Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Author's Advertisement >> Page 3

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription ADVERTISEMENT. 3
suit dwelt upon with much satisfaction by our historians, as an
admirable specimen of partisan ingenuity on both sides, follows
closely the seVeral authorities, which it abridges. The char-
acter of Tarleton, and his deeds at this period, present a sin-
gular contrast, in some respects, to what was known of him
before. His popularity waned with his own party, and his
former enemies began to esteem him more favorably. We
have, in Carolina,, several little stories, such as that in "Melli-
champe," in which his human feelings are allowed to appear,
at brief moments,'in opposition to his .wonted practices, and
quite at variance with his general character. Nor do I see
that there is any inconsistency between. these several charac-
teristics. The sensibilities are more active at one moment
than at another; and he whose mood is usually merciless and
unsparing, may now and then be permitted the blessing of a
tear, and the indulgence of a tenderness, under the influence
of an old and hallowed memory, kept alive and sacred in some
little corner of the heart when all is ossified around it.
The destruction of the mansion-house at "Piney Grove" by
Major Singleton, and the means employed to effect this object,
will be recognised by the readers of Carolina history, and the
lover of female patriotism, as of true occurrence in- every point
of view; the names of persons alone being altered, and a
slight variation made in the locality. Indeed, to sum up all
in brief, the entire materials of Mellichampe"�the leading
events every general action�and the main characteristics,
have been taken from the unquestionable records of history,
and�in the regard of the novelist�the scarcely less credible
testimonies of that venerable and moss-mantled Druid, Tradi-
tion. I have simply forborne to call it an historical romance,
as it contained nothing which made an era in the. time noth-
ing which, in its character and importance, had a visible effect
upon the progress of the revolution. Let us now.pass to other
topics.
It is iii bad taste, and of very doubtful policy, for an author
to quarrel with his critics : the laugh is most usually against
him when he does so. I shall not commit this error, and hope
not to incur this penalty ; nor, indeed, have I any good cause