previous next


The anaconda.

The Yankees seem of late to have parted company with the old American emblem — the eagle — and are continually likening themselves to the anaconda. We scarcely take up a Yankee newspaper in which we do not find some exulting references to the ‘"anaconda folds with which Yankeedom is encircling the South and preparing to crush it."’ It strikes us that the selection of this new emblem of Yankee qualities shows some signs of returning reason in that hitherto demented population. A crawling, greedy reptile, that bedaubs its victim with hideous slime before it swallows him, is a better representative of their character than the heaven-soaring eagle, darting lightning from his eyes and holding in his fierce talons the thunderbolts of Jove. By all means, let the Yankees give up the eagle and hold on to their new friend — the snake. Of all the creeping things, this is the best representative, in its vindictiveness and voracity, of the nation which has instinctively recognized it as its emblem. Instead of the American eagle, the world now sees the Yankee anaconda, which, having swallowed up the commerce and the Constitution of the old Union, is now eager to bolt the whole South and wind up with making a dessert of Canada and Cuba.

The old American eagle may well give up such snake worshippers in disgust, and in fact he seems to have had nothing to do with them since the beginning of this war. He is the bird of liberty, and not of despotism; and, whatever may be his other faults, he never has relied up on his wings in a fight instead of his beak and talons. It is a libel upon this majestic warrior of the air to assert that he was aiding and abetting the Yankees at Bethel, Bull Run, Manassas, and a dozen similar conflicts. It was not the eagle, but the anaconda, which, on each and all these occasions, came to swallow us whole, but went off so full of cold iron that something has been wrong with his digestion ever since. We know that the Yankee snake is a large snake, and is now spreading himself considerably; but he has been sleeping very soundly since his leaden dinner, at Manassas, and, if he is awake again, there are similar entertainments awaiting him, which will set him to snoring again for another six months. It may be, that he is encompassing us around our frontier and our sea-coast, so that his head and his tail nearly meet; but the only swallowing he is likely to accomplish is to swallow himself, and as his tail goes down his throat, tickle his palate with the fancy that he is absorbing the Southern Confederacy.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Cuba (Cuba) (1)
Canada (Canada) (1)
Bull Run, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: