--For the third time, the Virginia Convention, which was elected with a sole view to the subject of Secession, will, ere long, assemble in our city.
How long it will sit, how often it will be reassembled, is beyond the power of mortal to predict.
There is no prophet living in these days who can tell how long the war and the Virginia Convention will last.
We are of opinion that, however long the duration of the war, the Virginia Convention will survive it, and that, after the flood has abated, and the Ark
of Southern Independence has landed upon Mount Ararat
, the Virginia Convention will continue to flap its wings, like a solemn raven, over the subsiding waters.
We know of no dynasty in Europe
which bids fair to endure as long.
We have reason to apprehend that it will not consider its mission fulfilled till all the political structures of the earth have been remodelled upon its plan, till ware have come to an end in all parts of the world, and the lion and the lamb lie down together.
It is more than doubtful whether even then it may not consider its superintendence essential to the proper management of the millennium, and whether its doorkeeper will be willing to deliver up the keys to any one less in rank than St.
Peter. We have read a great deal of sublime writing on the subject of ‘"the last man."’ We entertain no doubt that he will be a member of the Vir-
Withafile of the Enquirer
under his arm, containing the debates of that assemblage, he can entertain his solitude for many thousands of years, with the pernsal of those oracular speeches of an assemblage better entitled to be called deliberative than any the world has ever seen.
If it is possible to suppose that any future punishment can await a man who has once read or heard the speeches made in the Virginia Convention, we are sure that he has only to repeat them in the infernal regions to produce the effect of the riot act, and cause a general jail delivery through all the realms of Tophet.
The Wandering Jew, who, for nearly two thousand years, has been unable to find rest for the sole of his foot, is believed to be here looking for a vacancy in the Virginia Convention, and if he is not blind as well as footsore, he will not long look in vain.
The Flying Dutchman, that most extraordinary of physical and nautical phenomenons, is believed to be in search of the same assemblage as the only chance for a permanent anchorage in this fluctuating world.
The Flying Dutchman is itself a fair type of a body which Mr. Fitzhugh
has happily styled ‘"the most singular moral and intellectual phenomenon ever presented to the world."’ It is only in times of storm that the Flying Dutchman
makes his appearance, and then the spectacle of a solid Dutchman moving with velocity naturally causes everybody to start aside and stand from under.
The disappearance of the supernatural vessel would be a great relief to everybody, only there is no knowing when it will re-appear.
The Virginia Convention, the slowest of all earthly things, in times of peace, becomes a regular Flying Dutchman in the gales of war, dashing through the elemental strife, with its broad bows, heavy spars, wide poop, and vast bottomed crew, at a rate of speed and spirit that quite takes away the breath of all beholders.
Time and change are supposed to make their mark upon all earthly things.
There is an end of all earthly things, even of human tribulation and sorrow.
Rejoice, ye children of affliction; ye subjects of oppression; ye martyrs at the stake; ye sons of God, who walk unknown among the sons of men, rejoice; for all this must pass away.
If life's roses fade, its thorns, too, must perish; if spring must cease, so must winter; if falsehood, wrong, and injustice, must triumph for a time, their reign is not eternal; just ahead is a tribunal at which the crooked shall be made straight, the wrong righted, and innocence and virtue receive a crown of unfading honor.
All things here are changing; the solid rocks become disintegrated; the rill disappears in the river, the river in the main, and the grand old sea itself is converted into the coral that lays the foundation of new continents and the cloud that tempers the glory of the sun and vivifies and beautifies the earth.
One thing alone, amid the fluctuating flood of time, remains unchanged and flourishes in immortal green.
It is the Virginia Convention.
Now and then one of its members may resign, or, in some other mysterious manner, disappear; but the body itself, the Sovereign Power
, the King
, can never die. The period has nearly arrived for the third approach of this luminous and nebulous member of the solar system to our metropolitan sun. Let no one ask, What is the use of Conventions?
What is the use of comets?
Why do they come, lank and shivering, from the rural districts of the universe, and having drawn their per diem of light and heat from the sun, whisk their tail contemptuously in the face of the public and disappear in illimitable space?
Why? ‘"There are more things in Heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in thy philosophy."’ Let us rejoice that Virginia
has an exchequer as inexhaustible as the sea, which can be sucked by Conventions, Legislatures, railroad corporations, and war debts, and yet overflow with a perennial fountain of public credit.
Let us rejoice that we have a people whose cruse of oil and whose barrel of meal fail not; whose tax-paying power, like the love of Juliet, is deep as the ocean and boundless as the sky; whose shoulders are broad enough to carry the Old Man of the Sea
forever; and whose patience is so inexhaustible that there is no danger that, like Sinbad the Sailor, he will ever lay down his aged burthen upon the earth and mash his head with a stone.