Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XII >> Page 219

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Page 219

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE ORATOR OF THE DAY. 219
pretty little brass pieces, that now sleep at your feet, are stuffed
to the muzzle with eloquence. They will give tongue at the
first signs of the dawn, and I trust that all on board this ship
will be prepared to echo their sentiments."
In other words, captain, we must have a celebration."
Even so, gentlemen, if it be your pleasure. We shall have
a dinners�why not an oration ? Why not our toasts and sen-
timents, as well as our friends in Charleston and New York.
We are here a community to ourselves, and I venture to say
that no community is more unanimous in regard to the dinner
at least."" Or the drink."" Or the puddings.""Or the pies."
The pasties."" The ices.""The�the "
There was no end to the enumeration of the creature com-
forts which were to prove our unanimity of sentiment, and a
feeling of the mock-heroic prompted us to take up with due
gravity the hints of our captain.
We agreed upon a president, and he was the captain ; a
vice, and he was�no matter who.
We appointed a committee of arrangements, with instructions
to prepare the regular toasts. And�we appointed an orator !
This was a little shrivelled-up person in striped breeches, with
a mouldy yellow visage, and green spectacles. Nobody knew
anything about him, or, in fact, why he came to be chosen. He
was at his books all day ; but it was observed that whenever he
had condescended to open his jaws it was to say something of
a dry satirical character. He was accordingly appealed to,
and made no scruple about consenting; only remarking, by
way of premonitory, that it was no easy matter to know the
opinions of all on board ship ; be should therefore simply unfold
his own, satisfied that if they were not exactly those of the com-
pany, it was only their misfortune, which it should make them
highly grateful to enjoy that opportunity of repairing."
Some of us thought this speech smacked not a little of a de-
lightful self complacency, but it was said so easily, so naturally,