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Saulsbury's Sentiments.

Mr. Scandal in the play declares that Astrology is a most valuable science, because, according Albertus Magnus, “it teaches to consider the causation of causes in the causes of things.” We suspect that Mr. Senator Saulsbury must devote his leisure hours to occult learning; for last Thursday his givings-out were extremely weighty and oracular; and if he could but have kept his temper, which we are sorry to say he lost in the most unphilosophical manner, his utterances would have been prodigiously solemn. Every gentleman in this free and enlightened country is at liberty to reason badly, should he chance to have a propensity for bad reasoning; but when a Senator comes back from the Christmas holidays in a condition of complete obfuscation, we are apt to think that the wassail-bowl has been too much for his everyday intellectuals.

In descanting upon the “causes of things,” Mr. Saulsbury thus enlightens the universe: “The raid of John Brown, the Liberty Bills, or the election of Abraham Lincoln, were not the causes of this war, but the assertion of the right to abolish Slavery and the evidence of such a purpose.” As a specimen of [335] assertion perfectly naked and therefore unusually cool, we do not believe that this can be excelled. It is indeed curious. This Union Senator Saulsbury, who is n't a Rebel, who has n't been sworn into the Confederacy, who still abides after a certain fashion, and in profession at least, by the Constitution, feels it to be his duty to go mousing about for a plausible palliation of public crime, and discovers nothing for his purpose better than what we are obliged to brand as a bit of outrageous falsehood.

Why the Senator is deeper in the secrets of Rebellion than the Rebels themselves. He knows better than they do, why they bolted and why they are fighting and bleeding and dying. For if ever men gave a clear reason for pursuing a particular course, the Seceders have assigned “the election of Abraham Lincoln” as an all-sufficient defence of their folly and sin. They waited for the result of the Presidential canvass, and because it was not to their mind, they betook themselves to the heroic remedy of treason. It is not pretended — no man in his senses will pretend, that if Breckenridge had been elected, even South Carolina would have refused to acquiesce. The truth is, that Mr. Senator Saulsbury does not see, in his volunteer defense of the Rebels, that in ingeniously making out a case for them, he proves too much either for their patriotism, or their honesty or their sincerity. It is cruel to take John Brown out of their mouths. It is unfriendly to deprive them of their pet grievances — the Liberty Bills. It is ungenerous to deny that the election of Lincoln [336] generated Secession. Take away these causes, and why the Rebellion at all? Saulsbury says it was “because of the assertion of the right to abolish Slavery.” Saulsbury may say so, but the Seceders don't say so, and never have said so. The right to abolish slavery!--who has ever claimed it and when? and where? It will not do to bring one mere guess to bolster up another mere guess, for guesses are not evidences in Courts of Justice, nor should Mr. Saulsbury offer them as such in the Senate of the United States.

No newspaper that supported Mr. Lincoln--no public man who canvassed for him — no Republican, who as a Republican voted for him — expressed the least intention of abolishing Slavery as legally established. You may search files, you may hunt up speeches, you may unearth long-buried electioneering documents, but you cannot find there, nor in the official Resolutions and Addresses of the Republican party, any expression of any unconstitutional desire or intention — you cannot find it, for the simple reason that it is not there! There were indeed a few Immediate and Unconditional Abolitionists at the North, but as every intelligent Seceder knows, they were not Republicans, and they did not vote for Abraham Lincoln for the all-sufficient reason that they never voted at all. As a mere matter of fact, we believe that if the Seceding States had quietly acquiesced in Mr. Lincoln's election, they would have immeasurably strengthened their favorite institution. It is now only in peril because their outrageous conduct [337] has driven the President to do what, when he assumed office, he had no intention of doing at all. We suppose that we understand the reason of Senator Saulsbury's diatribe. Now that it is necessary to hunt up ammunition against the Administration, it is found convenient to say, that Slavery must not be interfered with, because the Rebels are in arms to prevent such interference and the result of it must be hopelessness of conciliation. The Proclamation, Saulsbury tells us, is “brutum fulmen” --it is nothing, and will amount to nothing — it is ludicrously inefficient and absurdly impotent — and yet — for here Saulsbury hoists himself over the other horn of his dilemma — and yet, this “brutum fulmen,” this ludicrous, inefficient, absurd and impotent thing, is to have the most extraordinary effects — it is to intensify the Rebel wrath and confirm the Rebel hate — is to make re-union simply impossible. A very remarkable effect for such a ridiculous document! Are the Rebels such asses that they allow themselves to be thrown into convulsions of rage by a little bit of printed paper with no more virtue in it than there is in an old almanac? Why should they be so angry at a policy which is not to free a single “nigger,” and which has its beginning and end in the President's library?

If we get at the condition of the Rebel mind with any accuracy from a careful perusal of Jefferson Davis's speeches, it is certain that, for the present, it has no leaning towards compromises and does n't pant to be conciliated. It hears of the victories of [338] its Northern Democratic friends with infinite nonchalance. It does n't vouchsafe a “Thank you!,” to any of its volunteer Knights in the loyal States. It laughs at Saulsbury and with great justice, since it is not given to any mortal to sit upon two stools at the same time. No human being can gaze with profound respect upon a Union Senator with Secession principles. The late Democratic victories which cost so much money, and hard swearing, and sinfully persuasive speeches, and general and unblushing self-stultification, are regarded by the rebels with a really cruel contempt. Gov. Seymour may be ready to fall weeping upon the neck of Jefferson Davis, but Davis is sensitive about the neck and begs leave to decline the proffered embraces. After all conceivable negotiations and tender diplomacy, we come back again to dry knocks at last, and one of the driest of these, if we may credit Saulsbury, is the Emancipation Proclamation.

January 14, 1863.

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