Text: George W. Eveleth to Edgar Allan Poe — July 27, 1847


Phillips, Me. Tuesday evening, 27 47.

Friend Poe.

I received yours of March 11, inclosing the reply to Dunn English, in due season. I was glad, and should have immediately replied, but finally concluded to delay until I had heard from you again through the columns of “Godey” and the American Review. The article in “Godey” is still “among the missing” it appears; and I suppose “The Rationale of Verse” has not yet been published from my not having received the number of the Review containing it. Mr. Godey says in his last letter to me (Jan’y 30) “Hawthorne” by Poe will soon appear” — his “soon” seems to embrace quite a period of time. Mr. Colton wrote me about three weeks since, but said nothing of your article — and he, sent me the July number of his Review, which has it not. I suppose both articles will be given “when the sign comes right” — I’m at a loss to know whi’ch of the signs is the right one.

I am impatient to hear from you. I haven’t heard a word since your last letter, neither of good nor of bad — and I have watched pretty snugly the papers that have come to our office, in the hope of coming across your name. I would almost rather have seen it, written with a slanderer’s pen, as I have seen it before, than not at all; How is it that you contrive to keep so still? — it must be contrary to your disposition to do so — it is contrary to the order of the Mind that gifted you so bountifully with the active principle, mind — it is not in accordance with the idea in your letter to Willis -”The truth is, I have I a great deal to do; and I have made up my mind not to die till it is done.” It may be though, that you are very busy with your “book,” so that you haven’t time to make a noise — pretty ,likely it will make a noise when it appears — when is it to appear? — or it may be that illness keeps you still. I should indeed be afflicted to” know that this is the case. Are you better than when you last wrote? Your reply to English is severe, and should be so — but there are some things in it which I had rather not seen. In some instances you have come down too nearly on a level with English himself. This, as the editor of the paper (what paper is it?) says on the other side, is in bad taste — You laid yourself liable to be laughed at by answering in such a spirit, more than you would have done if you had kept calm — I imagine that your illness made you a little peevish.

“They (the “Opinions”) are loosely and inconsiderately written — aiming at nothing beyond the gossip of criticism — unless, indeed, at the relief of those “necessities.” “ Do you see fit to tell me what is meant by these necessities, what they are? and do you think proper to hint to me what the “terrible evil” is which caused those “irregularities so profoundly lamented”? (I’m a medical student). Will you inform me who is the lady referred to as the common friend? “

I have lately been reperusing your “Tales” — they lacked but very little, the interest to me which they presented at my first reading of them. The “Colloquy of Monos and Una” is a poem of the loftiest kind — how beautiful is the language — and how beautiful is the idea evolved — it penetrates to the very innermost chamber of the soul — at least to that of mine.

In “The Mystery of Marie Roget” why was a portion omitted from the manuscripts? Did the boat guide to the murderer living in the body, “him who employed it in the midnight of the fatal Sabbath,” the naval officer? I don’t see why there need have been any omission. In what Magazine was this tale published? In what was “The” Gold Bug” originally published, and what was paid you for furnishing it? I have seen it mentioned somewhere, that it was a prize-tale.

I have read Miss Fuller’s “Papers on Literature and Art,” and pron[ou]nce it a most excellent book. I put her down on my list next you in criticism. She has the right idea of what a critic should be composed of, in the first place. “Sustained by a principle such as can be girt within no rule, no formula, he can walk around the work, he can stand above it, he can uplift it, and try its weight. Finally, he is worthy to judge it.” I thought of you when I first read this.

In the article on American Literature, she speaks of our lack of a great leading Review. “There is none which occupies a truly great and commanding position, a beacon light to all who sail that way.” I subscribed to this, and looked forward to. “The Stylus,” trusting to it to make up the deficiency — I hope its pages will be enriched with Miss Fuller’s sound utterings.

I think well, generally, of her judgments on Longfellow. They are however very much the same that you gave years ago, not quite so favorable to the poet. She gives like opinions with yours, expressed long since, of Cooper, Brown, and Hawthorn — Indeed, she seems to” agree with you in all her judgments (her prejudices and yours clash somewhat) — and this leads me to ask the question, why she does not notice you among the other American writers? I don’t believe she can see so much to admire in Hawthorne’s writings and not appreciate the merits of your Tales — I don’t believe she can find so great beauties in Shelly and Tennyson as she tells of and discover none in your poems — Is there any reason for this neglect? — Do you know who wrote

The tragedy of Witchcraft?

Write, will you not?

Yours faithfully.
Geo. W. Eveleth.

E. A. P. Esq.



Endorsed Edgar A. Poe Esq New York City . N. Y. Postmarked PHILLIPS. MAINE. J UL 28


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - G. W. Eveleth to Poe (RCL686)