Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter I >> Page 5

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 5 SINGING AND STINGING MUSQUITOES.
carry you to the most delicious pineland settlements and climate,
where you need to sleep with a. blanket, where no epidemic pre-
vails, no sickness in fact, and where a musquito is such a rarity,
that people gather to survey him, and wonder in what regions
be can harbor ; and examine him with a strange curiosity, which
they would never exhibit, if lie could, then and there, make
them sensible of his peculiar powers. When one happens there,
driven by stress of weather, he pines away in a settled melan-
choly, from the sense of solitude, and loses his voice entirely
before he dies. He has neither the heart to sing, nor the
strength to sting, and finally perishes of a broken heart. His
hope of safety, it is said, is only found in his being able to fasten
upon a foreigner, when Le is reported to fatten up amazingly.
The case, I admit, is rather different in Charleston. There he
is at home, and rears a numerous family. His name is Legion.
He is a dragon in little, and a fierce bloodsucker. There he
sings, as well as stings, with a perfect excellence of attribute.
By the way, I am reminded that I should use the feminine in
speaking of the stinging musquito. A lady naturalist has some-
where written that it is the male musquito which does the sing-
ing, while the female alone possesses the stinging faculty. How
the discovery was made, she has not told us. But the fact need
not be questioned. We know that, among birds, the male is
usually the singer. Let it pass. The mosquitoes, truly, are
the most formidable of all the annoyances of a summer residence
in Charleston ; but, even there, they are confined mostly to cer-
tain precincts. In a fine, elevated, airy dwelling, open to south
.and west, with double piazzas along the house in these quarters,
and with leisure ap.d money in sufficient quantity, I should just
as soon, for the comfort of the thing, take up my abode for the
summer in the venerable city watered by the Ashley and the
Cooper, as in any other region of the world."
Pooh ! pooh ! You Charlestonians are such braggers."" Good! This said by a Manhattan, whose domestic geese
are all Cygnets�rare birds, verily !"
But the horrid heat of Charleston."
The heat ! Why Charleston is a deal cooler than either
New York, Philadelphia, or Baltimore, in summer."" Psha ! How you talk."