Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / How the Bilious Orator Essayed >> Page 388

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Page 388

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 888 SOUTHWARD HO
out its ruins. Would these have no interest in the eyes of the
traveller who is familiar with the history ?
Now, if I say that all this region is marked in like interest-
ing manner, by wild, savage, bloody, strange, and wonderful
events, you will be no longer doubtful of the attraction with
which an ordinary handbook, such as in Europe distinguishes
every crumbling fabric or fortress with a human interest, would
invest this seemingly barren country. There are true histories
throughout all these old states of the south, not inferior to those
of Powhatan and Pocahont rs, and that remarkable old Roman
red man of Virginia, the mighty Opechancanough."
It is curious," said Selina Burroughs, that our own people
are quite as ignorant of these local histories as anybody else."
The remark stirred the bile in the bosom of our Alabama orator,
who was never more ready to lift the tomahawk than when oppor-
tunity offered to indulge in a fling at the Yankees, and pour
out his sarcasms at the expense of those of the South, who were
adverse to decisive or hostile measures.
Nothing curious about it, Miss Burroughs. We are a poor,
mouthing, meanspirited people after all, with long tongues and soft
brains, and no resolution. Our ignorance in respect to our own
history and own resources, and our own rights, is sufficiently con-
clusive against our perpetually vaunted patriotism. Our constant
travel at the North among a people who are for ever assailing
us, is enough to shame and discredit all our boasting."" But there is a great change going on in this respect, sir."
Yes, indeed ! I can acknowledge this, though the acknowl-
edgment does not a whit lessen the necessity of denouncing the
practice which is still too much continued. We must continue
to denounce until the reform is complete. It is a great consola-
tion, full of hope and promise, that it is at last begun."
Here the orator dashed off into an essay, somewhat in the
vein of his anniversary oration, which, as it contains sundry
startling things, and striking sarcasms, our reporter has thought
it proper to preserve. In fact, there is a wholesome word for
North and South, in the very energetic expression of this man's
feelings. He is the true type and representative of a large por-
tion of the southern people, speaking the bitterness which they
have been taught to nourish, their jealous resentments, and the