Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIV / Glimpses Along Shore of the Old North State >> Page 311

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription CHAPTER XIV.

IF you have ever, in a past period of your life, been a coastwise
voyager, south or north, along our Atlantic shores, and making
your way, after an antique fashion, in one of those good old slow-
and-easy coaches, called packet ships, brigs, or schooners, you
must a thousand times have bewailed the eternal prospect, the
endless length of waste and unprofitable shore, which the old
North State continued to unfold to your weary eyes, creeping
forward at a snail's pace under the influence of contrary winds,
or no winds at all, with every now and then the necessity of
going about, lest the nose of your vessel�having thereto a strong
native tendency�should thrust itself into one of Peleg Perkin's
tar barrels, close by Pamlico, or, worse still, into the ugly Scylla
and Charybdis, the ship-traps of Cape Hatteras. From rise of
morn to set of sun, still the same vague, faint, monotonous out-
line. You go to your berth at night, with a half-smothered curse at
the enormous bulk of body which the good old state protrudes
along your path. You rise in the morning and ask, with the smal-
lest possible expectation, of the steward
Where are we now ?" and still the same lamentable answer
" Off North Carolina, sir."
You go on deck, and there, precisely as she lay last night, she
lies this morning� a sluggish monster drowsing on the deep, like
that to the back of which Sinbad had recourse, dreaming it a
comfortable islet for hermit habitation.
" Hugest of fish that swim the ocean stream."
The annoyance was immeasurable, and, doubtless, to this feeling
may be ascribed much of that sharp sarcasm to which, in its sea-
son, the good old North State has been exposed ; she neverthe-
less, all the while, showing herself very scornfully indifferent to