CHAPTER VI. BULL RUN; CONSUL BUNCH; COTTON AND MERCIER

     "Her Majesty's Government have already recognized the 
     belligerent character of the Southern States, and they will 
     continue to recognize them as belligerents. But Her Majesty's 
     Government have not recognized and are not prepared to 
     recognize the so-called Confederate States as a separate and 
     independent State[368]."

Adams received Russell's two notes on September 13[369], and merely stated that they would be despatched by the next steamer. That Russell was anxious is shown by a careful letter of caution to Lyons instructing him if sent away from Washington "to express in the most dignified and guarded terms that the course taken by the Washington Government must be the result of a misconception on their part, and that you shall retire to Canada in the persuasion that the misunderstanding will soon cease, and the former friendly relations be restored[370]." Meantime Russell was far from satisfied with Bunch, writing Lyons to inform him that the "statements made in regard to his proceedings require explanation[371]." The failure of Seward to demand Belligny's recall worried Russell. He wrote to Palmerston on September 19, "I cannot believe that the Americans, having made no demand on the French to disavow Belligny, or Baligny, will send away Lyons," and he thought that Seward ought to be satisfied as England had disavowed the offensive part of Bunch's supposed utterances. He was not in favour of sending reinforcements to the American stations: "If they do not quarrel about Bunch, we may rest on our oars for the winter[372]." There was nothing further to do save to wait Seward's action on receipt of the British refusal to recall Bunch. At this moment Lyons at Washington was writing in a hopeful view of "avoiding abstract assertions of principles," but accustoming the North to the practice of British recognition of Southern belligerent rights[373]. Lyons believed that Seward would not go further than to withdraw Bunch's exequatur, but he was anxious for the return of Mercier (long absent with Prince Napoleon), since "our position is unluckily not exactly the same with that of France[374]." On October 12 Lyons conferred at length with Seward on the Bunch matter, as usual, privately and unofficially. Seward dwelt on a letter just received from Motley assuring him that Great Britain was not "unfriendly to the United States," and "appeared anxious not to pick a quarrel, yet hardly knowing how to retract from his original position." Lyons told Seward that it would be "impossible to carry on the Diplomatic business ... on the false hypothesis that the United States Government" did not know England and France had recognized the belligerent rights of the South, and he urged Russell to get from France an open acknowledgment, such as England has made, that she "negotiated" with the Confederacy. Lyons thought Mercier would try to avoid this, thus seeking to bring pressure on the British Government to adopt his plan of an early recognition of Southern independence. Like Cowley, Lyons was disturbed at the French evasion of direct support in the Bunch affair[375].