24 Works of George Washington Cable
THE original grantee was Count—, assume the name to be De Charleu; the old Creoles never forgive a public mention. He was the French king’s commissary. One day, called to France to explain the lucky accident of the commissariat having burned down with the account-books inside, he left his wife, a Choctaw Comtesse, behind.
Arrived at [...]
One day a hummingbird got caught in a cobweb in our greenhouse. It had no real need to seek that damp, artificial heat. We were in the very heart of that Creole summer-time when bird-notes are many as the sunbeams. The flowers were in such multitude they seemed to follow one about, offering their [...]
An odd feature of New Orleans is the way homes of all ranks, in so many sections of it, are mingled. The easy, bright democracy of the thing is what one might fancy of ancient Greeks; only, here there is a general wooden frailty.
A notable phase of this characteristic is the multitude of small, [...]
True stories are not often good art. The relations and experiences of real men and women rarely fall in such symmetrical order as to make an artistic whole. Until they have had such treatment as we give stone in the quarry or gems in the rough they seldom group themselves with that harmony of values [...]
The date of this letter–I hold it in one hand as I write, and for the first time noticed that it has never in its hundred years been sealed or folded, but only doubled once, lightly, and rolled in the hand, just as the young Spanish officer might have carried it when he rode so [...]
Years passed by. Our war of the Revolution was over. The Indians of Louisiana and Florida were all greedy, smiling gift-takers of his Catholic Majesty. So were some others not Indians; and the Spanish governors of Louisiana, scheming with them for the acquisition of Kentucky and the regions intervening, had allowed an interprovincial commerce to [...]
Written in Louisiana this 22d of August, 1795, for my dear friends Suzanne and Francoise Bossier.
I have promised you the story of my life, my very dear and good friends with whom I have had so much pleasure on board the flatboat which has brought us all to Attakapas. I now make good my promise.
SALOME AND HER KINDRED.
She may be living yet, in 1889. For when she came to Louisiana, in 1818, she was too young for the voyage to fix itself in her memory. She could not, to-day, be more than seventy-five.
In Alsace, France, on the frontier of the Department of Lower Rhine, about twenty English miles from [...]
AS IT STANDS NOW.
When you and—– make that much-talked-of visit to New Orleans, by all means see early whatever evidences of progress and aggrandizement her hospitable citizens wish to show you; New Orleans belongs to the living present, and has serious practical relations with these United States and this great living world and age. And [...]
The strange true stories we have thus far told have all been matter of public or of private record. Pages of history and travel, law reports, documents of court, the testimony of eye-witnesses, old manuscripts and letters, have insured to them the full force and charm of their reality. But now we must have [...]
[The following diary was originally written in lead pencil and in a book the leaves of which were too soft to take ink legibly. I have it direct from the hands of its writer, a lady whom I have had the honor to know for nearly thirty years. For good reasons the author's name is [...]
CHAPTER I. AN OLD HOUSE.
A few steps from the St. Charles Hotel, in New Orleans, brings you to and across Canal Street, the central avenue of the city, and to that corner where the flower-women sit at the inner and outer edges of the arcaded sidewalk, and make the air sweet with their fragrant merchandise. [...]
That which in 1835–I think he said thirty-five–was a reality in the Rue Burgundy–I think he said Burgundy–is now but a reminiscence. Yet so vividly was its story told me, that at this moment the old Cafe des Exiles appears before my eye, floating in the clouds of revery, and I doubt not I see [...]
To Jules St.-Ange–elegant little heathen–there yet remained at manhood a remembrance of having been to school, and of having been taught by a stony-headed Capuchin that the world is round–for example, like a cheese. This round world is a cheese to be eaten through, and Jules had nibbled quite into his cheese-world already at twenty-two.
In the first decade of the present century, when the newly established American Government was the most hateful thing in Louisiana–when the Creoles were still kicking at such vile innovations as the trial by jury, American dances, anti-smuggling laws, and the printing of the Governor’s proclamation in English–when the Anglo-American flood that was presently to [...]
Kristian Koppig was a rosy-faced, beardless young Dutchman. He was one of that army of gentlemen who, after the purchase of Louisiana, swarmed from all parts of the commercial world, over the mountains of Franco-Spanish exclusiveness, like the Goths over the Pyrenees, and settled down in New Orleans to pick up their fortunes, with the [...]
In the heart of New Orleans stands a large four-story brick building, that has so stood for about three-quarters of a century. Its rooms are rented to a class of persons occupying them simply for lack of activity to find better and cheaper quarters elsewhere. With its gray stucco peeling off in broad patches, it [...]
Just adjoining the old Cafe de Poesie on the corner, stood the little one-story, yellow-washed tenement of Dr. Mossy, with its two glass doors protected by batten shutters, and its low, weed-grown tile roof sloping out over the sidewalk. You were very likely to find the Doctor in, for he was a great student and [...]
A lifelong habit of story-telling has much to do with the production of these pages.
All the more does it move me because it has always included, as perhaps it does in most story-tellers, a keen preference for true stories, stories of actual occurrence.
A flower-garden trying to be beautiful is a charming instance of something which [...]
Almost any good American will admit it to be a part of our national social scheme, I think,–if we have a social scheme,–that everybody shall aspire to all the refinements of life.
Particularly is it our theory that every one shall propose to give to his home all the joys and graces which are anywhere associated [...]
Often one’s hands are too heavily veneered with garden loam for him to go to his books to verify a quotation. It was the great Jefferson, was it not, who laid into the foundations of American democracy the imperishable maxim that “That gardening is best which gardens the least”? My rendition of it may be [...]
Adam and Eve, it is generally conceded, were precocious. They entered into the cares and joys of adult life at an earlier age than any later human prodigy. We call them the grand old gardener and his wife, but, in fact, they were the youngest gardeners the world has ever seen, and they really did [...]
What its pages are to a book, a town’s private households are to a town.
No true home, standing solitarily apart from the town (unbound, as it were) could be the blessed thing it is were there not so many other houses not standing apart but gathered into villages, towns and cities.
Whence comes civilization but from [...]
If the following pages might choose their own time and place they would meet their reader not in the trolley-car or on the suburban train, but in his own home, comfortably seated. For in order to justify the eulogistic tone of the descriptions which must presently occupy them their first word must be a conciliatory [...]