Mr. Marsh to Mr. Seward

No. 63.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your instructions 61, 62, and 63, as well as of circular No. 28, relating to the tax on the salaries of government officers.

I have communicated to the minister of foreign affairs the substance of your letter, announcing the restoration of Mr. Canisius to the consulate at Vienna.

The new ministry has thus far lost none of the public confidence with which its entry into office was received, but it is yet too soon to judge how far its policy will be sustained by the nation and the Parliament. The cabinet is composed of able men, and it is generally true of this ministry, as of the members of the previous administrations I have known in Italy, and I may add of both houses of Parliament, that they are, in general, persons of more liberal culture, and more theoretical acquaintance with principles, or at least opinions in matters of public economy and government, than the corresponding classes in any country where I have had opportunity of observation. Parliamentary and administrative experience they, of course, [Page 1157] have not yet had time to acquire; and on the other hand, they have not had time to fall into many of the abuses and indecorums which are so apt to creep into the legislative and deliberative proceedings of governments.

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In my interviews with the ministers, I have found them less inclined than most of their predecessors to express a decided interest in the success of the cause of the American Union, but I have certainly no reason to doubt that they are well disposed to that cause.

The King, whom I saw this morning, made several inquiries with respect to the prospect of a termination of the war, and evidently understands the difficulties which render a recognition of the independence of the southern States, or a compromise upon terms which they would, or we could, accept impossible. I have no doubt that the King desires the triumph of the national arms as a result important both to the cause of civilized order and to the interests of liberty and progress in both countries.

I have the honor to be, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.