Page images
PDF
EPUB

Travel." Their spirit and style make them charming yet, and they are valuable as pictures of the times.

Her memory is still fragrant as a most gracious and lovely woman, a brilliant conversationalist, and a queen of society. It is said of her that her tongue never wounded and that she never had an enemy.

Souvenirs of Travel.

Souvenirs of the War, [unpublished].

WORKS.

TO CADIZ FROM HAVANNA, 1855.

(From Souvenirs of Travel.)

Souvenirs of Distinguished People, [unpublished].

66

"O lovely Spain! renowned, romantic land!"

66

Our last day on board, the good Dominga (our waitingwoman) awakened us long before the dawn, saying, "Come, Señora, go with me on deck and see the day arise." We did so and were charmed with the beautiful scene. At first the sky was deeply, darkly blue," and the stars were gleaming with a brightness never seen in more northern regions. Slowly a gauzy veil seemed wafting over them, and along the east sprang up, as it were, banners of purple and rose-color, and the intense azure of the heavens melted into a soft gray hue. Soon streaks of golden light flashed through it, and the glorious sun came forth, converting the mirrorlike ocean into a sea of radiance, burnished and glittering like myriads of gems. And this was morning upon the Atlantic!

At mid-day there was a cry of tierra! tierra! (land! land!) which sent a thrill of joy to many hearts. We had seen none, except the island of Santa Maria (one of the Azores, near which we passed), since we left the Antilles. We ran on deck, and in a few moments

"Fair Cadiz, rising from the dark blue sea,”

was revealed to our longing eyes. Like a great white dove, with out-spread wings, resting upon the calm waters, appeared the distant city. Ah! long shall I remember the delight of that first look upon lovely Cadiz! The day was exquisite; the air fresh and balmy, and the sea like a smooth inland lake. Gentle spirits seemed hovering around to welcome us, while a warm glowing pleasure filled our hearts.

Nearer and nearer we approached, domes, spires, and turrets gradually rising to view, until the entire outline of the city, with its snow-white houses and green alamedas, was before us.

Cadiz is a very ancient city. It was founded by the Phonicians, hundreds of years before the building of Rome. Upon the coat-of-arms of the city is the figure of Hercules, by whom the inhabitants say it was built. Then came the dominion of the Moors, and afterwards the Spaniards. When America was discovered, a golden prosperity beamed upon Cadiz, which was lost as soon as the Spanish Possessions in the New World proclaimed themselves free. It is strictly a commercial place, and has now only a population of sixty thousand. The city is upon a rocky point of land, joined to the peninsula by a narrow isthmus. The sea surrounds it on three sides, beating against the walls, and often throwing the spray over the ramparts. On the fourth side it is protected by a strong wall and bridges over the wide ditch. At night, they are drawn up, thus isolating the town completely.

Leaving the bay, we plunged into the long rolling billows of the Atlantic, and bade

"Adieu! fair Cadiz, a long adieu!"

then turning the cape, upon which was once the Phœnician light-house called "the Rock of the Sun," we came to St.

Lucar. There Magellan fitted out the fleet which first circumnavigated the globe.

We passed the mouth of the Rio Tinto, upon which stands the convent [La Rabida], where Columbus, an outcast and wanderer, received charity from the kind prior, who interceded with Isabella and thus forwarded the plans of the great dis

coverer.

LOUISA SUSANNAH M'CORD.

1810-1880.

MRS. M'CORD, daughter of the distinguished statesman, Langdon Cheves [pron'd Cheeves, in one syllable], was born at Columbia, South Carolina. She was educated in Philadelphia; and in 1840 she was married to David James M'Cord, a prominent lawyer of Columbia, at one time lawpartner of Wm. C. Preston. They spent much of their time at their plantation, "Langsyne," near Fort Motte on the Congaree.

She was a woman of strong character and of commanding intellect as her writings show. Speaking of her home life, a contemporary says, "Mrs. M'Cord herself illustrates her views of female life by her own daily example. She conducts the hospital on her own large plantation, attends to the personal wants of the negroes, and on one occasion perfectly set a fracture of a broken arm. Thoroughly accomplished in the modern languages of Europe, she employs her leisure in the education of her children." See under Wm. C. Preston.

WORKS.

Caius Gracchus: a Tragedy.

"Sophisms of the Protective Policy," from the French,

My Dreams, [poems],
Articles in Magazines.

WOMAN'S DUTY.

(From Enfranchisement of Woman, in "Southern Quarterly Review," April, 1852.) In every error there is its shadow of truth. Error is but truth turned awry, or looked at through a wrong medium. As the straightest rod will, in appearance, curve when one half of it it is placed under water, so God's truths, leaning down to earth, are often distorted to our view. Woman's condition certainly admits of improvement, (but when have the strong forgotten to oppress the weak?)

Here, as in all other improvements, the good must be brought about by working with, not against-by seconding, not opposing-Nature's laws. Woman, seeking as a woman, may raise. her position,—seeking as a man, we repeat, she but degrades it.

[ocr errors]

""

Each can labour, each can strive, lovingly and earnestly, in her own sphere. "Life is real! Life is earnest!" Not less for her than for man. She has no right to bury her talent beneath silks or ribands, frippery or flowers; nor yet has she the right, because she fancies not her task, to grasp at another's, which is, or which she imagines is, easier. This is baby play. "Life is real! Life is earnest! Let woman so read it-let woman so learn it-and she has no need to make her influence felt by a stump speech, or a vote at the polls; she has no need for the exercise of her intellect (and woman, we grant, may have a great, a longing, a hungering intellect, equal to man's) to be gratified with a seat in Congress, or a scuffle for the ambiguous honour of the Presidency.

Even at her own fire-side, may she find duties enough, cares enough, troubles enough, thought enough, wisdom enough, to fit a martyr for the stake, a philosopher for life, or a saint for heaven.

There are, there have been, and there will be, in every age, great hero-souls in woman's form, as well as man's. It imports little whether history notes them. The hero-soul aims at its certain duty, heroically meeting it, whether glory or shame, worship or contumely, follow its accomplishment. Laud and merit is due to such performance. Fulfill thy destiny; oppose it not. Herein lies thy track. Keep it. Nature's sign-posts are within thee, and it were well for thee to learn to read them.

Many women-even, we grant, the majority of women— throw themselves away upon follies. So, however, do men; and this, perhaps, as a necessary consequence, for woman is the mother of the man. Woman has allowed herself to be, alternately, made the toy and the slave of man; but this rather through her folly than her nature. Not wholly her folly, either. Her folly and man's folly have made the vices and the punishment of both.

Woman has certainly not her true place, and this place she as certainly should seek to gain. We have said that every error has its shadow of truth, and, so far, the [Woman's Rights] conventionists are right. But, alas! how wide astray are they groping from their goal! Woman has not her true place, because she-because man-has not yet learned the full extent and importance of her mission. These innovators would seek to restore, by driving her entirely from that mission; as though some unlucky pedestrian, shoved from the security of the side-walk, should in his consternation seek to remedy matters, by rushing into the thickest thoroughfare of hoofs and wheels. Woman will reach the greatest height of which she is capable- the greatest, perhaps, of which humanity is capable-not by becoming man, but by becoming, more than ever, woman. By perfecting herself, she perfects mankind.

« PreviousContinue »