Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / How the Bilious Orator Essayed >> Page 384

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Page 384

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 384 SOUTHWARD HO
sels, with the ` good people,' may with equal propriety refer the dangerous capes and headlands to such hostile tribes of demons as haunt the wilds of Scotland, the Harz mountains and Black forests of the German, and the stormy shores of the Scandinavian."
Not an unreasonable notion. But was not Hatterask the old Indian name of the cape and the sea about it, as given by the ancient chroniclers ?"
Yes : they varied, however ; sounds imperfectly caught from the Indian tongue were imperfectly rendered in the various tongues of Dutchman, Spaniard, Frenchman, and Englishman. We must content ourselves with making them euphonious, and leave their absolute propriety in doubt."
And a pretty sort of euphony we should have of it, if we leave the matter to American discretion."
This need occasion no concern. The poets settle this for succeeding time, when our generations have no longer the power to pervert the ears of the future. The necessity of verse compels the gradual growth of harmony in every language. The oral authority lasts no longer than it can compel the echo. The poet, always resisted while he lives, leaves a voice behind him that survives all others. Let him make his record, and be satisfied to leave it to the decision of posterity. There is no speech of the future that rises in conflict with his own."
Are the historical and traditional materiel of North Carolina of attractive character ?"
None more so. The very regions of country which are so barren in the eyes of the stranger, pursuing the railway routes along the Atlantic coast, would alone afford materials for a thousand works of fiction. I have identified, along this very route, the progress of more than one -curious history. Take an example
" Our first serious war with the redmen of the South, broke out in 1712. The savages of the old North State took up the tomahawk and scalping knife in that year, with terrible effect. Numerous tribes were leagued together for the extermination of the whites of the colony of New Berne. This colony was of Swiss, from the Canton of Berne in Switzerland, and Germans