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THE TWO FURROWS.
BY C. H. WEBB.
THE spring-time came, but not
with mirth—The banner of our trust,
And with it the best hopes of
Were trailing in the dust.
The Farmer saw the shame from
And stopped his plow afield;
Not the blade of peace but the
brand of war This arm of mine must wield.
When traitor hands that flag
would stain, Their homes let women keep;
Until its stars burn bright
Let others sow and reap.
The Farmer sighed—a lifetime long
The plow has been my trust; In
truth it were an arrant wrong
To leave it now to rust.
With ready strength the Farmer
tore The iron from the wood,
And to the village smith he bore
That plow-share stout and good.
The blacksmith's arms were bare
and brown, And loud the bellows roared :
The Farmer flung his plow-share
down—" Now forge me out a sword!"
And then a merry, merry chime The
sounding anvil rung;
Good sooth, it was a nobler rhyme
Than ever poet sung.
The blacksmith wrought with skill
that day, The blade was keen and bright,
And now where thickest is the
The Farmer leads the fight.
Not as of old that blade he sways
To break the meadow's sleep,
But through the rebel ranks he
A furrow broad and deep.
The Farmer's face is burned and
brown, But light is on his brow,
Right well he wots what blessings
crown The furrow of the Plow.
But better is to-day's success
Thus ran the Farmer's word—For
nations yet unborn shall bless
This furrow of the Sword.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 1861.
OUR INSTITUTIONS ON THEIR
THE most convenient government
for a nation at war is a despotic monarchy; the most inconvenient—according to
general opinion—a democratic republic. A despotic monarch, having no advisers to
defer to, no responsibility to fear, and no laws to obey, can act with a
promptitude, an energy, and a secrecy which are rarely compatible with the
checks and trammels of limited governments. He can meet desperate emergencies
with desperate remedies; and, while popular governments are studying how to
conciliate existing laws with unforeseen crises, can despise or trample any
thing and every thing which may stand in the way of his purpose. Him no
Congressional debates delay, nor caviling Committees annoy; no newspapers baffle
by premature betrayals of his plans ; no rules compel to disregard genius in the
choice of his officers ; no laws hamper in the selection of the most efficient
methods to attain his ends. If he has the money, the men, and the will, to
prosecute the war is to him no task at all.
It is a very different matter in
a democratic republic such as ours. In the first place, the Constitution—a
document not framed in view of such wars as the present one, for instance, and
full of checks on the authority of the Executive—ties the hands of the
President, and forbids his doing many things which war may render it absolutely
necessary for him to do. The laws of the United States—framed for the general
good in time of peace—lay further restrictions upon him : leave him no power to
stop unlawful trade, for instance, and none to interfere with constructive
treason. Under the law he can neither enlist men to fight, nor pay them for
fighting, without the previous decree of Congress. When he has got the men and
the money, Congress still retains the power of directing how the money and the
men shall be employed, and of appointing Committees to see that their directions
are carried out. Even the Executive Authority of the President is
constitutionally shared with a body of advisers who are entitled to a knowledge
of his secrets. Over and above all, the Supreme Court enjoys and exercises the
right of pronouncing the President's acts invalid, null, and void. Then come the
people and the press. Though the people can not constitutionally act upon the
Government except through the ballot-box, yet still " popular pressure" is a
power known to and feared by all governments; where it can not be
repressed by the arm of
authority, it is almost irresistible. This pressure is mostly exercised through
the press. The power of a free and an able press is such that wise men have
doubted whether it were possible to carry on a long war in its presence.
Wars—even the most glorious — make so many malcontents among those whose
livelihood is taken away by the war, and discontent at home is so fatal to the
administration of a Government engaged in a great war, that even English
statesmen in our day have doubted whether the freedom of the press should be
absolute in war as in peace—whether newspapers, working for private ends or in
the interest of unpatriotic malcontents, should be suffered to weaken the hands
of Government, during war-time, by malevolent opposition.
We are now testing these various
inconveniences of the form of government under which we live. Our institutions
are on their trial. We know that they work well in peace; we know that they do
not prevent our carrying on a foreign war : it remains to be seen whether they
are compatible with a great
Thus far, the nation has good
ground for self-gratulation. We have a President who, like Jackson, has not
feared to take the responsibility of acting as the emergency required. We have a
Congress patriotic enough to ratify his acts, to give him men and money in
abundance, to increase his power wherever increase was needed. And the people
have thus far been nobly true to themselves. No one has heard a single
faint-hearted cry : no one thinks of compromise; no one objects to pay fairly
and squarely for the work that is to be done. The hundred days which have
elapsed since the bombardment of Sumter have not in the least wearied or
enfeebled the national sentiment aroused by that outrage.
Let us hope that it will be so to
the end. Montesquieu tells us that the only difficulty with republican
governments is that they require so much virtue in their citizens. That is just
the point. If our people have enough virtue—that is to say, courage,
perseverance, loyalty to themselves and to truth, fidelity to their principles,
and honesty of purpose-they can carry on this war just as well as any despot
could. If they have not, the war will end, some day, in the sacrifice of honor
and nationality, and the United States will sink lower than Mexico.
We can not too often repeat that
the first duty of the citizen at this juncture is to give to the President a
generous, confiding, and cordial support. No man can doubt that
Mr. Lincoln and
General Scott are loyally and honestly striving
to put down this rebellion. This task entitles them to the undivided support of
every patriot, and ought to insure them against petty cavils and mean
suspicions. Such journals as the New York Tribune, which selects this critical
moment as the fit time to sneer unworthily at the military genius of Scott and
the loyalty of
Seward, ought to be banished from every honest
man's house, as the most efficient, if not the hired instruments of the rebels.
OUR genial contemporary, the
Tribune, has made two attempts to explain the
Russell-Davis controversy to its readers. In
the first it stated that we had "charged Mr. Russell with treachery to our
cause," which of course was a sheer invention; in the second it says that we "
accused Mr. Russell of a tacit refusal to sustain our artist in the pretext by
which he sought to evade the retribution of Southern foes to Northern
literature." We need hardly add that we have done nothing of the kind. We have
accused Mr. Russell of nothing whatever. We stated that we were informed and
believed that he knew Mr. Davis was our artist when they left Washington
together—nothing more. Indeed for some time past we have seen nothing in any
paper that was not complimentary to Mr. Russell, with the single exception of
the following disgraceful paragraph from the editorial columns of the New York
Tribune of July 21:
" * * * The social habits of the
Times correspondent * * * have been matters of general discussion. Grant that
the drinking and smoking a journalist does is stimulus to intellectual
exercise," etc., etc.
But the Tribune is nothing if not
scurrilous. MR. SAMUEL WARD states, in a communication to the Times, that the
letter signed by him, which was published in
Harper's Weekly of July 20, was "an extract
from a private note addressed by him," etc. This is not true. The letter was
published ENTIRE, and was not private, but a business communication, addressed
by name to the Editor of Harper's Weekly, on the business of that journal.
Neither Mr. SAMUEL WARD himself nor the other statements contained in his letter
seem to require any notice at our hands.
" GREAT EXPECTATIONS" is
published by Peterson & Co., uniform with all the other various editions of
Dickens's works published by them.
Price 50 cents in paper cover ;
or in one volume 12mo, or one volume octavo, with all the original illustrations
by McLellan, for $1.50.
A PERSONAL EXPLANATION.
IN an article of the Lounger's,
called " Who are against us?" published in this column in the
paper for July 20, "it was evident enough to
all who were in the habit of reading the New York Tribune that the writer had
that paper in mind."
Yet such an article could not be
justly called an innuendo. If a man says frankly that the leader of our armies
in this emergency is a traitor, he says as plainly as words can, to all who know
General Scott to be the leader, that Scott is a traitor. So when the Lounger
says that if a paper takes a certain course it helps the enemy, he says to every
one who knows that the Tribune takes that course, that in his opinion the
Tribune helps the enemy. It is perfectly plain speaking, which yet does not
prejudice those who do not read the paper.
But while the Lounger wished to
say in the most emphatic manner that a particular course was fatal to the
country, he did not say nor imply that those who took it wished ill to the
country ; for nothing is more evident than that the friends of a cause are often
enough its most serious practical opponents. To defend unwisely may be as
disastrous as to attack. "It would be a most unpardonable misapprehension of
human virtue," says Niebuhr, "to cast a doubt upon the sincerity of Cato's
intentions; and this sincerity is not impeached by the assertion which has often
been made, and I think with great justice, that Cato with his philosophy did
incalculable injury to the Commonwealth."
The Lounger certainly did not
intend to asperse motives. Yet as some expressions he used, taken with the
strong tone of the article, may perhaps fairly suggest that he doubted the
honest patriotism of the conductors of the Tribune, he says here, in justice to
himself, that he should as soon doubt his own. He believes that they wish to see
the Government maintained without the least compromise; but he believes just as
firmly that the course they have pursued leads straight to compromise, and
consequent destruction of the Government; and that, therefore, it is a course
which every citizen who can speak to the public mind should, however humbly and
inadequately, withstand. For the hope of crushing this rebellion lies more in
the unity of public opinion than in the army in the field. When that unity is
destroyed, the army is defeated. And whoever pursues a course which tends to
destroy that harmony does all he can, however upright his intention, to defeat
Whether a particular course does
or does not tend to destroy that harmony is, of course, the question.
The Lounger can not leave the
subject without adding that this article is written solely upon his own impulse,
and not by the expressed or implied desire of any body. For he fully believes
that there may be the most radical difference of opinion, and the most ardent
expression of that difference, without the imputation of bad motives; and that
it is perfectly possible for the Tribune itself to dislike the course of
Harper's Weekly, and to oppose it altogether, without speaking, as it does in
its number for Sunday, July 14, of "the malice" of its proprietors; or of its "
puppyism," and the "gross and malicious unfairness" upon the part of its
proprietors, as it does in its editorial columns on Sunday, the 21st July.
SCHOOLING BY WINFIELD SCOTT.
IT is a curious fact, but it is a
fact, that the reckless maundering and hysterical vituperation of the rebel
newspapers in regard to the free and loyal citizens of this country are
seriously believed by most intelligent Southern people, and even by those whose
frequent residence and many friendships at the North should have saved from such
delusion. But this secession is a moral epidemic. It destroys conscience,
reason, and common sense.
Such persons really suppose that
Mr. Lincoln is a drunken ape; that his life is a constant debauch, and that he
is sunk in imbecility. At the same time they believe him to be a black hearted
usurper—a miscreant pausing at nothing, and trying to wade through blood to a
throne. He is represented as keeping gloomy state in his palace; fawned upon by
myrmidons; a gross Tiberius; an effeminate Caligula. These newspapers depict him
as that ludicrous book, the "Partisan Leader," describes Van Buren, and
otherwise sensible people look upon the ridiculous chimera and believe it
On the 5th of June
General Beauregard issued a proclamation to the
people of the northern counties of Virginia. He began :
"A reckless and unprincipled
tyrant has invaded your soil.
Abraham Lincoln, regardless of all moral,
legal, and constitutional restraints, has thrown his abolition hosts among you,
who are murdering and imprisoning your citizens, confiscating and destroying
your property, and committing other acts of violence and outrage too shocking
and revolting to humanity to be enumerated. All rules of civilized warfare are
abandoned, and they proclaim by their acts, if not on their banners, that their
war-cry is 'Beauty and booty.' All that is dear to man—your honor and that of
your wives and daughters—your fortunes and your lives, are involved in this
Of course General Beauregard
himself does not believe this ; but many people, otherwise quite as intelligent
as he, do. They can be taught their error but in one way. Freedom, education,
the church, and the school-house, they think, only make men sneaking cowards and
tuppenny peddlers, who, in Judas's place, would have sold their Master for
twenty-nine pieces of silver rather than not close the bargain.
Doctor Scott has opened a school
to teach them that they are mistaken. Ushers
Siegel in the West, Usher
McClellan beyond the Alleghanies, Ushers
Mansfield around Chesapeake Bay and
the Potomac, are rapidly imparting instruction in this branch. Their pupils are
going to learn that an intelligent freeman, taught by his conscience and
admonished by the laws that every man is of equal rights among men, and that
constitutional liberty is the only guarantee of peaceable and progressive
civilization, is a man as terrible in a battle as in a bargain. They are to
learn that because men prefer peace to war, and the security of universal
liberty to the inevitable barbarism of slavery, they are neither fools, cowards,
idiots, drunken apes, nor mud-sills.
This is the lesson of the day.
Dr. Scott is ringing his bell. Let all the children come to school. The Doctor
is of the old school; and those who do not learn the lesson will be thrashed
until they do.
WHAT CATO THE YOUNGER SAYS TO
BRECKINRIDGE THE YOUNGER AND COMPANY.
WHEN Catiline's confederate
conspirators were to be sentenced by the Roman Senate, the Senators declared for
the severest punishment until Caesar spoke—Julius Caesar, who was then planning
the overthrow of the Republic. He suggested milder measures. Cato replied, and
his reply is the only oration of his preserved to us.
Does Mr. Breckinridge, who lately
aspired to be President of the United States, remember the account Plutarch
gives of Cato's speech to Caesar? It is this:
" He attacked Caesar, and charged
him with a secret design of subverting the government under the plausible
appearance of mitigatory speeches and humane conduct; and of intimidating
likewise the Senate, even in a case where he had to fear for his own person, and
in which he might deem it an instance if great good fortune, if he himself could
be exempted from the imputation and suspicion of guilt—He, who had openly and
daringly attempted to rescue from justice the enemies of the state, and shown
that, far from having any compassion for his country when on the brink of
destruction, he could even pity and plead for the unnatural wretches who had
meditated its ruin, and grieve that their punishment should prevent their
Do Messrs. Breckinridge,
Vallandigham, Burnett, Bayard, Powell, Ben Wood, and Company think, as they read
these words, that treason has changed much since the days of Catiline?
But when they hear
Joseph Holt declare: " It is time that in their
majesty the people of the United States should make known to the world that this
Government, in its dignity and power, is something more than a moot court ; and
that the citizen who makes war upon it is a traitor not only in theory but in
fact, and should have meted out to him a traitor's doom"—when those gentlemen
hear these words do they not know, as every generous heart in the land
acknowledges with ardor, that heroic patriotism, also, has not changed much
since the days of Cato ?
Two Kentuckians lately spoke, and
the whole country closely listened. Mr. Breckinridge spoke in the Senate of the
United States, Mr. Holt in
Louisville. Mr. Holt, quite unknown to the country
until within two years, by his masterly and impassioned oration takes his place
among the most illustrious Americans; for the true patriots are those who are
faithful to their country when fidelity is dangerous. Mr. Breckinridge, a man
well known by name and position to the country, but conspicuous by good fortune
rather than by proved ability, in his quibbling plea against the President's
course betrays all the desire without the heroism of treason.
Mr. Breckinridge, when only
prompt and firm action can save his country from ruin, calls the President who
takes that action, who saves the country, and who at the same time summons the
people in Congress to judge him, a usurper, who should be rebuked.
Mr. Holt paints in vivid colors
the portraits of the conspirators who are striking at the heart of the country,
and exclaims, in glowing words, to which that heart cries amen, "The President
of the United States is heroically and patriotically struggling to baffle the
machinations of these most wicked men. I have unbounded gratification in knowing
that he has the courage to look traitors in the face; and that, in discharging
the duties of his great office, he take no counsel of his fears. He is entitled
to the zealous support of the whole country; and may I not add, without offense,
that he will receive the support of all who justly appreciate the boundless
blessings of our free institutions?"
Mr. Breckinridge, with puerile
folly, asserts that it was never contemplated by the framers of the Constitution
that the Government could be maintained by military force—as if any men in their
senses could ever form any government of which the power of self-preservation
should not be the cardinal condition ! Is education so little known among the
people who favor this rebellion that their leaders may make the most absurdly
untrue historical statements without contradiction? But while the Senator from
Kentucky openly declares that it is unconstitutional to save the Constitution
except in a prescribed way—utterly unconscious of what Senator Browning of
Illinois so justly calls the right of self-defense inherent in States as in
persons—Mr. Holt says to lingering, doubting Kentucky, with the ringing
eloquence of truth, "There is not and there can not be any neutral ground for a
loyal people between their own Government and those who, at the head of armies,
are menacing its destruction."
Who can not hear the laurels of
the fathers rustle as these words are uttered? This Kentuckian loves Kentucky
well, but he loves the nation more by which Kentucky lives. He knows that a blow
struck at the nation wounds every State; for the (Next