Letter From Thebes.
[We have received an interesting letter from a lady contributor at Thebes, but the late hour it came to hand, and the crowded state of our columns, prevents us from publishing it entire. We copy as much as we have room for:]
THEBES, ILL., July 9.
Never dawned day more beautifuly than did the Fourth of July, 1861. Dark as might have been the thought of politicians; melancholy as might have been the prospects of peacemakers, the day generally was certainly most glorious. Here it was rendered more enlivening by the picturesque and rural scenery of the pleasant town of Thebes and vicinity. All Nature was cheerful, and the atmosphere mild and cool would that the same could be said of the political world! Thus was the eighty-fifth anniversary of American Independence ushered in. Could the signers of the Declaration have seen with prophetic eye the scenes of conflict, and the fractions condition of our country; and could they have realized the awful condition of our rulers, and the insubordination and rebellious treachery of parties, would their arms have been nerved to the sublimely responsible task of committing that sacred instrument to writing? Would not their hearts have sunk within them at the prospect? Could they have stamped their names — their immortal names — in order that after a season of peace and national happiness the present confusion should have been the result? — Could that bold-hearted few now look down upon us, "if there be tears in heaven," they must surely weep over the threatening stroke they cannot avert.
But, to my original plan of communication — the observance of the glorious Fourth in our pleasant town. The people congregated at an early hour, and the military company, lately organized here, was on drill. It consists of some eighty or ninety men, and soon will, by the addition of numbers and military experience, present a very imposing appearance. The stars and stripes waved gallantly upon the breeze, as only they can wave.
The anniversary was celebrated here, not "in God's first temples," but within walls made by human hands. Many attended from abroad, in expectation of hearing elaborate speeches, but in this they were disappointed. Owing to the uncertainty of proceedings, and the prevailing political excitement, our citizens made no oratorical preparations. The Declaration of Independence was audibly read, and a neat and appropriate, although unstudied address delivered. A fervent prayer was then offered up to the God of Battles, by Mr. Dolman. After the necessary preliminaries were completed, dinner was served, and a more sumptuous and well-appreciated feast, I venture to assert, was never known in Alexander county. The commodious room being then prepared, all who wished to take a part in dancing did so. This exciting recreation was prolonged till quite late, when most of the company dispersed, to return again, however, in the evening. The night was as delightful as the day had been, though much cooler. The room being amply lighted, and the music in readinesss, the dance again commenced, in which the participants were numerous. Those who attended merely as spectators, found means of amusing themselves otherwise than by "tripping the light fantastic toe." Time passed pleasantly till the "wee small hours of more," when the crowd dispersed, very well pleased with the entertainments. — Now Thebes is a small place, but her people are all Union-loving, and on Independence day can boast of a large assembly.
Until now the Fourth has been hailed by Americans as a day of unalloyed gladness, and national security; but alas! with what fearful doubts and gloomy forebodings was the last observed! What patriot can consider the nature of that sacred day without shuddering over the calamitous condition of the country? But the rebel — son of Arnold — where was the consolation Duty and Conscience afforded him in the hour of his reflection upon what are already the effects of rebellion against the Government.
Q. V. K.