Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Seven: Doric and Corinthian in the Same Building >> Page 80

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 80 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
"Who is it, Betsy, that you have been speaking with without?" says
Mrs. Carter.
"Our friend, Mike Baynam!" delivered with emphasis.
"Our friend! Friendship, Betsy Moore, is a sacred thing, and not to
be bestowed lightly on man or woman. It is a virtue that belongs to
education and refinement, and I do not think that any vulgar, or unre-
fined nature is capable of the sentiment or feeling. The poets hold it to
be the purest of all human sentiments, not even excepting love.""Oh! hang the poets!""There's the beautiful history of the friendship existing between
David and Jonathan in sacred writ. I read it only last Sabbath, as my
morning service. How beautiful was their alliance, their love surpass-
ing the love of woman.
"That I don't believe not a bit of it!""What! not believe it in Holy Writ? Betsy Moore, can it be possible
you have become an infidel!""Come! come! Jane Carter, don't you be too free calling names, or I
give you notice I won't stand it! I'd rether quit the house onst for all,
and go where I won't be continually bothered with your big dictionary
words, and be insulted with your wicked nicknames! To call me an infi-
del! Why, ef you goes on at this rate, you'll soon be calling me a mere
sarcumstance, and that too when your fine company is here to listen
and to snigger in their sleeves
"Leave me! leave your own sister in her desolation a wretched
invalid covered with rheumatism as with a garment! Oh! Betsy Moore!
Betsy Moore! No wonder you have so little faith in the sacred writings.""Well, ef you air an invalid, larn to keep a civil tongue in your head;
and ef you wants Betsy Moore to stay with you, mind what she's a telling
you, and don't flounce away with your fine sayings and your redickilous
stuff and nonsense, that's of no more account than whip syllabub!""Oh!—h--h!" Mrs. Carter groans, and passes her linen cambric
pocket handkerchief over her eyes, that have no tears.
"And I tell you agin and agin, Jane Carter, that Mike Baynam is a
friend, and a friend that's true, and a vallyable friend; that ef you had
proper sense you'd put high above all them fine fashionable folks you're
a hankering a'ter all the time! What's the vally of their friendship, I
wants to know? Did they ever do anything for you, or for me, or for any
of us? Not a thing, as I knows on. Friendship is as friendship does, Jane
Carter, and it's the friend in need that's the friend indeed, let me tell you!""Those horrid common-place proverbs!"