Monday, March 11, 2013

What Will England Do?

The great body of the English people are far from having a distaste for war, though they may not so much fancy an increase of an already burdensome taxation.  Let me be as frank as I ever have been and tell you the truth in this matter.  The great body of the English, and still more the Irish people, are disappointed and disgusted.  They expected a war.  It is not too much to say that they wished for one.  They expected war, and prepared for it at a cost of two or three millions.  Even the Guards were sent off in hot haste to Canada.  And England, this day, is ready to seize upon any pretext which will allow her to take a belligerent position.  When Lord Palmerston went to the meeting of the Privy Council, which met to consider the Trent affair, his first remark, on laying down his hat was “I don’t know whether the English people are going to stand this American business or not, but I’m d----d if I do!”

There can be no reasonable doubt that the United States must either fight England within the next twelve months, or submit to a series of terrible humiliations.  One question will be raised after another.  The first issue will be on the doctrines of Mr. Seward’s recent dispatch.  Then will come a protest against the permanent closing and destruction of the Southern ports, as against the laws of nations and of nature. – The question of recognition of the independence of the Southern Confederacy will be one of the first brought before Parliament.  Gen. McClellan has little time to lose.  The only logic to which Europe will listen is the unanswerable argument of un fait accompli.  The South must be subjugated, or it will be recognized.  If you do not end the war, France and England will.  France to-day is more the friend of the South, and more interested in her success, than is England, even.  Sympathy with the North, strangely enough is rarer in France and Spain than here.  Further more if you make the war one for abolition, you will have a large party both in England and France.  But it is not a powerful party.  The powerful of both countries have too much sympathy with freedom. – {London Cor., N. Y. Times, Jan 15.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, February 8, 1862, p. 2

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