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Page) is an affair of shifts, and
arrangements, and concessions, and compromises, and yielding to prejudices, and
making all things smooth and profitable in the pocket, for every body had a fair
chance it was during the eighteen years, from 1830 to 1848 in France. By their
fruits ye shall judge them. If the success of prosperity, honor, and peace with
dignity, be the test of good government, who achieved it, Louis Philippe, the
practical man of expedients, or Oliver Cromwell, the enthusiast and religious
Is it not clear that when you
excuse the appeal to the lowest selfishness upon the plea that politic, is a
science of expediency you beg the whole question? For what is the question?
Given human nature and man in society, what is expediency? That only which is
based upon the broadest view of human nature, upon its strongest instincts, upon
its most profound emotions. And what are they? What are the tendencies and
feelings in human nature that have produced the great epochs in history, the
controlling changes in civilization? Did they spring from the pocket or the
conscience? Unquestionably the right path is also at last the profitable, but
not at first, and it is the first step that costs. Nothing which outrages the
common conscience can be expedient. If, for instance, it be a law, it is
inexpedient, because it will either remain a dead letter and bring all laws and
just authority into contempt, or else it will be executed amidst tumults and
protests which will end in revolution. Thus the moral nature of men becomes the
most important consideration of all in matters of political policy. Interest,
convenience, and all the minor oppositions may be set aside, but conscience is
firmer than the everlasting hills, and surer than the law of gravity.
Thus it is the most foolish
fallacy to make expediency the counterpart or opposing term in politics to
principle; or to evade the moral view of public questions by saying that
morality has nothing to do with them. Why, you have only to fortify any cause
with a moral conviction and you make it impregnable. The Albigenses, the
Cameronians, the early Christians, the later Protestants, might be routed and
massacred, but the cause itself, intrenched in the popular conscience, laughed
the conqueror to scorn.
The meanness, the timidity, the
miscalled "expediency," the total want of principle in our politics have plunged
us into this war. Since the days of our fathers, who were forced to know and
willing to declare the moral principles upon which they acted, the simplicity
and manliness of our public men have declined. The insolent bullying of
Congressmen, whose pride it was that they bought and sold human beings in a
republic based upon liberty and equal rights, was hardly so mortifying as the
hesitating opposition and obsequious bearing of those who thought with
Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Laurens, George Mason, and John Adams,
and whose political views and principles were those of the Constitution. In
Washington Slavery has cracked the whip and Liberty has cowered and apologized,
always with splendid and memorable exceptions. The wretched excuse has been that
it was not "expedient" to do otherwise. Was it, then, not "expedient" for John
Hampden to refuse to pay twenty shillings, even if he risked a revolution? Was
it not "expedient" in the colonies to declare that they would not pay taxes
without representation? Is it not "expedient" to declare to-day that either the
victory of the rebellion will fortify Slavery, or that of the Government will
establish Liberty upon this continent? If Louis Philippe and his school had sat
in the seats of Hampden, Pym, and Tiennes—if they had stood in the shoes of
Patrick Henry and Sam Adams—if they had been monks with Martin Luther—the work
of three centuries would have to be done over again. Until men acknowledge the
expediency of equal justice there will be no permanent peace in any nation. Are
those, therefore, who insist that justice is the truest expediency blind guides?
Our politicians hitherto have insisted that there was no relation between them.
But their position in the presence of this war, which is simply the tremendous
assertion that there is a relation between them, is more pitiful and ludicrous
than that of their great prototype, Louis Philippe, appalled by the mere shadow
of a revolution, and fleeing from France as Mr. William Smith with a huge cotton
umbrella under his arm.
TWEEDLEDUM AND TWEEDLEDEE.
THE attempt of "the Conservative
movement" to cut loose from its leaders will not succeed. If Wood, Vallandigham,
Cox, Brooks, and the Seymours are not its logical leaders, who are? Who conduct
the movement against the Administration and the war? It is these men or nobody.
For there are but two parties, there can be but two. That which supports the
Government in the war, and that which opposes it. To undertake a third party,
which calls itself a war-party, provided the Government will be directed by it,
is nonsense. Vallandigham would be satisfied if the Government would be
controlled by him.
That the men we have named are
the leaders of this new "Conservatism," which would reduce this nation to a mob
of contemptible States, like Venezuela, and Ecuador, and Guatemala, and that the
rebels regard them as their friends and virtual allies, should be clear enough
by this time to the dullest mind.
The influence of "the
Conservative movement," as illustrated in the autumn elections, upon the
suppression of the rebellion, is seen in all the rebel papers and
"Were it not," says a
correspondent, writing from Richmond to Knoxville, "for the utter demoralization
of the Federal armies; were it not that the quasi rebellion of the Governors of
New Jersey and New York had affected Burnside's army as thoroughly as that of
Rosecrans, which has felt more seriously the influence of Richardson, Bright,
and Vallandigham; were these Federal forces as brave and devoted to the cause
they have espoused
as they were twelve months ago,"
Here are simple cause and effect.
"Quasi rebellion" of certain Governors is cited by the rebels as the
demoralizing influence of our army. Was, or was not, the election of those
Governors hailed as "a Conservative triumph" by those who try to get rid of
Vallandigham and Co.?
So in October, pending the
elections, the Richmond Examiner said:
"The elections of New York will
decide the complexion of the next House of Representatives, and they thus
possess an interest which has attached to no other elections that have taken
place since the commencement of the war."
Why this great interest? Clearly
because of the chance of a Congress which differed in sentiment from this. Could
it be more determined upon the war? Certainly not. The interest lay, therefore,
in the hope of a House more favorable to negotiation. Could that House be
elected except by "a Conservative triumph?" Echo answers, No.
"It is not to be denied," says
the rebel writer, "that a
Democratic victory at the North would be a subject of
Were there more than two tickets
at the election? And was not the "Conservative" ticket precisely what is here
called Democratic? Why, then, would such a "Conservative" victory be so
gratifying to the men who are in arms against the Government and nation? Because
it would help them or hurt them?
The identity of the "peace" party
with the "Conservative party" is so clearly established that to attempt to prove
it is a gilding of fine gold, a painting of the lily. And that the leaders of
the one are of necessity the chiefs of the other is equally evident. The attempt
to stand between this "Conservatism," which is disunion, and anarchy, and
acknowledgment of the rebellion, and the vigorous and hearty support of the
Government, whether all its measures and men exactly please us or not, is
hopeless. In the English civil war of 1645 the Presbyterians tried to stand
between the Independents and the King. They argued that because the King claimed
more than his constitutional rights it was not fair for the Parliament to
overstep the limits of its power in order to put him down. But the truth was, as
Macaulay, and Lord Nugent, and Godwin, and all the historians show, that a
middle course was impossible. The King was resolved to overthrow the
Constitution. He was fair in talk, and as false as fair. And the Parliament knew
it. The game was desperate. The stake was the liberty of the English subject;
and Parliament did not hesitate to exceed its normal powers in order to save the
Constitution and the nation. And all the people cried Amen! The Constitution was
saved, and the rights of the nation secured.
The rebels are as false and
haughty as Charles Stuart. They mean the destruction of the Government.
Fortunately that Government need not and does not transcend its powers to save
itself. But even if it were forced to do so, what man capable of conceiving the
disaster of disunion would not cry God-speed? We must stand by that Union, then,
or leave it to its enemies. And when the enemy is at the gate, there is no
distinction in moral guilt between a foe who fires upon the garrison and one who
insists that the garrison shall not fire unless they will use such powder and
ball as he has to sell.
A WORD WITH ANY CONNECTICUT
No faithful citizen of the United
States, in whatever State he may live, will wish to vote for a candidate who is
acceptable to the rebels, because to do so is to help them overthrow the
Government. Should any Connecticut voter, therefore, whose party, sympathies
have been Democratic, but whose heart and soul are true to his country, happen
to see this paragraph, let him reflect upon the statement of the Richmond
Examiner, one of the chief organs of the rebellion, which, in denouncing the
Northern Democrats in general for being "as fierce in their apostasy to former
principles as Butler himself," says, however, that among them "are to be .found
one Pierce, one Vallandigham, one Wood, and two Seymours, like the five just men
If, therefore, any Connecticut
freeman feels that he can be true to his country by doing what his enemies wish,
let him vote for the man whom the rebels praise. It is not a party question. It
is the salvation of the country which is at stake.
CHILDS'S NATIONAL ALMANAC.
THIS work is the best American
almanac ever published. It contains full and complete statistics of the General
Government, names of the officials, abstracts of the laws, statistics of the
Census of 1860, a full account of the Government, population, finances,
agricultural and commercial condition of each State; a digest of the history and
condition of all the railroads of the United States; statistics of education,
crime, crops, etc., etc., and a very good account of the war from its
commencement. It is a book every one should have.
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
"PRAY Sir, of what profession are
you?" said a learned counsel to a witness who had come prepared to prove a fact,
and who was not deemed a very respectable gentleman. "Sir, I am a shoemaker and
wine-merchant." "A what, Sir?" said the learned counsel. "A wine-merchant and
shoemaker." "Then," said the counsel, "I may describe you as a sherry cobbler!"
"Why is it," said a young swell,
a few days since, "that I can't make my collar sit well?"—Because it is a
standing collar," replied the person to whom the question was addressed.
The man that drew a long breath
has taken another chance in the same lottery.
"Is that animal a biped or a
quadruped?" asked one of the visitors to a circus, one day, of a by-stander. "I
think, Sir," said an evident student of natural history, with bulging eyes and
green spectacles, "that the man who shows the animals called it a kangarooped!"
"Shall I have your hand?" said an
exquisite to a belle as the dance was about to commence. "With all my heart,"
was the soft response.
An afflicted husband was
returning from the funeral of his wife, when a friend asked how he was. "Well,"
he said, pathetically, "I think I feel the better for that little walk."
There was an Irish lawyer who
invariably wrote at the bottom of his brief, "If any part of the case should
fail, or want making out, call my clerk, Tim Donnegan, and he will swear any
"I am happy, Tom, to hear the
report that you have succeeded to large landed property." "And I am sorry to say
it is groundless."
Why is a lady remarrying like a
chimes'-ringer?—Because one rings the changes, while the other changes the ring.
A handsome woman pleases the
eyes, a good woman pleases the heart: the one is a jewel, the other a treasure.
"Tis false," as the girl said
when her lover told her she had beautiful hair.
QUERY FOR A DEBATING
SOCIETY.—What do the sailors do with the knots the ship makes in a day?
The gentleman who has been trying
to raise the wind finds himself "blown" all over town.
THE BURGLAR'S ASPIRATION.—A
skeleton-key in every cupboard.
"I'll be blessed if I do," as the
girl said when her lover asked her to be married.
"I can't support you an longer,"
as the rotten bridge said to the elephant.
ON Wednesday, February 18, in the
Senate, Senator Foot, of Vermont, was chosen President pro tempore,
Vice-President Hamlin having announced his intention to be absent for the
remainder of the session. A joint resolution to compensate the crew of the
battery Monitor for loss of clothing was adopted. The bill making appropriations
for fortifications was passed; also the bill to regulate the appointment of
midshipmen. The bill fixing the gauge of the Pacific Railroad and branches at
four feet eight and a half inches was passed. The bill organizing the courts of
the District of Columbia was discussed, and after an executive session the
Senate adjourned.—In the House, the Senate bill granting aid to Missouri for the
emancipation of slaves was referred to the select Committee on Emancipation. The
House passed the Senate bill for the purpose of removing doubts as to the
meaning of former laws. It authorizes the President, when two kinds of
punishment are imposed by a court, pecuniary and imprisonment, to remit the one
or the other. When the imprisonment is remitted, the fine shall be collected as
a judgment of debt in the common forms of law. The bill indemnifying the
President and other public officers for the suspension of the writ of habeas
corpus, and for acts in pursuance thereof, was then taken up, and an interesting
debate ensued, which continued till the adjournment.
On Thursday, 19th, in the Senate,
the credentials of Mr. Morgan, the new Senator from New York, were presented. A
communication from the Secretary of the Treasury, exhibiting the debit and
credit account of the contrabands of the Sea Island cotton district, was
received. It shows a balance of more than half a million dollars in favor of the
Government. The bill providing for the discharge of State prisoners, and
authorizing the President to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, was taken up. A
motion to strike out the section of the bill authorizing a suspension of the
writ of habeas corpus was rejected—yeas 13, nays 27. Senators Trumbull and
Carlile offered substitutes for the bill, but no further action was taken on the
subject. The Senate then went into executive session, and afterward
adjourned.—In the House, the bill indemnifying the President and other persons
for acts done under the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was referred to
a conference committee. The Senate joint resolution authorizing the Secretary of
the Navy to adjust the equitable claims of contractors for naval supplies and
regulating contracts with the Navy Department was adopted. The House passed the
Senate's joint resolution expelling ex-Senator Badger from the Board of Regents
of the Smithsonian Institution for his giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and
appointing Professor Louis Agassiz to fill his place. At the evening session the
National Currency bill was taken up, and Messrs. Spaulding and Fenton spoke in
favor of its passage.
On Friday, 20th, in the Senate,
the House bill providing a government for the Territory of Arizona was passed.
The bill enabling the people of Nevada Territory to take preparatory steps for
being admitted into the Union was reported back. Similar bills relative to
Nebraska and Colorado were reported. The joint resolution directing the payment
of troops in hospitals and convalescent camps within sixty days was adopted, and
Committees of Conference on the Indemnity and Finance bills were ordered.—In the
House, the bill to establish a uniform national currency was passed as it came
from the Senate, by a vote of 78 against 74. The Senate Post-Office Reform bill
was taken up, and several amendments adopted, among them one establishing a
postal money-order system.
On Saturday, 21st, in the Senate,
a memorial from citizens of New York, asking for the establishment of a
submarine telegraph from
Fortress Monroe to
Galveston, was presented. Senator
Powell offered a resolution that a committee of three be appointed to
investigate the facts in reference to the arrest, imprisonment, and release of
D. A. Mahony, J. A. Mullen, and Andrew J. Duff. Laid over. Senator Powell also
gave notice that he should, at an early day, offer a resolution for a committee
to investigate the conduct of General Gilbert in recently dispersing a
Kentucky. A resolution to print 10,000 extra copies of the
Currency bill was referred. The bill for the discharge of State prisoners, and
authorizing the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, was taken up, and an
angry discussion ensued between Senators Wilson of Massachusetts and Powell of
Kentucky. An executive session was held, and the Senate adjourned.—In the House,
a Committee of Conference was asked of the Senate on the disagreeing amendments
to the Finance bill. The Post-Office Reform bill was next considered; an
amendment that all soldiers in camp or hospital shall receive and transmit
letters free of postage was adopted, and the bill passed by a vote of 72 against
56. The Ways and Means Committee reported amendments to the Internal Tax bill.
The Senate's amendments to the Post-Route bill were agreed to. The Senate bill
to prevent correspondence with rebels was passed, also the Senate bill to punish
bribery. The Senate bill authorizing the issue of letters of marque was then
taken up and discussed till the adjournment.
On Monday, 23d, in the Senate,
Senator Willey presented a resolution from the Constitutional Convention of West
Virginia, accepting the constitution as amended by Congress, and also
resolutions asking for an appropriation in compensation for the emancipation of
slaves in West Virginia. Senator Collamer called up the resolution relative to
the payment of foreign postage in coin, and offered a substitute authorizing the
Postmaster-General to take such measures as he may deem necessary to provide for
the payment in coin of the balances against the United States. The substitute
was accepted and the resolution adopted. After disposing of several unimportant
subjects, the bill relative to the discharge of State prisoners and authorizing
the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was taken up and passed by a vote of
24 against 13.—In the House, the report of the Committee on Elections, adverse
to the claim of Mr. Jennings Piggott to represent the Second Congressional
district of North Carolina, was accepted. The Naval Appropriation bill was taken
up, and several Senate amendments not being concurred in, the bill was returned
to that body. The consideration of the Senate
bill enrolling and calling out
the National militia was then resumed. Amendments were cut off by the ordering
of the previous question, but an exciting and acrimonious discussion was kept up
till after eleven o'clock at night.
On Tuesday, 24th, in the Senate,
a conference committee was appointed on the Naval Appropriation bill. The Indian
Appropriation bill was discussed and amended and laid aside. Ten thousand extra
copies of the Currency bill were ordered to be printed. A bill was introduced
authorizing the President, in certain cases, to take possession of steamboats
and other vessels.—The House was engaged in discussing the bill providing for
calling out and arming the militia of the nation. It was agreed that a vote
should be taken on the bill on the following day. During the debate Mr. Stevens
General McClellan, and read a letter from
General Scott accusing
General McClellan of insubordination.
THE BOMBARDMENT OF VICKSBURG.
The mortar boats of the
expedition against Vicksburg were towed into position on the 18th inst., and
opened fire upon the city on that day. They were answered by the rebel
batteries, three in number. The position of the gun-boats was found to be too
much exposed to the fire of the enemy, and they accordingly withdrew to a safer
place, from which they renewed the bombardment.
A COAL BARGE RUNS THE BLOCKADE.
A barge containing seven thousand
bushels of coal followed the example of the ram Queen of the West, and ran the
blockade at Vicksburg on the night of 14th, passing harmlessly through in the
dark. The gun-boat Conestoga destroyed Bolivar Landing, a scattered village
fifty miles above Memphis. The river is rapidly overflowing its banks on the
Louisiana side to such an extent that the little town of De Soto, opposite
Vicksburg, is now nearly under water, and it is thought that the whole peninsula
will ere long be submerged, The Queen of the West has gone up Red River on the
hunt for rebel boats supposed to be lying there.
REPORTED CAPTURE OF THE "QUEEN OF
We have from rebel sources a
report of the capture of the Union ram
Queen of the West, whose gallant exploits
in running the
blockade at Vicksburg are already known to our readers. She is
said to have been captured under Fort Taylor, at Gordon's Landing, on the Red
River—the pilot, who was taken off the rebel steamer Eva, having treacherously
run her within range of the guns while asserting that the fort was fifteen miles
away. Her steam-pipe was knocked off, and she was otherwise so disabled that she
drifted to the opposite shore, and all of the crew except thirteen escaped. The
boat and the rest of the hands fell into the power of the rebels.
A SECESH MEETING DISPERSED IN
A crowd of secessionists in
Frankfort, Kentucky, met last week in the theatre of that city for the
ostensible purpose of nominating candidates for the August elections; but
Colonel Gilbert, with a regiment of Union troops with bayonets fixed, made his
appearance, took the chair himself, and dispersed the meeting by declaring that
they should then and there prove by oath their loyalty to the Government, as he
believed they were nothing but Democrats and secessionists. With the fear of
fixed bayonets before their eyes, and remembering, no doubt, the story of
Cromwell and the Rump Parliament in the good old times of free and merry
England, the citizens of Frankfort wisely resolved to separate, and they did so.
THE SOUTH DON'T WANT FRENCH
We find an interesting commentary
upon the diplomatic correspondence of M. Drouyn de l'Huys and
Mr. Seward in the
Richmond papers. The plans of the French Minister for mediation and peace are
pretty roughly handled; in fact, they are rather uncivilly declined. The Emperor
himself is somewhat snubbed. The Southern Confederacy, we are told, needs no
commissioners to settle the difficulty, either of French or any other
suggestion; the commissioners already exist in the persons of
BEAUREGARD PREPARING FOR THE
General Beauregard, as military
commander of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, has issued a proclamation
declaring it to be his solemn duty to announce to the citizens and authorities
Charleston and Savannah that an attack by the land and naval forces of the
United States is about to be made upon either or both cities, and warning those
who are not able to take up arms for their defense to retire to some place of
safety. He urges, however, upon every one who can join in the struggle at "this
hour of trial" to do so without regard to the kind of weapons they may have in
their possession. Pikes and scythes, he says, will do for the destruction of
their enemies, and spades and shovels for the protection of their firesides,
altars, and the graves of their fathers.
THE QUEEN'S SPEECH.
THE British Parliament met in
session on the 5th of February. The Queen's Speech contains very little of
importance, excepting the following:
Her Majesty has abstained from
taking any step with a view to make a cessation of the conflict between the
contending parties of the North American States, because it has not yet seemed
to her that any such overtures could be attended with a probability of success.
Her Majesty has viewed with the deepest concern the desolating warfare which
still rages in those regions, and she has witnessed with heartfelt grief the
severe distress and suffering which that war has inflicted upon a large class of
her Majesty's subjects, but which have been borne by them with great fortitude
and exemplary resignation. It is some consolation to her Majesty to be led to
hope that this suffering and this distress are diminishing rather than
increasing, and that some renewal of employment is beginning to take place in
the manufacturing districts.
During the debates on the
address, in reply to the speech in both Houses, Lord Palmerston's course was
generally sustained, although Earl Derby and Mr. Disraeli regretted that England
had not made an effort in conjunction with France to induce an armistice. All
parties agreed in opinion, however, that the attempt would fail. Earl Russell,
in the House of Lords, however, expressed the opinion that the Union would never
be restored. Mr. Disraeli, in the House of Commons, agrees with him, and says he
foresees that the future America will be one of armies, and turbulence, and
The insurrection in Poland is
spreading. The city of Wengrow has been taken by the Russians, after a
THE FRENCH IN TROUBLE.
The people of Cochin China have
revolted against the French, and made desperate attacks on the Emperor's troops.
The natives were repulsed with heavy loss. The Queen of Spain, it was said, had
refused to send her troops back to Cochin China at the request of the Emperor
ANOTHER PIRATE ENTERTAINED.
Captain Maffit, of the Oreto,
waited on the Governor of Nassau at his official residence, and obtained
permission to remain off Nassau for twenty-four hours, during which time he laid
his ship alongside the English war-steamers Galatea and Barracouta. The Oreto
was thought to be looking out for the American ship Eliza Bonsall, which had
left Nassau the day before for Abaco to take away United States troops lately
wrecked there. Her capture by the Oreto was considered as very probable.