Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Author's Advertisement >> Page 5

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription ADVERTISEMENT. 5
are willing to pay for it ; and, under the necessity of haste, the
arts in our country must continue to struggle on, until the
wealth of the people so accumulates as to enable the interior
to react upon the Atlantic cities. When the forests shall cease
to be attractive, we may look for society to become stationary ;
and, until that is the case, we. shall look in vain for the per-
fection of any of the graceful and refining influences of a na-
tion. But the objection of my friend was one of more narrow-
ing compass : it was simply to the story, as a story, that he
urged its want of finish´┐Żits incompleteness. This objection
is readily answered by a reference to the plan of the Parti-
san," as set forth in the preface to that work. The story was
proposed as one of a series, the events mutually depending
upon each other for development, and the fortunes of the
personages in the one narrative providing the action and the
interest of all. This plan rendered abruptness unavoidable;
and nobody who read the preface, and recognised the right of
an author to lay down his own standards and prescribe his
own plans,. could possibly utter these objections. The design
may have been unhappy, and in that my error may have lain;
but, surely, no objection can possibly lie to the incompleteness
or abruptness of the one and introductory story, if no exception
was taken to the plan at first.
Another, and, perhaps, more serious cause of issue lies be-
tween us. My friend objects to the preponderance of low and
vulgar personages in my narrative. The question first occurs,
Does the story profess to belong to a country and to a period
of history which are alike known and does it misrepresent
either?" If it does not, the objection will not lie. In all
other respects it is the objection of a romanticist of one who
is willing to behold in the progress of society none but its.
most lofty and elevated attributes who will not look at the
materials which make the million, but who picks out from their
number the man who should rule, not the men who should
represent who requires every second person to be a demigod,
or hero, at the least and who scorns all conditions, that only
excepted which is the ideal of a pure mind and delicate imagi-
nation. To make a fairy tale, or a tale in which none but the