Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Maize in Milk: A Christmas Story of the South >> Page 314

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Page 314

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription [Godey's Magazine and Lady's Book for 1847 contained Simms's
"Maize in Milk. A Christmas Story of the South" as a serial in four
installments. "Maize in Milk" was also selected by Simms for inclu-
sion in his Marie de Berniere and The Maroon collections. Explana-
tory and Textual Notes begin on page 761.]
MAIZE IN MILK.
A Christmas Story of the South.

Kindle the Christmas brand, and then
Till sunset let it burne;
Which quencht, then lay it up agen
Till Christmas next returne:
Part must be kept wherewith to teend
The Christmas log next yeare,
And where 'tis safely kept, the fiend
Can do no mischiefe there. HERRICK.
CHAPTER I.
THE FULL CORN-CRIB.
Tell me nothing of the crops ! Suppose they don't grow—suppose there is a failure, and the corn falls short, and the cotton sheds, and the army worm appears and the catterpillar, and there is an
early frost, and half the bolls never blow! These things will happen!
We must look to lose our crops now and then, no matter what we
plant. It can't be that we shall have things always as we wish them.
We can't be always wise or always fortunate. But we can, if we
please, be always good and good-natured, and loving, and cheerful,
and thankful for what we do get, and for the things in which we are
prosperous. There's no reason because of the drought that our hearts
shall be dry also. There's no reason because we make short crops that
we should be short to our friends, and because the winter comes on
sooner than usual that we should be colder than usual to our neigh-
bors—that our charities should freeze up with the weather, and our
gratitude fail us because the sunshine fails us. We must only make
the hearth-fire brighter; we must only make sunshine for ourselves,
and gather our friends about the warming, and make merry within
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