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no better, but rather worse, at their hands. Fortunately, our people are neither bloodthirsty nor fond of revolutions. They have demonstrated to the world that none are braver when their country needs their bravery, but their innate good sense and intelligence give no encouragement to conspirators. Catiline himself, could he have lived in our time, would not have dared to urge the Northern States to endanger the life of the Republic by bloodshed and plunder. In the South, indeed, he might have succeeded in an evil hour. This the late rebellion has shown, but, alas, how sad, how irreparable are the results even of that gigantic effort! It is an idle boast, therefore, for the impeachers to say that they had recourse to moral and legal means for the removal of the President. Had they attempted to use violence, they would have brought still more contempt on themselves than they have, if that were possible, and they would have endangered their precious lives at the same time.
We have no disposition to increase the scorn which the impeachers have brought on themselves by what they pretend to regard as “moral and legal means," but which, as the world knows, were neither moral nor legal. Even Butler has had punishment enough. Like Thersites, his prototype, he has excited ridicule by his gravest efforts. Far be it from us to find fault with any one for the defects or infirmities of nature. But we cannot help being struck with the resemblance between the chief reviler of the President and the person on whom Ulysses inflicted such ignominious punisbment for abusing his betters. · First the poet describes him as squinting* and lame of one foot. Then he is addressed by Ulysses with the utmost scorn: “If I shall find thee any longer acting foolishly,” says the hero, “as indeed no where no longer, then, be the head on the shoulders of Ulysses : not any longer may I be called the father of Telemachus, if, having taken thee, I do not strip thee of thy garments, both upper coat and tunic, and those which cover thy shame."7 In order to give due emphasis to these words, Ulysses struck the poor wight on the back, so that the boaster and reviler writhed and began to cry like a woman. Pope, in commenting on this, says:-"What is further observable is, that Thersites is never heard of after this, his first appearance; such a scandalous character is to be taken no more notice of
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than just to show that it is despised.” But there is another point of similarity. The Greeks had become very much dissatisfied with their leaders ; they were almost in a mutinous condition when they were addressed on the subject by Thersites, who, be it observed, was well “versed in many and indecent terms;" in other words, he was a pretty fair specimen of a “stump orator," without principle, decency, or courage. Had he remained quiet, the probability was that the Greeks would withdraw and leave Agamemnon in the lurch, a ruined and degraded chieftain. But Thersites turns the scale at once in his favour; the gross and indecent abuse he received from so worthless a character awakened the sympathy of the whole army, and all were delighted at the chastise ment which the brawler received. Even Ulysses had never done any thing more popular than this. “He has done innumerable good things," said the Greeks, “but now, truly, he has done this, by far the best, by silencing this reproachful reviler from his harangues."*
Now, if Homer had only introduced some silver spoons, or other similar utensils, into his description, the parallel would have been almost perfect. At all events, the resemblance is sufficiently close. Thersites saved the glory of the Greeks by causing them to do the reverse of what he urged upon them : he made them be true to themselves and their country, instead of being false to both, as he advised them, with all the earnestness and scurrility of a smatterer in oratory. And certain it is that the conduct of Butler has had a similar effect on the the people of the United States. He has saved the American Senate, as Thersites saved the Greek army. No one, therefore, should have any feeling against Mr. Butler. True, it is against his will he saved the Senate from disgrace, but when one has accomplished a good result, it is ungracious to scrutinize too closely the means which he used.
But to extend the parallel a little farther, if the Greeks had reason to be grateful to the wise Ulysses for restraining the “reproachful reviler” and exhibiting him in his true character to his countrymen, the American people have equal reason to be grateful to Chief-Justice Chase. The latter did not, indeed, describe Butler from head to toe, as Ulysses described his prototype, nor did he inflict any blows on his posterior parts, but he chastised him
* Iliad, II., v. 275.
quite as severely as if he had done both. Some of those brief remarks which he occasionally addressed to the “honourable manager” were abundantly descriptive; it was evident that they hurt, too, sometimes, although Butler is by no means sensitive as long as he is in danger of no harder weapons than irony or rebuke. But there is an eloquence in silence, and in the expression of the countenance, and we have never seen it used with more powerful effect than by the Chief-Justice at the impeachment trial. In a word, our impression was, after having spent many weary hours listening to the managers, that no jurist of Europe or America could have conducted himself in a more dignified or impartial manner than ChiefJustice Chase did during this trial. All the managers were more or less offensive to him ; Butler was particularly so. Neither the managers, nor their senatorial abettors ever addressed him by his proper title, but always as “Mr. President.” He never made even a suggestion as to the law or propriety of any question evolved during the trial, for which he was not treated with rudeness in one form or another; yet never, for one moment, did he seem to lose his equanimity. We made the following remark in our last number, for we had never seen his Honour preside at any court: “If Chief Justice Chase has the wisdom and moral courage to avail himself of it, he has now an opportunity of rendering himself quite as illustrious as Lord Abinger; he has an opportunity of causing himself to be quoted as an authority in favour of constitutional government and the rights of man, by the jurists of all future ages."'*
He has proved to the world that he possessed both the wisdom and the moral courage to administer justice impartially, and oppose wrong, and we hold that he has rendered himself illustrious accordingly. The majority of even those who voted the President guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanours" will live long enough to see, if they do not already, that, after all, it was fortunate for the country that so wise a statesman and so impartial a jurist occupied the supreme bench at so momentous a crisis ; not that he could compel any senator to vote contrary to his inclination, but that the influence of a distinguished lawyer, combining with great forensic ability the wisdom of the statesman, could not fail to produce favourable results.
* No. XXXII., p. 380.
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Nor does any intelligent person doubt that the straightforward, manly course pursued by the Chief Justice has influenced the issue of the trial. Had a narrow-minded fanatic or partisan been in his place, it is certain that the President would have been convicted, and this would have produced much more serious results than even the impeachers had calculated upon. As it is, no harm has been done, but really much good. The most ambitious and violent partisans will learn a useful lesson from the acquittal of the President. None of that genus will be so ready in future to make frivolous charges, however anxious they may be to crush their opponents in order to serve their own interests; whereas, future presidents, upon the other hand, will be careful not to leave themselves in the power of unprincipled demagogues.
For these reasons, if we had five hundred votes tomorrow, and that Chief-Justice Chase were a candidate for the Presidency, we would unhesitatingly give all to him. We think that all who have the welfare of the country at heart should be actuated by the same feeling. Nor is it by way of rewarding the Chief Justice we would pursue this course; we should wish to see him President for the country's sake, not for his because we think that he is eminently qualified for the position, and that his administration would command the respect of all intelligent, impartial men at home and abroad.
We do not make this remark through any hostility to General Grant; for we entertain no such feeling. As long as there was a single battalion in the field against the Union, none were more in favour of prosecuting the war than we; none set a higher value on the splendid victories of General Grant; and we have always maintained that he deserved the warmest gratitude of the country for having saved the Republic in spite of the persistent efforts of one of the greatest generals of the age, and the bravest armies. If the rebel armies were not superior to the Union armies, it was because the latter could not be surpassed ; and if Lee was not superior to Grant as a general, it was because the latter had no superior in the world, in our opinion, in the particular kind of warfare which it was necessary to adopt in the extensive woods and morasses of the South.
Such has been our estimate of General Grant since he gained his three first victories; nevertheless we have always thought that there are at least a hundred men in the United States who are much better qual
ely admitted ever been morth people of all licher de.
ified for the Presidency than he. But, with the sole exception of Chief Justice Chase, none of those yet prominently mentioned as likely to be his opponents, are among the number. We would certainly vote for him rather than for any of the rest, whether they call themselves Republicans or Democrats ; but we should decidedly prefer the Chief Justice to the General, for, although the sword is an excellent thing in time of war, political sagacity and statesmanship are much more useful in time of peace; and they are much more likely to maintain peace when once established. Even his enemies freely admitted that Wellington was a great general. No public man has ever been more idolized than the “ Iron Duke” has been by the British people of all classes; it is certain that no general ever possessed in a higher degree the gratitude of a whole nation; yet there were many men to whom England preferred to commit the reins of government, although he was always willing enough, if not anxious, to be Premier. Even when he was nominally at the head of the ministry, Sir Robert Peel, who could not command a corporal's guard, and who scarcely knew the difference between a carbine and a howitzer, was the acting man. The duke was nearly as much out of place in the cabinet when any important business had to be transacted, as Sir Robert would have been in the British camp when “the guards” were attacked with characteristic impetuosity by Napoleon's cuirassiers.
But we fear that General Grant would be still more out of place in the cabinet; and it is not a military chieftain the country needs just now, but a statesman. No one pretends that General Grant is a statesman; at least we are not aware that any such claim has been made on his behalf, even by his most enthusiastic admirers ; whereas none deny the statesmanlike abilities of Mr. Chase. .
It is urged that, if we are at peace with the world now, we may be at war with one or more of the most powerful nations before the term of the next president shall have expired. This is not at all likely ; and still less likely is it that we shall have any great rebellion to put down. But assuming the contrary, was Mr. Lincoln, under whose auspices the greatest and most formidable rebellion of modern times was put down, a military chieftain ? Not one of all our presidents knew less about military science, or had less disposition to take the field; yet it is universally admitted by the very men who have