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Settlement of the Mason-Slidell Affair.

It will be seen by our dispatches that the Mason-Slidell affair, which bid fair from the hasty temper of the British Government, to lead to serious consequences, has already received a definite and peaceful solution. Upon a full and impartial examination of the question, the United States are entirely satisfied that the seizure of the rebel prisoners by Commodore Wilkes, was a clear violation of international law, as it has been interpreted and defended by this Government for the last half century; and they do not hesitate to at once disavow the act and restore the prisoners again to the protection of the British flag. The correspondence between Lord Russell and Mr. Seward, which we publish in another column, places their release distinctly upon this ground, and so far from reflecting in the least dishonorably upon our Government, for acceeding thereto, shows a clear triumph on our side, so far as the important principle involves in the controversy is concerned. Mr. Seward's dispatch will commend itself to all, for its clear, lucid and able defense of the old American doctrine of the rights of neutral ships — a doctrine which we have ever contended for and vindicated. We could not as he shows, insist upon retaining Messrs. Mason and Slidell, without stultifying ourselves and ignoring our own diplomatic history; and England and France, in the position now taken by them, fully admit the right of neutrals to be just as we have ever interpreted them, and concede to us all that we have ever asked for. The United States, whatever may be the momentary chagrin, owing to the circumstances under which the present question originated, have reason to be abundantly satisfied with the manner in which an important point of law is thus definitely settled in our favor. The British Government, it is true, get back the insignificant carcases of the four traitor prisoners; but we, at the same time, secure a recognition, as a part of the law of nations, of the very doctrine for which we went to war with Great Britain in 1812.