London, Saturday, October 12, 1861.The Illustrated London News, vol.39, no. 1112, p. 364.
There can be no doubt that the armies of the Northern States of America are preparing for grand and various action, and now that the weather permits them to move freely we shall hear of simultaneous attacks upon Southern positions. The enormous size of the "seat of war" is a condition of the contest not sufficiently taken into consideration here, and it is, indeed, difficult to realise it. Without careful study of the map and due regard to the vast distances between the points at which hostilities are carried on or threatened, justice will not be done to the obstacles in the way of the chiefs on either side, and the fabulous-seeming numbers of the forces which are being brought up appear reasonable only when the extent of territory is taken into account. We repeat that the Old World may now look to hear of actions on a larger scale than war has yet exhibited. Meantime, the only demonstration calling for special notice is one against an Englishman. The letters of Mr. William Russell have given so much offence to persons who dislike plain statements of disasters that application has actually been made to Mr. Seward to prevent the publication of these despatches. Mr. Seward, however, perceives the absurdity of the demand to fight, as some vestries debate, "with closed doors and the exclusion of reporters," and he has declined to interfere, giving his refusal in a grave document, for the solemnity of which the Minister must have indemnified himself by non-official smiles at the enforced rotundity of his periods. Two of the Orleanist Princes have placed themselves on General M'Lellan's staff, but have declined to receive pay for their services, a decision which may evince an honesty of estimate of their value. The New York Herald, which is supposed to be really in the pay of the South, as heretofore and until its weathercock conversion, does its best to generate ill-feeling between the North and England, by a renewal of the ridiculous threat that as soon as the "rebellion" is put down English rule in America shall be swept away. But our American brethren may rest assured that we distinguish between the feeling of a great and glorious nation and the malicious nonsense of an insincere and hireling scribbler.