The Humanities South.
arms have it all their own way in the regions of renegade revolt, throughout which the toga is unceremoniously discarded.
Even the Rt. Rev. Father
in God, Polk
, of Louisiana
, as our readers already know, has discarded godly lawn for golden lace and the Lives of the Saints for Scott
But now sadder news comes to us. The Southern colleges and universities are giving up their erudite ghosts in every direction.
Upon the authority of The New Orleans True Witness
, a religious sheet, we have to state with pain that Oakland College, a celebrated Haunt of the Muses, is no more — that La Grange College, a renowned Seat of Learning in Tennessee
, is also defunct — that Stewart College, an Academic Grove in Tennessee
, has also been cut down in the full foliage of its usefulness — that the University of Mississippi, at Oxford
, is sitting like a bereaved mother, with nobody at her generous bosom; and that the Centenary College
, at Jackson, La.
, no longer dispenses crumbs of culture in that part of the world.
These venerable piles are all deserted; no more their ancient rafters ring to the song of
Propria quae maribus had a little dog; Quid esse was his name.
Sucking Southerners have ceased with tottering steps there solemnly and studiously to pass over the Pons Asinorum
. The ardent youths have all gone to the wars; and the no less ardent Faculties have thrown away their spectacles and followed suit.
This, it must be allowed, is a classical collapse and a mathematical mischance, and a sad stroke to Sacred Theology; and especially to that branch of the latter upon which the Divine Institution of Slavery is builded.
Heretofore, it must be confessed, the Patriarchs have leaned upon learning to the extent of their acquirements.
They have flogged and begotten yellow bastards, and then sold them not with caution covert, but in market overt, without a misgiving; and they have done this upon strict Abrahamic principles partly, and partly because the Greeks and Romans did so, to say nothing of the Barbarians.
But now ethnology, chronology, philology and archaeology have all come to grief in these demesnes which they once did so illustrate; and Dr. Fuller
, if he really does want to serve the cause, should at once convert his useless lexicons and chrestomathies into cartridges, and give his whole stack of ancient sermons to the same sacred service.
What is a classical point to a Colt
a text to a trumpet?
Canon to a rifled-cannon?
why bother about Ham
when you have a chance to hammer the heads of the confoundedly illiterate Yankee Doodles?
To be sure, it may be urged, that whereas the Southern
neophytes and other students have heretofore mainly resorted for polish and illumination to Northern seminaries, it is not wise, since they can no longer do so, to permit the Southern
rills of learning, however thread-like, to be choked.
We take a different ground.
The South is fighting for the sweet satisfaction of continuing in a semi-barbaric condition, It is attempting to found a republic, not upon knowledge, but knavery.
It means to ignore the Law
of God, sometimes called the Higher Law
, and why should it study theology?
It intends to trample upon the rights of man, and what has it to do with law natural, civil or common?
It has surrendered itself to a coarse and bestial inhumanity, and why should it crave the sweet influences of philosophy and of poetry?
It has need to study but one science — the science of oppression-and the hard human heart, in that branch of learning, has in all ages been its own best teacher.
It scoffs at all which has made the Nineteenth Century the cultured child of the past and the hopeful mother of the ages to come; and of what value to such a nation will be the record of human triumphs or of human reverses?
Why should it waste its time and treasure in the erection of stately colleges and academic cloisters, when to the brutal eye of its wealthiest citizens the finest architecture
is to be found in slave-huts and barracoons?
why should it gather together libraries when there is not one printed book of value in this world, which is not an uncompromising reproach of that hideous social system, and an irrefragable argument against its possible perpetuity?
No: in a slaveholding Republic ignorance is bliss, and enlightenment must bring the torture of remorse and the trembling of fear.
The prototype of the Southern
slaveholder is the African King
, who, gleaming with palm-oil and glorious in a painted skin, drives down to the shore his squalid files of shivering captives, and sells them to tho missionary of civilization, whose pirate bark is anchored in the offing.
is the real founder of the Confederate States of America
Their enlightenment, their theology, their civilization, their political economy, have all been learned of that hideous and howling savage; and all they are, and all they pretend to be, and all they care to be, the barbarians of the Slave Coast
have been before them.
Yes: they do well to give up their colleges; they will give up their churches next — and then — who knows?--perhaps their clothes!
Given the independence of the Southern Confederacy, and who can assure us that within a century the governor of South Carolina
will not kneel upon his naked knees, in all the splendor of a tattooed skin to adore some dirty little fetish idol?
Nations that have been civilized, and have lapsed into semi-civilization, are quite
as likely to fall still farther backward as to go forward; and there is a Power presiding over the world's affairs which can blight as well as build up, and which has declared that they who causelessly take up the sword, by the sword shall perish.
Southern statesmen and soldiers, unless the downfall which we have indicated shall be utterly precipitate, will learn in time that one idea of genuine political equity is worth all the armies of Xerxes
The faith of the slaveholder is force, and so is his philosophy.
Hence his notion of a well-armed soldier is of one who carries “one sword, two five-shooters, and a carbine.”
This is actually the equipment proposed in The Richmond Whig
for 10,000 men who are “to carry fire and sword into the Free States
Why not add a full suit of chain-mail, a bow with arrows, a tomahawk, a scalping-knife, a lance, a dagger and a sword-cane!
This idea of making a traveling arsenal of a soldier, is like a stage-manager's notion of a pirate, who is invariably sent before the audience bending beneath weapons, offensive and defensive.
It is an old-fashioned, barbarous conceit quite worthy of a people which has given up its universities and colleges.
It is not by any means certain that we shall not have war-paint next; or, perhaps, imitations of those terrific pasteboard dragoons, wherewithal the unfortunate Chinese
did not scare away the forces of the British Empire
The number of weapons which the stoutest and most alert soldier can effectively use, even in carrying fire and sword, is limited; and we advise
the Ten Thousand
to restrict themselves to single blades and a box of friction-matches for each.
August 9 1861.