shame, for the madness of her degenerate children.
The first flash of artillery kindled anew a flame of patriotic devotion to country, which will burn with a pure and constant glow when the lamp of mortal existence shall pale and flicker in death.
Its first reverberations upon the air, aroused a slumbering love of Constitution and of Union, and of the cherished emblem of all, the Stars and Stripes, which will not again seek repose until the roar of hostile guns shall be silenced.
It startled to their feet, as if by a common impulse, twenty millions of freemen, to guard the citadel of their faith from destruction, as war was driving his ebon car upon his remorseless mission.
This civil intestine war is one of the most fearful and ferocious that ever desolated earth; and its authors will be cursed, when the atrocities of Bajazet and Tamerlane, and the Khans of Tartary and India
, and other despoilers of the earth shall be forgotten.
It is a war between and among brethren.
Those whose eyes should have beamed in friendship now gleam in war; those who close in the death-struggle upon the battle-field, were children of the same household and nurtured at the same gathering place of affection; baptized at the same font, and confirmed at the same chancel:
They grew in beauty, side by side,
They filled one house with glee;
* * * * * *
Whose voices mingled as they prayed
Round the same parent knee.
But, while we express deep humiliation for the depravity of our kind, and are shocked and sickened at a spectacle so revolting, we should not abandon the dear old mansion to the flames, even though kindled by brethren, who should have watched over it with us, and guarded it from harm.
And, while we should not raise our hand to shed a brother's blood, we may turn aside his insane blow, aimed at the heart of the venerated mother of all. And, if a great power of Europe
is disposed to sympathize with rebellion, and believes this Government and this people can be driven by the menace of foreign and domestic forces combined, to avoid the curses of war, let her try the experiment.
But when they come, to save time and travel, let them bring with them a duly executed quitclaim to the Union
for such portions of the North American Continent
as they have not surrendered to it in former conflicts, for they will have occasion for just such an instrument, whenever their impertinent interference is manifested practically in our domestic affairs.
Conspicuous in this strange passage of the new world's history is the secession of Texas
A State with extended territories, and the right to form four more States from them without restriction, south of the old Missouri line,--a State requiring the protection of the Federal Government
to guard it from marauding savages and other hostile bands — a State which was never wronged by a Northern State, nor by the Government
of the Union
, in theory or in practice.
This State was the last Southern State gathered under the flag of the Union
--admitted in 1845, more as a Southern than a Northern measure; admitted, too, under peculiar circumstances, after a most memorable struggle, and in the highest branch of the National Legislature, by a single vote.
Sir John of Hynford, 'twas my blade,
That knighthood on thy shoulder laid;
For this good deed, permit me then,
A word to these misguided men.
Not to those who would seek to maintain but to those who labor to destroy the Union
You have widely mistaken both the temper and the purpose of the great body of people of the Free States
in the present crisis.
In this unnatural struggle, which your leaders have forced upon them, they seek only to uphold and maintain, and preserve from destruction a Government which is a common inheritance, and in the preservation of which you are equally interested.
They seek not to despoil your States, not to disturb your internal relations, but to preserve the Union
which shelters and protects all, and vindicate the Constitution
, which is especially your only defence from aggression — is both your sword and shield.
They war not upon your peculiar system of domestic servitude, nor will they, but they admonish you in a spirit of kindness that, during this brief struggle, its friends and advocates have been its worst enemies, and have furnished arguments against it which will weaken its foundations, when the denunciation of its most persistent Anti-Slavery foes are forgotten forever.
You arraign the people of the free States for rallying around the Government
of the Union
, of which a few months since you were members, and sustained it yourselves, and which, at the time of your alleged secession, had experienced no change beyond one of political administrations.
You rebuke those who stood with you through good and evil report, in defence of the Constitution
and all its guarantees, in its dark days of trial, when menaced only by opinion, for sustaining it, now, when it is assailed by armed forces, and insist that, after having defended that sacred instrument so long and so faithfully, they are bound now to assist in its overthrow!--a system of law, logic, and morality peculiar to disunion ethics alone.
You repudiate the Constitution
with no sufficient cause of revolution, for all the alleged causes of grievance as stated were insufficient to justify it, and proclaimed a dissolution of the Union
, defied and dishonored its flag, and menaced the Government
by denouncing actual war. You seized by violence its fortresses, armories, ships, mints, custom-houses, navy-yards, and other property, to which you had not even a pretence of right, and threatened to take possession of the National Capital
You bombarded Fort Sumter
, a fortress of the United States
, garrisoned as a peace establishment only, and in a state of starvation, from