It is a well known fact in the history of the human race, that those who are most subject to the extremity of terror in the presence of actual danger are precisely those who are most noisy most boastful, and most extravagant, when it has disappeared.
We might give many illustrations of the fact from the pages of history as well as romance.
But we conceive it unnecessary to look farther for an example than to the exhibition which the Yankees
are now making of themselves, to the scandal of all men who hold the human species in any sort of regard, and the contempt of the civilized world.
But one fort night ago all Yankeedom was trembling in the very agony of mortal terror, because their territory was invaded and they could not pluck up the spirit to meet the invader and try conclusions with him in the field of deadly strife.
A spectacle so despicable as that presented by Yankeedom, we will venture to say, never yet presented itself to a contemptuous world.--Yet no sooner do they obtain a short respite from the fear of imminent danger than they give in to all the wild extravagance with which semi-barbarous nations are wont to express their gratitude for deliverance from what they perceive to be a peril of the most portentous magnitude.
Had the last spark of life been crushed out of the prostrate Confederacy — had Meade
presented the heads of Jeff. Davis
and his Cabinet to Lincoln
in a basket as the head of John the Baptist
was presented of old to a tyrant not much more cruel, and far more respectable from his abilities, the rejoicing could hardly have been greater.
Like the Chinese, to whom they have been more than once compared, the Yankees
are but little more than full grown children in every thing but avarice and ferocity.
We are confident that more extravagant demonstrations were made on the late occasion of Gen. Lee
's retreat, in the smallest town in Pennsylvania
or New York, than have been made throughout the Southern Confederacy in honor of all the victories we have ever gained.
And yet no nation, of which there is any account in history, ever ran such a career of glory, all the difficulties under which it has been run being taken into consideration.
The cause of the difference is obvious.
Success to the Yankees
is a thing so unusual that they hail it as they hail the arrival of a Prince or a Japanese embassy — as an event wholly unexpected — as a fortunate occurrence which might never happen again, and of which it is therefore proper to make the most while it is still fresh.
The Confederates, on the other hand, look for victory as a thing to be expected from every encounter with the enemy, and they are neither surprised nor startled out of their propriety when it occurs.
A reverse is to them the exception to a general rule.
It makes far more impression on them than a victory, because it is not what they expect.
Prone as the Yankee
mind is to fly off at a tangent, the propensity is stimulated to the utmost by the press.
All the lies that have been told about Gettysburg
are merely designed to keep up the war fever among a people who know not how to bear either success or defeat with even tolerable equanimity.