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ready for a tour to the south. From Washington to Charleston he submitted to the discipline of being transported in the mail stage coach, a vehicle with which he seems not to have been in the best humor, and we presume for a good reason, although he bore his calamities with a spirit as philosophical and resigned as could be expected. We do not learn, that he was beset with more difficulties, or untoward accidents, than are common to travellers. His attention was occasionally arrested by scenes of novelty, and he confesses himself particularly charmed with the musical notes of what he calls the Virginia nightingales,' or what are known to Americans by the more unpoetical name of frogs. So much was he enchanted with the nocturnal concerts of these early harbingers of spring, that for a time he thought himself listening to the songs of birds. I opened my window the first night, says he, supposing these choristers were birds, and it was a night or two before I was undeceived.' With the poet he might say,
"Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one
The livelong night.' He had serious apprehensions about his baggage, and, as a precautionary measure, fastened one end of a long chain around his trunks on the outside of the coach, and secured it with a padlock, while the other end was conducted to the inside, and made fast in the hand of his servant ; “if he had a nibble, his attention was arrested ; and a bite showed that it was high time to stop.' How often these bites occurred, or whether our travellers were in reality attacked, and seized, and shot at, by banditti, is not recorded; we are only informed, that two chains were broken in the service, and that the baggage was found in good condition at the end of the journey.
The driver of the coach was usually a black man, and it was noticed as an odd circumstance, that he should always be accompanied by a small white boy, who regularly went to sleep at night fall
, and awoke no more till morning. The mystery was made plain, however, by the knowledge, that the laws of the United States require all mail contractors to send the mail under the charge of a white man, and that, in the eyes of the said contractors, these sleeping boys are wakeful, courageous men, armed at all points to protect the mail from the assault of robbers, and the perils of accident. Our observing traveller is not the only person, who has witnessed this abuse, and wondered it should be so slow in coming to the ears of the Post Office Department.
The good people of Raleigh will doubtless be somewhat surprised at the discovery, which the author made while among them, that all the streets in their beautiful and flourishing village terminate in the surrounding forest;' and his European readers cannot but marvel, that the inhabitants of a forest should have the taste and the means, if they had the patriotism, to rear in the midst of their woods a statue of Washington from the chisel of Canova.
In the course of this tour the author describes a southern tavern, which, to say the least, must be highly gratifying to those, who love to hear of American hospitality, and who look forward to the time, when, in the progress of coming events, they may possibly be sojourners in this land of abundance and good cheer. Speaking of taverns in southern towns,' our traveller says,
* These are sometimes quite as large, often nearly so, as the York-House at Bath. On arriving, your luggage is immediately carried to the baggage-room, that the lobby may not be crowded ; and the passengers afterwards either send it to their bed-rooms at their leisure, or allow it to remain locked up. You are then shown into a large room, which communicates with the bar, or into a reading-room filled with newspapers from almost every state in the Union. Usually about half past eight o'clock the bell rings for breakfast, and you sit down, with sixty or eighty persons, to tea and coffee, and every variety of flesh, fowl, and fish, wheat bread, Indian-corn bread, buck-wheat cakes, &c. &c. Every one rises as soon as he has finished his meal, and the busy scene is usually over in ten minutes. At two or three o'clock the bell rings, and the door unlocks for dinner. The stream rushes in and dribbles out as at breakfast, and the room is clear in less than a quarter of an hour. At dinner, there are frequently four or five turkeys on the table, and the greatest possible variety and profusion of meat, poultry, and pastry. The waiters, who are numerous, civil, and attentive, carve; few persons appearing to have leisure to assist their neighbors. There are decanters of brandy in a row down the table, which appeared to me to be used with great moderation, and for which no extra charge is made. Tea is a repetition of breakfast, with the omission of beef steaks, but in other respects with almost equal profusion of meat, fowls, turkey-legs, &c.' p. 106.
Who would not emigrate to such a country—a country, which, on the veracity of our author, may be emphatically styled the land of turkeys ? From the time he set his foot on the American soil, till he left Virginia, he does not recollect to have dined a single day without a turkey on the table; and, in “gentlemen's houses,' he often saw two. In Norfolk, on Christmas' eve, he was told, that six thousand turkeys were in the market. Now if the marshal's returns are to be credited, and there is any truth in arithmetic, this would make two thirds of a turkey for every individual, man, woman, and child, master and servant, in that happy town. A family circle of six persons, seated around a dinner table, would have their eyes gladdened with the sight of four turkeys invitingly placed before them; and if to these be added the profusion of meat, poultry, and fish, mentioned above as the common fare of a tavern, what can be imagined more sumptuous than a Norfolk Christmas' dinner ?
After having crossed, as he says, and as we believe, many rivers and creeks, and passed through swamps and monotonous pine barrens; after having seen a rice plantation in Georgetown, and been shocked at the vacant looks and ragged appearance of the slaves ;' and after several other incidents, which we forbear to call up, Mr Hodgson at length arrived in the metropolis of South Carolina. Of the proverbial hospitality of that city, so much and so justly lauded by strangers, he was made a welcome partaker; and he speaks kindly of the attentions of a 'venerable friend,' that was descended from one of the old patrician families, who form as it were the nobility of Carolina.' So much was he captivated with this descendant of the patricians, that he expresses a conviction, that even in Europe he would be second to few, whether regarded as a statesman, a scholar, or a gentleman. The only sources of regret seem to have been, that this worthy friend, this green branch of the decaying trunk of nobility, whom in another place he calls a general, should be a planter and a slave holder. He was nearly reconciled to this fatality, however, when he visited the plantation with its owner, and found him a humane man, and the slaves happy and glad to see their master, who talked familiarly with them,
and ordered wine and oranges for the invalids. The slaves were seen 'cowering over a fire, although the day was oppressively hot,' and this in the middle of February. On the whole, he returned from this jaunt, with the impressions of the miseries of slavery, which his fancy had pictured, considerably weakened, notwithstanding he had been thrown into a fright at hearing, even in the presence of his benevolent friend, a company of slaves hideously called' a gang. What there is in this innocent, old English term, that should commit such violence on his nerves, he does not explain; nor does he stop to tell why it should be winged with less melody to his ears, than the nautical name of crew, or the military one of squadron, or the civil one of company, or any other technical term, which the tyrant custom capriciously invests with the trappings of authority and use.
From the following description of what the author considers the first society of Carolina, we almost forget, that we are moderns of the nineteenth century, dwelling in a land of equal rights and laws, and begin to imagine ourselves back with the old Romans, in the days of the aspiring Cæsar, or the proud Tarquin.
The best society here consists of a few old patrician families, who form a select circle, into which the “ novi homines,” unless distinguished by great personal merit, find it extremely difficult to gain admission. Strangers well introduced, and of personal respectability, are received with much liberality and attention. Many of the old gentlemen were educated at English colleges, and retain something of their original attachment to the mother country, notwithstanding their sensibility to recent calumny and misrepresentation. Their manners are extremely agreeable, resembling the more polished of our country gentlemen, and are formed on the model of what in England we call “ the old school.” They are, however, the last of their generation, and will leave a blank much to be deplored when they pass away. The young ladies of the patrician families are delicate, refined, and intelligent; rather distant and reserved to strangers, but frank and affable to those who are familiarly introduced to them by their fathers and brothers. They go very early into company, are frequently married at sixteen or eighteen years of age, and generally under twenty, and have retired from the vortex of gay society, before even the fashionable part of my fair countrywomen would formerly have entered it. They often lament that the high standard of manners, to which they have been accustomed, seems doomed to perish with the generation
of their fathers. The fact is, that the absence of the privileges of primogeniture, and the repeated subdivision of property, are gradually effecting a change in the structure of society in South Carolina, and will shortly efface its most interesting and characteristic features. pp. 120, 121.
What heart so hard as not to be melted at this dark picture, and sigh with the fair daughters of Carolina over the expiring glory of their ancestral nobility? Who can withhold his sympathy in the melancholy forebodings of the time, when the most beautiful and interesting features of good society are to be marred and disfigured by the cruel operation of our equalizing laws, when personal worth shall be the only badge of noble distinction, when the humble race of novi homines shall take the stand, which merit claims, and rely on the force of virtue and character to gain the respect and affection of their fellow citizens ? How great is the pity, that no herald's office has been established in Carolina, to avert a calamity so appalling, and prop up with titles the few crumbling monuments of nobility, which are doomed even now to stand in mockery of their former splendor, shuddering at the fate which threatens them, without power to resist the devouring tide of degeneracy and decay.
Borne down with reflections so gloomy, it is no wonder our traveller's spirits should flag, and that he should remain not many days amidst these ruins of falling greatness. He made his way to New Orleans by the common road through Georgia, the Indian country, and Alabama. For an account of his observations and perilous adventures on this journey, the formidable swamps and flooded creeks, the stories of Indian murders, the howling of wolves, the flashing of fire flies, which
Now motionless and dark, eluded search,
Rose like a shower of fire,'-the long and dismal forests, the wretched cabins and coarse fare, the frog concerts, and the terrible panic of James, who, for two hours in a dark night and in the midst of a swamp, was seized with a shaking and profuse perspiration occasioned by the fear, that the pound of bacon in his saddle bag would allure the alligators to him ;' for these and other matters of