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their might against every Federal encroachment which had a tendency to affect them substantially and prejudicially. They did not split hairs, nor make fine points or metaphysical distinctions. Neither did they stickle much for abstractions, nor waste their breath upon mere matters of doctrine or principle. But when the question took a practical shape at any time, and their interests were involved, they always stood up for their interests, or what they supposed to be their interests, like the vigorous and practical people they are. The war did not change them at all in this regard, although it seemed to do so. It was their war. The Federal Government was merely their agent in making it, and when they strengthened Mr. Lincoln's hands they were simply strengthening their own, to do their own work. The despotic powers which Mr. Seward and Mr. Stanton exercised so prodigally, did not shock them at all or make them afraid, because practically, and through those estimable citizens, they wielded the despotism themselves. When the victory was won at last, it was their triumph, and they took the fruits of it. Since the war they have been enjoying those fruits, till there are but very few left, and they have freely supported the Government in exercising, for the oppression of the South, the centralised powers which they allowed for its subjugation. But all this does not prove that they are consolidationists in principle. It only shows that they have found consolidation useful to them for the present, in practice. Whether they will submit to it as readily, if it shall change faces and invade their interests or assail their rights, is quite another question. Between being active and passive, in such matters, there is all the difference imaginable, and Massachusetts may be as clamorous as a jubilee anthem in calling on the nation to suppress Louisiana, without being at all prepared to fall down before the nation, if it should be moved by South Carolina to suppress Massachusetts. Until the experiment shall have been made in some such shape, and we shall have seen that the North is as willing to obey the nation as to govern it, we shall hold to our opinion that nationalism is "adhuc sub judice" in that quarter. The Northern States are wealthy, prosperous and powerful. They may well and naturally favor any system which has made and keeps them so. When the system threatens to make them otherwise, and not until then, shall we know whether they love themselves or the system best, or indeed love the system. for itself, at all.
With the Southern States the case is directly the reverse. dearest to them as political communities has all gone, and with it have gone not only power and wealth, but almost the means of subsistence. Their struggle with centralism is over. It has beaten them; and as to them, whether it be right or wrong, it is law and constitution. There is nothing left for them but to make the best of it. They have had the worst, and if there is any good in it, their temptation is to find it out and take the benefit of it, by making friends of the mammon of unrighteousness. State government-local self-government -so attractive to them in theory, and so cherished a part of the traditions which they cherished most and fought for so earnestly and bravely, is now only a scourge and a degradation. It means to them, practically, to-day, the domination of negroes and carpetbaggers. What marvel then that many of their best and wisest men should be tempted to curse it and quit it? It is a grievous blunder, and not less a sin, to yield to this temptation. It is a surrender of principle and of the future to a present, temporary evil. But the temptation nevertheless is a sore one. Men can hardly help feeling in such a crisis that it is better to be, if you please, the subjects of a great nation of white men, than to be citizens of a smaller community and be ruled and robbed by a squad of negroes and adventurers. A moment's reflection might satisfy them, it is true, with the fate of Louisiana before them, that the rule of the white majority of the nation may be, none the less, the rule of the local blackamoors and the migratory knaves who write their ballots. But reflection is
not altogether the mistress of such a situation. Its evil counsellors are suffering, resentment, impatience and despair. Men must be pardoned if at such a time they snatch at what is nearest and cling to what seems strongest. They think of to-day, and not much of the deluge which may roll in hereafter, through the floodgates to-day may open. It is thus, as we have said, that large numbers of representative Southern men are already turning their eyes for relief towards the very system which has brought them to need it. And that system has attractions which are far from mean or insubstantial. The nation is rich and growing richer; the South is poor and getting poorer. The South needs development; she requires railways, canals and public improvements of all sorts, which she has neither money nor credit to pay for, and without which she must languish and may die. The nation desires to build all these, and is willing to pay for them, in order that she may govern and control them, and make them part of the machinery for her consolidation and perpetuation. All the national harpies are hungering and thirsting after the power and plunder which such gigantic works and expenditures would place within their grasp. Crédits Mobiliers of unparalleled splendor and attractiveness rise up at the thought before the eyes of innocent and patriotic Congressmen. Vice-Presidents-to-come rejoice at silver-weddings close at hand, which will make their wives the happiest of women, or dream of unexpected donations, which will teach their simple-hearted mothers how much their "boys" are appreciated by the people. Then too the worthy citizens far West look forward, with covetous hope, to the days of cheap transit and transportation, when railway-kings and combinations shall bully them no more, and their beloved chief magistrate and his subordinates shall patriotically deliver them from high tolls and bondage. In all these natural appetites and desires the South finds her opportunity and her seduction, and every motive that can debauch the purposes and force the will of a broken and helpless people impels them to yield and to embrace it. That done, she no longer stands alone. She has the West with her; she has the Government with her. She has the new sensation of riding and driving a little, instead of being ridden and driven a great deal. And who shall pay? Not she, for she has nothing to pay with. Who loses? Not she, for she has nothing to lose. It is the North and East that must pay and suffer. They will pay in sacrifices and imposts, and they will lose the influence and the power that mean and bring money. The gigantic and multitudinous corporations of Pennsylvania, New York and New England - the infinite combinations which have put these mighty agencies almost in possession of the South, indeed of the whole country, with the hope and prospect of a long reign and a prosperous must fight or be crippled, if not crushed. The nation which they have built up on the ruins of the Federal Government will be their competitor and rival, and—as political economy is a Christian science will be of necessity their enemy. When the struggle of that rivalry shall begin, then for the first time shall the North and the East discover what centralism and consolidation really mean. Then will they find out the difference between pointing the gun and standing before it; then shall we see whether they have dispensed with the old Constitution and set up the new one, under the influence of their convictions, or of their animosities and their pockets. It will be a strange Nemesis, if the combination of the Southern States, as a unit, with the intrinsic forces of nationalism, political, commercial and predatory, shall be the means of compelling them to show their colors at last.
THE FREEDMAN'S BUREAU-which of us does not recall, with a shudder of disgust, that hideous machinery of mischief-making and corruption, by which, during the sorrowful years that followed 1865, every village and county in the South was racked? The pine-board shanties, foul
with the blended odors of bacon and of Africa; the lounging, vicious groups of debased whites and of debauched blacks that hung about the doors; the Scoundrelism that was always egging on the foolish negroes to insubordination, and the insolence of the blue-coated officials that were lording it over white men's remonstrances: all these horrors of the nasty system are still remembered in the South, though of the Bureau itself few memorials are now left among us, beside the yellow harvest of mulattoes that still tells where the agents of Federal philanthropy sojourned in our borders. Yet the Bureau still has, in its feeble decline, something of its old character. A Bureau general, with the sweet-smelling name of Runkle, was convicted the other day of stealing, and condemned to an imprisonment of four years and a fine of $7000. The amount of the fine shows how well poor Runkle held fast to the traditions of the Bureau.
THE election of Gen. Gordon, by the Legislature of Georgia, to the Senate of the United States, is an event that ought to be greeted with joy by the Southern people. We have seen with delight the most prominent and malicious of our old enemies, like Pomeroy and Colfax, lately dropping, with tainted names, out of the Senate-chamber into well-deserved disgrace. Men as bad as they, perhaps, remain behind; but in seeing a man like our heroic Gordon, doubly strong in the absolute purity of his character and in the noble integrity of his purposes, enter once more that chamber, we feel the hope that, in the South at least, a stand may yet be made against the corruptions of the Government.
SUCCEEDING to the extraordinary storm of general scorn and indignation which burst upon the heads of the Credit Mobilier Congressmen, there seems to be a disposition with a certain part of the public - and who can tell whether it may not come to be the majority?— to heap special honors upon them, as men who have done and suffered well for their country. Mr. Vice-President Wilson has been received with marked applause at a temperance meeting in Baltimore; Mr. Ex-Vice-President Colfax (we like to give these titles in full) has received a certificate of sympathy and approbation from his South Bend constituents; and the Honorable Oakes Ames is to be honored with a public dinner in Massachusetts, though whether it is for bribing members, or for informing on them afterwards, we have not yet learned.
Now as it is better to anticipate, and thus lead, popular sentiment, than to follow it, we have a suggestion to offer. There have been some movements at the North looking to the establishment of an honorary order of knighthood or something like it in this country. Why not commence with these heroes of the Credit Mobilier, and organise them into a sort of "Cincinnati"? Their vigil might be held in the vaults of the U. S. Treasury, with piles of uncounted greenbacks lying around; the ritual of initiation might contain an antiphony of their various public statements and the testimony before the Committee; the badge of the order might be a ribbon of changeable silk, suspending a star of nine points, with the monogram C M M C interlaced, and the motto At mihi plaudo.
"THERE is nothing new under the sun," said a wise man of old. But was there ever, since the sun first shone, a suit like one lately brought, in France, by three lorn widows? During the late war between that country and Prussia, some French soldiers put to death three prisoners. As those who committed the act could not be reached, a considerable number of French citizens were seized and locked up in a church, where they were to remain, without food or drink, until they should select from their number three to be shot in retaliation. It was not until the end of the third day that
the choice was made, and the executions took place. Now that the courts are reëstablished in France, the three widows have sued for damages those who chose their husbands from their own body as victims. The proceedings of that body in making the selections, if we could only know them in detail, would no doubt be intensely interesting. But the minutes have never been published; though it is more than probable that the tribunal before whom the singular suit has been brought will elicit all the facts. Meanwhile, let us imagine as well as we can the outline of those proceedings — their uniqueness at least, to say nothing of their horrors. From the necessity of the case, as we have already seen, they sat with closed doors, and it is quite likely bound themselves to secrecy. Was the dread choice of victims made by lot or by election? Of course the majority decided by which method. It was no doubt one of those rare cases—so long and so vainly hoped for in American politics of the present day - where the office seeks the man, and not the man the office. Then, the candidates once named, what a canvass must have ensued! How hotly contested! It was every man against himself, and the devil take the hindmost. It was a case where a man voted first for his enemy, next for a stranger, and last of all for his friend, never for himself. Who ever heard of such an election? What log-rolling there must have been, what boot-licking, what wild promises, what bribery and corruption, what ballot-box stuffing, what repeating, and last, but not least, what Pinchbacking, and all to keep out of office! The efforts of our most intriguing politicians to keep in office are as nothing in comparison. Perhaps, too, since they were in a church, there was some praying done, a la Col. York when about to spring his trap for that miserable old sinner, Pomeroy. These things went on for three days. By that time, however, hunger and thirst were pinching and goading them to desperation. Nor was there any sleep for their eyelids: here, if anywhere, eternal vigilance was the price of liberty; for if a man fell asleep, he might find, when he woke, that he had been elected and qualified for the dreadful office.
As our rule is to extract whatever comfort we can out of passing events, however horrible they may be, we here give the moral of the above, in so far as it may be supposed to have a moral: If we only had a King William in this country, instead of a King Log, it might be better for us in some respects. If Congress, for example (and an example surely ought to be made of that no longer "honorable body"), were locked up in the Capitol on short rations, or, better still, no rations at all, until they should select a dozen or more from their number for political execution, who can say it would not redound greatly to the honor of our much-robbed country?
THE KANOONGVILLE TRAGEDY.
EM SYKES'S old woman is gone, boys," and as Kentuck, a tall,
gentleman from Connecticut, who combined the duties of magistrate, store-keeper, dentist, and corn-doctor in the rich diggings of
Creek in El Dorado county — with this announcement, a hush almost painful fell upon a noisy crew of miners who were crowding around the big fire-place in the Squire's store on a dark, sleety, snowy day in the mountains of California in 1850.
"What'll the bairn do?" at length exclaimed Scotch Charley, breaking the silence.
"What about our clothes, gentlemen?" squeaked out a shrill voice, from a sharp-featured but fierce-looking and wiry little man who stood near the fire; and then followed a discussion which showed very noble and fine traits of character, and much true manhood from many a rough-looking inmate of the Squire's quarters. The crowd of miners was mostly composed of those who had emigrated to California immediately on the breaking out of the gold fever. Though a heterogeneous mass, culled from almost every walk of life, with many desperate characters among them, yet the earliest settlers of the mines were men of earnestness and energy. They were not addicted to the meaner and lower vices, such as lying and stealing, which after the arrival of the "Sydney ducks" and the immense immigration that