Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Revivals,” Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, vol. 4, no. 10, March 4, 1840, p. 2, col. 2 and vol. 4, no. 16, April 15, 1840, p. 2, cols. 4-5


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[March 4, 1840]

[page 2, column 4, continued:]

REVIVALS.

These are very much in fashion just at present in Philadelphia, and Satan is in great danger of being drummed out of town. The Methodist congregations have been making especial war upon his Majesty, who must be quite out of heart by this time, as well as out of temper. He has been signally defeated in the city, in Southwark, and particularly in Spring Garden and Kensington, where conversions have become a mere matter of course — as plenty as “reasons or blackberries.” The chief subject of wonder, however, is that the principal recruits have been enlisted from the ranks of a party which is the last in the world a body would suspect of giving up its evil ways — we mean the jolly coporation of victuallers. These people we always thought worldly-minded individuals, hankerers after creature comforts, men of the flesh, rather than of the spirit.

 


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[April 15, 1840]

[page 2, column 4, continued:]

REVIVALS.

Some weeks since we said a few words upon the subject of the late Methodist revivals in Philadelphia, of which we were very glad to hear, as every man making pretensions to ordinary morality must be, whether he be a professor of religion or not. The cause of happiness is always aided by the prosperity religion, and by the increase of religionists. We repeat that we were pleased to find our papers filled with details of numerous revivals, but we were, we confess, not a little astonished, also, to discover that the [column 5:] victuallers of the city — a class somewhat note for jolly propensities — were foremost upon the list of the converted.

Upon taking up a number of the “Jeffersonian Democrat” a day or two since, we were surprised to find a correspondent who signs himself T. (possibly Tugmutton) abusing us at a round rate about the paragraph in question, and calling us by all kinds hard names — such as “atheistical sceptics,” “scoffers,” “infidels,” “heathens,” (or something to that effect) “enemies of religion and good government,” “cowards,” and “impious insulters utterly destitute of good breeding.” The editor of the paper, in giving place to the remarks of his puritanical correspondent, takes occasion to compliment us very highly (for which we tender him our acknowledgments) and to give his friend Tugmutton a severe but sly rap over the knuckles. We doubt, however, if the brilliant and irate T., will understand one word of the hint. The editor, in publishing his effusion, has done us a service, and treated Tugmutton in an unmerciful manner. At all events, should we ever be guilty of writing such horrible nonsense we should take it as very unkind treatment in any friend of ours to publish it. The fact is that your greatest sighers and groaners are invariably the greatest nincompoops and villains; and the man who can cant as desperately as Tugmutton has here done, would make no hesitation in stealing a sheep, but would hardly know what to do with it when stolen.

 


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Notes:

These notices were first attributed to Poe by Clarence S. Brigham in Edgar Allan Poe’s Contributions to Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, 1943, pp. 52-53 and 68-69.

 

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[S:1 - AWM, 1840] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Misc. - Revivals