Page:Southern Life in Southern Literature.djvu/205
JOSEPH GLOVER BALDWIN
Divers left, but what became of them, I never knew any more than they know what becomes of the sora after frost. Many were the instances of suffering; of pitiable misfortune, involving and crushing whole families; of pride abased; of honorable sensibilities wounded; of the provision for old age destroyed; of hopes of manhood overcast; of independence dissipated and the poor victim, without help, or hope, or sympathy, forced to petty shifts for a bare subsistence, and a ground-scuffle for what in happier days he threw away. But there were too many examples of this sort for the expenditure of a useless compassion; just as the surgeon after a battle grows case-hardened from an excess of objects of pity.
was after them, from the countinghouse or the plantation into a doctor's shop or a law office, as if those places were the sanctuaries from the avenger; some pretended to be doctors that did not know a liver from a gizzard, administering medicine by the guess, without knowing enough of pharmacy to tell whether the stuff exhibited in the big-bellied blue, red, and green bottles at the show windows of the apothecary's shop was given by the drop or the half pint.