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Page) off his hat; puts on his slippers, and sits before his fire,
his duty for that day and that evening happily accomplished.
In this country the earnestness
of our feeling about the war does not affect this kind of entertainment. The
lecture must be more than a lecture. The most popular of all our lecturers is
Mr. Gough, whose discourses are dramatic monologues, but with the advantage of a
special moral, which always pleases the American mind. The dramatic readings of
Mr. Vandenhoff and of several ladies are received in lecture courses with the
utmost favor; while Mr. De Cordova has established a series of winter evening
entertainments which are really humorous lectures: "Mrs. Smith's Surprise
Party," or "A Summer's Day at Long Branch," and with such success that his
increasing audience has driven him from Clinton Hall to Niblo's Saloon.
In all these successes, however,
two exceptional gifts are essential, dramatic power and popular humor. It seems
easy enough for an author to read his own books aloud; but not to say that Mrs.
Browning declares that true poets never read "their own verses to their worth,"
it is very clear that it is not the mere fact of Dickens the author reading
Dickens the work which continues to attract and delight, but Dickens with
incomparable dramatic power, giving body and color and wonderfully enhanced
raciness to the printed outlines of his imaginative and humorous creations.
Thackeray's stories read by Thackeray, unless from the manuscript, would be
hardly better than our own private reading. Bulwer's would probably be a great
deal worse: for to hear an ancient coxcomb sighing out slipslop sentimentality
could not be very edifying.
Therefore all the writers of
stories must not at once suppose that by putting on their hats and crossing the
street with the little book under their arms they would necessarily find either
the brilliant crowd in the hall or the pile of dollars at the door. It would be
a good rule to remember, that when they can write like Dickens they can read
like him. But every man who has the necessary gifts of dramatic humor and
literary skill may be very sure that success awaits the proper application of
his powers. The Lyceum is only another of the many avenues which are opened to
ability of every kind. Like the Church, it is Catholic. It embraces cardinals in
gold and beggars in rags. It welcomes actors and orators and readers, and why
not singers? Why should not the Lyceum in every minor town (if there are any
such in the country) make itself the alma mater of every thing that is excellent
in this way?
DEMOCRATIC COLONEL SPEAKING TO THE QUESTION.
THE Union Meeting in
New Orleans is one of the most interesting
events of the last few weeks, because, although it may be said that it is not
difficult for a General to hold a meeting of any kind under the guns of his
army, yet the remarks of the speakers have a peculiar significance coming from
men who stand in a hostile region and with their lives in their hands. The
orators in New Orleans were not in the least mealy-mouthed. They did not
complain of the suppression of free speech because a man is not permitted to say
that the war was caused by those upon whom war was made, and that the makers
were in the right. They did not demand that every privilege shall be allowed in
war which is a matter of course in peace. They did not say that they were
willing to see the country ruined, and the government destroyed, and the hope of
equal and progressive civil liberty smothered if the wayward sisters wanted it.
On the contrary, the speakers were also soldiers who were there for the express
purpose of preventing the wayward sisters from doing what they chose, and
compelling them to submit to law.
What they did not say is the
staple of all speeches at secession meetings in the North. But the secession
orators at the North are not soldiers, except on condition that they may go as
major-generals and leave when they wish—they are merely politicians struggling
to revive a party by embarrassing the Government and helping rebellion. And as
slavery is the strength of the insurrection, they are forever bawling that black
men are inferior to white men—that the war is a conspiracy to bring black men to
the North to take the bread out of white men's mouths; and they echo it, and
re-echo it, for the purpose of securing slavery intact. "Would you like to marry
your daughter to a negro?" demand these noble fellows. "Probably not," is
doubtless the reply of the perceptive audience—"nor to you; nor to any mean,
drunken, ignorant, degraded man of any nation or of any color. There is a choice
But while this is the lofty and
patriotic discourse of disunion orators here, the strain of Union orators in
Dixie, who belonged lately to the same party organization, is significantly
different. Colonel Deming, for instance, was late
Democratic Mayor of Hartford in Connecticut. He
is now the chief of a volunteer regiment from that State. He is noted as an
orator, and he spoke at the New Orleans Union Meeting. Let us in the intervals
of hearing the question whether we think black people as good as we are, and
whether we are anxious for black sons-in-law, listen to what the Colonel is
saying, in that brilliant house, to that enthusiastic crowd, and in the presence
General Butler, "Breckinridge democrat" of two
"The rebellion has not secured an
augmented domain or everlasting prosperity to the institution of Slavery. On the
contrary, as the only security for the existence of such a monstrous anomaly to
the civilization of the age was in the compromises of the Constitution, so the
only way in which the monster could be seriously imperiled was by their
overthrow. There is scarcely a prominent man in the New England division here
but has spent the vigor of his manhood and sacrificed all his hopes of political
advancement by vindicating the constitutional rights of the South upon this very
Slavery question; but when you withdrew the
thing we hated morally but
defended politically, from
beneath the wings of Constitutional compromise, and immediately placed it
outside the Constitution, it absolved me and every other Northern Democrat from
being any longer its apologist or defender."
Here are manliness, frankness,
and common sense. And while the Administration may count upon such Democrats as
Deming, Andy Johnson, Butler, and Holt, it will hardly be troubled by such as
Vallandigham, Schnabel, and Saulsbury.
IN a letter to a hesitating
friend last week we spoke of the execution of the ten rebels by McNeil as if it
were a justifiable severity. But the illustration was not well chosen, for the
whole affair was between banditti. There are two bands, apparently like the
Skinners and Cowboys in the Revolution, who are really lawless marauders in
Missouri, and McNeil is not a military officer of the United States. The rebel
Porter, who is the head of the opposing band, but whether with a formal
commission from the rebel chiefs at
Richmond does not appear. Porter was believed
to have caused the disappearance of Allsman, a Union man. Some of his banditti,
who were concerned in the affair, fell into McNeil's hands. He demanded Allsman
of Porter, under the threat that if he were not presently given up ten of
Porter's band should be shot. The man was not surrendered, and McNeil kept his
For this proceeding Davis orders
that the first ten officers who fall into the hands of the rebel commander in
that region shall be put to death. It is a retaliation upon the Government for
an unauthorized act of an irresponsible partisan leader. Should it be effected
it will not make an easier reckoning for the rebels. That it will be effected,
we have no right to doubt; for the rebels are certainly in earnest, and are not
afraid of making war inhumanly.
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
SURE to HARROW UP THE
SOLE.—Peg-ends inside one's boots.
To be called a fool is bad
enough; but a stutterer makes the thing worse by calling you a foo-foo-fool.
Every rose has its thorn. We
never helped to shawl the Rose of a ball-room without being convinced, by
painful evidence, that she had a pin about her.
The poet whose soul was "wrapped
in gloom" had the wrapper taken off lately. He is doing as well as could be
A man has got so deep in debt
that not one of his creditors has been able to see him for months.
What is the best kind of shooting
in winter?—To have coals shot into your cellar.
A remarkable case of conscience
was lately developed in a proceeding before a French court. A man was before the
court on a charge of stealing some candles, and the prosecutor was examining
witnesses who had bought from him. One of them said, "Though he suspected the
candles had been stolen, he bought a sou's worth, but that, in order not to
encourage robbery, he had paid for them with a bad sou."
Nearly every evil has its
compensation. If a man has but one foot he never treads on his own toes.
The world doesn't know a fool's
infirmities half so well as a wise man knows his own.
"One might have heard a pin
fall," is a proverbial expression of silence; but it has been eclipsed by the
French phrase, "You might have heard the unfolding of a lady's pocket
GROUND RENTS.—The chasms left by
When prosperity was well mounted
she let go the bridle, and soon came tumbling out of the saddle.
It is a paradox that loose habits
generally stick tighter to a man than any other kind.
A patient is undoubtedly in a bad
way when his disease is acute and his doctor isn't.
It is easy to say grace, but not
half so easy to possess it.
A CRYING EVIL.—The Sunday
Why is a field of grass like a
person older than yourself? —Because it is past-ur-age.
ON Wednesday, December 3, in the
Senate, the standing committee were appointed. An inquiry was ordered into the
expediency of indemnifying citizens of Minnesota for losses by the Indian
outbreak. On motion of Senator Sumner, a call was made on the Secretary of War
for information relative to the seizure and sale of free blacks by the rebels,
and what steps have been taken in the matter. Senator Hale gave notice of a bill
repealing the act passed in July last, establishing and equalizing the grades of
naval officers. The Senate then went into executive session, and afterward
adjourned.—In the House, a motion was adopted directing a pretty thorough
overhauling of the accounts of the Agricultural Department.
On Thursday, 4th, in the Senate,
Senator Clark offered a joint resolution, which was laid over, approving of the
policy of the President's emancipation proclamation. A bill repealing the act
establishing and equalizing the grade of naval officers was introduced and
appropriately referred.—In the House, Mr. Stevens offered resolutions declaring
that the Union must be and remain one and indivisible forever, and denouncing as
guilty of high crime any executive or legislative department that shall propose
or advise any acceptance of peace on any other basis than the integrity and
entire unity of the United States as they existed at the time the rebellion
commenced. The 16th was, on motion of Mr. Stevens, assigned for the
consideration of this subject. Mr. Wickliffe, of
Kentucky, offered a resolution directing
inquiry respecting the Military Governor of the District of Columbia—under what
law he derives his power, his compensation, the expenses of his office, and
whether he has obstructed the civil tribunals in the administration of justice.
A motion to lay the subject on the table was adopted by a vote of eighty-five
against forty-six. A resolution abolishing the West Point Military Academy and
aiding in the establishment of military schools in the States was rejected by a
On Friday, 5th, in the Senate,
the House bill requiring payments in gold and silver for all judgments recovered
by the United States was referred to the Finance Committee. The resolution
calling for all documents relating to the operations of the Army of the Potomac
and the surrender of Harper's Ferry was adopted. Senator Powell's resolution
respecting the illegal arrest of citizens of Kentucky was adopted. A bill
repealing the provision of law
limiting the number of
major-generals was reported and referred, as was also a bill concerning
appointments in the navy. A resolution calling on the President for all the
information in his possession touching the Indian for outbreak in Minnesota was
agreed to. An executive session was held, and afterward the Senate adjourned.—In
the House, Mr. Stevens introduced a bill indemnifying and protecting the
President and other public officers from arrest, imprisonment, and other
consequences growing out of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Owing
to a slight informality Mr. Stevens withdrew the bill for the present. Mr.
Morrill offered a resolution declaring "that at no time since the existence of
the rebellion have the forces and material in the hands of the Executive of the
Government been so ample to and abundant for the speedy termination of the war
as at the present moment; and that it is the duty of all loyal American
citizens, regardless of minor differences of opinion, and especially is it the
duty of every officer and soldier, and of those in every branch of the
Government, including the legislative, cordially to strike the assassins at once
who have conspired to destroy our existence, prosperity, and freedom, of which
we are justly proud at home and abroad, and which we stand pledged to perpetuate
forever." This was adopted, but one member voting in the negative. An inquiry
into the causes of the Indian outbreak in the Northwest was ordered, and a call
was made for all correspondence on the present condition of Mexican affairs. Mr.
Allen, of Illinois, asked, but failed to obtain leave, to offer a resolution
instructing the Committee on the Judiciary to inquire into the alleged right of
the Federal Government to set at defiance the Constitution, laws, and sentiments
of the people of Illinois, in importing negroes into that State, and to consider
what action is necessary to bring about the deportation of said negroes. Both
Houses adjourned till Monday.
On Monday, 8th, in the Senate,
the Bankrupt bill was taken up and made the special order for Thursday, the 18th
inst. The House bill requiring payment in gold and silver for satisfaction of
judgments in certain suits brought by the United States was passed. A bill
providing for the development of the mineral resources of the public domain was
introduced by Senator Latham, and referred. Resolutions calling on the Secretary
of War for the number of Major and Brigadier Generals in the service, and where
and how they are employed, also the number and rank of aids-de-camp, were
adopted. Senator Saulsbury called up the resolution relating to arrests in
Delaware, but objection was made to its consideration, and after some
conversation the subject was dropped. Senator Davis introduced a joint
resolution proposing amendments to the Constitution in reference to the mode of
electing the President and Vice-President.—In the House, the Chairman of the
Committee on Ways and Means introduced a new financial plan for the Government.
It provides for the redemption and cancelation of the 5.20 and 7.30 bonds, the
redemption of the temporary deposits, and an issue of $1,000,000,000 bonds and
$500,000,000 legal tender notes. It also assesses a heavy tax on bank
circulation. The Bankrupt bill was made the special order for the 18th inst. The
Standing Committees were announced. Mr. Stevens introduced a bill to indemnify
the President and other persons for suspending the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus and for all acts done in pursuance thereof, and after some
manoeuvring the previous question was ordered, and the bill passed by a vote of
90 against 45. Mr. Van Wyck introduced a bill to provide for the immediate
payment of clothing lost in service by soldiers of the United States army; also
a bill increasing the pay of privates, non-commissioned officers, and musicians.
Both bills were referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. Mr. Wickliffe
introduced a bill for the protection and relief of persons in loyal States whose
property has been seized or stolen by United States officers. It was referred to
the Judiciary Committee. On motion of Mr. McKnight the Committee of Ways and
Means was instructed to inquire into the expediency of modifying the Tax law so
as to dispense with the tax on advertisements.
On Tuesday, 9th, in the Senate, a
communication was received from the Secretary of War, in answer to a resolution
calling for information in relation to the alleged sale of free negroes captured
by the rebels, in which he states that the War Department has no information in
regard to the subject in its possession. The resolutions calling for information
relative to the arbitrary arrest of citizens of Delaware were taken up and
discussed at considerable length; but the Senate adjourned without taking final
action on the subject.—In the House, the morning hour was devoted to the
consideration of the Senate bill for the admission of Western Virginia into the
Union as a State. The special order, a bill authorizing collectors and assessors
of taxes to administer oaths, was taken up and passed. The debate on the
question of the admission of Western Virginia into the Union was then resumed,
and continued until the adjournment.
General Geary marched upon
Winchester on the 3d inst. and demanded its
surrender, which was complied with, the people exhibiting many signs of joy at
his arrival. His command consisted of 3300 chosen infantry from all the
regiments in his division, two sections of artillery from Knapp's battery, two
from McGilery's battery, and two from Hampton's battery, making altogether
twelve guns, and fifty cavalry of the First Maryland.
GENERAL GRANT AT ABBEVILLE.
General Grant telegraphs from Abbeville,
General Halleck that his troops are in
possession of that place. The rebels abandoned their fortifications there on the
2d inst., destroying all the stores they could not carry. The streams were so
high that only a portion of our cavalry could cross by swimming; but the enemy
was pursued to Oxford, where, after a skirmish of two hours, sixty of their
number were captured. General Grant says that the roads are too bad to get
supplies for a long chase.
Cairo state that the main body of the rebel
army passed through Oxford, Mississippi, forty thousand strong, going South, on
3d, under command of
General Jackson (of the West). His rear-guard
had a skirmish next morning with a portion of the Union forces near Oxford, the
result of which is not stated. Another dispatch from Chicago says that
intelligence was received from Oxford, dated the 7th, to the effect that a two
hours' fight had taken place on 5th, near Coffeeville, between the Union cavalry
under Colonel Dickey, and a rebel force of five thousand infantry, cavalry, and
artillery. Our troops lost five killed, fifty wounded, and sixty missing. The
rebels, it is said, lost three hundred killed and wounded.
GENERAL HOVEY AT HELENA.
General Hovey's expedition,
twenty thousand strong, which left Helena, Arkansas, some days ago, landed at
Friar's Point, fifteen or twenty miles below, marched to Grenada, Mississippi,
and took possession of that place on 1st. A large number of the citizens fled on
the approach of our troops. The proprietor of the Appeal had to make another
skedaddle. He has now fled to Marietta, Georgia, with his paper.
DISASTER IN TENNESSEE.
At Hartsville, Tennessee, on
December 6, the
rebel guerrilla Morgan made an attack upon the
brigade commanded by General Moore at that place, which consisted of the 104th
Illinois, Colonel Moore commanding brigade; 106th Ohio, Colonel Lafel; 108th
Ohio, Colonel Limberg; Nicklen's battery, and a small detachment of the 2d
Indiana cavalry. After fighting an hour and a quarter our forces surrendered,
and the enemy burned our camp, capturing nearly all the brigade, train, and
teams, and burning what they could not carry away. Two guns of Nicklen's battery
were also captured. Our loss was between 50 and 60 killed and wounded, who were
left on the field. The rebel loss is not reported. Morgan's force consisted of
three regiments of cavalry and two of infantry. It was said that Morgan made
another attack upon General Fry's position at Gallatin the same afternoon, but
met with a serious repulse. General Fry was speedily reinforced, and pursued the
enemy. It would appear that in the attack at Hartsville some of our troops
behaved badly, while others fought gallantly to the last.
DESPERATE BATTLE IN ARKANSAS.
A desperate fight and a brilliant
victory for the Union forces occurred in Arkansas on 7th. While General Herron,
with a force of about seven thousand men was hastening to reinforce General
Blunt, at Cane Hill, the enemy,
twenty-four thousand strong, in
four divisions, under Generals Parsons, Marmaduke, Frost, and Rains, all
commanded by General Hindman, having flanked General Blunt's position, made a
desperate attack on General Herron, at Crawford's Prairie, to prevent his
junction with Blunt. Herron fought them gallantly with his Illinois, Iowa,
Wisconsin, and Indiana troops, from ten o'clock in the morning until dark,
keeping them at bay and driving them from two strong positions with his
artillery during the day. The 20th Wisconsin captured a rebel battery; but were
forced, by the fire of the enemy, to abandon it. The 19th Iowa took the same
battery, but were also obliged to surrender it. Affairs were going hard with our
troops. At four o'clock in the afternoon, however, General Blunt arrived in the
enemy's rear, with five thousand men, and fell upon them. The fight then became
one of desperation. Though superior in numbers, and maintaining their ground
throughout the day, the rebels, now between two hostile forces, made fierce
efforts to capture the batteries which General Blunt brought to bear upon them,
but without success. They could not extricate themselves from the difficulty,
and were repulsed with great slaughter. At nine o'clock, when darkness fell upon
the scene of battle, they were flying over the Boston mountains in confusion,
and our victorious army held the whole field. Our loss was six hundred killed
and wounded. The rebels admit the loss of fifteen hundred, including several
THE TREASURY REPORT.
The following are the estimates
of the Secretary of the Treasury:
Mr. Chase recommends that the deficiency for
the current year be raised by loans, and that no more legal tender notes be
A COTTON CURRENCY.
General W. T. Sherman, who is the military
commander at Memphis, recommends that, instead of shinplasters— which the Common
Council of that city proposes to issue —five, ten, twenty-five, and fifty cent
packages of raw cotton be done up and passed as currency—the cotton to be of the
standard value of half a dollar a pound.
NORFOLK TO ELECT A MEMBER OF CONGRESS.
Fortress Monroe we learn that General Viele has
issued a proclamation as Military Governor of Norfolk and a writ of election for
another member of Congress from Southeastern Virginia, comprising in the
district the city of Norfolk, together with the counties of Princess Anne,
Nansemond, Isle of Wight, and the city of Portsmouth. It is supposed that the
people will eagerly accede to the proclamation, and elect a member, for the sake
of preserving their slave property front the effects of the emancipation
proclamation of the President, as the Hon. Mr. Segar, who was previously elected
for another district, is believed to have secured his constituents from the
operations of that proclamation.
ARREST OF A UNITED STATES MARSHAL.
The Grand Jury of Hunterdon
county, New Jersey, have indicted a Deputy United States Marshal and other
parties, for the arrest, without process of law, of Messrs. Wright & Kugler on a
charge of interfering with enlistments. The Marshal has accordingly been
arrested. It is said that the United States District Attorney authorized the
arrests of these gentlemen.