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end to the French navy, was not calculated to improve the tactics of our own.
But there was yet another cause for that partial success which has turned the brain of every American. Their frigates were, in every instance, superior to those of their opponents in size, in weight of metal, and in the number of their crew. A frigate is but a vague term, and expresses no definite idea of a ship's actual force; that of some of the American frigates was nearly equal to our old seventy-fours. We are told in the North American Review,' that a Mr. Corny, one of the best painters of ships alive,' has made use of a stratagem to flatter his countrymen, in representing the English frigate, which was commanded by Commodore Downie, of disproportionate size. There seems to have been little occasion for this. Let them not suppose however, that even with the twelve sail of the line, and twenty-four frigates, which America already enjoys in vision beatific,' she will succeed, as Mr. Bristed prognosticates, in wresting from England the empire of the sea: nor entertain the erroneous notion that even such a squadron is to be manned with the same facility, or with seamen of the same quality, as five or six frigates; or that, even if so manned, it can chuse the objects of attack, and give or avoid battle as it may suit her purpose. Let them also recollect that one decisive victory puts an end to the dream of universal empire: above all, it may be of importance to them to remember that England never had so large a fleet, in such excellent condition, as at this time, ready for sea at a moment's warning, with the means of manning and sending them forth; that, in addition to the 20,000 men employed on the peace establishment, she has (as appears by the Report of the Finance Committee) a band of 32,000 registered seamen, receiving pensions, the youngest of whom have seen more than fourteen years service; and of whom it is not unreasonable to calculate on eight or ten thousand coming forward on the first call. -But we must return to Mr. Bristed.
Unlike most of the British emigrants, he still retains a portion of veneration for the society, the talents, the institutions civil and religious, and even for the glory of the country, from which he has expatriated himself. He does not therefore predict the im- ' mediate loss of her liberties, though he contemplates, with some complacency (as we have seen) the period when the great Republic of the United States is to rule the destinies of the globe.' In speaking of the American army, whose meditated reduction from ten to five thousand men he reprobates, he says,
'Britain has an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men stationed at home, in France, and in colonial garrisons; besides her militia amounting to two hundred thousand; and her Sepoy troops in India,
VOL. XXI. NO. XLI.
rated at a hundred and fifty thousand. And yet no man in his sober senses believes that the liberties of the British people are endangered by this standing army. The liberties of England are not about to expire under the pressure of her military, or the encroachments of her government; if they are to perish, they will perish under the daggers of her democracy: if she is to be blotted out from the list of independent and powerful nations, she will be erased from that high scroll by the parricidal hand of her own rabble, led on to their own and their country's perdition by anarchical reformers, who are alike bankrupt in fortune, reputation, character and principle. But we have no occasion to entertain such fears at present; for while the sovereign governs under the benignant influence of the laws; while the people are free; while religion, morals, intelligence, learning, science, industry, enterprize, and valour continue to make England their favoured abode, the sun of her national glory can never set, but will burn with brighter and still brighter light, until all the ages of time shall be lost in the profound of eternity.' ~p. 69.
Even when Mr. Bristed is in an error, he still discovers symptoms of regard to the country he has left, and appreciates, very justly, the character and aims of the discontented. He supposes, indeed, that the government of this country draws to the public use but a small portion of the great mass of its talent and activity; and we forgive him the error for the sake of the apology which he makes.
'It is urged as a common topic of reproach, both in England and in these United States, that the English government does not employ a sufficient portion of talent in its service. This complaint is natural in the mouths of the opposition in Britain, and means nothing more than that if their party were in power, the government would be very wisely administered; a circumstance which must be left to the votes of the people of England, when they elect their knights and burgesses to represent them in the House of Commons. This charge, also, is quite natural in the English reformers, who clamour incessantly about the dulness and ignorance, as well as the corruption and profligacy of the administration; all of which is a mere effusion of disappointed malignity and rage, because the talent, skill, and strength of the government render all their efforts to destroy the country vain and ineffectual.
"It is admitted, I believe, on all hands, that there exists a sufficient quantity of talent of every various gradation in Britain; but the objection is, that it is not employed in the service of government, the objection rests on the assumption, that all the great talents of a country ought to be employed in the guidance of its government. But if this were ever to take place in any nation, it would, of itself, ensure a perpetuity of resistless despotism. A well-established government, like that of England, does not require all the highest talents of the country to be crowded into the administration. Having grown up in the habits, affections, and feelings of the people, its business can be regulated and energetically carried on, by the superintending genius of a few great men to
guide its primary movements, and by men of decent, respectable talents, to execute its subordinate functions. The residue of its greatest and most commanding talents would be employed to the best advantage, in diffusing the lights of science, art and literature over the whole community.
Under a free representative government, whose national institutions and departments of public service, both civil and military, are extensive and magnificent, the restrictions upon the rise of real merit are much fewer, and less pernicious, than under a single despotism, or an unbalanced' democracy; and the road to legitimate preferment is extended to a much wider circle. Whence, in those countries, much less consequence may be attached to the existence or loss of any particular great man; because the appearance of those illustrious characters, in whose hands the national destinies are placed, is not regulated by accident; but is provided for in regular succession, from age to age, by the internal organization and ordinary administration of government. Thus Chatham was reproduced in Pitt, and Pitt reappears in Castlereagh and Canning.'-p. 484.
We have been rather liberal in our quotations, because we wish to convey to the minds of our readers the feelings of that party in America, which has been the most averse from the irreligious and levelling principles of the Jacobins, and which contains the most respectable portion of the American people. They were never deeply smitten with the charms of the French revolution; they wished to avoid the war with England; they were eager for the return of peace, and desirous that such improvements might be made in their system of government, as should strengthen the executive power, remunerate more liberally the officers of government, render the judges less dependent, and have a president sometimes chosen from the other states as well as from Virginia, which, with one exception, has hitherto nominated that chief. Such is the party of which Mr. Bristed is the organ; they call themselves the Federalists, and are opposed to the Democrats, who, by means of a majority composed of the lower classes, including the Irish and English recruits, and the paupers existing on charity, have chosen the president, the greater part of the senate, and the house of representatives.
We have been accused of injustice towards the United States, because we asserted that the Sesostrises of ancient or the Timours of later times, were not more essentially conquerors in their disposition, than the American government acting upon the politics of Jefferson and Madison.' We have, however, in Mr. Bristed-not a proof of the conquering propensities of the democratical portion of the United States, which, indeed, was sufficiently clear before; but-the most decisive evidence, that even the solid, moral, and religious part of America, the aristocrats, the enemies of democracy, are as madly bent on conquest and plunder, and extension of terri
tory, as the veriest jacobin on the continent. Before we shew the antipacific tendency of this party it may not be amiss to offer a specimen of its morality, its regard to justice, and its respect for the rights of other nations.
'How strange and portentous is the contrast between the steady and progressive policy of the United States, and the supine indifference of the British government! Britain has lavished the life's blood of a hundred thousand of her bravest warriors, and expended uncounted millions in rescuing Spain from the yoke of France; and yet she cannot, or she will not, acquire a single inch of territory in any quarter of the globe from the Spanish government ;-while the United States, without sacrificing the life of a single citizen, and at the expense of only twenty millions of dollars, have, within the course of a few years, obtained from France and Spain the exclusive sovereignty over a fair and fertile dominion, at least twenty times the extent of all the British Isles taken together.
Why does not England, as part of the indemnity due to her from Spain, transfer to her own sceptre the sovereignty of Cuba; seeing that the Havanna commands the passage from the gulf of Mexico? Why does she not take possession of Panama on the south, and Darien on the north, and join the Waters of the Atlantic with those of the Pacific ocean, in order to resuscitate her drooping commerce? Or is it her intention still to slumber on until she is awakened from the stupefaction of her dreams by the final fall of Spanish America, and of her own North American provinces, beneath the ever-widening power of the United States-p. 96.
We can readily answer the questions of this modest republican -England will neither rob Spain nor cheat Spain-she would scorn to accept from the hands of the robber the province of Louisiana, or to capture and plunder Pensacola in a period of peace; not because she fears the consequences, but because she values her own honour and character above any extension of dominion; because her councils are neither directed by moderate republicans nor frantic Jacobins, but by those who retain their good faith to other nations as firmly as they have defended and will defend themselves against all who assail them. Neither the eager desire of adding to her territories, nor any resuscitation of commerce, when it may occasionally droop, will ever, we firmly trust, iufuse the most distant thought into England of such injustice as the most temperate and moral of the parties in America can coolly suggest. England has not yet regretted the blood which she has spilt, nor the treasure which she has expended in rescuing not only Spain, but the whole civilized world from the most degrading and barbarous tyranny, nor will she sully the purity of her conquests by allowing the lust of dominion to overpower her honour. Amidst all the triumphs which have attended her progress, the most glorious
and most durable, because the most pure, is the conquest over herself, over the desire of dominion, inherent in every human being, and the restraining and regulating of which is the first of moral duties, and the highest of political honours.
We pass, however, from the morals of this most moderate of all the American parties to their prospects for the future; and here the prophetic mantle of the democrats seems to have fallen on the federalists.
'The resources, territorial, intellectual, and moral of this country are immense and various, and widening on all sides with inconceivable rapidity; and the settled conviction of the American people arising out of the circumstances of the late war is, that they are decidedly superior to the British; and can always beat them man to man, ship to ship, gun to gun, bayonet to bayonet, on the flood and in the field. And uncounted myriads of American hearts now beat high and quick in aspirations for another contest with Britain; a spirit which the government carefully cherishes by newspaper effusions, by public toasts and orations, by Congressional and State Legislative speeches and resolutions: the great objects of American ambition being to annex to their already too gigantic dominion, the British North American colonies on the continent, and the West India Islands; and also the Spanish colonies bordering on the southern states.'-p. 235.
These objects, like the party which pursues them, must be allowed to be indeed moderate'!
It is confessed that the general government was itself broken down during the last war; it fled at Bladensburg;' (indeed it did!) gave up Washington to a victorious and justly exasperated enemy; and was unable to send a single recruit to their skeleton armies, or to pour a single stiver into their exhausted treasury.' But, with true republican foresight, Mr. Bristed foretels that this will not happen again; for, says he—
They are now preparing, in the bosom of peace, the means of future conflict; by building up the finances of the country; by planting every where the germs of an army, by sowing those teeth which will soon start up in bands of armed warriors; by a rapid augmentation of their navy; and, above all, by attempting to allay the animosities of partyspirit, and endeavouring to direct the whole national mind and inclination of the United States towards the aggrandizement by conquest, alike on the land and on the ocean: by adding to their present immense empire, the continental possessions of Spain and England, and the British insular domains in the West Indies.
"The great question now at issue, we are told, between America and Europe is, which of the two shall change its form and system of government? Whether Europe shall become more democratic or the United States more aristocratic? That England must not "lay the flattering unction to her soul," that she can ever make America her friend; that as the world could not bear two suns, nor Persia two kings, so the day is B 3 fast