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losses of the contest; for if it be of little value, then we are quarrelling for an abstract principle, a mere theory in the law of nations, which is no way binding on our policy. We had occasion, in a former number, to remark, while discussing the same subject, that as a nation which raises a surplus of subsistence for exportation always ensures a supply for its own consumption, so there is every reason to think, that by training a surplus number of seamen for the use of others, we shall have always more abundance for our own service. The maritime trade of the country is the great fund for recruiting our navy; and there is surely no great reason for jealousy or apprehension, because the supply overflows into the service of other countries. Every view of the case, then, seems strongly to prescribe the policy of caution and forbearance in the prosecution of this claim; and in any negotiation to which it may give rise, it never ought to be forgotten that the trade which this quarrel has already interrupted gives bread to thousands of industrious mechanics in this country; while in America, it clothes the desert with cultivation, and extends the boundaries of rational nature.
We touch but lightly at present on these topics, both because we still entertain a hope that matters may be accommodated in such a way as to render it unnecessary to go more deeply into the subject-and because we must return to them in another tone and another temper, if it shall appear that the means of accommodation have been ignorantly neglected or madly refused. It is impossible to leave the subject, however, without again calling the attention of our readers to the unexampled and unnatural folly of this war between men of the same kindred and tongue-the only two free nations that are now left in the world-and the only two that have a constant, an equal, and an evident interest to keep well with each other. On our part especially, it is obvious that we have absolutely nothing whatever to gain, and almost every thing to lose, in this deplorable conflict. Since the revocation of the Orders in Council, there is really no principle at issue between the two countries. The limits of the right of blockade are fixed by the law of nations upon grounds that admit of no serious dispute; and stand declared by our own living judges in terms with which America professes to be completely satisfied. With regard to the impressment of seamen, again, America does not deny that we have a right to reclaim such men as we can prove to be British subjects, and owing allegiance to our crown; and we do not pretend to have any right to impress any who are really and truly citizens of America. whole quarrel is about the proper means of asserting these rights of the substantial value of which, we have already
said a little-and as to the practical exercise of which, we take it to be utterly impossible that two nations, like England and America, can ever cordially agree. The truth is, that there are very many such cases; and that neutrals and belligerants do but very seldom agree as to the regulations by which the rights of war and of neutrality are to be respectively secured. The matter is always practically adjusted by a sort of compromise, under which both parties consent to pass from a part of what they maintain to be their legal right; and things go on with a little grumbling, till the restoration of peace takes away all occasion of discussion.
We are now at war, however, for the assertion of our own way of exercising those rights; and have begun accordingly by destroying the very thing for the beneficial possession of which we profess to be contending. What we claim is, a right to treat neutrals in a certain way-to derive what they consider as an excessive advantage from their neutrality-and to impose what they call an unreasonable restraint on their intercourse with the enemy-and, in pursuit of this object, we put an end to the very name of neutrality. We convert all neutrals into open enemies; and drive them into the cordial alliance of that hostile power with whom we would not allow them a very limited communication!-Such is the object and pretext of the war-and such its immediate and necessary effect.
Other object or pretext it can have none. America has no possessions that we can take from her-none, we believe, that we have even a desire to obtain. We have no hope, there fore, of acquiring any thing whatsoever by persisting in this contest; and we are at war for the naked and barren power of asserting our belligerant rights in our own way; or, to speak more properly, we have turned the last neutral into an enemy rather than submit to an amicable discussion upon the least oppressive way of exercising a right, the existence of which is not so much as disputed. Such is the utmost amount of our possible gains-our losses, certain and probable, do not admit, we fear, of so short an enumeration. We shall speak only of the former.
In the first place, then, we lose our whole trade with America-almost the only foreign trade that was left to us-and at all times worth infinitely more than all the rest put together. After what we said in our last number on this subject and while the universal and agonizing distress into which the country has relapsed, speaks in accents too piercing to be borne, in every quarter of the land, we forbear to add one word upon a theme so copious and so conclusive. In the second place, we lose all the men and the money that must be
sacrificed to the carrying on of this war at a moment when our finances are confessedly almost inadequate to the prosecution of the other wars in which we are engaged-and when the success of those great and glorious exertions appears to be almost desperate, from the mere circumstance of the impossibility of finding men to supply the place of those who perish. In the third place, we take it to be one of the certain consequences of the continuance of this war, that we shall either lose Canada for ever, to the great disgrace and mortification of the country-or be obliged to abandon the Peninsula, and carry on a still more sanguinary and expensive war for its preservation. In the fourth place, our West-India colonies will be starved; and their trade, which so many other causes have concurred to depress, almost entirely ruined by the swarms of privateers which will issue from every point of the adjoining continent; while our own supplies of grain, in the event of a deficiency at home, and of naval stores, in the event of disasters in the North, will be almost entirely cut off. Finally, we shall excite not only a spirit of rooted hostility among a people obviously destined to outnumber any European nation-but we shall train them before their day to the cultivation of their home manufactures, and lose for ever that trade which it is our most obvious interest to retain. . But it may be said, we did not make the war. The defiance was given, and the blow struck by America; and now we are under the absolute necessity of fighting, or of giving up the honour and the substantial interests of the nation. We cannot bring ourselves to admit this: but if the fact were made out, we should concur most heartily in the conclusion. A nation like England should submit to any thing rather than to the slightest impeachment of her honour. It is not only her pride and her enjoyment-but her actual strength and security, and the vital spring of all her prosperity. If our honour is really committed in this contest-and if America will listen to no terms of pacification which it is fitting for us to concede then the contest must go on; and every thing else must be sacrificed to maintain it with spirit and effect. But if matters are come at last to this deplorable extremity -if it be true that we are now under the necessity of yielding up the national honour, or of persisting in such a war as we have described, it cannot, at least, be denied, that it is a crisis which has been very recently produced; and that it has been produced by men, and by measures that are sufficiently notorious. There is not a man in the kingdom who can doubt, that if the orders in council had been rescinded six months sooner, the war might have been entirely avoided, and all other points of difference between the countries adjusted upon
an amicable footing. Nor is there an individual who has attended at all to the progress of the dispute, who does not see that it was embittered from the first, and wantonly urged to its present fatal issue, by the insolent, petulant, and preposterous tone of those very individuals who insisted upon that miserable experiment--and plunged their own country in wretchedness, only to bring down upon it the reluctant hostility of its best customers and allies. If those mischievous and despicable councils were once cordially renounced-if this paltry and irritating tone were for ever interdicted at our public offices-if the negotiation were committed to a man acceptable to the Americans, and free from the suspicion of insincerity which the character of our late diplomatic communications with her have so naturally excited; we are fully persuaded that a speedy and an honourable termination might yet be put to this unnatural contest, which if it be purely ruinous and disreputable to us, promises also to be so much more detrimental than beneficial to our opponent.
At present, however, we confess that we look in vain for the indications of such a salutary change of policy—and are even disposed to fear that the same spirit of animosity and unconciliating contempt which has evidently pervaded the whole proceedings of the government, still prevails to a considerable extent among the body of our people. The pressure. of present distress is too heavy, indeed, to allow the war itself to be popular ;-but we suspect that the temper and disposition which have provoked it are still pretty general :—and such are the arts by which courtly prejudices have been fomented, and ancient grudges kept alive, that no small part of the nation look with feelings of peculiar hostility towards the people to which they bear the nearest resemblance; and willingly abet their rulers in treating the Americans with less respect, and less cordiality, than any other foreign nation. If this proceeds from considering them as weaker than any other nation, we cannot say it is very magnanimous :-if from regarding them as our own rebellious offspring, it is neither very generous nor very wise. They asserted their independence upon principles which they derived from us, and upon which we still make it our boast and our glory to act. Their revolt was the real evidence of their consanguinity-their rebellion against us the surest proof of their genuine descent: and, while all rational men are now satisfied that their independence is much more advantageous to us than any form of their submission could have been, surely there is nothing in their having established a free government, that ought to give rise to any feelings of repugnance or hostility in us. They are descended from our loins--they speak our language-they have adopted
our laws they retain our usages and manners-they read our books-they have copied our freedom-they rival our courage: and yet they are less popular and less esteemed among us than the base and bigoted Portuguese, or the ferocious and ignorant Russians.
From what does this arise-or on what pretext is it justified? We can hear but one answer to this and it is really so weak and so absurd an answer, that if it had not met us in so many quarters, we should not have believed that it could ever have been seriously given. Their manners, it seems, are not agreeable :-society with them is not on a good footing :—and, upon the whole, they are far from being so polite and wellbred as might be desired. Now, we should really be inclined to doubt whether it would be a justifiable cause for seriously quarrelling, even with a next-door neighbour, that he had a bad taste in anecdotes, and did not thoroughly understand the arrangement of evening parties: But to insist upon going to war-with a whole nation-at the other side of the Atlanticbecause it has been reported that their rich people are not very elegant-that their dinners are vulgar, and their routes dulldoes appear to us to be somewhat extravagant and unreasonable. It is impossible, however, not to remark, that those who hate the Americans so much for their inattention to the graces in their manners and conversation, cannot be supposed to feel any great love or respect for the greater part of their own countrymen; for, though we are not absolutely nor altogether a nation of shopkeepers, we are very much afraid that more than nine-tenths of the middling and better sort of people among ourselves belong to this reprobated class of traders and dealers, and have very much the same manners with their brethren in America. The society of New-York and Philadelphia, in short, we imagine, must be at least as good as that of Glasgow or Manchester; and though we make no doubt that the beau monde of the latter places will be extremely scandalized at the supposition, we can assure them that the Americans consider it as just as little flattering to them; at least we have now lying before us a New-York publication, in which one of these republican wits makes himself exceedingly merry with the ignorance, vulgarity and forwardness, of the English traders and agents that occasionally resort to his city.
This objection, then, though we hear it daily made by persons who have not the slightest conception of what polite society is, is obviously quite ridiculous in the mouth of all but the few who move in the very highest circles of fashion; and can only relate to the few who hold a similar rank in the scale of American society, and discharge its functions, it seems, in a less perfect manner. The great body of the people is better