Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolution >> Page 5

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
pen upon such memorials as the following. We open the
book at random to detach these sentences :

" Lambert. George. Was a Lieutenant in the third Batta-
lion of New Jersey volunteers."
Lambert, Peter. Of Charleston, South-Carolina. An
addressor of Sir Henry Clinton, in 1780."" Lambert, Richard. Deputy Auditor General of South-
Carolina. His estate was confiscated."

This is a sufficient sample, all taken from page 414. Some-
times, this comprehensive account is extended to twice or
thrice the number of words or sentences, by the addition of
facts equally insignificant and worthless ; and, very occasion-Ally, we have something anecdotical, which tends slightly to
Znliven the detail with a show of narrative. Ordinarily,
however, the record is not- more elaborate than such as is
usually scrawled upon the grave stone of the village patri-
archs—those ` mute inglorious,' who, dying, ' make no sign.'
The absence of materials for the biography, should be con-
clusive against any necessity for the attempt. It is a good
rule in such labours, as generally in those of letters,--which
we commend to Mr. Sabine—that, when you have nothing to
write about, you should write nothing. The counsel in this
case is enforced by considerations of higher importance than
those which simply concern the success of the writer. What
benefit to the dead—what advantage to the living—the mere
mention of the name, without any accompanying recollections
of patriot merit or performing courage, by which the subject
might be commended to the study or the sympathy of the
reader ? If the record fails to honour the past, and cannot
interest the future, why make it ? In the case before us, such
a chronicle can have no other effect than that of hanging on
high--gibbetting for the better acquaintance of posterity
the unfortunates, for whom their children should desire only