Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / How the Bilious Orator Essayed >> Page 399

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SOCIAL ATTRITION. 399
rough, and, wwwtli the vehicles employed to traverse them, admi-
rably adapted to give wholesome exercise to rheumatic joints and
dyspeptic systems. The craziest carriages were hastily put in
requisition, to run upon the wildest highways. Paths, only just
blazed out in the woods, conducted you to habitations scarcely
less wild, of frames covered with clapboards,�queer-looking
log tenements, unplastered chambers, and little uncouth cabins,
eight by twelve�where pride, in the lap of quiet, at all events,
if not of comfort, might learn upon what a small amount of cap-
ital a man may realize large results in health and independence.
It was the strangest spectacle, in Georgia and South Carolina,
to see the thousands thus in motion along the highways, and
thus rioting in rustic pleasures. Such cars and carriages, as bore
the trooping adventurers, never figured in fashionable use before.
You might see the railway trains, long and massive frames of
timber, set on wheels, with unplaned benches, an interminable
range, crowded with the living multitudes, wedged affectionately
together, like herrings in boxes sorted, if not salted masses
without covering, speeding through sun by day, and rain by
night, to the appointed places of retreat ; and, strange to say,
in the best of all possible humors with themselves and all man-
kind. A certain grateful determination to make the most of the
novel desagremens of their situation, in acknowledgment of the
substantial good, in healthy excitement, and moral compensation,
which they enjoyed at home, operated to make cheerful all the
aspects of the scene, and to afford a pleasing animation to the
strangest combinations of society. Here encountered, to the
common benefit, circles and cliques that had never before been
subjected to attrition. The reserved gentleman of the lower
country, nice, staid, proper and particular, was pleased to receive
a freshening stimulus from the frank, free, eager and salient
manners of the gentleman of the interior. The over-refined
ladies of the city were enlivened by the informal, hearty, lively
and laughing tempers of the buoyant beauties of the mountain
and forest country. These shared equally in the benefits of the
association. The too frigid and stately reserves of the one region
were thawed insensibly by the genial and buoyant, the unso-
phisticated impulse of the other; while the latter, insensibly
borrowed, in return, something of the elaborate grace, and the