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Jefferson the gentleman.

there is one point upon which our rebellious citizens mean that we shall be well informed. They claim, like ladies' maids and gentlemen's own gentlemen, a monopoly of good breeding; and they prove their polish by continually advertising it. Their newspapers, presided over by the Chesterfields of ink and and shears, are forever saying: [339]

“We are refined and chivalrous, and honorable, and knightly, and dignified, and urbane, and accomplished, and elegant, and fascinating and high-toned; while the Yankees are coarse and degraded, and mean, and false, and vulgar, and rustic, and ignorant.”

Indeed, these models of humanity lack nothing but modesty, which has heretofore, absurdly we suppose, been deemed an element of the perfect gentleman. There are those who might think that refinement to be a little dubious which its claimants are obliged to vindicate so often in the public prints. The best bred men have heretofore been content to let the world find out their merits, without obtruding them, with such an outcry, upon the general attention; but we cannot condemn the Rebel Bayards in this particular, since the world has been so culpably slow in acknowledging their superiority.

The arrival of one living English Marquis and a genuine English Colonel in Richmond, has afforded The Whig of that sweet city a charming opportunity of showing that it knows a gentleman when it sees one, and of making quite a little triumph of its sagacity. It rejoices that the Marquis of Hartington has visited Richmond, “for he will have an opportunity of contrasting the dignified manners of Southern gentlemen with the coarse vulgarity of the Executive Head of the Northern States.” We hope the Marquis was not disappointed. We remember that Bull-Run Russell paid his respects to a certain Southern Governor, and was astonished to find him with [340] his mouth full of tobacco, his heels upon the table, and his general appearance, rather than else, the reverse of dignified. Still, that was in the Provinces, so to speak, and not in refined Richmond. But what did they do with poor Letcher, the unpresentable, during the visit of the Marquis? Did they keep him hushed up in a garret, under lock and key, with the restraining solace of pipe and bottle? We ask the question, because a great many Secession papers have been troubled about Letcher, and have printed leading articles to prove his vulgarity. We trust that they did n't let him go loose during the sojourn of these great English visitors.

Well, we don't envy the elegance of our Southern friends; we rather admire it. It comes of having such a perfect model of propriety at the helm of their affairs as Jefferson Davis is. It is not customary, we believe, for the head of one belligerent power to call the presiding genius of another belligerent power a baboon, as this Davis called Mr. Lincoln in a speech at Mobile. The kings of England have thought terrible things of the kings of France, but they have never styled them monkeys, nor made allusion to wooden shoes and frog soup in their speeches to Parliament. It was Swift, and not the Prime Minister, who had so much to say of Louis Baboon. But the President of the “Confederacy” forestalls the penny-a-liners, and cheats the pamphleteers out of their perquisites; which proves that, if not a gentleman, he is that mysterious next-thing-to-it, sometimes denominated quite A gentleman.

January 16, 1863.

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