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If he is proud of anything, it is of the ments a series of contradictions. Intailor's bench from which he started. deed, he seems to have a thoroughly He would have everybody to under- animalized intellect, destitute of the nostand that he is humble, – thoroughly tion of relations, with ideas which are humble. Is this caricature ? No. It but the form of determinations, and is impossible to caricature Andrew which derive their force, not from reaJohnson when he mounts his high son, but from will. With an individuhorse of humility and becomes a sort ality thus strong even to fierceness, but of cross between Uriah Heep and Jo- which has not been developed in the siah Bounderby of Coketown. Indeed, mental region, and which the least gust it is only by quoting Dickens's de- of passion intellectually upsets, he is scription of the latter personage that we incapable of looking at anything out of have anything which fairly matches the relations to himself, -- of regarding it traits suggested by some statements from that neutral ground which is the in the President's speeches. “A big, condition of intelligent discussion beloud man,” says the humorist, “with tween opposing minds. In truth, he a stare and a metallic laugh. A man makes a virtue of being insensible to the made out of coarse material, which evidence of facts and the deductions of seemed to have been stretched to reason, proclaiming to all the world that make so much of him. A man with he has taken his position, that he will a great puffed head and forehead, never swerve from it, and that all stateswelled veins in his temples, and such ments and arguments intended to shake a strained skin to his face, that it his resolves are impertinences, indicatseemed to hold his eyes open and lift ing that their authors are radicals and his eyebrows up. A man with a per- enemies of the country. He is never vading appearance on him of being in- weary of vaunting his firmness, and flated like a balloon, and ready to start. firmness he doubtless has, the firmness A man who could never sufficiently of at least a score of mules ; but events vaunt himself a self-made man. A have shown that it is a different kind man who was continually proclaiming, of firmness from that which keeps a through that brassy speaking-trumpet statesman firm to his principles, a poof a voice of his, his old ignorance and litical leader to his pledges, a gentlehis old poverty. A man who was the man to his word. Amid all changes of Bully of humility."
opinion, he has been conscious of unIf we turn from the moral and per. changed will, and the intellectual elesonal to the mental characteristics of ment forms so small a portion of his Mr. Johnson's speeches, we find that being, that, when he challenged “ the his brain is to be classed with notable man, woman, or child to come forcases of arrested development. He ward” and convict him of inconstancy has strong forces in his nature, but in to his professions, he knew that, howtheir outlet through his mind they are ever it might be with the rest of mandissipated into a confusing clutter of kind, he would himself be unconvinced unrelated thoughts and inapplicable by any evidence which the said man, phrases. He seems to possess neither woman, or child might adduce. Again, the power nor the perception of cohe- when he was asked by one of his aurent thinking and logical arrangement. diences why he did not hang Jeff DaHe does not appear to be aware that vis, he retorted by exclaiming, “Why prepossessions are not proofs, that as- don't you ask me why I have not hanged sertions are not arguments, that the Thad Stevens and Wendell Phillips ? proper method to answer an objection They are as much traitors as Davis." is not to repeat the proposition against And we are almost charitable enough to which the objection was directed, that suppose that he saw no difference bethe proper method of unfolding a sub- tween the moral or legal treason of the ject is not to make the successive state- man who for four years had waged open war against the government of the moderate temper of such a pattern conUnited States, and the men who for servative as the President of the Unitone year had sharply criticised the acts ed States. The contrast prompts ideas and utterances of Andrew Johnson. so irresistibly ludicrous, that to keep It is not to be expected that nice dis- one's risibilities under austere control tinctions will be made by a magistrate while instituting it argues a self-comwho is in the habit of denying indis- mand almost miraculous. putable facts with the fury of a pugilist Andrew Johnson, however, such as who has received a personal affront, and he is in heart, intellect, will, and speech, of announcing demonstrated fallacies is the recognized leader of his party, with the imperturbable serenity of a and demands that the great mass of philosopher proclaiming the fundamen- bis partisans shall serve him, not meretal laws of human belief. His brain is ly by prostration of body, but by prosentirely ridden by his will, and of all tration of mind. It is the hard duty of the public men in the country its offi- his more intimate associates to transcial head is the one whose opinion car- late his broken utterances from Andyries with it the least intellectual weight. Johnsonese into constitutional phrase, It is to the credit of our institutions and to give these versions some show of our statesmen that the man least quali- logical arrangement, and to carry out, as fied by largeness of mind and modera- best they may, their own objects, while tion of temper to exercise uncontrolled professing boundless devotion to his. power should be the man who aspired By a sophistical process of developing to usurp it. The constitutional instinct his rude notions, they often lead him to in the blood, and the constitutional conclusions which he had not foreseen, principle in the brain, of our real states- but which they induce him to make his men, preserve them from the folly and own, not by a fruitless effort to quicken guilt of setting themselves up as imita- his mind into following the steps of their tive Cæsars and Napoleons, the mo- reasoning, but by stimulating his pasment they are trusted with a little dele- sions to the point of adopting its regated power.
sults. They thus become parasites in Still we are told, that, with all his order that they may become powers, defects, Andrew Johnson is to be hon- and their interests make them particuored and supported as a
larly ruthless in their dealings with tive” President engaged in a contest their master's consistency. Their rewith a “radical” Congress! It hap- lation to him, if they would bluntly expens, however, that the two persons press it, might be indicated in this who specially represent Congress in brief formula : “We will adore you in this struggle are Senators Trumbull order that you may obey us.” and Fessenden. Senator Trumbull is The trouble with these politicians is, the author of the two important meas- that they cannot tie the President's ures which the President vetoed; Sena- tongue as they tied the tongues of the tor Fessenden is the chairman and or- eminent personages they invited from gan of the Committee of Fifteen which all portions of the country to keep silent the President anathematizes. Now we at their great Convention at Philadeldesire to do justice to the gravity of phia. That Convention was a masterface which the partisans of Mr. John- piece of cunning political management; son preserve in announcing their most but its Address and Resolutions were absurd propositions, and especially do hardly laid at Mr. Johnson's feet, when, we commend their command of counte- in his exultation, he blurted out that nance while it is their privilege to con- unfortunate remark about "a body trast the wild notions and violent speech called, or which assumed to be, the of such lawless radicals as the Sena- Congress of the United States,” which, tor from Illinois and the Senator from it
appears, we have seen hanging on Maine, with the balanced judgment and the verge of the government.” Now all
this was in the Address of the Conven- ing out of the Union, can plainly only be tion, but it was not so brutally worded, brought back by conquest, and on such nor so calculated to appall those timid terms as the victors may choose to imsupporters of the Johnson party who pose. No candid Southern Rebel, who thought, in their innocence, that the believes that his State seceded, and object of the Philadelphia meeting was that he acted under competent authorto heal the wounds of civil war, and ity when he took up arms against the not to lay down a programme by which United States, can have the effrontery it might be reopened. Turning, then, to affirm that he had inherent rights of from Mr. Johnson to the manifesto of citizenship in “the foreign country" his political supporters, let us see what against which he plotted and fought for additions it makes to political wisdom, four years. The so-called "right" of and what guaranties it affords for fu- secession was claimed by the South as ture peace. We shall not discriminate a constitutional right, to be peaceably between insurgent States and individ- exercised, but it passed into the broader ual insurgents, because, when individ- and more generally intelligible “right' ual insurgents are so overwhelmingly of revolution when it had to be susstrong that they carry their States with tained by war; and the condition of them, or when States are so overwhelm- a defeated revolutionist is certainly not ingly strong that they force individu- that of a qualified voter in the nation als to be insurgents, it appears to be against which he revolted. But if inneedless. The terms are often used surgent States recover their former interchangeably in the Address, for the rights and privileges when they submit Convention was so largely composed to superior force, there is no reason of individual insurgents that it was im- why armed rebellion should not be as portant to vary a little the charge that common as local discontent. We have, they usurped State powers with the on this principle, sacrificed thirty-five qualification that they obeyed the pow- hundred millions of dollars and three ers they usurped. At the South, indi- hundred thousand lives, only to bring vidual insurgents constitute the State the insurgent States into just those when they determine to rebel, and obey “practical relations to the Union” which it when they desire to be pardoned. will enable us to sacrifice thirty-five An identical thing cannot be altered by hundred millions of dollars more, and giving it two names.
three hundred thousand more lives, The principle which runs through when it suits the passions and caprices the Philadelphia Address is, that in- of these States to rebel again. Whatsurgent States recover their former ever they may do in the way of disturbrights under the Constitution by the ing the peace of the country, they can mere fact of submission.
This is never, it seems, forfeit their rights and equivalent to saying that insurgent privileges under the Constitution. Even States incurred no guilt in rebellion. if everybody was positively certain that But States cannot become insurgent, there would be a new rebellion in ten unless the authorities of such States years, unless conditions of representacommit perjury and treason, and their tion were exacted of the South, we still, people become rebels and public ene- according to the doctrine of the Johnmies ; perjury, treason, and rebel- sonian jurists, would be constitutionlion are commonly held to be crimes; ally impotent to exact them, because and who ever heard, before, that crim- insurgent States recover unconditioned inals were restored to all the rights of rights to representation by the mere honest citizens by the mere fact of their fact of their submitting to the power arrest?
they can no longer resist. The acceptThe doctrine, moreover, is a worse ance of this principle would make inheresy than that of Secession ; for Se- surrection the chronic disease of our pocession implies that seceded States, be- litical system. War would follow war,
until nearly all the wealth of the coun- disorganized population. Out of this try was squandered, and nearly all the population he by his own will created inhabitants exterminated. Mr. John a people, on the principle, we must supson's prophetic vision of that Paradise pose, of natural selection. Now, to deof constitutionalism, shadowed forth in cide who are the people of a State is to his exclamation that he would stand by create its very foundations, — to begin the Constitution though all around him anew in the most comprehensive sense should perish, would be measurably re- of the word ; for the being of a State is alized ; and among the ruins of the na- more in its people, that is, in the pertion a few haggard and ragged pedants sons selected from its inhabitants to be would be left to drone out eulogies on
the depositaries of its political power, “the glorious Constitution ” which had than it is in its geographical boundaries survived unharmed the anarchy, pov- and area. Over this people thus constierty, and depopulation it had produced. tuted by himself, Mr. Johnson set ProAn interpretation of the Constitution visional Governors nominated by himwhich thus makes it the shield of trea- self. These Governors called popular son and the destroyer of civilization conventions, whose members were electmust be false both to fact and sense. ed by the votes of those to whom Mr. The framers of that instrument were Johnson had given the right of suffrage; not idiots; yet idiots they would cer- and these conventions proceeded to tainly have been, if they had put into it do what Mr. Johnson dictated. Everya clause declaring “that no State, or where Mr. Jobnson; nowhere the ascombination of States, which may at sumed rights of the States ! North any time choose to get up an armed Carolina was one of these creations ; attempt to overthrow the government and North Carolina, through the lips established by this Constitution, and be of its Chief Justice, has already dedefeated in the attempt, shall forfeit any cided that Mr. Johnson was an unof the privileges granted by this instru- authorized intruder, and his work a ment to loyal States.” But an inter- nullity, and even Mr. Johnson's “peopretation of the Constitution which can ple” of North Carolina have rejected be conceived of as forming a possible the constitution framed by Mr. Johnpart of it only by impeaching the sanity son's Convention. Other Rebel comof its framers, cannot be an interpre- munities will doubtless repudiate his tation which the American people are work, as soon as they can dispense with morally bound to risk ruin to support. his assistance. But whatever may be
But even if we should be wild enough the condition of these new Johnsonian to admit the Johnsonian principle re- States, they are certainly not States specting insurgent States, the question which can “recover” rights which excomes up as to the identity of the isted previous to their creation. The States now demanding representation date of their birth is to be reckoned, with the States whose rights of repre- not from any year previous to the Resentation are affirmed to have been bellion, but from the year which folonly suspended during their rebellion. lowed its suppression. It may, in old The fact would seem to be, that these times, have been a politic trick of reconstructed States are merely the shrewd politicians, to involve the founcreations of the executive branch of dations of States in the mists of a the government, with every organic mythical antiquity ; but we happily live bond hopelessly cut which connected in an historical period, and there is them with the old State governments something peculiarly stupid or pecuand constitutions. They have only liarly impudent in the attempt of the tne names of the States they pretend publicists of the Philadelphia Convento be. Before the Rebellion, they had a tion to ignore the origins of political legal people ; when Mr. Johnson took societies for which, after they have obhold of them, they had nothing but a tained a certain degree of organization, they claim such eminent traditional however, though the most consequenrights and privileges. Respectable as tial of individuals, is the most inconsethese States may be as infant phenom- quential of reasoners; every proposiena, it will not do to Methuselahize tion which is evident to himself he conthem too recklessly, or assert their siders to fulfil the definition of selfequality in muscle and brawn with gi- evident proposition ; but his supporters ants full grown.
at Philadelphia must have known, that, It is evident, from the nature of the in affirming that insurgent States recase, that Mr. Johnson's labors were cover their former rights by the fact of purely experimental and provisional, submission, they were arraigning the and needed the indorsement of Con- conduct of their leader, who had notorigress to be of any force. The only de- ously violated those "rights.” They partment of the government constitu- took up his work at a certain stage, and tionally capable to admit new States or then, with that as a basis, they affirmed rehabilitate insurgent ones is the legis- a general proposition about insurgent lative. When the Executive not only States, which, had it been complied took the initiative in reconstruction, with by the President, would have left but assumed to have completed it; them no foundation at all ; for the when he presented his States to Con- States about which they so glibly gengress as the equals of the States repre- eralized would have had no show of sented in that body; when he assert- organized governments. The premises ed that the delegates from his States of their argument were obtained by the should have the right of sitting and violation of its conclusion; they invoting in the legislature whose busi- ferred from what was a negation of ness it was to decide on their right to their inference, and deduced from what admission ; when, in short, he demand- was a death-blow to their deduction. ed that criminals at the bar should It is easy enough to understand why have a seat on the bench, and an equal the Johnson Convention asserted the voice with the judges, in deciding on equality of the Johnson reconstructions their own case, the effrontery of Ex- of States with the States now repreecutive pretension went beyond all sented in Congress. The object was bounds of Congressional endurance. to give some appearance of legality
The real difference at first was not to a contemplated act of arbitrary on the question of imposing conditions, power, and the principle that insur-- for the President had notoriously im- gent States recover all their old rights posed them himself, — but on the ques- by the fact of submission was invented tion whether or not additional condi- in order to cover the case. Mr. Johntions were necessary to secure the pub- son now intends, by the admission of lic safety. The President, with that fa- his partisans, to attempt a coup d'état" cility “in turning his back on himself” on the assembling of the Fortieth Conwhich all other logical gymnasts had gress, in case seventy-one members of pronounced an impossible feat, then the House of Representatives, favoraboldly took the ground, that, being satis- ble to his policy, are chosen, in the fied with the conditions he had himself elections of this autumn, from the exacted, the exaction of conditions was twenty-six loyal States. These, with unconstitutional. To sustain this cu- the fifty Southern delegates, would rious proposition he adduced no con- constitute a quorum of the House ; stitutional arguments, but he left vari- and the remaining hundred and nineous copies of the Constitution in each teen members are, in the President's of the crowds he recently addressed, favorite phrase, “to be kicked out” with the trust, we suppose, that some- from that " verge ” of the government body might be fortunate enough to find on which they now are said to be in that instrument the clause which “hanging." The question, therefore, supported his theory. Mr. Johnson, whether Congress, as it is at present