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national business, he confirms or loses to the uncertain and defective mode of his reputation as a statesman, not only conducting the national elections, found

, with his own country, but with the this “stepping-stone" but a treacherous world at large.

support for their ambitious feet, and The post of Secretary of State has were doomed to witness the coveted generally been regarded as the stepping- prize consigned to other hands just as it stone to the Presidency; but the na- seemed within their own grasp. tional statistics do not wholly confirm The first Secretary of State, under and justify this popular impression. the Constitution, was Thomas Jefferson, Of the twenty-one incumbents (without, who was appointed in 1789, and reof course, including the present one), tained the office until 1794, when he only six subsequently became Presi- was succeeded by Edmund Randolph, dents, viz. Thomas Jefferson, James who, at the end of about two years, Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy gave place to Timothy Pickering, who Adams, Martin Van Buren, and James served during the remainder of WashBuchanan. The character and acts of ington's Administration, and the greater these distinguished men, whether for portion of that of John Adams, a part good or evil, are indelibly recorded in the of the last year of which the incumbent history of the nation, and are familiar, to was John Marshall. James Madison a greater or less extent, to all the civi- was the Secretary during the whole of lized world. Another-John Marshall Jefferson's two presidential terms, from -though he did not reach the Presi- 1801 to 1809, and, on succeeding to the dency, attained what has been described Presidency, appointed Robert Smith his as, in some respects, a higher eminence, own successor in the State Department, the Chief Justiceship of the National who held the office until 1811, when Supreme Court Three others, viz. : .

James Monroe accepted it, and retained Edward Livingston, William L. Marcy, it until 1817, when he also became and Lewis Cass, created for themselves President. The Secretary during Monhonourable and distinguished reputa- roe's two presidential terms, ending in tions as statesmen or diplomatists, which 1825, was John Quincy Adams, who will doubtless stand the test of time e ; then succeeded his chief in the Presibut few memories of a distinct and dency, and gave his old post to Henry decided character, I imagine, will even Clay, who retained it until the accession now be excited, either at home or abroad, of General Jackson, in 1829, when he at the mention of the names of Edmund was succeeded by Martin Van Buren. Randolph, Timothy Pickering, Robert He served only about two years, when Smith, Louis McLane, John Forsyth, Edward Livingston was appointed, , Abel P. Upshur, John M. Clayton, and who, two years later, was followed Jeremiah S. Black. They were all, it by Louis McLane, who resigned after may be presumed, respectable men and about a year's incumbency, when John capable politicians in their respective Forsyth became the Secretary, and condays and generations; but, in some tinued such during the remainder of instances, their careers were prematurely Jackson's Administration, and the whole closed by death, and, in others, they of that of his successor, Mr. Van Buren. failed, from various causes, to produce

Daniel Webster was appointed by that impression upon the country at General Harrison, in 1841, and, after large necessary to secure their further that President's death, was retained by elevation. The three unquestionably his successor, Mr. Tyler, until 1844, ablest men the country has produced, at when he was succeeded by Abel P. least, in modern times, viz. : Henry Clay, Upshur, who was accidentally killed Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun about eight weeks after, by the burst-although their personal merits and ing of a gun on board the United paramount claims to the distinction were States' frigate Princeton, and John C. universally acknowledged-owing to the Calhoun occupied the post during the chicanery of party politics, and partly remaining year of Mr. Tyler's Administration. James Buchanan was Secretary man may be a good scholar, a fine under Mr. Polk, from 1845 to 1849, writer, and even a shrewd and successand was succeeded by John M. Clayton, ful politician, and yet fail, under the who was appointed by General Taylor, most favourable circumstances, to beafter whose death, his successor, Mr. come a great statesman. Mr. Seward Fillmore, gave the office to Daniel may be the latter—far be it from me Webster, who held it until 1853. to say that he is not. Thousands of General Pierce then appointed William his personal adherents assert not only L. Marcy, who served four years, giving that he is, but that he is the greatest place, at the commencement of Mr. statesman of modern times. My feeble, Buchanan's Administration, in 1857, to solitary voice shall not now be raised in Lewis Cass, who, in the latter part of denial. Certainly, he is, at present, on the year 1860, disagreeing with the his trial before the world, whose final policy of Mr. Buchanan in reference to verdict will probably be a just one, and the great national difficulty then arising, I am content to await it with patience resigned the post, which was filled dur- and resignation. In the meantime, a ing the brief remainder of Mr. Bu- story once told by Mr. Seward of himchanan's term by Jeremiah S. Black, self may prove suggestive to inquisitive who had until then been his Attorney- readers, and, its authorship thus deGeneral.

clared, I shall be relieved from the This brings us to the present incum- charge or suspicion of bearing false or bent, who was called to the chair of prejudiced testimony against one whom State by Mr. Lincoln, at the outset of I frankly admit I do not passionately his Administration, doubtless because and blindly adore. he was the most prominent, if not the I was,” said Mr. Seward, while most able, man in the Republican party, Governor of New York, “ the sole to which organization both were at- occupant of a stage-coach, journeying tached. I have the same delicacy men- to a distant town, and, for the sake of tioned elsewhere in discussing his companionship, took a seat upon the character and career, and for the same

driver's box. That individual was a reasons, to which is also added another, shrewd and sensible man of his class, viz., that, unfortunately-perhaps for and our conversation ranged freely over that gentleman, and possibly for myself a variety of subjects, the politics of

- I have never been a very enthusiastic the day, however, being predominant. admirer of Mr. William H. Seward as a After an hour or two passed in agree statesman. As a successful politician, able discussion, I was ready to be set who has held distinguished offices in down at my place of destination, and, the gift of the American people for a on taking leave of my colloquial friend, quarter of a century-those of Governor he expressed a desire to know with of the proudest State in the Union, and whom he had had the pleasure of conmember of the National Senate—and as versing. I told him my name, and generally triumphing over every obstacle casually added that I was the Governor. interposed by scheming enemies in his The man, instead of being upset by the

, onward career, his personal history can- latter announcement, or betraying any not fail to excite the admiration even of compunctions on account of his late his foes. As a man of letters, he has familiarity, looked me boldly in the won no unenviable reputation; the face, with an audacious leer and a more remarkable, because, making no decided wink, and replied: "That won't pretensions to authorship, his literary do, sir; you may be Mr. Seward, but efforts have been mere episodes in his you ain't the Governor : Thurlow Weed severer labours simple recreations, is the Governor of New York.' rather than arduous tasks — growing And do you know," continued the naturally out of more important occupa- Governor de jure, with praiseworthy intions in which he was officially engaged. genuousness, “ that I believe the fellow But nothing is more certain than that a really knew me?"

75

THE PRUSSIAN CONTEST, AND THE FRENCH EMPEROR'S

ROMAN POLICY.

or the

Two important political facts of the last if our Cabinet do proceed, for example, month have been-the announcement to the recognition of the nationality of by the King of Prussia that he means the Southern States of America, it will to show to his subjects that the part of be because, though many of us may Charles the First of England may be object to such a course, there will have performed over again with new results seemed to be sufficient demand for it in these times and amid a German among the rest, and sufficient certainty population; and the decision of the of backing. Everywhere in the world, Emperor of the French that he is still our social philosophers tell us, the most to sustain the Pope, and prevent Rome powerful individual men are but the from becoming the capital of the King- mouthpieces of general tendencies, and dom of Italy.

succeed only so far as they express what These two facts have this in common, must be at any rate ; but, where tenthat they are calculated vividly to re- dencies have ten thousand mouths, it mind us, in these islands of ours, that rarely depends on the “Yes” there are still parts of the earth, very “No” of any one mouth what turn near us, where the will of one man may things will be seen taking, even for possess a degree of efficacy, as regards twenty-four hours. direct political consequences, such as We are bound to view with peculiar we have long ceased to witness, or to interest the progress of the constituconsider possible, among ourselves. tional struggle which has been begun There is no human being amongst us in Prussia. History is not apt, any whose single obstinacy could block the more than nature, to repeat herself very current of our national ideas and com- exactly. But this Prussian struggle, in merce; there is no human being amongst its present stage, is marvellously like us upon whose single determination it the beginning of the struggle of our could depend whether the national own Charles the First with the English weight of Britain should be thrown people, and sends us back to those into one scale or the other of any great years, 1626-1628, when Charles quarcause publicly adjusting itself anywhere relled with his first Parliaments on the abroad. A Gladstone or a Bright, in subject of tonnage and poundage, as deed, may wield an important influence

more spiritual matters, on our system of taxation, or other parts and, getting no satisfaction from them, of our internal polity; and it may dissolved them one after another, and happen, as we fear it happens now, that took to governing for eleven years & supreme Palmerston may be able so without a Parliament. There may not far to commit us, in the dark, to some be in the present popular cause in such wretched chimera of foreign politics Prussia all that accumulation of noble as that “preservation of the integrity ingredients which dignifies in history of the Turkish Empire," of which we the English Liberalism of the days of hear so much, but of which—both Eliot, and Pym, and Hampden. There phrase and thing—the best of us are may be more of the mere Tonnage and beginning to be sick, and of which we Poundage question in it, and less of shall all unanimously be sick to nausea those other great questions of intelere long. But not the most powerful lectual and spiritual liberty with which man among us can do anything of large the Tonnage and Poundage question in political effect, sheerly of his own will, England was then inextricably assothat would not be done otherwise ; and ciated. But, allowance being made for

well as

on

change of time and place, it does seem did not let it cross the salt water. But that among the Prussian Liberals there it does not appear, from any evidence is the sense of wrongs of a general kind that we yet have, that the present —of systematic and long-continued re- Prussian king is the wisest king living ; pressions of many of the various liberties nor does it appear that the entire asand just desires of an intelligent and sembly of respectable men to whom the well-educated nation-entitling their Prussians have delegated the right of present struggle with the Crown to judging for them in such matters are fools something even of that high respect and blind to the true interests of their with which the struggle of the English country, in thinking a certain amount Liberals with Charles, in the beginning of armed force sufficient. Nothing, of his reign, is now universally re- then, as far as appears, ought to hinder garded. The battle may be upon the Prussian Liberalism from having full Budget; but there are other grievances, sympathy from Britain in its present and many of hem, behind. Though movement—there being reserved, of we knew nothing of Prussia by more course, full liberty of criticising, should direct means, we have the assurances of it seem worth while still to do so, the this in the voices of such men as Hum- past conduct of Prussian liberalism, and boldt and Varnhagen von Ense, speaking full liberty also of observing how, from from their graves through their letters this new starting-point, it will continue and diaries, and uttering those post- to conduct itself. humous criticisms of the public The Prussian Liberal leaders are said men and events of the last Prussian to have made, for the purposes of this reign the sharpness of which almost very struggle, a minute study of that scandalizes pro; riety. But, even if we English precedent which could not but regard the struggle only in its obvious suggest itself even had it not before aspect as a batile of the Budget, it has been thought of, but which they are bestrong claims on our interest. That any lieved to have deliberately kept in view king under a Constitution, were he the as their model. As accurate Germans, wisest that lives, should, for the support their own historical researches have proof an increased army, or for any other bably given them more exact knowledge purpose, insist on having more of his of the methods by which the English people's money than they through their constitutional struggle was carried on representatives will vote him, and, when to success than can well be furnished these representatives are firm, should them off hand by the less learned British announce his intention of taking the journalists who are advising them and money without their consent “ by means patting them on the back. It is not beyond the Constitution "—this is a likely, therefore, that the grand maxim course of royal conduct antipathy to of “Passive Resistance," in which all which, and the conviction that it ought here have agreed as the best advice to to be opposed and frustrated, may surely be sent over, will startle them by its be assumed as incorporate with English novelty. But it is one thing to have nerve and blood. The right of the a historical knowledge how a certain Commons over the national purse is a people behaved in given circumstances, fundamental principle in our own poli- and another to be able to do as they tics, and we can hardly avoid extending

did. Have the Prussians the energy, it to Prussia. Were the present Prussian on the one hand, and the obdurate king the wisest king that lives, and stubbornness on the other, required for were his determination to have a large a successful policy of passive resistance ? army clearly an act of wisdom in oppo- We miss, at this outset of the Prussian sition to the unanimous blockheadism struggle, anything equivalent to that of his Parliament, some among us, per

declaration with which the English haps, might not care though we kept House of Commons, in March 1628-9, the English principle to ourselves and announced their policy of passive resistance, and told how terrible it was to British sympathy for the Italian be. In their last sitting, in uproar and cause, in the new phase given to it by with closed doors, they drew up three the recent decision of the French Emresolutions, to be left in the ear of the peror, requires no such solicitation as English nation as their parting words may be necessary to evoke an interest of which these were two :

in the Prussian question. It exists “Whosoever shall counsel or advise the ready-made. The Garibaldi Riots in taking or the levying of the subsidies of tonnage various parts of the country are seriand poundage, not being granted by Par- ously, though rudely, significant. They liament, or shall be an actor or instrument

show that the idea of the unity of therein, shall be reputed an innovator in the Government, and a capital enemy to the Italy, and of the suppression of the kingdom and commonwealth.

temporal Papacy as necessary to this voluntarily yield

or pay the said subsidies of unity, has firmly gained possession, as tonnage and poundage, not being granted by only such simple and definite ideas can, Parliament, he shall likewise be reputed a be

of the universal popular mind. The trayer of the liberties of England, and an enemy process of education has been gradual; to the same."

and, perhaps, only in the form of a senThe Prussian Assembly had, perhaps, timent of personal admiration for a man no opportunity for such a declaration like Garibaldi could such a notion at before their dismissal, even had it been the last have been so suddenly and right or expedient in their circum- strongly diffused. The consequences stances ; and it is also to be remembered cannot but be important as regards the that this declaration came from the possible foreign policy of our GovernEnglish Parliament at a rather late ment for some time to come. If on no stage in their struggle, and when they other foreign question, at least on the had become vehement. Without any Italian question, the mass of the British such defiant and irritating declaration, people have made up their minds, unnecessary at this stage, the Prussian and know exactly what they wish for. people may carry out practically and On this question, therefore, if on no quietly, as the English people did, other foreign one, the Government have the policy it points to. If the King the eyes of Argus upon them, and fulfils his threat, there may be, as there all that compulsion towards one parwas in England everywhere, resistance ticular line of policy, by whatever to the tax-gatherer by courageous house- diplomatic methods they may pursue it, holders. There may then be trials in which must result from the consciousness law-courts. There may be Prussian that they are jealously and multitudiJohn Hampdens and Richard Cham- nously watched, and acting for å vast

a berses, fighting the public cause to their constituency, the very dregs of which last shilling, and going to prison rather are under the excitement of a belief

And so there may be that which is also, though less excitingly, accumulation of individual prosecutions that of the thoughtful. The Government, and persecutions, and of all sorts of however, hardly now needs this stimuillegal acts, which is sure to bring things lus on the Italian question. That to a dead-lock. This policy, if per- Italy from the Alps to Sicily should be severed in, even without any general one nation; that it would be a good

l outbreak, must, in the nature of things, thing for the world, politically, comsucceed. It is to be hoped that the mercially, and intellectually, if it were first real indication that it is likely to so; that it is a pity that this result is be persevered in will shake the King's not consummated in a peaceful manner, purpose, and dispossess him of his by the withdrawal of the French troops notion that the part of Charles the from Rome, and the cession of the First may be performed now with a Venetian territories by Austria—this, complete variation in the style of the we may say, is the belief of the whole consequences.

British nation, with the exception of

than pay

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