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I think that nothing will ever give permanent peace and security to this continent but the extirpation of Slavery therefrom, and that the occasion is nigh; but I would do nothing hastily or vindictively, nor presume to jog the elbow of Providence. No desperate measures for me till we are sure that all others are hopeless, -flectere si nequeo SUPEROS, Acheronta movebo. To make Emancipation a reform instead of a revolution is worth a little patience, that we may have the Border States first, and then the non-slaveholders of the Cotton States, with us in principle, a consummation that seems to be nearer than many imagine. Fiat justitia, ruat cœlum, is not to be taken in a literal sense by statesmen, whose problem is to get justice done with as little jar as possible to existing order, which has at least so much of heaven in it that it is not chaos. Our first duty toward our enslaved brother is to educate him, whether he be white or black. The first need of the free black is to elevate himself according to the standard of this material generation. So soon as the Ethiopian goes in his chariot, he will find not only Apostles, but Chief Priests and Scribes and Pharisees willing to ride with him.
Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se
I rejoice in the President's late Message, which at last proclaims the Government on the side of freedom, justice, and sound policy.
As I write, comes the news of our disaster at Hampton Roads. I do not understand the supine
ness which, after fair warning, leaves wood to an unequal conflict with iron. It is not enough merely to have the right on our side, if we stick to the old flint-lock of tradition. I have observed in my parochial experience (haud ignarus mali) that the Devil is prompt to adopt the latest inventions of destructive warfare, and may thus take even such a three-decker as Bishop Butler at an advantage. It is curious, that, as gunpowder made armour useless on shore, so armour is having its revenge by baffling its old enemy at sea; and that, while gunpowder robbed land warfare of nearly all its picturesqueness to give even greater stateliness and sublimity to a sea-fight, armour bids fair to degrade the latter into a squabble between two iron-shelled turtles.
Yours, with esteem and respect,
HOMER WILBUR, A. M.
P. S.-I had wellnigh forgotten to say that the object of this letter is to enclose a communication from the gifted pen of Mr. Biglow.
I SENT you a messige, my friens, t' other day,
't wuz the day our new nation gut kin' o' stillborn, So 't wuz my pleasant dooty t' acknowledge the
An' I see clearly then, ef I did n't before,
To diffuse correc' notions in France an' Gret Brit
An' agin to impress on the poppylar mind
For wut we call their country, without askin' why,
I say nothin' henders our takin' our place
An' princes a-mixin' our cocktails an' slings,
An' not be too over-pertickler in tryin'
To hunt up the very las' ditches to die in.
Ther' are critters so base thet they want it explained
Jes' wut is the totle amount thet we've gained,
Hain't we rescued from Seward the gret leadin' featurs
Thet makes it wuth while to be reasonin' creaturs? Hain't we saved Habus Coppers, improved it in fact,
By suspendin' the Unionists 'stid o' the Act? Ain't the laws free to all? Where on airth else d' ye see
Every freeman improvin' his own rope an' tree? Ain't our piety sech (in our speeches an' messiges) Ez t' astonish ourselves in the bes'-composed pes
An' to make folks thet knowed us in th' ole state o' things
Think convarsion ez easy ez drinkin' gin-slings?
It's ne'ssary to take a good confident tone
Things look blacker 'n thunder. Ther''s no use denyin'
We're clean out o' money, an' 'most out o' lyin' ; Two things a young nation can't mennage without, Ef she wants to look wal at her fust comin' out; For the fust supplies physickle strength, while the second
Gives a morril edvantage thet's hard to be reckoned :
For this latter I'm willin' to du wut I can ;
Is plausible paper to print I. O. U.s on.
Some gennlemen think it would cure all our cankers
In the way o' finance, ef we jes' hanged the bank
An' I own the proposle 'ud square with my views,
But cinders, no metter how sacred we think 'em, Might n't strike furrin minds ez good sources of income,
Nor the people, perhaps, would n't like the eclaw