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From Washington.

[Special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Washington, Jan. 13, 1861.
As your readers will have a synopsis of Mr. Seward's speech before this letter reaches them, I prefer they should interpret it for themselves. Never before have so many and so widely different constructions been placed on a man's opinions. Balancing the views of those who heard the speech as well as I can, the result is rather in favor of peace than otherwise. But it should not be forgotten that it is Seward who promises (if he does promise) harmony. He cannot be trusted. No man can be trusted now. The people must rely upon themselves and demand their whole rights — nothing less should content them.

Southern members who listened to Mr. Hunter, say that his speech was worthy of any age, and that some of its eloquent passages will in after times be repeated in the schools as models of chaste and powerful rhetoric. Such is the anxiety now to hear the great men of the nation, that one stands no chance of getting a comfortable seat unless he goes up as early as ten o'clock. Many old women are said to leave home at daybreak, taking their knitting and a snack with them, in order to spend the day in the Senate galleries. Yesterday people went up to the skylight to hear Seward, and the crowd was so dense that one person was stiffed for a time, and the galleries had to be thinned out. A gentleman from Lynchburg got upon the skylight, and finding he could hear nothing from that elevation, tried to get down stairs again, but the door was locked, and he had to stay there an hour or more.

Mr. Dejarnette, in the speech which the Blacks were kind enough to permit him to print, (they have now condescended to let the Southerners have three days for debate,) gave Gen. Scott a proper good rasping. Another member from Virginia called on the General the other day, and told him how bitter the feeling in Virginia against him was. The General said he was merely acting under orders. The reply was, that Virginians believed he suggested these very orders.--Gen. Scott could not deny this. "If Virginia goes out," said the member, "will you be for her or against her?" The blow was so direct that the General faltered, and could only say that he would answer that question when the time came. Who doubts that he would retain command of the Federal Army? The report about the altercation between the General and Toombs is literally true. There will be no duel.

I may telegraph you to-night an important move, looking to a suspension of hostilities and the averting of civil war. All men desire this, but we must have a settlement now.--Some believe in compromises. The experience of the last forty years does not sustain this belief.

Mr. Keen's amendment is regarded here as a backing down. Is it not?

The weather has turned very cold, and over head all is cloudless sunshine. Zed.

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