The Sable Cloud eBook

Nehemiah Adams
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 243 pages of information about The Sable Cloud.

“‘While at the North,’ said he, ’I read Mr. Buckle on civilization, and I reflected upon the subject.  Being in a great assembly, once or twice, listening to abolitionist orators, lay and clerical, and hearing their vile assaults on personal character, their vulgar and reckless ridicule of fifteen States of our Union, their affected, oracular way of saying the most trite things as though they were aphorisms, but reminding me of the piles of short stuff which you see round a saw-mill, and hearing the great throng applaud and shout, I asked myself whether we have really made any decided advances in civilization since the Hebrew Commonwealth.  I really doubted whether those orators could have collected an audience of Hebrews even in the wilderness.  Under the “Judges,” the people were, at times, low enough to enjoy such drivelling.  The willingness at the North to hear these men, and to applaud them, gave me a low idea of the state of society.’

“‘But,’ said I, ’confess now that you found specimens of cultivated life there such as you never saw surpassed.’

“‘I did,’ said he, ‘many times.  And I must tell you,’ he added, ’of my enjoyment in looking on your pastures in autumn,—­the sun shining aslant upon them of an afternoon,—­and in noticing what shades of scarlet and crimson were given to the picture by the whortleberry leaves, which, I found, contributed most to the coloring of the landscape.  I also saw a peculiarity of the whortleberry’s flower, which, when stung by an insect sometimes swells to twenty-five times its natural size, and becomes a fungus.’

“‘Now,’ said I, ’why not apply this,—­perhaps you were intending to do so,—­and say that society at the North is generally like our whortleberry pastures in autumn, which pleased you so much, with here and there a fungus, made by the sting of radicalism.’

“A planter’s Northern wife said, ’I should like to move the adoption of that simile.’

“‘We will have it so,’ said the Judge to me, ’if the lady and you tell us that we must.’

“‘A fungus,’ said I, ’gets more attention from one half of the people who go into the woods, than all the pure and beautiful garniture of the pastures.’

“The ladies of our company having been rallied for not having done their part in the conversation, and also, of course, having been complimented for keeping silence so long, the wife of one of the planters, a Northern lady, made this remark that considering how God, in his providence, had made such provision for the welfare of the human family through slavery in our land, and, in doing it, had shown mercy and salvation to so many hundreds of thousands of Africans, she thought it both ungrateful and narrow-minded in people anywhere to confine all their thoughts to the incidental evils of the slaves.  She said that in the North she was not an abolitionist, but on coming to the South and finding things so different from that which her fancy had pictured, she had concluded

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The Sable Cloud from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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