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[210] clumps of the trim and elegant cedar, stately magnolias, all green as in summer, while here and there daffodils and other plants have pushed forth their leaves and flowers with all the richness and beauty of a Northern midsummer. In one corner, surrounded by emblematic evergreens, is a tasteful, costly tomb, beneath which sleeps the once powerful chief of a then united nation.

Mrs. Polk is a well-preserved lady of perhaps fifty years of age. She received her visitors courteously, but with a polished coldness that indicated sufficiently in which direction her sympathies ran — she was simply polite and ladylike; in no case patriotic. While she discreetly forebore to give utterance to any expression of sympathy for the South, she as rigidly avoided saying anything that might be construed into a wish for the success of the Government. She hoped, she said, that the tomb of her husband would protect her household from insult and her property from pillage; further than this she expected nothing from the United States, and desired nothing.

Soon after this her visitors left, satisfied that Ephraim was joined to his idols, and might as well be “let alone.” As the widow is of more than ordinary intelligence, and owes the ample fortune which smooths the declivity of her old age to the Government, it is somewhat strange that she should be at once so blindly ignorant of the true character of the present war, and so ungrateful.

The ladies of Nashville — that is, the few of them who have not struck for the warmer and less Yankee-haunted portions of Dixie — are, of course, as full of treason as they are, in occasional cases, of loveliness. I have seen only two cases of women who are loyal, and both of these are among what might be called the “lower walks” of social life. One of these was a bare-armed, bare-headed female that issued from a shanty on the bluffs as we passed along the front of the city, and commenced waving her hands wildly up and down, at the same time tetering violently on her toes, like some devotee before the altar of an Aztec idol. She continued this demonstrative but original welcome, till a couple of other females issued from the same shanty and forcibly carried her in-doors. It may be suspected that her loyal recognition sprang rather from whisky than patriotism — a suspicion that my own mind is not altogether free from, as I have carefully reflected upon this singular and almost isolated case of Union feeling.

The other case was also that of an Irish lady, and seemed more the result of genuine loyalty than of stimulants. As Gen. Grant and staff were riding through the city, a woman rushed out from a house, and throwing up her hands in the style adopted by cruel parents when they say, “Bless you, my children,” in fifteen-cent novels, exclaimed: “God bless ye, gintlemen! Success go wid ye! Arrah, git in there, ye thafe, and don't be boderina the life out oa me!” The last remark, I may say, was accompanied by a resounding slap, and was addressed to a dirty-faced gossoon that thrust his unkempt head beyond the doorway — and not, as may be surmised, to the Illinoisian hero. The youth set up one of those vigorous howls so peculiar to offended juvenility, and amid a chorus of slaps, blessings, and the roars of the suffering infant, the General turned a corner and disappeared.

A little further, and the party passed slowly by a costly carriage, out of one of whose windows was thrust the head of an elegantly-dressed lady. She was giving some directions to the liveried darkey that held the reins; but looking up as the party passed, she caught sight of the Federal uniforms. With a “baugh!” as if she had swallowed a toad, she spat toward the ground, and with a contemptuous and expressive grimace of disgust upon her features, drew in her head, and threw herself back in her carriage. Quite possibly such movements are the very height of Southern breeding — further North, in the land of Yankees and wooden clocks, a woman who would perpetrate an act of the kind, under similar circumstances, would be regarded — well, to use a convenient everyday expression, as “no better than she should be” --a somebody closely akin to, if not the identical scarlet feminine spoken of in Revelation.

Occasionally I met other specimens of Nashville ladies, who, in many cases, supposing me to be a soldier, from the possession of a blue over-coat, described upon meeting a wide semicircle of avoidance, swinging, as they did so, their rotundant skirts with a contemptuous flirt far out, as if the very touch of a blue coat would be contamination. And then the angle at which the noses of the naughty darlings went up, and the extent to which their lips and eyes went down, were not the least interesting portion of these little by-plays, and assisted materially in showing the exquisite breeding of these amiable demoiselles.

A more cynical observer than myself would, perhaps, assert that all this flirting of dresses was mainly gotten up for the better display of pretty ankles, and that those to whom nature had not been kind in this respect, were among those who omitted from their performance, to give their rustling silks the outward sweep. Pos sibly this view may be true, but I will not be uncharitable enough to endorse it.

It is not probable that our soldiers will allow these evidences of disdain to affect them to any great extent. At present, there are but few ladies in town: hundreds have fled in horror from the approach of the ruthless Hessians of the North; others, unable to leave, have put triple bars before their doors and windows, and hide at once their fears and beauty behind these protections. In view of these facts, those who now wander through the streets are not formidable as to number, and they will, doubtless, soon become, to some extent, civilized.

The rebels had stores here in unlimited quantities, none of which they were able to take away. All, after several days of riot, which, in terror


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