London, Saturday, December 14, 1861The Illustrated London News, vol. 39, no. 1121, p. 596.
December 14, 1861
Although a certain and computed time must elapse before the answer from America shall determine whether bells or cannon will be the fittest ushers to announce the New Year, it is impossible to obtain much serious attention for any other subject. The candidate addressing the crowd, the senator giving in his accounts to his constituents, even the ex-Minister casually complimenting volunteers, at once fix on the American difficulty and submit their hopes or their solutions. Meantime journalists can but speculate and express the united feeling of the nation that we must uphold the honour of the English flag, but that we trust the good sense of the respectable classes in America will dominate over the passionate mob and spare us the terrible necessity of striking a blow. From the French papers we cull little save the expression of French opinion upon the outrage for which we have demanded redress, and it is satisfactory to see that the logical minds of the Parisian journalists, when permitted fair play, at once lead them to the conclusion that England had but one course open to her. Deeply interesting as would be at any other time the debates in the Italian Parliament and the situation of Baron Ricasoli and his Ministry, the fiery elegance or languid pedantry of the speakers is little heeded, nor can much indignation be spared for the atrocious cruelties which, if accounts be true, are being perpetrated upon the unfortunate Poles, in punishment for their recent demonstrations of love of country. All this negligence of all but one subject should be noted across the Atlantic, for it is a grim proof how thoroughly England—once aroused—shows herself in earnest.