Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XV / More of the Genius of the Old North State >> Page 324

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Page 324

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 3 24 SOUTHWARD HO !
very beautiful to the eye, and full of precious minerals and met-
als.* But his metallurgists do precious little with the one, and
be has failed to commission a single painter to make pictures of
the other. He has some first rate lands scattered over his vast
domains the valleys between his mountains making not only
the loveliest but the most fertile farmsteads, while along his
southern borders, on the seaboard, it is found that he can raise
as good rice as in any other region. But he is too religiously
true to tar and turpentine to develope the rare resources which
he possesses and might unfold by the adoption of only a moder-
ate degree of that mouvement impulse which the world on every
side of him exhibits.t He has tried some experiments in silk,
but it seems to have given him pain to behold the fatiguing la-
bors of his worms, and, averting his eyes from their sufferings,
be has forgotten to provide the fresh mulberry leaves on which
they fed. When they perished, his consolation was found in
the conviction that they were freed from their toils ; with this
additional advantage over men, that their works would never
follow them. His negroes are fat and lazy, possessing, in the
former respect, greatly the advantage of their masters.
" ` Our North-Carolinian will be a lean dog always� though it
would be no satisfaction to him if the chase is to be inevitable
from the leanness. His experience refutes the proverb. Certain-
ly, the contrast is prodigious between his negroes and himself.
They have the most unctuous look of all the slaves in the South
and would put to utter shame and confusion their brethren of
the same hue in the Yankee provinces � the thin-visaged, lank-
jawed, sunken-eyed, shirking, skulking free negroes of Connec-
ticut and Rhode Island. Our North Carolina negro rolls rather
than walks. His head is rather socketed between his shoulders
than upon a neck or shaft. When he talks, it is like a heated
dog lapping his mouth is always greasy, and be whistles when-
* It is not so generally known that the only diamonds found in the United States have been found, of late years, in North Carolina. Some six or eight have been picked up without search, attesting the probable abundance of the region.
t Our orator must not forget the new railroad progress of the old North State. It strikes us she has already turned over a new leaf; and promises to become a moving character. En.