Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVIII / What Constitutes a State? >> Page 444

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Page 444

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SOUTHWARD 110 !

That are still garnered safely in the state. Our march makes little in the grand design Save as a natural incident that grows, Inevitably, out of natural progress,
Leaving its moral in its very loss.
Our change must work no changes in the state, Which still maintains the original ideal germ, Sacred within its keeping, as the Romans,
The sacred shields that fell to them from Heaven As in all nations there are fabled treasures, Shrined awfully apart, to which men look, For safety, when the temple rocks in fire, And the walled city totters in the storm. �March as we may and govern as we may, Change with what sad or wild caprice we may, The indisputable majesty which makes The sovereignty which harbors in each race, Knows never change of attribute, till ends
The mission, which the endowment still declares !"
The orator paused.
Is that all ? Why, we are no nigher to the solution of the
problem than before."
I suppose not. Poetry, the profoundest of all human stud-
ies, itself requires the abstract mind and the contemplative
mood ; and the necessity for these is the greater when it deals
in. metaphysics and politics. Perhaps, if you weigh well this
passage, you will gradually see the light through the cloud and
curtain. Precious things rarely lie upon the surface. In pro-
portion to the glory is the necessity of obscuration. God showed
himself to the Jews only through clouds and fire. They could
see him only through some material medium. It was the poet
prophet only who could discover his awful features through less
terrible agencies."
You are getting more and more obscure. Now, pray tell us,
what have all your metaphysics to do with South Carolina ?"
Nothing, that 1 can show you, unless you can take the first
step with me which, as yet, you can not. It may be enough
to say of South Carolina, that it is a sufficient merit of hers, in
my eyes, that her revolutionary spirit (so called) has been the
result of her loyalty ; that it was to check revolution that she
interposed the state veto, and threw down her gauntlet to fed-
eral usurpation. You all feel and see, now, that she was right.