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But, while it was impossible to concede the asserted right of Secession — that is, of State withdrawal at pleasure from the Union--(for, even if the Constitution is to be regarded as nothing more than a compact, it is evident — as Mr. Jefferson observed,1 in speaking of our old Articles of Confederation: “When two parties make a compact, there results to each the power of compelling the other to execute it” )--it is not impossible so to expound and apply the original, organic, fundamental right of a people to form and modify their political institutions, as to justify the Free States in consenting to the withdrawal from the Union of the Slave, provided it could be made to appear that such was the deliberate, intelligent, unconstrained desire of the great body of their people. And the South had been so systematically, so outrageously, deluded by demagogues on both sides of the Slave line, with regard to the nature and special importance of the Union to the North--it being habitually represented as an immense boon conferred on the Free States by the Slave, whose withdrawal would whelm us all in bankruptcy and ruin — that it might do something toward allaying the Southern inflammation to have it distinctly and plainly set forth that the North had no desire to enforce upon the South the maintenance of an abhorred, detested Union. Accordingly — the second day after Mr. Lincoln's election had been assured at the polls — the following leading article appeared2 in The New York Tribune:

going to go.--The people of the United States have indicated, according to the forms prescribed by the Constitution, their desire that Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, shill be their next President, and Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, their Vice-President. A very large plurality of the popular vote has been cast for them, and a decided majority of Electors chosen, who will undoubtedly vote for and elect them on the first Wednesday in December next. The electoral votes will be formally sealed up and forwarded to Washington, there to be opened and counted, on a given day in February next, in the presence of both Houses of Congress; and it will then be the duty of Mr. John C. Breckinridge, as President of the Senate, to declare Lincoln and Hamlin duly elected President and Vice-President of these United States.

Some people do not like this, as is very natural. Dogberry discovered, a good while ago, that “ When two ride a horse, one must ride behind.” That is not generally deemed the preferable seat; but the rule remains unaffected by that circumstance. We know how to sympathize with the defeated; for

1 Letter to Col. Carrington, April 4, 1787.

2 November 9, 1860.

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