Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 101a The Editors of the Charleston Mercury >> Page 25

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Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription FEBRUARY 1841 25
denouement by a single moment of time. For the correction of the remaining errors, wherein they conflict with the sense, the reader must be left to his own sagacity. It will not require the exercise of much, if, in addition to his thinking, he will employ the smallest grain of charitable allowance.' I might, en passant,' suggest a few considerations in answer to one objection to a part of the design contained in your notice of the work—but this is scarcely necessary, and might be construed to trench somewhat on the proprieties of my position.4 Believe me, gentlemen, to be perfectly conscious of the kind and generous spirit in which your opinions have been expressed.' Hurried, and not in health
I am, respectfully as ever Your obt. servant and friend,
W. GILMORE SIMMS. Woodlands," Feb. 21.
'The reviewer of The Kinsmen: Or the Black Riders of the Congaree. A Tale, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1841), in the Mercury of Feb. 20 calls the work Simms'"best novel." He continues: "The interest is admirably sustained throughout, the descriptions happy, and without that appearance of elaboration, which often detracted from the merit of pictures in his former novels, and the narrative is very spirited. It is not without faults, and some grave ones. The diffuse and miscellaneous dialogue between the brothers, while engaged in a deadly hand to hand conflict with daggers, could hardly have been more unnatural, if one of them had chosen that occasion for delivering a lecture on Political Economy: and the result of the fight is miraculous! The curtain falls at the close of the first volume, with a dagger buried in the heart of one of the combatants [Edward Conway]. We set him down dead, of course. But in the second volume he is alive, and even recovered, to plot and bustle and fight on to the end. We suspect from this oversight and from sundry verbal errata, such as the 'vexed Bernadotte' for 'Bermoothes,' that the book was gotten up in a hurry."'The Mercury prints en pessant.
The reviewer suggests: "The first sketch of the tale probably closed with the death of the mortally stabbed outlaw, whom on second thought, our author determined to carry through the adventures of his second volume, but forgot to unkill him. The alteration of a single word would have been sufficient to render him available, and the oversight, though funny enough, weighs nothing against the skill of the writer."'In printing Simms' letter the editors of the Mercury accept Simms' explanation of "breast" for "heart" and remark that "the publishers owe him a second edition as an amende for their ill faith to his manuscript."
6The Mercury prints Woodland.