Our friend, Joseph A. B. C. D. &c. Miller, has
upon us again, in a great passion. He says we quizzed him in our last
— which we deny positively. He maintains, moreover, that the greater
of our observations on mental qualities, as deduced from the character
of a MS., are not to be sustained. The man is in error. However, to
him, we have suffered [column 2:] him, in the
instance, to play the critic himself. He has brought us another batch
autographs, and will let us have them upon no other terms To say the
we are rather glad of his proposal than otherwise. We shall look over
shoulder, however, occasionally. Here follow the letters.
Dear Sir, — Will you oblige me
me any more silly letters ? I really have no time to attend to them.
Your most obedient servant,
[Jared Sparks (1789-1866)]
Joseph A. Miller, Esq.
Mr. Sparks' MS. has an odd
are large, round, black, irregular and perpendicular. The lines are
together, and the whole letter wears at first sight an air of confusion
— of chaos. Still it is not very illegible upon close inspection, and
by no means puzzle a regular bred devil. We [column 2:]
can form no guess in regard to any mental peculiarities from this MS.
its tout-ensemble, however, we might imagine it written by a man who
very busy among a great pile of books and papers huddled up in
around him. Paper blueish and fine — sealed, with the initials J. S.
My Dear Sir, — It gives me
to receive a letter from you. Let me see, I think I have seen you once
or twice in ——— where was it ? However, your remarks upon "Melanie and
other Poems'' prove you to be a man of sound discrimination, and I
be happy to hear from you as often as possible.
[Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806-1867)]
Joseph B. Miller, Esq.
Mr. Willis writes a very good hand.
What was said
about the MS. of Halleck, in the February number, will apply very
to this. It has the same grace, with more of the picturesque, however,
and, consequently, more force. These qualities will be found in [column
2:] his writings — which are greatly underrated. Mem. Mr.
should do him justice. [Mem. by Mr. Messenger. I have.] Cream colored
— green and gold seal — with the initials N. P. W.
Dear Sir, — I have to inform
you that "the
pretty little poem'' to which you allude in your letter is not, as you
suppose, of my composition. The author is unknown to me. The poem is
H. F. Gould
[Hannah Flagg Gould (1789-1865)]
Joseph C. Miller.
The writing of Miss Gould resembles
that of Miss
Leslie very nearly. It is rather more petite — but has the
neatness, picturesqueness and finish without over-effeminacy. The
style of one who writes [column 2:] thus is sure
be forcibly epigrammatic — either in detached sentences — or in the tout
ensemble of the composition. Paper very fine — wafered.
* See Messenger for February last. [page
Dear Sir, — Herewith I have
the honor of
you what you desire. If the Essay shall be found to give you any new
I shall not regret the trouble of having written it.
T. R. Dew
[Thomas Roderick Dew (1802-1846)]
Joseph D. Miller, Esq.
The MS. of Professor Dew is large,
abrupt, and illegible. It is possible that he never thinks of mending a
pen. There can be no doubt that his chirography has been modified, like
that of Paulding, by strong adventitious circumstances — for it appears
to retain but few of his literary peculiarities. Among the few
are boldness and weight. The abruptness we do not
his composition — which is indeed [column 2:]
diffuse. Neither is the illegibility of the MS. to be paralleled by any
confusion of thought or expression. He is remarkably lucid. We must
for the two last mentioned qualities of his MS. in the supposition that
he has been in the habit of writing a great deal, in a desperate hurry,
and with a stump of a pen. Paper good — but only a half sheet of it —
Dear Sir, — In reply to your
the "authenticity of a singular incident,'' related in one of my poems,
I have to inform you that the incident in question is purely a fiction.
With respect, your obedient servant,
[Grenville Mellen (1799-1841)]
Joseph F. Miller, Esq.
The hand-writing of Mr. Mellen is
and partakes largely of the character of the signature annexed. It
require no great stretch of fancy to imagine the writer (from what we
of his MS.) a man of excessive sensibility, amounting nearly to disease
— of unbounded ambition, greatly interfered with [column 2:]
by frequent moods of doubt and depression, and by unsettled ideas of
beautiful. The formation of the G in his signature alone, might warrant
us in supposing his composition to have great force, frequently
by an undue straining after effect. Paper excellent — red seal.
Dear Sir, — I have not the
acquaintance, but thank you for the great interest you seem to take in
my welfare. I have no relations by the name of Miller, and think you
be in error about the family connection.
W. Gilmore Simms
[William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870)]
Joseph G. H. Miller, Esq.
The MS. of Mr. Simms resembles, very
of Mr. Kennedy. It has more slope, however, and less of the picturesque
— although still much. We spoke of Mr. K.'s MS. (in our February
as indicating "the eye of a painter." In our critique on the Partisan
[column 2:] we spoke of Mr. Simms also
"the eye of a painter," and we had not then seen his hand-writing. The
two MSS. are strikingly similar. The paper here is very fine and
Dear Sir, — I have received
your favor of
the —— inst. and shall be very happy in doing you the little service
mention. In a few days I will write you more fully. Very respectfully,
Your most obedient servant,
[Lieutenant Alexander Slidell
Joseph I. K. Miller, Esq.
Lieutenant Slidell's MS. is peculiar
— very neat,
very even, and tolerably legible, but somewhat too diminutive. Black
lines have been, apparently, used. Few tokens of literary manner
character are to be found in this writing. The petiteness, however,
is most strikingly indicative of a mental habit, which we have more [column
2:] than once pointedly noticed in the works of this author
— we mean that of close observation in detail — a habit which, when
regulated, as in the case of Lieut. Slidell, tends greatly to vigor of
style. Paper excellent — wafered.
Dear Sir, — I find upon
reference to some
MS. notes now lying by me, that the article to which you have allusion,
appeared originally in the "Journal des Scavans."
[Professor Charles Anthon (1797-1867)]
Joseph L. M. Miller, Esq.
The writing of Professor Anthon is
and beautiful — in the formation of particular letters as well as in
tout-ensemble. The perfect regularity of the MS. gives it, to a casual
glance, the appearance of print. The lines are quite straight and at
distances — yet they are evidently written without any artificial aid.
We may at once recognise in this chirography [column 2:]
the scrupulous precision and finish — the love of elegance — together
the scorn of all superfluous embellishment, which so greatly
the compilations of the writer. The paper is yellow, very fine, and
with green wax, bearing the impression of a head of Cæsar.
Dear Sir, — I have looked with
over several different editions of Plato, among which I may mention the
Bipont edition, 1781— 8, 12 vols. oct.; that of Ast, and that of
reprinted in London, 11 vols. oct. I cannot, however, discover the
about which you ask me — "is it not very ridiculous ?'' You must have
the author. Please write again. Respectfully yours,
[Francis Lieber (1800-1872)]
Joseph N. O. Miller, Esq.
The MS. of Professor Lieber has
nearly all the
which we noticed in that of Professor Dew — besides the peculiarity of
a wide margin left at the top of the paper. The whole air of the
seems to indicate vivacity and energy of thought — but altogether, [column
2:] the letter puts us at fault — for we have never before
a man of minute erudition (and such is Professor Lieber,) who did not
a very different hand from this. We should have imagined a petite and
chirography. Paper tolerable and wafered.
Dear Sir, — I beg leave to
assure you that
I have never received, for my Magazine, any copy of
with so ludicrous a title as "The nine and twenty Magpies.'' Moreover,
if I had, I should certainly have thrown it into the fire. I wish you
not worry me any farther about this matter. The verses, I dare say, are
somewhere among your papers. You had better look them up — they may do
for the Mirror.
Sarah J. Hale
[Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879)]
Mr. Joseph P. Q. Miller
Mrs. Hale writes a larger and bolder
sex generally. It resembles, in a great degree, that of Professor
— and is not easily decyphered. The [column 2:]
MS. is indicative of a masculine understanding. Paper very good, and
Dear Sir, — I am not to be
eh ? that I can't understand your fine letter all about "things in
You want my autograph, you dog — and you sha'nt have it.
[Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851)]
Joseph R. S. Miller, Esq.
Mr. Noah writes a very good running
however, are not straight, and the letters have too much tapering to
the eye of an artist. The long letters and capitals extend very little
beyond the others — either up or down. The epistle has the appearance [column
2:] of being written very fast. Some of the characters have
now and then a little twirl, like the tail of a pig — which gives the
an air of the quizzical, and devil-me-care. Paper pretty good — and
Mister — I say — It's not
to come possum over the Major. Your letter's no go. I'm up to a thing
two — or else my name isn't
[Jack Downing, pseudonym]
Mr. Joseph T. V. Miller
The Major writes a very excellent
hand indeed. It
has so striking a resemblance to that of Mr. Brooks, [column
that we shall say nothing farther about it.
Dear Sir, — I am exceedingly
sorry that it is out of my power to comply with your rational and
request. The subject you mention is one with which I am utterly
— moreover, it is one about which I know very little. Respectfully,
W. L. Stone
[William Lete Stone (1792-1844)]
Joseph W. X. Miller, Esq.
Mr. Stone's MS. has some very good
— among which is a certain degree of the picturesque. In general it is
heavy and sprawling — the short letters running too much together. From
the chirography no [column 2:] precise opinion can
be had of Mr. Stone's literary style. [Mr. Messenger says no opinion
be had of it in any way.] Paper very good and wafered.
My Good Fellow, — I am not
fault with your having addressed me, although personally unknown. Your
favor (of the —— ultimo) finds me upon the eve of directing my course
the renowned shores of Italia. I shall land (primitively) on the
of the ancient Brutii, of whom you may find an account in
You will observe (therefore) that, being engrossed by the consequent,
and important preparations for my departure, I can have no time to
to your little concerns.
Believe me, my dear sir, very faithfully your
Theo. S. Fay
[Theodore Sedgwick Fay (1807-1898)]
Joseph Y. Z. Miller, Esq.
Mr. Fay writes a passable hand. There
is a good
of spirit — and some force. His paper has a clean appearance, and he is
scrupulously attentive to the margin. The MS. however, has an air of swagger
about it. There are too many dashes — and the tails [column
2:] of the long letters are too long. [Mr. Messenger thinks
I am right — that Mr. F. shouldn't try to cut a dash — and that all
his tales are too long. The swagger he says is
a superfluity of thought.]