Text: Edgar Allan Poe to George Lippard — February 18, 1844 (LTR-169)


Philadelphia, Feb. 18, 1844.

My Dear Lippard —

It will give me pleasure to attend to what you suggest. In a day or two you shall hear from me farther.

Touching the “Ladye Annabel,” I regret that, until lately, I could find no opportunity of giving it a thorough perusal. The opinion I expressed to you, personally, was based, as I told you, upon a very cursory examination. It has been confirmed, however, by a subsequent reading at leisure. You seem to have been in too desperate a hurry to give due attention to details; and thus your style, although generally nervous, is at times somewhat exuberant — but the work, as a whole, will be admitted, by all but your personal enemies, to be richly inventive and imaginative — indicative of genius in its author.

And as for these personal enemies, I cannot see that you need put yourself to any especial trouble about THEM. Let a fool alone — especially if he be both a scoundrel and a fool — and he will kill himself far sooner than you can kill him by any active exertion. Besides — as to the real philosophy of the thing — you should regard small animosities — the animosities of small men — of the literary animalculae (who have their uses, beyond doubt) — as so many tokens of your ascent — or, rather as so many stepping stones to your ambition. I have never yet been able to make up my mind whether I regard as the higher compliment, the approbation of a man of honor and talent, or the abuse of an ass or a blackguard. Both are excellent in their way — for a man who looks steadily up.

If my opinion of “The Ladye Annabel” can be of any service to you whatever, you have my full permission to publish this letter, or any portion of it you may deem proper.

With respect and friendship,

Edgar A Poe

To George Lippard, Esq.

Chestnut and Seventh Sts.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to G. Lippard (LTR169/RCL466)