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tunately thwarted and retarded by the heats that rose out of the French revolution, and the new interests and new relations which it appeared for a time to create:- And the hos. tilities in which we were at last involved with America herself-though the opinions of her people, as well as our own, were deeply divided upon both questions-served still further to embitter the general feeling, and to keep alive the memory of animosities that should not have been so long remembered. At last came peace and the spirit, but not the prosperity of peace; and the distresses and commercial embarrassments of both countries threw both into bad humour, and unfortunately hurried both into a system of jealous and illiberal policy, by which that bad humour was aggravated, and received an unfortunate direction.
In this exasperated state of the national temper, and, we do think, too much under its influence, Mr. Walsh has thought himself called upon to vindicate his country from the aspersions of English writers; and after arraigning them, generally, of the most incredible ignorance, and atrocious malignity, he proceeds to state, that the EDINBURGH and QUARTERLY Reviews, in particular, have been incessantly labouring to traduce the character of America, and have lately broken out into such 'excesses of obloquy,' as can no longer be endured; and, in particular, that the prospect of a large emigration to the United States has thrown us all into such paroxysms of spite and jealousy,' that we have engaged in a scheme of systematic defamation that sets truth and consistency alike at defiance. To counteract this nefarious scheme, Mr. W. has taken the field---not so much to refute or to retort-not for the purpose of pointing out our errors, or exposing our unfairness, but, rather, if we understand him aright, of retaliating on us the abuse we have been so long pouring on others. In his preface, accordingly, he fairly avows it to be his intention to act on the offensive to carry the war into the enemy's quarters, and to make reprisals upon the honour and character of England, in revenge for the insults which, he will have it, her writers have heaped on his country. He therefore proposes to point out the sores and blotches of the British nation' to the scorn and detestation of his countrymen; and having assumed, that it is the intention of Great Britain to educate her youth in sentiments of the most rancorous hostility to America,' he assures us, that this design will and must be met with corresponding sentiments on his side of the water.'
Now, though we cannot applaud the generosity, or even the humanity of these sentiments-though we think that the American government and people, if at all deserving of the eulogy which Mr. W. has here bestowed upon them, might, like Cromwell, have felt themselves too strong to care about paper shot—and though we cannot but feel, that a more temperate and candid tone would have carried more weight, as well as more magnanimity with it, we must yet begin by admitting, that America has cause of complaint;—and that nothing can be more despicable and disgusting, than the scurrility with which she has been assailed, by a portion of the press of this country—and that, disgraceful as these publications are, they speak the sense of a powerful and active party in the nation. All this, and more than this, we have no wish, and no intention, to deny. But we do wish most anxiously to impress upon Mr. W. and his adherents, to beware how they believe that this party speaks the sense of the British nation-or that their sentiments on this, or on many other occasions, are in any degree in accordance with those of the body of the people. On the contrary, we are firmly persuaded, that a great majority of the nation, numerically considered, and a still greater majority of the intelligent and enlightened persons, whose influence and authority cannot fail in the long-run to govern her councils, would disclaim all sympathy with any part of these opinions; and actually look on the miserable libels in question, not only with the
scorn and disgust to which Mr. W. would consign them, but with a sense of shame from which his situation fortunately exempts him, and a sorrow and regret of which unfortunately he seems too little susceptible.
It is a fact which can require no proof, even in America, that there is a party in this country not friendly to political liberty, and decidedly hostile to all extension of popular rights,—which, if it does not grudge to its own people the powers and privileges which are bestowed on them by the constitution, is at least for confining their exercise within the narrowest limits—which thinks the peace and well-being of society in no danger from any thing but popular encroachments, and holds the only safe or desirable government to be that of a pretty pure and unincumbered monarchy, supported by a vast revenue and a powerful army, and obeyed by a people just enlightened enough to be orderly and industrious, but no way curious as to questions of right—and never presuming to judge of the conduct of their superiors.
Now, it is quite true that this party dislikes America, and is apt enough to decry and insult her. Its adherents never have forgiven the success of her war of independence --the loss of a nominal sovereignty, or perhaps of a real power of vexing and oppressing—her supposed rivalry in trade-and, above all, the happiness and tranquillity which she enjoys under a republican form of government. Such a spectacle of democratical prosperity is unspeakably mortifying to their high monarchical principles, and is easily imagined to be dangerous to their security. Their first wish, and, for a time, their darling hope, was, that the infant States would quarrel among themselves, and be thankful to be again received under our protection, as a refuge from military despotism. Since that hope was lost, it would have satisfied them to find that their republican institutions had made them poor and turbulent and depraved-incapable of civil wisdom, regardless of national honour, and as intractable to their own elected rulers as they had been to their hereditary sovereign. To those who were capable of such wishes and such expectations, it is easy to conceive, that the happiness and good order of the United States--the wisdom and authority of their government-and the unparalleled rapidity of their progress in wealth, population, and refinement, must have been but an ungrateful spectacle; and most especially, that the splendid and steady success of the freest and most popular form of government that ever was established in the world, must have struck the most lively alarm into the hearts of all those who were anxious to have it believed that the people could never interfere in politics but to their ruin, and that the smallest addition to the democratical influence, recognised in the theory at least of the British constitution, must lead to the immediate destruction of peace and property, morality and religion.
That there are journals in this country, and journals too of great and deserved reputation in other respects, who have spoken the language of the party we have now described, and that in a tone of singular intemperance and offence, we most readily admit. But need we tell Mr. W. or any ordina. rily well informed individual of his countrymen, that neither this party nor their journalists can be allowed to stand for the people of England?—that it is notorious that there is among that people another and a far more numerous party, whose sentiments are at all points opposed to those of the former, and who are by necessary consequence, friends to America, and to all that Americans most value in their character and institutions!--who, as Englishmen, are more proud to have great and glorious nations descended from them, than to have discontented colonies uselessly subjected to their capricewho, as freemen, rejoice to see freedom spreading itself, with giant footsteps, over the fairest regions of the earth, and nations flourishing exactly in proportion as they are freeand to know, that when the drivelling advocates of hierarchy
and legitimacy vent their paltry sophistries with some shadow of plausibility on the history of the Old World, they can turn with decisive triumph, to the unequivocal example of the New-and demonstrate the unspeakable advantages of free government, by the unprecedented prosperity of America? Such persons, too, can be as little suspected of entertaining any jealousy of the commercial prosperity of the Americans, as of their political freedom; since it requires but a very moderate share of understanding to see, that the advantages of trade must always be mutual and reciprocal—that one great trading country is of necessity the best customer to another--and that the trade of America, consisting chiefly in the exportation of raw produce and the importation of manufactured commodities, is, of all others, the most benificial to a country like England.
That such sentiments were naturally to be expected in a country circumstanced like England, no thinking man will deny. But Mr. Walsh has been himself among us, and was, we have reason to believe, no idle or incurious observer of our men and cities; and we appeal with confidence to him, whether these were not the prevailing sentiments among the intelligent and well educated of every degree! If he thinks as we do, as to their soundness and importance, he must also believe that they will sooner or later influence the conduct even of our court and cabinet. But, in the mean time, the fact is certain, that the opposite sentiments are confined to a very small portion of the people of Great Britain---though now placed unfortunately in a situation to exercise a great influence in her councils--and that the course of events, as well as the force of reason, is every day bringing them more and more into discredit. Where then, we would ask, is the justice or the policy of seeking to render, a quarrel national, when the cause of quarrel is only with an inconsiderable and declining party of its membersi—and why labour to excite animosity against a whole people, the majority of whom must