Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Letters of William Gilmore Simms. Vol. 6, Supplement >> 30a The Editor of the Southern Literary Journal >> Page 291

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Page 291

Correspondence | U of South Carolina P | 2012
Transcription Additional Letters and Documents 1828—1868 29
It has only been within a few years that Mr. Cooper ever received any thing like a review in our loftier periodicals, and then, not until the popular opinion, at home and abroad, had made their silence a matter of discredit. It is strange, that with these facts before their eyes, it should be assumed all on a sudden by our editors, that every thing was indiscriminate praise, and the path one of rose color and scent before our candidates for literary honors.
But to proceed according to our original arrangement. What was the character of our New England Magazine, which,—sharing perhaps in the so much deprecated system of puffing, was declared to be one of the best that our country ever has known? It is true this was not much the opinion out of New England—but it was certainly never disputed elsewhere. That work, certainly, was never guilty of any slavish puffing its puffing was never indiscriminate at least. Its criticisms were, in half the number of cases, exceedingly harsh, and sometimes wantonly and unjustifiably so. Its editor, the elder Buckingham, was a man of little or no taste, and most works of the lighter, more airy and destructible character, invariably suffered at his hands. We refer confidently to the pages of the critical department of that journal to sustain our assertion. But the New England Magazine is no more. It has shared the fate of the Southern Review and a dozen others, which have been got up during the last few years, as vehicles of criticism upon the works of the day. It failed to sustain itself, and while referring to its fate, we are reminded that the Quarterly of Mr. Walsh,7 misnamed the American, has passed from the hands of the several publishers, has become the private interest of its editor, who has been compelled to offer an urgent appeal to the public, insisting, with an amiable but characteristic modesty, upon the validity of its pretensions to the patronage of the wise and patriotic. In a year or two we shall probably be called upon to enumerate it, as among the things that were; and thus add
porch of justice, cap in hand, pining for the notice, which, if not insisted upon by the commanding friend, is but seldom accorded by the consequential judge.
5. William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878).
6. James McHenry (1785-1845).
7. Robert Walsh (1784-1859).