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fear for this once to compare a South Carolina poem with the best
lyric of the kind in the literature of the world."

no marble column : a monument was later erected, consisting of a
bronze color bearer on a granite pedestal.

QUESTIONS, i. What is the wish of the poet for the fallen heroes?
2. In what way does the poem show Southern gallantry ? 3. With what
picture does the poem close ?



FRANCIS ORRAY TICKNOR
LITTLE GIFFEN (PAGE 297)

This poem relates an almost literally true story. The boy was Isaac
Newton Giffen, the son of an East Tennessee blacksmith. After
being severely wounded, probably in the battle of Chickamauga, he was
nursed back to life by Dr. and Mrs. Ticknor at their home, " Torch
Hill." It is believed that he was afterwards killed in the battles around
Atlanta.

Johnston : General Joseph Johnston, a Confederate commander. The
battles of Dallas and Kenesaw Mountain are perhaps referred to.
Golden Ring : the Round Table, King Arthur s group of knights.

QUESTIONS, i. Note the conciseness of detail with which the inci
dent is told. 2. What does the poem show regarding the loyalty of
the poorer classes in the South to the cause of the Confederacy?



NOTES 509

THE VIRGINIANS OF THE VALLEY (PAGE 298)

This poem was written early in the war, just after Virginia had
become the scene of conflict.

"Golden Horse-shoe" Knights: the followers of Governor Spots-
wood of Virginia who made with him the famous expedition to the top
of the Blue Ridge Mountains were each given a golden horseshoe in
token of the achievement, thus establishing a sort of Virginia knighthood.

QUESTIONS, i. What references to Virginia s past in the first two
stanzas? 2. What tribute to her in the last stanza?



UNKNOWN (PAGE 299)

The poet s dedication of this poem is " To the Women of the South
decorating graves of Unknown Soldiers."

QUESTIONS, i. What scene is described? 2. Why the expression
" doubly dead," line 8 ?

PAGE BROOK (PAGE 300)

The title is the name of an old Southern homestead that had been
desolated by the war.

QUESTION. What contrasts are made between the home as it now
is and as it formerly was ?

LOYAL (PAGE 301)

This poem was written to commemorate the courage of General Pat
Cleburne. At the battle of Franklin, Tennessee, in November, 1864,
which General John B. Gordon has called "the bloodiest battle of
modern times," he was, against his judgment, ordered to take some
well-manned breastworks. He replied to the order, " General, I will
take the works or fall in the effort." He was killed in the attempt.
The Douglas : Lord Douglas, the friend of Robert Bruce, who, when
the latter s wish to go on a crusade was frustrated by death, fulfilled
Bruce s request to take his heart to Jerusalem. Who sheltered : such
Southerners as Cleburne and his men.

QUESTION. The poem consists of eight stanzas of introduction with
a final stanza of application. What is the thought of each of these
parts ?



510 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE

PART III. THE NEW SOUTH IN LITERATURE

After the Civil War had swept away the old civilization of the South,
and the Southern states had passed through the trying period of re
construction in adjusting themselves to the new racial, educational,
industrial, and political problems, there came to the South great indus
trial prosperity. In the wake of this prosperity has come a new out
burst of literary energy, surpassing the older literature in freshness and
variety, and the South has come to take a more important place in
the literature of the nation. This new literature has achieved more in
prose than in poetry.

HUMORISTS

The writing of humorous sketches of social life which we have seen
formed a conspicuous part of the literature of the old South was con
tinued until the movement became merged with the writing of short
stories portraying with " local color " the life of various sections.

RICHARD MALCOLM JOHNSTON

This selection is from " The Dukesborough Tales." The subtitle, " Old
Times in Middle Georgia," suggests the scope of the book. It was
essentially reminiscences of the " grim and rude but hearty old times in
Georgia." Dukesborough was simply Powelton, Hancock County
Georgia, near which the author had been born, and the characters were
representative of the democratic Georgia " cracker " class.

THE GOOSEPOND SCHOOLMASTER (PAGE 303)

The selection here given is descriptive of a type of schoolmaster
that was not infrequently found in the country school of the South.
These schools were commonly known as " old field schools."

GEORGE WILLIAM BAGBY

JUD BROWNIN S ACCOUNT OF RUBINSTEIN S PLAYING
(PAGE 308)

The speaker is supposed to be an ignorant countryman.
Rubinstein: a noted Russian pianist who made a concert tour in
the United States.



NOTES 511



NOVELISTS AND STORY WRITERS

About 1875 there began to appear in Northern magazines sketches
and short stories by Southern writers which betokened the beginning
of a new development in Southern fiction. With the passing of the old
generation of fiction writers, the historical romance imitating Scott
or Cooper and the crudely humorous character sketch disappeared.
Their places were taken by the work of the new group of writers, who
dealt in a realistic way with the various phases of Southern life. The
difference between the old and the new fashion in fiction was expressed
in the remark of John Esten Cooke, shortly before his death, about the
new school : " They see, as I do, that fiction should faithfully reflect
life, and they obey the law, while I was born too soon, and am now too
old to learn my trade anew."

The new group of writers opened their eyes to the abundant material
in the South calling for interpreters. One of their number has said :
"Never in the history of the country has there been a generation of
writers who came into such an inheritance of material." This was true ;
for the antebellum writers, with the exception of the humorists, had
their sight obscured by the supposed uniformity of Southern life to
such an extent that they failed to appreciate the wealth of picturesque
material at hand. But the vanishing of the old feudal system with its
attendant spirit of caste revealed more clearly than before the variety
of type in Southern life, and writers began to realize the value of this
material. Thus the Creole of Louisiana, the mountaineer of the Appa
lachians, the " cracker " of Georgia, the inhabitants of the blue-grass
region of Kentucky, the negro all these and others found their
observant interpreters.

This group of writers of fiction have been distinguished from their
predecessors by regard for careful, artistic workmanship. In their work
is to be found little of the carelessness that mars the work of the older
school even in its best representatives, as, for instance, Simms and
Longstreet. In ideals of craftsmanship the newer writers have been
followers of Poe, the result being carefulness of structure and regard for
distinction of style. Their success in the short story with local color has
been marked enough to command the respect of the country at large.
But when these writers have turned from fiction of this shorter compass
to that of the scope of the novel they have frequently shown a weakness
in structure that has marred somewhat their achievement in this form.



512 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE

Though Southern fiction since the war has been provincial it has not
been sectional. Without exception the writers have echoed the words
of Joel Chandler Harris : " What does it matter whether I am a North
erner or a Southerner if I am true to truth, and true to the larger truth,
my own self ? My idea is that truth is more important than sectionalism,
and that literature that can be labeled Northern, Southern, Western,
or Eastern, is not worth labeling at all"; and, as he put it at another
time, " Whenever we have a Southern literature, it will be American
and cosmopolitan as well. Only let it be the work of g*enius, and it will
take all sections by storm." Essentially the same spirit is to be found
in the claim of Thomas Nelson Page that in his writings he never
wittingly wrote a line which he did not hope might bring about a better
understanding between the North and the South, and finally lead to a
more perfect Union. Thus Southern writers have endeavored to further
that most important task of the present generation the promotion
of a real national spirit.

GEORGE WASHINGTON CABLE
THE DANCE IN PLACE CONGO (PAGE 314)

QUESTIONS, i. What details are given about Congo Square ?

2. What musical instruments are used in connection with the dance ?

3. Describe the " bamboula."

JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS

In the several volumes of Uncle Remus stories " Uncle Remus,
his Songs and his Sayings," " Nights with Uncle Remus," to mention
only the two earliest and most important of these collections Joel
Chandler Harris has done his most distinctive work as a writer in pre
serving the folklore of the negro in his American environment. As he
himself stated, he was simply the compiler and editor of the stories
that he had picked up in his contact with negroes. But he is absolutely
the creator of the setting of the stories, Uncle Remus, the group of
negroes associated with him, the little boy to whom the stories are told,
and the rest, which gives one of the best-sustained studies American
literature has of the old plantation negro. Inasmuch as character is
something more appreciated by readers generally than folklore, it may
be surmised that the primary interest in the Uncle Remus books is
more frequently than not this delineation of the gentle old darky.



NOTES 513

BRER RABBIT GROSSLY DECEIVES BRER Fox (PAGE 324)

This tale was first published in the Atlanta Constitution, Decem
ber 21, 1879, m tne department entitled "Uncle Remus s Folk Lore."
It is here reprinted from that source.

Tar-baby : see The Wonderful Tar-baby Story " in " Uncle Remus,
his Songs and his Sayings." pusly; parsley.

THE CUNNING Fox is AGAIN VICTIMIZED (PAGE 328)

This story appeared in the Atlanta Constitution, December 25, 1879,
from which it is here taken.

ingun : onion. patter-rollers : patrols, that is, officers commissioned
to look out for negroes who had slipped away without permission from
their plantations.

QUESTIONS, i. How does the introduction of Uncle Remus, the little
boy, etc. add to the interest of the stories ? 2. The author has sug
gested that the stories of the rabbit and the fox may be to some extent
allegorical. Attempt an interpretation of this character. 3. What
significance is to be attached to the fact that the rabbit is generally
victorious ? 4. Is the rabbit intended to typify the negro race ?



MARY NOAILLES MURFREE ("CHARLES EGBERT CRADDOCK ")
THE "HARNT" THAT WALKS CHILHOWEE (PAGE 332)

This selection is from one of the stories in the writer s first volume,
" In the Tennessee Mountains."

cor ner: coroner. laurel: rhododendron, which in the vernacular
of the mountains is called laurel.

QUESTIONS, i. What is the story of Reuben Crabb ? 2. What does
Clarsie do for him ? 3. What characteristics of the mountaineers are
exhibited in this story ?

THOMAS NELSON PAGE
MARSE CHAN (SUMMARY) (PAGE 342)

The author has given the following account of how the story came
to be written :

Just then a friend showed me a letter which had been written by a young girl
to her sweetheart in a Georgia regiment, telling him that she had discovered that



514 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE

she loved him after all, and that if he would get a furlough and come home she
would marry him. . . . Then, as if she feared such a temptation might be too
strong for him, she added a postscript in these words : " Don t come without a
furlough ; for if you don t come honorable, I won t marry you." This letter had
been taken from the pocket of a private dead on the battlefield of one of the
battles around Richmond, and, as the date was only a week or two before the
battle occurred, its pathos struck me very much. I remember I said, " The poor
fellow got his furlough through a bullet." The idea remained with me, and 1
went to my office one morning and began to write " Marse Chan," which was
finished in about a week.



JAMES LANE ALLEN
Two GENTLEMEN OF KENTUCKY (PAGE 348)

Cheapside : the scene of the story is Lexington, Kentucky. Cheap-
side is one of the business streets of that city, so named from the
famous Cheapside of London.

QUESTIONS, i. What characteristics are ascribed to Colonel Romulus
Fields? 2. What to Peter ? 3. Do such traits of character among whites
and blacks in the South give encouragement to believe that the two
races can find a common basis whereon they can live in friendship ?



WILLIAM SIDNEY PORTER (" O. HENRY")

The roving life of Porter gave him a wide range of acquaintance
with human types in different sections of the country and in different
levels of society. As Professor Stuart P. Sherman has said, " He has
made a great harvest of the sounds and sights and smells of New York
City in chop house, lobster-palace, flat, tenement, park, police court,
Broadway, Coney Island. He knows, too, the roads and railways branch
ing into the South, and stretching across the West ; the various features
and characters of towns and cities from Chicago down the Mississippi
Valley to New Orleans and out to Frisco ; the ranchers and miners
and the picturesque riff-raff of adventurers floating through Arizona,
Texas, Mexico, and South America, and the returned wanderer from
the Philippines." Such a statement should not, however, be understood
to mean that his stories are mere studies in localism. Against such a
view Porter always protested, as in the following remark, " They say
I know New York well. Just change Twenty-Third Street in one of



NOTES 5 I 5

my New York stories to Main Street, rub out the Flatiron Building,
and insert Town Hall, and the story will fit any up-State town just as
well. So long as a story is true to human nature all you need to do to
fit any town is to change the local color. You can make all the char
acters of the Arabian Nights parade up and down Broadway." The
result is that Porter has exhibited in mass a great range of human
nature, and if he has not created characters distinctive because of
passions which raise them above the crowd, he has depicted wide areas
and aspects of society hitherto untouched by the short story. It is
this aspect of his work that justifies Professor C. Alphonso Smith s
statement, " O. Henry has socialized the short story."



Two RENEGADES (PAGE 363)

This story is typical of a number of Porter s stories in having its
scene laid in South America. It is also characteristic in its portrayal
of the picaresque type of character and in its original diction. It has
not been deemed necessary by the present editor to explain its slang
and its allusions to matters contemporary at the time when Porter
wrote the story.

QUESTIONS, i. What were the characteristics of Doc Millikin ?
2. In what way does the story show the obliterating of sectional ani
mosities ? 3. Point out characteristic features of the writer s style.

Other Novelists and Story-Writers. Some of the more important writers of
fiction in the South since the Civil War are named in the list that follows.
Maryland: Francis Hopkinson Smith (1838-1915), Lucy Meacham Thruston
(1862- ); Virginia: Mary Virginia Terhune (" Marion Harland") (1831- ),
Mrs. Burton Harrison (1846- ), Molly Elliot Seawell (1860- ), Amelie
Rives (1863- ), Mary Johnston (1870- ), Ellen Glasgow (1874- ),
James Branch Cabell (1879 ), Henry Sydnor Harrison (1880- ) ; North
Carolina: Frances Christian Tiernan ("Christian Reid") (1846- ), Thomas
Dixon (1864- ); Georgia: Harry Stillwell Edwards (1854- ), Will X.
Harben (1858- ) ; Kentucky : John Fox, Jr. (1863- ), Alice Hegan Rice
(1870- ); Tennessee: Sarah Barnwell Elliott (18 - ), Frances Hodgson
Burnett (1849- ), Will Allen Dromgoole (18 - ), John Trotwood
Moore (1858- ), Virginia Frazer Boyle (1863- ); Mississippi: Katherine
Sherwood Bonner McDowell (" Sherwood Bonner ") (1849-1883), Harris
Dickson (1868- ); Alabama: Augusta Evans Wilson (1835-1909) ; Louisi
ana: Albion Tourgee (1838-1905), Grace King (1852- ), Kate Chopin
(1851-1904), Ruth McEnery Stuart (1856- ), Mary Evelyn Moore Davis
(1852-1909).



Sl6 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE
ESSAYISTS AND DESCRIPTIVE WRITERS

The literary development of the new South has not produced notable
writers of essays, if the term be taken in the narrower sense. But this
is no disparagement to Southern writers. The essay characterized by
a personal, confidential attitude of the writers toward their subjects and
their readers and by an informal, familiar style what is commonly
called the familiar essay is a rare form that few in English or Ameri
can literature seem able to do well. If the term be extended in scope
to include the short article discussing in a systematic way some topic
of literary, historical, or social interest, the large number of such arti
cles by Southern writers in the various magazines and reviews give the
South a respectable showing in this phase of literary activity. The
saving of space has required that the representatives in this field
selected for this volume be confined to a very small number.

SUSAN DABNEY SMEDES

This selection is from Mrs. Smedes s " Memorials of a Southern
Planter," a book which may be regarded as a series of essays. In this
book she endeavored to give a faithful picture of her father, Thomas
S. Dabney. He was born in Virginia in 1798, but in early manhood
he moved to Mississippi and bought in Hinds County an extensive
plantation which he called " Burleigh." At the close of the war he
found himself impoverished.

A SOUTHERN PLANTER S IDEALS OF HONOR (PAGE 373)

QUESTION. In what ideals does Thomas Dabney seem typical of the
Southern planter of the old South ?

BASIL LANNEAU GILDERSLEEVE
THE CREED OF THE OLD SOUTH (PAGE 377)

Of the article from which the selection here given is taken, Mr. Wil
liam Archer, an English critic, has written in his "America To-day " as
follows: "I met a scholar-soldier in the South who had given expres
sion to the sentiment of his race and generation in an essay one
might almost say an elegy so chivalrous in spirit and so fine in liter
ary form that it moved me well-nigh to tears. Reading it at a public



NOTES 517

library, I found myself so visibly affected by it that my neighbor at the
desk glanced at me in surprise, and I had to pull myself sharply
together."

Kiihn 1st, etc.: bold is the venture, splendid the pay. Gare de
Lyon : the terminal station in Paris of the railway from Paris to Lyons.
in esse: in being. in posse: in possibility. placida quies : calm
repose.

QUESTIONS, i. What two incidents represent the writer s memory of
the war? 2. What does he consider the real issue causing the war?
3. What was the attitude of the Southern people on that issue ?



WILLIAM PETERFIELD TRENT
THE DIVERSITY AMONG SOUTHERNERS (PAGE 389)

This selection is an extract from an article entitled " Dominant
Forces in Southern Life," which originally appeared in the Atlantic
Monthly for January, 1907.

Squire Western : a pleasure-loving country gentleman, a creation of
Fielding in "Tom Jones." Squire Allworthy : another character in
Fielding s "Tom Jones." Colonel Hutchinson : John Hutchinson, a
Puritan soldier who, in the Great Rebellion, fought against the Royal
ists. Zeitgeist : spirit of the age. had a philosopher for god
father : the allusion is to the fact that John Locke, the eminent English
philosopher, drew up a scheme for the management of the colony of
North Carolina. " dipping " : a colloquial expression for taking snuff.

QUESTIONS, i. What are the characteristic differences between the
Southern states as here set forth ? 2. Test the validity of the writer s
statements by your own experience. Would you modify them in
any way?

POETS

Despite the fact that in the literature of the new South prose has
increased its lead on poetry, yet in this period poetry makes an im
pressive showing. By the year 1875 tne beginning of the South s
new development most of the antebellum writers either were dead
or had come to a standstill in their work, the most notable exception
being Paul Hamilton Hayne. Although well past middle life at the
close of the war, he maintained such a steady and persistent stream of



518 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE

work up to the time of his death in 1886 that it seems proper to con
sider him among the poets of the new South. Further justification for
so doing is found in the fact that he voiced some of the new tendencies
in Southern life. One of the most marked of these tendencies was the
spirit of nationalism. The later poets have given expression to the
growing belief in the South that the results of the war must be accepted
by all in good faith and that all should rejoice that the nation has
survived undivided. Hayne was one of the first to give expression to
such a thought in his poetry.

In addition to the spirit of nationalism just spoken of, the poetry of
the new South shows two other tendencies. The first of these is realism.
The sentimentalism, the melancholy, and the indifference to Southern
landscape and character shown in the older poetry has given place to an
eagerness to use Southern local color. The second tendency is an in
creased effort in the direction of conscientious and skillful workmanship.
While, perhaps, the poets of the South, in common with the poets of
other sections of the country, have interested themselves in execution
rather than in conception, yet the results of their efforts give grounds
for the optimistic words of Professor Edwin Mims, " In such poetry
notable alike for its artistry and its poetic feeling one sees the promise
of the future of Southern poetry. When the present age of criticism
has passed, when the South has become adjusted to its new life, and
when again the great poets shall be heard in England and America, we
may confidently expect the coming of a great creative era." J



PAUL HAMILTON HAYNE
A DREAM OF THE SOUTH WINDS (PAGE 400)

QUESTIONS, i. What aspects of the south winds does the poet
touch upon? 2. Note how the awakening from the dream is managed
at the close.

ASPECTS OF THE PINES (PAGE 401)

QUESTIONS, i. What aspects of the appearance of the pines are
suggested in this poem? 2. What effect of the pines on the spirit of
man is suggested ?

1 "The South in the Building of the Nation," Vol. VII, page 54.



NOTES 519

MACDONALD S RAID 1780 (PAGE 402)

Macdonald was one of General Marion s men, who led four compan
ions into the fortified post of Georgetown, South Carolina, held by three
hundred of the British soldiers and brought out his men unharmed.

Ben Lomond : a mountain of central Scotland. Arab : Arabian
horse. dolce: idleness. Brobdingnag : the land of giants visited by
Gulliver.

QUESTIONS, i. Who relates the incident? 2. What details of it are
given ?

THE PINE S MYSTERY (PAGE 405)

Hayne had a peculiar fondness for the pine. He made it the subject
not only of the two poems herein given, but of several other poems, all
of them in his happiest vein.

Gitana : a gypsy dancer.

QUESTION. Has the poet given a good description of the pine s
mournful tone ?

THE WILL AND THE WING (PAGE 405)

Tantalus : in Grecian mythology a Phrygian king who was punished
in the lower world by being placed in the midst of a lake whose waters
reached to his chin but receded whenever he sought to allay his thirst,
while over his head hung branches laden with fruit which likewise
receded whenever he stretched out his -hand to grasp them.

QUESTION. What conception of his art does the poet give ?



THE AXE AND PINE (PAGE 407)

Dryads : in classical mythology, spirits who inhabited trees.
QUESTIONS, i. What is the poet lamenting? 2. Explain the last
four lines.

MIDSUMMER IN THE SOUTH (PAGE 407)

Hesperides : in mythology the sisters who guarded the golden
apples of the sunset.

QUESTIONS, i. What aspects of midsummer are brought out?
2. Which of these is treated with the greatest poetic ability ?



520 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE

IRWIN RUSSELL

Irwin Russell s greatest distinction lies in his being the first to point
out the literary possibilities of the negro. The negro had appeared in
cidentally in Southern literature, but Russell was the first to make him
not only the leading but the sole character. Thomas Nelson Page has
admitted that Russell was his teacher in this field, and Joel Chandler
Harris gives Russell the same distinction, saying, " Russell described



Online LibraryMaurice G. (Maurice Garland) FultonSouthern life in southern literature; selections of representative prose and poetry → online text (page 34 of 35)