Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Oration of the Green-Spectacled Alabamian >> Page 252

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Page 252

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 252 SOUTHWARD Ho !
recognition of all those first principles which led our ancestors
into a league, offensive and defensive, for a common object and
with a common necessity,�the breach will widen and widen,
until a great gulf shall spread between us, above which Death
will hang ever with his black banner ; and across which terror,
and strife, and vengeance, shall send their unremitting bolts of
storm and fire ! Let us pray, my brethren, that, in regard to
our harmony, we arrest our prosperity, lest we grow too fat, and
kick like Jeshuran !"
Here a pause. Our orator was covered with perspiration.
He hemmed thrice with emphasis. He had. reached a climax.
The Texan was sleeping audibly, giving forth sounds like an
old alligator at the opening of the spring. Our few Yankee
voyagers had arisen some time before, not liking the atmosphere,
and were now to be seen with the telescope, looking out into
the East for dry land. The orator himself seemed satisfied
with the prospect. He saw that his audience were in the right
mood to be awakened. He wiped his face accordingly, put on
his green spectacles, and in a theatrical aside to the steward
Hem ! steward ! another touch of the snake and tiger."
I do not know that I need give any more of this curious ora-
tion, which was continued to much greater length, and discussed
a most amusing variety of subjects, not omitting that of Com-
munism, and Woman's Rights. Know-Notliingism had not then
become a fixed fact in the political atmosphere, or it would,
probably, have found consideration also.
Very mixed were the feelings with which the performance
was greeted. Our secessionists from South Carolina and other
states, of whom there were several on board, were quite satis-
fied with our orator's view of the case ; but our Yankees, reap-
pearing when it was fairly over, were not in the mood to suffer
it to escape without sharp censure. The orator was supposed
to have made a very unfair use of the occasion and of his
own appointment. But the orator was not a customer with
whom it was politic to trifle ; and as he seemed disposed to
show his teeth, more than once, the discussion was seasonably
arrested by the call to dinner.
They live well on the steamers between New York and
Charleston. Both cities lcnow something of good living, and in