William the Conqueror.
in these days of general and wide-spread modesty, we dote upon impudence.
We are pleased to see or to hear from a man who, in disregard of all the decencies of public life, approaches the administration
with a front of brass, and with lingual abilities of the curliest serpentine order.
We have said many things sharp and severe of Mr. William Walker
, the distinguished pirate.
If our memory serves us, we have held him up to the public as one who, by all right and law, should be suspended from that plant so different from all other trees, and which bears a fruit not yet classed by the horticulturists.
Not to put too fine a point upon it, we have thought that if it were right to hang anybody, it would be eminently fit and proper to hang William Walker
We beg pardon of our readers for this mistake.
We have not understood William.
We have not, we confess, made proper allowance for that sublimity of insolence which amounts to a virtue; for that panoply of “niggerism” which enables any pro-slavery adventurer to place himself at once in confidential relations with the Government
; for that catholic principle which permits any discontented Yankee to transmogrify himself into a Spaniard, a Hottentot, or a Nicaraguan.
Our political estimate was too narrow.
We should have understood that the reigning monarch of that empire-so extensive and powerful — was by no means required to keep himself permanently squatted upon his august throne; but that he might give himself leave of absence from the Imperial
domain whenever pleasant or convenient; that he might run away, and so live to fight another battle; that his departures from the realm, albeit sometimes compelled by the ingratitude of his subjects, and an occasional bayonet probe a posteriori
, urged nothing
against his legitimacy.
Be it known to all people, then, that the present and perpetual Executive of the Republic
is now a wanderer and an exile; but, whether with or without the pomps of power and the modes, forms and shows of authority, that he is still Governor, and is not, by reason of his truancy from his dominion lessened in his authority by the ninth part of a hair.
Are we not right in admiring the stern persistence which can maintain itself under such circumstances?
The king is dead — long live the king!
Sweet William has written to the lion.
— at this moment, unless dead, our Secretary of State
--upon terms of equality, and as one great functionary should write to another.
William appears to consider himself a modern Themistocles
, quite entitled to what he calls “the rights
He does not happen to have a Secretary of State
near him just about this time, and thus he is compelled to discard etiquette and to communicate in propria persona
. He is quite pained to learn that Mr. Cass
intends to prevent his return, with his “companions,” to his own Principality of Nicaragua
He is still more hurt to learn that there is a rumor that he designs to violate the Neutrality Laws
— popularly supposed in the least well-informed parts of the United States
to be still in existence.
Now, in spite of his palaver, it is necessary to bring this marauding William up with a round turn; to tell him that, politically, he is a humbug, and that, practically, he is a felon.
Any disreputable corsair
can write to Mr. Cass
Gentlemen of a burglarious turn of mind, sent to a seclusion from this wicked world, may open a correspondence with Mr. Secretary
Pens, ink, paper, three-penny stamps are among the commonest and cheapest of conveniences.
William may write and so may we. It is in our power to send word to the Secretary
that we have subjugated Orange county
, in the State of New York
, and that hereafter in that bailiwick the jurisdiction of the United States
will not be acknowledged.
Perhaps our letter, however, would not be telegraphed to the morning papers.
Therein William has the advantage of us. Beaten, expelled, exiled, ruined, dethroned, he can still write to the Government
of the United States
So much for having re-established Slavery where it had been abolished.
The “Republic of Nicaragua
,” according to William, is “the Republic
Although the last vestige of his authority has disappeared in that State--although he is neither sent for nor wished for — he still assumes to be the Governor
of that ilk. How shall we with ordinary patience treat this bit of brazen assumption?
If the people of Nicaragua
are his admirers, and passionately desire to have him once more ruling over them, why, in the name of all that is reasonable, does not William at once rush into the arms of his affectionate subjects?
Why does he need “companions?”
And why, if he cannot give up the delights of friendship, should the “companions” carry rifles, knapsacks, bayonets and cartridge-boxes?
Why should they not sail in peaceful galleys
Why should not these “jolly companions” march into Leon
waving olive-branches or white flags?
Your country calls you, William, and you should not disregard her entreaties.
Go and win!
But why write to the Secretary of State
Nothing strikes us more forcibly than the eminent consideration with which Walker
regards the Neutrality Laws
of this country.
He, the exiled Nicaraguan
, is the guest of the United States
; and can he possibly disregard its statutes?
We do not know.
We are afraid he will, if he can. Before he became a Nicaraguan, he was, if our memory serves us, a Lower Californian and a Sonorian.
He repels with “scorn,” and also with “indignation,” the idea that he intends any violation of our laws.
But how does he propose to go to Nicaragua
Solitary and alone?
Unarmed? We fancy not. He can only depart for that country from these shores with an armed retinue; and we do not place much confidence in the assertions of thieves that they intend to purloin upon quite legal and Christian principles.
The crime of which Walker
professes such an abhorrence, he committed, as all the world knows, in 1853.
And he will commit it again, if he is allowed the opportunity.
Let us have no more nonsense!
November 10, 18517.