grow and flourish, was threatened and misrepresented by men who, he felt, were misguided and despeate.
A generation had grown up, under his observation (though at the South
, where he had scarcely been, and where he had not an intimate friend living), which had, as he knew, been by skilful leaders wilfully made blind as to the nature of that Union which he loved.
They were blind to the fact that political sovereignty is capable of division according to subjects and powers, without lessening allegiance to the central government.
Therefore, seeing some subjects and powers left in the hands of individual States, they believed they could throw off that allegiance when they pleased.
He had seen this process going on for many years, under the guidance of Southern leaders and the menaces of Northern extremists.
Slavery had always been to him a deeply, solemnly interesting question, the institution always in his eyes a curse, while he had dreaded both for masters and slaves any violent or sudden change.
This had now become inevitable, but its consequences did not seem to him more promising than before.
In February, 1862, he will be found to say, 1
‘Since the firing of the first gun on Fort Sumter
we have had, in fact, no choice.
We must fight it out. Of the result I have never doubted.
We shall beat the South
But what after that?
I do not see. . . . . For the South
I have no vaticinations.
The blackness of thick darkness rests upon them, and they deserve all they will suffer.’2
The passions, which, especially in the early period of the war, were at a pitch that menaced a reign of inhumanity and political persecution, and were actually expressed on both sides in acts quite exceeding a lawful warfare, caused him acute pain and anxiety.
His long habit of watching and reflecting on the political movements of all Christendom made him regard the subject from a different point of view from host men; his age and comparative