Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Sarah J. Hale — January 16, 1846 (LTR-225)


New-York — Jan 16 — 46.

My Dear Madam,

I am afraid you have already found me guilty of gross discourtesy in failing to reply to your letter of Nov 14 — but I have postponed writing from day to day, and from week to week, in hope of being able to say something definite in regard to what you ask me concerning Wiley and Putnam — and I have, also, been in expectation of seeing you in New-York. I trust you have not quite abandoned the idea of paying us a visit.

Immediately upon receipt of “Ormond Grosvenor” I gave it a second careful reading — I had already seen it in “The Lady's Book” — and became confirmed in my first impression of its remarkable vigor and dramaticism. I not only think highly of this individual play, but I deduce from some passages of it — especially towards its denouement — that, with earnest endeavor in this walk of Literature, you would succeed far better than any American in the composition of that rare work of art, an effective acting play. At the same time I must not forbear saying that a curtailment of some of the mere dialogue of [page 2:] “Ormond Grosvenor” would, in my opinion, tend to its improvement.

In our literary circles here your “Alice Ray” is universally appreciated and admired.

For “Harry Guy” I should prefer the subtitle of “A Tale in Verse” to that of “A Tale in Rhyme” — although there is little choice. I think Clark & Austin or Paine & Burgess would be more willing to publish it, and afford you more liberal terms, than Wiley & Putnam — although, in point of caste, the latter are to be preferred, and their issues are sure of some notice in England.

I believe that, as yet, I have not even had the courtesy to thank you for your sweet lines from “The Sabbath and its Rest.” Upon the principle of “better late than never” will you permit me to thank you, very sincerely, now?

Should I visit Philadelphia, at any time, I shall undoubtedly do myself the honor of calling on you.

In the meantime I am

With the Highest respect
Your Ob. St.
Edgar A Poe

Mrs S. J. Hale.

[page 3:]

P.S. — I send the play, with this note, by Harden's express The B. Journal had fulfilled its destiny — which was a matter of no great moment. I have never regarded it as more than a temporary adjunct to other designs. I am now busy making arrangements for the establishment of a Magazine which offers a wide field for literary ambition. Professor Chas. Anthon has agreed to take charge for me of a Department of Criticism on Scholastic Letters. His name will be announced. I shall have, also, a Berlin and a Parisian correspondent — both of eminence. The first No. may not appear until Jan. 1847.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to S. J. Hale (LTR225/RCL611)