The people of the North have heard so much of southern chivalry for many years, that they have been impressed, in a rather indefinite way it is true, with the idea that there is somewhere in the South, a very considerable amount of chivalry which would neither brook a wrong or purposely commit one, and that this chivalry in defense of its honor would as soon walk into a grave as to sit clown to a good dinner with a hungry appetite. While our people have never been in the slightest degree intimidated by their impressions of the existence of this fiery element of our national character, they have always been disposed to look upon it forbearingly, even when severely provoked by it, and to regard it as the result of climate and education, for which the impatient gentlemen under such influences should be very much indulged. Hence they have had pretty much their own way in the government for more than seventy years. Personal apologies and national compromises have been tendered them whenever they required them, except when their demands were too outrageous to be even considered. These concessions have been imputed to wrong motives, and as the North grew more and more forbearing, the chivalry grew more and more arrogant and domineering, until a crisis has been reached in which they are to learn how they are really estimated at the North, and how erroneous have been their ideas of the northern character.

But we think the chivalry and even the bravery of the South, has been altogether over estimated. No one can doubt that there are brave men, and true hearted men in that section of the country. We have had proofs enough of that from the days of George Washington to this time. But at the same time, they have in all their communities, more cowards and mean men, in the proportion, probably, of twenty to one, than any other portion of our land. This fact has been illustrated from the days of the Revolution to this hour; and this character is found among their educated men as well as among their ignorant slave drivers. It is exemplified in their large and small towns as well as in the halls of our national Congress.

Their assault upon the National Government was as cowardly as their conspiracy was wicked. They believed they were assailing an impotent power, which, through the treachery of its pretended friends, they could surprise and overcome by a well-devised conspiracy, without any special hazard to themselves from bullets or scaffolds. They had so long trampled with impunity upon the rights and interests of the North; so often maltreated our citizens without atonement, that they imputed our forbearance to fear, and our desire to avoid a conflict with them, to an admission of their superiority in all the elements of a governing people. They did not[,] like the brave men of the American revolution—or like the lovers of liberty in Poland, in Hungary, in France, strike for their rights in the face of despots armed to the teeth, and regardless of all consequences to themselves; but they have been stealthily and gradually sapping the foundations of the Government, creeping into places of trust in order to betray them; hanging, whipping, and otherwise outraging unarmed and helpless men, and turning to their own account the passions of the ignorant multitudes that follow them by falsehoods the most malignant ever devised by the most wicked of men. Such is the chivalry of the South, as it now is, and has been at least for the last dozen years.

The brutal attacks from behind of these men upon an unarmed Senator in Congress, is a specimen of this kind of chivalry. The invariable flight of one hundred to two hundred of their number in Kansas, before thirty or forty free State men, is another proof of their valor and chivalry. The dastardly attacks upon Fort Sumter of the braggarts of South Carolina, with ten thousand men to back them, and the numerous batteries which they had been forbearingly permitted to erect for that purpose, is another illustration of their chivalry. The insolence of Pryor, the Virginian, in the House of Representatives, and his sneaking cowardice when he found that Potter, the man he insulted, was ready to meet him on his own terms, is another specimen of this kind of chivalry, which betrayed the last Administration, and which intended to usurp the present Government by a stolen march upon it.

The whole proceedings of these traitors, from the beginning of their last conspiracy to overturn the Government, has been characterized by the most contemptible cowardice. They have never threatened to attack any fortifications that were not almost in a defenceless condition for want of men and supplies. They have valorously assaulted Custom Houses and Post Offices, public mints and even a hospital of sick men, where there were none to defend; but we venture the prediction that they will not fight anywhere during the present contest, unless their advantage shall happen to be as ten against one.

If the Government maintains itself with the same energy and determination that it has exhibited since the attack upon Fort Sumter, we venture the further prediction, that this rebellion will be entirely suppressed with little or no fighting. The more troops we rally, the less prospect there will be of the loss of many lives in battle, for no battle will be fought unless we carry the war into the enemy’s country, and that should be done. Our troops should protect the South from servile insurrection, from plunder, and from every evil not justified by the recognized rules of modern civilized warfare; but the traitors should be thoroughly subjugated, and at least a dozen of their leaders should grace a gallows within twenty-four hours after their capture. Fort Sumter should be voluntarily restored, or Charleston should be leveled with the ground after the women and children have had sufficient time to depart. Armistices and border State interference should have no consideration now, and in six months this warfare will be over; the honest people of the South who are now under a reign of terror from the conspirators, will deliver over their leading traitors for trial and execution, and the Union will have passed the fiery ordeal, and come out better and stronger than it ever was before.