« PreviousContinue »
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
LOUISA SUSANNAH M'CORD.
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.
Caius Gracchus: a Tragedy.
"Sophisms of the Protective Policy," from the French,
My Dreams, [poems],
(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.
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.
JOSEPH G. BALDWIN.
JOSEPH G. BALDWIN was born in Virginia but early removed to Sumter County, Alabama, and was a jurist and writer of much influence and popularity in that State. He removed later to California, where in 1857 he became judge of the Supreme Court and in 1863 Chief Justice of the State. His writings are mainly clever and humorous sketches of the bar and of the communities in which he practised. He said the “ flush times ” of Alabama did not compare
in degree with those of California which he described in an article to the “Southern Literary Messenger." His “ Party Leaders” are able papers on Jefferson, Hamilton, Jackson, Clay, and John Randolph.
Flush Times in Alabama and Mississippi.
Humorous Legal Sketches.
VIRGINIANS IN A NEW COUNTRY.
(From Flush Times in Alabama and Mississippi, published in “Southern Literary
Messenger.") The disposition to be proud and vain of one's country, and to boast of it, is a natural feeling ; but, with a Virginian, it is a passion. It inheres in him even as the flavor of a York river oyster in that bivalve, and no distance of deportation, and no trimmings of a gracious prosperity, and no pickling in the sharp acids of adversity, can destroy it. It is a part of the Virginia character-just as the flavor is a distinctive part of the oyster—" which cannot, save by annihilating, die.” It is no use talking about it—the thing may be right, or wrong ;-like Falstaff's victims at Gadshill, it is past praying for: it is a sort of cocoa grass that has got into the
soil, and has so matted over it, and so fibred through it, as to have become a part of it; at least there is no telling which is the grass and which the soil; and certainly it is useless labor to try to root it out. You may destroy the soil, but you can't root out the grass.
Patriotism with the Virginian is a noun personal. It is the Virginian himself and something over. He loves Virginia per se and propter se: he loves her for herself and for himself—because she is Virginia, and-everything else beside. He loves to talk about her : out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. It makes no odds where he goes, he carries Virginia with him; not in the entirety aiways—but the little spot he comes from is Virginia-as Swedenborg says the smallest part of the brain is an abridgment of all of it. “Cælum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt,” was made for a Virginian. He never gets acclimated elsewhere; he never loses citizenship to the old Home. The right of expatriation is a pure abstraction to him. He may breathe in Alabama, but he lives in Virginia. His treasure is there and his heart also. If he looks at the Delta of the Mississippi, it reminds him of James River “low grounds ;” if he sees the vast prairies of Texas, it is a memorial of the meadows of the Valley. Richmond is the centre of attraction, the dépôt of all that is grand, great, good, and glorious. “It is the Kentucky of a place,” which the preacher described Heaven to be to the Kentucky congregation.
Those who came many years ago from°the borough towns, especially from the vicinity of Williamsburg, exceed, in attachment to their birthplace, if possible, the émigrés from the metropolis. It is refreshing in these coster-monger times, to hear them speak of it ;—they remember it when the old burg was the seat of fashion, taste, refinement, hos