From The Constitution, Wednesday, December 4, 1861 (volume 24, number 1249)
It is not as commonly believed as it ought to be that the best way to avoid a war is to be prepared for it, and to show to the world that you are not afraid of it if it does come. England and France would get up a quarrel on very short notice, if each did not know that the other was fully armed and ready for a war. Mexico would never be invaded by the United forces of France, England, and Spain, if it were not for her imbecility and apparent inability to resist an invasion. Turkey would long ago have fallen a prey to the rapacity of Russia, but for the alliance with the powers of western Europe.
For many years past the United States has avoided a war with England (which is the only European power which has constantly shown an envious and hostile spirit towards us) mainly for the reason that we have shown that we were not afraid of meeting her by land or by sea, and in all our intercourse with that proud nation we have shown no pusillanimity or fear. The British aristocracy, which now governs England, has looked upon the rise and progress of the American Republic with anything but kindly feelings, and nothing would gratify them more than to see us go to pieces, as they hope we shall in consequence of this rebellion. If they dared to do so, they would not hesitate a moment in helping forward the general crash. If they could be sure that they could succeed in consummating southern independence, and at the same time keep their possessions secure in Canada, no one who is at all acquainted with the temper of the British aristocracy can doubt that they would at once declare for a war with the United States.
The seizure of Mason and Slidell on board a British ship has given England a pretext for making trouble. If the animus of the English government towards us was the same as that of the French government, the affair would be passed over and soon be forgotten. It would be viewed as an act clearly justified by the usages of nations in time of war and by the necessities of the occasion. But the reigning class in England is predisposed towards a war. Here is a pretext. Will there be war, then ? We certainly believe there will be, if we in any way show the white feather at this crisis. By no process can we more surely bring on a collision than by displaying the least pusillanimity or apprehension at this moment. If firmness, dauntless courage, and self respect were ever needed, they are needed now by the United States Government.
Some individuals, who perhaps mean well, but who occupy a very questionable position as to patriotism, advise that an apology be made to England, and even that Mason and Slidell be given up to them ! Lord Palmerston would like nothing better. Jefferson Davis, and the whole tribe of southern traitors would consider such a act as good to them as a victory over McClellan on the Potomac. After the glorious victory of Dupont at Port Royal, after the gallant conduct of Wilkes on the high seas, does any American desire that his Government shall disgrace itself by making an apology simply for the sake of conciliating Great Britain ? Such an apology would be an eternal stigma and reproach on our national fame. It would make us the laughing stock of the world, and would encourage the English aristocracy to give immediate aid to the rebels. We believe in the truth of the motto, “Be sure you are right, and then go ahead !”
The accounts this morning from Fort Pickens are from southern papers, the 28th, which state that the bombardment commenced on the 21st and continued without intermission until the 24th, when Col. Brown ceased firing. The rebels admit 16 killed and wounded.—Considerable damage was done to Fort McRae.
In Congress, Mr. Elliott of the House introduced a resolution that the President be recommended to emancipate all persons held as slaves in any military district in a state of insurrection. This resolution was postponed till next week.
From Fort Pickens
The news from Fort Pickens during the week has been exciting, and very unsatisfactory. All of it has come through rebel channels, and much of it has been contradictory and improbable. It appears there has been hard fighting there, but we are left in uncertainty as to the result. At the latest accounts many rumors were afloat. One was that Fort Pickens had been taken by the rebels, and another right the contrary that the rebels were defeated and Gen. Bragg was killed.
Nashville in Danger
Jeff. Davis’ peripatetic government, the seat of which has just been transferred from Richmond to Nashville by the Confederate Congress, may have to set out soon on another tramp. The third move would be the death of it, for, “three moves are as bad as a fire.” A grand movement seems about to be made on Nashville. Nearly one hundred thousand national troops are concentrating near Louisville. Great news is anticipated from Kentucky before long.
The Western Virginia Convention commenced its session at Wheeling last week, and at once commenced the work of forming a State constitution. Early in the present session of Congress, an application will be made for admission into the Union as a State. It is thought that a gradual emancipation act will be passed by the Convention.
A state convention is in session at Richmond, and the proceedings are interesting and instructive to northerners. The system of free schools is denounced, because it leads to agrarianism, and free suffrage is not to be tolerated because “no system of government can afford permanent and effectual security to life, liberty, and prosperity, which rests on the basis of unlimited suffrage.”
Miss Adelaide Rothschild, 19 years of age, daughter of Alexander Rothschild of this city, last evening attended a social party at the German Music Rooms in Ely’s block. After dancing a few times, she complained of not feeling well, laid down a few moments in the anteroom, and was then taken home in a carriage. In about half an hour afterward, she ceased to breathe. The physician who was called thought her death was occasioned by the bursting of a small blood vessel of the heart. He parents are nearly crazy with anguish, at the sudden death of their daughter under such peculiar and painful circumstances.—Hart. Press.
Thanksgiving Day was observed in this city this year, we think, with even more spirit than usual. On Wednesday evening and Thursday morning large numbers came to town to spend the festival with their friends. All places of business appeared to be closed, except such as ministered to creature comfort, and these it is presumed drove a flourishing trade. Most of the churches were open, and at the commencement of the usual hour of service a considerable throng filled the streets. There was a wedding in the Baptist church in the afternoon, which collected a crowd of sight-seers.
The Gas Company has extended a main pipe through a part of South Main street, and a lamp post has been erected nearly half way from Union Park to Pameacha Bridge, very much to the satisfaction of wayfarers in that section on dark nights.
Tenement houses are in demand. Large numbers of mechanics have moved into the city this fall, and the prospect is that more will come in the spring. There is already a scarcity of cheap rents. A fine opportunity is offered for men who have money to invest to put up some neat dwellings which can be afforded at a low rent. This would be a good thing for landlord and tenant.
Blondin had a narrow escape at the Crystal Palace on the 31st ult. By some means, while performing on the rope, he lost his balance and fell ; but with consummate agility and presence of mind, he caught the rope with his feet, and after remaining thus suspended for several minutes, he succeeded in relieving himself from his dangerous position. Lovers of the horrible have now had a taste of the new sensation, for which it is supposed they were craving. Happily, however, they have experienced it without the fatal result which, in this instance was so nearly taking place.
A Devout Advertiser.—We notice, in a religious newspaper, a displayed advertisement for a wife. We give it a gratuitous insertion, but no one need address this office as we are not acquainted with the advertiser :–
“A Wife Wanted. A Missionary’s Home has been rent by the death of a beloved mother. He needs a comforter, a counselor, and a friend. The vanity of this world, and the things of it, put them all together, and they will not make a help-meet for man. They will not suit the nature of the soul, nor supply its needs, nor satisfy its just desires, nor run parallel with its never failing duration. Therefore, it being not good for man to be alone, God created woman to be a help-meet for him. See Genesis, ii, 18 ; Prov. xxiii, 22. The applicant must possess a healthy body, practical piety, domestic habits, a competency, and, if possible, a musical talent. Address “Missionary,” at this office.”
If any healthy, pious, domestic woman, with a comfortable fortune, but no ear for music, has a longing for this connection, it seems that she need not be deterred by the want of the last qualification, as that will not be insisted upon, although “if possible” she should add the throat of a warbler to the sum of the other attractions. We suppose that it must not be the just sense of the “vanity of this world,” which induces the advertiser to be so easily satisfied in a partner for life. Good health, piety, domestic habits, and a competence, it seems, are all that would be indispensable to his gratification, although a musical talent, thrown in, would be highly appreciated. He is as easily contented as the child who summed up her simple wants in the desire for “nothing but victuals and raiment, and pretty good clothes.”—N. Y. Jour. Com.
Christmas at Putman’s.
Shall have, notwithstanding the hard Times, an assortment of Books, &c., for the Holidays. Buy a nice Book. Nothing better or more lasting can be given to your friends.