Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Edward H. N. Patterson — August 7, 1849 (LTR-329)


Richmond, Aug. 7. 49.

My Dear Sir,

The date of your last letter was June 7 — so that two months have elapsed since you wrote it, and I am only just now sitting down to reply. The fault, Heaven knows, has not been mine. I have suffered worse than death — not so much from the Cholera as from its long-continued consequences in debility and congestion of the brain — the latter, possibly, attributable to the calomel taken.

I have at length, however, been able to give your propositions full consideration — and I confess that I hesitate. “To fail” would be ruinous — at least to me; and a $3 Magazine (however well it might succeed (temporarily) under the guidance of another) would inevitably fail under mine. I could not undertake it con amore. My heart would not be in the work. So far as regards all my friends and supporters — so far as concerns all that class to whom I should look for sympathy and nearly all of whom I proposed to see personally — [page 2:] the mere idea of a “$3 Magazine” would suggest namby-pambyism & frivolity. Moreover, even with a far more diminished circulation than you suggest, the profits of a $5 work would exceed those of a $3 one.

I most bitterly lament the event which has detained me from se Louis — for I cannot help thinking that, in a personal interview, I could have brought you over to my plans. I fear that now it is too late. But a Mag. might be issued in July very well — and if you think it possible that your views might be changed, I will still visit you at St L. As yet, I am too feeble to travel; but by the time your reply to this reaches me, I shall have gained sufficient strength to set out. It is not impossible, indeed, that, with energy, the first number might yet be issued in January. I will, therefore, await, in Richmond, your answer to this.

Very cordially yours,
Edgar A Poe.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to E. H. N. Patterson (LTR329/RCL817)