The New Virginia (1907)

Published in Julia Wyatt Bullard’s Jamestown Tributes and Toasts, 1907, p. 118. A portion of this tribute was used for the epigraph to The Rivet in Grandfather’s Neck: A Comedy of Limitations (1915).

The New Virginia

She does not gaze unwillingly, nor too complacently, upon old years, and dares concede that but with loss of manliness may any man encroach upon the heritage of a dog or of a trotting-horse, and consider the exploits of an ancestor to guarantee an innate and personal excellence.

To her all former glory is


and with her portion of it, daily she appraises her own doing, and without vain speech. For her high past unparalleled, she values now, in chief, as fit foundation of that edifice whereon she labors day by day, and with augmenting strokes.

James Branch Cabell