Abbildungen der Seite

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 coelum, 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

Quam quod ridiculos homines facit. 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 supineness 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,


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, ť other day,
To tell you I'd nothin' pertickler to say:
't wuz the day our new nation gut kin' o' stillborn,
So 't wuz my pleasant dooty tacknowledge the

An' I see clearly then, ef I did n't before,
Thet the augur in inauguration means bore.
I need n't tell you thet my messige wuz written

To diffuse correc' notions in France an' Gret Brit

ten, An' agin to impress on the poppylar mind The comfort an' wisdom o’goin' it blind, To say

thet I did n't abate not a hooter O' my faith in a happy an' glorious futur', Ez rich in each soshle an' p'litickle blessin' Ez them thet we now hed the joy o' possessin', With a people united, an' longin' to die For wut we call their country, without askin' why, An' all the gret things we concluded to slope for Ez much within reach now ez ever

to hope for. We've gut all the ellerments, this very hour, Thet make up a fus'-class, self-governin' power: We've a war, an' a debt, an' a flag; an' ef this Ain't to be inderpendunt, why, wut on airth is ? An' nothin' now henders our takin' our station Ez the freest, enlightenedest, civerlized nation, Built up on our bran’-new politickle thesis Thet a Gov'ment's fust right is to tumble to

pieces, — I say

nothin' henders our takin' our place
Ez the very fus’-best o' the whole human race,
A spittin' tobacker ez proud ez you please
On Victory's bes' carpets, or loafin' at ease
In the Tool’ries front-parlor, discussin' affairs
With our heels on the backs o’ Napoleon's new

An' princes a-mixin' our cocktails an' slings,
Excep', wal, excep' jest a very few things,
Sech ez navies an' armies an' wherewith to pay,
An' gittin' our sogers to run t' other way,

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 ex

plained Jes' wut is the totle amount thet we've gained, Ez ef we could maysure stupenjious events By the low Yankee stan'ard o' dollars an' cents : They seem to forgit, thet, sence last year revolved, We've succeeded in gittin' seceshed an' dissolved, An' thet no one can't hope to git thru dissolootion 'thout some kin' o' strain on the best Constitootion. Who asks for a prospec' more flettrin' an' bright, When from here clean to Texas it's all one free

fight? 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' 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

siges, An' to make folks thet knowed us in th' ole state

o' things Think convarsion ez easy ez drinkin' gin-slings?

ye see

It's ne’ssary to take a good confident tone
With the public; but here, jest amongst us, I own

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 reck

oned : For this latter I'm willin' to du wut I can; For the former you 'll hev to consult on a plan, Though our fust want (an' this pint I want your

best views on) Is plausible paper to print I. O. U.s on. Some gennlemen think it would cure all our can

kers In the way o' finance, ef we jes' hanged the bank

ers ; An' I own the proposle 'ud with my views, Ef their lives wuz n't all thet we'd left 'em to lose. Some say thet more confidence might be inspired, Ef we voted our cities an' towns to be fired, A plan thet ’ud suttenly tax our endurance, Coz 't would be our own bills we should git for th’

insurance ; 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 O’ bein' all turned into paytriots by law. Some want we should buy all the cotton an' burn it, On a pledge, when we've gut thru the war, to re

turn it,

square with

« ZurückWeiter »