Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 5: No 2) >> An Essential Simms Essay — ''Look at Home'' >> Page 10

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Page 10

Reviews/Essays | 1997
Transcription the shock of battle and the trails of dan-
ger. Among te miserable class of ego-
tists who enver seem to comprehend this
law, and who are continually warring
upon the native developments and emon-
strations of their own people, nothing is
more common than to hear them disparage
native art, science and literature. For
these they will look only abroad; and the
book, the picture ir the machinery must
come to them with the imprimatur of Lon-
don or Paris, before they will condescend
to acknowledge or even to examine
its merits. How common it is to hear the
dilettante of a provincial town speak
sneeringly od the native book and author
--nay, they will tell you that they never
suffer themselves to read the writing of
the American author. And you will hear
the author, in turn, but too frequently,
soeak in terms of contempt of all native
art. All this is the sheerest impudence,
and should be met always by such a reply
as shall lay bare their own incompetence
to speak at all on any such subjects. Such
praters belong to a class having mere
social position, presume in jugment upon
it, and forgetting the retort of Praxiteles
to the shoemaker, "Ne sutor ultra crepi-
dam," claim the right to preside as oracles,
speaking ex cathedra upon subjects over
which society has no authority--to which