previous next

Charleston Cozy.

if we may credit the epistle-monger in Charleston, who writes with a kind of rosy rapture to The London Times, that city, so far from partaking of the pains and poverty of the Confederacy, is a scene of sybaritical pleasures and Corinthian joys. Though half the town has been burned, the moiety is an Earthly Paradise, in the midst of which stands that eminent caravansary yeleped “the Mills House,” at the bar of which, we suppose, fluid happiness is still dispensed, albeit at gigantic prices per draught. Interminable walls, countless breastworks, ditches of unknown depth, batteries of Gibraltarian impregnability, forts whose frown alone would repel a Grand Army, hornworks, ravelines, counterscarps and escarps, glacis, and the god of War knows what else — all these have [388] been combined after a fashion which would have filled the heart of Marshal Saxe with envy, and not less have delighted the benevolent soul of Uncle Toby.

Within these strong defenses, which have been entirely built, as we are told, by the hands of the busy “niggers,” the originators of the Rebellion and dry nurses of Treason do most peacefully repose and laugh to scorn the Federal fleet and the Federal foot. They have nothing to do but smoke, drink, swear, sleep and be happy. After Macbeth had hung out his banner, there was a cry upon the outer wall, which made him feel quite ill and led him to a long conversation with the Doctor.

It is quite different with the chiefs of Charleston and their families whether blanc, black or yellow. They have all the titillations of a siege without the torments. Not yet have they been driven to devour their boots, as the French were in Genoa. On the contrary they have what the landladies of minor boarding-houses call “enough, and that that's good.” “Fraser & Co. Have ta'en order for it.” Fraser & Co. are merchants who would rather give away than sell. Fraser & Co. run the blockade regularly three times a week. Fraser & Co. supply all manner of comfort for back and belly. Those benevolent Dough-faces, therefore, who have permitted the saline tears to bestain their linen cheeks at the thought of all the misery which their Charleston friends were encountering, can dam the sluices of their grief or weep for some less-favored Man-Owners. Charleston is, if we [389] may believe this correspondent, far better off than she was when in a death-grapple with the pestilence, or after a desolating conflagration, she cried aloud to the rascally Yankees for aid in meat or in money and uttered no unheeded appeal. We forbear, out of motives of delicacy, from making more than a bare allusion to the money which has been raised in Northern parts for Missionary purposes, to be expended in South Carolina, because the religious result has been so preposterous that we are inclined to spare the feelings of the amiable donors. Meantime the content being so measureless in Charleston, we wonder if the Palmettoes ever think of the quite opposite condition of their friends and fellow-sinners in Virginia — that unfortunate State, the once-fair territories of which have been scathed and blighted by the actual presence of war — its towns besieged and bombarded — its profitable commerce (in tobacco and oysters) almost destroyed — its capital city, ragged and writhing Richmond, full of the various distresses incident to belligerent humanity — its importance diminished by a political division which will never be reconsidered — its historical glories so faded, that future ages will hardly believe that it gave birth to WashingtonVirginia that was politically so great and so honored, turned into a tilting-ground upon which South Carolina compels her humble and complying sisters in secession. to fight her quarrel with Massachusetts!

We get no boast from Richmond of the happy condition of affairs in that city. There is no Fraser [390] & Co. there, to supply gratuitous dry-goods and groceries to the naked and hungry. With what flowings of unspeakable bile must a Virginian, who has had no breakfast and who cherishes not the wildest hope of a dinner, who is out at the elbows, out of money and out of temper, read, should it come in his way, the letter in The Times, and reflect that while he suffers in purse, person, and estate, the Charleston Rebel eats well, sleeps well, dresses well and calmly reads the bulletins of the campaign in Virginia?

We believe we assert no more than she would claim, although in different terms, when we declare that this rebellion originated in the mean selfishness of South Carolina--in the arrogance and passion of her public men — in the recklessness of a little knot of pestilent politicians in Charleston and the adjacent demesnes — in the teachings of such apostles as Calhoun and Butler. The Virginia abstraction was comparatively harmless until the action of South Carolina gave to it a practical and malignant activity. That State has found the fire and the chestnuts — the others must burn their fingers in the roasting. Do they suppose that the culinary process would be over and the digital blisters permanently abated, if the Confederacy were once fairly put upon its legs? O credulous Confederates! Have you yet to learn that South Carolina can confederate with nobody? that her temper is too waspish to afford the least hope of jocund conjugal relations? that she has lived so long in a state of quarrel, that it has become her [391] normal condition? that she feels or affects a contempt for all mankind outside her own little territory? The restoration of the Union will save you from much else, but over and above all, it will save you from her!--from her pettish pride and absurd humors, from her calculating frigidity which all her fire never tempers, and her indomitable selfishness which she dignifies as patriotism.

March 15, 1863.

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)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fraser (5)
Saxe (1)
Earthly Paradise (1)
Macbeth (1)
John C. Calhoun (1)
Butler (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 15th, 1863 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: