We certainly are on the eve of great events in this country. The people of Pennsylvania cannot be indifferent spectators; their interests and commercial relations will force them to look realities in the face, and act like men. The right or wrong of secession may shortly be no longer a practical issue. The fact of a southern confederacy may be presented for our consideration.

Under any circumstances, we in this State must suffer very much, perhaps more than any other.

Suppose a Southern Confederacy under the old Constitution, slightly modified, and none but slave States admitted, carrying out the idea of a great southern Confederacy based on slave labor, having possession of the great cotton zone of the world, and a great Northern Confederacy based upon free labor, how are our manufacturers (of iron for instance,) to get along?

At present we have free trade with all the Southern States. Most of the Southern States do not make a pound of iron. They purchase three times as much of us as we purchase of them. Nearly all the southern States get their manufactured iron directly or indirectly, such as wire, nails, ploughs, castings for cotton gins, saw-mills, sugar mills, &c., from us. When a cargo of iron goes into a Southern port it pays no duty. But when a cargo comes in from Liverpool, it pays twenty-four per cent duty; that is, for every hundred dollars[‘] worth of iron they pay our government twenty four dollars duty, and yet we complain of ruinious competition. Indeed our iron men say they can hardly compete with the English manufacturer in the ports of New York and Philadelphia. How will it be when a Southern Confederacy admits English iron and manufactures of iron duty free? They may say we want to purchase in the cheap markets of Europe when we sell the bulk of our cotton, and thus have a return cargo. Does it not deprive us of a market in fifteen Southern States having near ten millions of people and who are comparatively non producers of iron?

But it may be said “we will increase the duty in the Northern Confederacy, and thus keep the English article out altogether;” how much good will that do us in Pennsylvania? They manufacture iron now on the Hudson nearly as cheap as we do. They manufacture iron in Ohio and Missouri for the north west; so that with the Southern States cut off, our market would be a very limited one. But how long would the New England States agree to pay a high tax on iron when they produce none? The New England States now have twelve Senators and Pennsylvania two, so that they could and would prevent a high tariff.—The North-west is always for free trade, besides the Allegheny mountain is a sufficient tariff for them, and they would go with New England to whom they now sell bread-stuffs.

The truth is, that the Southern people can get what they want in the markets of the world. We must obtain our supply of cotton from them. We now take in the Northern States thirty millions of dollars[‘] worth per annum of raw cotton. There are large cotton manufacturing establishments in the neighborhood of Philadelphia, to say nothing of those at Norristown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, South Easton, etc. Where do they sell their manufactured articles? Not in New England for New England manufacturers have sales rooms in Philadelphia and New York. The truth is New England is our rival. She would never agree to a duty on coal because the coal of the British Provinces is too near. New England merchants never come to make purchases in Philadelphia; the merchants of the Southern States do. It therefore may yet become a great question in this State, whether it will not be sound policy as well as true duty for us to seek political relations with those with whom we have heretofore, and may hereafter have profitable commercial relations.