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f Uittrarg 8aríttítø.



AMERICAN RELATIONS. Our relations with the United States are not the least fruitful sources of anxious thought at this time of recommencing tur- moil. Still Mr. Polk has given no sign. The government news- papers are as unsteady as a barometer on a cloudy morning, or rumours on the Stock Exchange. Their last oscillations are, if anything, more towards a warlike than a peaceful tone. But the tone of the British provincials is favourable to the continu- ance of peace. The acquisition of Oregon is with a pretty nu- merous party in the United States only part of a system. They are a kind of Transatlantic O'Connellites; their maxim being America for the Americans." Under this specious generality they cloak principles of Republican aggression and propagan- dism. Their object is to spread affiliated Republican states, with a central government at Washington, over at least the whole of the Northern continent. They constitute, it is true, only one section of the War party in the Union, and all are not equally consistent and reckless in their political system; but it is by the more bigoted among them that the war spirit is prin- cipally fostered and guided. Anything that deprives them of the support of casual allies—of parties infected with the war mania by less extensive and more transitory causes—weakens the War party, and affords a guarantee for the preservation of peace. And this is not unlikely to be affected by the temper which the sayings of the Republican propagandists respecting Oregon and Canada, and their doings in Texas and California, have excited in the British provinces. In general society, in the newspapers, and in literary associations, the favourite topic relates to dpfensive preparations against American aggression. A more warm and prevalent spirit of loyalty to Great Britain and her institutions animates the Canadas and seabord pro- vinces at this juncture than in any period since the war of 1812. The wiser policy introduced by Lord Durham has convinced the colonists that there really exists a desire in England to respect their liberties and promote their interests. They are also im- pressed with a general conviction that. it is more advantageous to be born citizens of the British Empire than of the American Union that a wider sphere of action, greater prospects of per- sonal advancement, are open to the British than the American citizen. Conjoined with this is a belief, that if old systems of commercial restriction are to survive, British trade is more profitable to them than American and a surmise that, after all, the exclusive policy is likely to have a shorter tenure of exis- tence in Britain than in the Union. To be drawn into the mael- strom of the American Union, is a thing viewed in Canada with universal distaste and throughout the whole of British North America, the anxiety to see Oregon rescued from the Republi- cans is much stronger than in this country. These are facts which cannot be concealed from the Americans and they tend materially to lessen the numbers of those who dream of one great republic extending from the Isthmus of Panama to the shores of the Icy Ocean. Bigoted and ambitious men there are among them, who to realize this imagination would not shrink from employing the means of war and conquest; but the de- scendants of the Pilgrim Fathers, whether remaining in old New England or acting as pioneers in the far West, will refuse to force even the nationality and institutions they cherish upon those who are averse to them. The loyalty of the Canadians will throw cold water on the war fever-heat of the Union a fact which, it is to be hoped, will not be without influence in our own Foreign Office, whoever is to be its occupant. —Spectator. CRIME ON THE HIGH SEAS. Where there is much smoke, there is some 6re." The frequent stories of brutal abuse of power on the part of mas- ters in the merchant sea-service, shows that neither acts of the legislature nor the efforts of private philanthropists have yet made our commercial marine exactly what it ought to be. If th.. etoriea lold of (ha caplaiii of tKo Tory at \1. Thwnea police-office are true, tbe only explanation of his conduct, consistent with respect for human nature, is that he was in a paroxysm of drunken delirium when he hacked and hewed his luckless crew in the way stated. The informations against this man are not completed when the mate of the Nunez is bound over to trial for gross cruelty exercised upon an orphan boy. The tale of the mutineers or pirates of the Saladin. executed some time ago at Halifax, may yet live in the recollection of some of our readers. The atrocities perpetrated in that ill- starred vessel appfarto have had their origin in the reciprocal brutalities of two masters-one actually in command, and the other a passenger. There is something in the constitution of our mercantile marine that favours the development of such atrocities. With the exception of the officers and two or three apprentices, the crew is generally composed of the first able-bodied seamen that offer. Without being positively worse than other classes on a par with them in Ctrcumstancesand education, seamen are more difficult of control and management. Their feelings are blunted during long and frequent periods of iso'ation from general society. The-range of their routine duties is narrow and monotonous, and 111 Qualified to develope their faculties. Long intervals of privation, alternating with brief intervals of unbounded indulgence, impart a reckless tone to their cha- racter. Hardened to suffering, they are fearless of danger— wayward creatures of unreasonable impulse. With such in- struments the master has to work the ship, always in moment- ary apprehension, often under the immediate pressure of sud- den and unforeseen danger. In a ship, there can with safety be but one will, one intelligence, to which all others are sub- ordinate. The master of a ship lives in constant strife and struggle with his crew as well as with the elements. It would require a singularly happy temper not to break down at times under such a strain. When it is considered that this strain may continue without intermission for months at a time—that the physical health of him who suffers from it may be affected by protracted watches and exposure to the extremes of tem- perature—that, isolated from any companions with whom he may safely unbend, he may have sought solace in stimulants—it is not wonderful that crews and captains in vessels of the long voyage should often conspire to make the frail fabric that holds them a floating he". Such cases, though of lamentably frequent occurrence, are not to be taken foi the rule. The ''A 1" captains (to borrow a metaphor from Lloyds ) of our commcfcial navy, are an intelligent and estimable class. Much, too, has been done of late years, both by acts of the legislature and by private indi- viduals, to elevate the character of the profession. But much remains to be done. The almost paternal care which the Gladstones and other great shipowners bestow on their ap- prentices while on shore, and the liberal and discerning spirit with which thev gradually advance the more deserving to posts of higher and higher trust, has trained a fine body of officers. The late regulations,subjecting aspirants to the rank of masters or mates of merchantmen to certain prelimillary examinations, will go far to raise the general standard for officers in the Royal rapine equally high. But even then, matters will be comparatively little mended till the improve- ment is made to penetrate Into the mass of tbe crews. More skilful officers we are sure to have under the new regulations; but while tbe crews continue to be made up of the waifs and strays of society, as at present, there is no guarantee against j the frequent recurrence of such melancholy aberrations of human passion as bave given rise to these remarks. Certi6- cates of general moral character are required from the exami- nants: but who can say of any man-before he is tried that, when investeci with despotic power, remote from general observation, he can stand the terrible unintermitriug strain 1Ip4)1I tbe temper to wbich the master of any werchantGJan may be exposed ? Towards elevating the general character of the crews, Tem- perance Societies bave done a good deal. Houses for sailors ashore, to supersede the scoundrelly crimp system, is a plan that promises well. These, together with the greater atten- tion paid to apprentices, are the experiments or suggestions of private individuals. The operation of the legislature has been hitherto less successful. In seeking to depnve the mas- ter of some of bis absolute power, the legislature began at the* wrong end. Despotism, for the time. is even more indispens- able in ships than in the army. After responsibility is the only applicable check. And even this is rendered in some meuure hurtful by the present composition of crews, and of the courts in which redress must be sought. Ignorant, unre- flecting, and reckless, no sooner do the sailors reach a home or colonial port, tpall they are beset with pettifoggers tempt- ing them to go to law with the captain. The forms of the courts in which these actions are brought up are complicated and expensive. The best captains, under the most urgent circumstances, hesitate to enforce necessary discipline, with the ffar of these laud-sharks and the Admiralty courts before them. The legislature was right when it decreed that every powder-monkey or coole. assistant should have it in his power to appeal to the laws for redress but the legislature Ought at the same time to have organised courts for such applications in which real and prompt Justice cotlld he obtained, instead of sending the litigants tl) courts in which the gain is the prac- titioners' alone. And, with all due deference for certain phi- lanthropists who have as great a horrorfor the cat with nine tails as some have for a cat with one, it may be doubted whether the suostitQtion of moderate fines for a moderate logging i» at times perfectly consistent with the safety of ship's and their crews, while the average of crews continue what they are now. A seaman of the present reckless race is quite capable of sacrificing a couple of days' pay by refusing to turn out and go aloft in a stormy winter-night, merely to spite the captain if he has had a quar.el with him the day before. To raise the average character of crews is the great problem. It is for shipowners to consider whether, by gr ater unanimity of tffoit—by increasing the proportion of appren- tices (or of the apprentice class} among the common seamen :111" average character of the general inasscannot be improved. The greater expenditure would probably be balanced by dimi- nished losses. If the owners will not take the business in band, Parliament mUIt-it is to be hoped with more caution, system, aad perseverance, than 4hherto.-lbid.

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