That, Under All These Circumstances, The States Government
Behaved Well In The Matter, No One, I Think, Can Deny; But The
Newspapers, Taken As A Whole, Were Not Very Consistent, And, I
Think, Not Very Dignified.
They had declared with throats of brass
that these men should never be surrendered to perfidious Albion; but
when it came to be understood that in all probability they would be
so surrendered, they veered round without an excuse, and spoke of
their surrender as of a thing of course.
And thus, in the course of
about a week, the whole current of men's minds was turned. For
myself, on my first arrival at Washington, I felt certain that there
would be war, and was preparing myself for a quick return to
England; but from the moment that the first whisper of England's
message reached us, and that I began to hear how it was received and
what men said about it, I knew that I need not hurry myself. One
met a minister here, and a Senator there, and anon some wise
diplomatic functionary. By none of these grave men would any secret
be divulged; none of them had any secret ready for divulging. But
it was to be read in every look of the eye, in every touch of the
hand, and in every fall of the foot of each of them, that Mason and
Slidell would go to England.
Then we had, in all the fullness of diplomatic language, Lord
Russell's demand, and Mr. Seward's answer.
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