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HOUSE OF COMMONS.—MONDAY,…

HOUSE OF COMMONS.—TUESDAY,…

TO CORRESPONDENTS.

"THE TWO VOICES.

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THE TWO VOICES. THE old tale of the Irish sergeant, whose mode of travelling was the highly original one of taking two steps backward for every one he put forward, seems about to be illustrated in our national experience. A religion, proclaiming peace on earth, has for hundreds of years been preached in our land. Its principles have spread-it has opened men's eyes to the wickedness of war, and of the military spirit. Men have learned from it that it is worse than absurd to attempt to decide a right by an appeal to physical force-that it is as ridiculous to collect an army and to engage in a war for matters which depend upon the right interpretation of treaties, and that alone, as it would be to march an armed host to maintain that two and three make four. It has become also matter of painful knowledge that war is very expensive to the lower classes -to the men who can least afford it; that, for the wars we have been foolish enough to wage, we are paying at the Z) C, Z3 present time twenty-eight millions a year that our stand- ing army costs us annually eighteen millions more. The knowledge of these facts has aroused men from apathy- Christian philanthropists have had their attention turned to the subject. The truth has been proclaimed, and with suc- cess. The result was the division on Mr. Cobden's motion of Tuesday week-a result which, in a House composed prin- cipally of men who live by fighting, or are connected with the butchering trade, was quite as favourable as we could expect. This we may consider a satisfactory sign of the times-a matter of congratulation. The idea of Mr. COBDEN was received with respect; it was only ridiculed by the print that ridicules everything—that cannot boast the patronage of wealth and power—that would ridicule Christianity as a utopian dream. The papers, however, that do not ridicule, yet are very far from approving. The Sun considers the time selected by Mr. COBDEN most inappropriate; as if the fact that every year our military expenditure was constantly increasing did not make the present time as fitting an op- portunity as Mr. COBDEN could well select. Other journals have remonstrated against the national defences being thrown down. The excitement that was occasioned a year or two since has been again set to work. Mysterious pic- tures of the French at Brighton—the French in London- Z5 the French everywhere—are again attempted to be impressed on the vigorous imaginations of that extraordinary class of individuals who have resolutely resolved, according to the poet, that they never will be slaves," The Morning Chronicle of Tuesday came out with a war article, calculated to have a most serious effect upon elderly beings of eithei sex. The man who would read it to his grandmother, and thus peril the old lady's life, must be a wretch indeed. The Chronicle says, Let us look at Rome, and ask ourselves if there is more reason for the bombardment of St. Peter's than of St. Paul's. We must see, although we hardly dare avow it, that our remonstrances are becoming more and more powerless in proportion to the diminution of our fleet, and that it is high time for us to concentrate our views at home, and not to forget Cherbourg whilst we arc gazing at the Tiber." Is not this enough to make old ladies shudder, and young ladies refuse to sleep at night P The next quotation is more terrific still. We, who keep up a standing army, at the cost of eighteen millions a year-who are always building steam frigates named Terrible (and rightly, for they are a terrible expense)-had much better keep the money in our pocket. It is all thrown away. Our army is no earthly use. As the artist in Punch, with fine prophetic eye, did depict, the guards will leave London at one end when the French come in at the other. For," says the Chronicle, it is clear that we have no means of resisting an enemy if he should land; we have no method by which we can impede the movement of any large armed body-no reasonable hope that we could check them. There are no fortresses to be passed on the road, so.that there would be no occasion for a heavy siege train. There are no rivers to be crossed, and a pontoon train would be unnecessary. A Jirelock and a hundred rounds of ammunition would be all that was re- quired, and not all the peasantry of Kent and Sussex com- bined would stop the invading forces one hour. The only effectual resistance that could be made would be in prevent- ing the disembarkation, and for that purpose we must look to our steamers, and to them only. Upon the rapidity or tardiness of their equipment would ultimately depend the failure or success of our enemies, and it is to that point that we wish to draw attention." A firelock and a hundred muskets!" Think of that, Master BROOKS. Chancellor OXENSTERN said, "See, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed." So we may say, See with what a little powder the world is won! But perhaps our very insignificance may prove our safety. The conquest would be so easy that it would insure the victor no honour. OUDINOT might possibly despise us as too easy a prey. Alas! we must not take refuge in this thought. Pleasing as the delusion would be, it is one we must not indulge. Ostrich-like, we must not stick our head in the sand, and fancy there is no danger because we do not see it. Our last source of consolation has been torn from us by Rear-Ad- miral Sir Charles NAPIER. He has addressed a letter to Lord J. RUSSELL, that is now going the round of the papers, one extract from which will suffice. He shall speak for him- self:—"It may be said, I am exposing the nakedness of the land. The Duke of WELLINGTON'S letter has done that al- ready but his grace's letter was not necessary. The French Government know just as well as we do the force of every ship of war in the service, the station of every regi- ment, the number of our guns, and, I dare say, the number of the muskets in all our arsenals. I may be called an alarmist; I confess it; I am alarmed at our defenceless state, and I hope to God I shall alarm the Government, the Parliament, and the people." So, war is to be the cry still-still every age is to remain stationary—still bad prejudices and bad passions are to be perpetuated—still science is to be the servant of barbarism —still man's eye is to be shut to the perception of his rela- tionship to man everywhere around him. Such are the two voices. One says, Arm the other, Dis- arm. One says, Love your enemies; the other bids man kill them. One would make a heaven of earth the other would make heaven a hell. Surely the men who advocate war, or who believe that people would go to war, were they not driven to it by their rulers, do verily misunderstand the spirit of the age; as much so as a bishop misunderstands the spirit of Christianity, when he consecrates the colours that are to be associated with bloodshed, and misery, and death.

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