Text: Thomas Dunn English, “A Card, in Reply to Mr. Poe’s Rejoinder,” Evening Mirror (New York), vol. IV, no. 82, July 13, 1846


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Mr. Edgar A. Poe is not satisfied, it would seem. In the ‘Times,’ a Philadelphia journal of considerable circulation, there appears a communication, headed-‘Mr. Poe’s reply to Mr. English, and others. As it is dated ‘27th of June,’ and the newspaper containing it is dated Loth July; and as it appears in another city than this,-it is to be inferred that Mr. Poe had some difficulty in obtaining a respectable journal to give currency to his scurrilous article. The following words and phrases, taken at random from the production, will give the public some idea of its style and temper:

‘Blackguard,’ ‘coward,’ ‘liar,’ ‘animalcula with moustaches for antennal’ [[sic]], ‘block-heads,’ ‘quartette of dunderheads,’ ‘brandy-nose,’ ‘best-looking, but most unprincipled of Mr. Barnum’s baboons,’ ‘filthy lips,’ ‘rascally carcase,’ ‘inconceivable amount of brass,’ ‘poor miserable fool,’ ‘hog-puddles in which he has wallowed from infancy,’ ‘by Heaven!’ ‘dockloafers and wharf-rats, his cronies,’ ‘the blatherskite’s attack,’ ‘hound,’ ‘malignant a villain,’ ‘wretch,’ ‘filthy sheet,’ ‘hasty pudding by way of brains.

To such vulgar stuff as this, which is liberally distributed through three columns of what would be, otherwise, tame and spiritless, it is unnecessary to reply. It neither suits my inclination, nor habits, to use language, of which the words I quote make up the wit and ornament. I leave that to Mr. Poe and the ancient and honorable community of fishvenders.

Actuated by a desire for the public good, I charged Mr. Poe with the commission of certain misdemeanors, which prove him to be profligate in habits and depraved in mind. The most serious of these he admits by silence — the remainder he attempts to palliate; and winds up his tedious disquisition by a threat to resort to a legal prosecution. That is my full desire. Let him institute a suit, if he dare, and I pledge myself to make my charges good by the most ample and satisfactory evidence.

To the charlatanry of Mr. Poe’s reply; his play upon my name; his proclamation of recent reform, when it is not a week since he was seen intoxicated in the streets of New York; his attempt to prove me devoid of literary attainments; his sneers at my lack of personal beauty; his ridiculous invention of quarrels between me and others, that never took place; his charges of plagiarism, unsupported by example; his absurd story of a challenge accepted and avoided; his attempt to excuse his drunkenness and meanness on the ground of insanity; in short, to the froth, fustian, and vulgarity of his three-column article, I have no reply to make. My character for honor and physical courage needs no defence from even the occasional slanderer — although, if the gentlemen whose names he mentions, will endorse his charges, I shall then reply to them — much less does it require a shield from one whose habit of uttering falsehoods is so inveterate, that he utters them to his own hurt, rather [than] not utter them at all; with whom drunkenness is the practice and sobriety the exception, and who, from the constant commission of acts of meanness and depravity, is incapable of appreciating the feelings which animate the man of honor.





A clipping of the original article may be found in the Mabbott Collection, University of Iowa.

Poe’s article, to which this rejoinder is addressed, was printed a Reply in the Spirit of the Times, July 10, 1846



[S:0 - NYM, 1846 (TOMUI] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - A Card, in Reply to Mr. Poe’s Rejoinder, (Thomas Dunn English, 1846)