What happened in the markets today? Are you kidding me? What do you think? Let’s not quibble about what is what.
We know what.
But today I have something different. A piece from a brilliant work of historical fiction I’ve been reading whilst on vacation. The book is called Glory in the Name by James Nelson. It’s about the Confederate Navy in the Civil War and I recommend it highly. Anyway, the one part I’d like to recreate here (with the indulgence of the author) is a description of the “model Southern Gentleman” circa 1861, just as the shells were lobbed at Fort Sumter.
The words are from a patrician gentleman from Charleston, SC, who was educated at the U.S. Naval Academy, but who saw his duty with the Southern Cause in the final decision to attack Fort Sumter, in his city’s harbor. In his own words, a Southern Gentleman speaks of his hometown:
It was where Samuel had learned to be a gentleman, and more to the point, a Southern gentleman. Courteous to the last. Studied, urbane. Personally disciplined — a gentleman, he was taught, did not show womanly weakness of any sort. Passionately loyal to his country and his state. Unwilling to suffer even the hint of insult. Tolerant of the lower classes, appreciative, even, of their labor, but always aware of their place, and his. Kind to slaves. These were the things that that made the Southern man, and the instruction was so thorough that those traits became a part of Samuel Bowater as much as his height and the color of his eyes.
Is that not the Monsieur? How long as the South been awaiting his steady presence, I ask you? Be thankful, small plebs, that he is kind to slaves.
Mein gott, I cannot say enough about how well we’ve done today. Let’s speak no more about it, as it may be seen as “bragging.”
Best to you all, Jacksonian stalwarts.