We have heretofore shown that the reason for this astounding infamy is of the meanest character. That it is simply a movement to save Mr. Pierce with the ultra pro-slavery men of his party, and to give him and Mr. Douglas some political capital to begin the next Presidential Campaign with. No other possible reason can be assigned for it. The pretense that it is to carry out the doctrines of the compromise of 1850, it too shallow and transparent to deceive any man who has a thimble-full of brains. The advocates of that compromise have never before suggested such a thing, and to pretend it now is only to show what a contemptuous estimate its inventors have of the public sense.
Mr. Benton, with the characteristic directness that marks the man, and which atones for many of his defects of character, said the other day, "Whoever says that I intended the repeal of the Missouri Compromise lies, Sir; he tells a lie, Sir." We presume no man is better convinced of this truth than Mr. Douglas himself. But with what bitter disgust must he inwardly regard himself under such a stinging reproach! He is incapable of resenting this most offensive imputation of falsehood, for he knows the truth of the allegation. Mr. Douglas ought to be dismissed into an execrated obscurity for his insincerity and his utter faithlessness, here so signally rebuffed, but his position in regard to this bill constantly compels our unwilling recurrence to him. From what Mr. Benton has further said in relation to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, we presume he does not intend to vote on the question when it shall come up in the House. He has said that, "by that Compromise the South yielded all the territory north of 36* 30' to freedom, but if the North wants to surrender it back again to Slavery, the South will not refuse to take it back." He feels himself bound by the obligation; he scorns to repudiate the bargain; he contemptuously flouts the proposition to violate a solemn compact. But he sneeringly intimates that if the North desires to surrender to Slavery the vast territory secured to freedom by that compact, he is disposed to stand by and see the representatives of the free States degrade themselves by doing it, and thereby earn scorn from their contemporaries, swift vengeance from their constituents, and branded infamy from history hereafter.
It would not be surprising to see the indignant feeling of an honorable mind
manifest itself in this way over such unprincipled poltroonery as the act in
question would disclose, but we yet hope that not only Mr. Benton,
but that every other honorable southern man will pocket their
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