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 And what were the invasions which she could not stand without the threat and preparation of disunion? The measures which doubled the continent of free government and gave the Mississippi to us to be our inland sea and Mediterranean of commerce. And Virginia! When for the first time did she recoil with just and natural horror from the fate which was prepared for her? Not until she had no other alternative than to make good her right to free government out of the Union, or to submit to ‘freedom and a dagger’ in it. Like the desert-bird who ‘unlocks her own breast’ to satisfy her offspring, Virginia had partitioned and repartioned her own territory to feed the Union—and this was her reward! That enemies and accusers who had counted so critically the profit of the Union, who at every step of its progress had weighed so nicely its commercial value, who had shouted so loudly that unless it was a Union which was profitable, it was no Union for them; that they who had been preaching and practicing disunion ever since there had been a Union; that they should have been the executioners of the State which had served it best and loved it most, was the curious revenge of time.
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