Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 149b Carey and Hart >> Page 63

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Page 63

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription FEBRUARY 1843 63
you by first safe private hand. I am on the lookout now for an opportunity.
I have recd. Pericles & Aspasia, with Napier,' and thank you for your attentions. Did I not write you for certain old books, among them the Life of Kenelm Digby & his writings?'
Yours faithfully W. G. Simms

and Hart to "get a purchaser for the other story." Though this "other story" is not named, Simms' letter to Carey and Hart of July 7, 1843 (167), and his letter to Carey of Jan. 31, 1844 (190), make it clear that it was sold to Griswold for Graham's sometime during 1843 and was supposed to have been published in the Jan. 1844 number of the periodical. Nothing by Simms was published in Graham's during 1844, but under the title "The Boatman's Revenge,""Barnacle Sam" was published in the Mar. 1845 number of the magazine (XXVI, 109—120). As "Sergeant Barnacle; or, the Raftsman of the Edisto," it was republished in The Wigwam and the Cabin, 2d ser. (New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845), pp. 44-78.
'Walter Savage Landor, Pericles and Aspasia, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: E. L. Carey & A. Hart, 1839), and Sir William Francis Patrick Napier, History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France, from the Year 1807 to the Year 1814 (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1842).
Probably Private Memoirs of Sir Kenelm Digby, Gentleman of the Bedchamber to King Charles the First. Written by Himself. Now First Published from the Original Manuscript, with an Introductory Memoir (by Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas) (London: Saunders & Otley, 1827). In 1837 Simms had written three acts of a tragedy based on the life of "the unfortunate Venetia Digby, wife of Sir Kenelm," but wanted the opinion of Edwin Forrest (for whom the play was designed) before continuing, and Forrest apparently either never gave one or reacted unfavorably (see letters to Lawson of Mar. 31, July 20, Aug. 3, Aug. 7, Aug. 20, Sept. 10, Sept. 19, and Nov. 4, 1837, and c. Sept. 2, 1838 (46, 51, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, and 691). Simms' request for this book suggests that he was contemplating taking up his pen again and finishing his play. Sir Kenelm Digby (1603—1665) fell in love with Venetia Stanley, a woman of extraordinary beauty and considerable intellectual attainments, to whom he bound himself with the strongest vows. His mother opposed the match, and he was induced to go abroad in 1620. At Angers, where he had gone to escape the plague in Paris, the queen-mother, Marie de Medicis, attempted to seduce him, and in order to preserve his virtue he spread the report of his death and fled by sea to Italy. He returned to England in 1623, heard and believed the rumors (apparently in part true) of the less-than-modest behavior of Venetia, who thought that her betrothed had died. Meeting her by chance, he again fell hopelessly in love, and they were secretly married in 1625. Upon the death of Venetia in 1633 there were reports that he had killed her by insisting she drink viper-wine to preserve her rare beauty. His grief was profound. Such doubtless was the main plot of Simms' unfinished tragedy.