Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter I >> Page 4

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 4

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 4 SOUTHWARD HO!
more grateful, and you will make a far more agreeable corpse in the eyes of the spectator. Yellow fever spoils the complex-ion ; and the very delay which you make in dying, by such a process�though sufficiently rapid for all mortal purposes will yet be such a loss of flesh as to lessen your proportions grievously when laid out. Choose some other form of exit. Let it be short, agreeable, and in no ways hurtful to your physique or complexion. Next to the loss of one's friend, is the pain one feels in seeing the ugly changes which a vicious disease, acting through the liver, makes in his personal appearance. Be counselled. If you will die, go with me to the chemist. We will get you something which shall serve your purpose, without producing tedious discomfort and spoiling your visage."
My friend was a genuine Manhattan �a lively rattlepate of good taste and good manners, who had the most unbounded faith in New York ; who venerated the ancient Dutch regime of Peter Stuyvesant, hated the Yankees quite as much as the southrons are said to do ; but, as usual in Gotham, believed the south to be a realm of swamp only, miasma, malaria, musquito, and other unmentionable annoyances totally uninhabitable in midsummer from which all persons commonly fled as from the wrath of Heaven.
Nay, nay," was my answer. I am not for suicide. I sha'n't die in Carolina. You forget, I am a native. Our diseases of the south are so many defences. They are of a patriotic influence and character. They never afflict the natives. They only seize upon the spoiler those greedy birds of pas-sage, who come like wild geese and wild ducks, to feed upon our rice-fields, and carry off our possessions in their crops, when the harvest is ready for the gathering. We are as healthy in Carolina in midsummer, nay much more so, than you are in New York. Charleston, for example, is one of the healthiest seaports in the Union."" Oh ! get out. Tell that to the marines. But, supposing that I allow all that. Supposing you don't die there, or even get your liver out of order�there are the discomforts �the hot, furnace-like atmosphere, the musquitoes the �the �"
You multiply our miseries in vain. I grant you the musquitoes, but only along the seaboard. Twenty miles from the coast, I can