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The Hon. Schuyler Colfax has had another conversation with the generalissimo, McClellan, on which occasion Mr. Colfax says, ‘"the General repeated with emphasis his former declaration that the war would be short, though it probably might be desperate."’ His ‘"former declaration,"’ if we recollect aright, was made some months ago, since which time the weather, up to a late date was uncommonly fine, and the roads as good as in summer, but ‘"the war"’ has been in no hurry. In his next conversation, the Hon. Schuyler would do well to ask Gen. McClellan to define what he means by ‘"short."’ The war was to be ‘"short and sharp"’ when Gen. Scott took command, and under McClellan it is to be ‘"short and desperate." ’ If the Honorable Colfax permits himself to be put off with this vague stereotype, he is easily satisfied. Let him ask McClellan to be precise and definite, as Seward is, who always gives the number of days in which the war is to end--‘"ten,"’ ‘"sixty,"’ or ‘"ninety"’--and who is thought none the less of by his admiring countrymen because he never hits the mark. McClellan is no prophet. He predicted before the battle of Leesburg that the North had ‘"had its last defeat and seen its last retreat,"’ a prediction which was fulfilled by a fight in which sixteen hundred, Southern soldiers killed and took prisoners a larger number than they themselves had in the field. That the war will be ‘"desperate"’ it requires no prophet to foretell, for the South, as Mr. Ely justly observes, is ‘"terribly in earnest,"’ and is becoming more so every day. Its people are fighting for all they hold dear on earth, and such a people cannot consent to be conquered by any nation, least of all by men who have just been scared into convulsions by a single roar of the British lion.
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