almost insuperable difficulty of coming to any feasible adjustment upon the existing discontents.
The bulk of politicians, North and South, were bound by a past record and past professions.
They were, in fact, thinking all the while “what Mrs. Grundy
The people themselves understood the cause of the difficulty, and if they but once interfered, the country would be saved.
What was the difficulty now?
He appealed whether it was not that in the hands of ultras, North and South, the slaveholder had been used as a shuttledore, who, for purposes utterly dissimilar, had been banded from South Carolina
, and from Massachusetts
back again to South Carolina
, until now the last point of endurance had been reached?
Every violent word uttered North had been sent South, and the South
had responded in the spirit.
The abolitionist himself had been granted an audience in every Southern city, at every Southern political meeting, and the most violent insulting, agrarian speeches repeated even in the hearing of the slaves themselves.
Was it not humiliating to confess, that the very people who would burn in effigy, if not at the stake, a postmaster who would dare to distribute a copy of abolition speeches, honor as among their chief defenders the candidates who could quote the most obnoxious passages from all who had made Southern politics a vast hot-bed for the propagation of abolition sentiments?
The two great sections of the nation stood at that moment towards each other like two encamped armies, waiting the orders to engage.
The patriot planned, deplored, and appealed, but found little succor in the only quarter whence succor could come.
The abolitionist revelled in the madness of the hour.
He saw the cracks in the iceberg at last.
To him the desert and the battle-field were alike welcome.
He had knelt down in the desert with the camels, for a speck in the far distance showed that the simoom was coming.
He looked into the future as into a dark cloud in the morning, when nothing but the early lark was on the wing.
But soon history, like the light of the eastern horizon, would curtain back that cloud, and paint in blood's ruddiest tints field and forest, hamlet and city, the very mountains to their pine-crowned tops, and the great ocean itself, as an ensanguined flood, where brother contending with brother should find a nameless sepulchre.
No anaconda, with his filthy folds around the banyan tree, threw out the venomous tongue and yearned with fiercer passion for the crushed bone and the pulpy flesh than he, the abolitionist, now expectant of his prey, yearned for this long-proposed repast Well might he cry that the day of jubilee had come.
Well might he marshal his hosts to the last great war of sections and of races.
Defeated, stigmatized, insulted, scoffed at, ostracized and gibbeted by his countrymen, he now gloated over the most fearful of all retributions.
His deadliest foes in the South
had now struck hands in a solemn league of kindred designs, and with exultant tramp, stolidly marched, adorned, like a Roman ox, with the garlands of sacrifice, to their eternal doom.
At this moment, when a sudden frenzy had struck blind the Southern
people, this picture could not even be realized in all its horrors.
When he looked at his country, and its present distracted and desolate condition, and its possible fate, he felt almost ready to close the quick accents of speech, and allow the heart to sink down voiceless in its despair.
He would refer them to the words of Lloyd
garrison, and demand what answer would be given to them.
then referred to an article in the Liberator
, which appeared a few days after the secession of South Carolina
, in which garrison said that “the last covenant with death was annulled, and the agreement with hell broken, by the action of South Carolina
herself ;” closing with an appeal to Massachusetts
, ending with the words, “How stands Massachusetts
at this hour in reference to the Union
?--in an attitude of hostility.”
then quoted from a. speech of Wendell Phillips
, delivered in the Music Hall
, at Boston
, a few days ago, in which Phillips
declared, “We are Disunionists, not for any love of separate confederacies,” &c., ending with a reference to South Carolina
, “and Egypt
will rejoice that she has departed.”
The people had, therefore, arrayed against them these knights of a new crusade.
The Constitution of the United States
was the sanctified Jerusalem
against which their deluded cohorts battled.
They contended that the only mode to over-throw slavery was to overthrow the constitution.
These men claimed that their allegiance was only due to the States wherein they lived.
They claimed to be States' rights men of the strictest sect, and they would wield the legislative power of the State
for the extinction of slavery, as South Carolina
professed to wield it for the perpetuation of slavery.
In this crisis it was meet that Massachusetts
, so largely partaking of the common glory in the past--Massachusetts
, where the first blood for American liberty had been shed — should rise superior to the convulsions of the hour, and give an earnest at least that the spirit of conciliation, of inter-State comity, of fraternal affection, was not yet wholly lost.
As the worn traveller in the midst of the snows of the Alps
lingered with delighted gaze upon the friendly light which peered from the windows of the convent where from the desolation of the storm around him he might at last find repose, so did he hail the little gleam of hope in the future.
gave statistics of population and slavery in the Border States
and in the Gulf
States, for the purpose of showing, as he said, that there was an irreversible law of population governing the question, and that the South
wanted population and capital rather than territory.
If secession were allowed to be carried out, he would show them a Southern Confederacy from which every man would turn back affrighted and pale, because it would be on the bloody hand that his rights of property would have to depend.
Slavery cannot expand rapidly, either within the Union
or without the Union
, so long as slaves remained at their present high prices.
The only mode by which slavery could ever expand, was to reduce the price, and have a new source of supply.
That was, in fact, the real design of the coast States.
, in proof of this, referred to all the Southern Conventions
of late years, and cited the admissions of Messrs. Miles
, and Crawford
, in the House
, to show that the object was the re-opening of the slave-trade.
Suppose, said he, that they do not get, out of the Union
, this equality which they now claim?
That is a little problem in the Rule of Three, which will be ciphered out if these events are much longer pending.
The Border Slave States might as well be prepared first as last for the realization of the truth.
But where was slavery to expand?
If the South
left the Union
, she would never get as much of the present territory as he could grasp in his hand.
A war of thirty years would never get it back, nor could there ever be extorted from the North
a treaty giving the same guarantees to slavery that it now had. Where was slavery to expand?
Not to Central America
, for England