Изображения страниц

however the Southerns may legislate, even as a slavery question, the probthe thoughtful inquirer is not turned lem is not so simple of solution as the aside by those“ fundamental laws" Noels and Beechers imagine. of the Confederacy which Federal There is that in the title of Mr. writers, like Mr. Noel, are so fond of Williams's book which carries us parading. The three principal are beyond the superficiality and feeblethese--and we state them lest it ness of the work on which our preshould be supposed that we wished vious observations have proceeded. to hide any portion of the case :- “The Rise and Fall of the Model “No law denying or impairing the Republic” is a fair subject now for right of property in negro slaves the thoughtful essayist, since “fall” shall be passed. The citizens of each it certainly has done, whatever the state shall be entitled to all privi- irate Mr. Cobden, and the only less. leges and immunities of citizens in querulous Mr. Bright, may have to the several States, and shall have the say on the matter. Into whatever right of transit and sojourn in any form of government the residual States State of this Confederacy, with their ultimately sink, the Republic is gone, slaves and other property; and the the "model" is broken, and Europe right of property in such slaves can no longer be desired to look westshall not be thereby impaired. --In ward for the perfection of political all such territory (all new territory), institutions. Mr. Williams is the the institution of negro slavery, as author of a previous work_published it now exists in the Confederate during 1863, entitled “The South States, shall be recognised and pro- Vindicated.” It was not a very satistected by Congress and by the factory book. It had too many of territorial governments, and the in- the faults of Mr. Noel's “Rebellion in habitants of the several Confederate America.” It seemed to have been, States and territories shall have the to use a builder's phrase, run up in a right to take to such territory any hurry. The writer, besides, bore himslaves lawfully held by them in any self less as a judge than as a retained of the States or territories of the Con- advocate. The volume before us, federate States.” But, persons who however, is better worthy of his pen. claim for Mr. Lincoln's proclamation Mr. Williams served the old American the merit of having practically an- Government as its minister to Turkey, nulled the proslave portions of the and though removed to a distance so old Union Constitution, unfairly deny immense from localstrifes and hatreds, to the South the credit of the changes seems to have imbibed as thorough a wrought by events, and sure to follow dislike to the Yankee as any resident upon the attempt to govern the Confe- in the Carolinas. He sets out certain derate States as a separate nation in propositions, however, as the points time of peace. If Mr. Lincoln issued he hopes to prove, which show him his emancipation edict to surround still true to Republicanism. He does himself with popularity and promote not think the Union broke down in enlistment, the Southern President consequence of the interual difficulties stated thus broadly the principles we caused by slavery. Slavery, as he have quoted, in order to rally the supposes, rather tended to preserve white population of the South the it. Nor can he think that the “free more enthusiastically round the pal- institutions” of the country had any metto flag; and he, too, as the war thing to do with the catastrophe. has made progress, has been obliged One of the titles of his second chapter to shift his ground. He has accepted is, “The fact of the rupture of the the services of negroes in semi-military Union does not prove the inefficiency employments, necessity forcing him of Republican Government." But, so far in the direction of emancipation. strangely enough, Mr. Williams proNor do we see the least reason for ceeds to show that to this very cause, doubting that, rather than yield to the and to none other, the failure was "hated Yankee,” the Southerns would owing. The Presidential election, he declare all their slaves free, either to says, was “the Pandora's box, which secure assistance in the field, or to attracted and collected within itself procure the intervention of foreign the various elements of ill, only to powers in their favour. Enough has expand, develop, and then scatter been said, therefore, to show that them broadcast through the land.?

[ocr errors]


The plan to be followed in providing than Mr. Williams's language with a chief executive head for the go- regard to the demoralizing influence vernment was long a subject of dis- of the quadrennial plebiscite. cussion with the fathers of the American Union.”. Much diversity ries inflicted was the moral influence of

"Greater even than the material injuof opinion prevailed regarding it, these elections upon the popular mind. A and the method finally adopted, of majority, without reference to qualifications electing the President by a popular or integrity, or honesty, was endowed with vote, was much objected to by the the prerogative of conferring supreme sagest of those great men. It is re- power. The people were taught to accept markable, at the same time, that the the expression of the will of the majority evil which they feared would arise as the will of Omnipotence. The voice of from such a mode of choice has not

the people, thus announced, was the voice

of God. Constitutional Jimitations were resulted, while a worse has arisen in the President might become corrupted politicians and place-seekers, more or less place of it. They apprehended that considered as unwise and unjust restrictions

upon the prevailing popular sentiment; and by the possession of power, and en- boldly or covertly, announced the doctrine, deavour to secure himself permanently that the will of the people, as expressed by in the office of which the Constitution a majority, or even scruples of conscience, gave him but a brief tenure. No in regard to certain constitutional obligaAmerican President, however, has tions, justified a violation of the oaths of attempted a Napoleonian coup d'etat. office which the elected official was required On the other hand, what the "fa- to take on entering upon the discharge of

his duties." thers” never dreamt of happened, The struggles for the presidential

This expresses in brief what all chair contaminated the whole body observers of American politics have of political aspirants, and affected

seen illustrated in the party conflicts injuriously the character of all public of that country during the last quarmen. In course of time, obscurity ter of a century at least, but it also and insignificance “ became a surer effectually overturns the writer's Repassport to the presidency than the publican position, and warns him, as highest abilities of statesmanship.” a Southern, to guard against similar “Many feared that the President evils by a political organization in might perpetuate his power by the the Confederate States tending more employment of the appliances of towards the old monarchical instituoffice; yet none of the wise men who tions, which reject the perilous noframed the Constitution had any ap- velty of universal suffrage. Mr. Wilprehension that, before the lapse of liams's description of the Party Conhalf a century, the re-election of an ventions, and of the manner in which executive chief, after one term of ser- they choose their presidential candivice, would be rendered impossible date, is graphic and even amusing: by the determined opposition of pre- He reports or composes a typical viously disappointed or expectant congratulatory address (spoken by the office-seekers. But, however the friend of the nominee after everymembers of the Constitutional Con- thing has been arranged), in which vention may have thought, the elec- the direction of the references is tion of the President by a direct vote easily understood. The speaker dwells of the people was the essential prin- upon a characteristic incident of the ciple of Republicanism, and would be early life of the embryo President, contended for as such to-morrow. So amid peals of cheering :

• He was that the author cannot admit the distinguished among all the stalwart evils resulting from thence, and at youths of his native country as an the same time allege that Republican- unrivalled rail-splitter,”ism has not failed. It is true, that the original plan

“Our next President (loud cheers)-he conteinplated an Electoral College; who, in the providence of Heaven, and by but it became a nullity, because it the fiat of the American people, will be was simply inconsistent with the Re- shortly called to fill the most exalted sta

tion ever occupied by man on the green publican idea. In very few years, surface of God's footstool (tumultuous and the choice fell into the hands of the long-continued applause), having been inpeople directly, and has so continued. formed that a poor widow, residing in his Nothing could be stronger, in fact, neighbourhood, had met with the heavy

[ocr errors]

misfortune of having had her place burned that has been given of the conflict, as to the ground, shouldered his axe, and merely the “burning of the dirtiest marching straight into the forest, set to chimney that was ever set on fire." work, and scarcely paused to take a long

Before taking leave of Mr. Williams, breath, until he had actually split two it is right to mention that he has a hundred rails, which he forth with caused to be conveyed to the afflicted lady (im- plan for reconciling democratic instimense sensation).

tutions with stability and purity of I will not attempt, added the orator, to describe the joy and administration. It may be expressed gratitude which penetrated the bosom of in a sort of apothegm-“Always a that bereaved and almost heart-broken President, but never an election." He lady, when the generous and noble action would fix the presidential term at was made known to her. But the monarch, eight, “or better, ten years,” and prowho vainly seeks beneath his golden canopy vide that the Senate should supply a feverish rest, to fit him for the joyless the Presidents according to the seniopageantry of the morrow, might well envy the peaceful chamber and the happy dreamsrity of their

service in that body, the which we may suppose welcomed our future oldest to be President,

when a vacancy President to his humble couch upon the occurred, by virtue of his position, and night of that memorable day.

the next oldest Vice-President. The What a sensation will it create among United States' Senate has certainly the monarchs and their courtiers, as well been_the single relieving feature of as among the downtrodden millions of the the Republican system ; but as the Old World, when they receive the momen- adoption of Mr. Williams's suggestion tous intelligence, that he, who will soon be would be an abridgment of the poputhe greatest and the loftiest of all-earthly lar power, and in fact the introducrulers

, has been selected from amongst the tion, so far, of the principles of a sturdy, hard-fisted wood.choppers of the backwoods of the Far West? (great ap- posal would not be listened to for a

monarchical constitution, the proplause)."

moment-at all events, in the NorthThis extract from a demagogue's ern States. The public virtue which eulogy of the four years' sovereign would lead a people to amend their that now is, constitutes an instructive political arrangements, by curtailing episode in the coinplete proof given the influence of the mob, and deprivby the late American Minister at the ing demagogues of the opportunity of Court of the Sultan, that the Model using their party organizations for Republic contained, from the first, the personal advantage, does not exist seeds of a mortal disease. Would it in America. The writer with whom not, then, be the merest fanaticism to we are dealing is not unaware, indeed, impute the dissolution to slavery alone, of the strength of the influences in forgetting the enormous abuses of favour of what would be called a presidential power , the corrupt dis- " free and popular election,” as con

” pensation of patronage, and the de- trasted with his reactionary old-world moralization produced by the chang- project. ing of officials, down even to the minor grades, when the chair passed “The irritations," he says, “engendered from the occupancy of one party's by the distribution of the offices upon the favourite to the nominee of another ? commencement of every new presidential The truth is, to use a Scriptural figure, of the system of President-making, which

term were the natural and inevitable results the whole heart was sick ; from the crown of the head to the sole of the during the later years of the existence of the

Union became the general practice. The foot, in American society, there was

same cause created the necessity for the an universal putrescence, when the expulsion from office of all those who crisis arose. Had there been virtue, held over by appointment of the preability, and experience among the ceding President. These were deplorable public men of the country, her trial evils; but under the operation of such a might have been surmounted without system there was no remedy. The rigid bloodshed or disorganization ; but in rules of party warfare, which announced as the working of republican 'institu- leading ideas 'rotation in office,' and 'to tions, weakness had been generated

the victors belong the spoils,' were popular and not strength. Things had been just in the proportion which the outs’ bore getting worse year by year, and there thousand to one -- silenced every murmur of

to the “ins,' that being something like a is really less of cynicism than may be opposition. The 'ins' were in fact obliged supposed in the summary description to be silent witnesses of all the preparations

[ocr errors]

for their own execution. They had obtained discussion as there is an opportunity their own places by the application of the of entering upon in this paper. It is, party guillotine to those who had preceded however, worthy of the closest attenthem, and after all, there was an appearance tion. The facts and figures stated by of fairness in the arrangement which satis- him-we are bound to say with imfied the consciences, while it kept open the avenues of hope to multitudes who were

partiality-dissipate a number of looking with longing eyes to the enjoyment current fallacies, among which we of perquisites which had been long sought have no hesitation in classing the for, but which, somehow or other, had always dream of a cotton supply from the eluded their grasp.”

East Indies sufficient to render Lan

cashire independent of the Southern We are not entirely unfamiliar in States of America. The writer rethese countries with the depraving minds the English public that India, effect of “place-hunting" upon party unlike the Southern Confederacy, is a politicians; but let any one consider manufacturing as well as a producing what would be the result to the public country, and that a considerable promorals, and the honour and safety of portion of our supplies from thence the nation, if, when the Liberals went have been a lessening of the stocks on out, and the Conservatives came in, band, under the operation of high or vice verså, every petty official were prices. In 1861, out of 6,000,000 changed, down to the tide-waiter, or bales of cotton said to have been prosubordinate clerk, the country being duced in India (the statement is very governed in periods of four years doubtful, and two million bales would, alternately, by these and by those, probably, be a more correct estimate), each set of plunderers anxious only to we got under 1,000,000 bales, the make the most of his tenure of spolia- rest having been manufactured, nottion. Those who hope to profit by withstanding the large importation this system are not likely to seek to into India of British manfacured change it; so we may take it as certain goods. that the plan of choosing a President “ To the minds of many persons (says by seniority from the Senate will Mr. M'Henry) it is quite clear that the never be adopted, unless the Ameri- people of England must consent to abandon cans become more convinced of the the cotton trade, or again turn their eyes failure of the Republican system than westward for supplies. An argument has we have any reason to believe even recently been brought forward, however, the most thoughtful among them are.

that Great Britain might be better off with

out the industrial pursuits of Lancashire, The history of their presidential cam

and other districts having similar occupapaigns has many ludicrous and painful tions, or, at least

, that their advantage to episodes, the issue turning commonly the country has been greatly exaggerated ; upon no political or social principle, and this theory its advocates attempt to and the victory being not unfre- substantiate by referring to the large quently won by an artful calumny Governmental returns since the trade beagainst the opposing party, circulated came diminished. They omit to take into in the nick of time through every consideration that the people of this counjournal in the country, often by the try held three years' supply of American free employment of money.

cotton, and goods and yarns made thereAt the best of times the considera- from, at home and abroad, which had been

"laid in' at a rate of under sevenpence per tions presented to the popular mind pound, and that, for the last two years

, that were most successful when most ex

accumulation has been dealt out' to meet citing, and fanaticism and violent the demand at unprecedented profits--thus passions became the instruments of constituting an equivalent to a most gipresidential ambition. But the people gantic monopoly. "It will be remembered loved to have it so. They even de- that, in April, May, and June, 1861, many lighted in the turmoil : and at this of the exporters of Manchester goods were moment a large section of them are compelled to suspend payment by reason of

their inability to dispose of their shipments, keeping up their hearts with the consolatory thought that Abraham Lin. except at ruinous sacrifices, while others

were on the verge of bankruptcy. The coln's term is coming to an end, and

"time' granted by the creditors of the that it may be their turn next to riot houses that had failed gave them an opporand grow fat in Washington.

tunity to take advantage of the rise in Mr. M'Henry's book on the Cotton prices, and they sold out at handsome proTrade is too large a subject for such fits. They thereby were not only able to


[ocr errors]

resume payment, but found themselves in

men of any large class of the Southern possession of a large surplus; whereas, had ladies, they are only less formidable the Southern crop of 1861–3,500,000 enemies than their lords. After readbales--been let loose, such a further reduc. ing the vitriolic sentences of Mrs. tion in the value of their merchandize would Greenhow, when she is in her highest have ensued as to have caused their hoper vein of angry denunciation of the less downfall, and an universal distress, of a different character from that which is Yankees, we can easily see our way existing, would have prevailed in all the to endorse the statement that “the manufacturing districts, sensibly affecting Confederacy owes as much to its fethe whole commercial and financial inte- male as to its male population.” rests of the kingdom.”

Among other passages in the book

that we may perhaps venture to say In 1860, the consumption of cotton are particularly feminine, there is one in machine goods, throughout the in which Mrs. Lincoln is “photoworld, was estimated at 2,400,000,000 graphed.” According to the Southern lbs., and of this, the raw material was limner, she is short, broad, flat contributed by the Southern States figure,” with sallow, mottled comof America to the extent of plexion, light gray eyes, scant eye1,650,000,000 lbs. These figures, lashes, and thin pinched lips. She though only an approximation, are wears a “scornful expression,” it apsufficient proof that India cannot be pears, since she became Presidentess expected to supply to England the loss --for Madame Lincoln does really of the Southern fields-a fact which exercise, according to Mrs. Greenhas an important bearing, both upon how, considerable power in the State. the political and the labour question Among the lively pencillings of the in America.

Southern censor there is also a very We are glad to turn from these womanish and waspish account of discussions on the drier order of facts the same lady's personal appearance on and questions, cursory as they are, to the occasion of the presentation which dip into two other books, just pub- took place when “Old Ahe” came lished, in one of which, at least, much into ottice. The ladies of the foreign interesting matter is to be found. ministers having arrived en grand Our reference is not to Mrs. Green- tenue at the White House, were how's narrative of her imprisonment ushered rather unceremoniously into at Washington during the “ the first one of the reception rooms, where, year of abolition rule," but to Colonel when speculation had wellnigh exFremantle's sketches and pleasing hausted itself, the wife of the first story of his "Three Months' Tour in citizen appeared—"a small, dowdythe Southern States.” Mrs. Green- looking woman, with artificial flowers how may be dismissed with little in her hair.” The lady who writes more than the stateinent that she is thus tartly of her Yankee sister has rather a strongminded lady, of the given us her own portrait as a frontismost violent Southern sympathies, piece, and we may be allowed, prowho, at the period of the origin of bably, so far to imitate her style as to the war, resided at Washington, and add, that her own beauty is not by employed herself in obtaining, by all any means of a character to astound the means within her


informa- Here is a story we think we saw tion, military and otherwise, calcula- something of before, but it loses noted to be of use to the Southern lead- thing, of course, as told by Mrs. Green

She appears to have been suc- how: cessful to such a degree as to make herself an object of special dislike to “ Mrs. Lincoln asserts with great energy the Republican Government. She her right to a share of the distribution of the helped to spoil the Northern plan executive patronage She had received as for conducting the first battle of Bull's a present, from a man named Lammon, a Run by communicating it to General magnificent carriage and horses, promising Beauregard, and seems to have found him in return the marshalship of the

district no difficulty in inducing Federal offi- in the gift of the Executive. Mr. Lincoln

of Columbia, one of the most lucrative offices cers to betray to her the most impor- had, however, determined to bestow it upon tant secrets. Her book is of the most another applicant, who had also paid his “sensational” description through- douceur [it is but just to say, that the wriout, and if the author be a fair speci- ter offers no proof of these assertions, which



« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »