Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Flirtation at the Moultrie House >> Page 384

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Page 384

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
bery, and the great ghostly light-house, that every night robs the
sky of one of its brightest stars, and stands up there smiling at me.
By looking a little farther, the shores extend, and form around the
harbor. Then you see a great fortress, full of open jaws, grinning
with cannon. This they call fort Sumter. On the Island itself is fort
Moultrie, filled with cannon also. But cannon is not their only pos-
session. Oh! Sophronia, my heart, there are several of the hand-
somest officers in the world, and they are so gay, and so gallant, and
so generous. They give parties every now and then, and have the
band to play for us; and they all dance, and their balls are the most
delightful in the world. Then, by looking a little farther, there is
the beautiful city of Charleston, where I can tell you, there is enough
to be seen to keep your eyes and heart busy for a twelvemonth. Oh!
the shopping I have done, I have almost broken grandmama! But
I must not talk of these now. I have a world of things to show you
already, and I have some things chosen on purpose, for my own
heart of hearts, my Sophronia. There is to be a grand costume ball,
and we are all preparing for it. What part shall I play? I have
altered my mind, a thousand times, would that you were here, my
Sophronia, to give me counsel. But I am at the bottom of my sheet.
Love of my soul, thine through eternity.

Oh ! I have not told you half, my sweet Sophronia. Whatever the
attractions of the breeze, the sea, and the prospects without may be,
and they are admitted to be quite equal to any of the watering places
in this country, and superior to most, they must still be spoken of
as secondary to the attractions of society within. These Charleston
people are really very pleasant companions. A little stiff and appar-
ently haughty at first, but the ice once broken, as frank, and courteous,
as kind and conciliating, as any people in the world. We Georgians,
in particular, have had no reason to complain. They seem to have
singled us out for their special attentions. They have made quite a
pet of poor little me, and I am gladly welcomed to all their circles.