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[291] one of self-defence, will be pursued on the part of the Government in the paternal spirit in which a father seeks to reclaim his erring off-spring. No conquest, no effusion of blood is sought. In sorrow, not in anger, the prayer of all is, that the end may be reached without loss of life or waste of property. Among the most powerful instrumentalities, relied on for re-establishing the authority of the Government, is that of the Union sentiment of the South, sustained by a liberated press. It is now trodden to the earth under a reign of terrorism which has no parallel but in the worst days of the French Revolution. The presence of the Government will enable it to rebound and look its oppressors in the face. At present we are assured that, in the seceded States, no man expresses an opinion opposed to the revolution but at the hazard of his life and property. The only light which is admitted into political discussion is that which flashes from the sword or gleams from glistening bayonets. A few days since, one of the United States Senators from Virginia published a manifesto, in which he announces, with oracular solemnity and severity, that all citizens who would not vote for secession, but were in favor of the Union--not should or ought to — but “must leave the State.” These words have in them decidedly the crack of the overseer's whip. The Senator evidently treats Virginia as a great negro quarter, in which the lash is the appropriate emblem of authority, and the only argument he will condescend to use. However the freemen of other parts of the State may abase themselves under the exercise of this insolent and prescriptive tyranny, should the Senator, with this scourge of slaves, endeavor to drive the people of Western Virginia from their homes, I will only say, in the language of the narrative of Gilpin's ride:
“May I be there to see.”

It would certainly prove a deeply interesting spectacle.

It is true that before this deliverance of the popular mind of the South from the threatenings and alarm which have subdued it can be accomplished, the remorseless agitators who have made this revolution, and now hold its reins, must be discarded alike from the public confidence and the public service. The country in its agony is feeling their power, and we well understand how difficult will be the task of overthrowing the ascendency they have secured. But the Union men of the South--believed to be in the majority of every seceded State, except, perhaps, South Carolina--aided by the presence of the Government, will be fully equal to the emergency. Let these agitators perish, politically, if need be, by scores;

“A breath can unmake them, as a breath has made.”

but destroy this Republic and--
“Where is that Promethean heat,
That can its light relume?”

Once entombed, when will the Angel of the Resurrection descend to the portals of its sepulchre? There is not a voice which comes to us from the cemetery of nations that does not answer: “Never, never!” Amid the torments of perturbed existence, we may have glimpes of rest and of freedom as the maniac has glimpses of reason between the paroxysms of his madness, but we shall attain to neither national dignity nor national repose. We shall be a mass of jarring, warring, fragmentary States, enfeebled and demoralized, without power at home, or respectability abroad, and, like the republics of Mexico and South America, we will drift away on a shoreless and ensanguined sea of civil commotion, from which, if the teachings of history are to be trusted, we shall be finally rescued by the iron hand of some military wrecker, who will coin the shattered elements of our greatness and of our strength into a diadem and a throne. Said M. Fould, the great French statesman to an American citizen, a few weeks since: “Your Republic is dead, and it is probably the last the world will ever see. You will have a reign of terrorism, and after that two or three monarchies.” All this may be verified, should this revolution succeed.

Let us then twine each thread of the glorious tissue of our country's flag about our heart-strings, and looking upon our homes and catching the spirit that breathes upon us from the battle-fields of our fathers, let us resolve that, come weal or woe, we will in life and in death, now and forever, stand by the Stars and Stripes. They have floated over our cradles, let it be our prayer and our struggle that they shall float over our graves. They have been unfurled from the snows of Canada to the plains of New Orleans, and to the halls of the Montezumas, and amid the solitudes of every sea; and everywhere, as the luminous symbol of resistless and beneficent power, they have led the brave and the free to victory and to glory. It has been my fortune to look upon this flag in foreign lands and amid the gloom of an oriental despotism, and right well do I know, by contrast, how bright are its stars, and how sublime are its inspirations! If this banner, the emblem for us of all that is grand in human history, and of all that is transporting in human hope, is to be sacrificed on the altars of a Satanic ambition, and thus disappear forever amid the night and tempest of revolution, then will I feel — and who shall estimate the desolation of that feeling?--that the sun has indeed been stricken from the sky of our lives, and that henceforth we shall be wanderers and outcasts, with nought but the bread of sorrow and of penury for our lips, and with hands ever outstretched in feebleness and supplication, on which, in any hour, a military tyrant may rivet the fetters of a despairing bondage. May God in his infinite mercy save you and me, and the land we so much love, from the doom of such a degradation.

No contest so momentous as this has arisen

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