We know pretty well what are the views of at least a majority of the people of the cotton States. They are very generally in favor of secession, either immediate or eventual. In other words, while perhaps a minority would be disposed to do nothing, but remain quiet, accept the election of LINCOLN as an accomplished fact, constitutionally effected, and await aggression before proceeding to resistance, the remainder are resolved to bring matters between the North and South to a settlement—some thinking that the only mode of settling is by withdrawing from the Union, while others are willing to make a last effort by concerted Southern action to induce the North to abandon its iniquitous policy, and acknowledge our rights. These are the opinions prevalent in what are termed the extreme Southern States. There is no use in attempting to blink them. They are the open and avowed convictions of three-fourths of the citizens. The only manifest difference among them relates, as we have intimated, to the time of action, and the desire for the co-operation of all the slaveholding commonwealths.

In the frontier slave States, such as Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, the prevailing disposition is far more moderate. In Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri there are very few Disunionists; the press generally assuming the position that the election of ABRAHAM LINCOLN does not justify a resort to secession, and that the right arrogated by Southern States to retire from the Union is revolutionary, and not a peaceful remedy. Elsewhere we publish an extract from a letter written by Gov. MAGOFFIN, of Kentucky, which expresses the sentiments of the Breckinridge party of that State, and which will be deemed singularly conservative. The Bell and Douglas parties are, of course, for the preservation of the Union. Maryland agrees substantially with Kentucky. As for Missouri, we may readily imagine that a State in which LINCOLN received nearly eighteen thousand votes, has few sympathies with the Southern doctrines of State Rights. Virginia and Tennessee approach somewhat to the standard recognized in the cotton States; but they are far from displaying any of the spirit and ardor witnessed in South Carolina and Georgia. The Richmond Enquirer, which is the exponent of the dominant feelings of the citizens of the Old Dominion, without advocating secession, zealously maintains the rights of the South, and holds the Union can be saved only by certain concessions to be made by the North, such as the repeal of all laws impeding the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave law; the passage of laws to enable Southern men to carry their slaves in safety into Northern States, and to remove them thence; the repeal of the laws prohibiting the slave trade in the District of Columbia, and the admission of Southerners with their property to equal rights in the Territories. In Tennessee the attachment to the Union is strong, yet a growing conviction exists that the present moment should be adopted for a definitive adjustment of the questions at issue between the North and South, and that their postponement will only aggravate the difficulty and render it insurmountable.

Such is a brief view of Southern ideas in reference to the unspeakably important topics which have taken form and substance since the election of ABRAHAM LINCOLN. If we turn to the North, we shall perceive various, but upon the whole unsatisfactory, developments. The comments of the Northern press upon Southern manifestations are sometimes temperate, sometimes full of taint and defiance. Certain journals exult in Black Republican success, as a direct and splendid victory over the slave power, and speak of the South as if she lay prostrate at the feet of a conqueror. Others, however, adopt a less obnoxious tone, and endeavor to soothe the South by assurances of the conservatism of the President elect. Some sheets, such as the Tribune, mock and deride the South, yet deprecate any attempt to coerce a seceding State; while others, as the New York Times, avoid violent language, yet deny the right of secession and maintain the bounden duty of the President to put down by force any organized resistance to the laws of the United States. But we observe no evidence whatever of concession; no exhibition of the returning sense of justice; not the slightest disposition to meet the South in friendly conference, or to repeal the odious enactments of which she complains, or to take any practical step whatsoever calculated to convince that section that the North is willing to yield one jot to its demands. A single plan has been proposed by the Times—that of recompensing from the federal treasury the owners of fugitive slaves—and this project is inadmissible, because it does not touch the evil, nor render the Personal Liberty bills passed by the Northern States less a nullification of a solemn enactment of Congress, adopted in virtue of an imperative mandate of the Constitution.

We are forced reluctantly to the conclusion that there is little in the aspect which the North and South bear towards each other to justify the hope of a satisfactory arrangement. While the latter teems with complaints of injustice which the former scarcely listens to, much less agrees to redress, what well founded expectation can there be of concord, harmony and an unbroken confederacy?