How to Enjoy the Springs and Stay at Home
Now that the tide of summer absentees is returning, the following racy burlesque upon the leading Springs, taken from the Southern Literary Messenger, will be keenly relished:
White Sulphur.–Tie a roll of brimstone under your nose, and drink freely of thick warm water. Break some doubtful eggs in your pocket, and run round till you are exhausted. Procure a second-hand diabetes, change your linen six times a day, and strut loftily under a tree.
Old Sweet.–Get a large tub, and put some white pebbles in the bottom. Sit down in it and blow soap-bubbles. Dress your best, and don’t know anybody.
Red Sweet.–Obtain some iron fillings, paint ’em red, put ’em in a tin-pan or pitcher, and look at ’em in solitary silence. Eat much mutton, and go to bed early. Whisky julep eight times a day.
Salt Sulphur.–Call yourself a South Carolinian, and take things easy. Live well. Stay in one place a long time. Tincture of brimstone occasionally.
Montgomery White.–Wear a loose sack coat and look at mulattos frequently. Eat a great variety of raw meats and undone vegetables. Play at faro and draw poker.
Yellow Sulphur.–Get good living on the top of a hill, where you can’t see anything whatever. Dominoes, draughts and backgammon.
Alleghany.–Sit down in a hard chair in a deep, hot hole, and drink citrate of magnesia and epsom salts. Gamble some with dyspeptics.
Coyner’s.–Take the Lynchburg papers, and gaze with melancholy pertinacity at the side of a naked hill. Whist and religious tracts.
Rockbridge Allum.–Select some cases of cancer on the face, with a few necks scrofulously raw, and dine with them daily on indifferent victuals. Then catch the drippings of the caves of a very old house, in a tin cup with a long handle, thicken the drippings with powdered nutgalls, and drink three times a day.
All Healing Springs.–Throw a green blanket in a shallow pond, and wallow on it. Cut off a strip of blanket and clap it to your ribs. Read old novels and talk to pious old ladies about deaths and chronic diseases of the digestive tube.
Warm Springs.–Diet yourself on the unadulterated juice of the tea-kettle.
Hot Springs.–Wear a full suit of mustard plasters, and walk about in the sunshine at noon day, swearing you have got the rheumatism.
Berkley Springs.–Keep your shin [skin?] clear, and know nothing but Baltimore ten pins.
Peaks of Otter.–Climb a high pole on a cold day at sunrise. Shut your eyes and whistle.
Weir’s Cave.–Go into the cellar at midnight–feel the edges of things, and skin your shins against the coal scuttle. Sit down on a pile of anthracite, with a tallow candle, and wonder.
Old Point Comfort.–Build a hog pen in a mud-puddle; fill it with cockle-burs and thistles, and call it surf-bathing. Drink bad brandy. Don’t sleep. Lie down with your windows wide open, and no clothing on. Come home with a fishbone in your throat, and oyster shell in your head, a pain in your stomach, and ten thousand mosquito bites in your body.
Cape May.–Penetrate an immense crowd of male and female rowdies, drop some salt water in both eyes. Shoot pistols. Eat some ice cream and claret, and send up one sky rocket every night. Have yourself insulted often by niggers. At mid-day smell of an oven with a dead pig in it. Fill your pockets with cut glass broken into minute fragments.
Yankee Watering Places Generally.–Keep a stale codfish under each arm, live on onions and pumpkins, go in strong for the Union and freesoil, and dance the round dances in big breeches.
— Charleston Mercury, 6 October 1860, p. 4, c. 2.