Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 1) >> [Simms Quotations] >> Page 40

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Page 40

Reviews/Essays | 1993
Transcription The Good Farmer knows that he can only be successful by a constant, patient,
undeviating adherence to his daily duties. Nor, pursuing them with patience, will
he ever find them wearisome. There is nothing in nature less monotonous than the
aspect of the progressing seasons, and the changing, and all lovely, aspects which
they, in turn, effect upon the earth. From the world of forensic strife--from the cup
of social scandal--from the loud laugh of the lively coterie--from the toils of the
city and the camp--all men, turn, at length, for relief and restoration, to the
unsophisticated face of nature, and find solace and refreshment; and he who
contemplates her daily, discovers even in her seeming uniformities, and pure and
placid transition, the progress of a change, as constant as that of the magician's
glass, and far more wonderful than any in Arabian story.
--Simms, "The Good Farmer" (1841)

The powers of steam--the facilities of railroads--the capacity to overcome time and
space, are wonderful things,--but they are not virtues, nor duties, nor laws, nor
affections. I do not believe that all the steam power in the world can bring
happiness to one poor human heart. Still less can I believe that all the railroads
in the world can carry one poor soul to heaven.
--Simms, "The Social Principle" (1843)

The story is every where the same. It admits of no variation. The golden age is
the age of agricultural preeminence. The nation whose sons shrink from the
culture of its fields, will wither for long ages, under the imperial sway of Iron. It
may put on a face of brass, but its legs will be made of clay. It may hide its lean
cheeks, and all external signs of its misery, under the harlotry of art; but the
rottenness of death will be all the while revelling upon its vitals, and a poisonous
breath will go forth from its decay which will spread its loathsome taint along the
shores of other and happier and unsuspecting nations!
--Simms, "The Ages of Gold and Iron" (1841)