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SUPREMACY OF GOVERNMENT.
adversity, such as she has so often passed through, of vindicating the supremacy of government, to save civilization—a moment when she saw what she fondly deemed a fatal blow levelled at our prosperity, if not our very existence such a moment to join our foes, to make our destruction sure!
Thank God! she was the only nation that contemplated with satisfaction our impending doom. Thank God! she will never live to see it. We have been punished for our national sins already, till the blood has burst from every pore; and the cup of trembling may be pressed still harder to our lips hereafter. But we shall not die. In the Doomsday-Book of Nations, many a leaf must be turned after England's record has been passed, before ours can be reached. Nations never die in the morning
Constantinople? or all despotisms for crushing your supremacy? or all the peoples of Europe for crushing monarchy ?
"It would seem that England should be willing, at least, to let us manage our domestic affairs, since she has incurred a quarter of her national debt in interfering with them; that she should not now take to her arms 'the foul corpse of African slavery on our soil,' when it cost her so many millions of dollars to get rid of it in her own territories! Should not the Founder of Modern Liberty be glad to see how prosperously the brood of her young eagles had founded an empire-home in the New World's forests, and not writhe, and chafe, and bark at, and hawk at our nest, till she could come here and tear it to pieces?
The time had gone by, we hoped, when England, our own mother, would try to become our step-mother! Why could she not have been proud-in the pride of her daughter, and let her wear the jewels she had herself so nobly won? And yet malicious people say that England acts like some old dame, who, after parting with the title to a daughter's estate, feels that she has still some reserved right left to interfere in what no longer concerns her, and casts now and then an envious glance at beauty yet unshrivelled, and conquests forever beyond her reach.
"Can it be, my lord, that such unworthy feelings as these can now enter your heart as an English statesman? We cannot believe it. Can you desire to put one more great trouble on the heart of your beloved, widowed queen? We cannot believe it.
"My lord, you should be engaged in doing some good to the people of your own empire, for God knows they need it badly enough, rather than in trying to hurt a great, a kindred, and a friendly nation.
C. EDWARDS LESTER."
AMERICANS AT HOME IN FRANCE.
of life. They are chastised in their youth, that they may grow up in wisdom and righteousness. But when they have grown hoary in crime, and chastisement will no longer end in reformation, they must go to their graves, unwept, unrepented, unforgiven.
RATEFUL it always is to turn away from the contemplation of British unfriendliness to our Government, and, crossing that narrow channel, greet the sight of the vine-clad hills of France. Once on that genial soil, the American feels at home. He may not speak its language, he may not understand its simplest expressions; but he feels among friends. France may be growing restive under the reign of Louis Philippe, and the fever of an approaching revolution may be felt in the heated air; or that great nation may have grown wild in the delicious delirium of a Lamartine republic; the coup d'etat of the 2d of December may have just fallen; or he may find all France calm, prosperous and happy, under the strong but beneficent sway of the Emperor of her choice.
It is still France to the American.
So true is that saying of Rousseau: "It is possible to love friends better than kindred."
This sentiment is nothing new in our times. Under all forms of government, and at all periods of our political existence, the two nations have been friends. This friendship has been broken up by no war; it has been disturbed by no revolution. Nor is it at all likely to be, unless the aggression of the present Emperor, on American soil, shall awake a new feeling of animosity against all forms of monarchy, or imperialism. The reasons are plain. Under no possible circumstances can France love England.
Under no possible circumstances can England like France. France did not willingly resign her empire in North America; and the moment our Declaration of Independence was made, she became our national ally, and helped
THE FIRST PATH-FINDERS OF OUR EMPIRE.
us to wrest the Thirteen Colonies from the grasp of her ancient foe. She, again, for a miserable pittance, sold us the vast territory of Louisiana-first, to strengthen our Government, and second, to keep it out of the hands of England. It is safe to say, that if we had not held the mouth of the Mississippi, we should have had a very different history.
UT this is by no means all we owe to France. We are indebted far more to her efforts for the civilization of America, than we are even to her friendship, since we became a people.
A glance or two at the past will make this clear.
Most of the continent, lying within the limits of the fortyninth and twenty-ninth parallels of latitude, belonged originally to France; and all along its great shores and rivers she set up the light-houses of civilization. She explored all the great lines of communication which the trade and commerce of the continent follow to-day.
Beginning with the mouth of the great river St. Lawrence, she penetrated the unknown bosom of North America. Arrested only for a day before Niagara-that eternal miracle of the physical creation-the explorers pushed on over inland seas, till, without the stars to guide them, they would have been hopelessly lost, on the waving prairies of the Far West.
Those early explorers were the Jesuit missionaries of France. They were the first pathfinders of our empire; they first carried the torch of Christianity and science into those unexplored regions.
Two centuries have gone by; but their monuments still remain. They can be traced from Arcadia to St. Anthony's Falls. The magic shores of Champlain and Lake George still hold the echoes of the shouts of the chivalry of France. They planted the fleur-de-lis, and it grows there still. The names of Montcalm and Champlain still ring around those mountains;
192 FRANCE BROUGHT CIVILIZATION TO AMERICA.
and among the few stricken descendants of Indian tribes who still haunt those neighborhoods, these names are household words.
The French left their language among the children of the forest, and it is preserved. The Iroquois still remember, with tenderness and love, the souvenirs left them by the humanity, the science, the genius and superb manners of the Jesuit fathers, and the brave cavaliers of the age of Louis XIV.
Sailing up the other great continental river from the Gulf of Mexico, the French explorers reached the westernmost point their St. Lawrence brothers had made, till they met and held council on one of those anticlinal ridges, where, if a drop of water be spilt on a sharp edge, half of it finds its way to the ocean through the St. Lawrence, the other going to mingle with the warm Gulf Stream.
And so everywhere, in following the path of these explorers, we find evidences of the efforts of the French to introduce civilization. They founded cities; they established missions; they explored regions utterly unknown; and they left in their writings imperishable monuments to their fame.
France came to America to give light, knowledge, science, religion, liberty. For no other purpose did she ever set foot on this continent, till a Quixotic expedition landed in Mexico.
England never came but for robbery, conquest, or to establish negro slavery. She never tried to civilize the American Indian. She never helped establish a colony on this continent, unless it may have been to reward a court favorite with a monopoly, or to make sinecures for her nobility.
New England owes her no thanks; for it was settled by the Puritans, after she had hunted them out of her kingdom like wild beasts. Miles Standish, Roger Williams, Lord Baltimore, William Penn, Oglethorpe : what did the British government ever do for any of these men, or their colonies?
True, England was ready enough to claim such colonies as her property, and such colonists as her subjects, as soon as they were important enough to tempt her cupidity. But what help
KIND FEELING IN AMERICA CHILLED.
did the British government ever give these colonies? It was claimed in the House of Commons during the debate on the Stamp Act, that we had been planted by its care, and nurtured by its protection. "Planted by your care?" exclaimed the indignant Colonel Barré. "No! your oppressions planted them in America. Nourished by your indulgence? They grew up by your neglect."
EAVING, however, all old wrongs in oblivion, and forgetting even the insults which followed them in later years, a new generation had come prepared to look with friendly eyes on what was once called in America, our fatherland. The two nations seemed coming together and clasping hands in a lasting alliance. A cable was laid on the floor of the ocean that rolled between us; and once, at least, it sent a message of amity, and it was heartily responded to. Here, the amity seemed to end. The cable could go no further. Was it ominous? It seems up-hill work to lay another, particularly with both termini on British soil! Yes! to flash by submarine lightning new aid and comfort to the murderers of our republic-advising them, that a new steam war-pirate for their service has just passed the grain-ship Griswold in the Mersey-the one to destroy the commerce and the lives of loyal American citizens, the other freighted with bread, to save the lives of the starving operatives of Lancashire!
Most English statesmen seemed, during our Rebellion, to be laboring under a strange infatuation. They appeared to forget from what sources this nation sprang, and the elements of strength and endurance we had aggregated in our progress; that we are not one people, but all peoples, since all have mingled to aggregate one Republic; that these new combinations have resulted in a new form of national existence; that none of of us propose to surrender this system of political life; that any other system must, at least for a long time to come, be an