Puslapio vaizdai

torical fact, that these victories have been achieved by the bravery and skill of the American forces, constitutes the GLORY which is regarded by some, as an ample compensation for all the misery and wickedness resulting from the war! This glory gives no food to the hungry, no raiment to the naked, and adds nothing to the wisdom, virtue and comfort of the American people. We are assured, however, that it will give us peace and security by deterring aggression. All history bears testimony to the utter futility of such an expectation. Military glory ever renders its possessor arrogant and intolerant, and others jealous and vindictive. Powerful martial nations are those which enjoy the least peace; assailing others, if not assailed themselves.

Let us listen to the peans of triumph as chanted on the floor of the United States Senate by General Cass: “Our flag has become a victorious standard, borne by marching columns over the hills and valleys, and through the cities and towns and fields of a powerful (!) nation, in a career of success of which few examples can be found in ancient or modern warfare.” After giving the dates of twentyeight victories, he exclaims, “If we recorded our history upon stone, as was done in the primitive ages of the world, we should engrave this series of glorious deeds upon tables of marble. But we shall do better; we shall engrave

it upon our hearts, and we shall commit it to the custody of the press, whose monuments, frail and feeble as they appear, are more enduring than brass or marble, than statues or pyramids, or the proudest monuments erected by human hands. Let modern philanthropists talk as they please, the instincts of nature are truer than the doctrines they preach. Military renown is one of the great elements of national strength, as it is one of the proudest sources of gratification to every niny who loves his country, and desires to see her occupy a distinguished position among the nations of the earth.”*

It seems unfortunate for the honor and glory of our country that our military operations are conducted on a Lilliputian scale, and our military renown is so very cheaply acquired. The trophies gained in our Mexican war, even if engraven on marble, would look exceedingly diminutive compared to some, which, however the General may suppose to the contrary, are really recorded in the history of modern warfare. Had it been the General's good fortune to belong to “the Grand Army,” his patriotic heart would have swelled with still prouder gratification, while listening at Austerlitz, to the glowing applause of his Emperor: “Soldiers ! I am content with you; you have covered your eagles with immortal glory. An army of one hundred thousand men, commanded by the Emperors of Russia and Austria, have been, in less than four hours, cut to pieces and dispersed—forty stand of colors—the standards of the imperial guard of Russia-one hundred and twenty pieces of cannon, twenty Generals, and more than thirty thousand prisoners, are the results of this day, for ever celebrated. Henceforth you have no longer any rivals to fear.” With what delight would he have drank in the glorious story, related to the army on entering Berlin : “Soldiers—the forests, the defiles of Franconia, "the Saale and the Elbe, which your fathers had not traversed in seven years, you have traversed in seven days, and in this interval you have fought four fights, and one pitched battle. You have sent the renown of your tories before you to Potsdam and to Berlin. You have made sixty thousand prisoners, taken sixty-five standards, six hundred pieces of cannon, three fortresses, and more than twenty Generals. And yet nearly one half of you regret

* Cong. Globe, January 5th, 1848.

vichis ears.

not having fired a shot. All the provinces of the Prussian monarchy, as far as the banks of the. Oder, will be in your power.” At Friedland, his soul would have been “satisfied as with fat things," as the address of the hero fell upon

Soldiers—in ten days you have taken one hundred and twenty pieces of cannon, seven standards, killed, wounded, or captured, sixty thousand Russian prisoners; taken from the enemy all its hospitals, all its magazines, all its ambulances, the fortress of Konigsburg, the three hundred vessels that were in the port laden with every species of munitions, and one hundred and sixty thousand muskets that England had sent to arm our enemies.”

The vast amount of glory and misery detailed in these addresses, affords a significant comment on “ the instincts of nature," and the Pacific doctrines of “modern philanthropists."

Military renown, the Senator tells us, is one of the greatest elements of national strength, and the proudest source of gratification to every man who loves his country, and desires to see her occupy a distinguished position among the nations of the earth. The first assertion is contradicted by history, and the latter by the declarations of thousands and tens of thousands of men, whose virtue and benevolence are unquestioned. If military renown ever belonged to any people, the precious boon was enjoyed by the French under Buonaparte. Yet France was, at that very time, bleeding and agonizing at every pore,— her commerce destroyed,-her manufactures languishing, her liberties crushed, her young men dragged by the conscription from the paternal hearth, and offered a bloody sacrifice on the altar of personal ambition ; and finally this same great element of national strength consigned the nation to the custody of a foreign army, and its mighty emperor, to a lonely rock. It was on that rock, and while brooding over his fallen greatness, that this scourge of Europe uttered the memorable words,

The love of glory is like the bridge which Satan threw over chaos, to pass from Hell to Paradise.

Like that fabled structure, it has indeed furnished to “woes unnumbered," a ready entrance into our unhappy world. In losing her hero, and her glory, France parted with her sorest plagues ; and humbled in her pride, and despoiled of her conquests, she enjoyed for a series of years, a degree of peace, comfort, and prosperity to which she had been a stranger from the foundation of her monarchy.



IMMEDIATELY after the expulsion of the Persians from Greece, the fleets of the States in alliance with Athens, were collected in a neighboring port. Themistocles appeared in the Athenian Assembly, and announced that he had a plan for securing the power and glory of Athens ; but, that secrecy being essential to its success, he could not make it public, and asked for instructions. He was authorized to communicate it to Aristides, and, with his approbation, to put it in execution. The latter, on learning the plan, reported, that nothing could possibly conduce more to the grandeur and prosperity of Athens, but nothing could possibly be more unjust. The Assembly, without inquiring into particulars, ordered that the plan, whatever it was, should be abandoned. displayed the purest patriotism—the Assembly, which refused to augment the power of the Republic by an act of injustice, or the illustrious scoundrel who. proposed rendering his country the mistress of Greece by firing the assembled fleets of her allies ? Should the question be decided by the sentiment so generally adopted by a christian people, "our country right or wrong," the decision would be adverse to the pagan Athenians. But perhaps it will be said, that the sentiment is intended to apply only in a state of war, and that it is only after a declaration of hostilities that we are bound to support and vindicate the acts and pretensions of the Government,

Which party

« AnkstesnisTęsti »