out strong against it, stumping nearly the whole State in favor of “the Union
as it was.”
Finding it in vain, and called upon to decide between “the devil and the deep sea,” or in other words, whether he would be politically and socially ostracized by his friends, who had always stood staunchly by him in the State
where he was born, reared, and educated, or go in with them in an undertaking which he foresaw would fail, like many another good man in the South
he chose to live or fall among friends.
Who could blame him?
He saw the failure and scorned to evade the result by changing to a Unionist, as many far less worthy did, feeling that he had deliberately incurred the risk, and willing, deliberately, to expiate it. Possessing a keen perception of the humorous, cheerful, ready witted, with a vigorous intellect, a story-teller par excellence-surpassing
even Senator Nye
-and, really, the best extempore speaker for any and all occasions, with or without notice, carrying always his audience like a whirlwind-such was Governor Zebulon B. Vance
, the pet and pride of the old North State
I cannot refrain from an anecdote of himself, illustrative of the commencement of his political life and his popularity with all classes in his native State, as he himself related it. It was after his first election to a seat in the House of Representatives in Washington
, and at about the age of thirty-eight years. He had attended the full session, and on his journey home had arrived at the end of railway travel, and was obliged to finish the journey by staging across the country.
Full of the pride of being a member of Congress, and to see and be seen, he mounted a seat outside the coach with the driver of the vehicle, and away they rolled behind four sorry-looking steeds.
was evidently of the earth earthy, of the stable odorous, a ragged, seedy specimen of his order, and in strong contrast to our friend, the Governor
, who sat by his side, dressed in the more decorous results of a fashionable Washington
tailor-and no doubt happy in so being.
Pride, however, was destined to the usual fall, the author of which humiliation being close at hand.
A tall, cadaverous, lank, pale specimen of the race known as “clay banks,” was sleepily leaning against a fence as they passed.
He was shirtless and ragged, and his remnant of broad-brimmed hat sank ungracefully over and about his long hair, the only laudable use for which was to cover his dirty neck and face.
Gravely he saluted the driver, with “Good-morning, Mr. Jobson
,” and then lifting lazily his eyes on Vance
, he became suddenly galvanized with an unexpected recognition, to which he gave vent with a “Hell's blazes, Zeb Vance
, is that yeow?”
The Governor avers he did the rest of that journey as an inside passenger.