Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 358a William Alfred Jones >> Page 88

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 88

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription 88 THE SIMMS LETTERS
358a : To WILLIAM ALFRED JONES
Woodlands, Feb 20. 1847 dear Sir
Permit me to enclose you a brief notice which expressed, through one of our city papers, my feeling with regard to your pleasant volume of Essays.' These are highly creditable specimens of your studies & your thinkings, and betray equal research & discrimination. There are two things to which serious objections might be made,—the occasional roughness and slipshoddiness of your style, and the fact that your too great devotion to the essayical form of writing has not only caused you erroneously to measure other writings by this standard, but has evidently led you to appreciate it quite too highly. That you should do so, the bent of your own genius & taste being considered, is natural enough, but you owe it both to yourself & to your neighbours, to remove from sight the selfish impulse, whenever you sit in judgment upon those who toil in far different departments.—I write hastily & under indisposition,'
Myers' Letter of Explanation of November Last, from Alta Vista. Likewise Added a Short Biography of D. M. Hoyt, by a Relative of the Deceased (Philadelphia, Jan. 1847). We have not had access to a copy of the first of these. The second speaks of the "unavoidable delay" in "the publication of this pamphlet" and states that "it is put forth for the purpose of denying the foul charge of Dudley Marvin Hoyt having basely seduced Mrs. Virginia Myers." The pamphlet contains over fifty letters purported to have been written by Mrs. Myers to Hoyt. The following quotation, typical of these letters, indicates that Mrs. Myers, if not actually the seducer herself, was certainly an eager participant in the affair: "Oh! dearest, promise me you will ever be my guardian angel. While I have thy precious heart, there is no sorrow too great for me, for when I feel as if I should sink under so many griefs (she frequently complains of her husband's mistreatment of hell, I have only to think of thy love, and it supports me through every trial. Oh! beloved one, I have given into your keeping all my happiness, I have confided to you this poor broken heart of mine. I have told you how it clings to your embrace, how it loves you. I pray you, dearest, keep it, 'tis yours; and, lacerated, torn, though it be, it still beats for you with undying, eternal love. I entreat of you, my idol, my worshiped one, never to leave me desolate, for think, without thee, what would become of me? Alas! the thought kills me." (p. 23)
358a
'Simms reviewed Jones' Literary Studies, a Collection of Miscellaneous Essays (New York: E. Walker, 1847) in the Southern Patriot of Feb. 16. See note 56, Feb. 25, 1847 (360).
'Simms himself appears not to have been ill, but he was very much worried about the health of his wife. On Feb. 15 he had written to Lawson (358): "It is probable that I shall take my family into the backcountry for the improvement