Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / How the Bilious Orator Essayed >> Page 395

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 395

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SOFT-HEAD A PERSON OF SOFT HEART. 395
weak and lazy listless and indifferent vain, and an idler ;
weary, and a wanderer ; but he still has latent sympathies that
remind him of his home, and he is not blind to the warnings
which tell him that he has a property which is threatened, and
may possibly be destroyed. IIe rubs his eyes, and shakes him-
self accordingly. He begins to bestir himself. It is high time.
He is no longer in the condition to say with the sluggard, ' A
little more sleep � a little more folding of the arms to slumber.'
Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart,' the full-mouthed abolition
curs, are at his heels, and, with their incessant barking, they
suffer nobody to sleep. ' Soft-head' soon finds that they are
not satisfied to bark simply. They are anxious to use their
teeth upon him as well as their tongues. His wife's maid, Sally,
is persuaded to leave his bonds, for a condition of unexampled
human felicity, which is promised her in the neighborhood of the
Five Points ; and his man, Charles, walks off with two loving
white brothers, who soon show him how much more moral it is
to become a burglar than to remain a slave. ' Soft-head' very
soon hears of both in their new Utopia. Sally writes to him
from the Tombs or Blackwell's Island, and Charley from Sing-
Sing. They relate a most horrid narrative of their condition ;
their follies, their crimes, the sufferings and abuses they have un-
dergone at the hands of their sympathizing brethren, whose ob-
ject has been, not the good of the wretched slave, but the injury
and annoyance of the ' soft-head' owner. They declare their
repentance, and entreat his assistance. They beg that he will re-
lease them from prison, and make them once more humbly happy
in the condition which was so justly suited to their intellect and
morals. The heart of ' soft-head' is touched. In this region he
is quite as tender as in his cranium. He obtains their discharge,
gives bail, pays fees, and suffers a world of trouble and expense,
in helping the poor wretches into daylight. But, will the aboli-
tionists suffer this triumph ? Will they let the prey escape
them at the last ? Oh no ! They dart between, a mob at their
heels, and rend Charley and Sally away once more�this time
by violence�the poor darkies all the while struggling against
the cruel fate of freedom, for which they are so totally unfit, and
declaring, with tears in their eyes, how infinitely they prefer
being slaves to a gentleman, than brethren of such a gang of