Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / How the Bilious Orator Essayed >> Page 396

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 396 SOUTHWARD HO
blackguards. ' Soft-head,' himself, barely escapes by the skin
of his teeth. He is compelled to cast off the indolence which
he has hitherto fondly conceived to form a part of his dignity,
and, with all haste, to throw the Potomac between him and the
pursuing curs of abolition.
" Growling over the popular sentiment at the North, which
thus dogs their footsteps and disturbs their equanimity, or grum-
bling at the sudden invasion of cholera, which makes them trem-
ble for their bowels, it is probable that more than twenty thou-
sand Southrons forebore, last summer, their usual route of travel.
Mason and Dixon's line, that season, constituted the ultima thule,
to which they looked with shiverings only. Thus ' barred and
banned,' almost hopeless of enjoyment, but compelled to seek
for it where they were, and to find their summer routes and rec-
reations in long-neglected precincts, it was perfectly delightful
to behold the sudden glory which possessed them, as they
opened their eyes, for the first time in their lives, upon the
charming scenery, the pure retreats, the sweet quiet, and the
surprising resources which welcomed them´┐Żat home ! Why
had they not seen these things before ? How was it that
such glorious mountain ranges, such fertile and lovely valleys,
such mighty and beautiful cascades, such broad, hard and ocean-
girdled beaches and islets, had been so completely hidden from
their eyes ? By what fatuity was it that they had been so
blinded, to the waste of millions of expenditure, in the ungrate-
ful regions in which they had so long been satisfied to find re-
treats, which afforded them so little of pleasure or content?
Poor, sneaking, drivelling, conceited, slavish provincialism never
received such a lesson of unmixed benefit before ; and patriot-
ism never a happier stimulus and motive to future enjoyment as
well as independence.
" It is a too melancholy truth, and one that we would fain deny
if we dared, that, in sundry essentials, the Southern people have
long stood in nearly the same relation to the Northern states
of this confederacy, that the whole of the colonies, in 1775, oc-
cupied to Great Britain. A people wholly devoted to grazing
and agriculture are necessarily wanting in large marts, which
alone give the natural impulse to trade and manufactures. A
people engaged in staple culture are necessarily scattered re-