Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 1) >> Simms on Melville in the Southern Quarterly Review >> Page 38

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Reviews/Essays | 1849-10 - 1852-10
Transcription and dreary, or ridiculous. Mr. Melville's Quakers are the wretchedest
dolts and drivellers, and his Mad Captain, who pursues his personal
revenges against the fish who has taken off his leg, at the expense of
ship, crew and owners, is a monstrous bore, whom Mr. Melville has
no way helped, by enveloping limn iii a sort of mystery. his ravings,
and the ravings of some of the tributary characters, and the ravings
of Mr. Melville himself, meant for eloquent declamation, are such as
would justify a writ de lunatico against all the parties.
SQR, 21 (Jan. 1852), 262.

Melville's Pierre, or the Ambiguities. (Harpers.) That "Ty-
pee,""Omoo," and other clever books, should be followed by such
a farrago as this of "Pierre" was not surely to be predicted or antici-
pated. But, verily, there is no knowing when madness will break out,
or in whom. That Herman Melville has gone "clean daft," is very
much to be feared ; certainly, he has given us a very mad book, my
masters. His dramatis persona are all mad as March hares, every
mother's son of them, and every father's daughter of them ; and that
too, without needing that we should take any pains to prove their
legitimacy. The sooner this author is put in ward the better. If
trusted with himself, at all events give him no further trust in pen
and it k, till the present fit has worn off. He will grievously hurt
himself elseā€”or his very amiable publishers.
SSR, 21 (Oct. 1852), 532.

Stories should never be written with reference to a specific moral. Written with due heed to general truth, as they were designed to be, they carry with them a
thousand wholesome morals, which are superior to maxims.
--Simms Mercury (6 Feb. 1856)