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[Text: Edgar Allan Poe (?), Reviews of Hoffman's Poems and Thirlwall's History of Greece" (A), from The Evening Mirror (New York), December 10, 1844, p. 2, col. 4.]


[page 2, column 4:]

HOFFMAN'S POEMS -- BURGESS & STRINGER. -- We advise Mr. Hoffman to print a new title page. We think he errs in supposing that the English reviewers "do the thinking of this country upon literary matters,"whatever may have been the case in former and greener times. The Foreign Quarterly, in particular, has of late been so well known as the special vehicle of abuse of this country, that its dicta pass for precisely what they are worth -- viz: nothing at all. It was, perhaps, natural, for a modest man like Mr. Hoffman, to feel, at first, keenly wounded by such atrocious charges; and we are not sorry that he was so far moved as to be induced to collect and publish his scattered poems his scattered poems; but we regret his having chosen for the a title which refers so pointedly to te impudent attack of some anonymous scribbler. --

A gentleman may feel the kicks of a jackass, but he should not resent them.

The instances adduced by the reviewer are too absurd even for such a critic. Moore's

Oh! blame not the bard if he fly to the bowers
Where Pleasure lies carelessly smiling at Fame.

are claimed as the original of a fine Anacreontic of Hoffman's

Blame not the bowl -- the fruitful bowl!
Whence wit and mirth and music spring.
And amber drops elysian roll.
To bathe young Love's delighted wing.
What, like the grape Osiris gave,
Makes rigid age so lithe of limb?
Illumines memory's twofold wave,
And teaches drowning Hope to swim, &c.

And thus of others.

We think the respectable British reviews are among our very best reading; and we are willing to profit even by their severity, since, if not always just, it is usually decent. But we think it high time that the Foreign Quarterly were expunged from the republication list of those enterprising bibliopolists to whom we owe the others. Its style is always decidedly inferior, and its spirit, in everything connected with America, so imbued with the gall of bitterness, that we might suppose its principal contributors to be persons who were smarting under some rejection or contempt on our part, if it were not that France and Russia fare little better at their hands. Its whole tone is the worst possible, and it holds the unenviable position of being the only journal of any mark that, in this age of superior light, still breathes the bloodthirsty war-spirit. We want literature of a different temper, and it is fortunately abundant, as well from native as foreign sources.

Mr. Hoffman can afford to disregard disreputable critics, and we end as we began -- by advising him to reprint his title-page.

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THIRLWALL'S HISTORY OF GREECE, now publishing by Harper & Brothers. -- We are highly pleased to see this work in the course of re-publication. Greece is a land of which we can never know enough. In all that relates to intellectual and social culture, this delightful people seem to have been the peculiar favorites of Providence. For pictures of grace, beauty and loveliness, the mind, after roving over the various regions of the earth, finds nothing like Southern Greece, the Archipelago, and the shores of Asia Minor. This region is the native home of poetry and music -- of painting, and sculpture, and architecture, and the chosen seat of oratory and philosophy. We are delighted with every thing that makes us, and our countrymen, better acquainted with this favored land; and we know no work we should sooner recommend for this purpose, than Thirlwall's History of Greece. We could wish to afford better print; but in these days it seems necessary to leave for the rich the old luxury of "a rivulet of text, meandering through a meadow of margin."


[Neither of these reviews were mentioned by Mabbott or Hull. The review of Hoffman was attributed to Poe by Killis Campbell as "probably to be assigned to Poe," without further explanation, in Nation, Dec. 23, 1909, p. 623, though he only mentions the WM text. Campbell clearly did not realize that is was reprinted from EM, but Campbell admits that he has not seen any copies of The Evening Mirror. Although this notice of Thirlwall is not mentioned by Hull, he does mention a brief announcement of the book in the Evening Mirror for January 17, 1845, which he thinks "may be Poe's."]

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[S:0 - NYEM, 1844]