From the Baltimore Saturday Visitor. THE SPIRIT OF BLOOD.
Are bowie knives and pistols necessary?— A correspondent of the “Oasis,” a neat and spicy exchange published at Nashua, N. H. writing from Gallatin, Miss. under date of February 23d, 1846, meets this question with negative declarations particularly pleasing, considering the locality from which they come. The writer bears testimony to the living virtue of the peace principle thus forcibly and cordially:
“Let me correct a notion quite prevalent among many in your region. It was once supposed that a brace of pistols and a bowie knife were indispensable to the traveller. — Whatever the necessity once was, it does not now exist. In the course of several hundred miles travel in the State, among all classes, I have never once received an insult, nor, as far as I recollect, a single discourteous remark. It is scarcely necessary for a gentleman to go armed in any of the States. He who is so suspicious as to consider every stranger an enemy, may well be suspicious of himself. An honest countenance and a friendly greeting are stronger than dirks or fire-arms. If I were going among the Arabs, I would first use the former weapons. If I enter the humblest log cabin at night, and meet a benevolent eye, and features speaking a welcome, in the host, I give him the few valuables I may have for keeping; he is honored by my confidence, and becomes my friend. If I should meet a fiend, I would bid him a good evening, and move on. Kindness will make a friend of a dog. If there were more Uncle Tobies in the world there would be less need for such “prodigious armies” in Flanders, or elsewhere.”
We also feel moved to add our testimony to the above. Not to allude to the perilous scenes we have encountered in this city, both in our editorial capacity and otherwise, (and we have been not infrequently threatened with cowhidings, shootings, all that, for speaking the truth!) we might cite fact after fact occurring elsewhere, strikingly confrnative of the above views. We well recollect the result of our experience, in this respect, when engaged in medical practice among the rude and belligerent sons of Erin who were, a number of years ago, engaged in digging the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. During the bloody riots that used to prevail— when “Fardowns” and “Corkonians” met in battle array, with pickaxe and gun— we never found it necessary to carry a pistol or any other “implement of self-defence” as they are sometimes called. Our brethren of the Faculty used to wonder at this, and ask us if we were not afraid to go among the Canallers unarmed? We answered— no! And why not? We reply, because we knew we could not possibly give offence while in the line of our duty— that the condensing parties did not wish us any harm, and sought only their real enemy. To show ourself their friend was the way to move among them. This we did by gentle reproofs— by appeals to their better sense— to even their reason. In this way we have prevented more than one scene of violence. We have, by a simple appeal to the better sense of some infuriated victim of rum, caused the arm of violence, lifted against a personal friend— perhaps a faithful though spirited wife— to fall harmless. To have threatened the consequences of the law, would have been only to increase the flame of passion; but a gentle word acted like a spell.
“Patrick, don’t strike your poor wife— never strike a woman, the mother of your children, who is trying to do the best she can!” was far more efficient than “Pat, you drunken wretch! Would you dare to strike a women?” or the like mode of reproof. The former would call forth the confession that he had been taking “a wee bit too much,” and an asking of pardon— whereas the latter would have only aroused the fiery spirit of defiance.
Now, as with Irishmen, so with other men, Gentleness of persuasion will generally control them, where rudeness of reproach would only infuriate and make unmanageable. We have often seen this principle of human nature illustrated by the management of our Policemen, who too often overlook it. We say this not without thinking of the trying circumstances of such a profession, and therefore in a spirit of due allowance.
Let them, the law of Force give way to the law of Love! Did our laws and their penalties, and our personal bearing, once come to conform to the promptings of Right rather than Might, glorious would be the change. The pistol and the bowie knife would become memorials of the past— curiosities for exhibitions in Museums, on which Posterity will gaze with eyes of wonder.
A new order of things is surely approaching, and blessed is he whose moral visitors shall be permitted to see the day of its blessed advent. In gloriously inspiring language now finding a joyful response fo Arosto[?] to Texas, slightly modified, let us sing:
There’s a good time coming, boys!
There’s a good time coming;
We may not live to see the day,
But Earth shall glisten in the Ray
Of the good time coming!
Pistol-balls may aid the truth,
But Love’s a weapon stronger;
We’ll win our battle by its aid—
Wait a little longer!
No evidence analysis information has been cataloged for this piece of evidence yet.