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having conferred either, and I do not feel disposed to admit that I have received either;" but, p. 98, he says, “ It has been asserted lately that I owe the little success I have met with at home to foreign approbation. This assertion is unjust to you. The Spy was received with a generous welcome that might have satisfied any one that the heart of this great community was sound.” Undoubtedly its heart was sound, and if sound in 1822, why not so now? Has
any cloud passed over the thirteen stars since then? Is the eagle's eye less bright? Has any thing taken place to lessen that national pride which is the true basis of patriotism?
And if the assertion which we have just quoted be correct, what foundation is there for such a charge as Mr. Cooper makes on p. 43?—“ Unhappily, there are many reasons why this country can give fame to no one”—and again, p. 110—“Every hour convinces me, more and more, that we are a nation only in namelet Mr. Webster and Mr. Calhoun say what they please about it.” Certainly nothing more offensive ever fell from the lips of those admirers of European institutions, with whom Mr. Cooper has waged so long and honourable a warfare. It seems that his temper has given out in the struggle, and that he has really begun to believe that a majority of his countrymen take sides against him and their own land, with Louis Philippe, Wellington, and Metternich. All the concluding paragraphs of the letter are in the same fatal temper—we know no other word for it; it must, if unchecked, prove fatal to his reputation.
“ The American who wishes to illustrate and enforce the peculiar principles of his own country, by the agency of polite literature, will for a long time to come, I fear, find that his constituency, as to all purposes of distinctive thought, is still too much under the influence of foreign theories, to receive him with favour. It is under this conviction that I lay aside the pen.— I confess I have come to this decision with reluctance, for I had hoped to be useful in my generation, and to have yet done something which might have identified my name with those who are to come
But it has been ordered differently. I have never been very sanguine as to the immortality of what I have written, a very short period having always sufficed for my ambition; but I am not ashamed to avow, that I have felt a severe mortification that I am to break down on the question of distinctive American thought.-So far as you have been indulgent to me, and no one feels its extent more than myself, I thank you with deep sincerity; so far as I stand opposed to that class among you which forms the public of a writer, on points that, however much in error, I honestly believe to be of vital importance to the well-being and dignity of the human race, I can only lament that we are separated by so wide a barrier, as to render further communion, under our old relations, mutually unsatisfactory.” We confess it is with sincere regret that we copy
paragraphs, that show what unjust suspicions are corroding the mind which should entertain only a feeling of honest pride in all that it has done for the reputation of its native land. We regret this sensitiveness the more, for we cannot but consider it a certain, though unfortunate proof of the force of that national feeling,
Je SUE go ter
which has so often kindled in him a brighter flame. It is plain, that his dearest fame is that which he has gained in America, and that all the homage he has received abroad is tasteless and unsatisfactory to him, while he thinks his star is waning in his native land. Let him recur to the cheerful spirit which penned the Preface to the third edition of the Spy: “ We are told by the booksellers, that the public i pleased with the tale, and we take this occasion to say that we are delighted with the public.” If this be Mr. Cooper's fixed temper, it is not hazardous to predict that he has passed the zenith of his fame. Break down on the question of distinctive American thought, indeed! One of his genius, who maintains the great cardinal American principles, can never break down, till the republic itself give way; and far superior abilities would not sustain him, if he suffer himself for an instant to falter, from an undying belief, not only in the permanence of our institutions, and the truths upon which they rest, but that they will confer honour upon all those who vindicate them against the ignorant arrogance of the old world, and the upstart presumption of the new. Certain it is, that until Mr. Cooper told us of it himself, we never dreamed his reputation was less than his deserts —and as to his deserts, we have already expressed our opinion.
We have lately recognised Mr. Cooper's hand in several able communications in an administration paper of the city of New York. Many of them treat of the French Question, which he views as a matter intimately connected with our national honour and highest interests. He has affixed to these articles an elementary signature (A. B. C.), but they bear intrinsic marks of their author. We hear that he is engaged upon a satire, to be entitled THE MANNIKINS. If he succeed in this, it will be a triumph in what has been to him, hitherto, an untried path.
pla of ha des
Art. VIII.—THE FRENCH QUESTION.
1.- Message from the President of the United States, of the 17th
January, 1833, transmitting to the House of Representatives sundry papers upon the subject of the claims against the French government, for spoliations on American commerce, since Sep
tember, 1800. Washington: 1833. 2.-Message from the President of the United States, of the 27th
December, 1834, to the House of Representatives, transmitting correspondence with the government of France, in relation to the refusal of that government to make provision for the execution of the Treaty between the United States and France. Washington:
1835. 3.—Proceedings and Discussions in the French Chamber of Depu
ties, on the subject of the Treaty between France and the United States, which was signed at Paris on the 4th July, 1831. Translated from the Paris Moniteur, by order of the Secretary of State
of the United States. Washington: 1834. 4.-Rapport fait au nom de la Commission chargée d'examiner le
Projet de loi relatif au Traité du 4 Juillet, 1831; par M. Dumon, Député de Lot-et-Garonne. (Séance du 28 Mars, 1835.) Supplément au Journal des Débats, du 29 Mars, 1835.
THREE months ago we prepared some observations upon
the history of our relations with France, the publication of which it was thought best to postpone until the progress of events should enable us to terminate them with less abruptness and uncertainty than we were then obliged to do. Although we are still, and may remain until we are compelled to go to press with the present article, without information of the final action of the French Chambers, it seems to be generally understood that the bill presented to the Deputies in February last, will become a law. How far it may be deemed a satisfactory fulfilment of the treaty, is another question, upon which we may remark hereafter. For the present, however, we are content to look upon it in the light of an effectual compliance with past stipulations, or at least to be received in lieu of such compliance, and as affording in its reception and passage an earnest of a returning sense of justice, and a pledge of future amity. Our object now is to review the past, and to place before our readers some of the principal incidents of a series of transactions, certainly the most anomalous and peculiar which have occurred in the history of our foreign intercourse. We have determined to do this, notwithstanding all that has been so ably said and written upon the subject, because, in so wide a field of discussion, many points have necessarily been omitted, or but cur
Sion latior "rar Jess vails cerni quiet distur solem of ma not e infam than gover sentat that the de adher in this the at breac to whf attent
sorily touched; and because, entertaining as we do a strong, independent impression of our own in regard to the whole controversy, neither hastily adopted nor readily to be removed, we deem it our peculiar duty, connected as we are with a grave and patriotic journal, to incorporate it therewith, and in doing so to make a record of the facts from which it was derived.
In accomplishing this we may deem it necessary to violate the epic rule a little, and in our eduction of the Trojan war "ab gemino ovo,” to transgress the Horatian maxim. That we are under this necessity is not, however, any fault of our own, but of those who, not content with twenty years of spoliation and twenty years of diplomacy, have recently opened back for themselves and for us, the old interminable history of neutral rights and violated decrees, with their long chain of clashing consequences. It was time to set ourselves to school again, when we found that the discussion from being executive, was, on both sides of the water, to become representative; and that the difficulties which the coolness of cabinet deliberation had spent a quarter of a century in removing, were forthwith to be sprung afresh as topics for heated and inflammatory appeals to the various feelings and interests of a popular assembly. Here, to be sure, no one has asserted any intention of opening a similar discussion; but not a few have been found who have justified its propriety in the French Chamber, and will scarcely listen to the suggestion that a popular body may exceed even the plenitude of its extensive powers. Be that as it may,
the exercise of a high and at least a dubious prerogative, has already so nearly disturbed the harmony of the two nations, that it behooves them both, and certainly America not the least of the two, to study the grounds on which it has been asserted; that in the multiplied relations which the future promises to produce, the past may serve as a guide and a beacon.
The ferment to which the President's message to Congress of last December gave rise, was in all points of view a beneficial one, whether the recommendation therein of a particular remedy for the breach of the treaty, was or was not well advised. The subject was one upon which too much apathy prevailed in both countries. In the United States attention enough had not been bestowed upon the history of the negotiation which terminated in the treaty, nor upon the unceremonious manner in which the treaty itself was dispensed with in France. In the latter country the payment of twenty-five millions, so important to the debtor, was deemed of no consequence to the creditor. The Duc de Broglie resigned, and the dun of five and twenty years was supposed to be silenced. “Let us not hesitate to reject the treaty," said M. Salverte from the tribune; “ a refusal will not be the signal of a rupture between the United States and France. The immediate consequence of a rejection will be, an overture for, and a conclu
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sion of, a new and more equal convention.” “ The spirit of speculation,” such was the remark of another orator concerning us, “ rarely sacrifices an actual gain to the future prosperity, much less to the dignity of a country. The voice of private interest prevails over that of national honour.” With such sentiments concerning our national energy and character, the deputies went quietly to repose. We say, therefore, that the message which disturbed that repose, which convinced M. Salverte that one solemn treaty being repudiated, we should not go to the trouble of making another; and which satisfied M. Bignon that we had not entirely adopted the ironical apostrophe, “ Quid enim salvis infamia nummis?” for our literal maxim, could not be otherwise than useful, conveyed as it was from a high department of the government, in an official communication to the assembled representatives of the states and the people. It intimated to France that whatever construction she might be disposed to place upon the deliberate acts of her government, we had adopted and should adhere to our own; that the day of entreaty had gone by; and that in this regard at least, we had done with ante-chambers. It called the attention of England and the English press to an extraordinary breach of engagement, and to a construction of the treaty power to which Europe had, till that time, been a stranger. It called her attention, too, to a very slack and vague impression of the sanctity of a pecuniary promise-a fault by which the “nation boutiquière,” to her credit be it spoken, is always exceedingly scandalized. It touched France, therefore, not merely with apprehensions of a vexatious custom-house, and perhaps maritime war--apprehensions which, in a good or glorious cause, she is as capable of despising as any nation on earth—but it annoyed her with the idea of such a strife entered upon for a very inadequate and mercenary end; for a dubious right, and on questionable grounds, with her nearest European ally opposed to her in sentiment, and her most valuable customer at once converted from a paying friend into a capturing enemy. So much for the effect of the message. Whether the time had come to produce that effect, as a proper and decorous effort on the part of the American nation, the state of the issue on the 1st of December will best enable us to judge.
The unanimous vote of the House of Representatives has decided, that so long ago as the 2d of February, 1832, we acquired certain rights from France by a solemn stipulation with that nation, and that those rights are of such a nature that it neither comports with the honour nor interest of the United States to suffer them to be modified or abrogated. That vote asserted what the sense of the universal nation dictated--that we stood no longer upon litigated points, on appeals to magnanimity and justice, or on the mere provisions of the law of nations. The United States, through their representatives, invoked the bond mutually executed,
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