[from our own correspondent.]
Like men who have seen the rearing torrent
Sweep their happy homes away,
And sit silently on the margin,
Gazing I fly at the spray"
’ The Rappahannock, stained and swollen by the recent rams, like "the yellow Tiber, "" flows past a ruined city. But the ruin time has made, time also hallows. Destruction there was gradual and is far removed unlike the devastated homes and perished households all around us here. War is terrible and sorrowful enough; but bloodshed in a foreign land and in former time is nothing to that poured at our own doors and quenching the light of our own hearths. For one cause, at least, I rejoice in the shattered desolation of the good old town. When General Lee replied to the demand for its surrender, through its authorities, last December, in such a manner as to gain time to mature his plans, the town itself was slandered by the ignorant for failing to respond more ferociously, which would, in the circumstances, have been only folly. General Johnston died at Shiloh "repulsing calumny by glorious deeds. " Fredericksburg has silenced her defamers at least by glorious suffering. And even yet it is a preferred and cherished residence to many of her children. "Marius, sitting amid the ruins of Carthage," was a melancholy commentary on human greatness. Here we can show a lonesome bank director sitting cheerful amid the charred remains in the destroyed temple of Plautus, in which he once officiated. Indeed, the serenity which fairly shines from the faces of the greatest sufferers is wonderful — a calm tranquility which they would hesitate to confess and be wholly unable to explain. The reason is, "despair brings tranquility." But you will say, peace purchased at the price of hope is explosive. With a profaned and desecrated past, its most prized and cherished monuments and mementoes outraged, mutilated, or destroyed; with no corner stone on which to build the plans and purposes and ambitions of the future, how can this "tranquility" exist? Why does not indignation forever throb in every manly heart, and consuming sorrow, eating care, and gnawing anxiety look out from every-eye and depress even the sturdiest spirit? Simply because the past is so remediless, and "passion has raged itself to rest," and the future is utterly beyond control. With no foundation to build on, the workmen rests from his labors, in unaccustomed pause and bush, away from the noise and hurry and anxieties of what men call "business," which, with most, is but a mad "gambling with the solemn destinies of life," Situated thus they are compelled, but practical behavers in the high philosophy "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," and are, consequently, "careful for nothing." After all, nearly all sorrow as well as joy, exists only in anticipation. "Man never is, but always to be blest." And-- "Haspin as, like hope, is but the gay to morrow of the mind. That never comes" Contentment, therefore, is the real gain; and even if forced upon us, we are thereby freed no less from the anxieties and been hopes of life--"the pelicans of the heart, feeding on the life blood of their parent." For myself, although always "a men of cheerful yesterdays and confident to morrows,-- I have enjoyed more peace during this war then I ever recollect before. After the fierce excitements of the first few months; the elements of enjoyment similar to those we now possess were accessible to most of us on the border. And for more than four months, and also since the late battle of Fredericksburg, we have had the costliest novelizing and most unusual experiences, such as are seldom recused and vouchsafed to any people. The tranquility thus obtained, perhaps, can be less appreciated by one who has been an editor. Exemption from the grasshopper which torment his doubtless, itself is a greater peace than is usually enjoyed by more or less favored But all of us from custom sit quietly between two frowning a miss, protected by the one and fearless of the other. Hooker apprehends "a crossing," I believe, more than we do. His backers take hope that we may "fall back" from weariness and exhaustion. And Richmond idlers may suggest the apprehension. Believe it not, even if appearances should ever countenance the thought and then remember that in the rising tide the waves apparently recede, but duty to gather strength and volume for a further conquest of the shore. So much for a sick man's letter from Fredericksburg.