Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Annie L. Richmond — about January 21, 1849 (LTR-301)


New York

My own faithful Annie!

How shall I ever be grateful enough to God for giving me, in all my adversity, so true, so beautiful a friend! I felt deeply wounded by the cruel statements of your letter — and yet I had anticipated nearly all [[. . . .]] From the bottom of my heart I forgive her all, and would forgive her even more. Some portions of your letter I do not fully understand. If the reference is to my having violated my promise to you, I simply say, Annie, that I have not, and by God's blessing never will. Oh, if you but knew how happy I am in keeping it for your sake, you could never believe that I would violate it. The reports, if any such there be — may have arisen, however, from what I did in Providence on that terrible day — you know what I mean: — Oh — I shudder even to think of it. That [[. . . .]] [her friends] will speak ill of me is an inevitable evil — I must bear it. In fact, Annie, I am beginning to grow wiser, and do not care so much as I did for the opinions of a world in which I see, with my own eyes, that to act generously is to be considered as designing, and that to be poor is to be a villain. I must get rich — rich. Then all will go well — but until then I must submit to be abused. I deeply regret that Mr. R—— should think ill of me. If you can, disabuse him — and at all times act for me as you think best; I put my honor, as I would my life and soul, implicitly in your hands; but I would rather not confide my purposes, in that one regard, to any one but your dear sister.

[I enclose you a letter for Mrs. Whitman. Read it — show it only to those in whom you have faith, and then seal it with wax and mail it from Boston.... When her answer comes I will send it to you: that will convince you of the truth. If she refuse to answer I will write to Mr. Crocker. By the by, if you know his exact name and address send it to me.... But] as long as you and yours love me, my true and beautiful Annie, what need I care for this cruel, unjust, calculating world? Oh, Annie, there are no human words that can express my devotion to you and yours. My love for you has given me renewed life. In all my present anxieties and embarrassments, I still feel in my inmost soul a divine joy — a happiness inexpressible — that nothing seems to disturb. For hours at a time I sit and think of you — of your lovely character — your true faith and unworldliness. I do not believe that any one in this whole world fully understands me except your own dear self.... How glad I am to hear about Sarah's living with you, and about the school. Tell her that she is my own dear sister, whom I shall always love. Do not let her think ill of me; I hope Mr. C—— is well. Remember me to him, and ask him if he has seen my “Rationale of Verse” in the last October and November numbers of the Southern Literary Messenger.... am so busy now, and feel so full of energy. Engagements to write are pouring in upon me every day. I had two proposals within the last week from Boston. I sent yesterday an article to the American Review about “Critics and Criticism.” Not long ago I sent one to the Metropolitan called “Landor's Cottage:” it has something about Annie in it, and will appear, I suppose, in the March number. To the S. L. Messenger I have sent fifty pages of “Marginalia” — five pages to appear each month of the current year. I have also made permanent engagements with every magazine in America (except Peterson's National), including a Cincinnati magazine called The Gentlemen's. So you see that I have only to keep up my spirits to get out of all my pecuniary troubles. The least price I get is $5 per “Graham page,” and I can easily average 1 1/2 per day — that is $7 1/2. As soon as “returns” come in I shall be out of difficulty. I see Godey advertises an article by me, but I am at a loss to know what it is. You ask me, Annie, to tell you about some book to read. Have you seen “Percy Ranthorpe,” by Mrs. Gore? You can get it at any of the agencies. I have lately read it with deep interest, and derived great consolation from it also. It relates to the career of a literary man, and gives a just view of the true aims and the true dignity of the literary character. Read it for my sake....

But of one thing rest assured, Annie — from this day forth I shun the pestilential society of literary women. They are a heartless, unnatural, venomous, dishonorable set, with no guiding principle but inordinate self-esteem. Mrs Osgood is the only exception I know. Our dear mother sends you a hundred kisses (fifty for Sarah). She will write very soon. Kiss little Caddy for me, and remember me to Mr. R and to all.

I have had a most distressing headache for the last two weeks. [[. . . .]]





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to A. L. Richmond (LTR301/RCL768)