Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter II >> Page 10

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription CHAPTER II.

" Our separation so abides, and flies,
That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee."
[Antony & Cleopatra.

So sudden had been the determination of my friend to accompany me south, that there was but a single acquaintance to see him off, and he came late, with a quarter-box of cigars under his arm, and a bottle of London-Dock black brandy, rolled up in a blue silk pocket-handkerchief, carried in his hands as gingerly as if a new-born baby. These were to afford the necessary consolations against salt-water. My friend and myself, meanwhile, mounted to the quarter-deck, leaving the gang-way free to the bustling crowds that come and go, like so many striving, crossing, and purposeless billows, on all such occasions. We had not many passengers, at this season of the year, but they had numerous acquaintances to see them off. We watched sundry groups, in which we could detect symptoms of suppressed emotion, not less intelligent and touching because, evidently, kept down with effort.
Even when we know our own restless nature, eager always for change, it is yet wonderful that we should leave home´┐Żshould tear ourselves away from the living fibres of love which we leave to bleed behind us, and but slowly to close the wounds in our own bosoms.
The strongest heart goes with some reluctance, even when it hurries most. The soul lingers fondly, though the horses grow restiff in the carriage at the door. We look back with longing eyes, while the vessel drops down the stream. If we could endure the shame and self-reproach of manhood, in such a proceeding, we should, half the time, return if we could.
Truly, this parting is a serious business´┐Żeven where the voyager is, like myself, an old one. To the young beginner it