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Their arts and arms.

At this moment, when the cloud of war is darkening over the land, and the ear is strained to catch on every Northern breeze ‘"the clash of resounding arms,"’ we solemnly declare that the South, oven now, has been in more danger from the artifices and deceit of her enemies, combined with her own credulity, than from their whole eighteen millions in arms. --What was the course of things which this war has interrupted, and, we hope, defeated forever? It was the gradual and enduring subjugation of the South through the arts of peace, and under the semblance of friendship; but none the less certain and dangerous because pacific and unobserved. The open war of subjugation is a child's play, compared to the insidious policy which had already begun to exert its benumbing influence upon the political, social and even physical capacities of the Southern States; which had insinuated its virus into sections of slaveholding Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri, and was breathing upon every gale that moral miasma whose seeds of death might ultimately have taken root in our genial soil, and which had fixed its serpent gaze upon the fierce eye of the Southern eagle, till the proud bird seemed ready to fall into the sleep of death. What department of human enterprise had it not monopolized and driven off all competition? What vein of the South had it not fastened on with the appetite of a bloodsucker?

We need not speak of the five hundred millions of tribute which the cotton fields of the South yield the North, and of the magnificent commerce and splendid opulence which Northern cities derive from that great Southern staple, whilst the South itself has scarcely a city that deserves the name, and her noble harbors are as solitary as the waters of old Tyre. But look about you; think of every article of furniture in your houses, and of clothing and ornament upon your person; every agricultural implement, every article of use in every department of business and trade, and every one has been bought of Northern manufacturers. Yet this has been the very least and smallest of the evils. Our whole literature has been manufactured for us at the North-- not only books, but, what is more influential, journals, weekly journals, pictorial newspapers, sold in our own streets, and finding their way into every Southern family, not one of which had any other tendency than to darken the conscience and corrupt the morals of the community. We see what Northern society is from the revelations which they have made of themselves in the present excitement; from the perfidy of our professed friends; from the unblushing diabolism of our enemies; from the recommendations of the public press for such devilish deeds of crime and cruelty as were never heard of in the annals of war, whilst scarcely a voice is raised from any so-called conservative press, in condemnation of these recommendations; from the watchwords ‘"beauty and booty,"’ proclaimed in the newspapers and posted in placards upon the walls; and yet, it is from this seething cauldron of moral abominations, this modern Sodom of the world, that a weekly and daily literature has been sown broadcast over the South, which inculcated no reverence for God nor man, which insidiously assailed the foundations of virtue, which clothed vice in enticing colors, and was well calculated to allure the unreflecting young men of our cities to undervalue the high moral tone of their Southern homes, and become materialistic, sensual, unprincipled, infidel.

The open abolition journals of the North, compared with these literary weeklies and other productions of the Northern press, are but the ruffian who attacks you openly with a bludgeon at mid-day to the poisoner who puts in your very bread the means of your destruction. When, therefore, the North threatens us with a war of subjugation, we reply that it is a war which has been waged upon us for years with weapons far more dangerous than any now in its hands, and that in changing the policy of that war from the traitor's kiss to his drawn sword, it has committed a blunder which it will one day deplore more than all its crimes.

In any aspect of the case, the open war of subjugation is a Blunder, such as no shrewd practical people ever committed before since the world was made. They had us bound so fast in the meshes of their trade that we could not stir hand or foot; we sat with open mouths and folded hands; whilst our golden soil (which they new say is worth expending $500,000,000 a year to keep,) was made their tributary in every way and shape, leaving us nothing for our own share but bread and meat, plain houses, small towns, and silent harbors; they stuck like lamprey eels to every vein of the South that had a drop of blood in it; they even induced us to spend in Northern summer visits what few dollars were left after paying our enormous annual toll to the Yankee tax gatherer; and now, suddenly, in a fit of crazy rage, they determine to throw away all the immense conquests they had made in their pacific means of subjugation, to cut open the goose that laid the golden egg, and to make us bitter and implacable enemies as long as we live; or, if we die, to deprive themselves of their best customers, give up the fertile South to sterility and solitude, and leave nobody, from the Potomac to the Gulf, whom they can possibly cajole, cheat and plunder any more. Could they triumph, as they propose; could they exterminate us, as they threaten; could they abolish our domestic institutions, as they desire, what would Yankee Doodle do for customers and cotton, for commissions, brokerages, insurances, freights, and the interminable list of its levies upon the Southern pocket? And the people who have made this grand mistake, who have placed their all upon the hazard of this die, who have thrown themselves between Scylla and Charybdis, are the cool, calculating, money making Yankee nation! What a strange compound of the practical and the fanatical, of shrewdness and sentimentalism, of a cold heart and a hot head, of common sense and uncommon folly, Is that greatest curiosity of the human family, the New England Puritan! Oh, Jonathan! Jonathan! At some future period, when your passions have cooled and reason has resumed its sway, you will clothe yourself with sack-cloth and ashes; you will go up and down, weeping and howling, amid the ruins of your factories and the solitude of your cities, and Heaven itself will be wearied with the sight of your penitential cries and agonizing self- reproach — not because you have prepared to steal every Southern farm, cut every Southern throat and dishonor every Southern fireside, but worse in your estimation than all the crimes and wickedness that man ever committed — because you have made yourself such a ‘" darned fool."’

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