Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.
Sir: We are having another season of the oft-recurring disquietude of the public mind of Europe in regard to public affairs. As usual, apprehension hinges, to a great extent, on the suspected movements of the French Emperor.
* * * * * * * * *
As an aside portion of the drama, the affairs of the United States are again brought under review. Mr. Roebuck and Mr. Lindsay, of the British Parliament, * * * * * * * * have just been over and had an interview with the Emperor touching our affairs, or rather Mr. Roebuck’s and Mr. Lindsay’s affairs. They report him all ready for mediation, recognition, or anything else which favors the rebellion.[Page 896]
The judge in the Alexandra case has just given his remarkable decision for free trade in ships-of-war, from which serious consequences are feared; so that altogether the moment is one of unusual disturbance and excitement. The French funds have been gradually receding for a fortnight, and consols are now following suit.
So far as we are concerned, I see nothing in the whole of it that is not dependent on the course of events at home. If we do not succeed at Vicksburg the mischief-makers in Parliament will raise what dust they can on the strength of our failure. But if we succeed there, and clear out the Mississippi, nobody here will think of striking against us to the extent of a foot. The real judgment on this side is that we have made substantial progress, and that the cause of the south is slowly, it may be, but surely, giving way. Notwithstanding our many previous failures, there is a strong expectation that we shall succeed this time before Vicksburg; and the moral effect of the great enterprise of General Grant, if carried to a successful termination, will be immense in Europe. In that event, I think the conviction will be that the final result will depend entirely on the persistent determination of the people of the loyal States.
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of June 1, No. 102.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.