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as possible, on all occasions, those great points of union that must connect two nations, which not only, as my honorable friend Mr. Lawrence has said, have one origin, and speak one language, but which also transact their greatest amount of business with each other. Why, gentlemen, in what possible manner can difficulties of serious character arise between two nations thus situated, except through mutual prejudices, which, having been suffered to grow up, will be apt, until eradicated, to create a wrong impression as to the real policy and feelings of the one and the other? My endeavors, then, gentlemen, have been to remove all such prejudices; ay, and to replace them by sympathies. For this purpose, as my friend Mr. Walker justly said, I have addressed myself not merely to the American mind, but to the American heart. For this purpose, I have thought it essential, not merely to correspond formally with your State department, but also to have frank and free communication with your noble and intelligent people. For this purpose, I have mixed with your public men, studied your institutions, taken an interest in your affairs, partaken of your festivities, conformed to your habits, and always been willing, not only to eat a good dinner with you, but to make a bad speech after one. Gentlemen, I should be quite satisfied to take, as my reward for these efforts, the eloquent and far more than deserved encomium which has been passed upon me by the distinguished gentleman who proposed the toast I am responding to But my mission had also another reward—another result—which, if I am not wearying you, I will state as being not only interesting to our two communities, but to the world at large; I mean a treaty by which Great Britain and the United States, without infringing on the rights of the humblest individual or the smallest State, have agreed, on one condition, to protect the construction and guarantee the security when constructed, of any canal or railway which may open a passage across Central America, between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. And what was that one condition on which our two governments thus insisted? Why, that they should not, either separately or conjointly, possess one single privilege or advantage, with respect to such canal or railway, which should not be offered, on equal terms, to every other nation on the face of the globe. Gentlemen, I do confess that I am proud that such a treaty as this should have been entered into by the United States and Great Britain; and I will also add that I have a humble pride in stating that one of the signatures attached to that convention is the name of the individual who has now the honour of addressing you. Gentlemen, I lay a great stress upon this fact, because I felt when I signed that instrument to which I am referring, that I laid the foundation stone of a great and equitable alliance between our two countries;an alliance which should not have for its object the wronging or despoiling, but the benefiting and protecting the rest of mankind; and surely, gentlemen, if such an union were ever required, it is at this moment; —for at this moment the world is, as it were, violently vibrating between two extremes, and appears of necessity to demand some regulating influence, to moderate and steady its oscillations;—and where, gentlemen, can such an influence be better found than in the cordial union of Great Britain and the United States? In this,
It is true that you live under a Republic, and we under a Monarchy; but what of that? The foundations of both societies are law and religion. The purpose of both governments is liberty and order. The more you love your Republic, gentlemen, the more you detest those principles of confusion and division, which would destroy it. The more we love our Monarchy, the more we cherish and cling to those principles of equity and freedom which preserve it. indeed, lies the great moral strength of our close connexion. Hand in hand, we can stand together, alike opposed to the anarchist, who calls himself the friend of the People, and to the absolutist, who calls himself the friend of the Throne. Long, then, gentlemen, let us thus stand together, the champions of peace between nations, of conciliation between opinions—and if, notwithstanding our example and our efforts, the trumpet of war should sound, and that war to which it calls us should be a war of opinion, why, still let us stand together. Our friends, in that day of conflict, shall be chosen from the most wise, the most moderate, and the most just; nor, whilst we plant the red-cross of England by the side of the stars and stripes of America, do I for one instant doubt but that we shall leave recol. lections to our posterity worthy of those which we have inherited from our ancestors.
T may be asked, perhaps, Supposing all this to be
true, what can we do? Are we to go to war? Are we to interfere in the Greek cause, or any other European cause? Are we to endanger our pacific relations? No, certainly not. What, then, the question recurs, remains for us? If we will not endanger our own peace, if we will neither furnish armies nor navies to the cause which we think the just one, what is there within our power?
Sir, this reasoning mistakes the age. The time has been, indeed, when fleets, and armies, and subsidies were the principal reliances even in the best cause. But, happily for mankind, a great change has taken place in this respect. Moral causes come into consideration, in proportion as the progress of knowledge is advanced; and the public opinion of the civilized world is rapidly gaining an ascendency over mere brutal force. It is already able to oppose the most formidable obstruction to the progress of injustice and oppression; and as it grows more intelligent and more intense, it will be more and more formidable. It may be silenced by military power, but it cannot be conquered. It is elastic, irrepressible, and invulnerable to the weapons of ordinary warfare. It is that impassible, unextinguishable enemy of mere violence and arbitrary rule, which, like Milton's angels
Vital in every part
Until this be propitiated or satisfied, it is vain for power to talk either of triumphs or of repose. No
matter what fields are desolated, what fortresses surrendered, what armies subdued, or what provinces overrun. In the history of the year that has passed by us, and in the instance of unhappy Spain, we have seen the vanity of all triumphs in a cause which violates the general sense of justice of the civilized world. It is nothing that the troops of France have passed from the Pyrenees to Cadiz; it is nothing that an unhappy and prostrate nation has fallen before them; it is nothing that arrests, and confiscations, and execution sweep away the little remnant of national resistance. There is an enemy that still exists to check the glory of these triumphs. It follows the conqueror back to the very scene of his ovations; it calls upon him to take notice that Europe, though silent, is yet indignant; it shows him that the sceptre of his victory is a barren sceptre; that it shall confer neither joy nor honor, but shall moulder to dry ashes in his grasp. In the midst of his exaltation, it pierces his ear with the cry of injured justice; it denounces against him the indignation of an enlightened and civilized age; it turns to bitterness the cup of his rejoicing, and wounds him with the sting which belongs to the consciousness of having outraged the opinion of mankind.