's speech that was not spoken, has, of course, been printed by him, just as the play-wrights of the last century, when managers were inexorable, exclaimed: “Zounds, I'll print it.”
It is in this way that Brother Ben, when not permitted to bore the House
, with malice prepense, attempts to bore the nation.
We have read, at least a part of the document — that part in which the tender Benjamin
assures us that “were he certain that, in a military sense, this war would prove successful, nevertheless he would oppose it, for with the resisting power of the South
would vanish every hope of their existence as equal and contented members of one household.”
There is a fine paternal aroma about this remark, which reminds one of that title which has been conferred, by the general consent of mankind, upon Benjamin, by reason of his relation to Fernando, and which has suggested to the world, not Cain
and Abel, but rather, with an entire reverse of the Scripture story, two most amicable and complying Cains.
This will account for Benjamin's pathetic allusion to “equal and contented members of one household.”
Brother Wood's proposition seems to be, that we should lay down our arms and disperse.
With the disappearance of our armies he anticipates several tons of hot coals heaped upon the head of Jefferson Davis
, who will, upon the receipt of the intelligence, burst into tears, repent of all his sins, receive a new heart and take an express train for Washington
, that he may throw himself at the feet of President Lincoln
, who will “take him up tenderly,” kiss him upon each cheek, and having assured him of his entire forgiveness, will call for two cocktails of reconciliation and two cigars of peace.
Fine figment of the brain of Benjamin Wood
Shall we mortals ever see you realized, exquisitely embraced and enchantingly reduced to a dead certainty?
There may be chances
of it. So there may be chances of drawing $100,000 in one of Frater Ben's truly lucky lotteries.
But the chances in one case are about as good as the chances in the other.
At any rate we had better not disband the Army, until Ben has been dispatched to Richmond
, there to wave the olive-branch in our behalf.
When we hear the result of his apostolic mission, it will be time enough to consider the question of disbanding.
Benjamin is far different from the rest of us, being, we suppose, of a finer philosophical spirit.
When we are fortunate enough to pick up a victory, the fraternal Wood
By a parity of reason, when we are so unfortunate as to encounter defeat and disaster, we suppose that he rejoices exceedingly.
We have fondly thought that the success of the Federal
arms would bring back peace and prosperity, but our prophetic member, his visual orbs being beautifully purged, is convinced that nothing more ruinous could happen to us than the most refulgent triumphs.
He dreads in the recesses of his soul, “the destruction of the resisting powers of the South
We may take Charleston
That would be “a resisting power.”
Everybody else in these parts would be glad, but Benjamin is sorry.
There is one chance the less of “a contented household.”
may be reduced.
Really, under such circumstances, one would, as a matter of curiosity, like to have Benjamin's estimate of the moral, political, and religious effect of the Battle of Bull Run
With his views he should consider it a blessing to this community.
Thinking as he does, he should go down every
night upon his blessed knees and pray that we may be routed, horse, foot and batteries, by sea and land.
He is opposed to success upon principle — that is, to our
success — and the inevitable sequitur is that he desires the success of the Confederate Army.
Otherwise a plain man does not well see why he should be so timorous of “the destruction of the resisting powers of the South
But let us try the logical Wood
's philosophy by the rule of contraries.
It is very clear to our mind, that the dissolution of our armies would not be followed by a flood of millennial glories.
The next thing to disbanding is a defeat.
We will suppose that the Davis
forces have smitten — hip and thigh — the Federal
forces, and that, after the mortifying agonies of capitulation, we have arrived at the delicate delights of negotiation.
The surrender would be morally equivalent to Ben's proposed withdrawal of our army — and yet does he suppose that the Southern
diplomatists would at once commiserate our wretched condition, and themselves first propose a return?
Would the happy and contented house — hold then and there be with due ceremony organized?
may believe, but we do n't.
By “the destruction of the resisting powers of the South
,” this astute and benevolent gentleman can only mean, as he evidently does, the destruction of Rebels--and if they were every one of them destroyed, by the sword, the axe, the gallows or ratsbane, the chances of Wood
's Happy Family would be considerably multiplied.
The object of the Government
if we understand it, is to enforce the legal and most righteous jurisdiction of the Constitution
over certain territories of great extent and value.
If we conquer, the Moguls of the Rebellion
will, if they can, levant to European
, or South American parts; and those who cannot get away, must be dealt with according to law. This will finish the matter neatly, and it will be finished quite as neatly, though not quite so pleasantly, if we are worsted.
But Mr. Ben Wood
's peace would settle nothing.
Instead of the Felicitous Family
of his dulcet dreams — rats, mice, rabbits, and terriers in one cage — we should only go back to ancient riots and quondam rows.
The voice of the bully would again be heard in the Capitol
--the old system of bluster would be resumed — the Slaveholder would come back infinitely more insolent and more awfully outrageous — in conjunction with the rejuvenated Democracy of the North
, the Man-Owners would.
begin the game of nominating and electing dough-face or slaveholding Presidents
— and after another period of labor dire and weary woe, we should, ere long, find ourselves again compelled to fight, even if a Slaveholding or Doughface President
should not sell us out completely to the Man-Owners.
This is not the kind of Happy Family to which we look forward with unutterable yearnings.
So we think upon the whole, that it will be just as well not to act upon Ben's brilliant suggestions.
March 13, 1863.