Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 15: No 1) >> Annual Address Before the South Caroliniana Society, 3 April 1943 >> Page 36

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Page 36

Speech | 2007
Transcription his pet phrases down the years. It was not enough to collect
materials upon which to work, one must put them on record,
along with the interpretation of the times. Exploding to Gov-
ernor Hammond, upon whom Calhoun's mantle had fallen, he
says : "What right have you to have a stomach? Damn your
eyes for failing you. It's partly your imagination, anyway.
Yqu are the man of the hour. Get busy and publish your
complete works. " When Hammond remonstrated, he would re-
ply : "You say you are not able to get the material together.
Well, then, set your boys to doing it." To Rayne he would
write advising him on every subject from. his poetry to his
mulch pile. He would. say : "Keep on with your essays, Paul.
They are so much seed set to grow, though you see no fruit".
Or, "Turn your long .poem on South Carolina poets into a vol-
ume. Don't leave out such .Writers as young Sass and others,
just beginning to' put .on their singing robes.". Or, "Take ad-
vantage of. your visit to Pickens, Paul, to make notes on his
wonderful fund of reminiscences of notable men, in this country
and abroad, for future use."
To. J. P. Kennedy, Simms would write in praise of Swallow
Barn, and then add: "Write that memoir of your kinsmen
Cooke. You owe it to your family to put him on record." To
his old friend, James K. Paulding : "You have been a champion
in the field of national literature. You must not even tempo-
rarily retire from the field." He urged William Cullen Bryant,
another intimate, to expand his sketches into a volume and to
let him self go as "a well-bred gentleman plays reminiscent at
his own dinner table." He begged Evert A. Duyckinck, New
York publisher and writer, to "take Sir Philip Sidney with you
to a warm, sunny attic for several hours each. morning" until
the book was done. He would prod George Frederick Holmes,
the classical scholar, with such suggestions : "A good subject
for you. would be Tuscan Art, or GZacdiatorza1' Cobat, or Bro-
Man Drama. Even Cato at-Borne or Horace Fuddled would do."
We follow Simms through his letters helping Stevens With
his History of Georgia, for which Simms himself had made
voluminous. notes, Pickett with his History of Alabama, Bev-
erley Tucker in getting his complete works. published, General
Jamison with his two volumes of Bertrand d," -uesc i , Richard
Henry Wilde with his Dante, Dr. Peyre Percher with his volume
on South Carolina plants, for which-. Si. s himself had also
made voluminous notes. In noting the lon g list . 'of roddin
and helping I could easily sympathize with Timrod who, though
he loved Simms with all the affection of a wayward son, became
so irritated at times that he could cheerfully have wrung Simms'
heck. Simms would cajole, plead or quarrel with "Tim" who
one time would fly into a rage and say the ugliest hings imagin-
able, or again would write back tenderly : "Somehow you al-