Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 3 >> 638 James Henry Hammond, 1852-08-18 >> Page 196

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Page 196

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 1954
Transcription 196 THE SIMMS LETTERS
social incapacity alone kept aloof. But as Cunningham 171 & others
said to me, he never put himself in the way of his friends
you were rarely to be seen in the city, & working & poor men,
rarely visit the island.172 Pursue the suggestion for yourself. I
who occupy no social position myself, who am rather feared than
loved, (at least by our magnates) who keep little society, and
drudge perpetually, could do little or nothing in the matter ; but all
this I suppose you know. But, move a´┐Żnii, you have really friends
enough for the satisfaction of your mind & heart. You, too, some-
what err, in an over estimate of social influences. I am sure that
were you living in Charleston, you could beat, in the affections
of the people & the best people here, all that class of persons
who claim to be the leaders & law givers in society & who only
delude themselves on this head in consequence of the sheer small-
ness of their circle. Let me add that even to be seen habitually
with this latter set of persons, would be to make hundreds, much
more desirable as friends, to keep aloof. A letter just recieved
from the Major 173 tells me that you are about to run up into
the mountain country. I trust that this scrawl will reach [you]
before you depart; not that there is any thing in it, but that
you may not suppose yourself wholly forgotten. In respect to
Charleston socially, you have long known my opinions. The
Major tells me that he has written another article for me, but
it is not yet recieved.174 A friend, Major Ripley, has had quite
an adventure on the island. Gen. Martin told me yesterday that
R. had been for some time vigorously addressing the widow
Sparks. He brought the affair to an unfortunate finish a few
days ago, and got her rejection. In his rage at this result, he
bolted down stairs, & not permitted to give the lady kick for
kick, he either employed his boots, or threatened to do so, on
the breech of the bar keeper, who has had him arrested by a
magistrate's warrant & brought to town the magistrate is-
suing the warrant (Axson) being his guest of the preceding
day.175 The Mercury has been puffing his book in flatulant soph.
171 John Cunningham, lawyer of Charleston. See note 118, Feb. 27, 1845, and note 217, Oct. 30, 1846.
172 Sullivan's Island.
173 Marcus Claudius Marcellus Hammond.
174 "Battle of El Molino del Rey," S. Q. R., N. S., VI (Oct., 1852), 281-315. The article is signed "H."
175 Roswell Sabine Ripley (1823-1887), officer in the United States Army, later married Alicia Middleton, the widow of Dr. William Alexander Sparks, of Society Hill, S. C. Ripley resigned from the army in 1861 and was appointed a brigadier general in the Confederate Army the same year. Simms' informant