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[447] that the State of Virginia was unanimously resolved not to acquiesce in the usurpation of that power, as had been declared by unanimous joint resolution of her present Legislature, and by the sovereign Convention now sitting, according to the traditionary principles of the State; that if Virginia remained in the Union, the other border States would follow her example, while, if she were driven out, they would probably go with her, and the whole South would be united in irreconcilable hostility to his. Government; and that the friends of peace desired to have a guarantee that his policy towards the seven seceded States would be pacific, and would regard their rights as States; without which guarantee the Convention could not keep the people in the Union,. even if they would.

Lincoln now showed very plainly that this view was distasteful to him. He intimated that the people of the South were not in. earnest in all this. He said that in Washington he was assured that all the resolutions and speeches and declarations of this tenor from the South were but a “game of brag,” intended to intimidate the administration party, the ordinary and hollow expedient of politicians; that, in short, when the Government showed its hand, there would “be nothing in it but talk.” Colonel Baldwin assured him solemnly that such advisers fatally misunderstood the South, and especially Virginia, and that upon the relinquishment or adoption of the policy of violent coercion, peace or a dreadful war would inevitably turn. Lincoln's native good sense, with Colonel Baldwin's evident sincerity, seemed now to open his eyes to this truth. He slid off the edge of the bed, and began to stalk in his awkward manner across the chamber, in great excitement and perplexity. He clutched his shaggy hair, as though he would jerk out handfuls by the roots; he frowned and contorted his features,. exclaiming: “I ought to have known this sooner! You are too late, sir, too late! Why did you not come here four days ago, and tell me all this?” turning almost fiercely upon Colonel Baldwin. He replied: “Why, Mr. President, you did not ask our advice. Besides, as soon as we received permission to tender it, I came by the first train, as fast as steam would bring me.” “Yes, but you are too late, I tell you, too late!” Colonel Baldwin understood this as a clear intimation that the policy of coercion was determined on, and that within the last four days. He said that he therefore felt impelled, by a solemn sense of duty to his country,. to make a final effort for impressing Lincoln with the truth.

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