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I left England in August last-- August 1861. At that time, and for some months previous, I think that the general English feeling on the American question was as follows. “This widespread nationality of the United States, with its enormous territorial possessions and increasing population, has fallen asunder, torn to pieces by the weight of its own discordant parts,-as a congregation when its size has become unwieldy will separate, and reform itself into two wholesome wholes. It is well that this should be so, for the people are not homogeneous, as a people should be who are called to live together as one nation. They have attempted to combine free-soil sentiments with the practice of slavery, and to make these two antagonists live together in peace and unity under the same roof; but, as we have long expected, they have failed. Now has come the period for separation; and if the people would only see this, and act in accordance with the circumstances which Proyidence and the inevitable hand of the world's ruler has prepared for them, all would be well. But they will not do this. They will go to war with each other. The South will make her demands for secession with an arrogance and instant pressure which exasperates the North ; and the North, forgetting that an equable temper in such matters is the most powerful of all weapons, will not recognize the strength of its own position. It allows itself to be exasperated, and goes to war for that which if regained would only be injurious to it. Thus millions on millions sterling will be spent. A heavy debt will be incurred; and the North, which divided from the South might take its place among the greatest of nations, will throw itself back for half a century, and perhaps injure the splendour of its ultimate prospects. If only they would be wise, throw down their arms, and agree to part! But they will not.”

This was, I think, the general opinion when I left England. It would not, however, be necessary to go back many months to reach the time when Englishmen were saying how impossible it was that so great a national power should ignore its own greatness, and destroy its own power by an internecine separation. But in August last all that had gone by, and we in England had realized the probability of actual secession.

To these feelings on the subject may be added another, which was natural enough though perhaps not noble.

66 These western cocks have crowed loudly,” we said, “ too loudly for the comfort of those who live after all at no such great distance from them. It is well that their combs should be clipped. Cocks who crow so very loudly are a nuisance. It might have

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gone so far that the clipping would become a work necessarily to be done from without. But it is ten times better for all parties that it should be done from within ; and as the cocks are now clipping their own combs, in God's name let them do it and the whole world will be the quieter.” That, I say, was not a very noble idea; but it was natural enough, and certainly has done somewhat in mitigating that grief which the horrors of civil war and the want of cotton have caused to us in England.

Such certainly had been my belief as to the country. I speak here of my opinion as to the ultimate success of secession and the folly of the war, -repudiating any concurrence of my own in the ignoble but natural sentiment alluded to in the last paragraph. I certainly did think that the Northern States, if wise, would have let the Southern States go. I had blamed Buchanan as a traitor for allowing the germ of secession to make any growth;—and as I thought him a traitor then, so do I think him a traitor now. But I had also blamed Lincoln, or rather the government of which Mr. Lincoln in this matter is no more than the exponent, for his efforts to avoid that which is inevitable. In this I think that I-or as I believe I may say we, we Englishmen-were wrong. I do not see how the North, treated as it was and had been, could have submitted to secession without resistance. We all remember what Shakespere says of the great armies which were led out to fight for a piece of ground not large enough to cover the bodies of those who would be slain in the battle; but I do not remember that

; Shakespere says that the battle was on this account necessarily unreasonable. It is the old point of honour, which, till it had been made absurd by certain changes of circumstances, was always grand and usually beneficent. These changes of circumstances have altered the manner in which appeal may be made, but have not altered the point of honour. Had the Southern States sought to obtain secession by constitutional means, they might or might not have been successful; but if successful there would have been no war. I do not mean to brand all the Southern States with treason, nor do I intend to say that having secession at heart they could have obtained it by constitutional means. But I do intend to say that acting as they did, demanding secession not constitutionally but in opposition to the constitution, taking upon themselves the right of breaking up a nationality of which they formed only a part, and doing that without consent of the other part, opposition from the North and war was an inevitable consequence.

It is, I think, only necessary to look back to the revolution by which the United States separated themselves from England to see this. There is hardly to be met, here and there, an Englishman who now regrets the loss of the revolted American colonies ;—who now thinks that civilization was retarded and the world injured by that revolt; who now conceives that England should have expended more treasure and more lives in the hope of retaining those colonies. It is agreed that the revolt was a good thing; that those who were then rebels became patriots by success, and that they deserved well of all coming ages of mankind. But not the less absolutely necessary was it that England should endeavour to hold her own.

She was as the mother bird when the young bird will fly alone. She suffered those pangs which Nature calls upon mothers to endure.

As was the necessity of British opposition to American independence, so was the necessity of Northern opposition to Southern secession. I do not say that in other respects the two cases were parallel. The States separated from us because they would not endure taxation without representation—in other words because they were old enough and big enough to go alone. The South is seceding from the North because the two are not homogeneous. They have different instincts, different appetites, different morals, and a different culture. It is well for one man to say that slavery has caused the separation ; and for another to say that slavery has not caused it. Each in so saying speaks the truth. Slavery haş caused it, seeing that slavery is the great point on which the two have agreed to differ. But slavery has not caused it, seeing that other points of difference are to be found in every circumstance and feature of the two people. The North and the South must ever be dissimilar. In the North labour will always be honourable, and because honourable successful. In the South labour has ever been servile,—at least in some sense, and therefore dishonourable; and because dishonourable has not, to itself, been successful. In the South, I say, labour ever has been dishonourable; and I am driven to confess that I have not hitherto seen a sign of any change in the Creator's fiat on this matter. That labour will be honourable all the world over, as years advance and the millennium draws nigh, I for one never doubt.

So much for English opinion about America in August last. And now I will venture to say a word or two as to American feeling respecting this English opinion at that period. It will of course be remembered by all my readers that at the beginning of the war Lord Russell, who was then in the lower house,

declared as Foreign Secretary of State that England would regard the North and South as belligerents, and would remain neutral as to both of them. This declaration gave violent offence to the North, and has been taken as indicating British sympathy with the cause of the seceders. I am not going to explain-indeed it would be necessary that I should first understand—the laws of nations with regard to blockaded ports, privateering, ships and men and goods contraband of war, and all those semi-nautical semi-military rules and axioms which it is necessary that all Attorneys-General and such like should at the present moment have at their fingers' end. But it must be evident to the most ignorant in those matters, among which large crowd I certainly include myself, that it was essentially necessary that Lord John Russell should at that time declare openly what England intended to do. It was essential that our seamen should know where they would be protected and where not, and that the course to be taken by England should be defined. Reticence in the matter was not within the power of the British Government. It behoved the Foreign Secretary of State to declare openly that England intended to side either with one party or with the other, or else to remain neutral between them.

I had heard this matter discussed by Americans before I left England, and I have of course heard it discussed very frequently in America. There can be no doubt that the front of the offence given by England to the Northern States was this declaration of Lord John Russell's. But it has been always made evident to me that the sin did not consist in the fact of England's neutrality,--in the fact of her regarding the two parties as belligerents,—but in the open declaration made to the world by a Secretary of State that she did intend so to regard them. If another proof were wanting, this would afford another proof of the immense weight attached in America to all the proceedings and to all the feelings of England on this matter. The very anger of the North is a compliment paid by the North to England. But not the less is that anger unreasonable. To those in America who understand our constitution, it must be evident that our Government cannot take official measures without a public avowal of such measures. France can do so. Russia can do so. The Government of the United States can do so, and could do so even before this rupture. But the Government of England cannot do so. All men connected with the Government in England have felt themselves from time to time more or less hampered by the necessity of publicity. Our statesmen have been forced to fight their battles with the plan of their tactics open before their adversaries. But we, in England, are inclined to believe, that the general result is good, and that battles so fought and so won will be fought with the honestest blows, and won with the surest results. Reticence in this matter was not possible, and Lord John Russell in making the open avowal which gave such offence to the Northern States only did that which, as a servant of England, England required him to do.

“What would you in England have thought,” a gentleman of much weight in Boston said to me, “if when you were in trouble in India, we had openly declared that we regarded your opponents there as belligerents on equal terms with yourselves ?» I was forced to say that, as far as I could see, there was no analogy between the two cases. In India an army had mutinied, and that an army composed of a subdued, if not a servile race. The analogy would have been fairer had it referred to any sympathy shown by us to insurgent negroes. But, nevertheless, had the army which mutinied in India been in possession of ports and sea-board; had they held in their hands vast commercial cities and great agricultural districts; had they owned ships and been masters of a wide-spread trade, America could have done nothing better towards us than have remained neutral in such a conflict, and have regarded the parties as belligerents. The only question is whether she would have done so well by us. “But,” said my friend in answer to all this,

we should not have proclaimed to the world that we regarded you and them as standing on an equal footing." There again appeared the true gist of the offence. A word from England such as that spoken by Lord John Russell was of such weight to the South, that the North could not endure to have it spoken. I did not say to that gentleman,-but here I may say, that had such circumstances arisen as those conjectured, and had America spoken such a word, England would not have felt herself called upon to resent it.

But the fairer analogy lies between Ireland and the Southern States. The monster meetings and O'Connell's triumphs are not so long gone by but that many of us can remember the first demand for secession made by Ireland, and the line which was then taken by American sympathies. It is not too much to say that America then believed that Ireland would secure secession, and that the great trust of the Irish repealers was in the moral aid which she did and would receive from America. “But our Government proclaimed no sympathy with Ireland,"

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