Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / How the Bilious Orator Essayed >> Page 393

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 393

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription HOW THE DOGS BARK. 393
their invasion. No refuge is left for society, unembarrassed by
their presence. They rage in all places, fireside, street, ex-
change, hotel, and, not so much seeking to reform and teach,
as to outrage and annoy, they studiously thrust upon you, at
every turn, the picture of the miserable fanatic, whose vanity
prompted him to fire a temple only that he might be seen in
its blaze.
" Our ' Soft-heads,' who have been busily engaged, for the
last thirty years, in feeding these fanatics, by draining the prof-
its from their own soil, are, at length, beginning to feel some-
what uncomfortable, sitting cheek-by-jowl, at Saratoga, and
other places of vulgar resort, and hearing themselves described
as robbers and wretches by the very people whose thieving an-
cestors stole the negro with whom to swindle our forefathers.
They begin to suspect that their pride is not wholly unimpaired,
when they hearken quietly to such savory communications. A
lurking doubt whether they are not the persons meant, all the
while, begins to stir uneasily within them ; and in a half-drowsy
state, between dozing and thought, they ask themselves the
question, whether it were not much more to their credit to re-
solve, henceforward, neither to taste, nor touch, nor commune
with a people, who, in mere wantonness and insolence, are ma-
king so free with all the securities of their country, its reputa-
tion, and its property !
" The ' Soft-head,' it is true, is not without grateful assurances,
from one class of his neighbors, that his assailants are very sorry
fanatics who deserve no sort of consideration ; that, though Tray,
Blanche, and Sweetheart, bark at him furiously, yet he, Dick,
and his brother Tom, and his cousin, Harry, all tavern-keepers,
living in the broad route of southern travel, are his friends
are the true, sturdy butcher's dogs, who will keep the curs in
proper fear and at a proper distance. But, after a while, ' Soft-
head' asks himself having asked the question fruitlessly of
Tom, Dick, and Harry why do these curs, which are said to
be so despicable why do they continue this barking? nay,
why, when the barking becomes biting why do not these
famous butcher's dogs use their teeth for the protection of their
friends ? Why are Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart´┐Żworthless
puppies as they are why are they in full possession of the