Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 255a Joseph Starke Sims >> Page 78

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Page 78

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription 78 THE SIMMS LETTERS
I think, who somewhere tells us that pay or praise is necessary to the man of letters;' and some of them cannot well do without both. Such is the mental appetite & such the physical necessity. To me, it is particularly fortunate that some of the former should be given now and then, as I have not often been favored with the latter. The rewards of literature in this country, particularly in the South, are the saddest absurdities. For my part, I have been all my life drawing water4 in a sieve, & have had few other consolations than are to be found in the secret assurance, that I shall not always labor without some sort of recompense. That of fame comes slowly it is true, but it is one of those rewards that a man may wait for, through his children, even to the third and fourth generation. To win the tones of friendly & favoring voices, such as yours, while one is yet struggling in the field of combat, is an earnest of hope, calculated greatly to strengthen his confidence in the awards of the future. I have no reason to suspect you of flattery, whether I regard your character and position and duly estimate my own. Why should you or any man "flatter so poor a man as Brutus?"5 On the contrary, praise "from mouths of wisest censure is quite too agreeable, not to be taken in its most literal signification.—Your conjecture, touching the authorship of the article on Boone proves your critical sagacity. The paper was mine; though I very frequently prefer the anonymous to any open blazon of my performances. The article was compiled from various sources, and these may not always have been the best authorities. It is fortunate that the point of difference between my statement and that of Moseley is a minor one. Small as it is, however, I shall find a place for it in the magazine in the course of the forthcoming number. I shall also take the liberty of putting on record what you say of James Moseley. These veterans deserve some recognition.'—I cover to you a prospectus for which

'We have not located this sentiment in Cowper's poetry. The remark could be in one of his letters, but it does not sound like one Cowper would have made. 'Simms wrote I have been all my life been drawing water.
`Not identified.
''Simms misquotes Othello, Il, iii, 193.
'"Daniel Boon; the First Hunter of Kentucky" was published in the Southern and Western Monthly Magazine and Review, I (Apr. 1845), 225-242. In it Simms de-scribes Boone as "a tall man of powerful frame." Sims in his note published under the title of "Daniel Boone.—James Moseley," ibid., II (Aug. 1845), 131–132