I suggest that you consider "Is of Southern Ladies," in my latest literary offence, Let Me Lie. I do this impersonally upon the ground that it by long odds has been the most widely liked of all the brief articles I ever published. There is today, I believe, no elderly gentlewoman of Southern descent anywhere in the United States who has not written to me about this article. Moreover, it is first hand material and shows the better side of my nature. I am becoming, in my senescence, I find, a prey to the more noble emotions.
JAMES BRANCH CABELL
THAT, without any fear of succeeding, the intrepid native Virginian will dauntlessly attempt to conceal his superiority to everybody else, remains a tribal virtue which has not escaped the comment of anthropologists. He treads among the commonalty of other commonwealths, it has been remarked, with the meticulous and maddening courtesy of M. le Duc upon a casual visit to the peasantry of this or the other of his minor estates. And yet not really for this Virginian version of politeness is any living Virginian who, let us say, can remember when Grover Cleveland occupied the White House at all blameworthy. Rather is this an enforced trait which has been developed in the man's nature by two circumstances such as through no precautions could he have avoided.
The one circumstance is that throughout the first years of his life (during which his character was taking form, irretrievably) he was reared as a godling who could not, not even in the false teeth of parental reproof, be wrong as to anything. The second circumstance is that he knows there has been reserved for him in heaven a very special place.
In short, he once had a mammy.