The war has begun between South Carolina and the other states of the Union; and as it has been customary to give every war some peculiar designation we call this the Carolina war; for she was the first to rebel against the common government, and the first to deal the fratricidal blow.

Quem deus perdit, prius dementat;” whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Such was the adage of the Romans; and whatever truth there is in it, will apply as well to the moderns as to the ancients—to states as to individuals. It means nothing more than that men, in the exercise of their free-agency, suffer their passions to pervert and mislead their judgments to such an extent that they hurry themselves on to ruin. That is the point to which South Carolina is running with railroad speed. How far she is conscious of it, we, at this distance, can not decide. It is possible, though by no means probable, that she does not know that she stands to-day like a man upon the crust of a volcano that is boiling and seething beneath his feet, and ready in a moment to belch forth fire and death.

South Carolina has fired the first gun at the Union of the states. The details of this portion of her rebellion may be found in another column of this paper. The record has one redeeming feature; and that is the wisdom as well as bravery of Major Anderson. And it forces upon us the conviction that if, two months ago, the government at Washington had displayed a tithe of Anderson’s patriotism and high resolve, South Carolina, in all probability, would have been checked in this her career of unmitigated madness and folly. But Mr. Buchanan’s cabinet has been a nest of nullifiers, who have been quietly giving events this direction while they have kept his attention engrossed with the minor details of government.

The crisis has at last come. It must be met. A trial is now to be made, whether there is any strength in our national government. Now is the time in which the government is to be maintained in all the vigor of its supremacy, or fall in weakness and contempt. And the first thing to be done is for South Carolina to humble herself, or be humbled! If she will do it herself, she will save herself from many a scalding tear and many a sharp anguish. There is no other alternative. The Union must maintain its supremacy, or be forever contemptible in the sight of all other nations—to be jeered at by all, and insulted with impunity. Bitter, therefore, as is the necessity, South Carolina must be brought back to her loyalty to the Union.

  1. There are many reasons why the other states should exercise the virtue of forbearance. Of all wars, civil war is most to be avoided. It is full of evils, full of embarrassments, and fraught with consequences which every sane man must deprecate. These Carolinians have been up to this time our brothers and friends. Innumerable have been the ties, the relations, that have existed between us of the north and them of the south;—ties of blood relation, of early and long-continued patriotism, of historic associations, cemented on the battle-fields of the revolution, as well as the many ties which bind together peoples who live in different climes, and have with each other the connections which commerce creates. These relations have subsisted too long between Carolina and the northern states to be broken for any slight or trivial causes.
    If South Carolina wished to go out of the Union, she had no occasion to insult that Union until she had given ample opportunity to determine the question, whether peaceable secession is a possibility. She has precluded us from that consideration. She has precipitated us into this rash collision of two governments, with an apparent recklessness of consequences to herself; thus rendering it a matter of grave doubt whether forbearance upon the part of the other states can be further extended.
  2. South Carolina is governed by a mobocracy, notwithstanding there are, among the men who give direction to events there, some who have been prominent at Washington and elsewhere. We have the best of reasons for believing that there is a conservative spirit among the excited elements of South Carolina, that is chained down by the turbulence of the mob;—families who adopt the Napoleonic creed that “peace is the first of necessities,” but whose pacific sentiments find no room for utterance. Then there is the negro element; and God only knows what that element would accomplish, should it sweep over the land in the form of an ungovernable insurrection. It might annihilate family after family, and desolate many a plantation.
  3. South Carolina has committed herself to this rebellion against the national government upon a mere bundle of abstractions, and without provocation or apology. We call her REASONS for her course the merest abstractions that ever converted sane men into lunatics. What is it to the people of South Carolina, as the people of a state, whether slavery goes, or does not go, into the territories of the Union? Everything it may possibly be to her politicians, but nothing, absolutely nothing, to her planters, her poor whites, and her enslaved blacks. She has no negroes to sell; and, if she had, the sending them out to cultivate other lands, and raise crops like her own in other localities, would add nothing to her wealth.
    We doubt not that there are multitudes who believe themselves right, and have not much chance to outgrow the idea that they are all right, and we of the free states are all wrong. They have grown up in the midst of slavery, and have never yet reached the conclusion that there is anything wrong in its nature. It gives them the lands they cultivate—the houses they live in—the cotton, rice, &c. their lands produce—the clothes they wear—the luxuries, the leisure, the abstinence from toil, and the means of cultivation and refinement they enjoy; and those are ideas which are not readily touched by the hand of reform.
  4. The Carolinians do not comprehend northern institutions, sentiment, and life; if they did they would have seen that there is too great a disparity between their condition and ours to warrant the course they are taking. They have been beaten in an election; and that is all that the iron pen of impartial history can record as their justification. Had the south gone in for Douglas, and given him the entire vote of the slave states, she would have stood an equal chance to have beaten the republicans. So that history must record also the truth, that possibly the south was beaten in the election because she could not dictate the nomination.
  5. The republican party is not yet in power. It has not done the first thing in the way of government; and the South Carolinians have assailed the government while there is a president of her own choice at the head of it. Her Declaration of Independence must announce to the world that fact, or it will be a falsehood. It must announce also that she begun this rebellion without waiting for the inauguration of a new president—without waiting to see what would be his appointments, whether they would be from both sections of the Union, or only from one section—and without waiting for the first act of his administration, or any authoritative exposition of the policy he intends to pursue.
  6. South Carolina has rushed into this war upon false representations of the people of the northern states. They have been made to believe that republicanism is but abolitionism in the blow, and just ready to run up to seed; that John Brown was an exponent of the ideas of the great body of the republican party of the free states; and that his raid into Virginia was by the instigation of leading republicans, and carried forward by their money. They have been made to believe also that we live less by our own industry than by the profits we derive from their products; and that our thrift is all a deduction from their prosperity.
    They ask of us what we can not give. They ask us to surrender our convictions of what is right, and of the duties we owe to ourselves and to the race, here and elsewhere, now and hereafter. If they had the disposition to know, they might learn, what they do not know, and seem to care not to learn, that republicanism is not abolitionism; that the republicans, as a party, do not go a step beyond the verge of their platform; and that where their principles halt, their organization halts likewise.
  7. But the leaders in this rebellion manifestly care nothing for the republican party, its principles, or its policy. Disunion is no new idea or project with them. For many years they have been waiting a pretext for cutting adrift from the free states, and they have found it in the republican victory, which takes the control of the government from the hands of the minority, and gives it to the majority of the people. Evidently they have become dissatisfied with republican institutions, and believe in the necessity for new restraints upon the tendencies of the popular mind and heart; restraints which they can not put in force while they are in affiliation with the free north, nor until they have the power alone to shape their destinies.

This war they have entered upon for the realization of some chimerical dream. As we have already said, in this article, the trial has got to be made now of the strength of our government. Carolina is in rebellion, and has insulted our national flag and our national honor. What we have, we shall keep. What she wants, she will not get. But, instead thereof, she will get the stern hardships, the keen sufferings, the bitter deprivations, the fire and blood of civil war, and, it may be, of a servile war the recital of which will make the ears of unborn generations tingle with horror. South Carolina and other states that are rushing madly into a career of insane opposition to the national government, have only to stop where they are, to save themselves from the awful abyss into which they are plunging; for he must be blind to the power there is in the free states who can not foresee that Mr. LINCOLN, if he lives, is sure to be inaugurated, and that the supremacy of the Union will be maintained at whatever cost.