Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Joseph Evans Snodgrass — July 12, 1841 (LTR-120)


Philadelphia July 12. 1841.

My Dear Snodgrass,

I have this moment received yours of the 10th, and am really glad to find that you have not quite given me up. A letter from you now is a novelty indeed.

The “Reproof of a Bird” shall appear in the September number. The last sheet of the August no: has already gone to press.

I am innocent of the elision in your quoted lines. Most probably the syllables were left out by our proof-reader, who looks over the articles after me, for such things as turned s's & o's, or battered type. Occasionally he takes strange liberties. In our forthcoming number he has substituted, (I see), a small for a capital R in Rosinante. Still — the lines read very well as they are, and thus no great harm is done. Every one is not to know that the last one is a finale to a stanza.

You say some of your monumental writers “feel small” — but is not that, for them, a natural feeling? I never had much opinion of Arthur. What little merit he has is negative. McJilton I like much better. He has written one or two very good things. As a man, also, I like him better. Do you know, by the bye, that W. G. Clark reproved me in his Gazette, for speaking too favorably of McJilton?

I re-enclose the notice of Soran. It was unavoidably crowded from the July no: and we thought it out of date, for the August[.] I have not read the book — but I would have been willing to take his merits upon your word.

You flatter me about the Maelstrom. It was finished in a hurry, and therefore its conclusion is imperfect. Upon the whole it is neither so good, nor has it been 1/2 so popular as “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”. I have a paper in the August no: which will please you. [page 2:]

Among the Reviews (for August) I have one which will, at least, surprise you. It is a long notice of a satire by a quondam Baltimorean L. A. Wilmer. You must get this satire & read it — it is really good — good in the old-fashioned Dryden style. It blazes away, too, to the right & left — sparing not. I have made it the text from which to preach a fire-&-fury sermon upon critical independence, and the general literary humbuggery of the day. I have introduced in this sermon some portion of a Review formerly written by me for the “Pittsburg Examiner”, a monthly journal which died in the first throes of its existence. It was edited by E. Burke Fisher Esqre — th[a]n whom a greater scamp never walked. He wrote to me offering 4$ per page for criticism, promising to put them in as contributions — not editorially. The first thing I saw was one of my articles under the editorial head, so altered that I hardly recognized it, and interlarded with all manner of bad English and ridiculous opinions of his own. I believe, however, that the number in which it appeared, being >>its<< th last kick of the maga:; was never circulated.

I presume you get our Mag: regularly. It is mailed to your address.

Very cordially your friend,
Edgar A. Poe.

Will you do me the favor to call at the Baltimore P.O. and enquire for a letter addressed to John P. Kennedy at Baltimore. By some absence of mind I directed it to that city in place of Washington. If still in the P.O. will you forward it to Washington?





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to J. E. Snodgrass (LTR120/RCL311)