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Page) any neutral American ship and undertake to remove, or succeed
in removing, any person claimed under any whimsey of owing allegiance to the
British Crown, that Crown would instantly hear from Washington : "It thus
appears that certain individuals have been forcibly taken from on board a United
States vessel, the ship of a neutral Power, while such vessel was pursuing a
lawful and innocent voyage—an act of violence which was an affront to the
United States flag, and a violation of
I thank thee, Jew, for teaching
me that word.
FRANCE AND NEUTRALITY.
THE letter of M. Thouvenel to Mr.
Seward is interesting in itself, as showing the French doctrine of neutral
rights. It is interesting historically, because throughout our troubles England
and France have moved hand in hand. France asserts for herself the
unquestionable right of her flag, when neutral, to cover vessels and cargo
between neutral ports, even although there be enemy's civil agents on board. The
only doubt she raises, and that is but a doubt, is the case of "military people
actually in the service of the enemy."
This ground, of course, concedes
the right of search to ascertain that the flag is truly neutral, and not falsely
borne ; and that the vessel is making a neutral voyage but nothing further.
The United States, according to
Mr. Seward's letter, takes the ground, that "
whatever disputes have existed concerning a right of visitation or search in
time of peace, none, it is supposed, has existed in modern times about the right
of a belligerent in time of war to capture contraband in neutral and even
friendly merchant vessels." And the Secretary assumes, that, according to
British maritime law, the fact of passage of the neutral " from one neutral
point to another does not modify the right of the belligerent captor."
This ground, of course, covers
the right of our cruisers to stop a French merchantman conveying dispatches or
embassadors, and taking them before a prize court for condemnation. But upon the
doctrine advanced by France, if Breckinridge and Hunter should embark from a
French colony in a French mail-packet for a French port, the case of
the Trent, mutatis mutandis, and the ship and
passengers be seized for adjudication, we should be brought into direct issue
It is of the utmost importance to
the peace of the world that this vexed question should be settled. The joint
action of France and England, however, in the matter of our offer to accede to
the Treaty of Paris, pure and simple-an action by which they proposed to impose
a condition upon us which they did not accept for themselves—precludes the hope
of any present adjustment. We must therefore all the more desire that no direct
complication of the kind may arise with France.
"MISTRESS AND MAID."
BULWER'S tale, " A Strange Story," regularly
published in the Weekly, is about ended. Thackeray's "Philip," and Anthony
Trollope's " Orley Farm," with its charming illustrations by Millais, are still
proceeding amicably together in Harper's Magazine.
But the story-tellers never tire.
Wilkie Collins, whose fascinating and famous " Woman in White" was read with
such avidity, and managed with such masterly skill by the author, is about
commencing a new tale, of which the readers of the Weekly will have the earliest
glimpses ; while the author of " John Halifax," one of the most popular and
delightful of late novels, begins in Harper's Magazine in February a story
called " Mistress and Maid." The opening is most genial and charming. The
Flemish detail of portraiture and scenery reveal the sharp eye and steady hand
which the friends of " John Halifax" recall; while the sketches of the three
sisters, the sedate elder, no longer young, the invalid second, and the younger,
Hilary, only twenty, give promise of a tale of the greatest interest, enlivened
with the most smiling humor. It is a domestic story with a winning household
tone in it, and yet even in the first chapter the rosy hue of romance invests
it. The story is sure to be a delightful companion in these tumultuous times.
A DAY or two before Mr. Seward's
letter appeared, an English gentleman, rubbing his hands briskly, remarked to an
American friend, " War ! war ! of course,
war. You have insulted us, and we shall just
turn to and lay you down, and give you a good thrashing."
"What !" replied the American,
quietly, scrawling carelessly upon the newspaper he was reading the figures 1775
and 1812, " What, again ?"
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
AGRICULTURAL.-" I put outside my
window a large box, filled it with mould, and sowed it with seed. What do you
think came up? Wheat, barley, or oats? No, a policeman, who ordered me to remove
" First class in philosophy stand
up. Thibets, what is life ?"—"Life consists of money, a horse, and a fashionable
wife." "What is poverty?" —"The reward of merit which genius receives from a
discriminating public." " What is religion ?"—" Doing unto others as you please,
without allowing a return of the compliment." "What is fame ?"—" A six-line puff
in a newspaper."
An English gentleman once fell
from his horse and injured his thumb. The pain increasing, he was obliged to
send for a surgeon. One day the doctor was unable to visit his patient, and
therefore sent his son instead.
" Have you visited the
Englishman?" said his father in the evening.
" Yes," replied the young man, "
and I have drawn out a thorn which I ascertained to be the chief cause of his
"Fool!" exclaimed the father. "I
trusted you had more sense ; now there is an end to the job."
A celebrated poet advertised that
he would supply "Lines for any occasion." A fisherman sought him soon after, and
wanted " a line strong enough to catch a porpoise."
Somebody has said that "We ought
always to believe less than we are told." This may be a safe maxim for general
use, but when a woman intrusts you—in confidence, of course—with her age, you
may always believe a great deal more than you are told.
"What have you got to say, old
Bacon-face?" said a counselor to a farmer at the late Cambridge Assizes. "Why,"
answered the farmer, " I am thinking my Bacon-face and your Calf's-head would
make a very good dish."
" James, my boy, take this letter
to the post-office, and pay the postage." The boy returned highly elated, and
said, "Father, I seed a lot of men putting letters in a little place, and when
no one was looking I slipped yours in for nothing."
It is related of the French
family of the Duke de Levis, that they have a picture in their chateau in which
Noah is represented going into the ark, and carrying under his arm a small trunk
on which is written, "Papers belonging to the Levis family."
" My faculty, surely, is the more
ancient, for the killing of Abel by Cain was the first criminal case," said a
lawyer to a medical friend. " Sure enough," replied the doctor; " but before
that happened a rib was taken out of Adam's side, and that constituted the first
A lady, very fond of her
notwithstanding his ugliness of person, once said to Rogers, the poet, "What do
you think? My husband has laid out fifty guineas for a baboon on purpose to
please me." "The dear little man!" replied Rogers ; "it's just like him."
Some minds will always be slow
till you cut them to the quick.
We suppose that there is quite as
large an amount of craft upon the land as there is upon the water.
Swinging is said, by the doctors,
to be a good exercise for the health, but many a poor wretch has come to his
death by it.
A beggar boy applying to a lady
at Boston for money to get a dose of castor-oil, was called in, and the oil was
administered gratis, despite his grimaces.
"How are you to-day?" inquired a
doctor of his patient. "A little better, thank you." " Have you taken any dinner
to-day?" "Yes, a little goose." " With appetite ?" " No, Sir, with apple-sauce."
Wanted to know—whether the volume
of sound has yet been found.
A curate having been overhauled
by his bishop for attending a ball, the former replied, "My lord, I wore a
mask." "Oh well," returned the bishop, "that puts a new face on the affair."
The "boy" who was told that the
best cure for palpitation of the heart was to quit kissing the girls, said, "If
that is the only remedy which can be proposed, I, for one, say let 'er
It is a current belief that a
wolf is never more dangerous than when he feels sheepish.
A lawyer once asked a
hotel-keeper the following question: "If a man gives you a hundred pounds to
keep for him, and dies, what do you do? Do you pray for him?" "No, Sir," replied
the landlord ; "I pray for another like him."
A belle doesn't differ so very
much from a bell; both have their clappers in their mouths.
NAPOLEON BIDING HIS TIME.
See the Opinion Nationale and
other French papers on the
Trent Affair, in another column.
An old gentleman who had dabbled
all his life in statistics, says he never heard of but one woman who insured her
life. He accounts for this by the singular fact of one of the questions being,
What is your age?"
"Mike, and is it yerself that can
be afther telling me how they make ice-crame?" " In truth I can. Don't they bake
them in cowld ovens, to be sure!"
An officer who had lost his hand
by a grape-shot was in company with a young lady, who remarked that it was a
cruel ball which deprived him of his hand. "A noble ball, madam," said he, "for
it bore away the palm!"
Why is a fine woman like a
locomotive ?—Because she draws a train after her, transports the mails (males),
and makes us forget time and space.
Sir James, then Mr. Mackintosh,
once dining in a large party with Parr, the conversation turned upon an Irish
Roman Catholic priest, who had been executed for treason at Maidstone.
Mackintosh, violent in his observations on the culprit, drew down upon himself
the wrath of the Doctor: " Sir," said Parr, " the criminal who has been hanged
was an Irishman—be might have been a Scotchman; he was a priest—he might have
been a lawyer ; he was consistent—he might have been an apostate!"
They have got a pig in Hampshire
so thoroughly educated that he has taken to music. They regulate his tune by
twisting his tail—the greater the twist the higher the note.
"Speaking of shaving," said a
pretty girl to an obdurate old bachelor, " I should think that a pair of
handsome eyes would be the best mirror to shave by.". "Yes, many a poor fellow
has been 'shaved' by them," the wretch replied.
ON Monday, December 30, in the
Senate, a number of petitions praying for the
emancipation of the slaves under
the war power were presented. A communication was received from the Secretary of
War, stating that it is incompatible with the public interest to furnish the
correspondence which has passed between
General Scott and
relative to the conduct of the war. Senator Davis, of Kentucky, introduced a
bill declaring certain persons enemies, and for sacrificing their property for
the benefit of loyal citizens.-In the House, Mr. Spaulding introduced a bill
authorizing the issue of Treasury Notes, payable on demand. It was referred to
the Committee on Ways and Means. A bill was introduced repealing certain laws
creating ports of entry. Mr. Potter offered resolutions calling on the Secretary
of the Treasury and the Secretary of the Interior to furnish the select
committee appointed to inquire into the alleged disloyalty of Government employes with certain information, in order to make their report. He stated that
there were five hundred clerks in the public employ who are disloyal to the
Government. The resolutions were objected to, and therefore were not acted on.
On Thursday, January 2, in the
Senate, petitions were presented for the emancipation of
slaves under the war
power, and for the establishment of a line of mail steamers between San
Francisco and China. Senator Kennedy presented a resolution from the State of
Maryland protesting against interference with slavery in the States by the
General Government. Senator Sumner offered a resolution, which was adopted, that
the President be requested, if not incompatible with the public interest, to
transmit to the Senate all the correspondence which has taken place since the
Congress held at Paris in 1856, relating to neutral and belligerent rights on
the ocean. A bill providing for the appointment of sutlers for the volunteers,
and defining their duties, was introduced by Senator Wilson, and referred.
Senator Wilson offered a resolution directing inquiry with reference to an
increase of the military force; also a resolution calling for information as to
the number of cavalry regiments authorized to be raised, where they are
stationed, and if it would not be advisable to convert those not yet mustered
into service into regiments of infantry—both adopted. The Secretary of War was
requested to furnish copies of the reports of the Surgeon-General and Sanitary
Commission on the health of the army.-In the House, a resolution was adopted
calling on the Secretary of War for information why certain regiments of New
York volunteers now in Washington are not provided with arms, and whether any
legislation is necessary to enable the War Department to furnish arms to the
troops now in the field. A bill providing for the defense of Philadelphia and
the Delaware River was introduced and referred. Mr. Vallandigham offered a
resolution calling on the Secretary of the Treasury for information respecting
the national debt and revenue, but it was objected to and was not received.
On Monday, January 6, in the
Senate, the credentials of the new Senator from Oregon, Mr. Stark, were
presented by his colleague, but Senator Fessenden moved that the administration
of the oath be suspended, and that the credentials and certain papers in his
possession impeaching the loyalty of Mr. Stark be referred to the Judiciary
Committee. After some discussion the papers were laid on the table for the
present. The documents for the State Department relative to the
were received, and made the special order for Thursday.
offered a joint resolution authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to allow
goods (coffee, tea, and sugar) warehoused before the passage of the recent act,
to be withdrawn, with the duty of the former act paid, and the duties collected
on such goods under the late act be refunded. The resolution was adopted.
Senator Collamer offered a resolution that the Committee on the Post-Office be
instructed to inquire into the expediency of placing a tax on conveying
intelligence by telegraph. The resolution was agreed to. Senator Davis
introduced a joint resolution that the President procure an exchange of
prisoners from the privateer Jeff Davis for prisoners taken from the army of the
United States. The joint resolution was adopted.-In the House, Mr. Roscoe L.
Conkling, of New York, called attention to the fact that on the second day of
the session a resolution was adopted requesting the Secretary of War to inform
the House whether any steps have been taken to ascertain who are responsible for
the defeat of the Union forces at the
battle of Ball's Bluff. To this resolution
the military authorities made answer to the effect that the proposed
investigation would be incompatible with the public interests. This answer Mr.
Conkling, Mr. Lovejoy, and others deemed unsatisfactory, and they animadverted
upon the management of the Ball's Bluff affair, and the conduct of the war
generally, in severe terms. Finally, Mr. Conkling offered a resolution declaring
that the answer of the War Department is neither responsive nor satisfactory to
the House, and that the Secretary of War be directed to return a further answer,
and after a long discussion it was adopted by a vote of 79 against 64. A joint
resolution, authorizing the withdrawal of tea, coffee, and sugar from bonded
warehouses on payment of the rate of duty levied under the tariff of August
last, and to refund any excess of duties above those imposed by the said act of
August, was adopted.
SKIRMISH IN WESTERN VIRGINIA.
Our troops in Western Virginia
had a brisk skirmish with the rebels at Huntersville on Saturday morning, which
resulted in a complete success. A body of our men, numbering seven hundred and
forty, and consisting of a portion of the Fifth Ohio, Second Virginia, and
Brocken's cavalry, made an attack on Huntersville, which was defended by four
hundred rebel cavalry and three hundred and fifty infantry, and after an attack
of an hour's duration the rebels were defeated with a loss of eighty killed and
wounded. No one was killed on the Union side. The enemy retired from the town,
leaving eighty thousand dollars' worth of army stores and clothing in the bands
of our troops.
DEPARTURE OF MASON AND SLIDELL.
Mason and Slidell have taken their departure for England in the British
war steamer Rinaldo, which arrived at Provincetown on 31st December. They were
Fort Warren by the tug-boat Starlight at eleven
o'clock on 1st January, and put
on board the Rinaldo, together with their secretaries, Eustis and M'Farland. The
Rinaldo sailed for Europe at six o'clock on the evening of New-Year's Day, the
wind at that time blowing a perfect hurricane.
RELEASE OF UNION PRISONERS.
Two hundred and forty Union
prisoners were brought to Fortress Monroe on Friday, who were released from
Richmond. They were brought down the James River by the rebel steamer
Northampton, and put on board the steam-boat George Washington. They were soon
after forwarded to Baltimore.
A LANDING IN MISSISSIPPI.
A rumor was published in the
Richmond Dispatch of Friday last that General Butler had made advances from
Island, in the Mississippi Sound, to Biloxi, a small town on the coast, where
they landed from five to seven thousand men, and that the Union troops would
soon occupy all the towns and villages in that vicinity, and intend to push on
TREPIDATION ON THE YORK RIVER.
It was learned from some
contrabands taken in small canoes off Back River, in the Chesapeake Bay, last
week. that the inhabitants of Yorktown are in a state of great trepidation,
fearing that the destination of General Burnside's expedition is the York River,
and that a grand attack is to be made on Yorktown. It is said that General
Magruder telegraphed to Richmond for permission to destroy Yorktown by fire, and
that he was directed not to do so except in case of the greatest emergency.
The abandonment of
Big Bethel by
the rebels is confirmed by dispatches from Fortress Monroe, although it has not
been found necessary to occupy that place by a garrison of Union troops. Upon
the arrival of the scouting party of our army the place was found to be wholly
deserted. Breast-works extending for nearly a mile, pierced for twelve guns,
were erected there by the rebels.
BATTLE EXPECTED IN KENTUCKY.
Information from Green County, Kentucky, represents that a battle there is
imminent, as the two opposing forces of the Union and rebel armies are in close
juxtaposition—the rebels with five regiments at Cave City, and the Union troops
at Munfordsville, these places being only seven miles apart.
It is reported by dispatches to
the Southern papers from Pensacola, that Colonel Harvey Brown opened fire from
Fort Pickens on New-Year's Day on a rebel steamer while going to the Navy Yard,
and that the fire was responded to, and continued all the day, from the
batteries of General Bragg. No damage, however, is said to have been done.
General Bragg renewed the fire on the 2d, but the guns from Fort Pickens did not
respond, and the fire from Bragg's batteries was consequently suspended.
THE CHARLESTON BLOCKADE RUN
It is stated on the authority of
the Richmond papers of Friday, and by the assurance of gentlemen who arrived at
Baltimore from that city, that the rebel steamer Ella Warley (formerly the
Isabel), which arrived at Nassau, New Providence, as recently reported, ran the
Charleston at daylight on Thursday, the 2d inst., and entered that
port with a cargo of small arms,
cannon, ammunition, and other stores,
principally drugs. How she succeeded in running the blockade remains to be
shown. It is also said that the rebel vessel had on board a Mr. Brisbie, bearer
of dispatches from Mr. Yancey to the rebel government.
THE NEGROES' WORK.
Within the past three weeks some
of the Southern cities have suffered from conflagrations to an extent without a
parallel. We give below the most disastrous fires, with the dates of their
January 1—Richmond 65,000
Total $8,915, 000
DISCONTENT AMONG THE REBELS.
The Richmond Examiner of the 3d instant has an excellent article on the
scheme of the rebel Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Memminger, to pay the
interest (two per cent.) due on Confederate bonds out of specie for which he
pays forty or fifty per cent. The condition of the rebel army is pictured by the
rebel papers as almost hopelessly demoralized. Regimental drills have fallen
into complete disuse. Drunkenness is said to be prevalent throughout the whole
rank and file of the army, which is represented as a terror and dread to the
citizens of the South generally.
NAVAL SKIRMISH NEAR SAVANNAH.
The British steamer Fingall
attempted to run the blockade at
Savannah, but was foiled. She got ready to make
her way through Warsaw Sound, but information having been received from a
deserter, the gun-boat Ottawa was dispatched to the Sound, and on her arrival
the rebel mosquito fleet of Tatnall came down to attack her. After a brisk
engagement a shell was put through Commodore Tatnall's vessel, when he retired.
The escape of the Fingall was thus frustrated.
Mrs. Greenhow, the female rebel,
has been detected in carrying on a secret correspondence with the enemy, in
spite of the close watch kept upon her house in Washington. It has, therefore,
been decided to send her at once to
Fort Lafayette, where she will have no
opportunity of communicating information to her Southern friends.
The Court of Inquiry, in the case
of Colonel Miles, charged with being intoxicated at the
battle of Bull Run, has
honorably acquitted him of the charge. The decision is furnished in a report of Reverdy Johnson and R. S. Gillett.
WAR PREPARATIONS GOING ON.
ENGLAND continues her
preparations for war under the pressure of a very intense and general
excitement, stimulated and promoted by the daily effusions of the ministerial
and aristocratic press. At latest dates troops were still mustering for service
in Canada, although the Australasian, Persia, Adriatic, Parana, Niagara, and
other vessels had already been dispatched, filled with the most efficient
regiments in the British service, to North America. All the available vessels in
the British Mediterranean fleet had been ordered to assemble at Gibraltar to
proceed, as was supposed, to the same destination.
CONTINENTAL REACTION AGAINST
The Opinion Nationale—the organ of Prince Napoleon —openly asserts that
"England is the only enemy of France," while the Revue des Deux Mondes and other
French journals show, in articles of great force and spirit, that the dearest
"revolutionary traditions of France" are with the United States, and that she
can not be so foolish as to go to war with us in behalf of the only Power on
earth which has reason to "fear" our maritime extension. The Revue adds that
England only wants to "conquer bread' for her manufacturing classes.
The Italian press is adverse to
England's assumption of supremacy on the ocean, and while it condemns the action
of Captain Wilkes, it inclines to a continental adhesion to whatever course
France would take in case of war.
SPANISH OCCUPATION OF
The first hostile step of the
allied expedition against Mexico was taken on the 17th ultimo, when the Spanish
troops from the fleet landed at Vera Cruz, took unopposed possession of that
city and the fort of San Juan d'Ulloa, and hoisted the Spanish flag over the
city and the fort. The rejoicings in Havana on the receipt of the news were most