Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 1404a Sallie F. Chapin >> Page 278

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Page 278

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription 278 THE SIMMS LETTERS
elements painfully & strenuously opposed my leaving close quarters. I have been suffering from an acute attack of my miserable malady ever since, and write you now, under a sense of constant uneasiness and with frequent twinges of pain, if not of conscience. My hope is, if the weather moderates, to get down next week. But here, it has been intensely cold. Black frost, if not ice, daily, and the ice sometimes t/4 inch thick. It is still cold, though more moderate. Here, I have abundance of fuel, & warm fires night & day as I require, free of cost, and a more close & comfortable chamber. Shall I exchange these, for a bleak chamber, no fire, no carpet, and many desagrements. My poor children' are assiduous in making me comfortable in town, but their resources are very limited, and I check them in every expenditure as long as I can endure. But I prefer to endure up here, untill Spring shall more decidedly put forth its nose in despair of the North winds. My hope is that, with this very severe cold snap, the reign of Winter is over. But this last stroke has been a severe one. We have fears that every thing in the garden has been killed. Such is the fear this morning. My hope is that the green peas, of which we had 3 fine beds, have escaped.—Of course, you are wrapped up in furs & philosophy. How comes on the satirical romance.' Festina lente. There is abundance of material. Only, do not contract yourself. It is one of the mistakes of young writers, that they do not sufficiently unfold themselves. You remember what the Knight of the Faerie Queen read over each of the doors in the Enchanted Castle? "Be Bold! Be bold! Be bold!" Over one of the doors only was it written—"Be not too bold!"4 All this means only,—be bold with judgment. Let judgment qualify audacity. Excuse this brief scribble—I am still under suffering, and a half an hour at the desk, makes me very wretched. I have des-


'Augusta and Edward Roach.
'Fitz-Hugh St. Clair, the South Carolina Rebel Boy; or, It Is No Crime to Be a Gentleman (Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger; Charleston: J. M. Guer & Son, 1872).
'Book Ill, Canto xi, Stanza 54. This quotation was one of Simms' favorites.