Virginia legislators - if this story be not a base calumny - ask the Confederate Government to appoint an honorable gentleman who shall treat of the destinies of many thousands of good citizens with a "murderer" (see the above proclamation); with a man who has plundered the peaceful inhabitants of New Orleans, by extorting money under a threat of putting them to hard labor with ball and chain; with a creature who ordered his officers and men to use Southern ladies as women of the town; with a man who has turned public war into a machinery of thievery; who has carried on hostilities in a manner "bearing no resemblance" (says the proclamation) "to such warfare as is permissible by the rules of international law or the usages of civilization. " This is the kind of miscreant whom Virginia legislators, it is said, think good enough to meet Judge Ould. But the statement is, we trust, a base calumny. Another most diabolical calumny has been resorted to for the purpose of sustaining the mean suggestion which the enemies of the Virginia Legislature affirm that they have made to the President. It is that the continued suspension of the exchange, and the diligent representations made to the Confederate prisoners of their captivity being perpetuated by their own friends on a mere "question of etiquette," are inducing them in multitudes to take the oath of allegiance to their enemies, and enter into their enemies' service, in order to invade and lay waste their own homes. This we pronounce a wicked and cowardly calumny against absent men. If there be amongst so great a number a few miserable beings who have done so base an act our cause is better without them; but as to the great body of our captive friends we pronounce the story a vile invention to palliate the cowardice of certain creatures at home, who feel that they would swear anything and unswear it again under such a pressure.
And still another odious calumny hovers over and darkens this bad affair. It is given out that the President has almost invited the strange action of the Virginia Legislature. Here is a wretch not only denounced as a felon by our own Government, but blasted by the unanimous execration of the whole world, and even by all decent persons of his own nation, and the enemy's Government, for that very reason, and with no other object than to bully us and humiliate us and compel us to eat dirt, demands that he, and no other, is the person we shall treat with in such a momentous affair. The Confederates themselves are to rehabilitate his character and he his vouchers and security as an honorable man. It is the most audacious and insolent attempt yet made to force us to acknowledge ourselves criminals and rebels, who have not even the rights of belligerents. And now we are to be told that the President has even signified his wish to be requested to belie himself and contradict himself and acknowledge that he had committed an act of empty presumption in denouncing so illustrious a "major-general" as a felon and enemy of the human race!
But what do our unhappy legislators imagine we shall gain if we commit this filthy action? We are not offered, even on his condition, a renewal of the exchange on the terms of the cartel. The enemy only say to us, accept Butler without conditions, and he will tell you then what we are going to do with you. If we accept him that is only the first step. We can refuse nothing after that ignominious concession. That once yielded, the same reasons will be good for acquiescing in every other condition they may choose to impose. To hold our own recovered runaway slaves as prisoners of war, to receive a negro officer as Butler's lieutenant on the flag of truce boat, and account with him