The readers of the Dispatch
cannot fail to be struck by the facts, arguments, and grave and we eloquence of this remarkable document.
It is thus far unanswered, and it, we verily believe, altogether unanswerable.
How can President Davis
make any effort to bring about a restoration of peace?
How can he open negotiations for that desirable purpose?
Every attempt to communicate, even upon subjects involving the commonest interests of humanity, with the despotism at Washington
, has been rejected with scorn.
The tyrant has already proclaimed the only terms upon which he will allow us to breathe the air, which is the common inheritance of all mankind; of the slave as well as of the free; of the captive in his dungeon, as well as of the King
upon his throne,--He has not exhibited the slightest symptoms of a disposition to relax the rigor of these terms.
indeed, his interpreters say, that even they were not meant for such as are still rebellious, but for those abject wretches, who have already thrown away their arms, and embraced the knees and kissed the feet of the tyrant.
But suppose the channel of communication were open.
Suppose we could have free access to the royal person, and no obstacle were opposed to our opening a negotiation.
Does it become us to be the first to sue for peace?
We are the injured party.
A most wicked, a most wanton, a most unjustifiable war has been made upon us, the only pretext for it being that we claimed certain rights which we maintain to be indubitable and inalienable.
In the prosecution of this war a series of atrocities has been perpetrated without any parallel in the history of modern civilization.
We have acted during the whole time entirely on the defensive.
We have been willing, always, and so we have long since proclaimed, to be at peace, as soon as our enemy would consent to let us alone.
Has he shown any disposition to let us alone?
On the contrary, is he not at this very moment waging the war upon a scale more gigantic, and a system more atrocious, than ever before?
And should we crawl upon our knees to his footstool, with our petition in our hand, and say, "upon such a time you wantonly burned such a village — upon such another, you murdered so many of our helpless citizens — on such another, again, you laid waste a whole district without provocation, driving thousands into exile, reducing thousands to pauperism, and causing, probably, the death of thousands by starvation — and for all these kindly favors shown to us and ours, we beg you to make peace?"
In all cases of quarrel between individuals it is the man who does the wrong that ought to first propose a reconciliation.
The man who suffers it cannot take such a step without humiliation.
By a parity of reasoning, in all wars, the aggressor ought to make the first advances to peace.
The injured nation or people cannot do it without self — abasement.
In our case it is certain that nothing but absolute submission would do, and Lincoln
has already proclaimed the terms on which he will condescend to receive our submission.
These proposals to initiate peace propositions on our side are to the last degree pernicious.
they generate a treasonable spirit where it did not exist before, and keep it alive where it did — and that, too, whatever may be the intentions of those with whom they originate.
We regret to see the authority of such a name as Gov. Vance
's given to proceedings so objectionable.
We are for peace, too. But the negotiators whom we would employ are Lee
, Kirby Smith
, Dick Taylor
, and their companions in arms.