Mr. Seward to Mr. Perry.

No. 11.]

Sir: Your confidential despatch of January 19 (No. 25) was duly received.

A nation that suffers itself to be divided by factions arrayed against each other in civil war can expect only intrusive intermeddling at first, and [Page 470]sooner or later intervention and conquest by foreign powers. There is no friendship of one nation towards another that can survive the sacrifice of that nation’s self-respect and self-sustaining power.

Let us be thankful that we have gained the time which was necessary to combine so large a people as ours, spread over so vast a continent, and bring them to the necessary conviction of the dangers from which the country is to be saved. Since your despatch was written a series of successes of the Union arms has been opened, which is regarded as auspicious of a speedy end of the insurrection. We have therefore dismissed, at least for the present, our apprehensions of foreign danger. Felicitating you upon this pleasing condition of affairs,

I remain, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

Horatio J. Perry, Esq., &c., &c., &c. Madrid.