Text: John Ward Ostrom, “Letters: Chapter VI,” The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. I: 1824-1845 (1966), pp. 249-276 (This material is protected by copyright)


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VI

NEW YORK

EARLY STRUGGLES

April 1844 - January 1845

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174 ⇒ TO MARIA CLEMM [April 7, 1844] [CL 477]

New-York, Sunday Morning

April 7. [1844] just after breakfast.

My dear Muddy,

We have just this minute done breakfast, and I now sit down to write you about everything. I can’t pay for the letter, because the P.O. won’t be open to-day. — In the first place, we arrived safe at Walnut St wharf. The driver wanted to make me pay a dollar, but I wouldn’t. Then I had to pay a boy a levy to put the trunks in the baggage car. In the meantime I took Sis in the Depôt Hotel. It was only a quarter past 6, and we had to wait till 7. We saw the Ledger & Timesnothing in either -- a few words of no account in the Chronicle. — We started in good spirits, but did not get here until nearly 3 o’clock. We went in the cars to Amboy about 40 miles from N. York, and then took the steamboat the rest of the way. — Sissy coughed none at all. When we got to the wharf it was raining hard. I left her on board the boat, after putting the trunks in the Ladies’ Cabin, and set off to buy an umbrella and look for a boarding-house. I met a man selling umbrellas and bought [o]ne for <56> 62 cents. Then I went up Greenwich St and soon found a boarding-house. It is just before you get to Cedar St on the west side going up-the left hand side. It has brown stone steps, with a porch with brown pillars. “Morrison” is the name on the door. I made a bargain in a few minutes and then got a hack and went for Sis. I was not gone more than 1/2 an hour, and she was quite astonished to see me back so soon. She didn’t expect me for an hour. There were 2 other ladies waiting on board — so she was’nt very lonely. — When we got to the house we had to wait about 1/2 an hour before the room [was ready]. The house is old & looks buggy, b[ excision t]he landlady is a nice chatty ol[ excision g]ave us the back room on th[ excision e] night & day & attendance, f [ or 7 $ — the cheapest board I] ever knew, taking into consideration the central situation and the living. I wish Kate could see it -she would faint. Last night, for supper, we had the nicest tea you ever drank, strong & hot — wheat bread [page 252:] & rye bread — cheese — tea-cakes (elegant) [page 2] a great dish (2 dishes) of elegant ham, and 2 of cold veal, piled up like a mountain and large slices — 3 dishes of the cakes, and every thing in the greatest profusion. No fear of starving here. The landlady seemed as if she could’nt press us enough, and we were at home directly. Her husband is living with her — a fat good-natured old soul. There are 8 or 10 boarders — 2 or 3 of them ladies — 2 servants. — For breakfast we had excellent-flavored coffe, hot & strong — not very clear & no great deal of cream — veal cutlets, elegant ham & eggs & nice bread and butter. I never sat down to a more plentiful or a nicer breakfast. I wish you could have seen the eggs — and the great dishes of meat. I ate the first hearty breakfast I have eaten since I left out little home. Sis is delighted, and we are both in excellent spirits. She has coughed hardly any and had no night sweat. She is now busy mending my pants which I tore against a nail. I went out last night and bought a skein of silk, a skein of thread, & 2 buttons a pair of slippers & a tin pan for the stove. The fire kept in all night. — We have now got 4 $ and a half left. Tomorrow I am going to try & borrow 3 $ — so that I may have a fortnight to go upon. I feel in excellent spirits & have’nt drank a drop — so that I hope so[ on ] to get out of trouble. The very instant I scrape together enough money I will send it on. You ca’nt imagine how much we both do miss you. Sissy had a hearty cry last night, because you and Catterina weren’t here. We are resolved to get 2 rooms the first moment we can. In the meantime it is impossible we could be more comfortable or more at home than we are. — It looks as if it was going to clear up now. — Be sure and go to the P.O. & have my letters forwarded. As soon as I write Lowell’s article, I will send it to you, & get you to get the money from Graham. Give our best loves to Catter[ina.]

[three line excision for autograph]

Be sure & take home the Messenger, [to Hirst]. We hope to send for you very soon.

Poe’s departure from Philadelphia must have been sudden, for in his letter to Lowell, March 30, 1844 (the last known letter by Poe prior to the one above), he asked that Lowell send “within a day or two” the material needed by Poe for a biography. Poe found lodgings at 130 Greenwich Street (according to Pratt, p. 19; and Quinn, Poe, pp. 407-408). [page 253:] “Sis” was Virginia Clemm Poe. “Kate” was Catterina, the family cat. Apparently Mrs. Clemm did not return to Henry B. Hirst the borrowed volume of the SLM, and the owner, William Duane, later accused Poe of selling it to Leary’s Book Store (see W, II, 365-368; and Quinn, Poe, pp. 408-410). Mrs. Clemm’s having rejoined Poe and Virginia is first mentioned in Poe’s letter to F. W. Thomas, September 8, 1844. [CL 477]

175 ⇒ TO JAMES R. LOWELL [May 28, 1844] [CL 481]

New-York, May 28, 44.

My Dear Friend,

I received yours last night — forwarded from Philadelphia to this city, where I intend living for the future: Touching the Biography — I would be very proud, indeed, if you would write it — and did, certainly, say to myself, and I believe to Graham — that such was my wish; but as I fancied the job might be disagreeable, I did not venture to suggest it to yourself. Your offer relieves me from great embarrasment, and I thank you sincerely. You will do me justice; and that I could not expect at all hands.

Herewith, I mail you a Life written some time since by Hirst, from materials furnished principally by Thomas and Mr T. W. White. It is correct, I think, in the main, (barring extravagant eulogy,) and you can select from it whatever you deem right. The limit is 6 pp of Graham — as much less as you please. Besides the Tales enumerated in the foot-note, I have written “The Spectacles”; “The Oblong Box”; “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains”; “The Premature Burial”; “The Purloined Letter”; “The System of Doctors Tar and Fether”; “The Black Cat”; “The Elk”; “Diddling Considered as one of the Exact Sciences;” “Mesmeric Revelation; “The Gold-Bug;” “Thou art the Man; — about 60 altogether, including the “Grotesque & Arabesque.[“] Those Italicized areas yet unpublished — in the hands of different editors. Of the “Gold-Bug” (my most successful tale) more than 300,000 copies have been circulated.

There is an article on “American Poetry” in a late number of the London Foreign Quarterly, in [page 2] which some allusion is made to me as a poet, and as an imitator of Tennyson. I would like you to say (in my defence) what is the fact; that the passages quoted as imitations were written & published, in Boston, before the issue of even Tennyson’s first volume. Dickens (I know) wrote the article — I [page 254:] have private personal reasons for knowing this. The portrait prepared, does not in the least resemble me.

I wrote you a long letter from Phil: about 7 weeks since — did you get it? — you make no allusion to it.

In great haste.

Your most sincere friend.

Edgar A Poe

For Poe’s arrival in New York, see Letter 174. For “the Biography” see the note to Letter 173; for Poe’s “Life” see the note to Letter 164. The tales cited by Poe were published as follows: “The Spectacles,” Dollar Newspaper, March 27, 1844; “The Oblong Box,” Godey’s, September 1844; “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains,” Godey’s, April 1844; “The Premature Burial,” Dollar Newspaper, July 31, 1844; “The Purloined Letter,” The Gift, 1845; “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether,” Graham’s, November 1845; “The Black Cat,” United States Saturday Post, August 19, 1843; “The Elk” (“Morning on the Wissahiccon”), The Opal, 1844; “Diddling Considered as One of the Exact Sciences,” Saturday Courier, October 14, 1843; “Mesmeric Revelation,” Columbian, August 1844; “The Gold Bug,” Dollar Newspaper, June 21 and 28, 1843; “Thou Art the Man,” Godey’s, November 1844 (for all references, see Wyllie, Poe’s Tales, Passim). Concerning Poe’s total of “about 60” see Letter 186 and note. For the article in the London Foreign Quarterly, see Letter 173; this letter is also the one of “about 7 weeks since.” [CL 481]

176 ⇒ TO SARAH J. HALE [May 29, 1844] [CL 482]

[New York, May 29, 1844]

[. . . . .]

Mr. W. was pleased to express himself in very warm terms of the article, which he considers the best I have written and urged me to offer it to Mr. Riker, for the next Opal; promising to speak to Mr. R. and engage him (if possible) to accept the Tale. . . . I have thought it best to write you this letter, and to ask you if you could accept an article — whether you would wish to see the one in question-or whether you could be so kind as to take it, unseen, upon Mr. Willis’s testimony in its favor. It cannot be improper to state that I make the latter request to save time, because I am, as usual, exceedingly in need of a little money. . . .

[Signature missing] [page 255:]

Mr. W. is N. P. Willis. The 1845 Opal: a pure gift for the holy days, was edited by Sarah J. Hale and published in New York by John C. Riker (copy in the Newberry Library). Occasionally, Poe used article and tale interchangeably; however, in this letter he may have had a short story in mind, for Mrs. Hale’s reply seems to have suggested that Poe submit something more particularly suited to the Opal (see Letter 177). The “tale,” if tale it was, may have been “The Oblong Box” or “Thou Art the Man” (see the note to Letter 177). [CL 482]

177 ⇒ To SARAH J. HALE [May 31, 1844] [CL 484]

New-York. May 31rst 44.

My Dear Madam,

I hasten to reply to your kind and very satisfactory letter, and to say that, if you will be so good as to keep open for me the ten pages of which you speak, I will forward you, in 2 or 3 days, an article which will about occupy that space, and which I will endeavour to adapt to the character of “The Opal.” The price you mention 50 cts per page — will be amply sufficient; and I am exceedingly anxious to be ranked in your list of contributors.

Should you see Mr Godey very soon, will you oblige me by saying that I will write him in a few days, and forward him a package?

With sincere respect.

Yr Ob. St

Edgar A Poe

Mrs Sarah J. Hale.

Poe’s “A Chapter of Suggestions” appeared in the Opal, 1845, pp. 164-170. Mrs. Hale was editor of the Opal and of Godey’s. The “package” to Godey probably contained “The Oblong Box” (Godey’s, XXIX (September 1844), 132-136) and/or “Thou Art the Man” (ibid., November 1844, pp. 219-224). No other letter, which would likely have accompanied the MSS., is known from Poe to either Mrs. Hale or Godey until after 1844. [CL 484]

178 ⇒ TO ELI BOWEN [Jume 4, 1844] [CL 487]

[New York, June 4, 1844]

My Dear Mr. Brown:

I would take it as a very great favor if you could mail me an X by return of mail, if possible.

Yours truly,

P. [page 255:]

Eli Bowen and Jacob L. Gossler were the editors and publishers of the Columbia, Pennsylvania, Spy. On May 18, 31844, Bowen announced that “Poe . . . will . . . be a regular contributor to the Spy.” (See Spannuth and Mabbott, Doings of Gotham). “Brown” is an error either by Poe or by the newspaper. Whether Bowen sent Poe the ten dollars is unknown. No other correspondence between Poe and Bowen is known, though some must have existed. [CL 487]

179 ⇒ TO JAMES R. LOWELL [July 2, 1844] [CL 490]

New-York, July 2. 44.

My Dear Mr Lowell,

I can feel for the “constitutional indolence” of which you complain — for it is one of my own besetting sins. I am excessively slothful, and wonderfully industrious — by fits. There are epochs when any kind of mental exercise is torture, and when nothing yields me pleasure but solitary communion with the “mountains & the woods” — the “altars” of Byron. I have thus rambled and dreamed away whole months, and awake, at last, to a sort of mania for composition. Then I scribble all day, and read all night, so long as the disease endures. This is also the temperament of P. P. Cooke, of Va the author of “Florence Vane”, “Young Rosalie Lee”, & some other sweet poems — and I should not be surprised if it were your own. Cooke writes and thinks as you — and I have been told that you resemble him personally.

I am not ambitious — unless negatively. I, now and then feel stirred up to excel a fool, merely because I hate to let a fool imagine that he may excel me. Beyond this I feel nothing of ambition. I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has [page 2] lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose [page 257:] sight of man the individual, in man the mass. — I have no belief in spirituality. I think the word a mere word. No one has really a conception of spirit. We cannot imagine what is not. We deceive ourselves by the idea of infinitely rarefied matter. Matter escapes the senses by degrees — a stone — a metal — a liquid — the atmosphere — a gas — the luminiferous ether. Beyond this there are other modifications more rare. But to all we attach the notion of a constitution of particles — atomic composition. For this reason only, we think spirit different; for spirit, we say is unparticled, and therefore is not matter. But it is clear that if we proceed sufficiently far in our ideas of rarefaction, we shall arrive at a point where the particles coalesce; for, although the particles be infinite, the infinity of littleness in the spaces between them, is an absurdity. — The unparticled matter, permeating & impelling, all things, is God. Its activity is the thought of God — which creates. Man, and other thinking beings, are individualizations of the unparticled matter. Man exists as a “person”, by being clothed with matter (the particled matter) which individualizes him. Thus habited, his life is rudimental. What we call “death” is the painful metamorphosis. The stars are the habitations of rudimental beings. But for the necessity of the rudimental life, there would have been no worlds. At death, the worm is the butterfly — still material, but of a matter unrecognized by our organs — recognized, occasionally, perhaps, by the sleep-waker, directly — without organs — through the mesmeric medium. Thus a sleep-waker may see ghosts. Divested of the rudimental covering, the being inhabits space — what we suppose to be the immaterial universe — passing every where, and act- [page 3] ing all things, by mere volition — cognizant of all secrets but that of the nature of God’s volition — the motion, or activity, of the unparticled matter.

You speak of “an estimate of my life” — and, from what I have already said, you will see that I have none to give. I have been too deeply conscious of the mutability and evanescence of temporal things, to give any continuous effort to anything — to be consistent in anything. My life has been whim — impulse — passion — a longing for solitude — a scorn of all things present, in an earnest desire for the future.

I am profoundly excited by music, and by some poems — those of Tennyson especially-whom, with Keats, Shelley, Coleridge (occasionally) [page 258:] and a few others of like thought and expression, I regard as the sole poets. Music is the perfection of the soul, or idea, of Poetry. The vagueness <and> of exultation arous[ed by] a sweet air (which should be strictly indefinite & never too strongly suggestive) is precisely what we should aim at in poetry. Affectation, within bounds, is thus no blemish.

I still adhere to Dickens as either author, or dictator, of the review. My reasons would convince you, could I give them to you — but I have left myself no space. I had two long interviews with Mr D. when here. Nearly every thing in the critique, I heard from <D> him or suggested to him, personally. The poem of Emerson I read to him.

I have been so negligent as not to preserve copies of any of my volumes of poems — nor was either worthy preservation. The best passages were culled in Hirst’s article. I think my best poems, “The Sleeper”, “The Conqueror Worm”, “The Haunted Palace”, “<A Paen” > “Lenore”, “Dreamland” & “The Coliseum” -but all have been hurried & unconsidered. My best tales are “Ligeia”; The “GoldBug”; The “Murders in the [page 4] Rue Morgue”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, The “Tell-Tale Heart”, The “Black Cat”, “William Wilson”, & “The Descent into the Maelstrom.” “The Purloined Letter,” forthcoming in the “Gift”, is, perhaps, the best of my tales of ratiocination. I have lately written, for Godey, “The Oblong-Box”, and “Thou art the Man” — as yet unpublished. With this, I mail you “The Gold-Bug”, which is the only one of my tales I have on hand.

Graham has had, for 9 months, a review of mine on Longfellow’s “Spanish Student”, which I have “used up”, and in which I have exposed some of the grossest plagiarisms ever perpetrated. I can’t tell why he does not publish it. — I believe G. intends my Life for the September number, which will be made up by the 10th August. Your article shd be on hand as soon as convenient.

Believe me your true friend.

E A Poe.

In connection with Poe’s discussion of “spirit” and “matter,” especially for similarity of the phrasing, see “Mesmeric Revelation” (H, v, 241-254). In his letter, Lowell attributed the review (see Letter 175) to Dickens’ friend, and future biographer, John Forster. “Hirst’s article” refers to the biographical sketch of Poe in the Saturday Museum, February 25, 1843. For the publication of the tales Poe cites “as yet [page 259:] unpublished,” see Letter 175 and note. Concerning Longfellow’s Spanish Student, see the note to Letter 164. Lowell sent the biography late in September (see Letter 185 and note). [CL 490]

180 ⇒ TO DR. THOMAS H. CHIVERS [July 10, 1844] [CL 491]

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 NewYork — 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. Office, 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. [page 260:]

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 (not spiritual) 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.

As a title for Poe’s dream magazine, the old Penn gave way to the new Stylus, as early as January 1843, if not earlier (see Quinn, Poe, p. 369). Chivers’ “Heavenly Vision” may have been “To Allegra Florence in Heaven,” a poem on the death of his daughter, written in December 1842 (for newspaper printing, see Miller-Townsend Scrapbook, pp. 5859). “Mesmeric Revelation” appeared in the Columbian, II (August 1844), 67-70 (see Wyllie, Poe’s Tales, p. 331). [CL 491] [page 261:]

181 ⇒ TO JAMES R. LOWELL [August 18, 1844] [CL 493]

New-York: August 18. 1844

My Dear Friend,

With this letter I take the liberty to mail you a number of the “Columbian Magazine,” in which you will find a paper on “Mesmeric Revelation”. In it I have endeavoured to amplify some ideas which I suggested in my last letter.

You will observe many corrections & alterations. In fact the article was wofully misprinted; and my principal object in boring you with it now, is to beg of you the favor to get it copied (with corrections) in the Brother Jonathan — I mean the Boston Notion — or any other paper where you have interest. If you can do this without trouble, I would be very deeply indebted to you. I am living so entirely out of the world, just now, that I can do nothing of the kind myself.

In what are you occupied? — or is it still the far niente? For myself I am very industrious — collecting and arranging materials for a Critical History of Am. Literature. Do you ever see Mr Hawthorne? He is a man of rare genius. A day or two since I met with a sketch by him called “Drowne’s Wooden Image” — delicious. The leading idea, however, is suggested [page z] by Michäel Angelo’s couplet:

Non ha l’ottimo artista alcun concetto

Chè un marmo solo in se non circunscriva

To be sure Angelo half-stole the thought from Socrates.

How fares it with the Biography? I fear we shall be late.

Most truly your friend.

Edgar A Poe

For publication of “Mesmeric Revelation,” see the note to Letter 175. Though Lowell failed to have the tale republished in the Boston Notion, it did appear in the New World, August 3, and in the Philadelphia Saturday Museum, August 31, 1844 (see Wyllie, Poe’s Tales, p. 331). For Poe’s “Critical History” see Letter 240 and note. The quotation from Michaelangelo is, of course, not a couplet, and may be freely translated: “The best artist has no concept which a single marble does not contain within itself.” Lowell’s biography of Poe was delayed another month (see Lowell to Poe, September 27, 1844, cited in Note 181). [CL 493] [page 262:]

182 ⇒ TO FREDERICK W. THOMAS [September 8, 1844] [CL 496]

New York, September 8, 1844.

My Dear Thomas,

I received yours with sincere pleasure, and nearly as sincere surprise; for while you were wondering that I did not write to you, I was making up my mind that you had forgotten me altogether.

I have left Philadelphia, and am living, at present, about five miles out of New York. For the last seven or eight months I have been playing hermit in earnest, nor have I seen a living soul out of my family — who are well and desire to be kindly remembered. When I say “well,” I only mean (as regards Virginia) as well as usual. Her health remains excessively precarious.

Touching the “Beechen Tree,” I remember it well and pleasantly. I have not yet seen a published copy, but will get one forthwith and notice it as it deserves — and it deserves much of high praise — at the very first opportunity I get. At present I am so much out of the world that I may not be able to do anything immediately.

Thank God! Richard (whom you know) is himself again. Tell Dow so: but he won’t believe it. I am working at a variety of things (all of which you shall behold in the end) — and with an ardor of which I did not believe myself capable.

You said to me hurriedly, when we last met on the wharf in Philadelphia, that you believed Robert Tyler really wished to give me the post in the Custom House. This I also really think; and I am confirmed in the opinion that he could not, at all times, do as he wished in such matters, by seeing —— —— at the head of the “Aurora” — a bullet-headed and malicious villain who has brought more odium upon the Administration than any fellow (of equal littleness) in its ranks, and who has been more indefatigably busy in both open and secret vilification of Robert Tyler than any individual, little or big, in America.

Let me hear from you again very soon, my dear Thomas, and believe me ever

Your friend,

Poe.

Thomas’ letter of September 2 asks why Poe has not written (probably since March 16, 1843). Poe was living at the home of Patrick Brennan [page 263:] (see the note to Letter 189). For more about The Beechen Tree, see Letter 189 and note. In 1844, Thomas Dunn English edited the Aurora, and for the same year, he wrote in his autobiography: “I was President of a political club and did a good deal of stumping. I dare say that I was unnecessarily offensive in my remarks at times, and provoked a deal of ill-will” (see the Dictionary of American Biography, VI, 166). [CL 496]

183 ⇒ TO SAMUEL D. CRAIG [October 24, 1844] [CL 502]

Sir,

Proceed. There are few things which could afford me more pleasure than an opportunity of holding you up to that public admiration which you have so long courted; and this I think I can do to good purpose — with the aid of some of the poor labourers and other warm friends of yours about Yorkville.

The tissue of written lies which you have addressed to myself individually, I deem it as well to retain. It is a specimen of attorney grammar too rich to be lost. As for the letter designed for Mr Willis (who, beyond doubt, (will feel honoured by your correspondence), I take the liberty of re-inclosing it. The fact is, I am neither your footman nor the penny-post.

With all due respect, nevertheless,

I am Yr Ob, St

Edgar A Poe

S.D, Craig Esqr

Quoque. [Quogue]

New-York. Oct, 24, 44,

Samuel D. Craig was a lawyer, who practiced in New York City in 184z but who lived, not in “Quogue” but in Quogue, on Long Island, according to T. O. Mabbott. Just what the present letter refers to is unknown. Yorkville is the section of New York City around 86th Street and the East River, and in 1844 was probably a small community. [CL 502]

184 ⇒ TO WILLIAM DUANE [October 28, 1844] [CL 503]

New-York Octo. 28. 44

My Dear Sir,

Owing to my absence from this city, (where I am now residing), I did not receive your letter of the 15th until this morning. [page 264:]

I regret exceedingly that circumstances should have led you to think me negligent, or uncourteous, in not returning the volume of the “Messenger” — for one or the other (perhaps both) you must long since have considered me. The facts are these: Some eight months ago, I believe, I chanced to mention, in Mr Hirst’s hearing, that I wished to look over a particular article in the “Messenger”. He immediately volunteered to procure me the desired volume from you. I would much rather have borrowed it personally — but he seemed to make a point of the matter, and I consented. Soon afterwards he handed me the book, which I retained a very short time. It is now certainly more than seven months since I returned it to Mr Hirst, through my mother in law (Mr, Clemm), who informs me that she left it at his office, with one of his brothers. Most probably it was deposited in a book-case, and thus over-looked and forgotten. May I trouble you to send for it?

Very truly Yours,

Edgar Allan Poe.

William Duane Esqr

In connection with this letter, see Poe’s postscript to Letter 174, and Quinn, Poe, pp. 408-410. Unknown to Poe, Mrs. Clemm seems to have sold the volume of the SLM to Leary’s bookstore in Philadelphia, instead of returning it to Henry B. Hirst as Poe’s postscript requested (for another interpretation, see P, II 916-919). On the verso of the enclosing cover of the letter Duane wrote: “N.B. The Statement contained in this letter that the/ volume of ‘the Southern Literary Messenger’ in question was/ returned to Henry B. Hirst Esq. was pronounced by Mr./ Hirst to be ‘a damned lie’ and subsequent events showed that/ Mr. Hirst was right in denying it — Mr. Poe having sold the/ book — I hope unintentionally — to William A. Leary the book-/ -seller in Second Street./ W.D.” (For more on this episode, see Letter 191.) [CL 503]

185 ⇒ TO JAMES R. LOWELL [October 28, 1844] [CL 504]

New-York: Oct. 28. 44.

My Dear Friend,

A host of small troubles growing from the one trouble of poverty, but which I will not trouble you with in detail, have hitherto prevented me from thanking you for the Biography and all the well-intended [page 265:] flatteries which it contains. But, upon the principle of better late than never, let me thank you now, again and again. I sent it to Graham on the day I received it — taking with it only one liberty in the way of modification. This I hope you will pardon. It was merely the substitution of another brief poem for the last you have done me the honor to quote.

I have not seen your marriage announced, but I presume from what you said in your penultimate letter, that I may congratulate you now. Is it so? At all events I can wish you no better wish than that you may derive from your marriage as substantial happiness as I have derived from mine.

A long time ago I wrote you a long letter to which you have never replied. It concerned a scheme for protecting ourselves from the imposition of publishers by a coalition. I will state it again in brief. Suppose a dozen of the most active or influential men of letters in this country, should unite for the purpose of publishing a Magazine of high character. Their names to be kept secret, that their mutual support might be the more effectual. Each member to take a share of the stock at $100 a share. [page 2] Each, if required, to furnish one article each month — the work to be sustained altogether by the contributions of the members, or by unpaid contributions from others. As many of the members as possible to be taken from those connected otherwise with the press: — a black-ball to exclude any one suggested as a member by those already conjoined — this to secure unanimity — These, of course, are mere hints in the rough. But suppose that (the scheme originating with yourself & me) we write to any others or, seeing them personally, engage them in the enterprize. The desired number being made up, a meeting might be held, and a constitution framed. A point in this latter might be that an editor should be elected periodically from among the stockholders.

The advantages of such a coalition seem to me very great. The Magazine could be started with a positive certainty of success. There would be no expense for contributions, while we would have the best. Plates, of course, would be disdained. The aim would be to elevate without stupifying our literature — to further justice — to resist foreign dictation — and to afford (in the circulation & profit of the journal) a remuneration to ourselves for whatever we should write.

The work should be printed in the very best manner, and should [page 266:] address the aristocracy of talent. We might safely give, for $5, a pamphlet of 128 pp. and, with the support of the variety of our personal influence, we might easily extend the circulation to 20,000 giving $100,000. The expenses would not exceed $40,000 — if indeed they reached 20,000 when the work should be fairly established. Thus there would be $60,000 to be divided among 12 — $5000 per an: apiece.

I have thought of this matter long and cautiously, and am persuaded that there would be little difficulty in doing even far more than I have ventured to suggest.

Do you hear anything more about the Lectures?

Truly Yours.

E A Poe

Concerning the biography, see Lowell to Poe, September 27, 1844; it appeared in Graham’s, February 1845. In his letter of June 27, Lowell apparently spoke of his forthcoming marriage to the poetess Maria White (the MS. letter is unlocated; but W, II, 89, shows an omitted passage which may have been Poe’s source of information) ; the marriage took place in December 1844. In Letter 173 Poe had spoken of the proposed coalition. In connection with the present discussion, see also Letter 186. Lowell succeeded in getting Poe an appointment to lecture before the Boston Lyceum, October 16, 1845 (see Quinn, Poe, p. 485). [CL 504]

186 ⇒ TO CHARLES ANTHON [ante November 2, 1844, probably late October] [CL 505]

[New York, ante November 2, 1844,

probably late October]

†My Dear Sir,

Upon glancing your at this letter you will no doubt be surprised at its length, and

Many years have elapsed since I last wrote you, [Interlineated; and had the honor of re] and you will <no doubt> perhaps be surprized-<if not exactly > both at receiving <this > a letter <at at least and > from me now & receiving one so long. of so great a length. But may I beg your <to> attention for a few moments while I ask of you a favor upon <the> your granting or [page 267:] refusing which I feel that much of my future prosperity will depend.†1

[Interlineated: who whose whose]

Many years have elapsed since my last communication with you, and perhaps you will be surprised at receiving a letter from me now — if not positively <discouraged> vexed at receiving one of so great a length and of such a character. But I trust to your goodness of heart for a patient hearing, at the least.

You will have already seen that, as usual, I have a favor to solicit <at your hands>. You have, indeed, been to me in many respects a good genius & a friend — but the request I have to make now is one of vital interest to myself — so much so that upon your granting it or refusing it, depends, I feel, [Interlineated: much if not all of] the <whose> prosperity and even comfort of my future life.

[Interlineated: I have had few friends,]

I cannot flatter myself, that you have felt sufficient interest in <my humble self > me to have followed <my> in any respect my literary career, since the period at which you first did me the honor to <wrote me a letter communicate with> address me a note me while Editor of the Southern Messenger. A few words of explanation on this point will therefore be necessary here. [Interlineated: It It]

[page 2] [Interlineated: The] As I am well aware that your course of reading lies ent[i]rely out of the track of our lighter literature, and as I take it for granted therefore that <yone> none of <my> the papers in question have met your eye — I have thought it advisable to send you with this letter — a single tale as a specimen. <You> wil<l think no doubt> This will no doubt put you in mind of the brick of the sholastikos — but I could not thi[n]k of troubli[n]g you with more than one. I do not thi[n]k it my best tale — but it is perhaps the best in <that> its particular vein. Variety has been one of my chief aims.

In lieu of the rest I venture to place in your hands the published opinions of many of my contemporaries. I will not deny that I have been careful to collect & to preserve them. They include, as you will see, the warm commendations yreat number of very eminent men, and of these commendations, I <am> should be at a loss to understand why I have not a right to be proud. [page 268:]

[At the bottom of this page occur some scribblings by Poe which we have attempted to reproduce:]

Alice My Dear My Dear My D The

F6@8”FJ46@l

Should you b upon

I will

[page 3] †After a long & desperate struggle with the ills attendant upon orphanage, the total want of relatives, & † <Since quitting the Magazine> <Not long> before quitting the <Mag just mentioned> Mess:, I saw, or fancied that I saw, through a long & dim vista, the <wide and> brilliant field for <a true> ambition which a Magazine of <proper noble & high & > bold & noble aims presented to <any> him who should successfully <accomplish> establish it in America. I perceived that the country from its very constitution, could not fail of affording in a few years, a larger proportionate amount of readers than any <country> upon the Earth. <I perceiv I knew that even then> I perceived that the whole <tendency of the age> [Interlineated: energetic, busy spirit of the age tended wholly] was to the Magazine literature — to the curt, the terse, the well-timed, and the readily diffused, in preference to the old forms of the verbose and ponderous & the inaccessible. I knew from personal experience that lying perdus among the innumerable plantations in our vast Southern & Western Countries were a host of well-educated < & but little prejudiced> men si[n]gularly devoid of prejudice who would gladly le[n]d their influence to a really vigorous journal provided the right means were taken of bri[n]gi[n]g it fairly within the very limited scope of their observation — per <A> Now, <one of a Magazine Grahams a very true insignifi a journal Full of I> I knew, it is true, that some <dosens> scores of journals had failed (for indeed I looked upon the best success of the best of them as failure) but then I easily traced the causes of this failure in the impotency of their conductors, who made no scruple of basing their rules of action altogether upon what had been customarily done in stead of what was now before them to do, in the

[Interlineated:. bu[t]]

[page 4] greatly <altered > changed & constantly <alering> changing condition of things. [page 269:]

†But not to trust too implicitly to d priori reasonings, I entered à priori reasonings, I entered a few steps into the field of experiment. I joined the “Messenger” as you know. It had then about 700 subscribers. In short I could see no real reason why a Magazine, if worthy the name, could not be made to <reach a circulation of 50.02.000>. circulate among 20,000 subscribers, embracing the best intellect & education of the land. This was a thought which stimulated my fancy & my ambition. The influence of such a journal would be vast indeed, and I dreamed of honestly employing that influence in the sacred cause of the beautiful, the just, & the true. Even in a pecuniary view, the object was a <great> magnificent one.

The journal I proposed would be a large octavo of 128 pp. <on the finest> printed with <clear> bold type, in single column, on the finest paper, and disdaining everything of what is termed “embellishn”ent with the exception of an occassional portrait of a literary man, or some well-engraved wood design in obvious illustration of the text. Of such a journal I had cautiously estimated the expenses. Could I circulate 20 000 cop. at 5$ the cost wd be about $30.000, estimating all contingencies at the highest rate. There would be a balance of $70.000 per annum. <I thought of these things & reflected that>† ex

But not to trust too implicitly to à priori reasonings, and at the same time to make myself thoroughly master of all details <which> which might avail me concerni[n]g the mere business of publication, I entered a few steps into the field of experiment. I joined the “Messenger” as you know which was then in its 2d year with <It had then > 700 subscribers & the general outcry was that because a Magazine had never succeeded South of the Potomac therefore a Magazine ne[ver] cd succeed. Yet in despite of this & in despite of the wretched taste [page 5] of its proprietor which hampered & controlled me at all points I <obtained> in 15 months increased the circulation in 15 months to 5,500. subscribers. <This number the journal had when I left it> paying an annual profit of 10,000 when I left it. This number was never <sur> exceeded by the journal which rapidly went down & <is> may now be said to be extinct. Of “Graham’s Magazine” you have no doubt heard. It had been in existence under the name of the “Casket” for 8 years, when I became its editor with a subscribption list of about 5000. In about 18 months afterward its circulation amounted to no less than 50.000 — astonishi[n]g as this may appear. <In> At this period I left it. <an> It is now 2 [page 270:] years since, and the number of subscribers is now not more than 25.000. — but possibly very much less. In 3 years it will be extinct. The nature of this journal, however, was such, that even its 50.000 subscribers could not make it <a> very profitable to its proprietor[s]. Its price was $3 — but not only were its expenses immense owing to the employment of absurd <plat> steel plates [Interlineated: & other extravagances which tell not at all] but recourse was had to innumerable agents who recd it at a discount of no less th[a]n 50 per cent & whose [f]reque[n]t dishonesty occasional <great> enormous loss. But, if 50000 can be obtained for a 3$ Maga- among a class of readers who really read little, why may not 50,000. be procured for a $5 journal among the true and permanent readers of the land? [Interlineated: Astor House]

Holding steadily in view my ultimate purpose — to <establish> fou[n]d a Magazine of my own, or in which at least I might have a proprietary right, — it has been my constant endeavour in the meantime not so much to establish a reputation great in itself as <ef th> one of that particular character which should best further my special object[s], and draw attention to my exertions as Editor of a Magazine Thus I have <thus> written no books and [at this point, running upside down and between and among the words, occur two sums: 20,000 │ └─────

┐ │ ┘12

————— and 8 20,000

240000 2,500

60000

have been so far essentially a Magazinist-That That [page 6] <putting up not> bearing not only willi[n]gly but cheerfully *with the thousand > sad poverty & the thousand consequent <ill>s & contumelies [Interlineated: & other ills] which the <the> condition of the mere Magazinist entails upon him in America. — where more than in any other region upon the face of the globe to be poor is to be despised.

The one great difficulty resulting from this course, is that <I am judged by individual papers> unless the journalist collects his various articles he is <very> liable to <gross misjudgement from on the part> be grossly misconceived & misjudged by men of whose good opinion he would be proud — <and> < of > but who <have seen> see, perhaps, only a paper here & there, by accident, — often only one of his mere extravaganzas, written <for variety’s sake, or> to [page 271:] supply a particular demand. He loses, too, <the> whatever merit may be his due on the score of versatility — a point which can only be estimated by <comparison> collection of his various articles in volume form and altogether. This is indeed a serious difficulty — to seek a remedy for which is my object in my own case in writi[n]g you this letter. [Here follow some scribblings:] wh whic extinction b by

<It is very true that I h>

Setting aside, for the present, my criticisms poems & miscellanies (sufficiently numerous) my tales a great number of which might be termed Phantasy Pieces, <and> are in number sixty-six. They would make, perhaps, 5 of the ordinary novel volumes. I have them prepared in every respect for the press; but, alas, I have no money, nor that influence which would enable me to get a publisher — although I seek no pecuniary remuneration. My sole im[m]ediate object is the furtherance of my ultimate one. I believe that if I could get my Tales fairly before the public, and thus have <the> an opportun[i]ty of eliciti[n]g foreign as well as native opinion respecting them — I should <by> by their means [Here occur more scribblings:] [a]ct volume volu be [page 7] be in a far more advantageous position than at present in regard to the establishment of a Magazine. In a word, I believe that the publication of the work would lead forthwith <to an arrangement which I have long held in view with> either directly through my own exertion or indirectly with the aid of a publisher to the establishment of the journal I hold in view.

It is very true that <you> I have no claims upon your attention — not even that of personal acquaintance. But I have <a> reached a crisis of my life, in which I sadly stand in need of <a friend> aid, and without being able to say why, — <I have been always filled> u[n]less it is that I so <much wish> earnestly desire your friendship — I have always felt a half-hope that <I> if I appealled to you you would prove my friend. I know that you have unbounde[d] influence with the Harpers — & I know that if you would exert <that> it in my behalf you could procure me the publication I desire.

[Here occur more scribblings:] I [ Jou] scarcely but not onl I b but not

[Unsigned] [page 272:]

Anthon’s reply of November 2, having no apology for delay, implies an October dating for Poe’s corrected letter; moreover, Poe to Lowell, March 30, 1844, speaks of a magazine of 120 pp., and to Lowell, October 28, and to Anthon, supra, of 128 pp. Poe wrote Lowell, May 28, 1844, that he had written “about 60” tales; he tells Anthon “66.” To the 55 titles known to have been written by May 28, 1844 (see Poe’s letter to Lowell), we may add the “Literary Life of Thingum Bob” and “The Angel of the Odd” (see Wyllie, Poe’s Tales, pp. 329, 322), published by the end of 1844. Thus, 57 tales, not “66,” are all that we may be certain of, though the four published by July 1845, may have been written by October 1844; also, Poe may have had in mind various articles (he called “Mesmeric Revelation” both tale and essay). [CL 505]

187 ⇒ TO GEORGE R. GRAHAM [early 1845 - actually, move this to Sept.-Oct., 1843] [CL 512]

[New York, “Early 1845”]

We were square when I sold you the “Versification” article; for which you gave me first 25, and afterward 7 — in all . . . . $3200

Then you bought “The Gold Bug” for . . . .. . . . . .

5200

I got both these back, so that I owed . . . .. . . . . $8400

You lent Mrs. Clemm . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . .. . . . . .. 12 50

Making in all . . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. $96 50

The review of “Flaccus” was 3 s/4 pp, which at $4, is 15 00

Lowell’s poem is . . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . . 10 00

The review of Channing, 4 pp is 16, of which I got 6,

leaving . . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . . . . 10 00

The review of Halleck, 4 pp. is 16, of which I got 10,

leaving . . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . . 6 00

The review of Reynolds, 2 pp. . . . .. . . .. . . .. . . . 8 00

The review of Longfellow, 5 pp. is so, of which I

got 10, leaving . . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. . . . 10 00

So that I have paid in all . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. 59 00

Which leaves still due by me . . . . . .. $37 50

[Signature missing]

The “Versification” article was printed as “Notes Upon English Verse” in Lowell’s Pioneer, March 1843, and later as “The Rationale of Verse” in the SLM, October and November 1848. The review of Thomas Ward’s poems, published under the pen name of Flaccus, appeared in Graham’s for March 1843. The review of William Ellery Charming’s [page 273:] poems appeared in Graham’s, August 1843. The review of Fitz-Greene Halleck’s poems was printed in Graham’s, September 1843 — these three articles forming part of the series of papers entitled “Our Contributors” (reprinted in H, XI). “Lowell’s poem” may refer to Poe’s review of Poems (1844) in Graham’s, March 1844, though the review was less than two pages in length and Poe’s charge implies two and one-half pages; it is possible Poe refers to an article planned at the time of his departure from Philadelphia (see Letter 174), but if completed it was never printed in Graham’s. The reviews of Reynolds and Longfellow were never printed in Graham’s. In connection with Longfellow’s Spanish Student, which seems to be meant by the “review,” it is interesting to note that Poe, writing to Lowell, July 2, 1844, said, “Graham has had, for 9 months, a review of mine on Longfellow’s ‘Spanish Student’, which I have ‘used up’ . . .”; Graham never printed the review, and Poe, therefore, owed Graham $20 more than the amount cited in the letter as “still due by me.” [CL 512]

188 ⇒ TO GEORGE BUSH [January 4, 1845] [CL 513]

New York Jan. 4, 45.

Dear Sir;

With this note I take the liberty of sending you a newspaper”The Dollar Weekly” — in which there is an article, by myself, entitled “Mesmeric Revelation.” It has been copied into the paper from a Monthly Magazine — “The Columbian” — in which it originally appeared in July last.

I have ventured to send you the article because there are many points in it which bear upon the subject — matter of your last admirable work on the Future Condition of Man and therefore I am induced to hope that you will do me the honor to look over what I have said.

You will, of course, understand that the article is purely a fiction; — but I have embodied in it some thoughts which are original with myself & I am exceedingly anxious to learn if they have claim to absolute originality, and also how far they will strike you as well based. If you would be so kind as to look over the paper and give me, in brief, your opinion, I will consider it a high favor.

Very Respy. Yr. Ob. St.

Edgar A. Poe.

Please reply thro’ the P. Office. [page 274:]

For George Bush, Professor of Hebrew at New York University, see “Literati” in Godey’s, May 18 (reprinted in H, XV, 6-7). “Mesmeric Revelation” was first published in the Columbian, II (August 1844), 67-70; thus Poe’s “July last” probably refers to the appearance of the magazine. Bush’s Anastasis, or The Doctrine of the Resurrection is mentioned by Poe in “Marginalia,” April 1846 (see H, XVI, 97-98). [CL 513]

189 ⇒ TO FREDERICK W. THOMAS [January 4, 1845] [CL 514]

New-York Jan. 4. 45

Dear Thomas,

I duly received your two letters and “The Beechen Tree”, for which let me thank you. My reason for not replying instanter was that I was just then making arrangements which, if fully carried out, would have enabled me to do you justice in a manner satisfactory to both of us — but these arrangements finally fell through, after my being kept in suspense for months — and I could find no good opportunity of putting in a word anywhere that would have done you service. You know I do not live in town — very seldom visit it — and, of course, am not in the way of matters and things as I used to be. As for Benjamin’s criticism — although I made all kinds of inquiry about it, I could meet no one who had ever heard of it. At the “New-World” Office no paper containing it was even on file. I am disposed to think you were misinformed, and that no such critique appeared, in that paper at least. At all events, if there did, Benjamin, I am assured, did not write it. At the epoch you speak of, he was unconnected with the “New-World”.

In about three weeks, I shall [page 2] move into the City, and recommence a life of activity under better auspices, I hope, than ever before. Then I may be able to do something.

Virginia & Mrs Clemm are about as usual and beg to be remembered.

I am truly glad to hear of Dow’s well-doing. If ever man deserved prosperity, he does. Give him my respects — in which one word I mean to include all descriptions of kind feeling.

I remain, Thomas, truly

Your friend,

Poe [page 275:]

In his letter of October 10, Thomas wrote that he was sending Poe a copy of his book, The Beechen Tree, which had been reviewed favor ably, except by Dunn English and Park Benjamin. Again, on December 10, he asked why Poe had not acknowledged receipt of the poem. Poe had been attempting to get Chivers to join him in publishing the Stylus (see Letter 18o and note). A review of The Beechen Tree appeared in the New York Evening Mirror, November 19, 1844 (Thomas O. Mabbott thinks “the very brief notice may be Poe’s — it is complimentary, Poe certainly could have inserted it, and if it is his, it suggests that he found rather more faults than he wished, and perhaps had other reasons than those he told Thomas for failing to write the long review. But it is also possible that Willis anticipated him even in the brief notice, which is not stylistically definitive.” Quinn (Poe, pp. 435, 414) cites this letter as evidence that Poe was still living on the farm of Patrick Brennan, near what is now the neighborhood of 84th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway. Benjamin left the editorship of the New World in March 1844 (see Mott, History of American Magazines, I, 361), several months prior to the publication of Thomas’ poem. Just when Poe moved into New York is uncertain, but he probably went to 195 East Broadway sometime in the spring of 1845. Poe soon became an editor of the new Broadway Journal (see Letter 197 and note). Thomas’ letter of October 10 spoke of Dow’s having become doorkeeper at the House of Representatives in Washington. [CL 514]

190 ⇒ TO RUFUS W. GRISWOLD [January 16, 1845] [CL 517]

New-York : Jan. 16. 45.

{Confidential }

Dear Griswold — if you will permit me to call you so — Your letter occasioned me first pain and then pleasure: — pain because it gave me to see that I had lost, through my own folly, an honorable friend: — pleasure, because I saw in it a hope of reconciliation.

I have been aware, for several weeks, that my reasons for speaking of your book as I did (of yourself I have always spoken kindly) were based in the malignant slanders of a mischief-maker by profession. Still, as I supposed you irreparably offended, I could make no advances when we met at the Tribune Office, although I longed to do so. I know of nothing which would give me more sincere pleasure than your accepting these apologies, and meeting me as a friend.

If you can do this and forget the past, let me know where I shall call on you — or come and see me at the Mirror Office, any morning [page 276:] about 10. We can then talk over the other matters, which, to me at least, are far less important than your good will.

Very truly yours

Edgar A Poe.

R. W. Griswold.

When Griswold edited the Works of Edgar Allan Poe (see Note III) he failed to print his letter to Poe of January 14, 1845, to which the present letter is Poe’s reply. By suppressing his own letter requesting that Poe submit titles of his work and a biographical sketch for inclusion in Griswold’s forthcoming Prose Writers of America (H, XVII, 197-198), Griswold made it appear that Poe was humbly soliciting favors of him, whereas the situation was actually the reverse. [CL 517]

191 ⇒ TO WILLIAM DUANE [January 28, 1845] [CL 520]

New-York Jan. 28, 45.

Sir,

Richmond is the last place in which I should have hoped to find a copy of either the 1rst 2d or 3d volumes of the Messenger. For this reason I did not apply there. I have been putting myself, however, to some trouble in endeavouring to collect among my friends here the separate numbers of the missing volume. I am glad that your last letter relieves me from all such trouble in future. I do not choose to recognize you in this matter at all. To the person of whom I borrowed the book, or rather who insisted upon forcing it on me, I have sufficient reason to believe that it was returned. Settle your difficulties with him, and insult me with no more of your communications.

Edgar A Poe

Mr Duane.

In connection with this letter, see Letter 184 and note. Duane endorsed the present letter: “Bombastes Furioso Poe. Dated January 28, 1845. Received January 31, 1845. Not to be answered.” He then restated his note on the earlier letter (Letter 184), and added that Leary sold the volume to “a bookseller in Richmond, Va., who sold it to the publishers of the ‘Messenger,’ who sold it to a friend of mine . . . whom I had commissioned to purchase me a copy. My name was on the title-page during all these sales” (for the full note, see W, II, 367-368). Duane’s endorsement also includes the statement, “I sent him word that . . .” which may have been transmitted by letter (unlocated), but which was probably sent orally. [CL 520]

 


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 267:]

1.  Matter between daggers was first drafted, and then completely cancelled by Poe.


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


Notes:

In the original printing, an unusal special character is used between the number of the letter and the text describing the correspondents. In the current presentation, this special character has been rendered as a double right-pointing arrow. For the sake of the reader, the line that identifies a letter is given in a larger font, and in bold. The date of the letter, the letter number and check list number have also been added.


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

[S:0 - OLT66, 1966] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe (J. W. Ostrom) (Letters: Chapter VI)