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Loyalty and light.

the attentive reader will already have noticed that the Union party in Maryland is also an Emancipation party, and regards with a certain complacency the project of the President for the abolition of Slavery. Day by day we see more and more clearly that the life of a blundering and bad institution has been set upon this desperate cast, and that the hazard of the die is against it. With a fatuity which seems to us to be perfectly wonderful, and much as if the gods, determined to destroy, had first made mad, we find the admirers of the Slave-system coupling it now and forever with treason, surrounding it by degrading associations, and making it, in the mind of the whole [261] country, responsible for the perils which environ us. It has been the architect of its own ruin. It has been very cunning in its own overthrow. Owing every moment of its existence to the coercions of positive law, and existing in spite of its numerous violations of natural right, it has been the first to demolish the bulwarks which surrounded it, and to cast contempt upon the statute-book which was its only charter. Wise men said that it was perilous to the liberties of the land, and foolish men have been kind enough to demonstrate the truth of the proposition. It has simply succeeded in achieving a bad character at home and abroad.

The Maryland Unionists, while indulging in their little harmless fling at the “Abolitionists,” explicitly admit that Slavery is now “injurious to the political and material interests'” of the South. We do not see how any Union Slaveholder can think otherwise; because, logically, the Rebellion has forced him into precisely this position, and will keep him there, until he disowns his fealty to the Constitution. They insist, these fighting slaveholders, with their hands at his throat and their halters dangling over his head, that if he is the friend of the Union and the Laws, he must be the foe of that institution which is the corner-stone and, for that matter, all the other stones of the Confederacy. They give him no choice. They will hear of no compromise. They declare him, if a law-abiding man, to be the bitter antagonist of Slavery, and they compel him, if lie would not stultify himself, to turn Emancipationist in self-defence. [262] It is in this sagacious way, with a sublime scorn of all common statesmanship, that they make and keep friends. No wonder that in many of the Slave States men who see their fortunes and happiness all risked, infinitely against their inclinations, in this insane adventure, are quite willing to surrender their own slaveholding to save themselves from the slaveholding of their neighbors.

Owners of negroes, we suppose, like other human beings, may be naturally divided into fools and wise men. We remember only one really able defender of Slavery in the abstract. Mr. Calhoun brought a gigantic intellect to the service of error, and did for a patent political mistake all that great intellectual powers and an iron will could do for it. But when he died he left no successor. Puny public men babbled weak parodies of his reasoning, or more safely ensconced themselves behind his ipse dixit. We regard with what we believe to be a just contempt the lame and lamentable perversions of Scripture with which Pro-Slavery Doctors of Divinity have benumbed the minds and hearts of their hearers; for the inexorable logic of facts has silenced their sanctified prattle for ever.

The men who now defend Slavery are quite of another class-bloated brawlers of the bar-rooms who blaspheme and quote the Bible in one drunken breath — half-witted whites who if they could possibly have an opinion, would sell it for a pint of grog-lazy women who shrink from domestic toil as from a daily degradation — bull-dog overseers bestialized to the [263] low level of their vocation-wholesale and retail dealers in human flesh-these are the passionate, voluble, unreasoning and bigoted advocates of Slavery as of something intrinsically beautiful. The day of their ascendency in Southern society is passing away in storm and blood. They still crawl about in the slime and smear of their system, as hideous monsters crept to and fro over the earth half created. They have taken the sword, and when, in fulfillment of an eternal law, they have perished by the sword, there will be no new hybrids to fill their places in the regenerated Republic. They will disappear, and with them that semi-barbarous system of espionage and intimidation which has made Slavery a thing exempt from question and discussion. They have themselves taken off the taboo, and there will be none left weak enough to do the discredited idol reverence.

On the other hand, shaveholders of quite another stamp, men not utterly besotted, men of homely common sense, of thought and of prudence, will begin to speak in behalf of the simplest laws of morality and political morality. They will say: whatever else Slavery may be worth, it is not worth this--the eternal wrangle, the daily disquietude, the temptation to political crime, the shameful disregard of political covenants which it provokes, and the violence which it perpetually stimulates — the uncertainty with which it embarrasses all the operations of commerce — the degradation of the employed and the ceaseless anxiety of the employer — the debauchery of mind, heart and body to which it subjects our youth — the unsexing [264] of our women, the emasculation of our men, and the heathenization of our churches-no, Slavery is not worth this fearful price! To this conclusion the thoughtful and intelligent slaveholder will be forced by his interests, his conscience, his reason, his affections and his patriotism.

These are natural conclusions from the theory which we take for granted,that the Rebellion will be crushed and the Union maintained. You cannot conquer the treasonous slaveholders without conquering the cause in behalf of which they are embattled. When once the work begins there will be no going backward. Emancipate, upon principle, one thousand slaves, and you have virtually emancipated one hundred thousand. It is the first step that is costly and fearful. However small the wedge, when once it has entered it will inevitably overthrow this imposing monument of human folly, crime, outrage and suffering. Make Maryland a free state, as sooner or later it must be, or make Missouri a free State, as it speedily will be, and the criminal compact, the conspiracy against civilization, which has broken our peace, will be dissolved for ever, and even the next generation will wonder why we so long suffered ourselves to grope and stumble when the broad and bright road of righteousness invited us to walk in it.

June 23, 1862.

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