Page images
PDF
EPUB

their state. The castle alone, closely be- The Pretender turned northward from leaguered, held out like our own Sumter Derby, and on the field of Culloden the in the centre of rebellion. A battle was last hope of the exiled house was forever fought almost beneath the walls of the broken. Yet it would even then seem Scotch capital, and the first great army as if reconstruction had been rendered upon which the English hope depended impossible. The Chevalier escaped to was ignominiously routed. A portion of France, guarded by the fond loyalty of the soldiery fled in disgraceful panic; men and women who defied alike torthose who stood were cut to pieces by ture and temptation. While he lived, or the charges of a fiery valor against which the family remained, the danger contindiscipline seemed powerless. The border ued to threaten England, and the heart fortress of Carlisle was soon after taken. of Scotland to be fevered with a secret Liverpool, not the great commercial port hope. The old conflict of nationalities it now is, but of rising importance, and had been terribly envenomed by the Manchester, were menaced. Even Lon- cruelties of Cumberland and the license don was in dismay. Men like Horace of the conquering troops. There was Walpole wrote to their friends of a re- the same temptation ever lurking at the treat to the garrets of Hanover. The ear of France to whisper new assaults funds fell. The leading minister bad upon England. Ireland was held as a been a man of eminently pacific policy, subjugated province, and was in a state whose chief state-maxim was Quieta non of chronic discontent. To either wing of movere, and was taken by surprise. There the British empire, alliance with, nay, subare many historians and students of his- mission to France, was considered prefertory who now admit, in looking back up- able to remaining in the Union. on those times, that the fate of the estab- Thus far we have been looking at problished government hung upon a thread, abilities from the stand-point of their and that the daring advance of the Pre- times. There is a curious parallelism in tender followed by another victory might the essentials of that conflict with the have converted him into a Possessor and present attempt to elevate King Cotton Defender. Had any one then asked as to the throne of this Republic. It is to the possibilities of a reconstruction of close enough to show that the same great the severed Union, the answer would prob- rules have hitherto governed human acably have been not much unlike the pre- tion with unerring fidelity. The Governdictions of the croakers of to-day who ment displayed at the outset the same clamor for acceptance of the Davisian vacillation ; the people were apparently olive-branch and an acknowledgment of as thoroughly indifferent to the Hanothe fact of Secession. Yet the strength verian cause as the Northern merchants, of numbers, of means, and of public sen- before the fall of Sumter, to the prostiment was altogether on the English side. perity of Lincoln's administration. The Though paralyzed somewhat by the sense Russell of 1745, writing to the French of private treachery, with the feeling that court his views of the public sentiment all branches of the public service were of England and especially of London, harboring men of doubtful loyalty, and probably gave an account of it not very the knowledge that a great body of “sub- dissimilar to that which the Russell of missionists” were ready to acquiesce in 1861 wrote to the London “ Times " afthe course of events, whatever that might ter his first encounter with the feeling of be, the Government prepared for an un

New York. There were doubtless the conditional resistance. From the outset same assurances on the part of confident they treated it as a rebellion, and the ad- partisans that the whole framework of herents of the Stuarts as rebels. Time, the British government would crumble the ablest of generals and wisest of at the first attack. There were, too, the statesmen, happened to be on their side. same extravagant alarms, the same wild

misrepresentations, the same volunteer ed side by side upon the élite of a French enthusiasm on the part of loyal subjects army, with the men of London, the Higha little later on in the history. There landers and Irish. A descendant of was on the part of the rebels the same Cameron of Lochiel fell leading them confidence in the justice of their cause, on. The last spark of Jacobite enthusithe same utter blindness to results, as in asm and Scottish hatred of Englishmen the devotees of Slavery. There was had died out years before. Those who then, as now, an educated and cultivated witnessed the entry of the Chevalier into set of plotters, moved by personal ambi- Edinburgh lived to see the whole nation tion, swaying with almost absolute power devouring with enthusiasm the novel of the minds of an ignorant and passionate “Waverley,”—so entirely had the bitterclass. It was the combat so often begun ness of what had happened “ sixty years in the world, yet so inevitably ending al- since” passed from their minds ! ways in the same way, between misguid We have thus selected two points of ed enthusiasm and the great public con history as the short answer to the cry, viction of the value of order, security, “ You can never reconstruct the Union," and peace.

which History, the impartial judge on the The enmity seemed hopeless; the insur- bench, pronounces to the wranglers at the rection was a smouldering fire, put out in bar below. “Never” is a long word to one corner only to be renewed in anoth- speak, if it be a short one to spell. Events er. If Virginia is a country in which move fast, and the logic of Fate is more a guerrilla resistance can be indefinitely convincing than the arguments of daily prolonged, it is more open than the plains editors. The “ tout arrive en France" of Holland in comparison with the Hig is true of the world in general, so far as lands of that era. Few Lowlanders had relates to isolated circumstances. The ever penetrated them,-scarcely an Eng- very fact that a threatened disruption of lishman. It was supposed that in those our Union has been possible ought to forimpregnable fastnesses an army of hun- bid any one from concluding that recondreds might defy the thousands of the struction, or rather restoration, is impos

At Killiecrankie, Dundee and sible. Twenty years after the Battle of his Highlanders had beaten a well-ap- Culloden, Jacobitism was a dream ; fifty pointed and superior force. Dundee had years after, it was a memory; a century himself been repulsed by a handful of after, it was an antiquarian study. Covenanters at Loudoun Heath through The real question we are to ask conthe strength of their position. Montrose cerning the present rebellion, and the had carried on a partisan war against only one which is of importance, is, What apparently hopeless odds. To overrun is it based upon ? an eternal or an arEngland might be a mad ambition, but bitrary principle? An eternal principle to stand at bay in Scotland was a thing renews itself till it succeeds,- if not in which had been again and again attempt one century, then in another. An arbied with no inconsiderable success. trary principle makes its fierce fight and

The rebellion failed, and there were then is slain, and men bury it as soon as several causes for the failure: Dissen- they can. The Stuarts represented an sions among the rebels, the want of ef- arbitrary principle. They were the imficient aid from France, the want of personation of unconstitutional power. money, and the conviction of a large part Hereditary right they had, and the Hanof the Scots themselves of the value of the overians had not. According to Mr. Union. The rebellion failed, and sullen Thackeray, and according to the strictsubmission to confiscation, military cru est fact, we suspect the Georges were elty, and political proscription followed. no more personally estimable than the

On Sunday, the 18th of June, 1815, Jameses, and they were far less kinglynot quite seventy years after, there charg- mannered. But they were willing to

crown.

govern England according to law, and are State jealousies, and that impatience the Stuarts were determined to govern of control which is inherent in the Southaccording to prerogative.

ern mind, as it was in that of the HighWhat is the present issue? It is a land chieftains. There will be, as events contest, when reduced to its ultimate move on, the same feud developed beterms, between free labor and slavery. tween the Palmetto of Carolina and the It is very true that this secession was Pride-of-China of the Georgian, as then planned before slavery considered itself burned between Glen-Garry of that ilk aggrieved, before abolitionism became a and Vich Ian Vohr. There are rivalries word of war. But the antipathy between of interest quite as fierce as those which the slaveholder and the payer or receiver roused the anti-tariff furor of Mr. Cal. of wages was none the less radical. The houn. Much as Great Britain may corsystems were just as hostile. We admit et the cotton of South Carolina, she will that the South can make out its title of not be disposed to encourage Louisiana legitimacy. It has a slave population it to a competition in sugar with her own must take care of and is bound to take Jamaica. Virginia will hardly brook the care of till somebody can tell what bet- opening of a rival Dahomey which shall ter to do with it. It can show a refined cheapen into unprofitableness her rearing condition of its highest society, which con- of slaves. While fighting is to be done, trasts not unfavorably with the tawdry these questions are in abeyance; but so display and vulgar ostentation of the nou- soon as men come to ask what they are veaux riches whom sudden success in trade fighting for, they revive. There is selfishor invention has made conspicuous at the ness inherent in the very idea of secession. North. There is a fascination about the There is a capital story, we think, in Southern life and character which charms the “Gesta Romanorum," of three thieves those who do not look at it too closely into who have robbed a man of a large sum ardent championship. Even Mr. Rus- of gold. They propose a carouse over sell, so long as he looked into white faces their booty, and one is sent to the town in South Carolina, was fascinated, and to buy wine. While he is gone, the two only when he came to look into black left behind plot to murder him on his refaces along the Mississippi found the dis- turn, so as to have a half instead of a enchantment. The decisive difference is, third to their shares. He, meanwhile, that the North is purposing to settle and coveting the whole, buys poison to put possess this land according to the law of into the wine. They cut his throat and right, and the South according to the law sit down to drinking, which soon finishes of might.

them. It is an admirable illustration of We say, therefore, that the issue of the the probable future of successful secession. contest need not be doubtful. The events Something very like this ruined the cause of it may be very uncertain, but, from of James III., and something not unlike the parallel we have sketched, we think it may be even now damaging the cause we can indicate the four chief causes of of H. S. I. M.,— His Sea-Island Majesty, the Scottish failure as existing in the Cotton the First. present crisis.

THE WANT OF EFFICIENT AID FROM DISSENSIONS AMONG THE REBELS. ABROAD. We are not yet quite out of These of course are hid from us by the the woods, and it behooveth us not to balveil of smoke that rises above Bull Run. loo that we certainly have found the path. But as between the party of advance and But it is more than probable that the the party of defence, between the would- Southern hope of English or French aid be spoilers of New York bank-vaults and has failed. Either nation by itself might Philadelphia mint-coffers, and the more be won over but for the other. He is a prudent who desire “ to be let alone,” bold and a good charioteer who can drive there is already an issue created. There those two steeds in double harness. Ei

ther without the other is simply an addi dwell in perpetual fear of choosing betion of x — 2 to the equation. If by next tween the calaboose and the drill-room November we can get a single cotton

of the Louisiana Zouaves. We have noport open, we shall have settled that Un

ticed that the sympathizers of the North cle Tom and the Duchess of Sutherland are quoting the sentence from Mr. Linmay return to the social cabinet of Great coln's inaugural to this effect, — What Britain, — and that being so, the political is to be gained after fighting? We have cabinet is of small account.

got to negotiate at last, be the war long or With the want of foreign aid comes the short. This is a very potent argument, next want, that of Money. The Emperor as Mr. Lincoln meant it. To men who of Austria has a convenient currency in his must sooner or later negotiate their way dominions, which you can carry in sheets back into the Union, it is a very imporand clip off just what you need. But cross tant consideration how much fighting and a frontier and the very beggars’ dogs turn how much money they can afford before up their noses at the K. K. Schein-Münze. negotiating. To us who cannot at any The Virginian and other Confederate cost afford to stop until they are thus scrip appears to be at par of exchange ready to negotiate, it is only comparativewith Austrian bank-notes, - in fact, of ly a question. He says to the South, as the same worth as that “Brandon Money" a lawyer sure of a judgment and confiof which Sol. Smith once brought away dent of execution to be thereafter satisa hatful from Vicksburg, and was fain to fied might say to his adversary's client, swap it for a box of cigars. The South can “ Don't litigate longer than you can not long hold out under the wastefulness help, for you are only making costs which of war, unless relief come. “With bread must come out of your own pocket.” To and gunpowder one may go anywhere,” bis own client, he says, They may said Napoleon, — but with limited hoe- delay, but they cannot hinder, our judgcake and no gunpowder, even Governor ment.Wise would wisely retreat.

Meanwhile what shall we do with the But most certain of all in the long run root of bitterness, the real cause of anis THE CONVICTION OF THE MEN OF tagonism ? That will do for itself. We THE SOUTH THEMSELVES OF THE VAL- probably cannot do much to help or hinUE OF THE UNION. It is said that the der now.

The
negro

and the white man Union feeling is all gone at the South. That will remain on the old ground, but new may be, and yet the facts on which it was relations must be established between based remain. Feeling is a thing which them. What those shall be will depend comes and goes. The value to the South on many yet undeveloped contingencies. of Federal care, Federal offices, Fed. But when we reconstruct, it will be with eral mail facilities, and the like, is not a North stronger than ever before and a lessened. The weight of direct taxation government too strong for rebellion ever is a marvellous corrector of the exciting to touch it again. Under a free governeffects of rhetoric. It is pleasanter to ment of majorities, such as ours, rebelhave Federal troops line State Street in lion is simply the resistance of a minority. Boston to guard the homeward passage Secession has been acted out to the bitof Onesimus to the longing Philemon than ter end on a small scale ere now in this to have them receiving without a challenge country. Daniel Shays tried it in Masthe fugitive Contrabands. It is pleasant- sachusetts; Thomas Wilson Dorr tried it er to have B. F. Butler, Esq., argue in fa- in Rhode Island. When they had tried vor of the Dred Scott decision than to it sufficiently, they gave in. We rememhave General Butler enforcing the For- ber the Dorr War, and how bitterly the tress Monroe doctrine. Better to look “Algerines," as they were called, were up to a whole galaxy of stars, and to live reviled. We doubt if a remnant of that under a baker's dozen of stripes, than to hostility could be dug up anywhere be

29

give in.

tween Beavertail Light and Woonsocket She had far less binding ties than now Falls. We have no doubt that men who are still living between us and our ree then were on the point of fighting with volted States. A geographical necessieach other fought side by side under ty as vast and potent now links the Gulf Sprague, and fought all the better for of Mexico to the Great Lakes. The having once before faced the possibili- struggle is a more gigantic one, and in ties of real war. When the minority are its fierce convulsions men's minds may satisfied that they must give in, they do well lose their present balance, and men's

hearts their calm courage. We do not purpose to debate now the But everlasting laws are not to be question of the mode of reconstruction. put aside. The tornadoes which sweep the When the seceded States return, though tropic seas seem for a time to reverse the they come back to the old Constitution, course of Nature. The waters become they will come under circumstances de turbid with the sands of the ocean's bed. manding new conditions. The wisdom The air strikes and smites down with a solof legislation will be needed to establish id force. The heaviest stones and beams as rapidly as possible pacification. What of massy buildings fly like feathers on the the circumstances will be none can now blast. Vessels are found far up on the say. But we are better satisfied than land, with the torn stumps of trees drivever of the impracticability of permanent en through their planking. Life and secession. The American Revolution is property are buried in utter ruin. But not a parallel case. The only parallel the storm passes, the sunshine comes back in history that we can now recall is the into the darkened skies, and the blue one we have used so freely in this arti waves sparkle within their ancient limits cle. It is one in which the parallel fails The awful tempest passes away into hischiefly in presenting stronger grounds for tory, — for it is God, and not man, who a permanent disruption. Scotland strug measures the waters in the hollow of His gled against a geographical necessity. She hand, and sends forth and restrains the did so under the influence of far more pow. breath of the blasting of His displeaserful motives than now exist at the South.

ure.

PANIC TERROR.

In those long-gone days when the gods seized him, and bore him to Olympus, of Olympus were in all their glory, and where he showed him, with paternal parwhen those gods were in the habit of tiality, to all the gods, who were so pleasdisturbing the domestic peace of worthy ed with the little monster that they nammen, there was born unto an Arcadian ed him Pan, as evidence that they were nymph a son, for whom no proper father Au delighted with his charming ugliness, could be found. The father was Mercury, - they being, it should seem, as fond of who was a Dieu à bonnes fortunes, and hideous pets as if they had been mere he did not, like some Christian gentle- mortals, and endowed with a liberal share men in similar circumstances, altogether of humanity's bad taste. There are othneglect his boy; for (so goes the story) er accounts of the birth of Pan, one of the child was “such a fright" that his which is, that he was the child of Penelmother was shocked and his nurse ran ope, born while she was waiting for the away (Richard III. did not make a worse return of the crafty Ulysses, and that his first appearance); whereupon Mercury fathers were all the aspirants to her fa

« PreviousContinue »