Again, Lincoln is frightened with the success in South Carolina, as in his opinion this success will complicate the question of slavery. He is frightened as to what he shall do with Charleston and Augusta, provided these cities are taken.
It is disgusting to hear with what superciliousness the different members of the Cabinet speak of the approaching Congress—and not one of them is in any way the superior of many congressmen.
When Congress meets, the true national balance account will be struck. The commercial and piratical flag of the secesh is virtually in all waters and ports. (The little cheese-eater, the Hollander, was the first to raise a fuss against the United States concerning the piratical flag. This is not to be forgotten.) 2d. Prestige, to a great extent, lost. 3d. Millions upon millions wasted. Washington besieged and blockaded, and more than 200,000 men kept in check by an enemy not by half as strong. 4th. Every initiative which our diplomacy tried abroad was wholly unsuccessful, and we are obliged to submit to new international principles inaugurated at our cost; and, summing up, instead of a broad, decided, general policy, we have vacillation, inaction, tricks, and expedients. The people fret, and so will the Congress. Nations are as individuals; any partial disturbance in a part of the body occasions a general chill. Nature makes efforts to check the beginning of disease, and so do nations. In the human organism nature does not submit willingly to the loss of health, or of a limb, or of life. Nature struggles against death. So the people of the Union will not submit to an amputation, and is uneasy to see how unskilfully its own family doctors treat the national disease.
Port Royal, South Carolina, taken. Great and general rejoicing. It is a brilliant feat of arms, but a questionable military and war policy. Those attacks on the circumference, or on extremities, never can become a death-blow to secesh. The rebels must be crushed in the focus; they ought to receive a blow at the heart. This new strategy seems to indicate that McClellan has not heart enough to attack the fastnesses of rebeldom, but expects that something may turn up from these small expeditions. He expects to weaken the rebels in their focus. I wish McClellan may be right in his expectations, but I doubt it.
Officers of McClellan's staff tell that Mr. Lincoln almost daily comes into McClellan's library, and sits there rather unnoticed. On several occasions McClellan let the President wait in the room, together with other common mortals.
The English statesmen and the English press have the notion deeply rooted in their brains that the American people fight for empire. The rebels do it, but not the free men.
Mr. Seward's emphatical prohibition to Mr. Adams to mention the question of slavery may have contributed to strengthen in England the above-mentioned fallacy. This is a blunder, which before long or short Seward will repent. It looks like astuteness—ruse; but if so, it is the resource of a rather limited mind. In great and minor affairs, straightforwardness is the best policy. Loyalty always gets the better of astuteness, and the more so when the opponent is unprepared to meet it. Tricks can be well met by tricks, but tricks are impotent against truth and sincerity. But Mr. Seward, unhappily, has spent his life in various political tricks, and was surrounded by men whose intimacy must have necessarily lowered and unhealthily affected him. All his most intimates are unintellectual mediocrities or tricksters.
Seward is free from that infamous know-nothingism of which this Gen. Thomas is the great master (a man every few weeks accused of treason by the public opinion, and undoubtedly vibrating between loyalty here and sympathy with rebels).
All this must have unavoidably vitiated Mr. Seward's better nature. In such way only can I see plainly why so many excellent qualities are marred in him. He at times can broadly comprehend things around him; he is good-natured when not stung, and he is devoted to his men.
As a patriot, he is American to the core—were only his domestic policy straightforward and decided, and would he only stop meddling with the plans of the campaign, and let the War Department alone.
Since every part of his initiative with European cabinets failed, Seward very skilfully dispatches all the minor affairs with Europe—affairs generated by various maritime and international complications. Were his domestic policy as correct as is now his foreign policy, Seward would be the right man.
Statesmanship emerges from the collision of great principles with important interests. In the great Revolution, the thus called fathers of the nation were the offsprings of the exigencies of the time, and they were fully up to their task. They were vigorous and fresh; their intellect was not obstructed by any political routine, or by tricky political praxis. Such men are now needed at the helm to carry this noble people throughout the most terrible tempest. So in these days one hears so much about constitutional formulas as safeguards of liberty. True liberty is not to be virtually secured by any framework of rules and limitations, devisable only by statecraft. The perennial existence of liberty depends not on the action of any definite and ascertainable machinery, but on continual accessions of fresh and vital influences. But perhaps such influences are among the noblest, and therefore among the rarest, attributes of man.
Abroad and here, traitors and some pedants on formulas make a noise concerning the violation of formulas. Of course it were better if such violations had been left undone. But all this is transient, and evoked by the direst necessity. The Constitution was made for a healthy, normal condition of the nation; the present condition is abnormal. Regular functions are suspended. When the human body is ruined or devoured by a violent disease, often very tonic remedies are used—remedies which would destroy the organism if administered when in a healthy, normal condition. A strong organism recovers from disease, and from its treatment. Human societies and institutions pass through a similar ordeal, and when they are unhinged, extraordinary and abnormal ways are required to maintain the endangered society and restore its equipoise.
Examining day after day the map of Virginia, it strikes one that a movement with half of the army could be made down from Mount Vernon by the two turnpike roads, and by water to Occoquan, and from there to Brentsville. The country there seems to be flat, and not much wooded. Manassas would be taken in the rear, and surrounded, provided the other half of the army would push on by the direct way from here to Manassas, and seriously attack the enemy, who thus would be broken, could not escape. This, or any plan, the map of Virginia ought to suggest to the staff of McClellan, were it a staff in the true meaning. Dybitsch and Toll, young colonels in the staff of Alexander I., 1813-'14, originated the march on Paris, so destructive to Napoleon. History bristles with evidences how with staffs originated many plans of battles and of campaigns; history explains the paramount influence of staffs on the conduct of a war. Of course Napoleon wanted not a suggestive, but only an executive staff; but McClellan is not a Napoleon, and has neither a suggestive nor an executive staff around him. A Marcy to suggest a plan of a campaign or of a battle, to watch over its execution!
I spoke to McDowell about the positions of Occoquan and Brentsville. He answered that perhaps something similar will be under consideration, and that McClellan must show his mettle and capacity. I pity McDowell's confidence.
Besides, the American army as it was and is educated, nursed, brought up by Gen. Scott,—the army has no idea what are the various and complicated duties of a staff. No school of staff at West Point; therefore the difficulty to find now genuine officers of the staff. If McClellan ever moves this army, then the defectiveness of his staff may occasion losses and even disasters. It will be worse with his staff than it was at Jena with the Prussian staff, who were as conceited as the small West Point clique here in Washington.
West Point instructs well in special branches, but does not necessarily form generals and captains. The great American Revolution was fought and made victorious by men not from any military schools, and to whom were opposed commanders with as much military science as there was possessed and current in Europe. Jackson, Taylor, and even Scott, are not from the school.
I do not wish to judge or disparage the pupils from West Point, but I am disgusted with the supercilious and ridiculous behavior of the clique here, ready to form praetorians or anything else, and poisoning around them the public opinion. Western generals are West Point pupils, but I do not hear them make so much fuss, and so contemptuously look down on the volunteers. These Western generals pine not after regulars, but make use of such elements as they have under hand. The best and most patriotic generals and officers here, educated at West Point, are numerous. Unhappily a clique, composed of a few fools and fops, overshadows the others.
McClellan's speciality is engineering. It is a speciality which does not form captains and generals for the field,—at least such instances are very rare. Of all Napoleon's marshals and eminent commanders, Berthier alone was educated as engineer, and his speciality and high capacity was that of a chief of the staff. Marescott or Todleben would never claim to be captains. The intellectual powers of an engineer are modeled, drilled, turned towards the defensive,—the engineer's brains concentrate upon selecting defensive positions, and combine how to strengthen them by art. So an engineer is rather disabled from embracing a whole battle-field, with its endless casualties and space. Engineers are the incarnation of a defensive warfare; all others, as artillerists, infantry, and cavalry, are for dashing into the unknown—into the space; and thus these specialities virtually represent the offensive warfare.
When will they begin to see through McClellan, and find out that he is not the man? Perhaps too late, and then the nation will sorely feel it.
Mr. Seward almost idolizes McClellan. Poor homage that; but it does mischief by reason of its influence on the public opinion.
The message — Emancipation — State papers published — Curtis Noyes — Greeley not fit for Senator — Generalship all on the rebel side — The South and the North — The sensationists — The new idol will cost the people their life-blood! — The Blairs — Poor Lincoln! — The Trent affair — Scott home again — The war investigation committee — Mr. Mercier.
McClellan is now all-powerful, and refuses to divide the army into corps. Thus much for his brains and for his consistency.
The message—a disquisition upon labor and capital; hesitancy about slavery. The President wishes to be pushed on by public opinion. But public opinion is safe, and expects from the official leader a decided step onwards. The message gives no solution, suggests none, accounts not for the lost time—foreshadows not a vigorous, energetic effort to crush the rebellion; foreshadows not a vigorous, offensive war. The message is an honest paper, but says not much.
The question of emancipation is not clear even in the heads of the leading emancipationists; not one thinks to give freeholds to the emancipated. It is the only way to make them useful to themselves and to the community. Freedom without land is humbug, and the fools speak of exportation of the four millions of slaves, depriving thus the country of laborers, which a century of emigration cannot fill again. All these fools ought to be sent to a lunatic asylum.
To export the emancipated would be equivalent to devastation of the South, to its transformation into a wilderness. Small freeholds for the emancipated can be cut out of the plantations of rebels, or out of the public lands of each State—lands forfeited by the rebellion.
State papers published. The instructions to the various diplomatic agents betray a beginner in the diplomatic career. By writing special instructions for each minister, Mr. Seward unnecessarily increased his task. The cause, reasons, etc., of the rebellion are one and the same for France or Russia, and a single explanatory circular for all the ministers would have done as well and spared a great deal of labor. Cavour wrote one circular to all cabinets, and so do all European statesmen. So, as they are, the State papers are a curious agglomeration of good patriotism and confusion. So the Minister to England is to avoid slavery; the Minister to France has the contrary. All this is not smartness or diplomacy, but rather confusion, insincerity, and double-dealing. One must conclude that Lincoln and Seward have themselves no firm opinion. The instructions to Mexico would sound nobly-worded but for the confusion and the veil ordered to be thrown upon the cause of secession. That to Italy, above all to Austria, has a smack of a schoolmaster displaying his information before a gaping boy. It is offensive to the Minister going to Vienna. It may be suspected that some of these instructions were written to make capital at home, to astonish Mr. Lincoln with the knowledge of Europe and the familiarity with European affairs. All this display will prove to Europeans rather an ignorance of Europe. The correspondence on the Paris convention is splendid, although the initiative taken by Seward on this question was a mistake. But he argued well the case against the English and French reservations.
Never any government whatever treated so tenderly its worst and most dangerous enemies as does this government the Washington secessionists, spies for the enemy, and spreading false news here to frighten McClellan.
The old regular, but partly worn-out Republican leaders throttle and neutralize the new, fresh, vigorous accessions. So Curtis Noyes, one of the most eminent and devoted men, could not come into the Senate because Greeley wished to be elected.
No living man has rendered greater services to the people during the last twenty years than Greeley; but he ought to remain in his speciality. Greeley is no more fit for a Senator than to take the command of a regiment. Besides, the events already run over his head; Greeley is slowly breaking down.
McClellan is beset with all kinds of inventors, contractors, etc. He mostly endorses their suggestions, and on this authority the most extravagant orders are given by the War Department. All this ought to be investigated. Somebody back of McClellan may be found as being the real patron of these leeches.
If the genius or capacity of a commander consists not only in closely observing the movements of the enemy, but likewise in penetrating the enemy's plans and in modifying his own in proportion as they are deranged by an unexpected movement or a rapid march, then the generalship is altogether on the other side, and on ours not a sign, not a breath of it.
A civil war is mostly the purifying fire in a nation's existence. It is to be hoped that this great convulsion will purify the free States by sounding the death-knell of these small intriguing politicians. The American people at large will acquire earnestness, knowledge of men, and clear insight into its own affairs. Tricky politicians will be discarded, and true men backed by majorities.
The South has for its leaders the chiefs who for years organized the secession, who waged everything on its success, as life, honor, fortune, and who incite and carry with them the ignorant masses.
The reverse is in the North. Mr. Lincoln was not elected for suppressing the rebellion, nor did he make his Cabinet in view of a terrible national struggle for death or life. Neither Lincoln nor his Cabinet are the inciters or the inspiring leaders of the people, but only expressions—not ad hoc—of the national will. This is one reason why the administration is slower than the people, and why the rebel administration is quicker than ours.
The second reason, and generated by the first, is, that every rebel devotes his whole soul and energy to the success of the rebellion, forcibly forgetting his individuality. Our thus called leaders think first of their little selves, whose aggrandizement the public events are to secure, and the public cause is to square itself with their individual schemes.
Such is the policy of almost all those at the helm here. Not one among them is to be found deserving the name of a statesman, endowed with a great devotion, and with a great power, for the service of a great and noble aim. From the solemn hour that the fatherland honorably chains him to its service, the genuine statesman exists no more for himself, but for his country alone. If necessary, he ought to consider himself a victim to the public good, even were the public unjust towards him. He is to treat as enemies all the dirty, tricky, and mean passions and men. His enemies will hate, but the country, his enemies included, will esteem him. Such a man will be the genuine man of the American people, but he exists not in the official spheres.
It is for the first time in history that a young, insignificant man, without a past, without any reason, is put in such a lofty position as has been McClellan; he is to be literally kicked into greatness, and into showing eventually courage. All this is a psychological problem!
Kent's Commentary upon the qualifications of a President is the best criticism upon Lincoln.
These mosquitoes of public opinion, the sensation-seekers, the sentimental preachers, the lecturers, the amateurs of the thus called representative men, these oratorical falsifiers of history, but considered here as luminaries, are already at their pernicious, nay, accursed work.
They poison the judgment of the people. These hero-seekers for their sermons, lectures, and sensation productions, have already found all the criteria of a hero in McClellan, even in his chin, in the back of his horse, etc., etc., and now herald it all over the country. Curses be upon them.
No nation has ever raised idols with such facility as do the Americans. Nay, I do not suppose that there ever existed in history a nation with such a thirst for idols as this people. I may be a false prophet; but this new idol, McClellan, will cost them their life-blood.
The Blairs are now staunch supporters of McClellan. It is unpardonable. They ought to know, and they do know better. But Mr. Blair wishes to be Secretary of War in Cameron's place, and wishes to get it through McClellan.
And poor Lincoln! I pity him; but his advisers may make out of him something worse even than was Judas, in the curses of ages.
Polybius asserts that when the Greeks wrote about Rome they erred and lied, and when the Romans wrote of themselves they lied or boasted. The same the English do in relation to themselves, and to Americans. Above all, in this Trent affair, or excitement, all European writers for the press, professors, doctors, etc., pervert facts, reason, and international laws, forget the past, and lie or flatter, with a slight exception, as is Gasparin.
The Trent affair finished. We are a little humbled, but it was expedient to terminate it so. With another military leader than McClellan, we could march at the same time to Richmond, and invest Canada before any considerable English force could arrive there. But with such a hero at our head, better that it ends so. Europe will applaud us, and the relation with England will become clarified. Perhaps England would not have been so stiff in this Trent affair but for the fixed idea in Russell's, Newcastle's, Palmerston's, etc., heads that Seward wishes to pick a quarrel with England.
The first weeks of Seward's premiership pointed that way. Mr. Seward has the honors of the Trent affair. It is well as it is; the argument is smart, but a little too long, and not in a genuine diplomatic style. But Lincoln ought to have a little credit for it, as from the start he was for giving the traitors up.
The worst feature of the whole Trent affair is, that it brought back home from France this old mischief, General Scott. He will again resume his position as the first military authority in the country, confuse the judgment of Lincoln, of the press, and of the people, and again push the country into mire.
The Congress appointed a War Investigating Committee, Senator Wade at the head. There is hope that the committee will quickly find out what a terrible mistake this McClellan is, and warn the nation of him. But Lincoln, Seward, and the Blairs, will not give up their idol.
Louis Napoleon said his word about the Trent affair. All things considered, the conduct of the Emperor cannot be complained of. The Thouvenel paper is serious, severe, but intrinsically not unfriendly. Quite the contrary. Up to this time I am right in my reliance on Louis Napoleon, on his sound, cool, but broad comprehension.
Mr. Mercier behaves well, and he is to be relied on, provided we show mettle and fight the traitors. Now, as the European imbroglio is clarified, at them, at them! But nothing to hope or expect from McClellan. I daily preach, but in the wilderness. Prince de Joinville made a very ridiculous fuss about the Trent affair.
Americans believe that a statesman must be an orator. Schoolboy-like, they judge on English precedents. In England, the Parliament is omnipotent; it makes and unmakes administrations, therefore oratory is a necessary corollary in a statesman; but here the Cabinet acts without parliamentary wranglings, and a Jackson is the true type of an American statesman. Washington was not an orator, nor was Alexander Hamilton.
The year 1861 ends badly — European defenders of slavery — Secession lies — Jeremy Diddlers — Sensation-seekers — Despotic tendencies — Atomistic Torquemadas — Congress chained by formulas — Burnside's expedition a sign of life — Will this McClellan ever advance? — Mr. Adams unhorsed — He packs his trunks — Bad blankets — Austria, Prussia, and Russia — The West Point nursery — McClellan a greater mistake than Scott — Tracks to the White House — European stories about Mr. Lincoln — The English ignorami — The slaveholder a scarcely varnished savage — Jeff. Davis — "Beauregard frightens us — McClellan rocks his baby" — Fancy army equipment — McClellan and his chief of staff sick in bed — "No satirist could invent such things" — Stanton in the Cabinet — "This Stanton is the people" — Fremont — Weed — The English will not be humbugged — Dayton in a fret — Beaufort — The investigating committee condemn McClellan — Lincoln in the clutches of Seward and Blair — Banks begs for guns and cavalry in vain — The people will awake! — The question of race — Agassiz.
An ugly year ended in backing before England, having, at least, relative right on our side. Further, the ending year has revealed a certain incapacity in the Republican party's leaders, at least its official leaders, to administer the country and to grasp the events. If the new year shall be only the continuation of the faults, the mistakes, and the incapacities prevailing during 1861, then the worst is to be expected.
The lowest in moral degradation is an European defending slavery here or in Europe. Such Europeans are far below the condemned criminals. Still lower are such Europeans who become defenders of slavery after having visited plantations, where, in the shape of wines and delicacies, they tasted human blood, and then, hyenas-like, smacked their lips And thirsted for more.
Always the same stories, lies, and humbugs concerning the hundreds of thousands of rebels in Manassas. These lies are spread here in Washington by the numerous secessionists—at large, by such ignoble sheets as the New York Herald and Times; and McClellan seems to willingly swallow these lies, as they justify his inaction and c——.
The city is more and more crowded with Jeremy Diddlers, with lecturers, with sensation-seekers, all of them in advance discounting their hero, and showing in broad light their gigantic stupidity. One of this motley finds in McClellan a Norman chin, the other muscle, the third a brow for laurels (of thistle I hope), another a square, military, heroic frame, another firmness in lips, another an unfathomed depth in the eye, etc., etc. Never I heard in Europe such balderdash. And the ladies—not the women and gentlewomen—are worse than the men in thus stupefying themselves and those around them.
The thus called arbitrary acts of the government prove how easily, on the plea of patriotic necessity, a people, nay, the public opinion, submits to arbitrary rule. All this, servility included, explains the facility with which, in former times, concentrated and concrete despotisms have been established. Here every such arbitrary action is submitted to, because it is so new, and because the people has the childish, naive, but, to it, honorable confidence, that the power entrusted by the people is used in the interest and for the welfare of the people. But all the despots of all times and of all nations said the same. However, in justice to Mr. Lincoln, he is pure, and has no despotical longings, but he has around him some atomistic Torquemadas.
It will be very difficult to the coming generations to believe that a people, a generation, who for half a century was outrunning the time, who applied the steam and the electro-magnetic telegraph, that the same people, when overrun by a terrible crisis, moved slowly, waited patiently, and suffered from the mismanagement of its leaders. This is to be exclusively explained by the youthful self-consciousness of an internal, inexhaustible vital force, and by the child-like inexperience.
The Congress, that is, the majority, shows that it is aware of the urgency of the case, and of the dangerous position of the country. But still the best in Congress are chained, hampered by the formulas.
The good men in both the houses seem to be firmly decided not to quietly stand by and assist in the murder of the nation by the administrative and military incapacity. This was to be expected from such men as Wade, Grimes, Chandler, Hale, Wilson, Sumner (too classical), and other Republicans in the Senate, and from the numerous pure, radical Republicans in the House.
Burnside's expedition is a sign of life. But all these expeditions on the circumference, even if successful, will be fruitless if no bold, decided movement is at once made at the centre, at the heart of the rebellion. But McClellan, as his supporters say, matures his strategical plans. O God! General Scott lost by strategy three-fourths of the country's cause, and very probably by strategy McClellan will jeopardize what remains of it.
Will this McClellan ever advance? If he lingers, he may find only rats in Manassas. McClellan is ignorant of the great, unique rule for all affairs and undertakings,—it is to throw the whole man in one thing at one time. It is the same in the camp as in the study, for a captain as for a lawyer, the savant, and the scholar.
It is to be regretted that some of the men truly and thoroughly devoted to the cause of freedom and of humanity, mix with it such an enormous quantity of personal, almost childish vanity, as to puzzle many minds concerning the genuine nobleness of their devotion. It is to be regretted that those otherwise so self-sacrificing patriots discount even their martyrdom and persecutions, and credit them to their frivolous self-satisfaction.
Most of the thus-called well-informed Americans rather skim over than thoroughly study history. Above all, it applies to the general history of the Christian era, and of our great epoch (from the second half of the 18th century). Most of the Americans are only very superficially familiar with the history of continental Europe, or know it only by its contact with the history of England. Many of them are more familiar with the classical wars of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, etc., than with those of Gustavus, Frederick II., and even of Napoleon. Were it otherwise, strategy would not to such an extent have taken hold of their brains.
Mr. Adams was terribly unhorsed during the Trent excitement in England; he literally began to pack up his trunks, and asked a personal advice from Lord John Russell.
What a devoted patriot this Sandford in Belgium is; he has continual itchings in his hand to pay a higher price for bad blankets that they may not fall into the hands of secesh agents; so with cloth, so perhaps with arms. Oh, disinterested patriot!
Austria and Prussia whipped in by England and France, and at the same time glad to have an occasion to take the airs of maritime powers. Austria and Prussia sent their advice concerning the Trent affair. The kick of asses at what they suppose to be the dying lion.
Austria and Prussia! Great heavens! Ask the prisons of both those champions of violated rights how many better men than Slidell and Mason groaned in them; and the conduct of those powers against the Poles in 1831! Was it neutral or honest?
I am sure that Russia will behave well, and abstain from coming forward with uncalled-for and humiliating advice. Russia is a true great power,—a true friend,—and such noble behavior will be in harmony with the character of Alexander II., and with the friendliness and clear perception of events held by the Russian minister here. I hope that when the war is over the West Point nursery will be reformed, and a general military organization introduced, such a one as exists in Switzerland.
McClellan is a greater mistake than was even Scott. McClellan knows not the A B C of military history of any nation or war, or he would not keep this army so in camp. He would know that after recruits have been roughly instructed in the rudiments of a drill, the next best instructor is fighting. So it was in the thirty years' war; so in the American Revolution; so in the first French revolutionary wars. Strategians, martinets, lost the battles, or rather the campaigns, of Austerlitz, of Jena, etc. In 1813 German rough levies fought almost before they were drilled, and at Bautzen French recruits were victorious over Prussians, Russians, and Austrians. The secesh fight with fresh levies, etc.
Numerous political intriguers surrounding McClellan are busily laying tracks for him to the White House. What will Seward and Chase say to it, and even old Abe, who himself dreams of re-election, or at least his friends do it for him? All these candidates forget that the surest manner to reach the White House is not to think of it—to forget oneself and to act.
It is amusing to find in European papers all the various stories about Mr. Lincoln. There he is represented as a violent, blood-thirsty revolutionaire, dragging the people after him. In this manner, those European imbeciles are acquainted with American events, character, etc. They cannot find out that in decision, in clear-sightedness and soundness of judgment, the people are far ahead of Mr. Lincoln and of his spiritual or constitutional conscience-keepers. And the same imbeciles, if not canailles, speak of a mob-rule over the President, etc. Some one ought to enlighten those French and English supercilious ignorami that something like a mob only prevails in such cities as New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore; and nine-tenths of such a mob are mostly yet unwashed, unrepublicanized Europeans. The ninety-nine one-hundredths of the freemen of the North are more orderly, more enlightened, more law-abiding, and more moral than are the English lordlings, somebodies, nobodies, and would-be somebodies. In the West, lynch-law, to be sure, is at times used against brothels, bar-rooms, gambling-houses, and thieves. It would be well to do the same in London, were it not that most of the lynch-lawed may not belong to the people. If the European scribblers were not past any honest impulse, they would know that the South is the generator and the congenial region for the mob, the filibusters, the revolver and the bowie-knife rule. In the South the proportion of mobs to decency is the reverse of that prevailing in the free States. The slavery gentleman is a scarcely varnished savage, for whom the highest law is his reckless passion and will.
If Jeff. Davis succeeds, he will be the founder of a new and great slaveholding empire. His name will resound in after times; but history will record his name as that of a curse to humanity.
And so Davis is making history and Lincoln is telling stories. Beauregard gets inspired by the fumes of bivouacs; McClellan by the fumes of flatterers. Beauregard frightens us, McClellan rocks his baby. Beauregard shares the camp-fires of his soldiers; he sees them daily, knows them, as it is said, one by one; McClellan lives comfortably in the city, and appears only to the soldiers as the great Lama on special occasions. Camp-fellowship inspired all the great captains and established the magnetic current between the leader and the soldier.
McClellan organized a board of generals, arriving daily from the camps, to discuss some new fancy army equipment. And Lincoln, Seward, Blair, and all the tail of intriguers and imbeciles, still admire him. In no other country would such a futile man be kept in command of troops opposed to a deadly and skilful enemy.
For several weeks, McClellan and his chief of the staff (such as he is) are sick in bed, and no one is ad interim appointed to attend to the current affairs of our army of 600,000, having the enemy before their nose. Oh human imbecility! No satirist could invent such things; and if told, it would not be believed in Europe.
The McClellan-worship by the people at large is to be explained by the firm, ardent will of the people to crush the rebels, and by the general feeling of the necessity of a man for that purpose. Such is the case with the true, confiding people in the country; but here, contractors, martinets, and intriguers are the blowers of that worship. Lincoln is as is the people at large; but a Seward, a Blair, a Herald, a Times, and their respective and numerous tails,—as for their motives, they are the reverse of Lincoln and of the people.
Victories in Kentucky, beyond the circumference or the direct action from here; they are obtained without strategy and by rough levies. But this voice of events is not understood by the McClellan tross.
Change in the Cabinet: Stanton, a new man, not from the parlor, and not from the hacks. His bulletin on the victory in Kentucky inaugurated a new era. It is a voice that nobody hitherto uttered in America. It is the awakening voice of the good genius of the people, almost as that which awoke Lazarus. This Stanton is the people; I never saw him, but I hope he is the man for the events; perhaps he may turn out to be my statesman.
I wish I could get convinced of the real superiority of Fremont. It is true that he was treated badly and had natural and artificial difficulties to over come; it is true that to him belongs the credit of having started the construction of the mortar fleet; but likewise it is true that he was, at the mildest, unsurpassingly reckless in contracts and expenditures, and I shall never believe him a general. With all this, Fremont started a great initiative at a time when McClellan and three-fourths of the generals of his creation considered it a greater crime to strike at a gentleman slaveholder than to strike at the Union.
The courtesies and hospitalities paid to Thurlow Weed by English society are clamored here in various ways. These courtesies prove the high breeding and the good-will of a part, at least, of the English aristocracy and of English statesmen. I do not suppose that Thurlow Weed could ever have been admitted in such society if he were travelling on his own merits as the great lobbyist and politician. At the utmost, he would have been shown up as a rara avis. But introduced to English society as the master spirit of Mr. Seward, and as Seward's semi-official confidential agent, Thurlow Weed was admitted, and even petted. But it is another question if this palming of a Thurlow Weed upon the English high-toned statesmen increased their consideration for Mr. Seward. The Duke of Newcastle and others are not yet softened, and refuse to be humbugged.
Whoever has the slightest knowledge of how affairs are transacted, is well aware that the times of a personal diplomacy are almost gone. The exceptions are very rare, very few, and the persons must be of other might and intellectual mettle than a Sandford, Weed, or Hughes. Great affairs are not conducted or decided by conversations, but by great interests. Diplomatic agents, at the utmost, serve to keep their respective governments informed about the run of events. Mr. Mercier does it for Louis Napoleon; but Mr. Mercier's reports, however friendly they may be, cannot much influence a man of such depth as Louis Napoleon, and to imagine that a Hughes will be able to do it! I am ashamed of Mr. Seward; he proves by this would-be-crotchety policy how little he knows of events and of men, and how he undervalues Louis Napoleon. Such humbug missions are good to throw dirt in the eyes of a Lincoln, a Chase, etc., but in Europe such things are sent to Coventry. And Hughes to influence Spain! Oh! oh!
Dayton frets on account of the mission of Hughes. Dayton is right. Generally Dayton shows a great deal of good sense, of good comprehension, and a noble and independent character. He is not a flatterer, not servile, and subservient to Mr. Seward, as are others—Mr. Adams, Mr. Sandford, and some few other diplomatic agents.
The active and acting abolitionists ought to concentrate all their efforts to organize thoroughly and efficiently the district of Beaufort. The success of a productive colony there would serve as a womb for the emancipation at large.
Mr. Seward declares that he has given up meddling with military affairs. For his own sake, and for the sake of the country, I ardently wish it were so; but—I shall never believe it.
The Investigating Committee has made the most thorough disclosures of the thorough incapacity of McClellan; but the McClellan men, Seward, Blair, etc., neutralize, stifle all the good which could accrue to the country from these disclosures. And Lincoln is in their clutches. The administration by its influence prevents the publication of the results of this investigation, prevents the truth from coming to the people. Any hard name will be too soft for such a moral prevarication.
McClellan is either as feeble as a reed, or a bad man. The disorder around here is nameless. Banks compares it to the time of the French Directory. Banks has no guns, no cavalry, and is in the vanguard. He begs almost on his knees, and cannot get anything. And the country pays a chief of the staff, and head of the staffers.
The time must come, although it be now seemingly distant, that the people will awake from this lethargy; that it will perceive how much of the noblest blood of the people, how much time and money, have been worse than recklessly squandered. The people will find it out, and then they will ask those Cains at the wheel an account of the innocent blood of Abel, the country's son, the country's cause.
The defenders of, and the thus called moderate men on the question of slavery, utter about it the old rubbish composed of the most thorough ignorance and of disgusting fallacies, in relation to this pseudo science, or rather lie, about races. More of it will come out in the course of the Congressional discussions. Not one of them is aware that independent science, that comparative anatomy, physiology, psychology, anthropology, that philosophy of history altogether and thoroughly repudiate all these superficially asserted, or tried-to-be-established, intrinsic diversities and peculiarities of races. All these would-be axioms, theories, are based on sand. In true science the question of race as represented by the Southern school partisans of slavery, with Agassiz, the so-called professor of Charleston by European savans, at their head,—that question is at the best an illusive element, and endangers the accuracy of induction. As it presents itself to the unprejudiced investigator, race is nothing more than the single manifestation of anterior stages of existence, the aggregate expression of the pre-historic vicissitudes of a people.
If those would-be knowing arguers on slavery, race, etc., were only aware of the fact that such people as the primitive Greeks, or the ancestors of classical Greeks, that the ancestors of the Latins, that even the roving, robbing ancestors of the Anglo Saxons, in some way or other, have been anthropophagi, and worshipped fetishes; and even as thus called already civilized, they sacrificed men to gods,—could our great pro-slavers know all this, they would be more decent in their ignorant assertions, and not, so self-satisfied, strut about in their dark ignorance.
Those who are afraid that the freed negroes of the South will run to the Northern free States, display an ignorance still greater than the former. When the enslaved colored Americans in the South shall be all thoroughly emancipated in that now cursed region, then they will remain in the, to them, congenial climate, and in the favorable economical conditions of labor and of existence. Not only those emancipated will not run North, but the colored population from the free States, incited and stirred up by natural attractions, will leave the North for the South, as small streamlets and rivulets run into a large current or river.
The rebels extend on an immense bow, nearly one hundred miles, from the lower to the upper Potomac. Our army, two to one, is on the span of the arc, and we do nothing. A French sergeant would be better inspired than is McClellan.
Drifting — The English blue book — Lord John could not act differently — Palmerston the great European fuss-maker — Mr. Seward's "two pickled rods" for England — Lord Lyons — His pathway strewn with broken glass — Gen. Stone arrested — Sumner's resolutions infuse a new spirit in the Constitution — Mr. Seward beyond salvation — He works to save slavery — Weed has ruined him — The New York press — "Poor Tribune" — The Evening Post — The Blairs — Illusions dispelled — "All quiet on the Potomac" — The London papers — Quill-heroes can be bought for a dinner — French opinion — Superhuman efforts to save slavery — It is doomed! — "All you worshippers of darkness cannot save it!" — The Hutchinsons — Corporal Adams — Victories in the West — Stanton the man! — Strategy (hear! hear!)
We are obliged, one by one, to eat our official high-toned assertions and words, and day after day we drift towards putting the rebels on an equal footing with ourselves. We declared the privateers to be pirates (which they are), and now we proffer their exchange against our colonels and other honorable prisoners. So one radical evil generates numberless others. And from the beginning of the struggle this radical evil was and is the want of earnestness, of a firm purpose, and of a straight, vigorous policy by the administration. Paullatim summa petuntur may turn out true—but for the rebels.
The publication of the English blue book, or of official correspondence between Lord Lyons and Lord John Russell, throws a new light on the conduct of the English Cabinet; and, anglophobe as I am, I must confess that, all things considered, above all the unhappily-justified distrust of England in Mr. Seward's policy,—from the first day of our troubles Lord John Russell could not act differently from what he did. Lord John Russell had to reconcile the various and immense interests of England, jeopardized by the war, with his sincere love of human liberty. Therein Lord John Russell differs wholly from Lord Palmerston, this great European fuss-maker, who hates America. As far as it was possible, Lord J. Russell remained faithful to the noble (not hereditary, but philosophical) traditions of his blood. Lord John Russell's letter to Lord Lyons (No. 17), February 20, 1861, although full of distrust in the future policy of Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet towards England, is nevertheless an honorable document for his name.
Lord J. Russell was well aware that the original plan of Mr. Seward was to annoy and worry England. Everything is known in this world, and especially the incautious words and conversations of public men. Months before the inauguration, Mr. Seward talked to senators of both parties that he had in store "two pickled rods" for England. The one was to be Green (always drunken), the Senator from Missouri, on account of the colored man Anderson; the other Mr. Nesmith, the Senator from Oregon, and the San Juan boundaries. Undoubtedly the Southern senators did not keep secret the like inimical forebodings concerning Mr. Seward's intentions towards England. Undoubtedly all this must have been known to Lord J. Russell when he wrote the above-mentioned letter, No. 17.
More even than Lord John Russell's, Lord Lyons's official correspondence since November, 1860, inspires the highest possible respect for his noble sentiments and character. Above all, one who witnessed the difficulties of Lord Lyons's position here, and how his pathway was strewn with broken glass, and this by all kinds of hands, must feel for him the highest and most sincere consideration. From the official correspondence, Lord Lyons comes out a friend of humanity and of human liberty,—just the reverse of what he generally was supposed to be. And during the whole Trent affair, Lord Lyons's conduct was discreet, delicate, and generous. Events may transform Lord Lyons into an official enemy of the Union; but a mind soured by human meanness is soothingly impressioned by such true nobleness in a diplomat and an Englishman.
Gen. Stone, of Ball's Bluff infamous massacre, arrested. Bravo! At the best, Stone was one of those conceited regulars who admired slavery, and who would have wished to save the Union in their own peculiar way. I wish he may speak, as in all probability he was not alone.
Sumner's resolutions infuse a new spirit in the Constitution, and elevate it from the low ground of a dead formula. The resolutions close the epoch of the Stories, of the Kents, of the Curtises, and inaugurate a higher comprehension of American constitutionalism. During this session Charles Sumner triumphantly and nobly annihilated the aspersions of his enemies, representing him as a man of one hobby, but lacking any practical ideas. His speech on currency was among the best. Not so with his speech about the Trent affair. It is superficial, and contains misconceptions concerning treaties, and other blunders very strange in a would-be statesman.
Ardently devoted to the cause of justice and of human rights, Sumner weakens the influence which he ought to exercise, because he impresses many with the notion that he looks more to the outside effect produced by him than to the intrinsic value of the subject; he makes others suppose that he is too fond of such effect, and, above all, of the effect produced in Europe among the circle of his English and European acquaintances.
It is positively asserted that Lincoln agreed to take Mr. Seward in the Cabinet, because Weed and others urgently represented that Mr. Seward is the only man in the Republican party who is familiar with Europe, with her statesmen, and their policy. O Lord! O Lord! And where has Seward acquired all this information? Mr. Seward had not even the first A B C of it, or of anything else connected with it. And, besides, such a kind of special information is, at the utmost, of secondary necessity for an American statesman. Marcy had it not, and was a true, a genuine statesman. Undoubtedly, nature has endowed Seward with eminent intellectual qualities, and with germs for an eminent statesman. But the intellectual qualities became blunted by the long use of crotchets and tricks of a politician, by the associations and influence of such as Weed, etc.; thereby the better germs became nipped, so to speak, in the bud. Mr. Seward's acquired information by study, by instruction, and by reading, is quite the reverse of what in Europe is regarded as necessary for a statesman. Often, very often, I sorrowfully analyze and observe Mr. Seward, with feelings like those evoked in us by the sight of a noble ruin, or of a once rich, natural panorama, but now marred by large black spots of burned and dead vegetation, or by the ashes of a volcano.
Now, Mr. Seward is beyond salvation—a "disappointed man," as he called himself in a conversation with Judge Potter, M. C.; he changed aims, and perhaps convictions. For Mr. Seward, slavery is no more the most hideous social disease; he abandoned that creed which elevated him in the confidence of the people. Now he works to preserve as much as possible of the curse of slavery; he does it on the plea of Union and conservatism; but in truth he wishes to disorganize the pure Republican party, which he hates since the Chicago Convention and since the days of the formation of the Cabinet. Under the advice of Weed, Mr. Seward attempts to form a (thus called) Union and conservative party, which at the next turn may carry him into the White House.
Seward considers Weed his good genius; but in reality Weed has ruined Seward. Now Mr. Seward supports strategy, imbecility, and McClellan. The only explanation for me is, that Seward, participating in all military counsels and strategic plans, and not understanding any of them, finds it safer to back McClellan, and thus to deceive others about his own ignorance of military matters.
The press—the New York one—worse and worse; the majority wholly degraded to the standard of the Herald and of the Times. The poor Tribune, daily fading away, altogether losing that bold, lofty spirit of initiative to which for so many years the Tribune owed its all-powerful and unparalleled influence over the free masses. Now, at times, the Tribune is similar to an old, honest sexagenarian, attempting to draw a night-cap over his ears and eyes. The flames of the holy fire, so common once in the Tribune, flash now only at distant, very distant epochs. The Evening Post towers over all of them. If the Evening Post never at a jump went as far as once did the Tribune, the Evening Post never made or makes a retrograde step; but perhaps slowly, but steadily and boldly, moves on. The Evening Post is not a paper of politicians or of jobbers, but of enlightened, well-informed, and strong-hearted patriots and citizens.
Mr. Blair, after all, is only an ambitious politician. My illusion about both the brothers is wholly dispelled and gone. I regret it, but both sustain McClellan, both look askant on Stanton, and belong to the conditional emancipationists, colonizationists, and other RADICAL preservers of slavery. All such form a class of superficial politicians, of compromisers with their creed, and are corrupters of others.
How ardently I would prefer not to so often accuse others; but more than forty years of revolutionary and public life and experience have taught me to discriminate between deep convictions and assumed ones—to highly venerate the first, and to keep aloof from the second. Gold is gold, and pinchbeck is pinchbeck, in character as in metal.
McClellan acts as if he had taken the oath to some hidden and veiled deity or combination, by all means not to ascertain anything about the condition of the enemy. Any European if not American old woman in pants long ago would have pierced the veil by a strong reconnoissance on Centreville. Here "all quiet on the Potomac." And I hear generals, West Pointers, justifying this colossal offence against common sense, and against the rudiments of military tactics, and even science. Oh, noble, but awfully dealt with, American people!
At times Mr. Seward talks and acts as if he lacked altogether the perception of the terrible earnestness of the struggle, of the dangers and responsibilities of his political position, as well now before the people as hereafter before history. Often I can scarcely resist answering him, Beware, beware!
Lincoln belittles himself more and more. Whatever he does is done under the pressure of events, under the pressure of the public opinion. These agencies push Lincoln and slowly move him, notwithstanding his reluctant heaviness and his resistance. And he a standard-bearer of this noble people!
Those mercenary, ignorant, despicable scribblers of the London Times, of the Tory Herald, of the Saturday Review, and of the police papers in Paris, as the Constitutionnel, the Pays, the Patrie, all of them lie with unparalleled facility. Any one knows that those hungry quill-heroes can be got for a good dinner and a douceur.
I am sorry that the Americans ascribe to Louis Napoleon and to the French people the hostility to human rights as shown by those echappes des bagnes de la litterature. Louis Napoleon and the French people have nothing in common with those literary blacklegs.
The Journal des Debats, the Opinion Nationale, the Presse, the Siecle, etc., constitute the true and honest organs of opinion in France. In the same way A. de Gasparin speaks for the French people with more authority than does Michel Chevalier, who knows much more about free trade, about canals and railroads, but is as ignorant of the character, of the spirit, and of the institutions of the American people, as he is ignorant concerning the man in the moon. So the lawyer Hautefeuille must have received a fee to show so much ill-will to the cause of humanity, and such gigantic ignorance.
Who began the civil war? is repeatedly discussed by those quill cut-throats and allies on the Thames and on the Seine.
Here some smaller diplomats (not Sweden, who is true to the core to the cause of liberty), and, above all, the would-be fashionable galopins des legations, are the cesspools of secession news, picked up by them in secesh society. Happily, the like galopins are the reverse of the opinions of their respective chiefs.
What superhuman efforts are made in Congress, and out of it, in the Cabinet, in the White House, by Union men,—Seward imagines he leads them,—by the weak-brained, and by traitors, to save slavery, if not all, at least a part of it. Every concession made by the President to the enemies of slavery has only one aim; it is to mollify their urgent demands by throwing to them small crumbs, as one tries to mollify a boisterous and hungry dog. By such a trick Lincoln and Seward try to save what can be saved of the peculiar institution, to gratify, and eventually to conciliate, the South. This is the policy of Lincoln, of Seward, and very likely of Mr. Blair. Such political gobe-mouche as Doolittle and many others, are, or will be, taken in by this manoeuvre.
Scheme what you like, you schemers, wiseacres, politicians, and would-be statesmen, nevertheless slavery is doomed. Humanity will have the best against such pettifoggers as you. I know better. I have the honor to belong to that European generation who, during this half of our century, from Tagus and Cadiz to the Wolga, has gored with its blood battle-fields and scaffolds; whose songs and aspirations were re-echoed by all the horrible dungeons; by dungeons of the blood-thirsty Spanish inquisition, then across Europe and Asia, to the mines of Nertschinsk, in the ever-frozen Altai. We lost all we had on earth; seemingly we were always beaten; but Portugal and Spain enjoy to-day a constitutional regime that is an improvement on absolutism. France has expelled forever the Bourbons, and universal suffrage, spelt now by the French people, is a progress, is a promise of a great democratic future. Germany has in part conquered free speech and free press. Italy is united, Romanism is falling to pieces, Austria is undermined and shaky, and broken are the chains on the body of the Russian serf. All this is the work of the spirit of the age, and our generation was the spirit's apostle and confessor. And so it will be with slavery, and all you worshippers of darkness cannot save it.
Not the one who strikes the first blow begins a civil war, but he who makes the striking of the blow imperative. The Southern robbers cannot claim exemption; they stole the arsenals, and struck the first blow at Sumpter. So much for the infamous quill-heroes of the London Times, the Herald, and tutti quanti.
The highest crime is treason in arms, and this crime is praised and defended by the English would-be high-toned press. But sooner or later it will come out how much apiece was paid to the London Times, the Herald, and the Saturday Review for their venomous articles against the Union.
McClellan expelled from the army the Hutchinson family. It is mean and petty. Songs are the soul and life of the camp, and McClellan's heroic deeds have not yet found their minstrel.
After all, McClellan has organized—nothing! McDowell has, so to speak, formed the first skeletons of brigades, divisions, of parks of artillery, etc. The people uninterruptedly poured in men and treasures, and McClellan only continued what was commenced before him.
I positively know that already in December Mr. Lincoln began to be doubtful of McClellan's generalship. This doubtfulness is daily increasing, and nevertheless Mr. Lincoln keeps that incapacity in command because he does not wish to hurt McClellan's feelings. Better to ruin the noble people, the country! I begin to draw the conclusion that Mr. Lincoln's good qualities are rather negative than positive.
Mr. Adams complains that he is kept in the dark about the policy of the administration, and cannot answer questions made to him in London. But the administration, that is, Lincoln and Seward, are a little a la Micawber, expecting what may turn up. And, besides this, the great orator de lana caprina (Mr. Adams) deliberately degraded himself to the condition of a corporal under Mr. Seward's orders.
Victories in the West, results of the new spirit in the War Department. Stanton will be the man.
It is a curious fact that such commanders as Halleck, etc., sit in cities and fight through those under them; and there are ignoble flatterers trying to attribute these victories to McClellan, and to his strategy. As if battles could be commanded by telegraph at one thousand miles' distance. It is worse than imbecility, it is idiotism and strategy.
Stanton calls himself a man of one idea. How he overtops in the Cabinet those myrmidons with their many petty notions! One idea, but a great and noble one, makes the great men, or the men for great events. Would God that the people may understand Stanton, and that pettifoggers, imbeciles, and traitors may not push themselves between the people and Stanton, and neutralize the only man who has the one idea to break, to crush the rebellion.
Every day Mr. Lincoln shows his want of knowledge of men and of things; the total absence of intuition to spell, to see through, and to disentangle events.
If, since March, 1861, instead of being in the hands of pettifoggers, Mr. Lincoln had been in the hands of a man of one idea as is Stanton, nine-tenths of the work would have been accomplished.
McClellan's flunkeys claim for him the victories in the West. It is impossible to settle which is more to be scorned in them, their flunkeyism or their stupidity.
Lock-jaw expedition. For any other government whatever, in one even of the most abject favoritism, such a humbug and silly conduct of the commander and of his chief of the staff would open the eyes even of a Pompadour or of a Dubarry. Here, our great rulers and ministers shut the more closely their mind's (?) eyes * * * * *
For the first time in one of his dispatches Mr. Corporal Adams dares to act against orders, and mentions—but very slightly—slavery. Mr. Adams observes to his chief that in England public opinion is very sensitive; at last the old freesoiler found it out.
How this public opinion in America is unable to see the things as they naturally are. Now the public fights to whom to ascribe the victories in the West. Common sense says, Ascribe them, 1st, to the person who ordered the fight (Stanton); 2d, exclusively to the generals who personally commanded the battles and the assaults of forts. Even Napoleon did not claim for himself the glory for battles won by his generals when in his, Napoleon's, absence.
For weeks McClellan and his thus called staff diligently study international law, strategy (hear, hear!), tactics, etc. His aids translate for his use French and German writers. One cannot even apply in this case the proverb, "Better late than never," as the like hastily scraped and undigested sham-knowledge unavoidably must obfuscate and wholly confuse McClellan's—not Napoleonic—brains.
The intriguers and imbeciles claim the Western victories as the illustration of McClellan's great strategy. Why shows he not a little strategy under his nose here? Any old woman would surround and take the rebels in Manassas.
Now they dispute to Grant his deserved laurels. If he had failed at Donelson, the strategians would have washed their hands, and thrown on Grant the disaster. So did Scott after Bull Run.
Mr. Lincoln, McClellan, Seward, Blair, etc., forget the terrible responsibility for thus recklessly squandering the best blood, the best men, the best generation of the people, and its treasures. But sooner or later they will be taken to a terrible account even by the Congress, and at any rate by history.
It is by their policy, by their support of McClellan, that the war is so slow, and the longer it lasts the more human sacrifices it will devour, and the greater the costs of the devastation. Stanton alone feels and acts differently, and it seems that the rats in the Cabinet already begin their nightly work against him. These rats are so ignorant and conceited!
The celebrated Souvoroff was accused of cruelty because he always at once stormed fortresses instead of investing them and starving out the inhabitants and the garrisons. The old hero showed by arithmetical calculations that his bloodiest assaults never occasioned so much loss of human life as did on both sides any long siege, digging, and approaches, and the starving out of those shut up in a fortress. This for McClellan and for the intriguing and ignorant RATS.
The Africo-Americans — Fremont — The Orleans — Confiscation — American nepotism — The Merrimac — Wooden guns — Oh shame! — Gen. Wadsworth — The rats have the best of Stanton — McClellan goes to Fortress Monroe — Utter imbecility — The embarkation — McClellan a turtle — He will stick in the marshes — Louis Napoleon behaves nobly — So does Mr. Mercier — Queen Victoria for freedom — The great strategian — Senator Sumner and the French minister — Archbishop Hughes — His diplomatic activity not worth the postage on his correspondence — Alberoni-Seward — Love's labor lost.
Men like this Davis, Wickliffe, and all the like pecus, roar against the African race. The more I see of this doomed people, the more I am convinced of their intrinsic superiority over all their white revilers, above all, over this slaveholding generation, rotten, as it is, to the core. When emancipated, the Africo-Americans in immense majority will at once make quiet, orderly, laborious, intelligent, and free cultivators, or, to use European language, an excellent peasantry; when ninety-nine one-hundredths of slaveholders, either rebels or thus called loyal, altogether considered, as human beings are shams, are shams as citizens, and constitute caricatures and monsters of civilization.
Civilization! It is the highest and noblest aim in human destinies when it makes the man moral and true; but civilization invoked by, and in which strut traitors, slaveholders, and abettors of slavery, reminds one of De Maistre's assertion, that the devil created the red man of America as a counterfeit to man, God's creation in the Old World. This so-called civilization of the slaveholders is the devil's counterfeit of the genuine civilization.
The Africo-Americans are the true producers of the Southern wealth—cotton, rice, tobacco, etc. When emancipated and transformed into small farmers, these laborious men will increase and ameliorate the culture of the land; and they will produce by far more when the white shams and drones shall be taken out of their way. In the South, bristling with Africo-American villages, will almost disappear fillibusterism, murder, and the bowie knife, and other supreme manifestations of Southern chivalrous high-breeding.
Fremont's reports and defence show what a disorder and insanity prevailed under the rule of Scott. Fremont's military capacity perhaps is equal to zero; his vanity put him in the hands of wily flatterers; but the disasters in the West cannot be credited to him. Fremont initiated the construction of the mortar flotilla on the Mississippi (I positively know such is the fact), and he suggested the capture of various forts, but was not sustained at this sham, the headquarters.
These Orleans have wholly espoused and share in the fallacious and mischievous notions of the McClellanites concerning the volunteers. Most probably with the authority of their name, they confirm McClellan's fallacious notions about the necessity of a great regular army. The Orleans are good, generous boys, but their judgment is not yet matured; they had better stayed at home.
Confiscation is the great word in Congress or out of it. The property of the rebels is confiscable by the ever observed rule of war, as consecrated by international laws. When two sovereigns make war, the victor confiscates the other's property, as represented by whole provinces, by public domains, by public taxes and revenues. In the present case the rebels are the sovereigns, and their property is therefore confiscable. But for the sake of equity, and to compensate the wastes of war, Congress ought to decree the confiscation of property of all those who, being at the helm, by their political incapacity or tricks contribute to protract the war and increase its expense.
Mr. Lincoln yields to the pressure of public opinion. A proof: his message to Congress about emancipation in the Border States. Crumb No. 1 thrown—reluctantly I am sure—to the noble appetite of freemen. I hope history will not credit Mr. Lincoln with being the initiator.
American nepotism puts to shame the one practised in Europe. All around here they keep offices in pairs, father and son. So McClellan has a father in-law as chief of the staff, a brother as aid, and then various relations, clerks, etc., etc., and the same in some other branches of the administration.
The Merrimac affair. Terrible evidence how active and daring are the rebels, and we sleepy, slow, and self-satisfied. By applying the formula of induction from effect to cause, the disaster occasioned by the Merrimac, and any further havoc to be made by this iron vessel,—all this is to be credited to McClellan.
If Norfolk had been taken months ago, then the rebels could not have constructed the Merrimac. Norfolk could have been easily taken any day during the last six months, but for strategy and the maturing of great plans! These are the sacramental words more current now than ever. Oh good-natured American people! how little is necessary to humbug thee!
Oh shame! oh malediction! The rebels left Centreville,—which turns out to be scarcely a breastwork, with wooden guns,—and they slipped off from Manassas.
When McClellan got the news of the evacuation, he gravely considered where to lean his right or left flanks, and after the consideration, two days after the enemy wholly completed the evacuation, McClellan moves at the head of 80,000 men—to storm the wooden guns of Centreville. Two hours after the news of the evacuation reached the headquarters, Gen. Wadsworth asked permission to follow with his brigade, during the night, the retreating enemy. But it was not strategy, not a matured plan. If Gen. Wadsworth had been in command of the army, not one of the rats from Manassas would have escaped. The reasons are, that Gen. Wadsworth has a quick, clear, and wide-encompassing conception of events and things, a clear insight, and many other inborn qualities of mind and intellect.
The Congress has a large number of very respectable capacities, and altogether sufficient for the emergencies, and the Congress would do more good but for the impediments thrown in its way by the double-dealing policy prevailing in Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet and administration. The majority in Congress represent well the spirit of self-government. It is a pity that Congress cannot crush or purify the administration.
All that passes here is maddening, and I am very grateful to my father and mother for having endowed me with a frame which resists the blows.
The pursuit of the enemy abandoned, the basis of operations changed. The rats had the best of Stanton. Utinam sim falsus propheta, but if Stanton's influence is no more all-powerful, then there is an end to the short period of successes. Mr. Lincoln's council wanted to be animated by a pure and powerful spirit. Stanton was the man, but he is not a match for impure intriguers. Also McClellan goes to Fortress Monroe, to Yorktown, to the rivers. This plan reveals an utter military imbecility, and its plausibility can only catch ——.
1st. Common sense shows that the rebels ought to be cut off from their resources, that is, from railroads, and from communication with the revolted States in the interior, and to be precipitated into the ocean. To accomplish it our troops ought to have marched by land to Richmond, and pushed the enemy towards the ocean. Now McClellan pushes the rebels from the extremity towards the centre, towards the focus of their basis,—exactly what they want.
I am sure that McClellan is allured to this strategy by the success of the gunboats on the Mississippi. He wishes that the gunboats may take Richmond, and he have the credit of it.
The Merrimac is still menacing in Hampton Roads, and may, some day or other, play havoc with the transports. The communications by land are always more preferable than those by water—above all for such a great army. A storm, etc., may do great mischief.
McClellan assures the President, and the other intriguers and fools constituting his supporters, that in a few days he will throw 55,000 men on Yorktown. He and his staff to do such a thing, which would be a masterpiece even for the French military leaders and their staffs! He, McClellan, never knew what it was to embark an army. Those who believe him are even greater imbeciles than I supposed them to be. Poor Stanton, to be hampered by imbecility and intrigue! I went to Alexandria to see the embarkation; it will last weeks, not days.
From Yorktown to Richmond, the country is marshy, very marshy; McClellan, a turtle, a dasippus, will not understand to move quick and to overcome the impediments. Faulty as it is to drive the rebels from the sea towards their centre, this false move would be corrected by rash and decisive movements. But McClellan will stick in the marshes, and may never reach Richmond by that road.
Any man with common sense would go directly by land; if the army moves only three miles a day it will reach Richmond sooner than by the other way. Such an army in a spell will construct turnpike roads and bridges, and if the rebels tear up the railroads, they likewise could be easily repaired. Progressing in the slowest, in the most genuine McClellan manner, the army will reach Richmond with less danger than by the Peninsula.
The future American historian ought to record in gold and diamonds the names of those who in the councils opposed McClellan's new strategy. Oh! Mr. Seward, Mr. Seward, why is your name to be recorded among the most ardent supporters of this strategy?
Jeff. Davis sneers at the immense amount of money, etc., spent by Mr. Lincoln. As he, Jeff. Davis, is still quietly in Richmond, and his army undestroyed, of course he is right to sneer at Mr. Lincoln and McClellan, whom he, Jeff. Davis, kept at bay with wooden guns.
Senator Sumner takes airs to defend or explain McClellan. The Senator is probably influenced by Blair. The Senator cannot be classed among traitors and intriguers supporting the great strategian. Perhaps likewise the Senator believes it to be distingue to side with strategy.
If the party and the people could have foreseen that civil war was inevitable, undoubtedly Mr. Lincoln would not have been elected. But as the cause of the North would have been totally ruined by the election of Lincoln's Chicago competitor, Mr. Lincoln is the lesser of the two evils.
A great nuisance is this competition for all kinds of news by the reporters hanging about the city, the government, and the army. Some of these reporters are men of sense, discernment, and character; but for the sake of competition and priority they fish up and pick up what they can, what comes in their way, even if such news is altogether beyond common sense, or beyond probability.
In this way the best among the newspapers have confused and misled the sound judgment of the people; so it is in relation to the overwhelming numbers of the rebels, and by spreading absurdities concerning relations with Europe. The reporters of the Herald and of the Times are peremptorily instructed to see the events through the perverted spectacles of their respective bosses.
Mr. Adams gets either frightened or warm. Mr. A. insists on the slavery question, speaks of the project of Mason and Slidell in London to offer certain moral concessions to English anti-slavery feeling,—such as the regulations of marriage, the repeal of laws against manumission, etc. Mr. Adams warns that these offers may make an impression in England.
When all around me I witness this revolting want of energy,—Stanton excepted,—this vacillation, these tricks and double-dealings in the governmental spheres, then I wish myself far off in Europe; but when I consider this great people outside of the governmental spheres, then I am proud to be one of the people, and shall stay and fall with them.
How meekly the people accept the disgrace of the wooden guns and of the evacuation of Manassas! It is true that the partisans of McClellan, the traitors, the intriguers, and the imbeciles are devotedly at work to confuse the judgment of the people at large.
Mr. Dayton's semi-official conversation with Louis Napoleon shows how well disposed the Emperor was and is. The Emperor, almost as a favor, asks for a decided military operation. And in face of such news from Europe, Lincoln, Seward, and Blair sustain the do-nothing strategian!
Until now Louis Napoleon behaves nobly, and not an atom of reproach can be made by the American people against his policy; and our policy many times justly could have soured him, as the acceptation of the Orleans, etc. No French vessels ran anywhere the blockade; secesh agents found very little if any credit among French speculators. Very little if any arms, munitions, etc., were bought in France. And in face of all these positive facts, the American wiseacres here and in Europe, all the bar-room and street politicians here and there, all the would-be statesmen, all the sham wise, are incessant in their speculations concerning certain invisible, deep, treacherous schemes of Louis Napoleon against the Union. This herd is full of stories concerning his deep hatred of the North; they are incessant in their warnings against this dangerous and scheming enemy. Some Englishmen in high position stir up this distrust. On the authority of letters repeatedly received from England, Senator Sumner is always in fits of distrust towards the policy of France. The last discovery made by all these deep statesmen here and in France is, that Louis Napoleon intends to take Mexico, to have then a basis for cooperation with the rebels, and to destroy us. But Mexico is not yet taken, and already the allies look askance at each other. Those great Anglo-American Talleyrands, Metternichs, etc., bring down the clear and large intellect of Louis Napoleon to the atomistic proportions of their own sham brains. I do not mean to foretell Louis Napoleon's policy in future. Unforeseen emergencies and complications may change it. I speak of what was done up to this day, and repeat, not the slightest complaint can be made against Louis Napoleon. And in justice to Mr. Mercier, the French minister here, it must be recorded that he sincerely seconds the open policy of his sovereign. Besides, Mr. Mercier now openly declares that he never believed the Americans to be such a great and energetic people as the events have shown them to be. I am grateful to him for this sense of justice, shared only by few of his diplomatic colleagues.
In one word, official and unofficial Europe, in its immense majority, is on our side. The exceptions, therefore, are few, and if they are noisy, they are not intrinsically influential and dangerous. The truest woman, Queen Victoria, is on the side of freedom, of right, and of justice. This ennobles even her, and likewise ennobles our cause. Not the bad wishes of certain Europeans are in our way, but our slowness, the McClellanism and its supporters.
Quidquid delirant reges, plectuntur achivi! The achivi is the people, and the McClellanists are the reges.
Mr. Seward, elated by victories, insinuates to foreign powers that they may stop the "recognition of belligerents." Oh imagination! Such things ought not even to be insinuated, as logic and common sense clearly show that the foreign cabinets cannot do it, and thus stultify themselves. Seward believes that his rhetoric is irresistible, and will move the cabinets of France and of England. * * * Not the "recognition of belligerents;" let the rebels slip off from Manassas, etc. Mr. Seward would do better for himself and for the country to give up meddling with the operations of the war, and backing the bloodless campaigns of the strategian. But Mr. Seward, carried away by his imagination, believes that the cabinets will yield to his persuasive voice, and then, oh! what a feather in his diplomatic cap before the befogged Mr. Lincoln, and before the people. But pia desideria.
In all the wars, as well as in all the single campaigns and battles, every captain deserving this name aimed at breaking his enemy in the centre or at seizing his basis of operations, wherefrom the enemy draws its resources and forces. The great strategian changed all this; he goes directly to the circumference instead of aiming at the heart.
Mr. Seward, answering Mr. Dayton's dispatch concerning his, Dayton's, conversation with Louis Napoleon, points to Europe being likewise menaced by revolutionists. Unnecessary spread-eagleism, and an awful want of any, even diplomatic, tact. I hope that Mr. Dayton, who has so much sound sense and discernment, will keep to himself this freak of Mr. Seward's untamable imagination.
Under the influence of insinuations received from his English friends, Senator Sumner said to Mr. Mercier (I was present) that with every steamer he expects a joint letter of admonition directed by the French and English to our government. Mr. Mercier retorted, "How can you, sir, have such notions? you are too great a nation to be treated in this way. Such letters would do for Greece, etc., but not for you." I was sorry and glad for the lesson thus given.
Archbishop Hughes was not over-successful in France, and went off rather second-best in the opinion of the press, of the public, and of the Catholic, even ultra-Montane clergy of France. All this on account of his conditional anti-slaverism and unconditional pro-slaverism. All this was easily to be foreseen. His Eminence is in Rome, and from Rome is to influence Spain in our favor.
Oh diplomacy! oh times of Capucine and Jesuit fathers and of Abbes! We, the children of the eighteenth century, we recall you to life. I do not suppose that the whole diplomatic activity of his Eminence is worth the postage of his correspondence. But Uncle Sam is generous, and pays him well. So it is with Thurlow Weed, who tries to be economical, is unsuccessful, and cries for more monish. A schoolboy on a spree!
It seems that Weed loses not his time, and tries with Sandford to turn a penny in Belgium. Oh disinterested saviors of the country, and patriots!
But for this violent development of our domestic affairs, Mr. Seward would have appeared before the world as the mediator between the Pope and the insubordinate European nations, sovereigns, and cabinets.
Oh, Alberoni! oh, imaginary! It beats any of the wildest poets. In justice it must be recorded, that this great scheme of mediation was dancing before Mr. Seward's imagination at the epoch when he was sure that, once Secretary of State, his speeches would be current and read all over the South; and they, the speeches, would crush and extinguish secession. This Mr. Seward assured one of the patriotic members of Buchanan's expiring Cabinet.
Mr. Seward is now busy building up a conservative Union party North and South to preserve slavery, and to crush the rampant Sumnerism, as Thurlow Weed calls it, and advises Seward to do so.
Mr. Seward's unofficial agents, Thurlow Weed, his Eminence, and others, are untiring in the incense of their benefactor. Occasionally, Mr. Lincoln gets a small share of it.
Sandford in Paris and Brussels, Mr. Adams and Thurlow Weed in London, work hard to assuage and soften the harsh odor in which Mr. Seward is held, above all, among certain Englishmen of mark. It seems, however, that love's labor is lost, and Mr. Adams, scholar-like, explains the unsuccess of their efforts by the following philosophy: That in great convulsions and events it is always the most eminent men who become selected for violent and vituperative attacks. This is Mr. Seward's fate, but time will dispel the falsehoods, and render him justice. Well, be it so.
Weed tried hard to bring the Duke of Newcastle over to Mr. Seward; but the Duke seems perfectly unmoved by the blandishments, etc. To think that the strict and upright Duke, who knows Weed, could be shaken by the ubiquitous lobbyist! Rather the other way.
One not acquainted with Mr. Seward's ardent republicanism may suspect him of some dictatorial projects, to judge from the zeal with which some of the diplomatic agents in Europe, together with the unofficial ones there, extol to all the world Mr. Seward's transcendent superiority over all other eminent men in America. Are the European statesmen to be prepared beforehand, or are they to be befogged and prevented from judging for themselves? If so, again is love's labor lost. European statesmen can perfectly take Mr. Seward's measure from his uninterrupted and never-fulfilled prophecies, and from other diplomatic stumblings; and one look suffices European men of mark to measure a Hughes, a Weed, a Sandford, and tutti quanti.
In Mr. Lincoln's councils, Mr. Stanton alone has the vigor, the purity, and the simplicity of a man of deep convictions. Stanton alone unites the clear, broad comprehension of the exigencies of the national question with unyielding action. He is the statesman so long searched for by me. He, once a friend of McClellan, was not deterred thereby from condemning that do-nothing strategy, so ruinous and so dishonorable. Stanton is a Democrat, and therefore not intrinsically, perhaps not even relatively, an anti-slavery man, but he hesitates not now to destroy slavery for the preservation of the Union. I am sure that every day will make Stanton more clear-sighted, and more radical in the question of Union and rebellion. And Seward and Blair, who owe their position to their anti-slavery principles, arcades ambo, try now to save something of slavery, and turn against Stanton.
Immense power of the President — Mr. Seward's Egeria — Programme of peace — The belligerent question — Roebucks and Gregories scums —Running the blockade — Weed and Seward take clouds for camels —Uncle Sam's pockets — Manhood, not money, the sinews of war —Colonization schemes — Senator Doolittle — Coal mine speculation —Washington too near the seat of war — Blair demands the return of a fugitive slave woman — Slavery is Mr. Lincoln's "mammy" — He will not destroy her — Victories in the West — The brave navy —McClellan subsides in mud before Yorktown — Telegraphs for more men — God will be tired out! — Great strength of the people —Emancipation in the District — Wade's speech — He is a monolith —Chase and Seward — N. Y. Times — The Rothschilds — Army movements and plans.
If the military conduct of McClellan, from the first of January to the day of the embarkation of the troops for Yorktown—if this conduct were tried by French marshals, or by the French chief staff, or by the military authorities and chief staffs of Prussia, Russia, and even of Austria, McClellan would be condemned as unfit to have any military command whatever. I would stake my right hand on such a verdict; and here the would-be strategians, the traitors, the intriguers, and the imbeciles prize him sky-high.
Only by personal and close observation of the inner working of the administrative machinery is it possible to appreciate and to understand what an immense power the Constitution locates in the hands of a President. Far more power has he than any constitutional sovereign—more than is the power of the English sovereign and of her Cabinet put together. In the present emergencies, such a power in the hands of a Wade or of a Stanton would have long ago saved the country.
Mr. Seward looks to all sides of the compass for a Union party in the South, which may rise politically against the rebels. That is the advice of Weed, Mr. Seward's Egeria. I doubt that he will find many, or even any. First kill the secesh, destroy the rebel power, that is, the army, and then look for the Union men in the South. Mr. Seward, in his generalizations, in his ardent expectations, etc., etc., forgets to consider—at least a little—human nature, and, not to speak of history, this terra incognita. Blood shed for the nationality makes it grow and prosper; a protracted struggle deepens its roots, carries away the indifferent, and even those who at the start opposed the move. All such, perhaps, may again fall off from the current of rebellion, but that current must first be reduced to an imperceptible rivulet; and Mr. Seward, sustaining the do-nothing strategian, acts against himself.
Mr. Seward's last programme is, after the capture of Richmond and of New Orleans, to issue a proclamation—to offer terms to the rebels, to restore the old Union in full, to protect slavery and all. For this reason he supports McClellan, as both have the same plan. Of such a character are the assurances given by Mr. Seward to foreign diplomats and governments. He tries to make them sure that a large Union party will soon be forthcoming in the South, and again sounds his vaticinations of the sacramental ninety days. I am sorry for this his incurable passion to play the Pythoness. It is impossible that such repeated prophecies shall raise him high in the estimation of the European statesmen. Impossible! Impossible! whatever may be the contrary assertions of his adulators, such as an Adams, a Sandford, a Weed, a Bigelow, a Hughes, and others. When Mr. Seward proudly unveiled this his programme, a foreign diplomat suggested that the Congress may not accept it. Mr. Seward retorted that he cares not for Congress; that he will appeal to the people, who are totally indifferent to the abolition of slavery.
Why does Mr. Seward deliberately slander the American people, and this before foreign diplomats, whose duty it is to report all Mr. Seward's words to their respective governments? Such words uttered by Mr. Seward justify the assertions of Lord John Russell, of Gladstone, those true and high-minded friends of human liberty, that the North fights for empire and not for a principle. The people who will answer to Mr. Seward's appeal will be those whose creed is that of the New York Herald, the Boston Courier, the people of the Fernando and Ben Woods, of the Vallandighams, etc.
What is the use of urging on the foreign Cabinets—above all, England and France—to rescind the recognition of belligerents? They cannot do it. It does not much—nay, not any—harm, as the English speculators will risk to run the blockade if the rebels are belligerent or not. And besides, the English and French Cabinets may throw in Mr. Seward's face the decisions of our own prize courts, who, on the authority of Mr. Seward's blockade, in their judicial decisions, treat the rebels as belligerents. The European statesmen are more cautious and more consequential in their acts than is our Secretary.
As it stands now, the conduct of the English government is very correct, and not to be complained of. I do not speak of the infamous articles in the Times, Herald, etc., or of the Gregories and such scums as the Roebucks; but I am satisfied that Lord John Russell wishes us no harm, and that it is our own policy which confuses and makes suspicious such men as Russell, Gladstone, and others of the better stamp.
As for the armaments of secesh vessels in Liverpool and the Bahamas, it is so perfectly in harmony with the English mercantile character that it is impossible for the government to stop it.
The English merchant generally considers it as a lawful enterprise to run blockades; in the present case the premium is immense; it is so in a twofold manner. 1st, the immediate profits on the various cargoes exchanged against each other by a successful running of the blockade; such profits must equal several hundred per cent. 2d, the prospective profits from an eventual success of the rebellion for such friends as are now supporting the rebels. These prospects must be very alluring, and are partly justified by our slow war, slow policy. I am sure that the like armaments for the secessionists are made by shares owned by various individuals; the individual risk of each shareholder being comparatively insignificant when compared with the prospective gains.
If Seward, McClellan, and Blair had not meddled with Stanton, not weakened his decisions, nor befogged Mr. Lincoln, Richmond would be in our hands, together with Charleston and Savannah; and all the iron-clad vessels built in England for secesh would be harmless.
Mr. Weed and Mr. Seward expect Jeff. Davis to be overthrown by their imaginary Southern Union party. O, wiseacres! if both of you had only a little knowledge of human nature—not of that one embodied in lobbyists—and of history, then you would be aware that if Jeff. Davis is to be deposed it will be by one more violent than he, and you would not speculate and take clouds for camels. During the weeks of embarkation for Yorktown, the thorough incapacity of McClellan's chief of the staff was as brilliant as the cloudless sun. It makes one shudder to think what it will be when the campaign will be decidedly and seriously going on.
It is astonishing, and psychologically altogether incomprehensible, to see persons, justly deserving to be considered as intelligent, deny the evidence of their own senses; forbid, so to speak, their sound judgment to act; to be befogged by thorough imbeciles; to consider incapacity as strategy, and to take imbecility for deep, mysterious, great combinations and plans. Even the Turks could not long be humbugged in such a way.
No sovereign in the world, not even Napoleon in his palmiest days, could thus easily satisfy his military whims concerning the most costly and variegated material for an army, as does McClellan. He changes his plans; every such change is gorgeously satisfied and millions thrown away. Guns, mortars, transports, spades, etc., appear at his order as if by charm; and all this to veil his utter incapacity. This Yorktown expedition uncovers Washington and the North, and such a deep plan could have been imagined only by a strategian.
What are doing in Europe all these various agents of Mr. Seward, and paid by Uncle Sam? all these Weeds, Sandfords, Hughes, Bigelows, and whoever else may be there? They cannot find means in their brains to better direct, inform, or influence the European press. Almost all the articles in our favor are only defensive and explanatory; the offensive is altogether carried by the secesh press in England and in France. But to deal offensive blows, our agents would be obliged to stand firm on human principles, and show up all the dastardly corruption of slavery, of slaveholders, and of rebels. Such a warfare is forbidden by Mr. Seward's policy; and perhaps if such a Weed should speak of corruption, some English secesh may reprint Wilkeson's letter. In one word, our cause in Europe is very tamely represented and carried on. Members of the Chamber of Deputies in Paris complain that they can nowhere find necessary information concerning certain facts. There Seward's agents have not even been able to correct the fallacies about the epoch of the Morrill tariff,—fallacies so often invoked by the secesh press,—and many other similar statements. I shall not wonder if the public opinion in Europe by and by may fall off from our cause. Our defensive condition there justifies the assumptions of the secesh. As we dare not expose their crimes, the public in Europe must come to this conclusion, that secesh may be right, and may begin to consider the North as having no principle.