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Echoes of the Week

The Illustrated London News, vol. 45, no. 1280, p. 346.

October 1, 1864


In a little brown and somewhat scandalous book written by the Abbot Gualdi, which purports to be "The History of Donna Olympia, who Governed the Church during the Time of Innocent X.," there is a story which will very readily fit the head of our excellent and venerably-juvenile Premier and the attitude in which he keeps John Bull during the American war. Two porters, it would seem, were at fisticuffs under the Pope's windows, and some were there who would have parted them, but the Pope forbad it, and the men, having fought till they were tired, made peace without any intercession. "Then the Pope, turning to Panzicolo, who stood by him, said, 'So will the French and Spaniards do when they are weary of beating one another; they will agree of themselves without help or importunity of others.' " "And indeed," says Gualdi, "he prophesied truly, for in a little time we saw them do so." In a little time, let us hope, we shall see the severed halves of the Union agree. The Richmond papers urge a peace between the confederacies, and a union--an armed union--"which shall bid defiance to the world." It is curiously indicative of the "cocky" character of "U. S.," either North or South, that he is always defying the world. "So have we seen"--as dear old Jeremy Taylor has it, in the commencement of most of his golden sentences--so have we seen two bantams, with torn combs and bleeding wattles, with open beaks, panting and distressed, and plumage ragged and dishevelled, separate in mutual exhaustion, and, mounting each his respective dunghill, crow loudly in proof of the victory of each. Such seems now to us the probable end of the war. M'Clellan has proved--as if we needed it--how slippery a seat two stools make. The peace men utterly reject him, and the victories which at last seem to crown the Federal cause have probably completed the defeat, not of the Confederate cause, but of that of General M'Clellan which some time ago looked so hopeful....

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