« 上一頁繼續 »
But the real controlling reason which determined his course. in the matter was that it was in strict accordance with nature. If writing be an art, and if art, in this line, consists in presenting to the mind real images of nature, through the medium of language, as painting does by colors, then he has not deviated from a proper rule of taste, so far as relates to the method adopted. For these Colloquies are but an elaboration of conversations actually had at his residence, as they purport, in substance, to be. .
It so happened, in the spring, and early part of the summer, of 1867, while the writer was at his home, devoting his mind, in that quiet retreat, to the general subjects herein discussed, with a view to the preparation of a work of some sort, upon them, for publication, that he was visited, at different times, by great numbers of his old friends, from the Northern States, representing almost every shade of opinion upon the present state of public affairs. During these visits, conversations were had, and very thoroughly indulged in, with perfect good temper, on all sides, upon all these subjects. These actual Colloquies, with rare exceptions, began just as the following pages begin; and they usually took the same course.
As this was so general, and almost universal, it seemed to indicate that line or mode of writing, on the same subjects, which would be the most natural for the entertainment of the great majority of those who might be disposed to read any thing that might be written upon them.
Hence the conclusion as to the mode of treatment now presented. Whether it will be acceptable to modern taste, the test of experiment must disclose. It certainly enabled the writer to present the views of both sides more clearly and forcibly, upon many points, than he could have done in a more stately or didactic form.
The only fiction in the machinery is in the names of the parties, and in connecting the whole discussion with the same persons. The real names of the parties, for obvious reasons, are not given. Others, and entirely fictitious ones, are substituted. For unity in the general plan, three representative characters, thus selected, are retained throughout the discussion.
JUDGE BYNUM, from Massachusetts, represents, throughout, that class of visitants who belong to what is called the Radical branch of the Republican Party. PROFESSOR NORTON, from Connecticut, represents, in like manner, those of that class known as the Conservative branch of the same Party; while MAJOR HEISTER, from Pennsylvania, represents those of that class known as War Democrats.
The living prototypes of each of these fictitious representa tives were in the actual conversations had; and the writer trusts, when the real characters shall see, if they ever do, the reports, now given to the public, of the actual Colloquies which took place, and the parts they took in them, that they will not feel that any injustice has been done to them or their positions.
With this explanation, let the reader imagine all the parties in the Portico, at Liberty Hall, the day after the arrival of the guests, and after the usual salutations and inquiries, upon the reunion of old acquaintances and personal friends—especially upon such a re-union, after years of separation, and these years marked by such scenes as marked those of the separation in this case--and he will be fully prepared for the curtain to rise, and to be entertained, or not, with what follows in the Colloquies, according to his taste and judgment.
CONSTITUTIONAL VIEW OF THE WAR
MR. STEPHENS'S UNION SPEECH OF 1860 THE SUBJECT ON WHICH THE
DISCUSSION BEGINS-THE MOST THOROUGH DEVOTION TO THE UNION CONSISTENT WITH THE RECOGNISED SOVEREIGNTY OF THE SEVERAL STATES—THE UNION ITSELF IS A UNION OF SOVEREIGN STATES--THE WHOLE SUBJECT OF THE WAR, ITS CAUSES, NATURE, AND CHARACTER, OPENED UP BY A QUESTION PROPOUNDED, HOW MR. STEPHENS WITH HIS SENSE OF DUTY COULD GO WITH HIS STATE ON SECESSION AGAINST TAN UNION ?-BEFORE GOING INTO A FULL ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION, TWO PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS MADĖ, ONE RELATING TO CITIZENSHIP, THE OTHER TO THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND-CITIZENSHIP PERTAINS TO THE STATES-OBEDIENCE IS DUE TO THE SUPREME LAW WHILE IT IS LAW, BUT ALLEGIANCE IS DUE TO THE PARAMOUNT AUTHORITY_OBEDIENCE TO LAW WHILE IT IS LAW, AND ALLEGIANCE WHICH IS DUE TO THE PARAMOUNT AUTHORITY WHICH CAN RIGHTFULLY MAKE AND UNMAKE ALL LAWS, CONSTITUTIONS AS WELL AS OTHERS, ARE VERY DIFFERENT THINGS THE QUESTION PROPOUNDED REQUIRES A THOROUGH INQUIRY AS TO WHERE, UNDER OUR SYSTEM, THIS , PARAMOUNT AUTHORITY RESIDES.
JUDGE BYNUM. We were all at the North very much surprised as well as disappointed, Mr. Stephens, at your course on Secession. MR. STEPHENS. Why so ?
JUDGE BYNUM. Because we were led to believe, from your speech against that measure on the 14th of No: vember, 1860, before the Legislature of your State in Milledgeville, that you were really and thoroughly for the Union. We regarded your speech on that occa
sion as one of the best Union speeches ever made. There was a tone of earnestness and sincerity in it which created that impression. It was published in all our leading papers, and was almost literally spread broadcast throughout the whole country. From that speech especially, as well as from your course in 1850– and indeed from your whole course from the time you entered public lifewe thought that, when the crisis came, if it ever should come, you would certainly go for the Union.
Mr. STEPHENS. It is quite as surprising to me that any such conclusion touching my course, in case Secession should be resorted to, should have been drawn from the speech you allude to, or from my course in 1850, or from any act of my life, as you say my actual course was to you when the event occurred. I was indeed thoroughly for the Union. This the speech referred to fully attested, as well as my whole public course. No words were ever uttered with more earnestness or greater sincerity than were the words of that speech. No stronger or more ardent Union man ever lived than I was. Not a man in the Convention which framed the Constitution of the United States, which sets forth the terms of “the Union," was or could have been more devoted to it than I was. But what Union? or the Union of what? Of course, the Union of the States under the Constitution. That was what I was so ardently devoted to. The Union is a phrase often used, I apprehend, without considering its correct import or meaning. By many it is used to signify the integrity of the country as it is called, or the unity of the whole people of the United States, in a geographical view, as one Nation.
JUDGE BYNUM. Certainly; that is what I mean by it. MR. STEPHENS. Well, allow me then to say that there