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Old January 24, 2010, 02:37 PM   #346
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,284
Nymph of the pave

On my return from the Fortress [Monroe] to Norfolk, I was addressed while on the boat by a very interesting-looking young lady, in that familiar style, that at once showed me that she was a "Nymph of the pave." I amused myself with the acquaintance long enough to draw from her a portion of her history. There is, & has always been, a sort of interest in my mind, one in which I derive satisfaction - I cannot say pleasure, in sifting the history of those who have fallen. There are so many shades to the picture - some I have known who were dragged down by the wiles of the Seducer, others who have plunged into their degradation from the mere love of pleasure, & the gratification of passion. Failing to secure from me a promise to call on her, when the boat touched the wharf, she improved the first offer, and was quickly hurried into a hack by a man wearing shoulder straps and doubtless found in his arms, for that night, the satisfaction she craved.
In the hundreds of Civil War books I've read, this was the first time I've seen that term, nymph of the pave, used. This is from 85th Infantry Surgeon William B. Smith's diary, published as Swamp Doctor, pages 67-68. The good doctor doesn't tell us what caused this flower to fall.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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