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Echoes of the Week

The Illustrated London News, vol. 45, no. 1278, p. 283.

September 17, 1864


...Talking about oratory, what a display was that in New York the other day on the extradition case of Herr Franz Müller! How admirably logical was Mr. Chauncey Shaffer, who, we are told, once drew and discharged a pistol at the presiding Judge, just to bring him to a speedy and pleasant decision on the side of the irate counsel! What a great deal of "buncombe" the American populace will bear! Because, forsooth, an American counsel chooses to assert that England and the United States are in a "mixed and unsolemn state of war" a man, in whose possession the hat and watch of a murdered man were found, and to whom his watch-chain was traced, and whose own coat sleeve was wet with blood, is not to be given up to stand a fair trial! Even the Commissioner hesitated, and "wished" he could only deny the prisoner and set the policemen at defiance, and alas! felt "constrained" to give the man up!

...There was, some time ago, a pretty little paragraph in the American papers, which our own journals extracted as a specimen of ghastly ingenuity. It was simply a calculation of how many miles of dead bodies, piled to the height of twenty-five feet, and being thirty-five feet thick, could be made out of those slain in the "great rebellion," as they call their civil war, appropriating, by-the-way, a name which Lord Clarendon two hundred years ago had made our own. The next step in this arithmetical exercise was to assert that "seventy-five thousand tons of human blood had been spilled on Dixie's soil," a fact of which another American paper disposes of by saying, supposing, then, a million of men have "spilled" more or less of that fluid, they would have averaged the loss of about nineteen gallons a piece! Considering the fate of he "Arithmetical Copperhead" who made the fallacious calculation above, we, with fear and trembling, call the attention of those who are about to emigrate to the State of taxes in the North, as they will be and are. "On the National Debt of Great Britain," says the New York World, "the yearly interest payable is 1 for 262 dollars of property; but for America, whose property is very much less, it is 1 for every 101 dollars, or more than two and one half times larger than the debt of Great Britain; and when they come to reckon the difference of the currency, with gold at 250, our debt, says the calculator, will be relatively six times larger than the debt of Great Britain! Now, this is a pretty state of matters to have arrived at in three short years. Surely one may quote Hamlet here, and say that, if this makes the foolish stare, it cannot but make the judicious grieve. Great indebtedness on the part of America, with only one moiety to pay the taxes, for the property of the South is included in the above calculation, means the almost total exclusion of English goods and commerce for many years to come; and the worst of it is that the expenses are still running on, and, so far as we can see, there is little, if anything, done to stop them....

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