to death by hanging on a sour-apple tree.
As for the Southerners, they could find no words vile enough to describe their fellow citizens of the North
, “Northern scum” being one of the commonest and most polite.
Here, then, is the ethical proposition: We have two neighbors living in partnership and hating each other with a deadly hatred, and one of them desires to separate peaceably from the other.
There was no practical difficulty in the way of making a division, for the cleavage ran along geographical lines, and any Master-in-Chancery would have been obliged to report that an actual partition was perfectly feasible.
Given this state of affairs, was it morally justifiable for the stronger partner to hold the other to his side by force?
This is no Constitutional question, for it rises far above the plane of seals and parchment Indeed, nothing obscures moral investigations so much as the dragging in by the heels of artificial and unnatural considerations.
The simple issue was: Is it right to hold haters together by force?
If Mr. Gladstone
decided this question in the negative, I, for one, do not see how he could reasonably have done otherwise.
What was the psychological condition of the Northern
mind, that the preference should be given to it?
It was filled with hatred, as we have seen; and, where it did