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settling the affairs of a very large New York house. “Well, there are a good many merchants who don't mean to pay anything more than they are obliged, to,” said he in reply. I asked of one of the leading merchants this morning, “Are your people generally disposed to settle their accounts ?” His answer was, “ Those who expect to continue business must of course do so.” “How about the others ?” I queried. “I'm afraid there is n't so much commercial honor as there should be,” he replied. I am told of one firm which represented itself entirely ruined, when subsequent investigation showed that it had five thousand pounds sterling to its credit in Liverpool ; and of another which offered only thirty cents on the dollar, when its property in New York alone will cover over seventy cents on the dollar of its entire indebtedness.
That Rebellion sapped the foundations of commercial in-, tegrity in the State is beyond question. That much of the Northern indebtedness will never be paid is also beyond question. What is desirable is, that creditors should become cognizant of all the facts in the case before fixing terms. For the rascal there is but one set of terms; for the honest man there should be every possible considera
The city is under thorough military rule; but the iron hand rests very lightly. Soldiers do police duty, and there is some nine-o'clock regulation; but, so far as I can learn, anybody goes anywhere at all hours of the night without molestation. “ There never was such good order here before," said an old colored man to me. The main street is swept twice a week, and all garbage is removed at sunrise. “If the Yankees was to stay here always and keep the city so clean, I don't reckon we'd have yellow jack' here any more," was a remark I overheard on the street. “Now is de fust time sence I can ʼmem'er when brack men was safe in de street af'er nightfall,” stated the negro tailor in whose shop I sat an hour yesterday.
On the surface, Charleston is quiet and well behaved ; and I do not doubt that the more intelligent citizens are wholly sincere in their expressions of a desire for peace and reunion. The city has been humbled as no other city has been ; and I can't see how any man, after spending a few days here, can desire that it shall be further humiliated merely for revenge. Whether it has been humiliated enough for health is another thing. Said one of the Charlestonians on the boat, “ You won't see the real sentiment of our people, for we are under military rule; we are whipped, and we are going to make the best of things ; but we hate Massachusetts as much as we ever did.” This idea of making the best of things is one I have heard from scores of persons. I find very few who hesitate to frankly own that the South has been beaten. “We made the best fight we could, but you were too strong for us, and now we are only anxious to get back into the old Union and live as happily as we can,” said a large cotton factor. I find very few who make any special profession of Unionism; but they are almost unanimous in declaring that they have no desire but to live as good and quiet citizens under the laws.
For the first two months of our occupancy of the city scarcely a white woman but those of the poorer classes was seen on the street, and very few were even seen at the windows and doors of the residences. That order of things is now, happily, changed. There does n't yet appear to be as much freedom of appearance as would be natural ; but very many of what are called the “first ladies” are to be seen shopping in the morning and promenading in the evening. They, much more than the men, have contemptuous motions for the negro soldiers ; and scorn for Northern men is frequently apparent in the swing of their skirts when passing on the sidewalk.
One does n't observe so much pleasantness and cheerfulness as would be agreeable; but the general demeanor is
quite consonant with the general mourning costume. A stroller at sunset sees not a few pale and pensive-faced young women of exquisite beauty; and a rambler during the evening not unfrequently hears a strain of touching melody from the darkened parlor of some roomy old mansion, with now and then one of the ringing, passionate airs with which the Southern heart has been fired during the war.
Mothers yet teach their children hate of the North, I judge ; for when I asked a bright-eyed girl of half a dozen years, with whom I walked on a back street for a block or two, whose girl she was, she promptly answered, “ A Rebel mother's girl.” Patience, good people who love liberty, patience; this petty woman's spite will bite itself to death in time.
Down in the churchyard of St. Philip's, one of the richest and most aristocratic of churches in this proud city, is a grave which every stranger is curious to see. There are only the four plain panelled brick walls about three feet high, and on them a mottled white marble slab, some nine feet by four in size. At the head of the grave is a single sickly ten-foothigh magnolia tree. At each corner of the foot is a sprawling and tangled damask rose-bush, and about midway on the right there is also a small white rose-bush. All around the little plat is a border of myrtle, sweet in its rich greenness, but untrimmed and broken and goat-eaten. It is the grave of the father of the Rebellion, and on the marble slab there is cut the one word, —
“CALHOUN.” This churchyard symbolizes the city of Charleston. Children and goats crawl through a convenient hole in the front wall, and play at will among the sunken graves and broken tombstones. There is everywhere a wealth of offal and garbage and beef-bones. A mangy cur was slinking among the stones, and I found a hole three feet deep which he had dug at the foot of one of the graves. Children were quarrelling
for flowers over one of the more recent mounds. The whole yard is grown up to weeds and brush, and the place is desolate and dreary as it well can be ; more desolate because cruel hands have broken away the corners of the great marble slab of Calhoun, — for mementos, I suppose. Time was when South Carolina guarded this grave as a holy spot. Now it lies in ruin with her chief city. When Northern life shall rebuild and revivify that city, let us pray it may also set chaste and simple beauty around this grave ; for there is no need to wish the brave but bad spirit of Calhoun greater punishment than it must have in seeing the woe and waste and mourning which the war has brought the region he loved so well.
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN THE INTERIOR OF SOUTH
ORANGEBURG C. H., September 7, 1865. ROM Charleston to Orangeburg Court House is seventy
seven miles. Route, South Carolina Railroad. Time, seven and a half hours. Fare, five dollars. There is one train per day each way. Our train consisted of five freightcars, the baggage-car, a box freight-car with seats for negroes, and one passenger-coach. The down train, which we met at Branchville, — where Sherman's army was to find its doom, — consisted of seven freight-cars, four of which were filled with troops on the way to Charleston and home, the baggage-car, and two passenger-coaches. Our one car was uncomfortably full when we started; but only eleven of the passengers came through.
“What sort of accommodations can I get at Orangeburg?” I asked of a friend in Charleston.
ful: pub down to Oranges of the
“ You're not going to stop up there? O you can't do it!” 6 Well, I shall try it, at all events."
" Don't do it; Orangeburg is just as good as any of these towns; but I advise you to shun all of 'em. The accommodations are awful: push right on to Columbia.”
I was n't to be put down that way, for I had consulted a gazetteer, and learned that “Orangeburg is a pleasant and thriving town on the northeast bank of the north fork of the Edisto River. It is in the midst of a farming district, and is the centre of a large cotton trade. Population two thousand seven hundred.” That was before the war, and I knew the place had been partly burned; but I felt confident that my friend exaggerated.
We left the city at seven and a half o'clock in the morning. Twenty miles out, the conductor came through the car, and collected our fares; for no tickets are sold at Charleston. In front of me sat a good-looking young woman, of about twenty-two, I judged. Hearing her very plainly say that she was going to Orangeburg, I determined to ask her about the town and its hotel accommodations.
“ Yes, I live there,” she said.
“ Is there a hotel in the town, or any place at which a person can stop ?”
“) yes, there's a hotel,” she said ; and after a pause, she added, “ but it's hardly such a place as a gentleman would choose, I think.”
She spoke pleasantly enough, and, having answered my question, might have dropped the conversation ; instead of which, she went on to say that persons who had occasion to stop in town for some days frequently took a room at a private house, and were much better suited than at the hotel.
I did the only thing I well could do, — the thing that it was perfectly natural I should do. I asked her if she could mention one or two private houses at which I might ask for accommodations, if the hotel proved unendurable.