The condition of the country, the probabilities of the secession of the border Slave States, and the subject of compromises, are discussed at Washington with a constancy and eagerness which is to be accounted for by the magnitude of the interests at stake. There are assembled many of the leading minds of the country, strong representatives of its immense manufacturing, commercial and banking interests, and keen and far-sighted politicians who look beyond the turmoil of the present into the sober second thought of the tranquil future. To one who scans the various elements which are there gathered with coolness, who is neither carried away by timid fears or unmindful of the serious consequences of a decision, who feels alike the responsibilities of the Present and of the Future, the whole scene is an impressive one.

A short stay in Washington has convinced us that there is but little hope of a satisfactory adjustment of existing difficulties, and we presume our readers will agree with us that any other is entirely useless. There are those who think otherwise, but we shall state our opinions, and the reasons we have for entertaining them. The substantial propositions, urged by the Breckinridge and Fusion parties of the country, (those of Mr. Crittenden) are entirely inadmissible, and yet they have been sustained with such pertinacity and earnestness that they are continually present in the minds of the Southern border men as the necessary basis for a settlement. A more moderate solution of the difficulty, and one freed from the insuperable objections which cling to those propositions, is regarded coldly by the great mass of Southern men, and yet we have the assurances of our moderate Representatives in Congress that there is not a single Republican in either branch who will support them.

The Border State propositions meet with but little more favor from the Republicans than they do from the Southern men. The Republicans will not support five amendments of the Constitution in the interest of slavery, with a territorial compromise of a doubtful character, while the Southern members of Congress say that these propositions are no protection to their people and will not be satisfactory to them. The Union men of the border States regard them with favor, but do not pretend that they can carry their States upon them. Like the Crittenden propositions too they require to carry them two-thirds of Congress, and the ratification of twenty-five out of twenty-seven States, a practical impossibility. Thus these two plans, which are urged by the greater number of people, have no real and substantial prospect of success, and we are thrown upon the report of the Committee of Thirty-three to see whether that presents any greater strength. It was the result of the initiative movement, and it was reached after a full discussion of all the difficulties involved.

Had this result been welcomed by the country and sustained by its business interests with earnestness and determination, it would have been adopted by Congress. It presents a feasible, if not an unobjectionable, scheme for adjusting the points of difference, and we have felt disposed from the first to favor its suggestions. But it met on its presentation with no substantial support from any quarter. While none have opposed the masterly argument of Mr. Adams in its support, few have seconded the effort, and yet it is, in our opinion, the only plan possible of adoption. There are very many Republicans who favor it, but the Democracy stand aloof, and the Southern Representatives regard it with disfavor. It is approaching a vote without the strength necessary to secure its adoption. Mr. Corwin has delayed the vote with the hope that the Conference, called at the request of Virginia, may endorse it or adopt some practicable substitute.

But will the Peace Conference be better able to present a plan of settlement than Congress? We think not, and if it does it will have but little weight upon Congress. There are grave doubts as to the Constitutional character of such an assemblage, and at the best its views are only entitled to the weight of so many individuals. It will not be able, we think, to agree upon any distinct propositions, while it is possible that it may unite in the recommendation of a National Convention, in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution. Public opinion, North and South, is tending towards this solution of our difficulties. It would, at least, give us the opportunity of so framing the fundamental law, as to give power to the general government to put down rebellion and treason, and to decentralize the appointing power.

The project of a National Convention has been broached by the Kentucky Legislature, and is endorsed by the National Intelligencer, and many Union men of the South. It is supported by Messrs. Lincoln and Seward, and would, we think, be favored by the Republicans. The great advantage of such a recommendation is that it would give time for the country to rise above the unreasonable panic which prevails. The judgment and statesmanship of the country, the unwavering convictions of the people, the true interests of capital and labor, the real elements of National growth and prosperity would have time to recover from the shock of rebellion and the panic of want, and the result would be such as all men might approve. It is not for the true and better influences of the age to oppose such changes in our organic law, as the progress of the country may render necessary.

But what will be the effect on the Border States of this policy of “the Inauguration first and Adjustment afterwards?” It will depend entirely upon the Union sentiment of the people, and upon their decision as to where their true interests lie. Nothing is more clearly settled than that the Gulf States will not be swayed or controlled by their action. They have determined their course, and it remains for the Central Slave States to decide whether they will cast in their lot with those who are trying the scheme of revolution, or remain in the Union, and trust to the national rule of the Republican party. Upon this subject we have no clear opinion, for recent events have shown that it is impossible to tell what madness may be committed when reason and judgment are lost. The hopeful are confident that all will be right, and the desponding bid us to prepare for the worst.

There is nothing which is cheering on the part of the Border Slave States in their official utterances. They deny the right of the General Government to maintain its power and enforce the laws in the seceding States. They regard the patriotic declarations of Northern States that they will adhere to the Union and sustain its authority with men and money as threats directed towards them. They avow that they will take part with the rebels and traitors, unless certain concessions are made. They stand apart sullenly when the national flag is insulted, and quibble when the Union is endangered by revolt. It is true that there are brave and worthy men standing up with fearless courage for the right, but we fear that they do not represent their States. Let us still hope however, that the fanaticism of the hour may give way to juster ideas of State policy, and that they will remain faithful to the Union and the Constitution which their fathers framed.

There is very little doubt but that the new administration will favor a most decided policy. It will reinforce Forts Sumter and Pickens, and it will collect the revenue. It will take away the postal facilities of the revolted States, and it will maintain and enforce the laws. Such is the uniform opinion of the Republicans in Congress, and of those who are familiar with the views of Mr. Lincoln. This policy will call out the union sentiment of the whole country.—There will be no longer division in our ranks or discord in our counsels. A determination to maintain the Union and the Constitution is to be the grand doctrine of the incoming administration.