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Prudent Fugacity.

it is an unquestionable fact, that a considerable prejudice has always prevailed in military circles against running away; and yet it must be said, upon the other side, that when stampeding is more favorable to health and longevity than staying, it is a man's duty to stampede: when the ice breaks, and all the boys fall in, who shall blame the rest for absconding? But coming events cast but sable shadows in the paths of Richmond editors, and they do not see clearly why “Congress” should, just about this time, be in such a hurry-skurry “to disperse.” The preeminent duty to save one's own bacon before attending to the safety of another's will be recognized, we think, by most persons who are in danger of cell or scaffold. The Rebel Congress is, so to speak, the Soul of the Confederacy; and being this, no pent — up Richmond should contract its powers; nor is it fair to ask honorable members to continue to introduce bills, and to conduct them with paternal kindness through the perils of a third reading — much less to soar rhetorically and to spread oratorically-while guns are bellowing outside the walls, and balls are dropping in. It is only now and then that an Archimedes goes on solving a problem in mathematics while Syracuse is sacked and plundered.

The Richmond Examiner thinks “it would be nobler and more courageous” for its Congressmen to remain and share the fate of the city. But, really, we do not see why The Examiner should have expected [239] either “nobility” or “courage.” Here is a handful of men who, without cause or reason, have madly misled their fellow citizens; or for no nobler reason than selfishness, or for no worthier cause than petty, personal ambition. What have these pretenders cone even for the South? Have they advanced its prosperity, agricultural or commercial? Is Slave property safer nor than. it was two years ago? Is the Slave system stronger politically Cogitating these questions, and venturing to imagine ourselves, for the Moment, a patriarch, we feel that hanging at a lamp-post is just what these sham Congressmen should expect. No wonder they run. We do not believe that it is altogether from the troops of the Union that they are running. It is from deceived, beggared, desperate men — the dupes or the victims of the basest private ambition! When the loyalists of the South are once more free to speak and to act, the adventurers who led blind States into the ditch of disunion will hardly boast stridently of their exploits.

Virginia has, indeed, little reason to love the Confederate Congress. It has brought upon her nothing but shame and dishonor, nothing but ruined farms and smoking villages, and wasted harvests; nothing but blockaded ports and commerce crushed; nothing but an inevitable and ignominious division of her territory; nothing but a disreputable reversal of her historical reputation; nothing but mortified pride and lasting reminiscences of disgrace. When the rebellion came, in spite of the threats of little, dirty groups of Richmond politicians, the citizens of Virginia [240] were beginning, in the recesses of their hearts, to hope for the hour which should see them released from the infernal incubus of Slavery. Politicians ranted, and newspapers bullied, and Gov. Wise slavered and stammered, but it was clear to disinterested observers that the Richmond aristocracy would not forever have things their own way; and that, when they were trodden down into their native mud, a speedy development of the immense internal resources of the State would follow.

But selfish South Carolina saw fit to make Virginia the battle-ground of disloyalty and treason, and the Gulf States followed the example of that blustering file-leader. It was upon the head of Virginia that the storm of retribution broke, and is beating still. The Rebel Congress flees to Richmond, and brings upon that city the horrors of siege and of assault; and when the danger becomes imminent, the Rebel Congress takes up again the line of march and migration, and abandons those to whose hospitality it is indebted for its feeble existence. The age is certainly decayed. The Roman Senators, we are told, kept their seats in silent dignity, while the hands of barbarians plucked their beards. The Confederate Senate takes to its heels, without waiting for the first gun. If chivalry long since died, there has been no resurrection of it in Richmond. Orators, bill-mongers, constructors of constitutions, all have “levanted ;” and, as The Richmond Examiner remarks, “have sought for safety on their cotton-plantations,” leaving the men who have housed them and fed them to [241] shift for themselves. Bolted! stampeded! cut! run vanished, like so many Catilines! Abiit, excessit, evasit, erupit! Gone, as The Richmond Wig observes, “in a number of the newest and strongest canal-boats” --“drawn,” as The Whig satirically adds, “by mules of approved sweetness of temper” --“armed with popguns of the longest range” --protected “by a regiment of ladies.” Why, according to this not very mean authority, this Confederate Congress is a Congress of Cowards! Simple Cowards! No more, and no less! A cowardly cream of the cream, to be sure!

Now, we beg leave to call the attention of the reader to the fact, that these charges of poltroonery, made by Rebel editors against Rebel Congressmen, are explicit, plainly spoken, undisguised, and unmistakable in their animus, which is full of animosity. Virginia is to be sacrificed — to be left to the tender mercies of the Union, while the old original Southern Confederacy goes into business upon its own hook! Here is a further evidence, if it were needed, that this is a “Confederacy” without any “Con,” where brothers in arms, associates in the foundation of a new Republic, are already at loggerheads. This beautiful Union is already disunited. This fresh, young nation is already living in a rainy season of pronunciamentos. It will be worse shortly. There can be no permanence in Human Slavery, for it lacks every one of the elements of stability, and there can be no permanence in a Political Government which is founded upon such a sandy fallacy.

May 9, 1862.

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