Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 2) >> Walt Whitman on Simms, Again >> Page 26

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Reviews/Essays | [1846-09-03]
Transcription 26


WALT WHITMAN ON SIMMS, AGAIN

David Aiken

Accepting the challenge made in the last Simms Review, I acquired the complete
text of Whitman's review of the second series of The Wigwam and the Cabin
(Brooklyn Eagle, 9 March 1846). As the following indicates, only a few minor
differences and additions distinguish the version in Simms Review (Vol. I, no. 1,
pp. 41-42) from the original, reproduced here in its entirety from the columns of
the Eagle:


The Wigwam and the Cabin; By W. Gilmore
Simms. Second Series, Wiley & Putnam, New
York.
Simms is unquestionably one of the most attrac-
tive writers of the age ; and yet some of his char
acters--to our mind at least—are in exceedingly bad
taste. It may be all Well enough to introduce a
"foul rabble of lewd spirits" in order to show that
" Virtue can triumph even in the worst estates," but
it is our impression that ladies and gentlemen of re-
finement—to say nothing of heads of families--
would rather take the maxim upon trust than have
it exemplified to them of their children through the
medium of a picture so very course and indelicate in
its details, as that drawn by Mr. Simms in his
" Caloya." The last chapter of this story is rendered
particularly objectionable by the introduction of a
revolting drunken scene—and the tale as a whble
is certainly calcualted to reflect no credit upon
American literature either at home or abroad.
There are several other tales in this volume, of an
unexceptionable and highly entertaining character.