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tion. All this it has a perfect constitutional right to do, if, in its broad discretion on the subject, it shall so determine. Whether in the actual case referred to, that discretion has been wisely exercised, not many are left now seriously to contend-proving their sincerity by their practical conduct. The alleged violation of the "right of petition," like many a less plausible idea, has at least served as an excellent handle for influence on the public mind, in the section of the Union against which it could be said to be directed. Follow ing on the heels of those former really unjustifiable modes of persecution, against the obnoxious doctrine and its advocates, which have been referred to above, it was no difficult matter to attach to it, in popular estimation, the bequeathed inheritance of the character which had indeed belonged to them.
The famous "twenty-first," afterward the "twenty-fifth rule," thus therefore naturally became the object of a prejudice by no means its just or proper due. The Democratic party in Congress it was which stood by the South in the establishment and maintenance of that rule of internal procedure, with no small difficulty and no small danger, yet faithfully and firmly. The secret of this resides simply in the fact of the State-Rights character of its general doctrine, conduct and men. They could regard the action sought by the petitions in question as indeed beyond the true constitutional authority of Congress, while the party of Federal latitudinarianism could not. They could therefore consistently and honorably sustain their habitual Southern friends on this point, especially when equally clear in the conviction that these petitions were practically as injurious to the very cause of that freedom in whose name they purported to run, as they were theoretically at variance with the true principles of the sacred Constitutional Compact. It was the South's own peculiar affair. The position in question was constitutional and legitimate, however impolitic and dangerous, and the Northern Democracy undertook serious risks of domestic popularity in thus supporting the South in it. They, at the same time, gave the latter, both publicly and privately, ample warning of the mistaken policy they were pursuing, and of its probable tendency, at the same time that they fraternally
yielded their judgment to the appeals of those more directly interested, nay, almost solely interested. The Rule was adopted and sustained. The consequence has been,not only that the Northern Democrats have been to a considerable extent forced into a position seriously false, difficult, and hazardous— not only that they have had to bear, and have generously and patiently borne, a great deal of unjust obloquy, not easy to repel without long and profound explanations; but also that it has acted upon the Abolitionism of the North, as the spur to the horse, the whip to the top, the fan to the flame, the dam to the accumulating weight of the waters. The consequence, in a word, has been that the Abolitionists have not only been converted into a political party strong enough to hold the balance of power in the most important Presidential election perhaps held under our government, but that the country, South, North, and all, has escaped more narrowly than we pray may ever again be the case, the calamity of their deciding that long trembling balance against the Democratic Party.
The unhappy Rule in question has now been rescinded. And the manner in which it was done and acquiesced in, both in Congress and throughout the country, proves undeniably the universal conviction of the impolicy of the Rule, and the irresistible necessity of its abrogation. That it can ever again be re-enacted, there is probably no single man, woman or child, in the Union, who will even pretend to believe, whether it be with the belief of hope or fear.
This was a sad blunder on the part of the South. Would that it had been the last-would that it had been the worst! That which it has committed within the past year, in the persons of some of its peculiar representatives in the present administration, is a far worse one.
We refer to the manner in which the Texas question has been managed, and the ground on which the policy of Annexation has been placed and so strenuously urged.
For us to declare our exalted admiration, respect, and even attachment, for Mr. CALHOUN, would be superfluous enough, after the evidences of it with which former pages of this Review have abounded-going back even to a period before the general reception of that great, powerful, and noble cham
least a very large minority among ourselves!-the whole done, moreover, in a manner of most unusual volunteer precipitation, soliciting even with threats the compliance of Texas itself!-and actually pledging the military intervention of the country, by simple unconstitutional Executive promise, to plunge directly into war with Mexico, if she should execute her threat of immediate invasion of Texas!-and this while Congress, the sole war-making authority under the Constitution, is in session! Nay, more--what shall be said of our volunteer discussion of the essential merits of this peculiar local institution-through the peculiar organ of our collective nationality, for which, if for anything, the Union, and the whole Union, is emphatically responsible-in public diplomatic papers, addressed to England, to France, to the whole civilized world!
pion of some of the political principles most dear to us, back into that full communion with the Democratic party, which he had for a time lost, by his long protracted relation of opposition to it, during General Jackson's administration. No personal considerations are entitled to any place in dealing with such questions as are involved in this subject, in such times as these. Mr. Calhoun has been led, by the too fixed and narrowed intensity of one leading idea, into a course fatally replete with mischief, not only to the particular measure thus unhappily mismanagednot only to the country at large-but peculiarly so to the South. As power-, ful for ill, when unhappily in a path of even the most uprightly intended error, as he is for good, on those other Occasions which constitute the rule of his life, the mistake being the exception, he has thus done more, far more, to extend and strengthen at the North that Abolitionism against which his Democratic friends have so self-sacrificingly stood by the constitutional rights of the South, than Abolitionism could ever have done for itself. We still look on with amazement! We cannot understand-we can only deplore! What has become of the Southern doctrinewhat, of the Northern Democratic position that the institution of slavery, whether a good or an evil, was a local and not a national, a municipal and not a federal institution-with which the Free States had nothing to do-for which they were in nowise responsible, either to their own conscience or to the judgment of the world, even though it existed on the common ground of the District of Columbia? What has become of this position, after a Southern President and a Southern Secretary of to shake off national responsibility, as State-and that Secretary, John C. to assume and justify it? Such are Calhoun, of all men living!-have so some of the questions that immediately nationalized, so federalized, the ques- spring up out of the seeds scattered tion, as we have lately seen done? broadcast by these late events. When that has been not only acted Why, such doctrine as this would aboupon, but avowed, argued, vehemently litionize three-fourths, at least, of the urged that, and that almost exclusively population of every free State in the -as the ground for a large and mo- Union, and abolish slavery in the Dismentous measure of national policy!-trict of Columbia, in two years from the involving the annexation of territory date of its promulgation in the South, enough for a kingdom!-the assumption and reception by the public mind of the of at least a menaced war!-a war pos- North! sibly to be backed by England!--in an unascertained condition of the public sentiment of our own country!-in certain disregard of the earnest objection of at
If all this can be done by great Southern statesmen, on the avowed ground, the almost exclusively avowed ground of strengthening and preserving the institution of Slavery; what, we repeat, becomes of the above stated position of the State-Rights party at North and South-the Democratic party of Strict Constitutional Construction? Why, at one fell blow, we find our whole ground knocked from beneath our feet! What concern can be more national-more a subject of collective and universal responsibility-if such doctrine as this, advanced from such quarters, and illustrated by such formidable national executive action, is sound? Cannot as much be done by indirect influence to destroy, as by direct action to defend ?--to argue for the one side as for the other of a confessedly two-sided question?
Let it not be forgotten that we are warm friends of the immediate annexation of Texas (though on very different grounds!) recognizing no obligation to
wait longer for Mexican consent-devoted in support of the State-Rights theory of the Constitution-and little enough disposed to favor Abolitionism. From
this point of view, and in this capacity it is, that we look with so much astonishment and regret on the unfortunate mistake we have here signalized; and in doing so we know full well, that we represent nothing sectional, nothing partial, but not only the general Democratic-nay, the general American sentiment on the subject-but the general Southern sentiment itself also.
To repair the moral mischief which has thus been wrought, will be no long task. For the Democratic party of the North to maintain its ground on a difficult and delicate question, like the one under consideration, when thus tripped up-disarmed-pinioned-by the very friends for whom it has done so much, borne so much, perilled so much, and whose rights under the most favorable circumstances it finds it so hard to defend-to do it too in the face of a party elated and high-strung as Abolitionism is by its recent demonstration of political power-is no child's play. Perseverance in similar courses, in a similar spirit of administration, would inevitably result in arraying the Free and the Slave States in irreconcilable antagonism, and in a violent disruption of the Union. God avert such consequences of our own infatuation!
We have room in the present article for but a few words more. Now that the Twenty-Fifth Rule has been rescinded —now that Abolitionists feel themselves thus strengthened and stimulated-now that the overthrow of the Whigs has disengaged such vast numbers of persons from their former relations and objects, who constitute natural recruiting material for that party-and now that the subject of Slavery has been thus nationalized by its own very friends, in a mode obnoxious in so many ways to the public sentiment of the Free States-there can be no doubt that more vehement and powerful agitation of Abolitionism will take place than has yet been known. It
will pour and press on the next Congress, in the form of a demand for action more or less direct as the subject of Slavery in the District of Columbia. It will call for its abolition there--for the abolition of the slave trade-for the prohibition of the introduction of slaves into the District. These demands will be urged with a force that has never yet attached to them, in consequence of that collective national responsibility for the institution, in the eyes of the whole world, which has lately been spread over the whole North, East and West, by the South itself. We see but one way of quieting or avoiding this agitation, of which that miserable poverty-stricken little Ten Miles Square must continue the fatal ground, opportunity and excuse. Let it be given back to Virginia and Maryland. It is perfectly useless to the Federal Government. If thought by any desirable, Congress could still retain sufficient contingent authority to serve for its own protection againt mobs, if such danger should ever arise. It could retain the ownership of all public buildings and property, with ample guarantees of its own independence, against any possible dangers that could ever assail it. constitutional amendment is needed for this purpose. The action of Congress, in compact with the two States in question, is all that is needed. It would restore the District to some degree of decent local government. It would relieve the Federal government from a constant drain upon its Treasury and its time. It would settle to general satisfaction this whole question of national responsibility for slavery in this common national territory. It would heal an issue which will else long continue to bleed, perhaps fatally; and it would do more than any other act that could be done, to quiet this weary and dangerous agitation. It has often been talked of, with more or less earnestness. The time has now come to do it. Who can oppose any rational objection to the reasons which now so powerfully recommend it?
THE GHOST OF NEW YORK.
BY CORNELIUS MATHEWS.
WHOEVER has sailed up or down the East River in a fog, or driven to Hallet's Cove, Long Island, on a dusty day, or walked on the Third Avenue in the moonlight, has been beset by the vision of a great white tower, rising, ghost-like, in the air, and holding all the neighborhood in subjection to its repose and supernatural port. The Shot-Tower is a strange old fellow, to be sure! 'Spite of that incessant buzzing in his head, he holds himself as high and grandly, as though he hadn't the trouble of making shot for the six-and-twenty United States. He never dozes or nods, even in the summer noon; nor does he fall asleep in the most crickety nights, but winks, with that iron top of his, at all the stars, as they come up, one by one; and outwatches them all. There he is, gaunt and clean, as a ghost in a new shroud, every day in the year. Build as you may, old Gotham! Hammer and ding and trowel on all sides of him, if you choose, you cannot stir him an inch, nor sully the whiteness in which he sees himself clothed, in that pure glass of his of Kipp's Bay! If you have seen him once, you know him always. A sturdy Shot-Tower to be sure !—and go where you will, you carry him with you. He is the Ghost of New York, gone into the suburbs to meditate on the wickedness of mankind, and haunt the Big City, in many a dream of war, and gun-shot wounds, and pattering carnage, when she falls asleep.
And can you see him from the back steps of the City-Hall? Not with the naked eye but Lankey Fogle standing there, once on a time, had him present to him, and shook at the very thought. He had just come down from the witness-stand, within, and was pausing at the porch, when he was of a sudden smitten on the shoulder, and he heard, audibly, a voice say to him:
"Meet me by the Shot-Tower, at twelve to-night !"
A voice, but nobody; for he looked about promptly, and down the steps, and back through the Hall. No one visible; but he knew the voice, and had a mind-yes, he was forced to have a
mind, to obey it. Lankey Fogle had the Shot-Tower in fear; but he must go. His hat pressed close upon his eyes-eye-brow and brim were part each of the other; a faded blue coat, out at elbows, the broad wrists hanging over his hand; shuffling shoes; and Lankey a little man, withal: he descended the steps slowly, struck across the Park, by the angle of the Post-Office, and stood on the brow of Chatham street, towards the square. The Jews were as thick, with their gloomy whiskers, as blackberries; the air smelt of old coats and hats, and the sideways were glutted with dresses and over-coats and little, fat, greasy children. There were countrymen moving up and down the street, horribly harassed and perplexed, and every now and then falling into the hands of one of these fierce-whiskered Jews, carried into a gloomy cavern, and presently sent forth again, in a garment, coat or hat or breeches, in which he might dance and turn his partner, to-boot.
Lankey Fogle plunged down the declivity.
"A coat, sir?"
"Wont you, now, a new under-tog?" "That 'ere hat!"
"This way, sir, we're the No Mistake!"
And as he slipped out of their handsCotton-baggin', sir, to fill out ?" "My eyes! there's holes for a ratter!"
"He'll be a wreck, I say, 'fore he reaches the square-he'll never live past Roosevelt-my 'ord for it!"
A soft strain of the flute floated from a back-room, as his figure passed the door, joined by a mellow, low whistle, which are, it is supposed, integral parts of speech in the dialect of Jewry.
Lankey glided along, wrapped up in his coat and inner meditations, for it was nearing night; but it was of a truth as much as he was worth to get himself clear of the young barbarians who hung upon his skirts, as he passed along, and nearly brought them away. It was a bad case certainly, for the sun getting toward a level, shot through and
through his apparel, passing in at an elbow and coming out at the hand; or piercing him through, from back to breast, as he turned; till every dusty corner of Lankey was lighted up with a sort of dim splendor.
And when he came by the theatre (the Chatham), the case was worse than all, for he was set upon from the area of the theatre by a swarm of fly-away boys, with
"Lankey! which way, now?" "I say, Lankey Fogle, where are you larking to?"
"Come in, will you? Kirby on the top round."
"Yes, yes, he's in the big bellows to-night. We'll treat you to a go!"
And peanuts besides !"
"Keep off, will you, you young serpents!" And he glanced from under his
"Why, what on earth's the matter, now! Lankey in a huff!"
"Three cheers for Lankey in a huff!" The air was cracked with a small storm of cheers, which blowing over, they renewed their game; but Lankey stood firm; and when they had all run up to him with a question and a close look in his face, and twisted him round on his heels by the arm, he passed on, and reached the square, thinking of the old white Shot-Tower, and the figure it would make by the time he got there, toward the round hour of night.
He was in the elbow, turning to cross the long walk, when he was called by name. He looked up; it was the little Franklin Theatre, abutting the buryingground, you know, with all its golden letters blotted out, its balcony for the pretty actresses to stand in razed away, its little snug box-office crushed, and the heart and soul of it, in the shape of foot-lights and curtains, taken out; it was a second-hand shop, when Lankey looked up at it, and a mysterious little man standing in an upper window winked at Lankey, and uttered in a low voice: "All right!"
Lankey looked at him with astonishment written out on his countenance in magnificent large text.
"I say, it's all right!"
The devil it is, thought Lankey; and looked again.
"I say, it's all right," a third time; this time with a knock on the crown of his hat.
Lankey smiled scornfully on the mys
terious man and moved on; he had a new motive for speed.
There was Doyer-street, yet; and if he could get past that once, all would be well. But Doyer-street is a queer street, we all know; so crooked, and gad-about and whimsical. Ten chances to one if a man enter it at one end with his head on his shoulders it be not turned about by the time he is fairly out at the other. Doyer-street was not born, like other streets, in the commissioner's office, but was laid, so to speak, at the door of the square, exposed to the tender mercies, dependant on the charities of chance-comers (for every man is father to this disinterested little by-way,) to give it a stone or a touch of a kerb! The eye of the druggist's red bottle was bloodshot, at the corner, for one thing; and there was a melancholy old woman carrying in a bunch of eels with their heads down for another! But Lankey Fogle had a hope, and as sure as there's white light from the moon, he cleared it at a moderate run.
When Lankey stood fairly at the mouth of the Bowery, he looked far away up its broad path as if he could see, looming up on its line, that ugly old Shot-Tower; that everlasting ghost of a tower that, go where he would, was in Lankey Fogle's eye, without an eyestone to take it out. But he saw instead, this time, how, moved by a patriotism out of bounds, the whole air about this other theatre was indescribably hung with flags; a general hanging out, there seemed to be, of all the bunting of the country. The rope was strong; the flags were thick; and they waved away, shutting out the sky and making a better heaven for the East Bowery gazers to look up at and live under.
And Black Vulture, that marvellous steed, how he came down the great, black, gaping precipice, upon the bills, striking the printer's ink from his heels, like fire! And the patriotic Putnam, how he held on and clinched his teeth and set his hat fiercely a-cock! The bills were huge and yellow, and the type 'uncommon' large; and how the ragamuffins plunged down the steps, and the muffin-eaters rushed up! Lankey Fogle's resolution shook within him; his feet quivered in his shoes with doubt; and he was on the eve of throwing himself in the wake of a chimneysweeper down the pit-entrance, when, looking straight before him, at the bill,