23 MAY 1840, Page 12


Toe use of what limy be called lightning-conductors in the moral world—attractions to divert the violent passions, which might work havoc in our own circle, ilito ;mottles sphere of' action—long pre- ceded their adoption in tlie material world. At least so flu. back as Cairo's "mactevirtute," addressed to a young man coining from a house of' indifferent reputation, whom he on thet ;amount regarded as not exposed to the temptation of violating ilunily honour, we find them tolerated. Still we have our doubts as to their propriety. To divert the lightning from a sentient creature to an nnfeeling clod, is allowable—the clod is lie worse then it was before: -but any human being is entitled to protest against being made the vicarious sufferer for another. On this ground we feel strongly inclined to question the justice of the policy avowed by M. TIIIERS in the Chamber of Deputies, in the course of the discussion on what our neighbours are pleased to call their " colony" of Algiers. By the Journal des Debatsthat Minister is reported to have said, that after five-and-twentv yore of peace, it was natural for the great nations to feel a hankering for vem; that he rejoiced to see them gratifying this propensity on " barbarous nations," instead of flying at each other's throats; and that he was proud to think, that while Russia was pummelling (?) and England pummelling China, France was doing the same good turn for Africa. With all due deference to so eminent a statesman as M. TIIIERS, we inc-line to think that " lea nations barbares" have a right to remonstrate, as the frogs did with the boys in the fable. Nay, We incline to go thriller, and hint that "les nations ban-bares," finding themselves attacked solely because them- sailants are too pugnacious to remain quiet, are entitIteidietnoitilislac cs'elrlalpoe are the barhariuns?"—just as an English Duke of Royal descent and sagncious memory asked his cousin WILLIAM, het wenn the Tories a»d the Reform Bill, "Who's silly Billy new?. In sober sadness, WC think that France, England, and Russia, have no more rigid to ,t tack their nen-European neighliours in order to carry off their redundant pugnacity, than would the Foreign Minis. let's of these countries, returning from a jovial meeting, to thump the first tailor and his with they met, simply to keep their hands off each other.

We have canvassed this proposition of' the French Minister simply as au abstract doctrine or stet csmauship. He has uttered it ; no one else is respoosible for it. And yet we do feel strongly tempted to ask Lord PALMERSTON, whether M. Toisats has re- vealed the real motives of the Opium War ? It certainly is a sus- picious eircauestance, that Lord PALMERSTON is always boasting 01 the perfect under:omitting and unanimity flint exist among the great Europeon powers: has M. TIIIERS expressed the point upon which they are so unanimous? Have the Governments of France, Russia, and England, made a buccaneer alliance to partition the non-Euro- peon world into three game-preserves, in each of which one of these worthy confederates is to have a monopoly of shooting? Will Russia be contented with Khiva ? does France restrict itself to Africa ? But this question we need not ask. England is geing to war with China for not allowing uorestricted access to her men. chants ; and M. TIIIERS declares that Buenos Ayres, by not put- ting the French on the footing of the most favoured nation, has furnished a good ground for hostilities.