Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVIII / What Constitutes a State? >> Page 440

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 440

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 440 SOUTHWARD HO
rocked a mother should be an ark of the covenant to a loving
son.
Our Alabamian, by showing himself sentimental for a single
moment, had once more put himself within the pale of the vul-
gar humanity. It was very clear that we should get nothing
further out of him on the one subject. Our North-Carolinian
endeavored to supply the desired portrait, but the limning was
contradictory in fact, the moral portrait of South Carolina is
one of many difficulties, which it requires a rare and various
knowledge, and no small skill of the artist to manage and over-
come : and gradually, the embarrassments of the subject were
felt, as the discussion of her traits proceeded, and the subject
was finally abandoned as one totally unmanageable. Of course
much was said of her luxury, her pride and arrogance, her pre-
sumption in leading, the vanity of her boasts, her short-comings
in a thousand respects ; all of which provoked keen retort, par-
ticularly from our secessionists ´┐Ż the Alabamian scarcely seem-
ing to heed the controversy, and taking no part in it till its close,
when he said briefly
" One word, gentlemen. South Carolina is the only state
in the Union which grants no divorce. If there were nothing
else, in the catalogue of her virtues to show the character of her
virtues, this would suffice. It says two things. It declares for
the steadiness and constancy of both sexes, and for the virtues
that render such a measure unnecessary. Her morals prevent,
instead of pampering, the caprices of the affections´┐Ż"
Yes, but there are some crimes ! It would be monstrous to
keep parties fettered, one of whom is a criminal
I understand you ! They do not keep together. In Caro-
lina, in all such cases, the criminal dies disappears, at all
events, and the social world never mentions again the name of
the offender."
Very Roman, certainly."
The Alabamian did not heed the sneer, but proceeded
" South Carolina is the only state in which there is anything
like loyalty to the past remaining. She preserves her venera-
tion. The state is protected from the people."" How is that ? Is not the state the people."" No ! very far from it. The state is a thing of thousands of
11