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but he declined the appointment. Then Wilson Shannon, of Ohio, was selected, and accepted the office. Coming from a free State, it was expected he would prove an enlightened man, with true sympathy for this infant State. Those who were acquainted with the antecedents of his life -his profligate career in Mexico and in California-expected nothing but a tool of the administration and of Missouri; and proved.
A mass convention was held at Lawrence, on August 15, 1855, and on the 19th a delegate convention was held at Topeka, to take into consideration the formation of a State constitution. After full discussion, the convention decided to call a constitutional convention, and organized a provisional government to superintend the election of delegates. A delegate convention of the free-state party was held at Big-Springs, September 5, to fix a day for the election of a delegate to Congress, and to nominate a candidate. At this convention, the Gth of October was named for the election, instead of the 2nd, the day fixed by the Shawnee Mission Legislature, and ex-Governor Reeder was nominated for candidate. This convention, by resolution, referred the matter of a State organization to the Topeka convention, which was to represent all parties.
From the frequent outrages and street-broils enacted in Lawrence, the inhabitants entered into a self-defensive organization; and, as the badges they wore gave evidence of the existence of a secret society, the outrages ceased. The Missourians threatened to attack the place with two regiments, each a thousand strong. They also erected a gallows, whereon to hang Governor Reeder. A young free-state man was killed by a pro-slavery man, the provocation being a dispute about a claim: no effort was made to bring the murderer to justice. But a free-state man, having killed a man in self-defence, was contined in prison, and Judge Lecompte packed a jury to get him indicted, The design of the pro-slavery men was to drive out all who were true to the principles of freedom, and the officials sympathized with and abetted their design. Justice was mocked at this shameless course.
The question now arose, Shall the free-state men obey the laws forced upon them by the Missourians? to refuse would be to afford a pretext to their enemies for destroying Lawrence. A spirit of determined resistance manifested itself, and preparations for defence were commenced; for an attack was threatened by the Missourians, with Governor Shannon at their head. He, however, contented himself with calling out the militia. Kansas was to be subjugated at all hazards. But as yet Lawrence had not furnished a pretext, for the people had broken no laws, although they had protested against laws not made by themselves.
Another murder, committed on a free-state man, brought matters nearer to a crisis. Governor Shannon went to Lawrence to treat for peace. He told the invaders that a misunderstanding existed, that the people of Lawrence had violated no law,—that they would not resist any properly appointed officer in the execution of the laws, and concluded by advising them to go home to Missouri. Most of them followed this advice, and returned home, carrying with them their dead, -one killed by the falling of a tree, one accidentally shot by the guard, and one killed in a quarrel. The prisoners on both sides were released. The militia were so indignant with the Governor for the truce, that they threatened to Lynch him. It is a novelty in the annals of legislation, for the Governor of a free State to enter into a treaty with the citizens over whom his jurisdiction extended, having in view their obedience to the laws. The difficulty was far from being settled: the invaders were disappointed in their thirst for revenge and plunder, and returned home with a secret discontent, planning a new invasion and new villanies.
On the 15th of December the election for the adoption of the State constitution took place. As the election was proceeding quietly, a party of the marauders smashed the windows of the building where the election was being held, jumped in and drove off the judges, assaulted the clerks, and carried off the ballot-boxes.
The winter was passed by the settlers in a continual apprehension of a fresh invasion. • Upon the assembling of the Legislature, on the 4th of March, Judge Elmore expressed a strong desire that the members should not take the oath of office, as such an act would be considered illegal, and they would be immediately arrested. The President, it was said, intended to carry matters thus far, and sent the United States' Marshal to Topeka, to make arrests. By failing to take the oath of office, the existing free-state constitution became of no account.
These continual acts of oppression against Kansas, on the part of the general Government, served to check the immigration to that territory; still its growth was steadily progressive : new towns were constantly springing up, and the superior character of the settlers constituted a society as refined and intelligent as any in the Union.
The settlers in Kansas next presented a memorial to Congress, exhibiting the wrongs they endured, and the injuries they suffered. A commission was appointed to investigate the causes of their complaints; and about the 17th of April the commissioners arrived. Their proceedings struck terror into the heart of the evil-doers, who, fearing that all their nefarious plans might be frustrated, felt that a desperate effort must be made to break up the sittings of the Commission; and their plan soon revealed itself. An untoward incident now occurred in the attempted assassination of the sheriff, who had made himself very obnoxious by the harsh manner in which he had discharged the duties of his office. The inhabitants of Lawrence repudiated any participation in the foul deed. A combination of exciting circumstances soon led to an attack upon
the town of Lawrence, which was sacked and destroyed in the name of the law, and a reign of terror was fully established in Kansas.
The conduct of President Pierce has been severely censured in this affair, and in his late message to Congress he has dwelt upon the matter at some length, and endeavoured to exonerate himself from the charge of encouraging the evil deeds of the pro-slavery party, for which he has a strong bias. While the Kansas settlers were suffering the greatest wrongs and cruelties from lawless bands of desperadoes, they were entitled to the assistance of the general government; failing to receive this, they had no alternative but to organize means for self-defence; it was then that the President exercised his power, and by calling the justifiable measures of the “ free-state” men treasonable, he employed the United States troops to crush them, and no alternative remained for the settlers but to submit. When they legally assembled to memorialize Congress upon the subject of their wrongs, a body of soldiers came and dispersed them. This act occurred on the 4th of July, the anniversary of the declaration of American independence.
Upon the recent assembling of Congress, a discussion took place on the 9th December last, in the House of Representatives, as to the admission of Mr. Whitfield, the delegate from Kansas. As he had been elected by the illegal votes of the Missourians, his right was disputed. Upon “a call of the llouse” being moved, it was refused by a vote of 99 to 112. The question was, shall Mr. Whitfield be sworn ? and the House decided yea by 112 votes to 108 nays. He accordingly took the oath and his seat.
We might fill many pages with the mere catalogue of the atrocities committed in this strange civil war. The struggle still continues, but of its issue there can be no fear or doubt—the cause of freedom must eventually triumph; and although the condition of the “free-soilers” is one of imminent peril
, from their isolated position, and the overwhelming numbers of their enemies, the balance of power will doubtless, through the energies and sympathy of the “ North," shortly be restored. This struggle has no parallel in the annals of civilization, and while it lasts, must command the attention and sympathy of all who possess the blessings of a dearly-bought freedom like that enjoyed by ourselves.
A ROMANCE OF THE OLD WORLD ILLUSTRATED FROM
DRAMAS OF THE NEW. TTE“ Tempest" is familiar to all readers of Shakespeare (and who is not numbered among them ?)—it is one of the first pieces to attract us, by its language, its character, its etherial agencies, and its romantic plot.
Is there an original or a parallel elsewhere to be found for it?
To find or make such parallels, and to strike ont resemblances, is a favourite pursuit with many, and to search for such must be as allowable in the world of sentiments and abstractions as in that of nature. Nay, it may be said that, while in the one instance it is a task of fancy often threading together profitless combinations, the other is an exercise of taste and feeling offering play to the intellect and refinement to the imagination, possibly leading to new discoveries, unveiling latent meanings, propagating new comparisons, contrasts, and ideas.
In this case let us analyse the incidents :- A banished and fugitive prince on an unfriendly coast, a doubtful or hostile fleet at hand, surprised by an overwhelming tempest; this tempest the work of supernatural instruments, employed first for destruction, seemingly, then overruled to save. Hear the consulting powers, and the princess interceding, and thread the delicate chain of sequences by which, without violence to the natural order of events, beauty is made first a suppliant for the endangered, and then from pity turned to love.
Then turn we to another scene of another date, of a more precise locality, a more historical appearance. It opens in the neighbourhood of ancient Carthage, and we find the hero, a wandering prince, outcast from his desolated native land, with a few followers, who cling to him for weal or woe, and follow his star of destiny, whether it be to light them to a refuge, built up in a new realm; or whether, as the first dangers threaten, they have but escaped the storm of war to be engulfed by the storms of ocean. Th
is on the sea, and shaping, or rather struggling to shape, its course to that land of invention and romance which is also the promised land of their destinyItaly; when the storm-fiends that ride the middle air are let loose, and with a roar and dash of winds and waters they are buffeted and lost in a three days' darkness, relieved only, or interrupted, by the lightning-glare. There
is the terror of “the sea mounting to the welkin's cheek;" the labouring of “ the brave vessel with the noble creatures in her, whose cry knocks against the heart.” The hero even gives up himself for lost, and groans over a lot that has rescued him from death in defence of his native soil, and from companionship with those who fell there, to die out of sight and sympathy, had he not been cut off where there might have been glory in the conflict and a memorial in the grave? But no; deliverance is at hand.
A god of power, that would sink the sea within the earth, or e'er it should the good ship swallow, and her freighting souls.”
“ Tell your piteous heart
There's no harm done." He escapes, though hardly, to the shore, with one constant comrade. His other followers are more evilly treated, by those who are set to guard the frontiers of an infant colony from depredators and disguised or doubtful foes,—(such is the queen's own explanation, when the deputation reaches her court).
He and his faithful second-self, tempted by their necessities and the pursuit of game, venture far inland. They are met by a seeming huntress, who frankly recounts the story of her country, and aids and guides them on their way to the new court, and cheers them with the assurance of a kind reception ;—and not in vain, for our actor here too is a spirit: discovered both by her surprising omens and her own undissembled grace, the goddess stands confest. Then, like the huntress in Glenfinlas,
“Tall waxed the spirit's altering form." Her office done, she vanishes—“into air, into thin air.” The protected ones wend their way--they reach the town; they mark the busy hopeful eagerness, characteristic of the founders of their own fortunes in a foreign land; and find fresh assurance that their star is in the ascendant: their fame is gone before them, and their story furnishes the sculptures that grace the palace-walls.
They are then in a manner prepared for the condescension and hospitality of the queen’s welcome to them. Yet, though predisposed to admiration, and familiar with the tales of their heroism, still is she “fancy free.”
And at this point ends our comparison with the “ Tempest.” The scenes of enterprise and danger, of discovery and meeting, of welcome and joy, have so far found a parallel and likeness; to continue the lines, a fresh sta ing-point is necessary: but in the same great picturer of nature's world and the passions of the human heart, we find another drama to supply us almost word for word with the later progress of the story; for the adventure which in the first drama closed with prosperity and restoration, here is carried on to other consequences, and developes into a true-love tale.
It may and must be so characterized. If it be not a true tale, yet is it a true love. If it be legendary in its basis, it shall still be found true in its details; true to nature, true to life- reflecting the likeness of a thousand lives, the beatings of a thousand hearts-mirroring a thousand streams that flow from the fountains of youth across the world's wide valley; which, smooth in the outset, are presently thrust back by chafing reefs, closed over by frowning rocks, tangled beneath the brakes of suffering, gloomed over by the drooping willows of despair, and hardly win a tortuous way to where the jutting side is suddenly disclosed. There is but one advance, and a precipice is in front; there is a leap and a splash, and the bursting cataract is engulfed.
Such is the story of the loves of Dido and Æncas.
PART IT. The feast is spread. The guests are the wanderer and his companions in adventure, entertained by those who, like themselves, are the founders of their own fortunes in a strange land; who have experienced their hardships and reached the success and the settlement they are yet but aspiring to, who love (in their queen's words) to renew their remembrance of peril; and their rejoicing sense of safety, by extending the relief they once needed to those who need it now.
They compassionate, they cherish, unconscious of the chasm at their feet, which shall engulf some and separate the rest.
But as yet all is bright; and a part of the entertainment is of a kind which unlocks more freely the sources of sympathy—the relation to the assembled company of the dangers that have beset the exile's path. He,
questioned of the story of his life
ran it through
Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' the imminent deadly breach." This tale might be told in Othello's phrase; nor is the character of the sequel all unlike.
The lay is over-the guests are gone. What is the impression left on the queenly hostess ? All have listened with admiration, she with love. It needed not the subtle machinery of the disguised Cupid, and his substitu. tion for Ascanius, to prepare us for a tide of fresh feeling, overpowering in its advances, disastrous in result. From the first she has been touched, perhaps unconscious of the wound; but she feeds the subtle poison in her veins, and the life-blood of her whole system is fevered by it. The fire, secret but consuming, finds its fuel; the personal daring of the hero, with the glory of his race, is ever recurring to her imagination, his features are entrancing her gaze, his accents falling softly on her ear, and allow her no pause of rest to lessen or forget their force, Unable to contain herself, she unfolds her tale of anxieties to her sister's ready sympathy. Her first feeling is curiosity, wonder, mystery ;-his striking mien, his noble heart, his bold achievements; the sport of destiny, but by destiny and war unscathed. The fancy follows its natural bent in picturing some superhuman being's presence under the veil of a princely sufferer.
But what is this to her? She cannot love. Her heart is in the coffin with her one only love, and she will stay till it comes back to her. So she has resolved; but the very assertion of her unchangeable resolve betrays the first entrance of the doubt. “ The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” The question has been entertained. The heart has been touched, and reels. She recognises the old advance of likings deepening into love, but she rejects it as a weakness. She prays for the alternative of death, rather than the possibility of change. Let the earth yawn to its centrelet the shades, the pale and chilling shades, envelope and enfold her-let the night cling round her shuddering in its depth, before she can give up what she has pledged herself to maintain, or burst the bonds of womanly affection and constancy.
Now is her sister's opportunity to “ step between her and her fighting soul;" but she will rather undermine than aid her resolution, and find such