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[448] however, is not to last. The government must either impose taxes heavy enough to sustain its credit, as it ought to have done long ago, and then our incomes will all feel it, or it must rush into a paper currency, and then, of course, prices must rise in proportion, and the whole end in disaster. . . . One thing, however, is certain. We are well off now. We were, I think, never so rich, and never had so much gold stored away for a specie basis. It is, therefore, owing to the unwise course of the Government that the Treasury and the banks have suspended their specie payments; or, in other words, it is owing to the incompetency and corruption of the men at Washington. . . . . The people are ready and willing to do their part. The people's agents are incompetent. . . . .

A country that has shown the resources and spirit of the North— however they may have been misused, and may continue to be—cannot be ruined by a year or two of adverse fortune, or even more. Changed it will be, how, or how much, I cannot guess, nor do I find anybody worth listening to that can tell me. But we are young and full of life. Diseases that destroy the old are cast off by the vigor of youth; and, though I may not live to see it, we shall again be strong and have an honored place among the nations. For the South I have no vaticinations. The blackness of thick darkness rests upon them, and they deserve all they will suffer. I admit that a portion of the North, and sometimes the whole North, has been very unjust to them. . . .. But it is all no justification of civil war . . . . It is the unpardonable sin in a really free State.

You will, perhaps, think me shabby if I stop without saying anything about the Trent affair, and so I may as well make a clean breast of it. Except Everett, all the persons hereabout in whose judgment I place confidence believed from the first that we had no case. I was fully of that mind. . . . .

As to the complaint about our closing up harbors, we are not very anxious. It is a harsh measure, but there are precedents enough for it,—more than there ought to be. But two will fully sustain the mere right. By the treaty of Utrecht you stipulated not only for the destruction of the fortifications of Dunkirk, but for filling up the port; and in 1777 (I think it was that year) you destroyed the entrance to Savannah, so that appropriations were made, not many years ago, by our Congress, to remove the obstructions, although the


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