English opinion of the fighting in Spotsylvania.
was overrunning the East
, it is recorded of him that at each successive victory he would say, ‘"What will they think of this in Athens
?"’ In that stage of the world's existence, while Athens
, though enslaved, was still the Capital
of civilization, and had it in her power to bestow or withhold reputation, we can understand the keen anxiety of the conqueror, who was desirous above all things to be regarded as a genuine Grock, to win the good opinion of its citizens.
But allowing, as we do, no such supremacy to London
, we are entirely at a loss to understand why there is so much anxiety in the Confederate States
to know what the English
people think of us. We are sure of one thing at least, and that is, that whatever may be their opinion, they can do us
no good if favorable, and no harm if the contrary.
We see that their Government is decidedly against us, and as that Government professes to be a popular Government, under the control of the people, we might infer that the people themselves are against us likewise.
Yet we are continually feeding ourselves with the belief that the English
people love us dearly.
What if they do?
They will do nothing for us, and this is no time for empty professions.
We published yesterday a series of extracts from English papers of every shade of politics with regard to the battles in Spotsylvania
The sameness of the whole batch is so striking that any person might be excused for thinking they were all written by the same person.
The reason of the strange likeness is evidently that they all derive their information from the same sources, and those sources hostile to us. The Yankee newspapers throughout this war have been their historians.
How they represent us and our cause we all know well enough.
We have just had ample specimens in the telegrams of Stanton
, which we
know to be a tissue of the most barefaced lies ever presented to a people who do not wish for truth, if it be unpalatable.
But of this the English
newspaper writers know nothing, for they only rarely, and at long intervals, see our papers.
For that reason they almost invariably get a false impression of the actual state of affairs, and upon the impression thus derived they base their articles.
In these very articles, for instance, every one of them speaks of Grant
's "splendid strategy," as if it had ever once compelled Lee
to abandon a position before Grant
himself had withdrawn from his front; as if it had ever once compelled Lee
to give way; as if, in every case, Lee
had not followed Grant
, instead of retreating before him. The tone throughout would lead to the inference that Lee
was falling back to his defences around Richmond
, with an army still strong, it is true, yet beaten in every engagement.
In a word, these papers but repeat the tale of the Yankees
, which everybody here knows to be a monstrous falsehood, and which is now showing itself to be such.
With all their experience of Yankee mendacity, at each repetition they yield the same credence that they did in the beginning.
have always been more sensitive to the opinion of the world than any other people we are acquainted with.
We had always believed that the people of the South
were comparatively indifferent, and we are sorry to see that evidences of the contrary begin to appear.
The Yankee is the vainest of all animals — it is one among their many national failing.
They wish all the world to believe that they are the most Valliant
and most refined nation on the earth, that New York is the greatest of all cities, and that Boston
is the Athens
of the modern world, and they are constantly calling upon foreigners to admire their mighty empire.
The South, on the contrary, has never laid claim to any particular species of greatness, and is therefore not liable to the rude shocks which Yankeedom sometimes meets to its vanity in the disallowance of its claims.
True, it has produced a Washington and a Lee, a Marshall and a Henry, a Jefferson and a Calhoun.
True, the only statement
of the old Union came form within her borders.
Her valor has been sufficiently illustrated in this war to place her on a level with any people that ever existed.
But she invites, on this account, no comparisons, and we cannot see why she should care one farthing for the judgment of England
or any other country.
Let her be true to herself, and let the world judge of her as it may think proper.