Page images

The readers of the Living Age will find an, which are recorded in the following pages, interest in Mr. Binney's appearance on this was the most respectable and the most anisame subject-forty-four years ago.

mating that we have ever seen. From young

men this is but faint praise ; but we will add, A public meeting was held in Philadelphia

that we do not hope ever to attend another on 23 Nov., 1819, of which the following ac- which shall be equal in the greatness of the count, forming the leading article of the Na-cause, in the ability with which it was adtional Recorder of that week, was written by vocated, and in the sublimity of the effect. the editor of The Living Age. How well we Were we in any degree capable of communiremember clinging to the railing in the Hall cating its spirit, or could we transfer to our (then a Court-Room)-unwilling to brush readers the feelings that were excited in our

selves, we should be most happy. away tears, lest we should for a moment lose

The business was commenced by an address sight of the speaker :

| from Mr. Binney, in which, after explaining The decision of the Missouri Question will the object of the meeting, and stating the form a grand era in our history ; it will de- points in dispute in the last Congress, he termine in a great degree the future charac- proceeded to examine the right of that body ter and destiny of the nation. Those who to make the prohibition, and the expediency believe that public virtue and national pros- of exercising it. perity are never separated, must look forward By a clear and forcible exposition of the to the approaching session of Congress with sense of the constitution, not only from its a most earnest anxiety for the result of their own words, which have been said to have deliberations upon it, and with a most ardent been carelessly used, but from the invariable wish that they may use their authority in practice under it, he demonstrated irresistibly such a manner as to remove the disease now the full authority of Congress. Were it posattacking the very vitals of our republic.sible that any one holding the contrary opinThat all men are born free and equal, is a doc-ion could be free from prejudice, his convictrine promulgated by all our constitutions, tion of the truth, after hearing this discourse, and proudly boasted of as distinguishing us would be as distinct as the light of heaven. from the most favored nations of the world. We had never seen so strongly or so clearly The existence of anything so inconsistent the arguments that may be deduced from with this profession as is the evil we now the phraseology of the constitution, when it reprobate, cannot be imputed to the nation, spcaks of the equal rights to which the new for it was forced upon us by our British States shall be entitled. It was triumphantly ancestors, and we have always used cvery established that the strict interpretation for opportunity to remove it, but if we now wbich we contend, was the undoubted intenpermit its extension to lands yet unpolluted, tion of its authors, and that they never bewe shall stand convicted before the world, lieved the power of authorizing crime, essenof voluntary continuance in a crime we have tial to perfect freedom. affected to deplore.

While discussing the question of expediThis is the last time that with any hope of ency, the orator was inspired by the full force success we can raise our voices against it. of the subject, and though there are few here Every new State that shall be permitted to who have thought at all, who were not beretain this power will array itself against us, fore perfectly convinced that the crime is as and the contest will become more and more repugnant to our interest as it is destructive desperate, till avarice and cruelty obtain a to virtue and offensive to God, there was no decisive victory, and all restraints to this in- one present who did not feel his own sober iquity be done away forever. If that shall opinions irradiated more vividly by the full take place it does not require the spirit of blaze of truth, and the conviction of his unprophecy to foretell the fearful event. Re-derstanding strengthened by the warmth of peated insurrections will prepare the way for his heart. a servile war, in which the wrongs of human The whole examination of the question nature will be deeply avenged, those who es- was made with the most logical precision as cape must shelter themselves with those who well as the most noble eloquence, and we now warn them, a disunion of the States were proud to feel while sitting in the room must take place, and the hopes of the nation from whence the declaration of independence will be trampled in the dust.

was sounded, that the subject and the speaker The public meeting, the proceedings of | were worthy of the place.

From The Saturday Review, 4 July. measure of recognition. It remained for MR. ROEBUCK'S MOTION.

them to show that their proposal was con

formable to precedent, that it was just, and, The future course of the adjourned debate above all, that it was expedient. on Mr. Roebuck's motion will certainly not Lord Robert Montagu and Lord Robert Ceaffect the division. Only an insignificantcil discussed at length the well known cases minority will support the proposal to over- of recognition, dwelling especially on the rule the discretion of the Government, and precedent of the Spanish colonies. Mr. O'probably the question will not even be pressed Sullivan formerly United States' Minister in to a division. The bulk of the Opposition Portugal, in a well written pamphlet, urges will remember that Lord Derby has hitherto against his former country the proceedings opposed recognition, and that he has not of the American Government in Texas and in given any intimation of a change of policy. Hungary. The argument would be forcible If American politicians are capable of being if the conduct of the United States had in influenced by English opinion, they may col- either instance been regular and justifiable; lect from the debate the all but universal con- but it is impossible to bind a great country viction, that peace is desirable, and compul- by admissions made in another controversy, sory reunion impossible. Even Mr. Forster or to enforce an untenable proposition on the expressed his hope that the war would ter- existing members of a Government because it minate with the capture of Vicksburg, which may have been practically applied by their would, as he anticipated, exclude the country predecessors. It has been generally held that west of the Mississippi from the area of pres- President Taylor and Mr. Webster committed ent or future slavery. Mr. Bright alone an error in authorizing a diplomatic agent to clong to the hope of re-conquest, although he recognize, at his own discretion, the indepenadmitted the impossibility of predicting the dence of Hungary. The selfish or corrupt mofortunes and result of the war. Mr. Gladstone tives which dictated the recognition of Texas deprecated the adoption of Mr. Rocbuck's deprive the precedent of all possible value. motion on the ground that a recognition of The province, or rather the American settlers the South by England would probably pro- within its limits, revolted from Mexico in long and embitter the struggle which it might 1837, and within a year President Jackson seem to discountenance. Lord Robert Cecil, recognized its independence. In 1844, the on the other hand, thought that the official transaction was completed by the annexation declaration of France and England would con- of the new and sovereign State to the Amervince the Northern population that the pros- ican Union. Napoleon was in the habit, in ecution of the war was hopeless. All parties the same manner, of establishing independent concurred in desiring the same result, al- kingdoms in his neighborhood, until it was though the means which they proposed for found convenient to transform them into deadoption varied as widely as their sympa-partments of the empire; but the processes thies. It may be doubted whether the au- by which superior force is employed in the thority of the House of Commons, or of its service of cupidity furnish international jurisprincipal members, will possess any weight prudence with no available precedents. The in the Federal States. All nations receive inquiry whether the recognition of an insurwith a certain irritation the criticism and the gent State furnishes a just cause of war is in counsels of foreigners and the American itself of secondary importance. It is more newspapers will accompany their accounts of to the purpose to ask whether the recognition, the debate with the most invidious comments. at the present moment, of the Southern ConIt is unpleasant to overhear the candid opin- federacy would cause a declaration of war by ion of a neighbor on any domestic dispute, the Federal Government. The strongest adbut it is still more provoking to receive his vocates of the measure admit that a rupture unasked advice. Lord Russell and Lord Ly- would ensue if England acted without the supons could tell Mr. Seward nothing relating to port of Europe, or, according to Mr. RoeAmerican affairs which he has not the fullest buck's definition, of France. When they opportunity of knowing ; and if he is curious point out the inability of the North to resist to ascertain the views of English statesmen, the overwhelming strength of the two great he may casily satisfy himself by reading Mr. powers, they by no means prove that war Gladstone's speech. An offer of joint or ser- would be avoided. The Americans, with all arate mediation would produce an offensive their faults, are spirited and confident, and if reply to England, although the share of they were persuaded that they had suffered a France in the overture would be noticed in wrong, they would be little disposed to count courteous and grateful terms. The failure the number of their enemies. Some of their of any offer of negotiation is, indeed, so inev- leaders would be glad, at any cost, to escape itable, that the advocates of intervention now from a hopeless struggle against the South, desire to proceed at once to the more decided with an esouse for their failure in the neces

sity of resisting European aggression. A Europe that the Southern States declared their plausible cause of war would suit their pur- independence, or that the North has expended pose sufficiently, even if it were ultimately half a million of lives in the attempt to redecided that the recognition of the South was conquer their allegiance. Mr. Bright's sincovered by competent precedents.

gular speculations on the policy of a Union Mr. Roebuck, in his ungenerous and stu- re-constituted under Southern influence are diously indiscreet speech, virtually accepted even more un profitable than Mr. Roebuck's the natural consequence of the policy which aspirations for the dismemberment of the he supported. Although it is an absurd ex-great Republic. If it is conceivable that aggeration to boast that the Warrior could New England and New York should give their sweep the Federal navy from the seas, it is adhesion to Mr. Jefferson Davis as President perfectly true that no effective resistance of the Republic, Mr. Bright's adopted comcould be offered to the maritime power of patriots must be more whimsically insincere England and of France; but even if the cas-than the worst of their journalists and demual weakness of a friendly State were any ex- agogues. cuse for measures which would lead to war, The House of Commons will not fail to dethe struggle would not end with the abolition cide on the simple issue of recognition, which, of the blockade, and the resentment which in default of further action, would be as usewould be provoked would long survive the less to the South as it would be offensive to present generation. The liberation of the the Federal States. The more serious conSouthern stores of cotton, and the conclusion tingency of war is distinctly contemplated of a commercial treaty with the Confederacy, by Mr. Roebuck, as well as by Mr. Spence would, even in respect of material cost, be and Mr. O'Sullivan ; but, on a question of dearly purchased by a year, perhaps by ten the expediency of a rupture with the United years, of war. The persistent attempt to States, Mr. Roebuck himself would not venconquer the South may be regarded by many ture on a division. The speeches and the as a blunder, and by some as a crime, but it cheers which express the goodwill of many is impossible to suggest that the incidental members to the Southern cause indicate no injury which it inflicts on England is a just intention of promoting, at the expense of cause for hostilities. Those who are most England, the final disruption which is thought immediately interested in the supply of cot-to be otherwise certain. The confidential ton demand no armed assistance from the communication of the supposed wishes which Government, and even if Lancashire were a foreign potentate declined to address, in clamorous, the English nation is not yet pre- the regular form, to the Government, would pared to violate international right for a pe- alone have sufficed to insure the defeat of Mr. cuniary or commercial consideration. Mr. Roebuck's motion. The policy which is unRoebuck, indeed, attempts to strengthen his advisable for England is not additionally reccase by pointing out the expediency of dimin-ommended by the suggestion that it might ishing the formidable strength of the former supply a fresh occasion for following in the Union. If he had wished to deprive his wake of France. The strongest Opposition speech and bis motion of all moral weight, would be paralyzed by the belief that it was both in England and America, he could not acting in concert with a foreign power for the have avowed an unworthy motive with more purpose of thwarting the Government, or of damaging candor. The legitimate greatness subjecting its course to irregular pressure. of a foreign country is no excuse for projects Mr. Fox's popularity was damaged by the against its prosperity. Mr. Bright parados- charge that he had encouraged Catherine II. ically argued that the Union would be re- to refuse Mr. Pitt's demand for the evacuastrained, by the rights of the several States, tion of Oczakow. At a later period, Alesfrom any wanton aggression on foreign pow- ander I. was warned by his more sagacious ers. He might fairly have maintained that advisers of his error in attempting to intrigue the Federal Republic of the North, with its with the English Opposition. Even if Mr. increased centralization, will be a more dan- Roebuck's statements were true, they ought gerous neighbor than the undivided Union. never to have been made ; and if the accuracy In another generation the Northern States of his recollection is disproved, his want of will contain a population of forty millions, reserve is still more censurable. The boldand they may not improbably have acquired ness which ventures on saying what ordinary the habit of maintaining large standing ar- men are too prudent to say is by no means mies. It is, however, a waste of time to dis- universally to be esteemed a valuable or use cuss the possible interest of England in union ful quality. or in separation. It was not for the sake of |

From The Saturday Review, 4 July. | ageous - Tear 'em.” It is clear that Mr.

Roebuck can never again use expressions THE MISSING MESSAGE.

about the French emperor such as those Mr. Who is it that has told the lie? Is it Mr. Bright quoted against him on Tuesday evenRoebuck, or the emperor, or Baron Gros, or ing. But it is hardly probable that so cirLord Russell, or Mr. Layard ? That is the cumspect an intriguer as Louis Napoleon question upon which the public will be at should have betaken himself to a stratagem liberty to indulge in any amount of conject- so suicidal. At whatever price he may apure until Monday next. The one only fact praise the silencing of Mr. Roebuck, it is that stands out quite clear against the haze scarcely to be supposed that he would proffer of mystery which surrounds the strange dis- it for no other purpose than to exasperate still closures of which Mr. Roebuck has been the further the British Watchdog. If the empechannel, is that there must have been gross ror did tell the two self-appointed ambassadors equivocation, amounting to a deception, some that which was absolutely contrary to fact, where. The contradiction which the officials and give them leave to make the House of of the Foreign Office have given to Mr. Roe- Commons sharers in his confidence, he must buck's statements is too plump and unquali- have known that a few days would make the fied to leave them, or him, or his imperial deception that had been practised clear, not informant, any loophole of retreat. Either only to the world, but to Mr. Roebuck and their words, or Mr. Roebuck's words, are Mr. Lindsay themselves. And the bitterness false. But when we get beyond this one car- of a duped agent, when he is once undeceived, dinal fact, that there is a lie somewhere, we would clearly be a more formidable motive to have no further solid ground to tread upon. hostility than mere political antagonism. All beyond is airy, unsubstantial imagination. Nor is there much probability in the explaIt is impossible to construct any reasonable nation which was yesterday suggested by a hypothesis that shall give a fair account of semi-official organ of the English Government. the motives of any one of these great person- If Mr. Roebuck had been alone, he might ages, whoever it was, that was guilty of giv- possibly have mistaken the emperor's silent ing currency to so audacious a fabrication. acquiescence in his own vebement arguments

That Mr. Roebuck should be the deceiver for a statement coming from the emperor appears, on a first view, to be the least likely himself. Such a confusion is not very untheory of all. Putting aside all comparisons usual in the recollections of eager talkers. of individual character, which in such a con- But no one ever heard of such an error extroversy it would be invidious to institute, it tending itself to a taciturn bystander. It is is evident that the statements which rest on understood that Mr. Lindsay endorses all the authority of two witnesses are pro tanto Mr. Roebuck's assertions. Human testimony worth more than those which are attested becomes simply worthless, if two hard-headed, only by one. All that Mr. Roebuck heard experienced men, after so brief an interval of from the lips of the emperor was heard equally time, could impute a wholly fictitious and by Mr. Lindsay. That the two should con- imaginary statement to a man who was conspire to state that which both knew to be false versing with them alone, and whose language -considering not only their antecedent char- they were anxiously watching. acter, but the certainty of detection is a There is, however, internal evidence in the very difficult supposition. It is equally in- case, so far as it goes, which seems to weigh conceivable that Baron Gros should have de- against the English statesmen. Whatever liberately invented a defence for the benefit else he may be the Emperor of the French is of Lord Russell, against the known wishes of not a fool. He must have known that to auhis own master. The responsibility of the thorize two members of the House of Comdeception would seem, therefore, to rest either represent to that body his grievances upon the shoulders of the English foreign against their own ministers was a violent desecretary or of the French emperor. Yet parture from conventional usage, and that it such a dilemna in no way clears up the diffi- would, on that account, create great exciteculties of this most inexplicable case. At ment, and must end in arousing a strong feelfirst sight, it seems impossible that either of ing in England, either against himself or these great personages can have made any against the minister of whom he complained. mistake in the matter, and still more unlikely He must, if Mr. Roebuck's statement be corthat they should have staked their names rect, have had a reason for risking this alterupon a misrepresentation that was certain to native. He knows England well, and it is be found out. It has been suggested that clear that he wishes to act in harmony with possibly the French emperor may be of opin- her. It is difficult, therefore, to believe that ion that it is worth his while to make some he can have taken so hazardous a step withsacrifice of his reputation for veracity for the out some very strong motive. Assuming that sake of disarming forever the bitter and cour-| the account given by the Government is true, he must have suddenly become bereft of rca-, with all the allies of England. In a troubled son. If no discourtesy has been shown, and time like ours, when the issues of peace and no communication, formal or informal, verbal war often hang upon an individual decision, or written, has passed between him and our it is uncomfortable to be represented by a Foreign Office regarding intervention or me- minister who possesses so remarkable a talent diation in American affairs since November for giving offence. last, is is quite unaccountable that he should not have renewed his proposal through a diplomatic channel, before resorting to the unex

From The Examiner, 4 July. ampled expedient of a direct communication to the English House of Commons. The very

MR. ROEBUCK AND THE EMPEROR OF THE fact, therefore, which is unquestionable, that

FRENCH. these two members were admitted to the In Swift's Polite Conversation some one Tuileries, and did bring back some message, runs a dozen miles to suck a bull. Mr. Roeno matter what its purport, appears somewhat buck ran to Paris to pump an emperor, and to press against the account of the matter the result has been even more unfortunate which was given on Thursday by Mr. Lay-than the “ no effects" in the case of the bull. ard.

| Mr. Roebuck returned in something like a It is impossible not to connect this im- state of pregnancy. He was big with Impebroglio with the recollection of other troubles rialism. He had more in him than he could by which Lord Russell's recent administration well contain, and it was observed that in his has been marked. He has already led Eng- speech upon recognition he carried himself land into more than one difficulty, not so with a singular and unaccustomed awkwardmuch by distinct errors of policy, as by sour- ness. He hoped the House would excuse bis ness of temper and discourtesy of language. entering on personal history, and like Lord The sting of his despatch to Denmark was less Grizzle in Tom Thumb, he asked it whether its substance than its form. In the judgment he should tell it what he was going to say, of most Englishmen, it leant too strongly to which was, that “ he knew certain things the side of Germany, but the deep offence about the state of the mind of the great French which it caused arose from the dictatorial in- ruler, which he was authorized to lay before solence with which the Foreign Minister's the House." Mr. Roebuck, by the help of suggestions were conveyed. It is evident Mr. Lindsay, had obtained an audience of the now that the breach with Brazil might have emperor, and what passed may be thought, been avoided but for the infirmities of temper as he says, somewhat surprising, but true for displayed by the English Foreign Office and all that, but, as it proves, not surprisingly its representative. It is at least a strange true. coincidence that this particular defect in our The emperor explained that as soon as he foreign administration, which had been too heard a report that he had changed his mind conclusively proved to exist by our experi- about America he gave instructions to his ence in former cases, should be the one pointed ambassador to deny the truth of it, and more, at in the alleged complaints of the Emperor to state that his feeling was stronger than of the French. The evidence on the whole ever for the recognition of the South; and of the American case is as conflicting as it farther, to ask our Government again whether can be ; but whatever its effect, and where it was willing to join him in that recogniever the right may be, Lord Russell cannot tion. turn the balance in his own favor by calling About this statement Mr. Roebuck says witnesses to character. Antecedently, noth- there can be no mistake; he pledges his veing is more probable than that he should racity that “the emperor told him the thing have treated the emperor rudely and snap- had been sent to Baron Gros," and it can't pishly. The emperor's mode of righting be truth that the British Government does himself is, however, to be utterly condemned; not know it; he does not believe the world and the two advocates of the Southern Con- will doubt his word, and he pledges his word federacy have done serious damage to their for the truth as far as he is concerned. No cause by invoking the counsel of a foreign doubt, but strange misunderstandings somesovereign to bias the decision of an English how or other do occur. Assembly. Dictation from any sovercign, We have Mr. Roebuck now face to face and, above all, dictation from France, must, with the emperor, in possession of his wishes in this country, bring even the most popular as to a most important line of policy, and Mr. cause into disrepute." But the mistake which Roebuck at once making himself master of the emperor or his English confidants may the situation, assumes the office of his majeshave made in this matter does not diminish ty's adviser. He laid before him two courses the inconvenience of having a Foreign Secra- of conduct. He said, your majesty may make tary who contrives to be on snubbing terms formal application to England -a bright idea

« EelmineJätka »