Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IX >> Page 133

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Page 133

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription WIVES WANTED.
said in favor of the beauty and resources of the country in which
they were expected to seek a home. Much also was urged in
behalf of the individual settlers, whose demands were most ur-
gent. ' They were of good health and body, very able and dil-
igent, men of moral and muscle, very capable of maintaining
church and state, and contributing in a thousand ways to the
growth and good of both.' Certain of them were especially
described with names given, not omitting sundry cogent particu-
lars in respect to their moneyed means, employments, and general
worldly condition. In brief, able-bodied, well-limbed and well-
visaged young women, were assured of finding themselves well
matched and honorably housed within the sylvan paradise of
Powhatan, as soon as they should arrive. The advertisements
prudently forbore to insist upon any special certificates �so
necessary when housemaids are to be chosen�of character and
manners. A small bounty, indeed, was offered with outfit and
free passage.
"The appeal to the gentle hearts and Christian charities of the
sex, was not made in vain. A goodly number soon offered
themselves for the adventure, most of whom were supposed likely
to meet the wishes of the hungry colonists. The standards were
not overlyhigli�the commissioners, appreciating the self-sacri-
ficing spirit which governed the damsel�were not disposed to
be exacting. There were some of the damsels of much and decided
growth�some were distinguished more by size than sweetness :
others again might�though they modestly forebore to do so�this
is the one failing of the sex boast of their ripe antiquity ; none
of them were remarkable for their beauty, but as all parties
agreed to evade this topic�for reasons no doubt good enough
in those days�we will not make it a subject of discussion in
ours. There was one only, among two score, about whom the
commissioners came to a dead pause an absolute halt a,nd
finally to a grave renewal of their deliberations.
The party thus in danger of rejection, was comely enough to
the eye, according to the standards adopted in the general rec-
ognition of applicants. She was fair enough, and strong
enough, and there could be no doubt that she was quite old
enough, but there was not quite enough of her.
" She was minus a leg !