The Illustrated London News

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London, Saturday, May 25, 1861

The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1090, p. 484.

May 25, 1861


. . . President Davis has issued his first Message. It has the lengthiness in which American diplomatists delight, but its verbiage by no means conceals the fact that the South means fighting. On the other hand, the tone of the North and of the authorities is equally hostile, but more haughty. Recognition of the "belligerent" Southerner is out of the question: he is nothing but a "rebel," whom the North not only can but will put down by force of arms, and teach that the Republic is one and indivisible. A somewhat ill-judged letter has been published here by Mr. Clay, who is accredited to the Court of Russia by Mr. Lincoln. The writer is not content with making out the case of the North as strongly as possible, but he urges England to take part with the States, and asks whether she can afford to incur the risk of the hatred of such a nation as America intends to be? Our answer is that we do not believe that we shall ever incur the hatred of a truly great nation by persevering in a course of peaceful neutrality, but that we are quite prepared, according to English custom, to incur any risk in the path of duty. It is thought that any immediate hostilities on a large scale between North and South are improbable, but that in the autumn the former will move down in full strength upon the Confederacy. But we fear that in the meantime we shall hear much that will cause more pain in England than some of the American journalists are willing to let their readers know. The New York Herald emphatically declares that England does not understand America. Suppose we concede this, and answer that England does something better—she loves America, and expresses no feigned grief at a crisis "which sends flying at each other's throats men who all utter the war-cry before which Napoleon went down at Waterloo."

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