The ladies and the South.
A Yankee scribe in the Baltimore American
delivers himself of a disquisition upon the question, why the Southern
ladies have always been against Lincoln
, and even a good many Northern ladies are on the Southern
He admits that the facts are so, and can only find this reason for the mystery — that the ladies are fond of aristocracy and opposed to everything of a republican character.
Such a solution as this is worthy the profound philosopher from whom it emanates — That ladies have an irreconcilable antipathy to that which is low and coarse, is true enough, and that in this may be found one reason for their ayersion to Lincolndom is undeniable.--Nothing could well be more intensely vulgar than the man whom the people of the North
have deliberately chosen as their representative and ruler, though he is less nanseating in his undisguised blackgardisms than his prime minister, Seward
: a creature even more depraved in his morals, whose elaborate imitation of the habits and manners of good society cannot conceal from the world that he is in no respect a well-bred man; and, what is far worse, has none of the instincts of a gentleman.
Like the master is his following, and never, we suppose, since the world begun, were as many blackguards collected together under the banners of civilzation as the scrapings of all Christendom, the multitudinous ‘"lewd fellows of the baser sort"’--who have undertaken to subjugate this beautiful land.--That there are gentlemen among their military leaders, no one doubts.
has that reputation; but it has been a serious draw back to him with his party.
The genuine Republican journals abuse him all the time, and indeed it is impossible that any public sentiment and public taste, of which Horace Greeley
is the recognized exponent, should pardon any man who is suspected of the double crimes of humanity and good manners.
In taking such trouble to explain why the ladies are so universally with the South
, the American
evidently feels the moral weight in our favor of this undeniable fact; but its solution of it is preposterous.
The ladies are no doubt on the side of good manners and clean faces and hands, and it may be admitted that they do not admire people who utter through their noses all manner of rudeness and bad English
; but these are the mere outward signs of an inward offensiveness that is the real cause of the antipathy that the American
finds such difficulty in explaining.
So far as aristocracy is concerned, they have at the North
an aristocracy of its sort — that is, an aristocracy of wealth, made up of people who had their orgin in the low places of the earth, have brought up with them all the essential vulgarity of their unclean beginnings, and are the most pretentious, ridiculous, and disgusting aristocracy on the face of the earth.
If to dress in purple and fine linen, to live in splendid houses, and shine in fine carriages and liveried servants, make an aristocracy, the North
has more than its share of it, whilst on the other hand, none of these things have ever distinguished to any great extent the Southern
The manners of the Southern
gentlemen are in general remarkable for their plainness; their style of living is simple, and the vulgar love of show and ostentation a thing unknown.
Genuine aristocracy there may be; and when we can be shown a country which has not an aristocracy of some kind, whether it be a Republican or Monarchical country, it will have to be pointed out to us in some other planet than that which we inhabit.
In every country the enlightened and refined portion must and ought to have the ascendancy, and the time has gone by when to admit that self-evident fact could be denounced as high treason against republicanism.
Intelligence, moral worth, and interests in the promotion of good order, must be the controlling influences in every social system that is not destined speedily to relapse into chaos.--Demagogues may inveigh as much as they choose against aristocracy, but it is only that they may become aristocrats themselves.--Whatever may be said against the hereditary nobility of England
, we believe that it is the best part of that kingdom, morally, intellectually, and even physically.
But to say that the ladies of the South
and those generous Northern ladies who sympathise with us; are actuated in their sympathies by a love of aristocracy, unless it be conceded that aristocracy is a synonyme for all that is good and beautiful in politics and morals is as great a piece of nonsense as the Batimore American
The mothers, wives, and daughters of the South
have deeper and purer motives than their enemies can comprehend.
They may not comprehend the mysteries of politics; they may not be able to harmonise the independence of State and Federal sovereignties; but they justinctively recoil from injustice, oppression, and from what is worse than all, contact with evil.
Woman is the custodian of the virtue of the world.
She is the fountain either of sweet or bitter influences to the whole human race.
The Southern women, refined, pious, and high-toned to a degree never surpassed by the women of any other race, have long dreaded the evil effects of Northern morals and manners upon Southern society.
They have shrunk appalled from that seething flood of infidelity, fanaticism, licentiousness, and falsehood, which composes at this day the elements of Northern society, and have prayed Heaven that a wall of separation might be built up high as Heaven itself between this bottomless abyss of corruption and their own happy homes.
This is one reason why the women of the South
sympathise with secession, and reason enough, without seeking another in that dislike of vulgar and coarse people which the American
sneers at as ‘"aristocracy,"’ but which is nevertheless natural to the sex and not altogether unreasonable.