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Robert E. Lee Portrait
COME out to the moors, little
friend, with me, For the March winds whistle right cheerily; Shut the Latin
books, now our task is done, Out, out, and away for a scampering run.
Ah, wheugh, what a gust! Blow,
Boreas, blow, And set my young " rosy cheeks" all in a glow, Play at
"hide-and-seek" with his golden hair--There is health in the touch of thee,
Jolly March air.
It will brace your young limbs,
little play-fellow mine, And make your blue eyes like bright diamonds shine; It
will scatter your bonny brown curls out of place, And bring the rich healthy
blood into your face.
How the dead leaves rustle! Away,
away, To the hills for a game on this glorious day,
The green blades crunch crisp,
yet the field-fares sing, 'Tis old Winter having a tassel with Spring.
Whist I away go the gray rabbits
one by one, With their white tails erect in a frenzy of fun,
Come along, little Tom, and we'll
give them a chase, Let us see which of us will be first in the race!
There's a cunning old raven sits
looking at me, From the high bare bough of yon withered tree, The wary old
fellow is out for a meal,
And he knows that we know he is
longing to steal.
See the first of the lambs to the
old ewe creeps, And askant at the fondling the sly bird peeps, But he dare not
venture his bold attack Till the mother sheep shall have turned her back.
Get away, cruel thief, shut your
greedy beak, 'Tis a coward's act to assault the weak.
How he croaks, and he gloats on
the old bare thorn, Come, a good long shout! Ah, the rogue has gone.
O'er the rough plowed fields the
gray plovers run, And the purple violets nod at the fun,
In the sere dry brushwood the
pheasants " whirr," And the sleepy red squirrel is getting astir.
What a famous wind ! How the high
elms shake; How the tall, slim poplars quiver and quake ; How the chattering
rooks to the tree-tops swarm, Like rudderless ships blown about in a storm.
Come on, little friend, we are
both in a glow, While our arms are strong, and our legs can go, And our voices
can make the old woodlands ring: What need we of wealth ? We are each a king!
SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 1864.
T HE manifesto of the "War
Democracy," as the Tammany party likes to be called, has one proposition which
should be very thoughtfully pondered by the citizens of this country. It
declares that the next President should be a military man. Yet if the country is
truly wise it will never elect a chief magistrate merely upon the ground of
military success. The school of the soldier is not the school in which a
President of the United States should be trained. Military success dazzles a
nation accustomed to despotic rule, but it ought not to deceive a free people
who govern themselves. In a warlike community the triumphant chief is naturally
the most captivating figure, but in a peaceful free society the qualities of the
soldier are by no means those which are best fitted for the work of government.
That those who best serve the
country should be most highly honored is true ; but that a century ago any
British General in the field or Admiral upon the sea better served England than
Lord CHATHAM, who directed the Government, would be difficult to prove. Military
success, however essential, however indispensable, is not necessarily the
highest service. Military heroes, however pure, however single-hearted, however
noble, are, by the necessity of the case, accustomed to regard their own will as
law, and will inevitably incline to govern a country as if it were an army. If
WASHINGTON was an exception to this rule, JACKSON was not; and WASHINGTON was
exceptional among men.
Emerging from any great war, and
especially from a civil struggle, the devotion of an army and its officers to
their chief is an incentive to personal ambition, and a danger to civil liberty
so vast and obvious that it needs but to be named ; for History is the record of
governments overthrown and people subjugated by victorious military leaders. But
we are not driven to ancient or even modern history to find the evidence of
these truths. The spirit which solicits a military head of the Government is
simply that of despotism. The ascendency so long maintained in this country by
the Southern Policy, under the auspices of what was called " the Democracy," was
due to the absolute annihilation of the fundamental right of a free
government—the right of debate. And when, under the same name, a plea is made
for a military Presidential candidate, it ought to surprise no man that the most
ardent supporter of the proposition says plainly of one of the Generals of our
armies : "He must have as little respect for these wretches as CAESAR had for
those in Rome." By the word " wretches" he describes the lawful, constitutional
authorities of the Government, and he calls upon a military leader to set them
aside as NAPOLEON did the Convention and CROMWELL the Parliament.
This is the spirit from which a
military candidacy springs. It is impatience of constitutional rule. It is the
instinct of despotism. Let us-hope that the people of this country, in so
momentous a crisis as the present, will be governed in the election of a
President by some
principle more profound than mere
enthusiasm for a soldier. When the soldier has shown the qualities for civil
rule that WASHINGTON displayed, he may justly aspire to the chair that
THE letter of
Mr. CHASE, in which
he asks that no further consideration be given to his name as a Presidential
candidate, will surprise no one who has watched his patriotic course. The
Presidency could not win him a higher honor than that of the masterly management
of the national treasury during this war ; and it is to the universal conviction
of his great fitness for the office he fills, and the doubt where an adequate
successor could be found, that much of the reluctance of the popular response to
his nomination was to be attributed. Himself an essential part of the
Administration which is now upon trial before the country, it could hardly be
supposed that he seriously differed from its general policy, or that an
Administration of which he should be the head would radically change that
policy. While, therefore, he agreed upon the whole, it was certainly wiser to do
as he has done.
Whatever honors may yet await
him, Mr. CHASE will be known in our history as one of the most eminent of the
leaders who early saw and always resisted the mortal peril which menaced the
American Union and human civilization from the essential character of the spirit
which now seeks its overthrow. Called into a vitally important responsibility in
the Government when the struggle began, he has fulfilled it with singular
ability. Nor will it be named among the least of his claims to the permanent
regard of his countrymen that, in the midst of the great war, he saw so clearly
the necessity of devoting every energy and effort to the suppression of the
rebellion, that he would not allow any preference of his friends for his
personal advantage to perplex the great issue. It would have been his duty to do
so, however, had he felt that the public safety was imperiled.
We differ entirely from those who
regret his withdrawal upon the ground that every man's candidacy should remain
open until the nomination. We are to deal with facts, and the fact is that the
Union candidate will certainly be one of three or four conspicuous gentlemen
already indicated. If there were comparative unity of feeling—if, surrendering
minor points of difference and criticism, the Union party of the nation could
move forward to the election as the Union party of New Hampshire lately did to
that of Governor GILMORE, and as that of Connecticut will, on the 4th of April,
to that of Governor BUCKINGHAM—would it not be infinitely better for the country
and the cause than the ardent debate upon various candidates is likely to be ?
It is upon that ground,
unquestionably, that Mr. CHASE has withdrawn, and for that reason his course
will command the sincerest public approval.
IT is no secret that
FREMONT and many of his friends think that he has been unfairly treated by the
Administration ; that his opportunities of military distinction have been
systematically baffled; and whatever explanation the General himself might
give, it is very sure that his ardent personal friends attribute his treatment
to political jealousy. It is the same feeling that the immediate friends of
General McCLELLAN indulge in regard to him, and it is a question which will
never be settled to the satisfaction of either side.
We observe that some Union men,
who, like the German-American Club of the Seventeenth Ward in this city, are
resolved that under no circumstances will they support
re-election, are disposed to erect the name of FREMONT as a candidate in any
case; and a journal, recently established, attacks the Government with the fury
of the most malignant Copperhead writers, and plainly points to FREMONT as its
candidate, while the chuckling Copperheads warmly applaud the " FREMONT
Now FREMONT has been a charmed
name because it stood for unswerving fidelity to Liberty and Union ; and to
suggest that it could be used as a rallying cry to divide Union men, after they
had deliberately decided who was to bear their standard, is insulting both to
the General and to his friends. No candidate has any prescriptive right to the
nomination. The field is clear; and it is of transcendent importance that the
question of fitness shall be thoroughly discussed in every case. That General
FREMONT may choose to try the popular confidence in his name so far as to await
the action of the Convention is very probable. But that a man, who has been so
truly respected, and who, when he was a candidate, was so faithfully supported
by as earnest a body of men as ever voted, will permit his name to be used in
any manner what ever as a menace—that he will allow any considerable number of
persons to declare either that the national Convention must nominate him or some
compromise candidate with his assent, or that he will take the field as an inde-
pendent candidate, we no more
believe than we should believe any other imputation upon his perfect patriotism.
IF the spring campaign is
successful, nothing can prevent Mr. LINCOLN'S renomination. If it fails, nothing
can secure it, " says some one.
That may be true ; but it
certainly does not follow that the change, however inevitable, will be
Governor SEYMOUR is a specimen of the kind of candidate that comes
in upon a tide of general disgust and reaction. The President will
unquestionably be held responsible for any disaster which may occur, and the
public indignation may very probably demand that his place be filled by another.
That he ought to be held officially responsible we are very far from saying or
thinking. But we ask the gentlemen who deprecate any discussion of the
Presidential question, and who declare that Mr. LINCOLN'S renomination is
impossible in case of defeat, whom they propose as his successor? Nothing is so
uncertain as the event of a battle, and the fortune of war is a proverb. In the
spring campaign we may suffer reverses. In that case there must be a new
President, say the gentlemen. But is it worth while to take one at hazard? If
the case occurs we shall need, more than ever, exactly the right man. Are we to
know him by instinct ? If so, who is he ? " Oh ! there are twenty men." Yes—and
so there are twenty hundred. That is no answer—it is merely a poor evasion.
If the text be true, no man who
urges it is justified in refraining from the fullest discussion of the
Presidential question. For the contingency suggested is not impossible. Should
it arise, do we prefer to find ourselves at a loss among the twenty or twenty
hundred ? Is it not rather the part of trusty and loyal and prudent citizens to
consider most carefully what hand is fittest to take the helm if the storm shall
wash the pilot overboard?
THERE is something very pathetic
and utterly futile in the periodical spasms of New York indignation with
overcrowded cars and omnibuses. " Brave !" said a caustic critic as he saw
people crowding into an omnibus when it was full. " Brave, indeed! Why, we
Americans haven't pluck enough to keep the thirteenth man out of an omnibus."
But we are trying very hard to do it. We have actually sent a petition to the
Legislature asking them to do what we don't dare to. Let us hope the Legislature
will reply that if twelve New Yorkers can not keep out the thirteenth from an
omnibus, or if twenty in a car choose submit to the tyranny of the twenty-first,
they may submit and thank themselves for their own discomfort.
You say that it is very
disagreeable to exclude a person. So it is. But it is no less disagreeable to be
excluded. And when half New York finds that it can not get into the cars and
omnibuses, New York will have sufficient accommodation of the kind. "My dear,"
says the chastising parent, " I punish you for your good. One day you will thank
me for making you smart." So let us say to the thirteenth and twenty-first : "
Gentlemen, you can't get in. But one day, when you are amply provided, you will
heartily thank us." The advantage is, that every citizen in turn is the luckless
thirteenth or twenty-first, so that we shall all know how pleasant it is.
But even if the Legislature
passes the most solemn laws our own abominable good-nature will prevent their
enforcement. We shall squeeze and crowd, and feel sure that the thirteenth man
is going to see his dying parent, or will miss a boat, or will encounter some
frightful calamity if we do not suffer him to get in. So in he will get, and sit
upon the knees, and grind the feet of his chicken-hearted fellow-citizens, and
then jump off at his street and run crowing in to his wife, " My dear, nobody
dared to keep me out of the car!"
A NEW THING.
THE British officers took their
race-horses to the Peninsula, and General NAPIER complained bitterly that the
luxury of the officers in the East was destroying the army. The Yankees make war
after their own fashion, and carry their luxuries to the field. A gentleman was
lately surprised by a letter inviting him to speak before the Lecture
Association of the First Division, Second Corps, of the Army of the Potomac !
This is the kind of army which the Union sends forth to fight its battles. These
are the soldiers who carry brains as well as bullets to subdue the rebellion.
This is the spirit and the strength against which hate and desperate fury are
powerless. It has taken some time for the Yankee genius to uncoil itself: But an
army which so calmly addresses itself to its work as to construct the Lecture
Lyceum in camp, serves notice upon the world that it has gone out to stay until
it is victorious. It has under its placid exterior the grim earnestness of the
exhorting Ironsides of Cromwell.
A FRIENDLY letter from the
head-quarters of the Army of the Cumberland is full of the most alluring
temptations to a visit :
"About the 1st of April we can
show you green grass, and smelling buds, and other evidences of spring, wherever
our soldiers have left enough vegetation to sprout, or to recognize at all those
blind motions of the Spring,' which come so much earlier here than in your
"You will find this army in an
admirable condition as to spirits, hopefulness, and a determination to finish
the war under the guidance of good Father Abraham,' as the most ardent lover of
his country can desire."
No man can doubt that the great
armies of the West and East, by which the campaign is to be decided, are the
most powerful and effective we have ever had in the field. The brave men among
the Tennessee mountains know that the hopes and prayers of the sea-coast follow
them ; and the host in the shadow of the Blue Ridge are ready for their work.
The Blue Ridge will reply to the Alleghanies, as "Jura answers from her misty
shroud Back to the joyous Alps, that
call to her aloud."
GENERAL CUSTER'S RAID.
IN another part of this paper
there are illustrations of
General CUSTER'S late diversion in favor of
KILPATRICK, and an account of it so simple and graphic that we are glad to call
attention to it as a model of intelligible description.
HARPER FOR APRIL.
IN the April number of the
Magazine begins the story, " Denis Duval," left unfinished by
THACKERAY when he
died. DICKENS has said what he thinks of it, and we have no doubt that the
public will confirm his verdict. Its interest is profound and pathetic, as the
great fragment of his literary life, while from the opening of the work his step
is so light and free that the reader understands how fully he was himself and
enjoying his work. In the same number there is a most genial and sensible plea
for the children, enforcing the text that they are to be treated as children;
or, as the old grandfather is quoted as saying, "Babies ort to be brooded jest
like chickens." Another paper, "My Escape from Richmond," is a timely and
graphic passage of military experience.
In the June number, which begins
the volume, the new tale of CHARLES DICKENS will open. We advise our readers to
begin it with the beginning, and to secure the regular reading by a prompt
subscription to the new volume.
THE NEW PICTURES.
THE Sanitary Fair will have a
picture-gallery in which there will be admirable works, and the National Academy
will open its doors in April. Meanwhile there are pictures to be seen worthy of
the most careful study. Three we have in mind at this moment—KENSETT'S " Lake
George," BIERSTADT'S "Rocky Mountains," and THORNDIKE'S "Wayside Inn." They are
all very American and very different. Mr. THORNDIKE'S picture, indeed, is now in
Boston, but there is a charming photograph of it at GOUPIL'S, one of the truest
and most exquisite American domestic winter bits that we remember. The landscape
is muffled in snow. The huge comfortable gable-roofed inn sits broad and snug
upon the ground, tucked in by the drifts, and unconsciously suggesting a homely
comfort and spaciousness which belong to the ideal country tavern. The barn and
hay-stack near by—chapel of ease to the Yankee temple of comfort—the exquisite
tracery of the boughs of the trees against the gray sky—the rustic bridge—the
gentle hill—the brook, and the boy fishing through the ice—all compose a picture
so interesting and characteristic that the poet's publishers will greatly err if
they do not make it the vignette of all future editions of the poem.
Mr. KENSETT'S " Lake George" is
now upon exhibition at GOUPIL'S. It was painted for a noted connoisseur, who
understands that one of the chief duties of those who are able to buy pictures
is to let others see them. It is a thoroughly characteristic work, representing
upon a large scale a certain aspect of American climate and scenery which no
painter so exquisitely renders. The view is down the lake toward Caldwell. The
fore-ground is a wood, traversed by a small stream which falls in a lovely
cascade upon its way to enter the lake ; and the gleam of the lake, broken by
the islands, dotted with sails, and walled by the mountains upon the other side,
complete the picture. The firm and faithful treatment of the single tree-trunks
in the foreground, the perfect quality of the rocks, the clear shadows and the
sunny greenness of the forest aisle, are points of artistic excellence which
will escape no one. But the exquisite gradation, the delicate airy perspective,
the depth of the sky, the fidelity of the mountain forms, are not less
remarkable. Yet above them all, and in them all, and through them all, are the
spirit and splendor of Nature in the serene triumph of her summer repose. And it
is Nature in her American costume. It is not Italy, nor the Orient, nor
Switzerland, nor England, nor the Tropics ; it is the clear-breathed, soft-skied
America of every day and of common experience. It is pure landscape also.
Nothing wins the mind from its brooding delight in the tranquil scene. Fancy
follows the bounding deer which the eye does not see. It lingers around the
invisible camps. It muses upon the dusky departing race. It remembers the gay
Sabbath flotilla of ABERCROMBIE'S army. It hears ETHAN ALLEN thundering in the
name of the Continental Congress. Or, still receding, glides along the calm with
the canoe of the Jesuit explorers. Thus it has the highest charm of landscape
art, the undisturbed presentation of the scene leading on to all its historical
and imaginative associations.
From this most thoughtful and
masterly work the transition is not difficult to BIERSTADT''S " Rocky
Mountains," which is no less thoroughly American. It is a scene upon the head
waters of the Colorado at the foot of the great range of the Wind River
Mountains, which fill time depth of the canvas, pouring the rills and streams
from their sides and glaciers into the calm lake, upon whose broad green meadow,
which forms the fore-ground of the picture, is an Indian camp. It is purely au
American scene, and from the faithful and elaborate delineation of (Next