Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Two: Elysian Prospects >> Page 108

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 108 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
wealth and beauty of your possessions? Really, it must be considered your
reproach rather than mine, that we have been kept in ignorance of the
accomplishments and attractions of your daughter. Why have you
immured such treasure so long from the knowledge of that class in life
for association with which she is so eminently fitted; and where, in what
academy or college, have you found teachers to bring her natural tal-
ents to such wonderful perfection? I confess, my dear Mrs. Carter, that
I have never been more astonished in my life. I confess it —I who ought
to be astonished at nothing yet, I confess, I am astonished. I have tried
to test your daughter in almost everything; but the dear child has met my
expectations has surpassed them in every department. She sings like
a nightingale plays for all the world, like a professional musician of the
highest order, and reads most beautifully. How have you contrived to
accomplish her in all these things, and the world about you the right
world of society I mean to know nothing of the treasure which you
possessed. Will you explain the mystery?"
This long speech was meant to be quite overwhelming. It proposed
to take the Widow Carter by storm. But the good lady, though highly flat-
tered by the sweet things of the speech, found it rather tedious. She was
impatient herself to speak. She replied:
"Really, my dear Mrs. Fairleigh, there is nothing mysterious about
it. My daughter, as you justly remark, is a young lady of most wonder-
ful talents. She hardly needed the aid of the schools and colleges to which
she was sent. But, her ever dear father, my late lamented husband,
Andrew Carter, Esq., who was sometimes Commissioner of the Peace for
this county, for a long time Colonel of Militia, and more than once called
upon by the people to be their representative in Congress, he soon dis-
covered the wonderful gifts of our daughter. He was a man of great learn-
ing. He had many books, and read in Plutarch's Lives, the History of
Robinson Crusoe, the Lives of the Saints, Baxter's Saint's Rest, the
Arabian Nights, Tristram Shandy, Tom Jones, Whelpley's Compend, and
a hundred books besides, of Geography and History, that I cannot now
call to mind. He was a wonderful man in Astronomy, and gave names
to all the stars; besides being given to studies in Philosophy, Geology,
Genesis, the Revelations, and even Chronology. Well, he soon discovered
that Rose was a genius, and he read to her from all these learned histo-
ries, and he made her read them all, and many more. Well, I often said to
him, `Colonel Carter,' said I, `you'll fill the child's head with so much
learning and philosophy, to say nothing of Genesis and geology, that
she'll have no room for anything else. `But,' he would say, in his quiet way,