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We have heard it said, in illustration of the inventive faculty of the Yankees, and their passion for doing everything by machinery, that they have invented a thrashing-machine for the use of schools, warranted to thrash a school of fifty boys in twenty minutes, distinguishing their offences into literary, moral and impertinent. If it was not the fate of merit to remain in obscurity, we might suppose that the inventor of that machine had been employed by Mr. Seward at the beginning of the war to thrash the Southern Confederacy. We know that he promised, most emphatically, that it should be done in ninety days. That was the longest time he could possibly allow for the flagellation. Ninety days. Yes, the vast and varied machinery of the United States would wallop, like blazes, this miserable little Southern Confederacy in less than three full-grown months; and James Watson Webb declared that the New York Seventh regiment alone could conquer the whole Southern country. But, unfortunately, the machinery, ingenious and wonderful as it was, has not come up to the promise of the inventor. Instead of grinding up the corn in ninety days, it has been at work four years, and has done as much mischief to friend as foe. The "short, sharp and decisive" has proved the longest, dullest and most indecisive of modern combats. It is only the war upon the exchequer of Uncle Sam that has been conducted with promptitude and vigor. It is a question that even Mr. Seward, in his solitary reflections, must admit is open to debate, whether the United States might not have sunk all its ships, burnt up all its manufactories, and levelled to the earth all its commercial cities, with a better hope of ultimate and complete recuperation than by the use it made of its destructive energies in beginning this war.
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