Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter I >> Page 7

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS. 7
pie, is a giant who could take his breakfast, with the greatest
ease, from your most insolent and conceited summits."" Why have we never heard of them before ?"" Because you are talking all the while of your own. You
hear nothing. Were you to stop your own boasting for a season,
and listen to your neighbors, you would scarcely continue to as-
sume, as you do, that the world's oyster, everywhere, was to be
opened only by the New York knife. In the matter of moun-
tains, North Carolina, where she borders on South, is in posses-
sion of the most noble elevations in the United States proper.
Black Mountain is understood to be the loftiest of our summits.
But there are many that stretch themselves up, in the same re-
gion, as if eager for its great distinctions. Here you find a
grand sea of mountains ; billow upon billow, stretching away
into remoter states, on all hands, till the ranging eye loses itself
with their blue peaks, among the down-tending slopes of leav-
en. It is here that I propose to refresh myself this summer. I
shall explore its gorges, ascend its heights, join the chase with
the mountain hunters, and forget all your city conventionalities,
in a free intercourse with a wild and noble nature. Take my
counsel and do the same. Go with me. Give up your Newport
and Saratoga tendencies, and wend south with me in search of
cool breezes and a balmy atmosphere."
Could I believe you, I should ! I am sick of the ancient
routes. But I have no faith in your report. You think it patri-
otism to paint your sepulchres. Their handsome outsides, under
your limning, shall not tempt me to approach them, lest they
yawn upon me. But, write me as you go. ' Description is
your forte.' I shall find your pictures pleasant enough, when
not required to believe them truthful. Refresh me with your
fictions. Do you really believe you shall see a mountain where
you go�anything higher than a hill�anything approaching
our Highlands ?"
Go with me. See for yourself."
Could I persuade myself that I should not be drowned in
a morass, eaten up by musquitoes, have my liver tortured by
Yellow Jack, and my skin utterly cured for drumheads by your
horrid sun�I might be tempted. You would betray me to my
fate. I can't trust you."