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[31] Napoleon, and myself have held frequent consultations on this. point. There is something which our spiritual eyes cannot detect which appear well formed. Evil has come at times by removal of men from high positions, and there are those in retirement whose abilities should be made useful to hasten the end. Napoleon says, concentrate your forces upon one point; Lafayette thinks that the rebellion will die of exhaustion; Franklin sees the end approaching, as the South must give up for want of mechanical ability to compete against Northern mechanics. Wilberforce sees hope only in a negro army.--Knox.

“Well,” exclaimed the President, “opinions differ among the saints as well as among the sinners. They don't seem to understand running the machines among the celestials much better than we do. Their talk and advice sound very much like the talk of my cabinet — don't you think so, Mr. Welles?”

“ Well, I don't know — I will think the matter over and see what conclusion to arrive at.”

Heavy raps were heard, and the alphabet was called for, when “That's what's the matter,” was spelt out.

There was a shout of laughter, and Mr. Welles stroked his beard.

“ That means, Mr. Welles,” said the President, “that you are apt to be long-winded, and think the nearest way home is the longest way round. Short cuts in war times. I wish the spirits could tell us how to catch the Alabama.”

The lights, which had been partially lowered, almost instantaneously became so dim that I could not see sufficiently to distinguish the features of any one in the room, and on the large mirror over the mantlepiece there appeared the most beautiful though supernatural picture ever beheld. It represented a sea view, the Alabama with all steam up flying from the pursuit of another large steamer. Two merchantmen in the distance were seen, partially destroyed by fire. The picture changed, and the Alabama was seen at anchor under the shadow of an English fort — from which an English flag was waving. The Alabama was floating idly, not a soul on board, and no signs of life visible about her. The picture vanished, and in letters of purple appeared: “The English people demanded this of England's aristocracy.”

“So England is to seize the Alabama finally?” said the President. “It may be possible; but, Mr. Welles, don't let one gunboat or monitor less be built.”

The spirits called for the alphabet, and again “That's what's the matter,” was spelt out.

“ I see, I see,” said the President, “Mother England thinks that what's sauce for the goose may be sauce for the gander. It may be tit, tat, too, hereafter. But it is not very complimentary to our navy, anyhow.”

“ We've done our best, Mr. President,” said Mr. Welles. “I'm maturing a plan which, when perfected, I think, if it works well, will be a perfect trap for the Alabama.”

“Well, Mr. Shockle,” remarked the President, “I have seen strange things and heard rather odd remarks; but nothing which convinces me, except the pictures, that there is any thing very heavenly about all this. I should like, if possible, to hear what Judge Douglas says about this war.”

“I'll try to get his spirit,” said Mr. Shockle; “but it sometimes happens, as it did to-night in the case of the Indian, that though first impressed by one spirit, I yield to another more powerful. If perfect silence is maintained, I will see if we cannot induce General Knox to send for Mr. Douglas.”

Three raps were given, signifying assent to the proposition. Perfect silence was maintained, and after an interval of perhaps three minutes Mr. Shockle rose quickly from his chair and stood up behind it, resting his left arm on the back, his right thrust into his bosom. In a voice such as no one could mistake who had ever heard Mr. Douglas, he spoke. I shall not pretend to quote the language. It was eloquent and choice. He urged the President to throw aside all advisers who hesitate about the policy to be pursued, and to listen to the wishes of the people, who would sustain him at all points if his aim was, as he believed it was, to restore the Union. He said there were Burrs and Blennerhassetts living, but that they would wither before the popular approval which would follow one or two victories, such as he thought must take place ere long. The turning-point in this war will be the proper use of these victories. If wicked men in the first hours of success think it time to devote their attention to party, the war will be prolonged; but if victory is followed up by energetic action, all will be well.

“I believe that,” said the President, “whether it comes from spirit or human.”

Mr. Shockle was much prostrated after this, and at Mrs. Lincoln's request it was thought best to adjourn the dance, which, if resumed, I shall give you an account of.

Yours as ever,

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