Text: Burton R. Pollin, “Introduction for Supplementary Marginalia,” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan PoeVol. II: The Brevities (1985), pp. xlviii- (This material is protected by copyright)


[page xlviii, continued:]


[Column I = the number in The Brevities; II, in 1850 edition]

    I         II      

Velschius’ work on Persian dates jestingly mentioned


Shelley and R. Montgomery humorously compared


Bishop Butler on mass lunacy


Poe and Livy on Hannibal’s Italian route


Horace Smith: his looks and books


epigrams and fencing-foils: both pointed


Dante’s Purgatory: not the ultimate place


why music affects us to tears


Voltaire on one God


Man, innately rational, is civilized in the natural state


literature: largely comprised of the works of little people


Ainsworth: his nonsensical Latin and Greek sprinklings


one of Plutarch’s Lives humorously noted


Mary Magdalen slander refuted


hyperism in German titles and Olympic games prizes


music as the science of sound is not grasped by Chorley and musicians


J. Grant: trivial in his facts


adaptation and plot construction: human and divine forms contrasted


J. Montgomery on Oriental tales quoted and derided


the tragic power of Dickens, too often ignored


Duncan’s theological work — naive in use of “prophecy”


mocking allusions to scientific titles and theories


Women must be criticized even more gently than men


Tom Paine’s work — clever and impudent


Germans currently addicted to history — writing


High birth is undervalued by democrats


Speed-writing, better for comprehension, eventually may be widely taught


Necessity produces inventions


Gibbon’s style condemned for its three principles


the destructive bigotry of Bristed (?)


Truth, though casually spoken, is often neglected in history, where expected.


analogy given between effect on body of light and sound


Books should begin well


handwriting as indicator of character and mental habits


plagiarism by literary men scorned


An incomplete Hebrew biblical text, emended, solves a crux


Brougham’s criticism of J. Randolph ill-taken


Lardner’s borrowed lore on astronomical magnitudes extremely faulty


A book, title given, proves the strangeness of truth


An inconsiderable poem yields worthy passages


the force of assonance, too often overlooked, shown in Comas


Moore’s poetical writing praised with reservations


Poe deprecates the writer’s faithful depiction of ugliness.

44     214    

Tennyson praised for truly poetic effect [page xlix:]

45     71    

Writers of genius must choose their own subjects

46     70    

L. Sterne (sic) and C. Colton derive their ideas from precursors

47     67    

Philologists choose wit over truth for derivations

48     57    

odors: effect differs from other senses

49     58    

Buwer’s debt in Last Days to Arnay unacknowledged

50     82    

La Harpe justly praises Racine’s skill

51     99    

Volney’s evaluation of life at its end

52     74    

women novelists, exemplified by Lady Fullerton’s new novel unusually competent for a woman

53     75    

polytheism, both modern and ancient, confused even about deities’ gender

54     61    

striking optic effects in a German Macbeth

55     128    

Moses’ use of the singular and plural of Eloah

56     138    

Novels exert beneficial, even moral effects through imitation

57     140    

ancient view on soul’s equine trip to heaven

58     134    

M. Masson’s novel a vile work

59     127    

Books can intentionally “suggest” by hints and omissions

60     170    

Sallust quoted on kingship


Macaulay corrected on first periodical moral essay

62     38    

Solomon as author of the Iliad

63     112    

Mill’s and Bentham’s a priori arguments on government are fallacious

64     111    

Satyre Ménippée similar to Butler’s Hudibras

65     113    

Flaminius’ quoted Latin shows a concord of sound and sense

66     114    

similarities between Gould’s and Howitt’s verses

67     115    

C. Webbe’s Lamb-like essays tiresomely mannered

68     116    

Austin’s Essay on a Future State aptly avoids rational arguments

69     119    

humorous physiognomical definition of gentleman

70     118    

Some minds must know and show how things are done

71     120    

Poe laughs at Jonah in German hexameters

72     130    

the multilanguage, imitative origins of the British Spy

73     117    

Bulwer’s style in Night and Morning too involute

74     45    

Simms’ writings quoted for inaccurate style

75     40    

Cowley’s Davideis — a witticism

76     47    

Poe finds error in an almost perfect Camöens (sic) book

77     48    

Bulwer’s sentimental idea of the smiling dead

78     49    

Tieck surpassed Brougham in misapplying quotations


Hawthorne: a true genius but desperate mannerist and a borrower

80     50    

Dickens’ and Buwer’s petty grammatical errors

81     51    

The French infuse Gallic rhythm into English verse

82     66    

a complex plot without interdependence cited

83     53    

J. Montgomery’s exaggerated style deprecated

84     54    

Baden’s Danish imitations of classical metres tolerable

85     52    

Malibran’s well — deserved acclaim

86     126    

Certain Voltaire volumes deserve burning

87     100    

pun on poor reasoning

88     108    

early dates of three English magazines traced

89     102    

comment on magazine article plagiarisms

90     103    

comment on wrong attributions of Latin tags


“Jehovah” not a Hebrew word

92     101    

Macaulay overrates Tickell, ignoring his borrowings from Boileau

93     104    

humorous comment on decline of reputation

94     107    

humorous comment on reaching the end

95     105    

Curran’s overpowering style [page l:]

96     123    

English magazine’s measured praise of W. Godwin cited

97     109    

Rhododaphne quoted for musicality

98     106    

Fouqué’s Undine: a beautiful book with a hidden theme about second marriage

99     160    

E. Wilkinson’s Revolutionary War memories derided

100     165    

the plagiarism of Mathias’ Pursuits by the Monthly Register

101     151    

pun on Griswold’s hard head

102     162    

etymology of “high — binder” traced

103     163    

“musquitoes” as frustrating American genius


A. Welby’s poetry quoted and analyzed as passionate, but unoriginal

105     196    

Adam called “first scientist” on Vatican portrait

106     171    

Simms’ “Indian Serenade” quoted as meritorious

107     173    

conundrum: a fable of the fox


The mob’s credulity and the philosopher’s skepticism of yesteryear now are reversed

109     164    

Coleridge’s Table Talk is really Table Preachings


Bulwer, talented and trained, could never produce the masterpiece of the genius Dickens

111     160    

a vulgarism common to both Latin and Smollett

112     157    

simple ancient Greek oratory inferior to today’s

113     155    

erroneous authorship for novel Miserrimus given

114     153    

T. C. Grattan, circumlocutory and wordy, badly depicted in a print

115     141    

biblical lore on impenetrable Edom contrasted with Keith’s views on prophecy

116     142    

H. W. Herbert, better in his verses than his wordy strained prose

117     167    

Bulwer’s style excessively involute

118     166    

Men of genius need constructiveness and energy or industry for productions

119     168    

Originality, formerly decried in America, alienates the enviously mediocre

120     169    

Chinese and European drama compared for conventions

121     150    

“Fortune,” basic to Greek drama, is unmentioned in Iliad

122     172    

Lowell’s book errs — that a knowing critic could not create


Griswold’s book makes him into Anacharsis Clootz

124     191    

Mill’s “demonstrated propositions” derogated

125     195    

a proverb on thick skulls

126     209    

postulate: our chance of afterlife indicated by the quality of our slumber or swoons

127     211    

Pythagoras’ definition of beauty hinted in U.S. motto

128     205    

a geographic book, full of Germanic statistics


Mancur’s novel — tediously lengthy

130     204    

Despite Swedenborgians’ belief, Poe labels “Mesmeric Revelation” fictitious

131     203    

apparent decline of drama due to imitative element

132     199    

J. Montgomery unselfconsciously deprecates “Ossian.”

133     206    

English attempts at Greek hexameters (Sidney’s) absurd, unlike Poe’s sample

134     201    

Personification in Longfellow’s “Proem” is faulty

135     183    

words considered as murderous things

136     179    

reality defined in relation to real estate

137     189    

Voltaire’s preface to Brutus cited

138     187    

Longfellow’s mosaic of plagiarisms like Tasso’s


eleven pairs of verse plagiarized in famous writers paralleled


The sensitive poet assimilates and imitates others’ excellent passages. [page li:]

139C     202    

Lack of international copyright crushes literary genius and promotes insipid productions

140     208    

Longfellow’s “Pröem” is slipshod in rhythm and thought, but all consistent

141     210    

need for honest, censorious critics with standards

142     207    

Scots as God’s tongue humorously proposed

143     221    

Concise magazine articles indicate increase in direct, rapid thought

144     176    

joke on a wit’s function

145     193    

allegorical fable applied to inept critics

146     198    

Hudson’s lectures pointlessly employ antithesis

147     10    

Like music, poetic elements rely on mathematical equality and unexpectedness

148     18    

popular witticism about Louis XV’s equestrian statue

149     17    

Puckle quoted as speaking of the dead

150     16    

Fancies can be concretized by the power of words

151     3    

Tertullian paradox wrongly attributed to Browne by Hudson

152     22    

German words for poetry agree with Bielfeld’s French definition

153     6    

Plutarch thinks senseless an epigram on Diana

154     23    

In Thomas Hague are combined an astrological quack and an ass


The ideas of man and mankind are cyclical


Poe agrees with Gosselin on Hanno’s furthest landing


medicine’s drugging system as similar to Christian penance


H. Cary, American poet, as a good essayist

159     121    

Voltaire quoted on British political prejudices

160     122    

plagiarism of T. Hood by Aldrich


Bush’s Anastasis on rebirth: logical treatise on wild premises


Gillespie’s Rome: an entertaining set of impressions

163     125    

Johnson quoted on personal abuse

164     95    

German apothegm on art disputed


the rant and cant of Carlyle in Hero-Worship


Cheever’s anthology of poetry commonplace

167     124    

Street’s descriptive poetry lacks spirit


Poe refutes the plagiarism charges against the learned, accurate classicist Anthon

169     73    

W. W. Lord’s poems are largely plagiarisms


Lady Morgan’s faulty style misleads a translator


an obvious truth, often ignored: drama has not declined, but advanced little


Fourierite newspaper derided for its name and readership


W. G. Simms’ Areytos quoted and praised


German taste morbid in admiring Werter


Cranch’s poetry: transcendental, but in one quoted example artistic though blemished

176     110    

Sue’s Mysteries of Paris — book and translation imperfect

177     194    

Bulwer’s Lady of Lyons — a successful but defective drama

178     182    

I. Disraeli too concerned with subject to tighten style

179     197    

Poetry analysis based on mathematical quantity would improve even masterpieces

180     200    

Newnham’s book on mesmerism fallacious in premises, not in its conclusion

181     20    

Fouqué’s Thiodulf represents simple — minded, unsettled German taste and criticism

182     25    

magazine literature suited for the rush of our day

183     24    

Roger Bacon anticipated J.Espy’s weather theory. [page lii:]

184     129    

America needs a new, distinctive, euphonious name, such as Appalachia

185     133    

courage needed to admit cowardice

186     132    

Greek plays, such as Antigone, show inexperience, simplicity, unlike sculpture

187     69    

Genius vacillates between ambition to excel and inadequate effort through scorn or indifference

188     56    

R. W. Emerson — an imitator of Carlyle, like Sallust and Aruntius

189     2    

Genius appears in deepest despair just before success

190     42    

Genius requires moral matter in motion

191     39    

Poe corrects Bristed on the mechanics of verse, the same in all tongues

192     43    

characteristics of the conversation of genius

193     46    

Coleridge’s astronomical slip

194     41    

No man dares to write and publish his complete confession of self

195     144    

misinformation about rhetorician’s rules in Hudibras

196     145    

A new Baconian idol is needed for reasoning in a circle, about reason itself

197     5    

the need for a treatise on punctuation — meanwhile, the dash discussed

198     55    

plagiarism of Channing’s article by New Monthly Magazine proved by Poe

199     4    

Profound thoughts on God and the soul resemble the merely sentimental

200     1    

Poe’s mesmeric tales deemed nonfiction by British journals mocked in turn by Poe


E. Barrett’s Drama of Exile has a vigorous passage — cited.


Effective song lyrics require the indefinitiveness of music — basic to such popular verses as those of G. P. Morris

203     62    

T. C. Grattan’s book circles around its subject, like a gossip

204     68    

plagiarism of Felicia Hemans’ “Hymn” by R. W. Dodson


Osborn’s Confessions of a Poet powerful without roughness

206     65    

B. Tucker’s noble novel cannot expect adequate recognition in the prejudiced North American Review

207     63    

anecdote about a flashily learned youth, exposed through his cribbed sources

208     64    

plagiarism by G. Hill of Southerner E. C. Pinkney’s “Health”


Mrs. Osgood’s poetry remarkable for its grace

210     59    

T. B. Read, a true but faulty poet, copies the copyist Longfellow

211     60    

Poe would be insulted, if evaluated by the North American Review


Bayard Taylor’s skilful, imaginative poetry quoted and defended

213     135    

Shelley, sincere and original, led to the acme — Tennyson


W. W. Lord’s two plagiarisms from Poe


evil in man illogically excused in L. Osborn’s Alla-Ad-Deep

216     138    

John Neal: a genius without constructive sense

217     136    

The critic and the criticized properly should be named in magazine reviewing

218     28    

Grammatical inversion, an unpardonable poetic license, enfeebles poetry

219     29    

epigram — doggerel on Poe’s and Green’s criticism of Coxe’s Saul

220     31    

Imagination makes new compounds of beauty and deformity

221     34    

Ward’s hyperbole on Buwer’s genius denied — mere talent and energy

222     36    

E. Barrett quoted for quaintness and affection [page liii:]


quip on brainless deviltry


To a genius “the difficult” is “the impossible.”


Only St. Francis could uplift modern men

226     27    

The mob can be led by its imagination

227     84    

S. Butler’s definition of a rabble suits the U. S. Congress

228     97    

Americans worship the dollar — as one-tenth eagle

229     89    

Aspiring reformers usually fall below ordinary men


a sharp eye needed to see man as dignified

231     94    

In a future existence the present will seem a dream


a distinction made between a people and a mob

233     96    

Expectations alter behavior of scoundrels and gentlemen

234     87    

moral courage a misnomer


villainy a surer path to worldly success than virtue

236     85    

A snobbish writer incorrectly capitalizes king and monarch


Complete knowledge of man’s heart leads to despair


genius and moral nobility closely related

239     90    

“Music of the spheres” and “mosaic” properly mean proportion or harmony — to Plato and us.

240     98    

L. G. Clark: unremarkable and dull

241     91    

Derogation of Van Buren shows changing word meaning


a true system of philosophy impossible

243     86    

Mere imitation of nature is not art

244     93    

Anacreon is extant only for academic reasons

245     92    

Hegel’s view: philosophy’s uselessness makes it estimable

246     88    

Beranger cited for man’s optimism and ingenuity

247     83    

The highly gifted must be misunderstood and mistreated by the commonalty

248     26    

The Muses, when invoked, forsake the poem

249     15    

The German for “sky-rocket” fits Boston criticism

250     19    

disagreement on the rightness of popular taste


the hellishness of our world to the eye of reason

252     21    

vengeance seen as justice, even by men of pride and conscience

253     14    

Latin pun on quail

254     13    

the error of being a citizen only of the world, not of the universe

255     12    

The motto of the bell, Great Tom, suits Carlyle-ists

256     11    

word play on the iron or gold points of Paulus Jovius’ pen


pun on the name of Preserved Fish


a speaker’s eloquence deprecated by a Cicero witticism


pun on H. Walpole’s concept of grace

260     7    

the number of adherents no criterion of a religion or philosophy


pun on trees and “tres” (Latin) for Gothic church arches

262     8    

F. Bacon’s ameliorative reform contrasted with reformer’s oppositionism

263     9    

Feelings about charity at death argue for Christianity

264     79    

Latin pun on Demosthenes

265     80    

travellers’ accounts of celebrities mostly lies

266     72    

Analytic reflection on the method of art distracts from its major purpose

267     78    

Modern mass reform and anti — pleasure laws are related

268     81    

Like Chinese, romance — writers should begin books at the end

269     77    

Mathews’ book will be unread.

270     32    

The printing error in Mathews’ book: its being published

271     37    

Mozart’s final awareness of music’s capacity; our hope: the Spasmodists’ awareness of its incapacity [page liv:]


Magazine poets adopt Ferrar’s attempted “perpetual chant.”

273     35    

apt construction more important and obvious in tales than in novels

274     33    

Dupin’s commonly understood language the opposite of Bostonian esoteric utterance

275     30    

a Latin joke on the people’s voice

276     149    

plain — speaking about American literature needed

277     146    

Montaigne’s need to think before writing, despite his quip

278     178    

fable of Reynard the fox used to condemn Mathews’ play

279     148    

American critics should know their own language

280     44    

Few of our artists are too natural

281     131    

Mathews’ desire for critical notice — afterwards resented

282     137    

Attacking great men magnifies the little

283     143    

The increasing bluestockings need to be reduced through deft criticism

284     147    

Opera choruses suggest Sophocles’ turkey chorus

285     152    

Chinese and Greeks locate soul in stomach or chest


Mathews’ literary failures seem intentional

287     156    

Lawson’s play deprecated via Macbeth and an opera

288     154    

Silk Buckingham’s travelogues mocked

289     76    

Carlyle’s next book predicted slightingly


Wm. Wallace’s poetry quoted with praise

291     177    

The puns in T. Hood’s fantastic, original works represent his despondency




The number used for the 1850 entries reflects a problem in the numbering of the original 1850 text. Griswold creates two entries bearing the numbered designation of 160, and from that point on all entries are too low by 1. This anomaly explains why in the list above, there are two entries for 160, one referencing entry 99 of the original edition and another referencing entry 111. Following this anomaly, as Pollin does, entry 136 in the original “Marginalia” should point to entry 179 in the 1850 text, not entry 180, as Pollin gives it.

In the original table, as printed by Pollin in 1985, the entry for 56 mistakenly refers to 1850 entry 228. (There are only 226 entries in Griswold’s printing, and in the present text, the entry has been corrected to 139.)



[S:0 - BRP2B, 1985] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (Introduction for Supplementary Marginalia)