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HASTE OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.
against the Crown. They well understood that if the American insurgents, whose fathers helped to form the Republic which they were trying to destroy, and who had perfect equality in public affairs with the whole nation, could be justified in rebelling against it, the Irish people-a conquered nation, and made a part of Great Britain against their will—had the fullest warrant for rebelling against their English conquerors at any and at all times. Among these men we find the names of John Stuart Mill, Professors Goldwin Smith and J. E. Cairnes, Rev. Baptist Noel, Henry Vincent, Layard, the eminent Eastern traveler, the eloquent young O'Donoughue,' and others less conspicuous; while Lord Brougham, who for sixty years was an opponent of slavery, and was known to be thoroughly conversant with the structure of our Government, and an admirer of its practical workings, following the lead of the spirit of his class, took sides with the slaveholders, and said most unkind words. Kinglake, the eminent author and member of Parliament, announced, as a principle which he “had always enforced," that “in the policy of states a sentiment never can govern;" that ideas of right, justice, philanthropy, or common humanity should have no influence in the dealings of one nation with another, “because they are almost always governed by their great interests,” which he thought to be a sound principle; while Thomas Carlyle, the cold Gothicizer of the English language, dismissed the whole matter with an unintelligible sneer.
The British Government, acting upon ex parte and, as was afterward found to be, unreliable testimony in the person of Captain Williams, treated the proceedings on board of the Trent as "an act of violence which was an affront to the British flag and a violation of international law;" and as soon
as the law officers of the Crown had formally pronounced it so, Lord John Russell, the Foreign Secretary, sent a letter,by a
special Queen's messenger (Captain Seymour), to Lord Lyons, the British Ambassador at Washington, authorizing his Lordship to demand from the Government of the United States the liberation of the captives and their restoration to the protection of the British flag, and "a suitable apology for the aggressions which had been committed,” at the same time expressing a hope that that Government would, of its own accord, offer such redress, “ which alone could satisfy the British nation.”
On the same day when Earl Russell dated his dispatch to Lord
Lyons, Mr. Seward, the Secretary of State, in a confidential note to Mr. Adams, the American Minister in London, alluded to the affair, and
a Nov. 30.
6 Nov. 30.
1 "The O'Donoughue,” as he was called, was of one of the most ancient families in Ireland. He ras less than thirty years of age at that tiine, of great beauty in form and feature, polished in manners, eluquent in speech, of proven courage, and a man of the people in his instincts. In the great Rotunda in Dublin, this man boldly declared to an audience of 5,000 persons, after the reception of the news of the Trent affair, that if war shonkel come, Ireland would be found on the side of America. This declaration was received with the most vehement applause.
? Lord John Russell sent with his dispatch the following private note to Lord Lyons: “Should Mr. Seward ask for delay, in order that this grave and painful matter should be deliberately considered, you will consent. to a delay not exceeding seven days. If at the end of that time no answer is given, or if any other answer is given except that of a compliance with the demands of Her Majesty's Government, your lordship is instructed to leare Washington, with all the members of your legation, bringing with you the archives of the legntion, and to repair immediately to London; it. however, you should be of opinion that the requirements of Her Majesty's Government are substantially complied with, you may report the facts to Her Majesty's Governinent for their consideration, and remain at your post till you reculve further orders."
* Sce page 507, voluine I.