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Harper's Weekly News on Congressional Action

The February 9, 1861 Edition of Harper's Weekly

Biographies of Seceding Alabama Delegation | Civil War News, February 9, 1861 | Captain Foster News Article | Iowa Indian Agency | Secession News | Louisiana Secession | Confederate State House, Montgomery Alabama | Vicksburg During Civil War | Vicksburg, Mississippi Civil War News | Civil War Iron Clads | Civil War Iron Clad Story in Harper's Weekly | Civil War Slave Cartoon

 

 

 

HARPER'S  WEEKLY .

[FEBRUARY 9, 1861.

86

many years. Now, you are distinctly to under-stand that you are most positively prohibited from making any inquiry- on this head, or any allusion or reference, however distant, to any individual whomsoever as the individual in all the communications you may have with me. If you have a suspicion in your own breast, keep that suspicion in your own breast. It is not the least to the purpose what the reasons of this prohibition are ; they may be the strongest and gravest reasons, or they may be mere whim. That is not for you to inquire into. The condition is laid down. Your acceptance of it, and your observance of it as binding, is the only remaining condition that I am charged with, by the person from whom I take my instructions, and for whom I am not otherwise responsible. That person is the person from whom you derive your expectations, and the secret is solely held by that person and by me. Again, not a very difficult condition with which to encumber such a rise in fortune ; but if you have any objection to it, this is the time to mention it. Speak out."

Once more I stammered with difficulty that I had no objection.

" I should think not ! Now, Mr. Pip, I have done with stipulations." Though he called me Mr. Pip, and began rather to make up to me, he still could not get rid of a certain air of bullying suspicion ; and even now he occasionally shut his eyes and threw his finger at me while he spoke, as much as to express that he knew all kinds of things to my disparagement, if he only chose to mention them. "We come next to mere details of arrangement. You must know that, although I have used the term ' expectations' more than once, you are not endowed with expectations only. There is already lodged in my hands a sum of money amply sufficient for your suitable education and maintenance. You will please consider me your guardian. Oh !" for I was going to thank him, " I tell you at once I am paid for my services, or I shouldn't render them. It is considered that you must be better educated in accordance with your altered position, and that you will be alive to the importance and necessity of at once entering on that advantage."

I said I had always longed for it.

" Never mind what you have always longed for, Mr. Pip, " he retorted ; " keep to the record. If you long for it now, that's enough. Am I answered that you are ready to be placed at once under some proper tutor ? Is that it ?"

I stammered, yes, that was it.

"Good. ' Now your inclinations are to be consulted. I don't think that wise, mind, but it's my trust. Have you ever heard of any tutor whom you would prefer to another ?"

I had never heard of any tutor but Biddy and Mr. Wopsle's great-aunt ; so I replied in the negative.

"There is a certain tutor, of whom I have some knowledge, who I think might suit the purpose," said Mr. Joggers. "I don't recommend him, observe ; because I never recommend any body. The gentleman I speak of is one Mr. Matthew Pocket."

Ah ! I caught at the name directly. Miss Havisltam's relation. The Matthew whom Mr. and Mrs. Camilla had spoken of. The Matthew whose place was to be at Miss Havisham's head when. she lay dead in her bride's dress on the bride's table.

" You know the name ?" said Mr. Joggers, looking shrewdly it me and then shutting up his eyes while he waited for my answer.

My answer was, that I had heard of the name.

" Oh!" said he. "You have heard of the name. But the question is, what do you say of it ?"

I said, or tried to say, that I was much obliged to him for his recommendation-

" my young friend!" he interrupted, shaking his great head very slowly. "Recollect yourself!"

Not recollecting myself, I began again that I was much obliged to him for his recommendation-

" No, my young friend," he interrupted, shaking his head and frowning and smiling both at once ; " no, no, no ; it's very well done, but it won't do ; you are too young to fix me with it. Recommendation is not the word, Mr. Pip. Try another."

Correcting myself, I said that I was much obliged to him for his mention of Mr. Matthew Pocket

" That's more like it !" cried Mr. Jaggers. —And (I added) I would gladly try that gentleman.

" Good. You had better try him in his own house. The way shall be prepared for you, and you can see his son first, who is in London. When will you come to London?"

I said (glancing at Joe, who stood looking on motionless), that I supposed I could come directly.

"First," said Mr. Jaggers, "you should have some new clothes to come in, and they should not be working clothes. Say this day week. You'll want some money. Shall I leave you twenty guineas ?"

He produced a long purse, with the greatest coolness, and counted them out on the table and pushed them over to me. This was the first time he had taken his leg from the chair. He sat astride of the chair when he had pushed the money over, and sat swinging his purse and eying Joe.

" Well, Joseph Gargery ? You look dumb-foundered ?"

I am !" said Joe, in a very decided manner. "It was understood that you wanted nothing for yourself, remember ?"

"It were understood," said Joe. "And it are understood. And it ever will be similar ac-cording."

" But what," said Mr. Jaggers, swinging his

purse, " what if it was in my instructions to make you a present, as compensation ?"

" As compensation what for ?" Joe demanded. " For the loss of his services."

Joe laid his hand upon my shoulder with the touch of a woman. I have often thought him since like the steam-hammer, that can crush a man or pat an egg-shell, in his combination of strength with gentleness. "Pip is that hearty welcome," said Joe, " to go free with his services to honor and fortun', as no words can tell him. But if you think as Money can make compensation to me for the loss of the little child—what come to the forge—and ever the best of friends !" 0 dear, good Joe, whom I was so ready to leave and so unthankful to, I see you again, with your muscular blacksmith's arm be-fore your eyes, and your broad chest heaving, and your voice dying away. 0 dear good faithful tender Joe, I feel the loving tremble of your hand upon my arm as solemnly this day as if it had been the rustle of an angel's wing !

But I encouraged Joe at the time. I was lost in the mazes of my future fortunes, and could not retrace the by-paths we had trodden together. I begged Joe to be comforted, for (as he said) we had ever been the best of friends, and (as I said) we ever would be so. Joe scooped his eyes with his disengaged wrist, as if he were bent on gouging himself, but said not another word.

Mr. Jaggers had looked on at this as one who recognized in Joe the village idiot, and in me his keeper. When it was over, he said, weighing in his hand the purse he had ceased to swing,

Now, Joseph Gargery, I warn you this is your last chance. No half measures with me. If you mean to take a present that I have it in charge to make you, speak out, and you shall have it. If, on the contrary, you mean to say—" Here, to his great amazement, he was stopped by Joe's suddenly working round him with every demonstration of a fell pugilistic purpose.

" Which I meantersay," cried Joe, "that if you come into my place bull-baiting and badgering me, come out ! Which I meantersay as such if you're a man, come on ! Which I meantersay

that what I say I meantersay, and stand or fall by !"

I drew Joe away, and he immediately became placable ; merely stating to me, in an obliging manner, and as a polite expostulatory notice to any one whom it might concern, that he were not a-going to be bull-baited and badgered in his own place. Mr. Jaggers had risen when Joe demonstrated, and had backed to near the door. Without evincing any inclination to come in again, he there delivered his valedictory re-marks. They were these :

" Well, Mr. Pip, I think the sooner you leave here—as you are to be a gentleman—the better. Let it stand for this day week, and you shall receive my printed address in the mean time. You can take a hackney-coach at the stage-coach office in London, and come straight to me. Understand that I express no opinion, one way or other, on the trust I undertake. I am paid for undertaking it, and I do so. Now, understand that, finally. Understand that !"

He was throwing his finger at both of us, and I think would have gone on, but for his seeming to think Joe dangerous, and going off.

Something came into my head which induced me to run after him, as he was going down to the Jolly Bargemen where he had left a hired carriage.

" I beg your pardon, Mr. Jaggers." "Halloa!" said he, facing round, " what's the matter ?"

"I wish to be quite right, Mr. Jaggers, and to keep to your directions ; so I thought I had better ask. Would there be any objection to my taking leave of any one I know about here before I go away ?"

" No," said he, looking as if he hardly under-stood me.

"I don't mean in the village only, but up town."

" No," said he. "No objection."

I thanked him and ran home again, and there I found that Joe had already locked the front door, and vacated the state-parlor, and was seated by the kitchen fire with a hand on each knee, gazing intently at the burning coals. I too sat down before the fire and gazed at the coals, and nothing was said for a long time.

My sister was in her cushioned chair in her corner, and Biddy sat at her needle-work before the fire, and Joe sat next Biddy, and I sat next Joe in the corner opposite my sister. The more I looked into the glowing coals the more in-capable I became of looking at Joe ; the longer the silence lasted the more unable I felt to speak.

At length 'I got out, "Joe, have you told Biddy ?"

"No, Pip," returned Joe, still looking at the fire, and holding his knees tight, as if he had private information that they intended to make off somewhere, "which I left it to yourself, Pip."

" I would rather you told, Joe."

" Pip's a gentleman of fortun', then," said Joe, " and God bless him in it !"

Biddy dropped her work and looked at me. Joe held his knees and looked at me. I looked at both of them. After a pause they both heartily congratulated me ; but there was a certain touch of sadness in their congratulations that I rather resented.

I took it upon myself to impress Biddy (and through Biddy, Joe) with the grave obligation I considered my friends under, to know nothing and say nothing about the maker of my fortune. It would all come out in good time, I observed, and in the mean while nothing was to be said save that I had come into great expectations from a mysterious patron. Biddy nodded her head thoughtfully at the fire as she took up her work again, and said she would be very particular ; and Joe, still detaining his knees, said,

"Ay, ay, I'll be ekervally partickler, Pip ;" and then they congratulated me again, and went on to express so much wonder at the notion of my being a gentleman that I didn't half like it.

Infinite pains were then taken by Biddy to convey to my sister some idea of what had happened. To the best of my belief those efforts entirely failed. She laughed and nodded her head a great many times, and even repeated after Biddy the words " Pip" and " Property." But I doubt if they had more meaning in them than an election cry, and I can hot suggest a darker picture of her state of mind.

I never could have believed it without experience, but as Joe and Biddy became more at their cheerful ease again I became quite gloomy. Dissatisfied with my fortune of course I could not be ; but it is possible that I may have been, without quite knowing it, dissatisfied with my-self.

Any how, I sat with my elbow on my knee and my face upon my hand, looking into the fire, as those two talked about my going away, and about what they should do without me, and all that. And whenever I caught one of them looking at me, though never so pleasantly (and they often looked at me—particularly Biddy), I felt in a manner offended : as if they were ex-pressing some mistrust of me. Though Heaven knows they never did by word or sign.

At those times I would get up and look out at the door ; for our kitchen door opened at once upon the night, and stood open on summer evenings to air the room. The very stars to which I then raised my eyes, I am afraid I took to be but poor and humble stars for glittering on the rustic objects among which I had passed my life.

" Saturday night," said I, when we sat at our supper of bread-and-cheese and beer. "Five more days, and then the day before the day ! They'll soon go."

" Yes, Pip," observed Joe, whose voice sounded hollow in his beer mug. " They'll soon go." " Soon, soon go," said Biddy.

"I have been thinking, Joe, that when I go down town on Monday, and order my new clothes, I shall tell the tailor that I'll come and put them on there, or that I'll have them sent to Mr. Pumblechook's. It would be very disagreeable to be stared at by all the people here."

" Mr. and Mrs. Hubble might like to see you in your new figure too, Pip," said Joe, industriously cutting his bread, with his cheese on it, in the palm of his left hand, and glancing at my untasted supper as if he thought of the time when we used to compare slices. " So might Wopsle. And the Jolly Bargemen might take it as a cornpliment."

" That's just what I don't want, Joe. They would make such a business of it—such a coarse and common business—that I couldn't bear my-self.''

" Ah, that indeed, Pip!" said Joe. "If you couldn't abear yourself—"

Biddy asked me here, as she sat holding my sister's plate, "Have you thought about when you'll show yourself to Mr. Gargery, and your sister, and me ? You will show yourself to us, won't you?"

"Biddy," I returned, with some resentment, " you are so exceedingly quick that it's difficult to keep up with you."

(" She always were quick," observed Joe.)

"If you had waited another moment, Biddy, you would have heard me say that I shall bring my clothes here in a bundle one evening—most likely on the evening before I go away."

Biddy said no more. Handsomely forgiving her, I soon exchanged an affectionate good-night with her and Joe, and went up to bed. When I got into my little room I sat down and took a long look at it, as a mean little room that I should soon be parted from and raised above, forever. It was furnished with fresh young remembrances too, and even at the same moment I fell into much the same confused division of mind between it and the better rooms to which I was going, as I had been in so often between the forge and Miss Havisham's, and Biddy and Estella.

The sun had been shining brightly all day on the roof of my attic, and the room was warm. As I put the window open and stood looking out, I saw Joe come slowly forth at the dark door below, and take a turn or two in the air; and then I saw Biddy come and bring him a pipe and light it for him. He never smoked so late, and it seemed to hint to me that he wanted comforting, for some reason or other.

He presently stood at the door immediately beneath me, smoking his pipe, and Biddy stood there too, quietly talking to him, and I knew that they talked of me, for I heard my name mentioned in a loving tone by both of them more than once. I would not have listened for more, if I could have heard more : so I drew away from the window, and sat down in my one chair by the bedside, feeling it very sorrowful and strange that this first night of my bright fortunes should be the loneliest I had ever known.

Looking toward the window, I saw light wreaths from Joe's pipe floating there, and I fancied it was like a blessing from Joe—not obtruded on me or paraded before me, but pervading the air we shared together. I put my light out and crept into bed ; and it was an uneasy bed now, and I never slept the old sound sleep in it any more.

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

CONGRESS.

ON Friday, 25th January, the Senate was engaged on private bills.— In the House, the report of the Special Committee of Thirty-three again occupied attention. Messrs. Nelson of Tennessee, and Leake of Virginia, making the principal speeches. The speech of Mr. Nelson was a strong appeal in favor of the Union.

On Saturday, 26th, the Senate not being in session, in the House leave was granted to Mr. Grow to introduce a resolution instructing the Select Committee of Five to inquire as to the existence of any secret organization in the District of Columbia, the object of which is the seizure of the Capitol and other Federal buildings, and whether any officer of the city or of the Federal Government is a member thereof. The resolution met with considerable opposition, but it finally passed under the operation of the previous question. Mr. Thomas, of Tennessee, presented resolutions passed by the Legislature of that State, in response to those recently passed by the Legislature of New York. They assert that the people of Tennessee will unite with the South to resist invasion at all hazards. Consideration of the report by the Committee of Thirty three was then resumed, and speeches were made by Messrs. Clark of Missouri, Gilmer of North Carolina, and Alley of Massachusetts. Mr. Gilmer made a telling speech in favor of the restoration of the Missouri Compromise.

On Monday, 28th, in the Senate, various petitions and memorials in reference to the national troubles were presented. Senator Iverson, of Georgia, then announced the secession of his State from the Union, and the consequent withdrawal of himself and his colleague from the Senate. Senator Bigler presented the resolutions of the State of Pennsylvania in reference to the crisis; after which a message was received from the President, accompanying the resolutions of the State of Virginia. Senator Mason, in making a motion to print the Message, made a speech in reference to the proposition of Virginia to act as a mediator between the North and the South, in which he deprecated an aggressive policy on either side. He was followed by Senator Hemphill, of Texas, who insisted upon the right of his State to leave the Union, notwithstanding the peculiar circumstances under which it was admitted.--In the House a crowd of petitions was presented relating to the crisis. The Committee on the District of Columbia was instructed, on motion of Mr. Hughes, of Maryland, to inquire into the expediency of retroceding a portion of the District of Columbia to that State. Mr. Stanton, of Ohio, introduced a bill, which was subsequently passed, under a suspension of the rules, more effectually to organize the militia of the District. The Committee of Ways and Means was instructed to consider the expediency of repealing the duty on sugar. The report of the Special Committee of Thirty-three was then considered, and Mr. Pryor, of Virginia, made a lengthy speech in vindication of the right of secession. At the conclusion of his remarks the rules were suspended, on motion of Mr. Grow, of Pennsylvania, and the Kansas bill was finally passed with the Senate amendment extending the laws of the United States, not locally inapplicable, over the new State, and establishing a judicial district. The Special Committee of five on the President's Message sent in on the 7th inst., were granted leave to sit during the sessions of the house, and to report from time to time such matters as they deem of sufficient importance.

On Tuesday, 29th, in the Senate, the Pacific Railroad Bill took another important step forward. All the amendments proposed were acted upon, and the bill was reported complete. The most important amendment proposed yesterday was one offered by Senator Gwin, of California, to provide for a central route only, which was lost—25 to 22. Senator King, of New York, introduced a bill authorizing the Government to employ volunteers, and Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, one for the better organization of the militia of the District of Columbia, which were referred to the Military Committee.—The House was principally occupied in consideration of the report of the Committee of Thirty-three, and speeches were made by Messrs. Stevens of Pennsylvania, Harris of Maryland, Winslow of North Carolina, and Van Wyck of New York.

On Wednesday, 30th, in the Senate, the Pacific Railroad bill was read a third time, and passed by a vote of 34 against 14. A number of petitions and memorials relating to the national troubles were presented. The hill to provide for a temporary Government for the Territory of Jefferson was taken up, and occupied attention until the adjournment. A motion to change the name to Idaho was adopted.—In the House, the Speaker presented a communication from Mr. Cobb, of Alabama, announcing the passage of the Secession Ordinance in his State. Mr. Cobb did not leave at the same time with his colleagues a few days since, but preferred to wait until he received a certified copy of the Ordinance of Secession. He was present in the House yesterday, and made a farewell speech, in which he appealed to the Republicans to do something to reunite the States. After some further proceedings, consideration of the report of the Special Committee of Thirty-three was resumed, and speeches were made by Messrs. Conkling of New York, Stevenson of Kentucky, Howard of Ohio, and Morris of Pennsylvania. In the midst of Mr. Conkling's remarks a message was received from the President, announcing that he had signed the bill for the admission of Kansas. Mr. Martin F. Conway, the Representative from the new State, subsequently made his appearance, presented his credentials, and took the oath of allegiance.

On Thursday, 31st, in the Senate, Senator Seward gave another expression to his views in regard to the condition of the country, on the occasion of the presentation by him to the Senate of the monster petition from the citizens of New York, praying for some adjustment of the present difficulties. The petition is signed by 63,000 persons, and would, Senator Seward stated, reach three times across the Senate Chamber. His remarks were of a conciliatory character. Senator Seward was followed by Senator Mason, in a speech in which he accused the former of advocating coercion. Senator Seward responded, and a some-what lengthy colloquy ensued between the gentlemen. Senators Douglas, Hale, Wigfall, and others followed.—In the House a bill was presented by Mr. Morehead, of Pennsylvania, to prevent the counterfeiting of private stamps, labels, etc. The Judiciary Committee was instructed to inquire whether Mr. Conway, of Kansas, has been legally elected to Congress. The Senate's amendments to the Deficiency Bill were considered in Committee of the Whole. The one appropriating $300,000 for the establishment of a Naval coaling station at Chiriqui was debated for some time, but no vote was taken, the subject being referred to allow Mr. Adams, of Massachusetts, to make a speech on the report of the Committee of Thirty-three.

THE COMMERCIAL STATUS OF SECEDING PORTS.

Lord Lyons and other foreign ministers at Washington having written to the State Department to inquire whether duties can be paid to and clearances issued by the Government of South Carolina, Mr. Black, on the 30th inst., replied to Lord Lyons, and sent a copy of his letter to Messrs. Schleiden and Tassara . He said he laid lord Lyons's communication before the President, who would deeply regret that any injury should happen to the commerce of foreign or friendly nations, and especially that the British subjects at Charleston should stiffer by the anomalous state of things existing there. Secretary Black quotes from the law to show that the jurisdiction of the Federal Government to impose duties on goods imported into the United States and collect the duties is exclusive. Whether the state of things now existing at Charleston will or will not he regarded as a sufficient reason for not executing the penalties incurred by the British subjects, is a question Lord Lyons will see no necessity for raising until it practically arises. Each case will no doubt have its peculiarities. Secretary Black regrets that this consideration compels him to decline giving any assurances on the point presented. The Treasury Department, he says, will give public information as to the condition in which South Carolina has put the coast.

CAN A SECEDING MEMBER USE, THE FRANKING PRIVILEGE?

Mr. Ashmore, member of Congress from South Carolina, has addressed a letter to Acting Postmaster General King, asking if he has the right to exercise the franking privilege, as he has some ten or twelve hundred documents upon which he does not feel willing to pay postage, and which documents would be useless unless he can frank them.

Postmaster King replied that according to the theory of the administration South Carolina was still in the Union, and hence he has a right. to frank until the first Monday in December next. If, however, regards South Carolina as out of the Union, it is a question with himself whether he can consistently exercise that privilege, the use of which would be an admission that he, does not in his conscience consider that she is out of the Union, and that he is still a member of the Congress of the United States.


 

 

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