The appointment by the Legislature of a Board of Commissioners charged with the duty of the inception of a new adjustment of federal relations, on the “basis” of the “Crittenden Resolutions,” affords a rare instance of nondescript legislation.

After issuing a call for a State Convention to deliberate on the subject of federal adjustment, our General Assembly, in its wisdom, has seen fit to forestall the deliberations of the Convention, not only by laying down a “basis” of adjustment, but by providing the ways and means of its ultimate adoption.

After doing their utmost to tie the hands of the Convention, by requiring that their action shall, in certain contingencies, be limited merely to the office of recommending measures for popular adoption or rejection, the Legislature makes bold not only to express the opinion that the people of Virginia are prepared to submit to anti-slavery oppression, but to take important action and to recommend similar action on the part of other States, in pursuance of this opinion.

While the United States Senate is occupied in passing resolutions of coercion, and while Northern States are eagerly tendering men and money to the Federal Government to be employed in the subjection of Southern States—while the whole North, with the Federal Government to aid them, is advancing as fast as possible in active aggression—the General Assembly deputes a commissioner charged to urge upon the Southern States the expediency of abstaining from acts of open resistance to a system of coercion. We hardly imagine a task more repugnant to a public officer’s known views and disposition, than that which has been assigned to Judge John Robertson. We venture to predict that the officer will be found altogether unwilling to perform the task allotted to him, and that this conference with the authorities of South Carolina and Florida will result in something very different from the programme of temporizing submission intended by the action of the General Assembly.

Again: The Commissioners, while furnished with a scheme of adjustment, on a “basis” of submission to be tendered to the Northern States, are to offer it on several conditions, to wit:—1st. Its adoption by the State Convention. 2d. Its adoption by the Southern States generally, since, in the event that “all effort to reconcile the unhappy differences existing between the two sections shall prove abortive, then every consideration of honor and interest demands that Virginia shall unite her destinies with the slaveholding States.”

See, then, the long list of conditions, each of which is necessary to an adjustment on the proposed “basis.”

1st. Northern and Southern States must respond to the call for the grand committee of conference proposed by the General Assembly of Virginia.

2d. The commissioners to be appointed by the Southern States must consent to stand on the proposed “basis” of submission to Northern aggression.

3d. The commissioners to be appointed by the Northern States must agree to recommend the passage of the South under the yoke, on the terms proposed.

4th. A Black Republican Congress must agree to submit the terms of submission to be ratified or rejected by the several States.

5th. In the mean time, Virginia, Florida, Maryland and South Carolina must submit to the coercion applied by Federal garrisons stationed in their midst.

6th. The Convention of Virginia must ratify the proposed terms of Virginia’s submission.

7th. Every other Southern State must, in Convention assembled, agree to submit to Northern aggression, on the same terms.

Why this is worse than the “house that Jack built.” If it were possible to overcome all these obstacles at all—which we may venture to say, with confidence, it is not—Mr. Seward’s status quo would be more than consumed by their consummation.

What then? Shall we not only make up our minds to submit, but also wait in the cold, like poor King Harry at the Pope’s out gate, and for three long years, until it shall graciously please our Northern masters to accept the terms of our submission? Nay! With God’s help we will not wait. Or, if we shall wait, it will only be until the 4th of March, when coercion will certainly be applied, with a stringency which will altogether preclude waiting, and oblige us to take more than one step, backwards or forwards, and that in double quick time. The “double quick,” backwards, must be a very difficult step, by the bye, and is altogether unknown in military tactics. Why, then, does our General Assembly urge Southern States to wait at all? Waiting only gives the enemy time—time to prepare and apply all the means of coercion—and if South Carolina and Florida, aye, and Virginia, too, intend to rid themselves of Federal garrisons at all, they had better take the step, while yet it may be accomplished without the shedding of blood.