Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIV / Glimpses Along Shore of the Old North State >> Page 312

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 312

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 312 SOUTHWARD HO !
that vulgar thing, called, very ridiculously, public opinion."
Angry travellers were apt to assume an intellectual sluggishness
on the part of her people corresponding to that which her vast
outline along the sea seemed to indicate to the voyager. That
she made no great fuss in the body politic � that she kept her-
self out of hot water of all kinds, and, in proportion to the ex-
hibition of morbid energies on the part of her neighbors, seemed
all the more resolute to subdue her own�these were assumed
as proofs of a settled mental atrophy, which only made her
enormous bulk of body show more offensively in the eyes of the
impatient traveller. He visited upon her genius the very vast-
ness of her dimensions, and fancied that her soul was small, sirn-
ply because her physique was gigantic.
And, by the way," answered my Gothamite, a very rea-
sonable assumption according to human experience."" True enough," interposed our orator with a leer, " as in-
stanced in your own state of Gotham."
Duyckman felt uneasy and looked savage for a moment. The
Alabamian continued.
What was felt of tedious, passing the shores of the old North
State, was not a whit lessened when you took the land route,
seeking to shorten the progress by the help of railroads and
locomotives. A more dreary region than the track from Wil-
mington to Portsmouth is hardly to be found anywhere. The
region through South Carolina, from Augusta to Charleston, is
bad enough. That through her ancient sister is a fraction
worse."
Something is due to our own impatience. Our thoughts do
not keep progress with our eyes. Were travellers observers,
which they rarely are, and still less thinkers upon what they ob-
serve, they would make many more grateful discoveries along
the route than they do. He who goes from Dan to Beersheba
and reports nothing to be seen, is simply an animal that has not
duly acquired the use of his eyes."
111y friend," quoth the Alabamian with green eyes�" your
eyes have been indulgent. I have tried as much as possible to
see something along your Carolina routes, but to little profit."
Perhaps," put in a sharp, peppery, little fellow, whom we
afterward ascertained to be from the old North State himself�