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The Magazines

The Illustrated London News, vol. 46, no. 1296, p. 22.

January 7, 1865

THE MAGAZINES.

...The opening paper in Fraser, "President Lincoln," by an American Abolitionist (Mr. Conway, we imagine), is remarkable as a manifesto from that small but earnest band whose triumphant contest in the name of principle against oppression, supported by the entire strength of a mighty nation, forms as remarkable and as encouraging a chapter in the history of the world as the Reformation itself. We fear, however, that it is plain, on the writer's own showing, that the Abolitionist leaders were incompetent to carry out the movement they had so nobly inaugurated. An erroneous fallacy pervades his essay, he fancies that he and his friends represent the sense of the American people, and talks as though the chief magistrate of the nation were bound to make himself the mere instrument of a bare majority of the people of Massachusetts. Had Mr. Lincoln done so, he and Massachusetts and the negro would long ago have been swept away together in a tempest of popular wrath, and his caution has been the salvation of the very men by whom he is so fiercely denounced. He has been to Garrison and Phillips what Peel was to Cobden, or Cavour to Mazzini--a practical, worldly wise man, standing on a far lower moral level, but without whom lofty principles and ardent imaginations would never have appeared in the guise of substanitial realities....

This month's Blackwood witnesses the conclusion of "Tony Butler," which has not wholly redeemed the promise of its commencement, but is still entitled to the praise of an interesting, animated tale. "The Man and the Monkey" is a most amusing story, of a kind almost peculiar to Blackwood. "Cornelius O'Dowd" writes with sense and point, except when treating of America, when his remarks betray great flippancy and ignorance. The English officer's account of his visit to the Confederate States is more satisfactory, though it is impossible to repress a groan over the stupidity which could turn such splendid opportunities to such poor account. However, we must take him as he is, and be thankful. Charleston and the Chatanooga [sic] campaign are the subjects of his present instalment. With characteristic infelicity he managed to arrive at General Bragg's head-quarters just too late for the battle of Chicamauga [sic] , and to quit them just before that of Missionary Ridge....

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