Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XV / More of the Genius of the Old North State >> Page 322

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Page 322

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 322 SOUTHWARD HO
possessing. He seems to be impressed with an idea that the
world requires him to bestir himself. He has a certain respect
for the world, and is not unwilling to do what it requires, but he
moves slowly and awkwardly about it, and he must not be hur-
ried. If he can accomplish the new duty without disparaging
the old habit, he has no objection, but he seems quite unwilling
to give up his pipe, his tar barrel, and his luxurious position in
the shade, just on the outer edge of the sunshine. The superfi-
cial observer thinks him lazy rather than luxurious. But this is
scandal surely. I am willing to admit that he has a Dutch infu-
sion in his veins, which antagonizes the naturally mercurial
characteristics of the South ; but it is really a Dutch taste, rather
than Dutch phlegm, which is at the bottom of his failings.
It has been gravely proposed to neutralize his deficiencies
through a foreign grafting, and by the introduction of a colony
from Bluffton in South. Carolina´┐Żotherwise called Little Gasco-
ny´┐Żand no doubt an amalgamation with some of the tribes of
that impatient little settlement would work such a change in his
constitution as might lead to the most active demonstrations. It
would be as the yeast in the dough, the hops in the beer, the
cayenne in the broth. The dish and drink would become rarely
palatable with such an infusion.
But, even if we allow our brother to be indolent, or apathetic,
we are constrained to say that lie is not without his virtues.
His chief misfortune is, that knowing them to be such, he has
grown rather excessive in their indulgence. His prudence is
one of his virtues. For example, he will owe no money to his
neighbors at a season when states beggar themselves in the
wildest speculations, and dishonor themselves through a base
feeling of the burden of their debts. Speculation can not seduce
him into following their foolish and mean examples. He be-
lieves in none of the fashionable bubbles. Fancy stocks have
no attractions for him. He rubs his forehead, feels his pockets,
and remembers his old sagacity. Sometimes he has been be-
guiled for a moment, but a moment only, and his repentance fol-
lowed soon. He has been known, for example, to lay down a
railway, and has taken it up again, the more effectually to make
himself sure of being able to meet his contracts. His logic is
doubtful perhaps, his purpose and policy never. You can not