Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter III >> Page 22

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Page 22

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 22 SOUTHWARD HO
time when he should take his place in the gratified presence of
the great and noble of the land. Famously did the oyster grow
thus considerately protected until he rose conspicuous in
every estimation among the gastronomes of Gotham. These
looked with equal envy and admiration upon the performances
of their neighbors. Little did Jersey suspect the danger that
awaited her favorites. But cunning and cupidity, and eager
lust, and ravenous appetite, were planning desolation and over-
throw to the hopes of these guardians of the innocent. Evil de-
signs were plotted cruel, treacherous, barbarous, like those
which finally routed the poor nuns at midnight from their
Charlestown convent. And great was the shock and the horror
of Jersey when the assault was finally made under cover of
night and darkness."
Truly, Mr. Duyckman, you make a lively picture of the
event. Pray go on : I am interested to know the result. What
of the progress of the war ? I confess to only a slight knowl-
edge of the affair."
Without the documents, I can not go into particulars. To
collect these would require a life. To depict them properly
would demand a Homer. The war between the cranes and
frogs would alone furnish a just plan for such a history. I
must content myself with a summary. But, were you to have
proper portraits of the fierce Sam Jones, the redoubtable Pete
Pinno.ck, Ben the Biter, Barney the Diver, Bill the Raker, Ned
the Devourer, and a score or two more, on both sides, who dis-
tinguished themselves in the field during this bivalvular cam-
paign, you would feel that there are still provinces for the epic
muse, in which she might soar as gloriously as she ever did in
the days of Ilium. Jersey rose to the necessities of the occa-
sion. We will say nothing about her interest in this event ; but
her pride was involved in the security of her virgin beds ; and
when, prompted by cupidity, these were invaded, vi et armis,
by the grasping Gothamites, who desired to share the spoils
which their valor had not been sufficient to achieve, it was not
to be wondered at that all Jersey should rise in arms. The
public sentiment was unanimous. From Newark to Absecom,
but a single cry was heard. From Jersey City to Cape May,
the beacons were lighted up. The cry ' To arms !' spread and