Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XV / The Ship of Fire >> Page 335

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Page 335

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE SHIP OF FIRE. 335
the signs of moral progress, she is not idle. In proportion to
the strength of her population, her railroads are as extensive
as those of any other Southern State ; and when you consider
the wide stretch of her territory and the difficulties of her situa-
tion, lacking an eligible seaport, she has done more and better
than most. Her people are prosperous, making money fast ; the
results of tar and turpentine will put to shame those of your
boasted regions of rice and cotton ; and our railroads have
brought into use, for these productions, vast territories which have
hitherto yielded nothing. I repeat, that in the morals of ber peo-
ple, their physical prosperity, their virtues and advance in edu-
cation, North Carolina need shrink in comparison with none of
the states of this confederacy."
Bravo ! spoken like a patriot ! But what of the story all
this time ?"� Patiently : I had first to fling off some of the feeling with
which you, sir, have been stirring me up about my good old
State for the last twenty-four hours."� Well � you have relieved yourself?"" Perhaps : but a few words more, before I begin my legend.
I shall not say anything here about our lack of literature in
North Carolina, since the argument necessarily belongs to most
of the Southern States�in fact, to all the States�our national
deficiency being still a reproach to us in the mouths of other na-
tions. When the nation, as a whole, shall be able to answer this
reproach satisfactorily, it will then be quite time enough for
North Carolina to show her solicitude as to what people think
of her shortcomings."� Quite logical that."� I have no doubt that the native genius of the old North
State will bring her intellectual wares into the market in due
season for her reputation."� Save her distance, you mean."
As' you please. Her native material affords adequate stuff
for the future author and artist. She is rich in traditions and
unwritten histories. Her revolutionary chronicles are by no
means meagre, and only lack the chronicler and author. They
will be found as soon as our communities shall become suffi-
ciently dense and numerous to afford the audience."