Text: Burton R. Pollin, “The Broadway Journal: Notes (September 1845),” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. IV: Broadway Journal (Annotations) (1986), pp. 190-206 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 190, continued:]

239/20} The book had 222 p. with no preface.

239/21-27} This para. plus the remainder on p. 240 became SM 7 in Br. with no changes save for the idiosyncratic spelling of “Preeminent” and “pre-eminence” (240/19), both of which receive the dieresis over the first “e” in the copy that Poe left for the “new” Marginalia (q.v. in Br.’s Intro. xxxvi-lx). Either Poe thought it a detraction from the sketch of Christopher North to include the second para. or thought that he had derogated Burns a bit too much. In SM 7a, I indicate why I would deny to Poe the 1/42 Graham’s rev. of the earlier reprint of the same book.

For Poe’s attempt to differentiate between moral and physical courage see also MM 185, 234.

240/1-12} For the quiet loveliness of the Isle of Palms (1812) see SM 7b. Poe’s insistence on ranking the subjects of his criticism shows a kind of formalistic, neoclassical tendency.

As often, he uses the French “niaiserie” or “foolishness” as a term of contempt, but here without specifying the nature of Wilson’s offenses.

240/13-40} Aristarchus, editor and harsh critic of Homer (see Pin 144, LST 1) was a favorite term of Poe’s, but it was also applied by editors of other journals to him in the days of the SLM editorship. Wilson’s great authority made his abuse of Americans, such as Lowell, particularly offensive to Poe, the “Young American” (see SM 1). The view of posterity has supported Poe in his complaint about the shallowness of Wilson as critic. In line 35, the Latin comes from Horace, Epistles, XXX, 1.1.14.

The clever turn of language at the end of the para., is used elsewhere by Poe as in his “Literati” sketch of L.G. Clarke (H 15.115).

240/41-55} This is the most reserved of any of Poe’s refs. to Burns, who certainly occurs infrequently in his critical works: a praise of his “pure ideality” in “Tam O’Shanter” (H 8.299) and a mere repetition of Mrs. Hemans’ dictum about his “wretched stuff” in one poem (H 9.203). Yet, the ballad-quality of some of Poe’s lyrics makes one suspect his partiality (see TOM, Poems, 80, 203). We must note Poe’s saying that Burns’ profligacy and tipsiness are to be disregarded in judging his literary merits. [page 191:]

240/56-64} The ed., proleptically dated 1846, has a short Preface (pp. 3-4 + 7-413), of which the first line reads: “We here present to the American public a book which has produced no little sensation in England.” This best seller by Bailey (18161902), of 1839, enlarged in subsequent editions (see 225/46) to 40,000 lines, had a succession of 52 semidramatic scenes, sometimes noble in style but usually “inflated and absurd,” with “a theme of universal salvation” (Bough, 1406 n5),

241/1-17} Poe probably never managed to read its 40,000 lines and he carried out this promise by quoting a full two-para. condemnation on 12/6 (p. 327 [facsimile text]) from the New York Evangelist (q.v.). Probably these laudations were from the publisher in the book or in advertisements. Poe seems trying, against his better judgment, to take the work seriously, especially in citing Horne, whose Orion he had glowingly reviewed (see H 11.249-75). Mrs. Hall must have been Anna Maria, i.e. Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall (1800-91), author of nine novels and two plays.

241/18-39} “L‘Envoi” shows well the “affected” and poetastical quality of the verse. As often happens, Poe’s statement of a “theme” is often far off the mark, as here. Certainly there are far worse faults in these “jottings” than the final “defective rhyme.” Collation (p. 413) shows only one substantive change, which scarcely improves the thought: line 25 — was of the soul-rack.

241/43-68} This thoroughly didactic novel of 9-332 p. by Elizabeth Missing Sewell has no Preface to indicate its origin, probably England, to follow Poe’s lead (p. 242) and the fact that it was edited by the Rev. W. Sewell, probably Rev. Wm. Sewell (1804-74), with a long series of clerical posts, author of miscellaneous works, and finally an emigre to escape his creditors (see the DNB). Is Poe being mildly ironic about “more decorous . . . of the British journals” for so exemplary and didactic a work?

242/17-23} This is by A. Henningsen and has a one page Preface which Poe equably chooses to ignore, for the author intends to “popularize some knowledge of the condition of the Russian Serf among a people who sacrificed twenty millions sterling to the enfranchisement of its own colonial blacks.” [page 192:]

242/25} See 213/37 n. for the full account of this bible.

242/28-45} See 89 (a) notes for Poe’s high regard for Hunt and his magazine (also Index items). The pages of the articles, in the order given by Poe, are these: 211-21, 252-55, 256-59, 227-32, 250-52, 222-27. Poe’s jesting designation shows his conviction about the inadequacy of the term “American,” q.v. in 55-56, 80 nn.

242/46-56} This work, published in 1844, has xii + 13-428 p.

242/57-62} This is the third ed. of a book published the same year (1845), with Preface (pp. 9-12 + 15-160) that deals with the nature and proper treatment of children. One suspects that Poe did not scan more than the Preface of this collection of poetry and stories for the young. For Elizabeth Oakes Smith see 221-22.

243/4-10} This book of 128 p. is by the ed. of the annual The May-Flower with Poe material. For brief refs. see 209, 247, 260 [facsimile text].

243/11-22} The whole of this installment-bible is in 2 vols., 1622 p., giving good competition, as Poe indicates, to the Harpers’ work (see Index).

243/23-45} This is truly conciliatory to the magazine, whose ed., L.G. Clark, Poe detested. The pages of the items, seriatim, are: “To My Wife” (202-203), 203-212, 245-52 (signed M. S. P.), 252. For Pike (1809-91), “Autography,” H 15.257-58.

For Mary E. Hewitt see the rev. of her book, 288-89 [facsimile text]. His quoting this bit of didactic fustian is surprising.

243/57} Clearly this is by the music ed. Watson, who would not stay for the rest of vol. 2 of the BJ. For Poe’s comment on this play see M 221.

The equivalent of three full columns on pp. 139-140 is devoted to views by Murdoch about his life as actor and elocutionist and the state of the theater in America early in his career and in the 1840s in London, ending with two paras. on the present performances at The Bowery and The Chatham (perhaps by Watson). All this is prefaced by a statement which may be by Poe (cf. 247/16-17): “We gladly avail ourselves of the author’s permission to occupy, this week, some portion of our usual space [page 193:] under the head of ‘The Drama,’ with an extract from a forthcoming work — ‘The Stage or Sketches of Dramatic Art’ By Jas. D. Murdoch.” (See 247/16-17.)

244/1-6} It was rather a hope than a fact that the advertising matter was usurping review space, for that of 8/30 was longer by four inches than the advertising of the present issue. It is true that the critical columns were shorter, but Poe filled up space with two of his own tales (“The Little Frenchman” and “Silence” plus “The Valley of Unrest”) as well as Act I of a tedious play by “the author of ‘The Vision of Rubeta“’ (i.e. Laughton Osborn) with II and III on 2.149-51 and 164-66, the work being called “The Magnetizer.” Poe’s proposed “eight additional pages” never came about, nor did the “new type.”

244/7-24} For Poe’s initial response to the dictionary of Bolles, see 144, 148-49 [facsimile text]. He was highly favorable to the “completeness” of the contents (85,000 words), but apparently further exploration of its pages showed its flaws and its biases — its origins being New England (see notes on the above and PCW). Poe’s sense of logic required the language to coin derived adverbs, adjectives, etc. from all the basic words. Yet he finally accepts Bolles’ work and probably consults it frequently. But it never won out against the ubiquitous Webster’s lexicons, and disappeared from almost every great American library.

244/25-64} Poe used this article for Marginalia 219, shorn of its first paragraph and newspaper column title and of its last two sentences, but with another para. added giving his opinion of Saul, finally read some time before the SLM of 5/49 published the reprint. Poe was obviously flattered by “Green” of the Emporium (no copies of the Hartford Columbian or of relevant issues of the weekly Saturday Emporium of New York are available). Moreover, the implied play on words in line 1 of para. 2 seems to derive from a pun by Poe himself in Alexander’s Weekly Messenger and used again in the Weekly Mirror in the Outis series (see 31/23-26 [facsimile text] and nn. Sidney Lanier’s citation of the first three lines of this squib on Saul as model humorous verse, in Science of English Verse [1880], pp. 229-30), may have come from either the BJ or the Marginalia article rather than from the Hartford newspaper.

For collations of the two texts of 1845 and 1849 see M 219 n. in Br. In general, Poe changes only the accidentals and the editorial “we” of the BJ into “I.” His added para. puns on the “Mystery” of Coxe’s pretentious “drama.” Rev. Arthur Cleveland [page 194:] Coxe (1818-96) was an Episcopalian churchman at Hartford and Baltimore who eventually became bishop of western New York. Before Saul he published Advent, a Mystery and Christian Ballads (1840), the latter popular among conservative readers. Earlier, in the 5/10 BJ (1.296-97) Briggs had reviewed Saul as the longest American dramatic work yet written, deliberately delayed in publication since 1842 and remarkable for the author’s refusing to read Sotheby’s epic on the same theme. Briggs mocks the subtitle “A Mystery” as did Poe in his 1849 addendum to his 1845 article, but otherwise he shows no awareness of the earlier review in an issue full of his own material.

The phrase with “tory” (line 48) must come from the Gaelic original meaning for pursuer, then outlaw, marauder, brigand, moss-trooper (cf. “swear like a trooper”) prior to its 1689 shift in meaning to one of the political factions (OED).

The complete dog ref. (line 58) is “Give a dog an ill name and hang him,” cited by Scott in Guy Mannering, ch. 23, with the added explication, “and if you give a man, or a race of men an ill name they are very likely to do something that deserves hanging. The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs (3rd ed. 1970), p. 400, gives a 1721 citation, and Bergen Evans (177/11) cites John Ray’s different form for 1670.

245/1-7} The other New York publishers had hastened to compete with various series, such as the Harpers’ “Complete Library of the Best Literature of the Age” which announced: “Original productions from American writers will also occasionally be introduced” (see the advertisements in the BJ, e.g., 2.185). Poe knew of the “success” through his Tales for which he claimed 1500 copies sold at 8 cents’ royalty per copy in a letter of 11/13/45 to Duyckinck (Letters 301). Poe was to print his long rev. of Simms’ novel in the 10/4 BJ and also in the 1/46 Godey’s, q.v. in H. 13.93-97). The “Astronomy” is William Augustus Norton’s An Elementary Treatise on Astronomy, xvi + 367 p., + 112 p. of illustrations, tables, and diagrams.

245/7-11} “L. I. C.” is clearly Lewis J. Cist of Cincinnati, the New York correspondent for the Gazette (see 210 [c] and note), whom Poe regarded as a friend (see Letters) and whose Trifles in Verse he reviewed in the BJ (342-43; see also 255), using it for the BJ reprint of “Blanche” on 2.149, next issue. “The Village Street,” on 2.145 — the opening article — is the first of four poems by Abijah M. Ide that Poe published in the BJ (see TOM, Poems 509, 70-73). See also his reprint of a poem from the Aristidean (322 [facsimile text]). [page 195:]

245/12-27} This was in two parts, apparently published both in two vols., as here, and also in one, although separately paged (193 and 169), q.v. in 251 (b).

Poe, who likes the quirky humor of Lamb, elsewhere too speaks of both Jerrold (1803-57), miscellaneous author and humorist, and Webbe, author of The Man about Town and other garrulous works, as being of Lamb’s school of “extravaganzists,” in his coinage (q.v. in M 67). See BJ Index for other refs. to Lamb. For Jerrold, see 109/50-68 and 302 nn. and for Jones (1817-1900), even then a well-known critic and also author of “American Prose Writers. No. 3: R. H. Dana.” in the 2/1 BJ (1.6971) under the sway of Briggs, see 250-251, 263 nn.

Poe’s ref. to “entozoa” in “Scheherazade” of the 2/45 Godey’s and the 10/25 BJ explains his ref.: “Intestinal worms . . . repeatedly . . . observed in the muscles, and in the cerebral substance of men” (Wyatt’s Physiology, p. 143), q.v. in TOM 1165 ftnote.

245/29-60} Collations (of the passages here given) show the following changes: 29 there yet stands; 37 what a beating; godfather (plus two more accidentals).

246/1-8} This book, of 230 p., was by Eliza Thayer Clapp. Poe had coined the last two nouns in M 109 in a discussion of Coleridge’s Table Talk of 1844. It bears quotation for its wit and its being the prototype of this epitomization: “Its character can be fully conveyed only in ‘Post-Prandian Sub-Sermons’ or ‘ThreeBottle Sermonoids.“’

246/9-18} The author of this 168 p. vol. is given as Elbridge Gray Paige, by the cataloguers of the New York Public Library. It is difficult to see how Poe could have ascribed it to his very good friend Jesse E. Dow of Philadelphia and Washington, often mentioned in the Poe-Thomas correspondence (see 11 items in the Index of Letters of Poe) and so much a journalist there that essays in the New York Mercury could scarcely be thus overlooked by Poe. This must be a Poe blague (see Quinn, Poe, p. 381, for Dow’s attempt to secure a post for Poe in Washington).

246/19-28} This 268 p. book has a subtitle which obviously parodies Willis’s Dashes at Life with a Free Pencil, although Poe chooses to ignore that (see 233 [facsimile text] nn.). The ref. to Chronicles is to William Tappan Thompson’s Chronicles of Pineville, embracing sketches of Georgia scenes, incidents and [page 196:] characters (1845), in turn, perhaps the offshoot of A. B. Longstreet’s Georgia Scenes (1835), which Poe had favorably reviewed in the SLM (H. 257-65). In the last sentence Poe is consistent with his strong feeling that American books must not seek preferential treatment apart from their intrinsic quality.

246/29-31} For Poe’s enchantment with this poem, which he often read from the lecture platform, see 201, 223, 226 nn. and many entries under “Thomas Hood.”

247/1-15} This is a mere announcement of “La Sortie du Bain” by Jean Baptiste de Cuyper (1807-52), again announced on 282 and reviewed on 297 [facsimile text]. In every instance Poe shows a certain defensiveness because of the Puritanical outcry against this nude statue and also “The Greek “Slave” of Hiram Powers, as in his list of merits, especially “intellectuality.” This attribute is stressed for “The Ivory Christ” (see 282/36) and probably borrowed from a passage in The Artist etc. of C. E. Lester, the importer of that sculpture (see 282/21 n),

247/16-17} For Poe’s friend James E. Murdoch, actor and elocutionist, see 105, 112, 175 [facsimile text] and other items in the Index. The “extracts” have as their theme the need for and possibility of developing plays of every type based on American themes and settings for the American stage — in short, the Young America movement now espoused by Mathews and Poe. The extracts follow from those of 9/6, BJ, 2.139-40 (see 243/57 n).

247/18-30} For Cosmos see 169/41 n and 234 (b); for the Dante text see 290-91 (b); and for the Gift Books see 209 (c).

247/31-40} Clearly this was one of the exchange papers received in the BJ office (this from Virginia [[Chambersburg, PA]]), now enabling us to add this unauthorized version to the Poe reprints (noted in TOM Poems 333). By omitting the accent over the altered word, Poe indulges his irreverent humor.

247/41-44} The soiree took place on 10/23/45. Sir f Thomas, according to the DNB, made his most celebrated speech, printed in the 1848 ed. of his Critical and Miscellaneous Writings. It is a tribute to and a history of the Manchester Athenaeum.

248/1-16} The book comprises xxii + 437 p. Para. 1 is adapted from p. I of the Prefaces and the Appendix is on 389437. The engravings of sheep are signed “E. Bookhout.” There [page 197:] are other illustrations, mostly technical and architectural, which are not signed and are probably by different, less skilled artists. The sheep engravings are based on paintings “by the celebrated animal painter, Harvey, of London.” William Harvey (17961866), wood engraver and designer, was Thomas Bewick’s pupil.

248/22-25} The Bosom Friend by Elizabeth Caroline Grey numbers 134 p.

248/26-36} On 8/9 there appeared a three sentence notice of the first number of this book (p. 206/9). This is not a full notice, and there is no mention of a second number in the BJ. Hull suggests an error in Poe’s memory, and the possibility of his confusing this work with An Encyclopedia of Domestic Economy, noticed 8/30 (p. 234/8).

248/37-49} The novel numbers 151 p. Poe was probably responsible for notices of Nan Darrell and The Frigate, the two by her, in BGM (11/39, 5.286, and 2/40, 6.106) and both with the same critical view. Santo Sebastiano, by Catherine Cuthbertson, was published in 5 vols. (London, 1806). See 281 (b) for another Pickering work.

249/1-27} The book by Daniel Denton, published first in London in 1670 had a 57 p. text. This reprint ed. included “advertisement” (p. 7), Intro. (9-17) and “To the Reader” (19). Poe’s first para. is taken almost verbatim from the “advertisement” and his second is based on the first para. of the Intro. The third para. is based on the second page of the Intro. His devotion of so much space to this recherche item must be owed to the very cordial relations of Poe with William Gowans (1803-70), bibliophile, bookseller and publisher, who came to be called the “Antiquarian of Nassau Street,” specializing in Americana, although migrating from Scotland only in 1821. For eight months of 1837-38 Gowans boarded at the Poe’s quarters, maintained friendly relations thereafter, and defended warmly the pleasant atmosphere of Poe’s home years later (see Quinn 267; H. Allen, Israfel, 1934 ed., pp. 330-35).

249/28-37} Charles Lyell’s Travels in North America — see 215 (a) [facsimile text] — is reviewed (199-202). The title for “The Feud” is “La Vendetta” (173-82). Mrs. Ellet’s story is on 185-89. Tuckerman is reviewing Headley’s Letters from Italy (203-12). Benjamin’s poem is said to be words for music (202), and Mrs. Osgood’s “Labor” is on 220. [page 198:]

250/11-30} The article on “American Humor” by William Jones of Boston, on pp. 212-19, is discussed again by Poe on 263 [facsimile text]. He had deprecated him on 245/19 (see n.) as here, for his New England prestige as well as more problematic causes (see below the opinion of Briggs). Poe, as the former ed. of Graham’s, would have known this type of office gossip. The statement by Jones (p. 218) is this: “With the aid of one of the most ingenious critics, and a prose poet of much force, imagination, invention and versatility, Mr. Poe, this weekly cannot fail to become in its way a classic, like the ‘London Journal’ or the ‘Athenaeum.“’

250/31-56} Poe frequently tried to foster a more exact and logical type of criticism with opinions supported by a chain of arguments and objective data. By this time Poe, who had frequently assailed the slipshod, melodramatic, loosely constructed novels of Simms, was his firm ally in resisting the denigration of the New England “coterie” as he would call it. The first quotation should be: “however slightingly we may regard the . . .” (p. 212) and the second (line 47) has “this” for “his.” Poe’s ref. is to Augustus B. Longstreet’s Georgia Scenes which Poe had lauded in the SLM (H 8.257-65).

250/60-66} Briggs gives this interpretation of Poe’s insults to himself (Harry Franco) and to William A. Jones (1817-1900) (continued on p. 263 [facsimile text]) in a letter to Lowell of 10/13 (Woodberry, 2.146-47): that Poe hates him for his knowledge of Poe’s despicable character and that Jones omits Poe as humorist and ranks Briggs high. Surely Briggs had grounds for taking umbrage at this contumely, knowing that Poe had worked closely with him earlier in the year on material demanding a knowledge of art, other tongues, and literary judgment. The first quotation comes from p. 215, the second from p. 218: “Paulding in his novels, and . . . .”

251/7-15} The magazine pages are as follows: Ingersoll’s on “National Institute” (235-55), “The Bhagvat Geeta, and the Doctrine of Immortality” (267-73), “Helicon . . .” (310-25), Browne’s paper (230-34) and “Statuary” (287-91). Poe’s typesetter misspelled the then acceptable title of the Hindu “Song of the Blessed” which is in Book 6 of the “Mahabharata.” His deprecation of Lord’s poem is consistent with his other refs. to Lord (see Index and, especially, 121-27r). John Ross Browne (1821-75), brought early from Ireland to Kentucky but widely [page 199:] traveled, first as a sailor on a whaler, may have influenced Moby-Dick through Etchings of a Whaling Cruise (1846). Poe shared with editor Colton of the journal great respect for Wallace’s poetry (see 168/54-61 n.); also 211 and 307 [facsimile text]. The collation of the poem shows only these changes of importance — 1.39: whispered and 1.66: we/ye.

251/69-70} For Poe’s previous rev. see 245 (c) n. and for his invariably favorable ref. to Charles Lamb see Index and PD 53 for other loci.

252/1-2} See the Poe Log for 2/8/45 for the account by the office boy, Alexander T. Crane, of Murdock’s private recital of the “Raven.” For the prior extracts see 247, and for other favorable refs. see numerous Index items.

252/3-24} The date is given by Poe (on 264) as 6/19/41. While Poe is most particular about the date, he is wonderfully vague about the source of “Bulwer’s text.” Surely the charge against Whittier is serious enough to justify our knowing by whom the source passage is attributed to the English author. Moreover, Poe regards his expansion of the general topic as fit for his repeating the next para. on plagiarism in general in the posthumous SM 11 (q.v.). The follow-up letter to the BJ by “A Friend who knows,” in 275 below scarcely clarifies the matter, nor even specifies whether Whittier or Prentice had previously been copartners in the same sort of accusation.

253/5-26} The real anomaly (see 1.25) is the tissue of disclaimers, innuendoes, and accepted although denied conclusions in this para. Since Poe could expect a real friend of the Abolitionist poet and widely known newspaper editor and writer to deny totally the Courier tale as Whittier’s if falsely attributed, it could only have been this poet’s passage. It was among his less memorable works, indicated by T. F. Currier, A Bibliography of . . . Whittier (1937), p. 396, as first in the 1839 Ladies’ Garland of Philadelphia, III, no.6, pp. 143-44, and reprinted in The Villager of Amesbury, Mass., for 5/1/51 and in the Boston Museum (Dodge’s Literary Museum) of 6/7/51. He omits the Saturday Courier reprint. Like much of Whittier’s ephemeral prose, it was never collected in the prose volumes of the Riverside ed. or of others based on it. The six paras. tell about the decline and death of a young girl whose fiancé has died. The appallingly sentimental excerpt, from the last para., is in the style of the rest of it and needs no source in a putative [page 200:] Bulwer.

Collation of the Ladies’ Garland text for errors of transcription shows a virtual identity of the two passages: 252/8: cast off / cast up; 17: And why / And, finally, why; 18: are present / are presented; 19: affection / affections; 22: like islands / like the islands. Surely Poe did not devise the Bulwer-passage charge to discredit the “somebody” who obviously was Whittier. Poe had never favored Whittier, whom he called a “fine versifier” whose themes “are never to” his liking (H 15.245, and 1841 “Autography”). It is the didacticism of his verse plus his hostility to slavery that earned him Poe’s condemnation.

For this para. Poe coins two words: “pick -pocketism” and “soul-uplifting,” the latter matching his coinages of “soulelevating” and “soul-exalting” (see PCW 64-65). Poe’s exaltation of the “thirst for fame,” prominent in his own nature, may derive from Milton’s “Lycidas” (line 70; see SM 11, n. b).

253/34-56} Neither poem has been collected or anthologized, and Poe’s sources are unknown. Bushnell’s poem “A Touch of Nature” appears in the third ed. of Granger’s Index. The parallel between the two formally occasional poems rests on a cliche scarcely individual or original.

254/19-23} Poe tends to deprecate the title of “Professor” as though disgruntled over his own degreeless state, often using it for Longfellow almost mockingly (see H. 15.73, for example).

254/21-63} Poe’s tale, “Mesmeric Revelation,” had appeared in the 8/44 Columbia Magazine and the 1845 Tales with many reprints in the occult or fringe-religious magazines here and in England. Poe is citing a letter from John S. Clackner of Rochester, N.Y., to the Regenerator of Fruit Hills, Ohio, of 7/18/45 (see TOM Tales 1024-29 for data). The two offending sentences to which Poe refers are at the bottom of 1033 and 1034 with only 4 paras. between (the second is actually near the end of the third — a very long one). What Poe intentionally wrote for his “it” subject was this: “Destroy the idea of the atomic constitution and we should no longer be able to regard the ether as an entity, or at least as matter . . . . Term it spirit . . . . It” (etc.). Poe is correct technically, but he has somehow contrived to shift attention to “spirit” by means that are as illogical and incoherent as those imputed by Clackner. Poe was disinclined to think seriously about the whole matter, for he had lost all credence in the occult science of Mesmerism save for its medical uses through plain hypnotism. For his numerous comments and [page 201:] gradual shift of view, as well as modern critics on that shift, see 69-70, 355-56 (for “Valdemar”) and Brevities: MM 130, 180, 200, CS 3.

254/64-67} Poe refers to the 9/45 Southern and Western Monthly Magazine and Review, q.v. in 231/55-63 n. The correspondent is unknown, but signs himself “C. M.” in a subjoined, quoted “epistle to a friend.” It is the major portion of the “Editorial Bureau” (pp. 205-207), and gives “Literary Statistics of New-York” including the editors of the various monthlies, weeklies, and dailies. Poe and Watson are listed, along with the two discussed by Poe (p. 255). At the end a long list of “general retainers of the Press” of the Metropolis omits Poe — this fact being the probable source of his animus here.

255/1-12} Poe often mentioned Lydia Child and reviewed her novel Philothea in one of the longest BJ articles (128-36) (see Index), so that he is being ironic about the incorrect “s” given to her last name. As for Thomas Holley Chivers, there were so many “extracts” quoted in Poe’s rev. of The Lost Pleiad in the 8/2 BJ (187-89 [facsimile text]) that the correspondent might easily have become confused. Poe’s laudation (“do honor” and “might be proud”) is a stroke of diplomacy for conciliating the powerful and the alienated, in part. He had accused Lowell of plagiarism and grossly insulted his friend Briggs. He had mocked Laughton Osborne’s Vision of Rubeta in an article which he falsely denied writing (see 36-37 nn and Ostrom, letter of 8/15/45 with note, 293-95). He had attached a satirical para. to a caricature (34) of Margaret Fuller. Miss Mary L. Lawson’s eight-stanza, sixty-four line poem “Estelle” in the 4/12/45 BJ (1.235) had been side-lined by Poe in the Whitman-gift copy of the magazine for lines strongly pointed toward “Annabel Lee.” Earlier (1/28/43) Poe had praised her “faultlessly correct” ear (see Pollin, American Notes and Queries, 1981, 19.7-8). The other persons mentioned can be traced via the Index for Poe’s respect or earnest consideration.

255/15-19} This comes, almost verbatim, from the Mirror of Saturday, 9/6/45, p. 341. It is interesting that Poe still rephrases such items, not for rhetorical improvement but apparently to avoid the onus of direct copying. For other Bremer entries see 191, 197, 238.

255/19-20} Frederick T. Tiffany, rector of the Episcopal Church of Cooperstown, on 5/12/45 resigned his post and Judge [page 202:] Samuel Nelson and J. F. Cooper were elected delegates to the Diocesan Convention (see G. P. Keese, Historical Records of Christ Church, Cooperstown). Later Tiffany became a chaplain in Congress.

255/27-36} For other refs. to Von Raumer in the BJ, far less adverse, see the Index. Poe as editor had good relations with the New Orleans Picayune which defended him the next year in the “Literati” contretemps (S. Moss, Poe’s Major Crisis, 65-66). Poe’s relations with Elizabeth Ellet (1818-77) were critically uneven, and despite his praise of her translating ability here (see other refs. in Index), he gradually came to detest her officious tendencies and interference in the Osgood letter case (see Quinn, Poe, 497-99; also Discoveries in Poe, 59-62).

255/37-44} This book was announced on 226 and would be reviewed on 342-43 (q.v.). As correspondent he seems to have been closely associated with Poe at the time.

256/1-10} Poe announced this in 236 (e), unusual in being free from aspersions on Griswold (but see p. 257). These two vols. number iii-xi + 548 and 5-550 p. The tribute paid to Milton, the republican, comes from Griswold’s Intro.

256/11-33} The “Areopagitica” is on 1.166-92 where Poe could have read it for this panegyric. Clearly he is affected by the wonderful organ tones of Milton’s style and describes a new genre of writing for which he created the word “prose-poem,” that he used first in the 1842 “Exordium” (H 11.6) and as the subtitle of Eureka: A Prose Poem of 1848 (see PCW 61).

257/1-52} Poe is a bit confused here about details. The manuscript of the De doctrina christiana was that of Milton’s last amanuensis Daniel Skinner, from whom it was taken after Milton’s death. In 1823 in a parcel of Milton’s papers it was discovered and was published in 1825 by C. R. Sumner, keeper of the Royal Library; the same year he published his English translation which Poe calls “feeble.” Poe refers (32) to the passages that Sumner cites in his “Preliminary Observations” in the American ed. (Boston, 1825, l.xliv), for the treatise. Poe had long known this 1825 print, for he cites Sumner’s notes in “Al Aaraaf” (Poems 103, n 11 and p. 118); likewise, in his 2/42 Graham’s Magazine rev. of Brainard’s poems. Poe’s considerable interest in Milton is attested by the many refs. in the PD 63-64 and Brevities, Index). Poe’s penultimate para. is less a [page 203:] deprecation of Milton than of Griswold.

257/53-67} The volume numbers 93 p. and has no Intro. The main points of this are to be repeated in Poe’s 11/45 Godey’s rev. of the work. Poe is still most congenial toward Cornelius Mathews, especially as primary spokesman for Young America, as numerous refs. in the BJ (q.v.) show. Later he objurgates the writer for some obscure reasons (see 9 passages or articles in the Br.). Since he regards the rather callow book as an allegory (see 258/25) he finds it necessary to explicate and yet accept the idea of an “under current” for the “true theme” (see Poe’s reservations in Pollin, Studies in Romanticism, 1975, 14.59-74).

258/31} Poe’s fulfillment of his last two words of promise is on 285-86 [facsimile text], which instance “the author’s very peculiar style and tone,” also called “idiosyncratic.” Clearly his esteem was falling.

258/32-52} There are two prefaces: vii + ix + 13-527, which provide Poe with his information. The first concerns the history of the Puritans. Whatever Poe meant by his adjective “nervous” (first line), it could scarcely be the same as for Mathews’ “style” (l. 28).

258/53-66} The volume, dedicated to John Quincy Adams, is paged: v-xii + 21-190. It is another proof of Poe’s error about the “Medici Series” in 205/53, which he had corrected in 219 (c). Poe’s ideas here are derived from x-xi of the Preface, but are not verbatim. His last sentence (on 259) corresponds to the translator’s “full of years and ripe in experience.”

259/10-21} Clearly Poe was delighted by a long, descriptive title which enabled him to fill the space and avoid even glancing into the work for an evaluative statement. For his fuller comment see 243 (b); also Index under Martin’s Illustrated Bible.

259/22-68} This vol. numbers vii-viii + 16-487 p. As with the preceding work, Poe limits his comments to reprinting the title and borrowing from the preface; his quotation (which corrects the author’s “won and lost”) in para. 2 comes from p. vii, but at least Green’s “reflections” comes from pp. 382-435, while the excerpts on these two pages come from 323-26. The only other change in text is “labour” for “labours” (260/6).

260/54-70} Poe’s word about “next week’s review” was [page 204:] fulfilled only in the 12/20 number (see p. 345); earlier refs. are on 209 and 247. His graciousness toward Hamilton appears also in 243. Note the ideal “annual” qualities given comment here: beautiful or showy covers, pictures showing well dressed women, sentimental poems, and prominent names. Ironically, the LC lists only one copy — at the Antiquarian Society. The vol. numbers 354 pages.

261/1-37} This work was mentioned by Poe at the end of 231 (a), the rev. of a companion vol. Most of this is a pastiche of ideas and phrases from the vol. or paraphrases. The Pref. covers iii-vi and the text 519, which is, coincidentally, the same as the London text, despite the recasting of the whole. Poe’s knowledge of the “omissions” and “redundancies” comes from iii and the fourth sentence is a paraphrase of iv. para 1. The designated additions are on pp. 2 and 5, and the rest derives from v-vi.

261/38-54} This “socially conscious” fiction has a Pref. of vviii and text (9-162). Poe’s word “persecutions” is not quite the right interpretation of Burdett’s Pref.: The author attests to the truth of facts in the story that testify to “the sufferings of female operatives of this city” and are an incentive to social change.

261/55-67} The pages number vii-viii + 288. Poe had previously treated of Russell in 175, 225, 242 (q.v.).

262/1-3} See 226 (g) and n for Poe’s obit. of James Augustus Shea, also mentioning his “Ocean” and its resemblance to Hood’s “Bridge of Sighs.” In Shea’s Poems (N.Y., 1846), pp. 118-20, it is called “To the Ocean.”

262/4-50} William Whewell (1794-1866), master of Trinity College, Cambridge, displayed a wide range of knowledge and original thought in moral philosophy and various scientific subjects in numerous publications. Poe had paid brief tribute to his Bridgewater Treatise in 1836 (H 8.210). The three-vol. work on the “inductive sciences” in the title came out in 1837. The present vol. had been pirated by the Harpers immediately after its London (1845) publication. Poe chiefly follows the table of contents for the substance of his notice: I, Preface, vii-x + xixxvi + 27-401; II, iii-xxi + 25-424. It was dedicated to Wm. Wordsworth. It would appear that the Harpers aimed to compete with the “Libraries” being published by Wiley and Putnam, more [page 205:] belle-lettristic in content.

262/51-54} See 191/20-22 n for data on this book by a man whom he knew and respected (see “Autography” in H 15.242-43).

262/55-63} See 268 (a) and (b) for slightly fuller notices of these two works.

263/1-56} For Poe’s animus against Jones, see 245/18-21 and n, plus 250-51. The “warm personal friend” was, most likely, Evert Duyckinck (see Poe Log for the date), whose opinion he was bound to respect and acknowledge (see 29-31). The article on Dana (line 41) was in the 2/1 BJ (1.69-71), the insertion of Briggs, of course. Poe’s animus clearly derives from Jones’ origin and position in Boston (53).

263/57-58} See 210 and 238 for other comments on Everett.

264/1-4} Joseph M. Field (London, 1810-St, Louis, 1856) maintained a warm friendship with Poe, chiefly by mail and by supportive statements in the Daily Reveille, of which he was ed. after a career as itinerant actor and playwright, and also writer of sketches of humor (see Intro. to reprint of The Drama in Pokerville, 1843, 1847, 1969). Poe used his influence over the New Orleans Picayune for favorable notices, especially during the libel suit of the next year. See Sydney Moss, Poe’s Major Crisis for Poe’s sending notices for Field’s adaptation (20-24; see other refs. via the Index). Moss lists these dates of 1845 for Reveille notices of the BJ: 9/24, 10/10, 29, 11/9, 12/4 and 4/12/46. Possibly Field’s libel suit, here mentioned, gave Poe a notion for his own suit against Hiram Fuller of the Mirror the next year. See Poe’s refs. to Field in H 11.224, 13.6 and 12.

264/8-23} Most of these can be traced in the BJ through the Index. For Miss Lawson, see 255/11 n. Laughton Osborn was author of The Vision of Rubeta, this being another tactical stroke by Poe. We must enjoy the joke of his listing himself twice as both Poe and “Littleton Barry,” his pseudonym for five tales reprinted in the BJ — a name probably derived from Thackeray’s Barry Lyndon (see TOM Tales, 77 n41). The correspondent’s statement was noted in 254 (b) above.

264/31-44} Although this is an advertisement, the copy was surely written by Poe — somewhat ingeniously. Poe here is giving Mr. Oliver B. Goldsmith good value for his purchase of space on [page 206:] p. 185 — probably in surplus supply. The notice is of the reopening of the “writing academy” and of his “gems of penmanship” for sale there.

264/45-47} Henry C. Watson was still the music editor of the BJ, the 10/18 issue being the last masthead bearing his name.

264/50 and 55) We recognize Poe’s “friends”: Abijah M. Ide, Jr. [see Index and Poems, 509 for 70-73 and see 239 (d) above; for Philip Pendleton Cooke and Thomas Holley Chivers see the Index].






[S:0 - BRP4J, 1986] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (September 1845)