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Gurowski's Diary

"Gurowski's Diary." Harper's Weekly. 1864. 146-147.
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COUNT GUROWSKI'S book must not be dismissed with a smile or sneer. It is the criticism of an inflexible, unreasonable, brave, fanatical, sincere European republican and revolutionaire upon the conduct of a constitutional Government. The book rages and troths with fury. Every man who does not succeed is a dolt, a craven, or a traitor. The lantern is the only argument to be tolerated. The President is a fool; the Secretary of State is a knave; the Secretary of the Treasury is a block-head; General Halleck is a personage for whom no language furnishes a sufficiently contemptuous epithet. In fact, a tornado of abuse whirls through the work from the first page to the last, overwhelming every one except a few arbitrary favorites of the author.

And yet the book, like the one published last year, is only an extravagant expression of opinions frequently expressed in many circles. Their value may be more readily apprehended when they are thus gravely set forth in print. If the tone of the work were just, what hope would there be for the country or the world? If the popular system ended in nothing but the exaltation of boobies, dastards, and traitors, who would not wish the rebellion to succeed? The Count, with evident sincerity, offers his homage to the people. But who could help despising a people who would be so duped by transparent charlatans, and who could help distrusting their judgment wherever and however expressed? Count Gurowski, it seems to us, even after his long residence and faithful study, does not understand America or the American people. When he exclaims, after the sad day of Fredericksburg, that in ntinople would storm the Seraglio, implying that the American people are recreant or stupid because they do not rise against the authorities, he merely takes the ground of Vallandigham and Jeff Davis, of all wild and reckless revolutionists, and shows his exact misapprehension of the genius and training of the American people.

We can imagine a judge of the old Revolutionary tribunal of France criticising the conduct of William Third as the Count censures the President. An honest man, a friend of the people, ardent, devoted, pure, we can imagine the old revolutionist to be; but not a wise leader, nor a safe counselor, nor a sound critic. And to see so sincere a man the prey of ungovernable rage, to read his scornful gibes at trusty friends, to know how large a heart he had, how truly accomplished he was, what heroism he showed and had shown, would move neither anger nor contempt, but the profoundest pity and regret, which also the old revolutionaire would reject with a hiss of indignation.

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