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school to find the Americans to be saints, or their own countrymen to be ruffians. He has discovered a statement of Sir Charles Napier's to the effect that he was ashamed of the way our own soldiers behaved at a place in America which we took in the war of fifty years ago; and he is so delighted with his discovery that he sends it off in triumph to the ‘ Daily News.' I fear that England has been too long engaged as a belligerent all over the world not to have contracted a good many stains of cruelty in the conduct of her numerous wars. But I think and believe that, even assuming to ourselves the guilt of all the misdeeds of Hawkwood's White Company, even looking with more than French abhorrence on the iniquitous murder of Joan of Arc, even recollecting the Duke of Cumberland in Scotland, and the capture of St Sebastian, and refusing to admit any palliations that may be urged in any of these casesstill I think that we have less to answer for than any other European nation. And I think this gentleman himself supplies a very good presumption of the truth of this. If an unfriendly critic, after having succeeded in finding a case in which our soldiers behaved with cruelty, thinks it worth while to publish the fact to the world, with a loud cry of “ Eureka!" it is probable that such cases are not very common. However, granting to this patriotic gentleman that his countrymen are as great ruffians as he can wish to prove them, surely the Federals, who are so much our superiors in every way, should know better than to imitate our bad example, especially when they have the advantage of the additional enlightenment conferred by the last half century.
But the Professor is never tired of justifying the Federals at the expense of his own countrymen; and his anxiety to do so has led him into one of the most whimsical cases of a historical parallel that can be found. In the minds of some people, perhaps the most discreditable action which has stained the Northern cause, worse than all their cruelty, their brutality, their corruption, their mendacity, has been the forgery of the Mallory Report. I do not know that this performance was ever traced up to President Lincoln or his Government. But they were certainly in a great hurry to take advantage of it; and I have not heard that they have expressed themselves as if they had been hoaxed and were at all ashamed of the fact. And I am sorry to say that the precedent has been followed pretty extensively in the North, too much so to allow it to be thought that a successful forgery is considered there, at least by the mass, to be anything very disgraceful. Our Professor, touched to the quick by the idea, not that the Yankees could forge for a political object, but that any one should think any the worse of them for it, again rushes to the rescue with the cry that England is just as bad. And he grounds this somewhat startling assertion, of all things in the world, upon Eikon Basilike. I confess I know very little of Eikon Basilike, whether it is a forgery at all, or, if it was one, whether it was forged to serve a political purpose. However, it is of course possible, and let it be granted. Now, in the first place, it is somewhat consolatory that, in order to find a pendant out of our history to the rascalities of his friends at the present day, he has to go back two centuries, and those two centuries containing the period during which our politicians, and our public life altogether, were most degraded and corrupt. We might be perfectly prepared to believe, if any one told us so, that the Jacobites had forged a proclamation purporting to be William the Third's, and we may be pleased to find that that not very scrupulous faction had at least not soiled its hands in this way. But, in the second place, it is difficult to see that there is any parallel at all. If Richelieu had been supposed to have been desirous of picking a quarrel with England, and some ardent Royalist had taken the opportunity to publish a forged order from Cromwell to seize the persons of all foreign papists to be found within the realm, in the hope that the Cardinal might seize hold of the excuse for hostilities, or at least reprisals, it would have been an act, not of course identical with the Mallory forgery, but something of the same character. The parallel to Eikon Basilike would have been, if some admirer of President Lincoln's had published a volume of hymns under his name, in order to make him popular in the “ religious world.” I need hardly say that such a forgery would not be looked upon in the same light as the Mallory one.
But perhaps the most remarkable of the sentiments which the Professor has expressed about this war is the assertion that the Confederates had no right to secede, because foreign nations had always looked upon the Union as one body. If that was the case, it shows that the objects of those who formed the Constitution were answered. They did not care the least whether average foreigners knew of the relations between the States and the Federal Government; but they did wish that, to the outer world, there should be no appearance of division, or any temptation to set one against the other; and the only way to effect this was to give to the whole the appearance externally of a solid mass. But it is rather hard upon the Southerners that their rights should be held to be cancelled by the mere fact that foreigners were not aware of them. I do not know whether the notion still prevails very generally on
the Continent that Englishmen sell their wives in Smithfield. Should it prove to be the case, the Professor would doubtless be prepared to argue that any gentleman who was tired of his wife might rid himself of her in this simple and patriarchal fashion. A Commission deputed to take the sense of the cafés and tables d'hôte in the more sequestered parts of the Continent might draw up a report which would materially lighten the labours of the Divorce Court. In his admiration for the Americans (the Northerners at least) this gentleman has gone to them, or at least to caricatures of them, to learn how to argue, thinking probably that logic as understood at Oxford is as much “chawed up” as everything else on this side of the Atlantic; and if any Southerner were to say anything in his hearing about State rights, he would probably be as ready with his “You air mistaken, sir,” as the American in the novel was when Martin Chuzzlewit ventured to say that the Queen does not inhabit the Tower of London.
Oxford has reason to be proud of Professor Goldwin Smith. But he can hardly have produced these arguments in any of her common-rooms. rate, they would hardly have passed unchallenged there, I suspect.