that ever united into federations, treat our government, by
which we excel all other united governments, as a sort of po¬
litical picnic to which the invited guest may go and carry his
share of the viands or not, as he thinks fit, or the humor may
move him ? Are all the rights on the side of the states—•
that is, the individuals—and all the obligations, and obliga¬
tions, only, on the side of the confederacy—that is, the
whole ? This doctrine is the French theory of excessive
individual right and personal sovereignty applied to states,
and naught else.
I ask, will any one who desires secession for the sake of
bringing about a Southern Confederacy, honestly aver that
he would insist upon a provision in the new constitution se¬
curing the full right of secession whenever it may be desired
by any member of the expected confederacy ?
To secede, then, requires revolution. Revolution for what ?
To remedy certain evils. And how are they to be remedied ?
It is a rule laid down among all the authorities of interna¬
tional law and ethics, that to be justified in going to war it
is not sufficient that righ; be on our side. We must also
have a fair prospect of success in our favor. This rule ap¬
plies with far greater force to revolutions. The Jews who
rose against Vespasian had all the right, I dare say, on their
side ; but their undertaking was not a warrantable one for all
that. We, however, should we have sufficient right on our
side for plunging into a revolution—for letting loose a civil
war ? Does the system against which we should rise contain
within its own bosom no peaceful, lawful remedies ?
We are often told that our forefathers plunged into a revo¬
lution, why should not we ? Even if the two cases were com¬
parable, which they are obviously not, I would ask, on the
other hand, Are we to have a revolution every fifty years ?
Give me the Muscovite Czar rather than live under such a
government, if government it could be called. I am a good
swimmer, but I should not like to spend my life in whirlpools.
And does the question of right or wrong, of truth and justice,
go for nothing in revolutions ?
Nor would the probability of success be in our favor since