Text: Richard H. Horne to Edgar Allan Poe — April 27, 1844


5 Fortress Terrace, Kentish Town, London, April 27/44.

My Dear Sir, — When I replied to your letter (which I did by the next post of the day on which I received it) I had not seen the No. of “Graham” for March, containing the review of “Orion.” Mr. C. Mathews, of New York, had been so good as to inform me there would be a review; and he, at the same time, mentioned that he had sent me a copy of the magazine in question. My friend Miss E. B. Barrett also sent me a note to the same effect. But owing no doubt to some forgetfulness on the part of the booksellers who were to forward it, the magazine never reached me, nor was it at Wiley and Putnam’s, when I called the other day.

Your MS. of the “ Spectacles “ is safely lodged in my iron chest with my own MSS. till I find a favorable opportunity for its use.

I have carefully read and considered the review of “Orion “ in the magazine. It would be uncandid in me to appear to agree to all the objections; and, amidst such high praise, so independently and, courageously awarded, it would be ungrateful in me to offer any self-justificatory remark on any such objections. I shall, therefore, only observe that there are some objections from which I can derive advantage in the way of revision — which is more than I can say of any of the critiques written on this side of the waters. One passage, in particular, I will mention. It is that which occurs at p. 103. “Star-rays that first”: Needlessly obscure as you truly say. For, in fact, I did allude to Sleep, as the antecedent, and it should have been printed with a capital letter. What I meant by the passage, rendered in prose, would be something like this. — ‘The God Sleep, lying in his cave by the old divine sea, feeleth the star-rays upon his eye-lids, at times; and then his sleep is not perfect, and he dreams, or for a brief interval awakes. Without which awakening he would never have known surprise, nor hope, nor useful action. Because (your poet herein bewitched by a theory he fancies original) we are never surprised at anything, however wonderful, in a dream; neither do we hope; nor do we perform any action with an idea of its being at all useful.’ A pretty condition, you see, my imagination had got into while writing this passage. The explanation, if it does not make you angry, will I think greatly amuse you.

Are there any of my works which you do not possess and would like to have? I shall be very happy to request your acceptance of any, if you will let me know how to send them. It strikes me (from some remarks of yours on versification and rhythm) that you do not know my Introduction of “Chaucer Modernized.” Do you? Would any American bookseller like to reprint “Orion” do you think? If so I would willingly superintend the sheets, for a slight revision in some half dozen places, and would write a brief Introduction or Preface addressed to the American Public; and certainly I should at the same time be too happy to express my obligations to the boldness and handsomeness of American criticism.

I am, dear Sir,

Your obliged,
R. H. Horne.  

E. A. Poe, Esq.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - R. H. Horne to Poe (RCL479)