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SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 1872. .


SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 1872. To make a bridge for a flying enemy is such an obvious policy, that it needs little discernment in our Press to take that tone in discussing the reply of the Washington Government now on its way to Europe. We are already acquainted with the tenor' of the answer, and can calmly wait until the details are made public. We know enough to feel confident that the indirect claims will be with- drawn in one shape or other, and that the only point to be settled is rather one of diplomatic etiquette, in which our courteous Foreign Minister, the international" Earl GRANVILLE, will show himself equal to the occasion. Like an accom- plished referee on a point of honour, our Foreign Hi1 Secretary will draw America out of her present embarrassment, without leaving a blot upon her escutcheon. We can answer for his tact and delicacy, and as the matter stands at present we do not think it could be in better hands. The tone of the Press has also been commendable. The exceptions are so few that we should wish to forget that there have been any. Still, as there have been one or two offenders against good taste, it is right that we should notice them if only to explain to our American cousins that they are exceptions. The worst offender in this respect has been our old friend, O'DOWD, who has taken up the tomahawk which CHRISTOPHER NORTH once brandished with such effect, in the columns of Blackwood. What a Tory of the old school was to a Conservative of our day, that the style of NORTH was to the pleasant little snippets of party politics with which O'DOWD regales the modern readers of Blackwood. They answer the definition of an epigram, whose body is airy and light, and a sting is left in its tail." In the present instance the sting in O'DOWD'S tail is particularly venomous, and more like that of a hornet than of a bee. In this month's num- ber he treats his readers to one of his recollections of Florence whist parties. He tells us that in playing a Yankee there for a high stake, he suspected that his opponent made a re- voke to gain the odd trick, and charged him with it when the game was over. The Yankee admitted the soft impeachment, and coolly confessed that as he meant to have the trick, he made the mistake on purpose. Revoking on system," is the moral which our amiable friend O'DOWD draws from this unpleasant and, we hope, excep- tional instance of sharp practice on the part of an American whist-player. There are card-sharpers in all lands, and the genus is by no means peculiar to Trans-Atlantic soil. But why our rollicking friend, HARRY LORREQUER, who seems to have transferred his descriptive powers from stable traits to table traits, should have made this experience of Yankee sharp practice a peg on which to fasten a charge on American diplomacy, we fail to see. It is smart writing, no doubt, to describe President GRANT as the typical Yankee, ready for a revoke over a friendly rubber with Lord GRANVILLE. It is amazingly funny to suppose our Foreign Secretary befooled out of the odd trick by a palpable cheat, such as that of which O'DOWD confesses himself the victim over a green table in Florence. But we do not see the wisdom of thus putting a hot poker in a barrel of gunpowder. Within a week from magazine day" in London, Black- wood is reprinted and sold for sixpence in the streets of New York. We do not think it will promote the cause of international amity to find the American nation, described by a leading Conservative organ as capable of serving us in the way in which O'DOWD tells us that he was served. Our Irish friend has been unfortu- nate in the Americans he has come across. We do not dispute his story, but we protest against the inference that this is an instance of American practice, and not an exception to it. The incident is not worth referring to except as an illustration of the way in which bad blood is bred between kindred nations. The American people have a fine cuticle we have discovered the raw point, and our Tory critic does not spare the lash of ridi- cule. TROLLOPE and MARRYATT set the fashion forty years ago, and DICKENS followed suit incon- siderately. If America has a fault, it is that she is extravagantly vain of our good opinion, and absurdly sensitive to the banter of our professional humourists. We do not wish to gag the Press, but surely there is a time for all things-a time to be serious as well as a time to joke. If we could get to the bottom of these indirect claims, which strike us as so outrageous, we might find that it is only the American way of retaliating on England for the barbed arrows of our comicPress. Wewanttosee an end of the Alabama difficulty, and therefore hope our writers will choose another target for their light but harrassing shafts of ridicule.

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