye, before we profess to extract the mote be of the ignorant, degraded, brutal type, to out of our cousins' eyes.
which slavery has reduced the Africans in the Southern States. Now we believe this
to be erroneous in many important respects. From The Spectator, 21 Sept.
There is considerable evidence that the vinTHE CONTINGENCY OF SERVILE INSUR- dictive feelings of slaves who are not really RECTION.
inferior in physical and moral calibre to their It is often said that courage in facing the masters, are far deeper and more ferocious evils that may happen to others is a common than those of the genuine African. Intelliand an easy virtue, but we doubt whether it is gence, capacity, moral sensitiveness, all give really as common, however easy it may be, a deeper, more poignant sting to the status as courage in facing evils that threaten our- of servitude; and the revenge of the slave, selves. The whole tone of the mind in fac- when once the fetters are struck off, is pasing responsibilities of our own is, and ought sionate pretty much in direct proportion to to be, more firmly strung than when we are the depth of his resentment. It is quite a contemplating contingencies which we have mistake to suppose that revenge is mainly never looked at in this steady practical light. an animal feeling; it is proportionate to the We have a remarkable illustration of this in sense of injury, and the most rankling inthe tone taken by the English press with re-juries are those which are partly moral and gard to the danger of servile insurrection. intellectual. A beaten dog, or even a Nationally we are not responsible for the wounded lion, resents nothing when once great crimes on which that terrible event the momentary instinct of self-defence is would be the judgment; and we avert our past. And a slave who has seen his family eyes, therefore, with something like terror sold before his eyes, and bears about him from the contemplation of it, and cry, God the scars of his master's whip, will hate forbid! We should be exceedingly sorry deeply only where he has had the organizato make light of such a feeling, for, looking tion to feel profoundly. Nay, more than exclusively to some of the supposed and too this: the African temper, though exceedingly probable consequences, we share it with the sensual, is also exceptionally placable. It fullest sympathy. But the drift of events in is impossible to detect in the minds of our the United States forces it absolutely upon own emancipated slaves any vindictive feelour consideration, and we do most earnestly ing even towards those masters who had believe that, fearful as it might prove, there treated them with the most savage cruelty. are many other alternatives far more fearful For example, the act of refined and fiendish which we ought to deprecate with yet more cruelty that we are about to relate, and for passionate remonstrances. Many points are which we can vouch in detail, and give, if overlooked which tend to prove that a ser- needful, the date and names of the parties vil e insurrection in this instance would be, concerned,—it happened in Jamaica before not more, but much less horrible than those the emancipation,-had apparently left no servile insurrections at which history has vindictive feeling in the mind of the sufferer, taught us to shiver. And, again, while ex- who is now living and gaining an honorable aggerating many of the horrors of this al- living as a surveyor. He was house-slave ternative, we doubt if most people seriously to a planter, who had been giving a long consider the terrors of that other alternative course of entertainments, and the man had for which they apparently wish; namely, a not been in bed for a couple of nights. On strong and consolidated slave power in the the third night, after laying the supper table, South. A word or two on both branches of he lay down on the floor of the room in a the subject.
position which he believed would insure his 1. We hear it constantly said that if slave hearing his master's voice, or any sound ininsurrections were so horrible as they in fact dicating that he was wanted. But, exhausted were where masters and slaves were of the as he was, he fell into a heavy sleep. This same color, or even the same race, and in 'master--an Englishman—not receiving any answer to his calls, and finding him asleep ferers fall into just the opposite error. We on the floor, deliberately lifted up one eyelid are used to slavery. We know that the and dropped melting wax from the candle world gets on in spite of it. We think that upon his eye, and would have repeated the a few Legrees are, perhaps, no worse than a act with the other eye, had not the violent few Palmers. But the class of terrors which struggles of the man rendered it impossible. a servile war would involve impress the imOf course, the sight of this eye was irrecov- agination far more because they are crowded erably lost. This man, though intelligent into so short a space of time. No doubt a and capable, and now making, as we said, a year of servile war might be worse than ten good livelihood as a surveyor, speaks with years of slavery, as a year of the Committee horror, but without any apparent vindictive- of Public Safety in France was certainly ness, of this fiendish treatment; and it is worse than ten years of Louis XV. But the same in almost-all our West India isl- concentrated evil, though it impresses us ands. The emancipated slaves will narrate more, is not really so bad as a larger amount the most fearful stories of their sufferings spread over a longer time. A short and with obvious shrinking and fear, but with fierce spasm of pain may be a happy exlittle or no resentment and revenge. And change for a long deliberating illness. The we believe this too great placability, this pangs of a servile insurrection must be mode of looking at their sufferings rather as weighed not against the same period of dreadful events than as wicked inflictions, is slavery, but against the indefinite extension very deeply characteristic of this race. We of it involved in a firmly consolidated slave should expect from a social insurrection in power at the South. Now let any honest the South to see exceedingly little of the de- man contemplate this. Let him consider moniac, and much of the degraded, thievish what it means : the terrible searing of the element let loose upon society. There would masters' minds till men of no extraordinary be sensuality probably, but little violence; evil-heartedness become capable of such robbing, but little murder ; and the result fiendish cruelties as we have narrated—the would very possibly often be that the slaves prolonged degradation of the servile race would paralyze the friends under whom they implied in their scarcely ever resenting such arrayed themselves, quite as much as the injuries the infection which extends far and masters against whom they had revolted. wide from such centres to all who have deal. Let us remember, too, that a servile insur- ings with them—and then let them honestly rection, properly so called, is a very different decide whether for our own country, for thing from a war in which the slaves could England, we should not prefer the sharp puat once find protection and guidance. Left rification of violent and spasmodic suffering to their own feeble devices, they might be to the corruption and decay involved in a guilty of needless violence from mere con- new lease, and probably in new extensions, fusion of purpose. But if there was a clear of servile institutions. To us the case seems haven of refuge in the Federal army, they so clear, that we can scarcely understand would probably seek its protection and guid- the recoil which most men seem to feel from ance at once, rather than wait to face their such an alternative. There appears to be no masters. No doubt several millions of slaves constitutional remedy for slavery in the would be a fearful population to provide for, United States, and, should the Secessionists but the evil and the disorganization would succeed, no constitutional guarantee against probably rage its worst among the friends its rapid extension. How can a healthy imagwith whom they might take shelter, rather ination conceive the hushing up of the presthan among the enemy.
ent conflict and the confirmation of all the 2. But rate servile war at its worst-and old misery with any thing like satisfaction ? however much its terrors may be overrated, For ourselves, we rejoice, with trembling, to it is terrible enough in its mildest form—we see the escape from this constitutional tangle firmly believe that it is a less fearful con- so near, even though it be an escape as by tingency than the consolidation of the slave fire. A mightier force than that of states. power in the South. Sufferers are always men—the force of the evil passions of the inclined to magnify the existing, as compared Southerners themselves-has made a practic with the alternative, evil ; but the non-suf- cable breach in the elaborate legal fortifications of slavery, and we shall hold the North / unfavorable specimen of the class, and I little worthy of its task if it does not avail venture to say he will no longer wonder at itself of the opening. Hitherto Americans the effect they have had in the United States. have had but too morbid a respect for their They are remarkable for two characteristics ; own tainted Constitution, none more so than first, for the deliberate imputation of mean Mr. Lincoln, who is perhaps doomed, like motives, and, secondly, for the cruel spirit Balaam, to prophesy, with reluctant voice in which they are written. It may have and averted eyes, that triumph of an uncon- been right to say unpleasant things, but it stitutional freedom which his legal and con- cannot be right to say them in the way
of stitutional instincts had rendered him most all others which will give most pain. To a anxious to prevent. It is fortunate for nation or a man engaged in a struggle for America that Providence does not appear life or death, the tone of flippant and conto share that profound respect for the forms temptuous serenity is the worst we can rather than the spirit of constitutions, to adopt, if we must speak. Take this article which the President evidently inclines. He as a specimen : If an English gentleman felt hugs the manacles from which a higher a call to write remarks on the letter of a very Power is rapidly setting him free.
distinguished American lady—a letter which is, at any rate, full of deep sorrow for the
estrangement between our two countries LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE “SPEC- need he have entitled his remarks “Mrs. TATOR."
Stowe's Wounded Feelings " ?-ought he to THE " SATURDAY REVIEW" ON MRS. STOWE. have talked about “a good cry, and a flounce
SIR,—A writer in the Saturday Review of out of the room ”?_ought he to have sneered last week, in an article on “Mrs. Beecher at her appeal to the “great fellowship of Stowe's wounded feelings,” has done me the Christian freedom”? or to have congratuhonor of coupling my name with hers. It lated her “ that she has at least contributed does not appear exactly why he has done a lucifer match to the conflagration”? This this. Probably it is due to a letter of mine is nothing but saying what he had to say in in a late number of Macmillan's Magazine, the most offensive manner, and seeking to in which I maintained, what no person inflict, or being utterly careless of inflicting, slightly acquainted with the recent history unnecessary pain. If that be the object of of the United States could ever have Saturday Reviewers, of course there is nothdoubted, what the reviewer himself after ing more to be said. They do their work in Fremont's proclamation, and the other news masterly style. But the nation is paying brought by the last mail, cannot, I suppose, somewhat dearly for its penny whistle of now doubt that the slavery question is at smart writing, by means of which many of issue, is in fact, the material issue, in this its leading journalists are doing their best war.
to rouse the hatred of all nations against us. What a Saturday reviewer may say or As to the imputation of the worst motives think of me is not of the least consequence; to the Northerners by the Times and the nor would it be worth while to notice the Saturday Review, from the first outbreak of 'tone of that or of other leading English pa- hostilities till now, could any thing have pers on any home question. We are used been more unfair, or more needless ? Nato them, and their habits of speech and tions as well as men are two-sided. There thought, and have become comfortably case- is in them both the mean self-seeking nature, hardened. But this is not so with the Amer- and the manly God-like nature, always strugicans, and in view of the bitter feeling which gling the one against the other. To which has been roused in them by our press within will you appeal, if you wish to see nation or the last six or eight months, and which will 'man go right and act nobly? The surest probably outlive our generation, I should be way to make men act from low motives, is glad if you will allow me to say a few words. not to give them credit for high ones. Noth
Let any Englishman try to put himself ing can be easier, and to a certain extent it honestly in the place of an American, and proves our cleverness to do this. Every acthen read such articles as the one to which tion probably has its mean side, and if it I have alluded, and which is by no means an should turn out after all that the mean is the