Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Thomas H. Chivers — July 10, 1844 (LTR-180)


New-York July 10. 44.

My Dear Friend,

Yours of June 15 was forwarded here to me on the 25th [ul]t. Believe me, I am truly pleased to h[ea]r from you again. The two letters of which you speak were received; but, in the hurry of mere business, I chanced to file them away among a package of letters endorsed “answered,” and thus it was that I failed to reply. For many months I have been haunted by the sentiment of some duty unperformed, but was unable to say what it was.

Touching the “Penn Magazine” or rather the “Stylus”, (for this is the title I should finally adopt) — I have by no means given up the intention of issuing it; my views respecting it are only confirmed by time, and more intimate acquaintance with our literature, as well as with the business of Magazine publication. I am only “biding my time” — awaiting m[e]ans and opportunity. Should you conclude to join me, we will not fail to make fame and fortune. When you feel ready to attempt the enterpriz[e], you will find me here — at New York — where I live, [at] present, in strict seclusion, busied with books and [ambiti]ous thoughts, until the hour shall arrive when I may come forth with a [page 2:] certainty of success. A Magazine like Graham’s will never do. We must do something far better — but we will talk of these matters personally. When you come to New-York, put a letter to my address in the P. Odice, and we will thus find each other.

I have been lately lecturing on “American Poetry” and have drawn profuse tears from large and intellectual audiences by the recital of your “Heavenly Vision” — which I can never weary of repeating.

You mistake me in supposing I dislike the transcendentalists — it is only the pretenders and sophists among them. My own faith is indeed my own. You will find it, somewhat detailed, in a forthcoming number of the “Columbian Magazine”, published here. I have written for it an article headed “Mesmeric Revelation,” which see. It may be out in the August or September number.

I disagree with you in what you say of man’s advance towards perfection. Man is now only more active, not wiser, nor more happy, than he was 6000 years ago. To say that we are better than ou[r] progenitors, is to make the foregone age[s] only the rudiment of the pre[se]nt & future; whereas each individual man is the rudiment of a future material (notspiritual) being. It were to suppose God unjust to suppose those who have died before us possessed of less advantage than ourselves. [page 3:]

There is no such thing as spirituality. God is material. All things are material; yet the matter of God has all the qualities which we attribute to spirit: thus the difference is scarcely more than of words. There is a matter without particles — of no atomic composition: this is God. It permeates and impels all things, and thus is all things in itself. Its agitation is the thought of God, and creates. Man and other beings (inhabitants of stars) are portions of this unparticled matter, individualized by being incorporated in the ordinary or particled matter. — Thus they exist rudimentally. Death is the painful metamorphosis. The worm becomes the butterfly — but the butterfly is still material — of a matter, however, which cannot be recognized by our rudimental organs. But for the necessity of the rudimental life, there would have been no stars — no worlds — nothing which we term material. These spots are the residences of the rudimental things. At death, these, taking a n[e]w form, of a n[o]vel matter, pass every where, and act all things, by mere volition, and are cognizant of all secrets but the one — the nature of the volition of God — of the agitation of the unparticled matter.

Write upon receipt of this — and do not affront me by paying postage or speaking of these trivialities at all. There is nothing which gives me more sincere pleasure than the receipt of your letters.

Your friend most sincere[l]y.
E A Poe.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to T. H. Chivers (LTR180/RCL491)