Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI >> Page 179

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Page 179

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription ATLANTIC SHORE SCENERY. 179
party was an advocate for modest scenery, that which required
you to seek its beauties in the shade, and never sought to com-
pel your admiration by its own obtrusiveness. He had found
pictures for the eye where few persons seek them. Thus :
The argument depending upon moral, really, and not physical
aspects :
In approaching the ' Eastern Shore' of Virginia," said he,
passing from ' Old Point' across the bay, you find yourself gli-
ding toward such scenes of repose, delicacy, and quiet beauty, as
always commend themselves to eyes which are studious of de-
tail. To value the beautiful, apart from the sublime, requires
the nicely discriminating eye. Here, you pass, in rapid succes-
sion, from headland to harbor.�Gentle promontories shoot
forth to welcome you, crowded with foliage, and affording pro-
tection to sweet waters, and the most pleasant recesses for timid
nymphs. You almost look to see the naiads darting through
the rippling waters, in fond pursuit, with shouts and laughter.
The ocean arrested by the headlands, which have been mostly
upheaved from its own sandy hollows, subsides here into so
many lakelets, whose little billows just suffice to break pleas-
antly the monotony of their glassy surface. These bays are
scooped out from the shore, scooped into it, rather, in the half-
moon form, leaving to each a sandy margin, and a hard beach,
upon which you see the gentleman's yacht, or the fisherman's
boat drawn up, while the children of both are rollicking together,
rolling out among the rollers of the deep. Peace and sweetness
and love, seem to be the guardian genii of these secluded
places ; repose and contemplation are natural occupations ; one
feels that the passions here do not exercise themselves madly and
suicidally�that they are economized and employed only under
the guidance of the affections�and that it is possible still to
realize in fact the fictions of the Golden Age."
You should be a poet.""One can hardly escape such fancies, beholding
scene.""And the solitude of the region, though along the Atlantic
shore, and contiguous to great marts of civilization, is quite as
profound a,s among the gorges of our own Apalachian mount-
ains."
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