Text: Thomas Ollive Mabbott, “Poems of 1831,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. I: Poems (1969), pp. 155-156 (This material is protected by copyright)


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­[page 155:]

POEMS OF 1831

Poems by Edgar A. Poe . . . Second Edition (New York, 1831) was published by Elam Bliss. The printing was done by Henry Mason of 64 Nassau Street. The book appeared in time to be reviewed briefly but favorably, probably by George P. Morris, in the New-York Mirror, May 7, 1831, and very briefly (by L. A. Wilmer?) in the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post, May 2. The Post review was reprinted in The Casket for May 1831. Killis Campbell supervised a reprint of the book for the Facsimile Text Society in 1936.

The prefatory matter of the little volume includes a title-page motto, “Tout le monde a raison — Rochefoucault”;(1) a dedication, “To the U.S. Corps of Cadets this volume is respectfully dedicated”; the following quotation:

Tell wit how much it wrangles

In fickle points of niceness —

Tell wisdom it entangles

Itself in overwiseness

Sir Walter Raleigh(2)

and a long critical essay headed “Letter to Mr. ——,” of which only the first paragraph is given here:

West Point, ——— 1831

Dear B———.

Believing only a portion of my former volume to be worthy a second edition — that small portion I thought it as well to include in the present book as to republish by itself. I have, therefore, ­[page 156:] herein combined Al Aaraaf and Tamerlane with other Poems hitherto imprinted. Nor have I hesitated to insert from the “Minor Poems,” now omitted, whole lines, and even passages, to the end that being placed in a fairer light, and the trash shaken from them in which they were imbedded, they may have some chance of being seen by posterity.(3)

 


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 155:]

1  Not from Rochefoucauld, but from a play, Le Gouvernante, I, iii, 64, issued in 1747, by Pierre-Claude Nivelle de La Chaussée. See his œuvres (Paris, 1763), III, 84. The full quotation is “Quand tout le monde a tort, tout le monde a raison” — “When everybody is wrong, everybody is right.” Régis Messac, Influences françaises dans l’Œuvre d’Edgar Poe (Paris, 1929), p. 23, points out that Isaac D’Israeli spelled the name Rochefoucauld with a final “t,” as Poe did.

2  Sir Walter Raleigh’s verses are in his poem “The Lie,” which Poe probably got from the 1813 edition of Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges, where “fickle” is the reading for the more probable “tickle.”

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 156:]

3  The “Letter to Mr. ——” will appear in full in a later volume with Poe’s other critical essays. The two blanks and the initial B certainly suggest Poe’s publisher Elam Bliss; but General George W. Cullum, who had been with Poe at West Point, is quoted in Harper’s Magazine, September 1872 (45:561) as believing Bulwer was intended.

 


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Notes:

Errata:

In footnote 1: Régis / Regis

In the original printing, Mabbott cites, in footnote 3, Cullum’s statement as being in the November 1872 issue of Harper’s Magazine rather than the issue for September 1872. This error has been corrected in the text above.


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[S:1 - TOM1P, 1969] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (T. O. Mabbott) (Poems of 1831)