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THE difficulties of this question appear to be equally overlooked



by the zealous lovers of peace, and the strenuous advocates for war. The former precipitately conclude, that the immediate termination of hostilities would usher in a long and happy period of national repose; the latter confidently foresee in it only a short suspension of the many calamities of war, and a certain, early, and hazardous revival of all the evils of the conflict. The sentiments of both may, doubtless, be influenced and determined by the most humane considerations. Both may have equally at heart the best interests of their country, and the general welfare of mankind; but each may take an erroneous view of the surest means for their promotion. To the first, an early peace, even with the chance of interruption, may appear infinitely desirable; the last may as decidedly prefer a course of vigorous hostility, with the ultimate chance of a peace less exposed to the probability of disturbance. The opinions of the former may be biassed more by philanthropy, than by reason; while those of the latter may be guided less by sound judgment, than by apprehension.

A few temperate remarks on some of the bearings of this important question, may tend to guard the mind against the prepossessions and prejudices into which it may inadvertently be seduced, by implicitly yielding either to the feelings of humanity, or the suggestions of fear. To attempt minutely to estimate all the various considerations which immediately or remotely affect the solution of the problem, is a task, which I by no means presume to undertake. There are, however, some important points of view under which it may be contemplated, and which, however obvious they may be to the patient and enlightened inquirer, may have escaped the attention

of that numerous class of persons, who express, with equal confidence, the most opposite opinions on the subject. Such unquali fied decisions on this complex international question cannot safely be pronounced; and whether our predilection be of a hostile, or pacific character, we ought at least to be prepared to show, that it has not been hastily adopted. These precipitate conclusions appear to be drawn from too limited and partial a view of the great interests at stake in the present contest. If Great Britain and France were the only belligerents, the adjustment of their respective' pretensions might, after so many years of war, be submitted to the experiment of negociation. But the important rela tions subsisting between England and several of the continental powers, ought necessarily to give to all negociation a general, as well as an exclusive, interest. The difficulty, therefore, of ascer taining the most proper period for making or entertaining a pacific overture, must depend on the compatibility of the exclusive with the general interést. Might not a system of hostility be pursued upon the principle of rendering these interests, to all essential purposes at least, perfectly coincident? The ends to which the exertions of each separate power are directed, might surely be prose cuted, not merely without injury to the general cause, but with advantages entinently conducive to its success. odd not oom

The objects, for which the great belligerents have been contend ing, ostensibly vary in their aspect, but are all substantially the same: they all concentre in the re-establishment of their commer!

cial and political independence. al Law 101 era | la 9.3 con base

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The main point, for which Russia unsheathed the sword, is the subversion of the Continental System. Jezze di vivi: 1979 JEST

Prussia, in addition to this object, 'is influenced by the hope of being enabled to resume, among the Continental States, her former rank and dignity as a military power. Mori bend 958 bas ▾ Portugal employs her energies to secure the liberty which has been restored to her by the valour of the British arms teg

Spain aims at the ultimate expulsion of the common invader; but, in her efforts for its accomplishment, develops more of 'slow steady perseverance, than of vigor and activity suited to the exigency of the enterprise; and, by a singular departure from the lofty generosity of her national character, manifests, in the reluctance of her


co-operation, a jealousy, most injurious to herself, of those splendid feats of arms, by which her ally has saved her from the perils of subjugation.

In the prosperous issue of the contest, Great Britain is, perhaps, more deeply interested than all the Continental States. Besides the re-opening of her ancient channels of free commerce with the world, it is peculiarly incumbent on her to guard, with sleepless vigilance, against every encroachment upon her maritime rights, the unimpaired maintenance of which is vitally essential to her national dignity and power and independence. National rivalry, clashing political and commercial interests, incompatibility of the despotic spirit of the French with the free principles of the British Government, together with the unsubdued and unmitigated personal hostility of the French Ruler towards England, present very strong reasons for concluding, that France, abortive as every such attempt cannot fail to prove, will nevertheless long continue either openly to assail her national independence, or secretly to organize her vast resources for effecting its destruction. Security, not for the preservation of her national existence, (which rests safely enough on the basis of her patriotic spirit and her intrinsic strength), but against a capricious and harassing renewal of hostilities on the part of France, for the purpose of undermining the stability and greatness of the British Empire, must evidently be the principal end of the war; so far, at least, as Great Britain has a separate interest in its prosecution.


Such are the objects for which the various belligerents have had recourse to arms, and in the attainment of which each has an interest exclusively its own.


These views naturally give rise to the question, whether or not the principle of the war might not have been so far simplified as to embrace all these distinct interests in one grand comprehensive scheme, which, in realizing the legitimate end for which so many patriotic armies have taken the field, should, at the same time, effectually accomplish, as parts of the same whole, the different objects for which each State felt itself compelled to engage in hostilities?

In answer to this inquiry, it may be observed, that military operations are merely instrumental to the achievement of political

designs. Unity of political design ought, therefore, naturally to lead to unity of military operation; and, under ordinary circumstances, this simple adaptation of the means to the end might reasonably be supposed to promise the ordinary chances of success. But this chance of success must be diminished in proportion to the degree in which discordant political views affect the unity of the military combination. Though conducted on a large scale, its operations can, in this case, produce only an inadequate result: the political and military leaders must be animated by the same spirit, and their movements guided by systematic direction; otherwise, a large and well-disciplined allied army may prove inferior to a smaller force, under a skilful commander, possessing, sufficient address to blend all varying sentiments iuto one feeling of martial ardor, and to combine his political and military efforts for the single accomplishment of the same point.

If it were practicable to array against France the whole of the military resources of her adversaries, and to communicate to all the forces brought into the field one general sentiment, which should actuate the whole, as if they constituted an army fighting under the banners of the same sovereign, would not, to every person capable of forming a comparative estimate of the respective advantages of the combatants, the issue of the conflict still appear to be involved in anxious doubt? If then such fears are well founded, when the whole strength of the allied force has the benefit of the most perfect and intimate union-when the political and the military objects are in the minutest points coincident--and when the co-operation is so complete as to be undisturbed by any jealous or selfish consideration, can it possibly be expected, that, without this strict bond of union, a continental war can be successfully conducted to a general issue? Hence it may, without any hazardous assumption, be inferred, that every exclusively national object should be sacrificed to the general interest; since, without this temporary suspension of all subordinate views, perfect military co-operation, upon which every hope of ultimate success must be founded, must soon be weakened and disorganized.

It may, perhaps, be asked, are these objects, which have been exhibited under the complexion of points of exclusive or subordinate interest, and which have in reality been of themselves con

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