Leavenworth Daily Times, April 12, 1861
The sovereign and chivalric Commonwealth of Virginia is just now playing a part in the National drama that creates some doubt as to whether the seat of the Federal Government is located at Washington or Richmond. An irresponsible conclave of conspirators against the peace, dignity and perpetuity of the American Union, are now assembled at the latter place, sitting in judgment upon the acts and purposes of the Administration.— Does Mr. Lincoln declare his intention to stand by the principles that triumphed in his election. These dictators forthwith draw up a series of resolutions denouncing the policy of the President, and presenting the terms upon which they will graciously consent to submit to his authority. Does Mr. Lincoln declare his purpose to execute the laws and uphold the Constitution. Immediately, the Virginia "heart is fired," and the wrath of her convention finds vent in a paroxysm of inflated and indignant oratory. Does the Secretary of War order a change in the disposition of a portion of the public arms.—The offended majesty of the "Old Dominion" occasions a Quixotic display of heroic verbiage and fiery rhetoric. Like a petulant and insolent child at play, Virginia periodically threatens her partners in the Union that if they do not follow her wishes and conform to her demands, she'll take her marbles and go home. She reminds us, too, of an unruly urchin, whom Mrs. Child tells of, in one of her works. On being refused a portion of his favorite sweetmeat, he informed his maternal relative, in a burst of childish rage, that would do credit to Wise or Pryor,—"If you don't give me a piece, I'll roar." Virginia seems, at present, to be imitating the example of her youthful prototype, by trying what virtue there is in noisy bravado and attempts at intimidation. She is playing a part similar to that of the lion in "the most lamentable comedy" of Pyramus and Thisbe:
Snug. Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.
Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.
Bottom. Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the Duke say, Let him roar again, Let him roar again.
Is not this farce about "played out"? The latest and most offensive feature of it, is the appointment of a commission to require of the Executive that he should make known the course he intends to pursue, in dealing with these Secessionists. The country would be immensely gratified if Mr. Lincoln would treat the arrogance of these Virginia gentleman with the contempt it deserves. The administration has had enough of their defiant propositions and insulting "ultimatums"; it is time they were given to understand that the Government has not yet fallen so low, that a discontented state may control its action, and dictate its policy.