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fore, almost given up the hope of studying, and of making myself much acquainted with books during my residence in this country. This has been painful to me, and I have long striven against it, because study has always been my greatest pleasure, and now more than ever was it necessary for me to be able to devour books, so that I might be somewhat at home in the life and literature of this country. Here, however, during these beautiful early mornings, in this beautiful, fragrant, silent world of trees and flowers, there has arisen within me a clearness, a certainty, something like the inner light of the Quakers, which tells me that it is best for me now to lay aside books, and altogether to yield myself up to live in that living life, to live free from care for the moment, and to take and accept that which the hour and the occasion present, without troubling myself with many plans or much thought. I must let things come to me as they may come, and determine for me as they will determine. A conviction has come to my mind that a higher guidance attends me, and that it will direct every thing for the best; that I have nothing to do but to yield myself up to its inspiration, so long as I keep my eye firmly directed to the Star of Bethlehem which led me hither-and I can not turn my eye from that—the desire to find the truth. Thus shall I find the child of God!
Therefore, in God's name, farewell to books, to the old friends and pasture-grounds. I press forward toward that which is before me, and confide in the fatherly guidance of God. A something infinitely delightful and elevating has taken possession of my soul with these thoughts, and filled my heart with joy. Weak, I yet know myself to be strong; bound down to the earth, I yet know that I have wings; I am merely a child, and yet I can overcome the world.
And thus I go forth and converse with the flowers, and listen to the birds and to the whispering of the great live
Oaks like these, with their long, depending trails of moss, must have inspired the oracle of Dodona.
The black birds, which build in them in great numbers, are about the size of our jackdaw, and have on each side their necks, below the head, a fine yellow ruff, like a halfround frill. The mooking-birds are gray, about as large as our Swedish nightingale, and their song is very intricate, and often really charming; but it wants the strong inspiration of the European nightingale and lark. It is as if the bird sang from memory; sang reminiscences, and imitated a number of sounds of other birds, and even animals. There are, however, in its song beautiful, peculiar tones, resembling those both of the thrush and the nightingale. People say that these birds dance minuets with each other. I, too, have seen them here figuring toward one another, tripping quite in a minuet fashion. I suppose this is their way of wooing. It is remarkable that people never succeed in rearing in cages the young of these birds which have been taken from the nest; they always die shortly after their captivity. It is asserted that the mothers come to them and give them poison. The full-grown birds in the country thrive very well and sing in cages.
I am sometimes interrupted in my forenoon musings by a merry negro girl, servant in the house, who says, “Missis has sent me to hunt you," and it is for me to come in to my luncheon. If I am writing, I remain in my own room, and then, generally at twelve o'clock, the goorl old lady herself comes up to me with bananas and a glass of milk. In the afternoon I generally go on some expedition of discovery. When I am returning home in the twilight, I often see my old folks coming to meet me, she walking with a crutch and supported by his arm.
24th. Last evening I had an old negro to row me in a little canoe down the Wachamon River, spite of Mr. Poinsett's remonstrances, who fancied that no good would come
of it. The moon rose and shone brightly on the river and its banks, over which hung various trees and plants in flower with which I was unacquainted. The negro, a kind old man, paddled the boat onward, and wherever I saw an enticing flower, thither we paddled and gathered it. Thus went we on for about two hours in that clear moonlight, and every thing was as solitary and silent on the river and on its banks as in a desert.
There had, however, been this day a great wedding on the banks of the Wachamon, and all the neighbors had been invited; but either my host and hostess did not belong to their circle of acquaintance or the fame of my abolitionist views had prevented us being invited. Very good! for though I love to see brides and weddings, yet I love quietness now better than all.
My good host and hostess were glad to see me return from my river excursion, and Mr. Poinsett told me the names of the flowers which I had gathered. One of these was the Magnolia glauca, a white flower something like our white water-lily: this grows on a smaller tree, with gray-green leaves. The celebrated, splendid flower of the South, the Magnolia grandiflora, does not blossom till the end of May.
I shall in a few days leave this place and return to Charleston. My kind entertainers wish me to remain yet longer, but I greatly desire to reach Savannah before the heat becomes too great, and I must therefore hasten. I have received much kindness here and much benefit from Mr. Poinsett's conversation. The evenings spent alone with my good old friends are somewhat tedious. One can not be always talking American politics, and the old statesman takes an interest in nothing else, nor can one always have stories and riddles at hand to amuse the old lady, who sits dozing by the fire, and sometimes persuades her husband to do the same, sitting opposite, while I amuse myself as well as I can, which is not very well, as I am
not able to read, and as there is no piano, and it is then too late to go out. It is time, therefore, to be going. I now know how life looks in the plantations, know how the negro slaves live, and how rice and Indian corn are planted.
Charleston, April 26th. Again, my sweet child, am I in my good, excellent home with Mrs. W. H.
The sea voyage between Georgetown and Charleston was cheerless and cold, but now we have the full heat of the dog-days. I spent the last evening with my good old couple in mending their old gloves of course by my own wish-while Philemon and Baucis sat, each in their arm. chair, by the fire and slept. They are aged and infirm, and have arrived at that period of life when the rest and life of the child are their highest happiness. The next morning I set off, accompanied by the courteous old statesman as far as Georgetown, and spite of good Mrs. Poinsett's troubled looks, who saw threatening clouds which would drown us. We, however, arrived quite safely, while the morning freshness, and the drive through that wild district, and through forests brilliant with the beautiful flowery azaleas, was delightful and refreshing. At Georgetown, a little town where the number of geese seemed to me the most remarkable feature, I parted from my kind companion with the promise of a second visit.
On my arrival at Charleston in the evening, I was met by Mr. M. with the carriage. When we reached Mrs. W. H.'s house, the young people were dancing to the piano in the brilliant drawing-room ; Mr. M. and I danced in, arm in arm, among them, amid great jubilation; and I found myself here almost as if in my own home. Certain it is that this home has more the impression of our Scandinavian homes (N.B., when they are good and happy) than any home I have yet seen or heard of in this country. The domestic life, the dancing, the music, and the evening games are altogether in the Swedish style.
I was yesterday present at the funeral procession of the
statesman and senator of Carolina, Calhoun, whose body passed through Charleston. The procession was said to consist of above three thousand persons; and it seemed, indeed, to be interminable. The hearse was magnificent, and so lofty from a large catafalco that it seemed to threaten all gates made by human hands.
Many regiments paraded in splendid uniforms, and a great number of banners with symbolic figures and inscriptions were borne aloft; it was very splendid, and all went on well. All parties seem to have united with real devotion and admiration to celebrate the memory of the deceased, and his death is deplored in the Southern States as the greatest misfortune. He has sat many years in Congress as the most powerful advocate of slavery, not merely as a necessary evil, but as a good, both for the slave and the slave owner, and has been a great cham. pion for the rights of the Southern States. Calhoun, Clay, and Webster have long been celebrated as a triumvirate of great statesmen, the greatest in all the land. Calhoun was the great man of the Southern States, Clay of the Western and Middle States, Webster of the States of New England, although there is great opposition in the New England States against Webster, particularly among the anti-slavery party. Each of these, although old, has been a mighty champion; at the same time admired and feared, loved and hated. There yet remain two. The third fell on the scene of combat, fighting in death, and, as it seemed, even against it.
His portrait and bust, of which I have seen many, give me the impression of a burning volcano. The hair stands on end, the deep-set eyes flash, deep furrows plow that keen, thin countenance. It is impossible from this exterior, which seems to have been ravaged by siokness and passion, to form any idea of the fascinating man in society, the excellent head of a family, with manners as pure as those of a woman, affectionate to all his relatives, a good