vrn and confer at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, in the midst of German war bustling. It is too good a subject to be missed by the Times ; and. accord- ingly the Leading Jou"> vrn and confer at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, in the midst of German war bustling. It is too good a subject to be missed by the Times ; and. accord- ingly the Leading Jou" />
10 AUGUST 1850, Page 13


TOM DIBDIN singing "Old Towler " in the midst of a kennel of hounds had not more faith in the power of music, than the Peace Congress have in their own preaching powers when they propose, as they have just done by circular, to sit -L>vrn and confer at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, in the midst of German war bustling. It is too good a subject to be missed by the Times ; and. accord- ingly the Leading Journal makes merry with the contrast between the peaceful congregation and the highly military scene which will surround them. If they hope to have made any progress, they have selected their seat in the very midst of their own refutation. There is something that irresistibly excites one's respect in the singleminded devotion with which they go at their object, and pillory themselves in the face of Europe for philanthropic pur- poses: the pity of it is that they do not go the way to advance their own object, but rather help to bring ridicule on peace "—to hold it up as a sectarian idiosyncraoy, of which all but those under the hallucination would be ashamed.

They act upon figments and not upon realities. Their mission to supersede war by rational negotiation and arbitration rests upon the presumption that the rest of mankind is amenable to the seine convictions and influences as the members of the Peace Associa- tion. Their theory of human nature is so limited in its scope, that they take themselves for a type of human nature in general; whereas they are rather to be counted among the exceptions. Their doctrine presumes that if they can show the commercial un- profitableness of war, its sufferings, and its crimes, they will ipso facto induce people to give it up. But that conclusion by no means follows. Prove that war is mortal, and still there are great numbers who hold that peace is even more mortal in its corrup- tions and effeminacies ' • and you must execute a vast amount of ratiocination, on fields wholly distinct from pietist dogma, before you will destroy that doctrine—if ever. Men are not universally prepared to assent to the doctrine that war is absolutely wicked. Convince people of its mortalities, and you will not for that destroy the spirit which makes many hold that danger adds a zest to action, even irrespectively of its imparting a valuable in- gredient to chivalrous honours. Every man dislikes a sabre-out per se, but the majority have no natural antipathy to that career in which sabre-cuts are among the risks ; and highly de- veloped education does not inevitably satisfy the mind that such career is without its moral health. As to trading profit, that is not the universal test; nor is it certain that it should be so. All races like peace per se, but few are disposed to accept it at all price; and with many it is not only far from being the predomi- nant idea, but is really incompatible with their predominant idea. You may extract a few "representatives" of France to sit in the

Conference of Frankfort, but they der not really represent that nation which permits the conquest of* Algiers and the occupation of Rome and positively takes pleasure in war. Italy is not de- voted to the idea of peace, but to the expulsion of the two-beaked eagle; Spain is not, nor Hungary, nor Germany. So that wheu you offer them a short cut to peace as the summum bonum, they do not appreciate the offer. Now these are facts which the Peace Association would overlook, or hope to annul by a direct negative, —as the farceur in Moliere, who only asks the bear not to eat him, transfers his own ideas to Bruin with a total disregard of ursine nature.

There are men among the members, or at /east among the allies of the Peace Assfrciation, who have a sounder knowledge of public af- fairs ; and it is to be regretted that they do not give the efforts of the Association a more effective because a more practical turn. The object is to promote peace between nations; and men versant in public affairs know well that such an object is only to be obtained, not by acting on figments in disregard of facts, but on realities and influences which have a tangible hold over the people to be moved. You may descant till doomsday to a Frenchman on the losses, dan- gers, and sufferings of war, without producing the slightest im- pression in abatement of his chivalrous aspirations : but show him that the position of France is not nationally honourable—make him understand what the Italian people really think, wish, suffer, and attempt—and you do make no inconsiderable way in moving the sensitive Frenchman to a juster treatment of Italy. Make peo- ples understand peoples, and rulers will be balked in the game of war when they play it for their own amusement or gain : peace is to be promoted by promoting the intelligence and the power of aliens.