The News From England.
Is of a highly important character. If the reports which reach us by the Europe be true, and we incline to believe them, war between England and the United States would now seem to be imminent. Of course it is not to be imagined for a moment that the administration will comply with the arrogant demand of England for a release of the traitors, Mason and Slidell.
Already has the secretary of the navy, in his report to congress, expressed in most decided language, the approval by the administration of the act of Capt. Wilkes in arresting the rebel envoys, and the voice of the people is also unanimous in support of this position. The law of nations, too, sustain our government in capturing hostile embassadors and their dispatches even under a neutral flag. This is a right which England has often exercised in the past, and if the contrary shall now by insisted on, it is only because a powerful party in England are seeking a pretext for a war with the United States.
We have for some time thought that this pretext would yet be found by England. The tone of the English press, speeches of prominent Englishmen, the increase of the military force in Canada, and the undisguised sympathy of govsenment organs there for the Southern Confederacy, all combine to indicate that a spark of diplomatic discord would, by the English ministry, be readily fanned into a flame.
Late advices tell us that the operatives in the cotton manufacturing districts of England are already becoming threatening and turbulent, owing to the incapacity of their employees to work them full time, and as the winter advances, and the cotton supply becomes more deficient, of course the danger of domestic insurrection among the starving operatives will become more imminent.
The tory organs of England, whose party is now out of power there, place the responsibility for this condition of affairs on the whigs, who are now conducting the government, and will, very likely, goad them on to a declaration of war with the United States, in the hope thereby of securing the needed supply of cotton, by raising the southern blockade. Added to this incentive, there is a strong dislike of republican institutions, and a growing jealousy of our power and greatness and united strength, among the aristocracy, the ruling class, of England, and whatever line of policy will best serve to aid in keeping the states "discordant, dissevered, belligerent," will assuredly be adopted by them. For these reasons, we are prepared to hear a confirmation of the report that the English ministry have determined to come to the relief of the southern rebels by a declaration of war against the United States, using either the Mason and Slidell arrest, the inefficiency of the blockade, or some other question, as a pretext for their action — for England never yet lacked an excuse for any line of policy she might choose to adopt, whether for the persecution of Catholics in Ireland, or the attempted overthrow of republican liberty in America. We had hoped, however, that this additional tax upon the resources of our people would have been avoided, but if we have, as a nation, to choose between a long and costly foreign war and national dishonor, of course the voice of the people will be for war, at whatever sacrifice or cost. And in such a war England would find to her cost that great as has been the drain upon our resources, we have something still in reserve to be used against our ancient enemy.