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[447] continent side by side, with no strong natural barrier to keep us asunder; but now separated by hatreds which grow more insane and intense every month, and which generations will hardly extinguish. . . . .

Our prosperity has entered largely into the prosperity of the world, and especially into that of England and France. You feel it to have been so. And some persons have been unwise enough to think that your interference in our domestic quarrel can do good to yourselves, and perhaps to us, by attempting to stop this cruel and wicked war. It is, I conceive, a great mistake. I have believed, since last August, that France was urging your government to some sort of intervention, —to break the blockade or to enforce a peace,—but the general opinion here has been that England has been the real mover in the matter, thus engendering a bitter hatred of your people, which the unjustifiable tone of your papers and ours increases and exasperates. All this is wrong, and so far as you are excited by it to intervention, it is most unhappy and portentous. The temptation, no doubt, is strong. It almost always is in the case of civil wars, which, from their very nature, invite interested and neighboring nations to interfere. But how rarely has good come to anybody from such interference. In the present instance I am satisfied that it would only exasperate us, and lead to desperate measures. . . . .

As to the present comparative condition of North and South, there can be no question. At Richmond, and elsewhere beyond the Potomac, gold is at forty per cent premium, coffee and tea at four or five prices, salt as dear . . . . Beef and bread they have in abundance, and so resolute and embittered are they, that they seem content with this. But it cannot be. The women, I hear, in a large part of the South, will not speak to men who stay at home from the army without obvious and sufficient cause. But the suffering is great, however the proud spirit may bear up against it, and they must yield, unless, what is all but incredible, they should speedily gain great military success . . . .

At the North the state of things is very different. There is no perceptible increase of poverty . . . . Nor is anybody disheartened. If you were here you would see little change in our modes of life, except that we are all busy and in earnest about the war.1 . . . . This,

1 September 7, 1862, he wrote to his eldest daughter, then at Newport: ‘I was very glad to see your name on the printed paper you sent yesterday. Give what money you think best, to the ladies with whom you are associated, and look to me to make it good. I was never so much in earnest about the war as I have been for the last week, when the very atmosphere has been full of the spirit of change and trouble.’

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