21 JANUARY 1865, Page 3

A fine letter, didactic, but meant to be so, and

opportunely so, written by the Confederate General R. E. Lee to his son in 1852, has been published. It records for his son's benefit a story of the Legislature of Connecticut sitting during a day of remarkable gloom, the darkness of which inspired general awe and some fear lest the Day of Judgment should have arrived, in the previous century, when some alarmed legislator moved an adjournment. "Then arose," says General Lee, "an old Puritan legislator, Davenport of Stamford, and said that if the Last Day had come he desired to be found at his post doing his duty, and therefore moved that candles should be brought in." "Duty, then, is the sublimest word in our language," adds the General ; "do your duty in all things like the old Puritan." In a still darker day the fine old General is no doubt following out rigidly his own precept. Pity only that he has now made it his duty to do what we know that before the war commenced he himself shrank from as needless and almost wrong ! Yet no doubt even if he still thinks the war a mistake, or even what it is,—a crime, it would now seem strictly his duty to defend that institution and vindicate that crime.