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the meantime advertisement was made of my intention to publish "The Prose Writers of America,” and I received, one day, just as I was leaving Philadelphia for New-York, the following letter:

NEW-YORK, Jan. 10, 1845. Rev. Rufus W. Griswold: Sir-I perceive by a paragraph in the papers, that your “Prose' Writers of America" is in press. Unless your opinions of my literary character are entirely changed, you will, I think, like something of mine, and you are welcome to whatever best pleases you, if you will permit me to furnish a corrected copy; but with your present feelings you can hardly do me justice in any criticism, and I shall be glad if you will simply say after my name : "Born 1811; published Tales of the Grotesque and the Arabesque in 1839; has resided latterly in New York.”

Your obedient servant,

EDGAR A. POE. I find my answer to this among his papers :

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 11, 1845. Sir :-Although I have some cause of quarrel with you, as you seem to remember, I do not under any circumstances permit, as you have repeatedly charged, my personal relations to influence the expression of my opinions as a critie. By the inclosed proof-sheets of what I had written before the reception of your note, you will see that I think quite as well of your works as I did when I had the pleasure of being Your friend,

R. W. GRISWOLD. This was not mailed until the next morning; I however left Philadelphia the same evening, and in the course of the following day Poe and myself met in the office of "The Tribune," but without any recognition. Soon after he received my note, he sent the following to my hotel:

NEW-YORK, Jan. 16, 1845. Dear GriswoldIf you will permit me to call you so-your letter occasioned me first pain and then pleasure : pain, because it gave me to see that I had lost, through my own folly, an honorable friend :--pleasure, because I 89w in it a hope of reconciliation. I have been aware, for several weeks, that my reasons for speaking of your book as I did, (of yourself I have always spoken kindly,) were based in the malignant slanders of a mischiefmaker by profession. Still, as I supposed you irreparably offended, I could make no advances when we met at the “ Tribune ” office, although I longed to do so. I know of nothing which would give me more sincere pleasure than your accepting these apologies, and meeting me as a friend. If you can do this, and forget the past, let me know where I shall call on you—or come and see me at the “ Mirroroffice, any morning about ten. then talk over the other matters, which, lo me at least, are far less important than your good will.

Very truly yours,

EDGAR A. Poe. His next letter is dated February 24, 1845 :

My dear Griswold :- A thousand thanks for your kindness in the matter of those books, which I could not afford to buy, and had so much need of. Soon after seeing you, I sent you, through Zieber, all my poems worth republishing, and I presume they reached you. I was sincerely delighted with what you said of them, and if you will write your criticism in the form of a preface, I shall be greatly obliged to you. I say this not because you praised me: everybody praises me now: but because you so perfectly understand me, or what I have aimed at, in all my poems: I did not think you had so much delicacy of appreciation joined with your strong sense; 1 can say truly that no man's approbation gives me so much pleasure. I send you with this another package, also through Zieber, by Burgess & Stringer. It contains, in the way of essay, "Mesmeric Revelation," which I would like to have go in, even if you have to omit the “House of Usher." I send also corrected copies of (in the way of funny criticism, but you don't like this) " Flaccus," which conveys a tolerable idea of my style; and of my, serious manner" Barnaby Rudge” is a good specimen. In the tale line, " The Murders of the Rue Morgue, “The Gold Bug,” and the “Man that was Used Up,"_far more than enough, but you can select to suit yourself, I prefer the "G. B." to the "M. in the R. M." I have taken a third interest in the “Broadway Journal," and will be glad if you could send me anything for it. Why not let me anticipate the book publication of your splendid essay on Milton?

Truly yours,

Рок. The next is without date :

Dear Griswold :-I return the proofs with many thanks for your attentions, The poems look quite as well in the short metres as in the long ones, and I am quite content as it is. In "The Sleeper" you have * Forever with unclosed eye” for “Forever with unopen'd eye.” Is it possible to make the correction? I presume you under; stand that in the repetition of my Lecture on the Poets, (in N. Y.) I left out all that was offensive to yourself. I am ashamed of myself that I ever said anything of you that was so unfriendly or so unjust; but what I did say I am confident has been misrepresented to you. See my notice of C. F. Hoffman's () sketch of you.

Very sincerely yours,

POE. ! On the twenty-sixth of October, 1845, he wrote:

My dear Griswold :-Will you aid me at a pinch-at one of the greatest pinches conceivable! If you will, I will be indebted to you for life. After a prodigious deal of maneuvering, I have succeeded in getting the "Broadway Journal” entirely within my own control. It will be a fortune to me if I can hold it--and I can do it easily with a very trilling aid from my friends. May I count you as one! Lend me $50, and you shall never have cause to regret it.

Truly yours, EDGAR A. POE. And on the first of November:

My dear Griswold :-Thank you for the $25. And since you will allow me to draw upon you for the other half of what I asked, if it shall be needed at the end of a month, I am just as grateful as if it were all in hand, --for my friends here have acted generously by me. Don't have any more doubts of my success. I am, by the way, preparing an article about you for the B.-J., in which I do you justice-which is all you can ask of any one.

Ever truly yours,

EDGAR A. Poe. The next is without date, but appears to have been written early in 1849 : Dear Griswold :-Your uniform kindness leads me to hope that you will attend to this little matter of Mrs.

to whom I truly think you have done less than justice. I am ashamed to ask favors of you, to whom I am so much indebted, but I have promised Mrs. L-- this. They lied to you, (if you told - what he says you told him,) upon the subject of my forgotten Lecture on the American Poets, and I take this opportunity to say that what I have always held in conversations about you, and what I believe to be entirely true, as far as it goes, is contained in my notice of your “Female Poets of America," in the forthcoming “Southem Literary Messenger." By glancing at what I have published about you, (Aut. in Graham, 1841; Review in Pioneer, 1813; notice in B. Journal, 1845; Letter in Int., 1847; and the Review of your Female Poets,) you will see that I have never hazarded my own reputation by a disrespectful word of you, though there were, as I long ago explained, in consequence of —’s false imputation of that beastly article to you, some absurd jokes at your ex pense in the Lecture at Philadelpliia. Come up and see me: the cars pass within a few rods of the New York Hotel, where I have called two or three times without finding you in.

Yours truly,

Por. I soon after visited him at Fordham, and passed two or three hours with him. The only letter he afterward sent me at least the only one now in my possession--follows:

Dear Griswold :-I inclose perfect copies of the lines “For Annie” and “ Annabel Lee," in hopes that you may make room for them in your new edition. As regards "Lenore,” (which you were kind enough to say you would ingert,) I would prefer the concluding stanza to run as here written. ... It is a point of no great importance, but in one of your editions you have given my sister's age instead of mine. I was born in Dec. 1813 ; my sister, Jan, 1811. [The date of his birth to which he refers was printed from his statement in the memoranda referred to in the first of the letters here printed.-R. W. G.] Willis, whose good opinion I value highly, and of whose good word I have a right to be proud, has done me the honor to speak very pointedly in praise of The

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Raven." I inclose what he said, and if you could contrive to introduce it, you would render me an essential
favor, and greatly further my literary interests, at a point where I am most anxious they should be advanced.

Truly yours,

E. A. PoE.
P. S.--Considering my indebtedness to you, can you not sell to Graham or to Godey (with whom, you know,
I cannot with the least self-respect again have anything to do directly)-can you not sell to one of these men,
" Annabel Lee," say for $50, and credit me that sum! Either of them could print it before you will need it for
your book. Mem. "The Eveleth you ask about is a Yankee impertinent, who, knowing my extreme poverty,
has for years pestered me with unpaid letter; but I believe almost every literary man of any note has suffered
in the same way. I am surprised that you have escaped.

These are all the letters (unless I have given away some notes of his to antograph collectors) ever received by
me from Mr. Poe. They are a sufficient answer to the article by John Neal, and to that under the signature of
“George R. Graham,” which have induced their publication. I did not undertake to dispose of the poem of
"Annabel Lee," but upon the of the author quoted it in the notice of him in “The Tribune," and I was
and The Southern Literary Messenger."
sorry to learn soon after that it had been purchased and paid for by the proprietors of both “Sartain's Magazine,"

R. W.G
New-Yoes, SEPTEMBER 2, 1850.

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The family of Edgar A. Poe was one of the oldest and most reputable in Baltimore. David Poe, his paternal grandfather, was a Quartermaster-General in the Maryland line during the Revolution, and the intimate friend of Lafayette, who, during his last visit to the United States, called personally upon the General's widow, and tendered her acknowledgments for the services rendered to him by her husband. His great grandfather, John Poe, married in England, Jane, a daughter of Admiral James McBride, noted in British naval history, and claiming kindred with some of the most illustrious English families. His father, David Poe, jr., the fourth son of the Quartermaster-General, was several years a law student in Baltimore, but becoming enamored of an English actress, named Elizabeth Arnold, whose prettiness and vivacity more than her genius for the stage made her a favorite, he eloped with her, and after a short period, having married her, became himself an actor. They continued six or seven years in the theatres of the principal cities, and finally died, within a few weeks of each other, in Richmond, leaving three children, Henry, Edgar, and Rosalie, in utter destitution.

Edgar Poe, who was born in Baltimore, in January, 1811, was at this pe. riod of remarkable beauty, and precocious wit. Mr. John Allan, a merchant of large fortune and liberal disposition, who had been intimate with his parents, having no children of his own, adopted him, and it was generally understood among his acquaintances that he intended to make him the heir of his estate. The proud, nervous irritability of the boy's nature was fostererd by his guardian's well

meant but ill-judged indulgence. Nothing was permitted which could“ break his spirit.” He must be the master of his masters, or not have any. An eminent and most estimable gentleman of Richmond has written to me, that when Poe was only six or seven years of age, he went to a school kept by a widow of excellent character, to whom was committed the instruction of the children of some of the principal families in the city. A portion of the grounds was used for the cultivation of vegetables, and its invasion by her pupils strictly forbidden. A trespasser, if discovered, was commonly inade to wear, during school hours, a turnip or carrot, or something of this sort, attached to his neck as a sign of disgrace. On one

VOL. 1.-2.

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occasion Poe, having violated the rules, was decorated with the promised badge, which he wore in sullenness until the dismissal of the boys, when, that the full extent of his wrong might be understood by his patron, of whose sympathy he was confident, he eluded the notice of the schoolmistress, who would have relieved him of his esculent, and made the best of his way home, with it dangling at his neck. Mr. Allan's anger was aroused, and he proceeded instantly to the school-room, and after lecturing the astonished dame upon the enormity of such an insult to his son and to himself, demanded his account, determined that the child should not again be subjected to such tyranny. Who can estimate the effect of this puerile triumph upon the growth of that morbid self-esteem which characterized the author in afterlife?

In 1816, he accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Allan to Great Britain, visited the most interesting portions of the country, and afterwards passed four or five years in a school kept at Stoke Newington, near London, by the Rev. Dr. Bransby. In his tale, entitled “William Wilson,” he has introduced a striking description of this school and of his life here. He says:

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My earliest recollections of a school life, are connected with a large, rambling, Elizabethan house, in a misty-looking village of England, where were a vast number of gigantic and gnarled trees, and where all the houses were excessively ancient. In truth, it was a dream-like and spirit-soothing place, that venerable old town. At this moment, in fancy, I feel the refreshing chilliness of its deeply-shadowed avenues, inhale the fragrance of its thousand shrubberies, and thrill anew with undefinable delight, at the deep hollow note of the chạrch-bell, breaking, each hour, with sullen and sudden roar, upon the stillness of the dusky atmosphere in which the fretted Gothic steeple lay embedded and asleep. It gives me, perhaps, as much of pleasure as I can now in any manner experience, to dwell upon minute recollections of the school and its concerns. Steeped in misery as I am-misery, alas! only too real-I shall be pardoned for seeking relief, however slight and temporary, in the weakness of a few rambling details. These, moreover, utterly trivial, and even ridiculous in themselves, assume, to my fancy, adventitious importance, as connected with a period and a locality when and where I recognise the first ambiguous monitions of the destiny which afterwards so fully overshadowed me. Let me then remember. The house, I have said, was old and irregular. The grounds were extensive, and a high and solid brick wall, topped with a bed of mortar and broken glass, encompassed the whole. This prison-like rampart formed the limit of our domain ; beyond it we saw but thrice a week-once every Saturday afternoon, when, attended by two ushers, we were permitted to take brief walks in a body through some of the neighboring fields—and twice during Sunday, when we were paraded in the same formal manner to the morning and evening service in the one church of the village. Of this church the principal of our school was pastor. With how deep a spirit of wonder and perplexity was I wont to regard him from our remote pew in the gallery, as, with step solemn and slow, he ascended the pulpit! This reverend man, with countenance so demurely benign, with robes so glossy and so clerically flowing, with wig so minutely powdered, so rigid and so vast,-—could this be he who, of late, with sour visage, and in snuffy habiliments, administered, ferule in hand, the Draconian Laws of the academy? Oh, gigantic paradox, too utterly monstrous for solution! At an angle of the ponderous wall frowned a more ponderous gate. It was riveted and studded with iron bolts, and surmounted with jagged iron spikes. What impressions of deep awe did it inspire! It was never opened save for the three periodical egressions and ingressions already mentioned; then, in every creak of its mighty hinges, we found a plenitude of mystery-a world of matter for solemn remark, or for more solemn meditation. The extensive enclosure was irregular in form, having piany capacious recesses. Of these, three or four of the largest constituted the play ground. It was level, and covered with fine hard gravel. I well remember it had no trees, nor benches, nor anything similar within it. Of course it was in the rear of the house. In front lay a small parterre, planted with box and other shrubs; but through this sacred division we passed only upon rare occasions indeed—such as a first advent to school or final departure thence, or perhaps, when a parent or friend having called for us, we joyfully took our way home for the Christmas or Midsummer holidays. But the house !-how quaint an old building was this !--to me how veritably a palace of enchantment! There was really no end to its windings—to its incomprehensible subdivisions. It was difficult at any given time, to say with certainty upon which of its two stories one happened to be. From each room to every other there were sure to be found three or four steps either in ascent or descent. Then the lateral branches were innumerableinconceivable—and so returning in upon themselves, that our most exact ideas in regard to the whole mansion were not very far different from those with which we pondered upon infinity. During the five years of my residence here, I was never able to ascertain with precision, in what remote locality lay the little sleeping apartment assigned to myself and some eighteen or twenty other scholars. The school room was the largest in the house–I could not help thinking, in the world. It was very long, narrow, and dismally low, with pointed Gothic windows and a ceiling of oak. In a remote and terror-inspiring angle was a square enclosure of eight or ten feet, comprising the sanctum, during hours,' of our principal, the Reverend Dr. Bransby. It was a solid structure, with massy door, sooner than open which in the absence of the ‘Dominie,' we would all have willingly perished by the peine forte et dure. In other angles were two other similar boxes, far less reverenced, indeed, but still greatly matters of awe. One of these was the pulpit of the classical' usher, one of the · English and mathematical.' Interspersed about the room, crossing and recrossing in endless irregularity, were innumerable benches and desks, black, ancient, and time-worn, piled desperately with much-bethumbed books, and so beseamed with initial letters, names at full length, grotesque figures, and other multiplied efforts of the knife, as to have entirely lost what little of original form might have been their portion in days long departed. A huge bucket with water stood at one extre. mity of the room, and a clock of stupendous dimensions at the other.

"Encompassed by the massy walls of this venerable academy, I passed yet not in tedium or disgust, the years of the third lustrum of my life. The teeming brain of childhood requires no external world of incident to occupy or amuse it; and the apparently dismal monotony of a school was replete with more intense excitement than my riper youth has derived from luxury, or my full manhood from crime. Yet I must believe that my first mental development had in it much of the uncommon-even much of the outre. Upon mankind at large the events of very early existence rarely leave ir mature age any definite impression. All is gray shadow—a weak and irregular remembrance--an indistinct regathering of feeble pleasures and phantasmagoric pains. With me this is not so. In childhood I must have felt with the energy of a man what I now find stamped upon memory in lines as vivid, as deep, and as durable as the erergues of the Carthaginian medals. Yet in fact-in the fact of the world's view-how little was there to remember. The morning's awakening, the nightly summons to bed; the connings, the recitations; the periodical half-holidays and perambulations; the play-ground, with its broils, its pastimes, its intrigues ; these, by a mental sorcery long forgotten, were made to involve a wilderness of sensation, a world of rich incident, an universe of varied emotion, of excitement the most passionate and spirit-stirring. “Oh, le bon temps, que ce siccle de fer!"

In 1822, he returned to the United States, and after passing a few months at an Academy in Richmond, he entered the University at Charlottesville, where he led a very dissipated life; the manners which then prevailed there were extremely dissolute, and he was known as the wildest and most reckless student of his class; but his unusual opportunities, and the remarkable ease with which he mastered the most difficult studies, kept him all the



while in the first rank for scholarship, and he would have graduated with the highest honors, had not his gambling, intemperance, and other vices, induced his expulsion from the university.

At this period he was noted for feats of hardihood, strength and activity, and on one occasion, in a hot day of June, he swam from Richmond to Warwick, seven miles and a half, against a tide running probably from two to three miles an hour.* He was expert at fence, had some skill in drawing, and was a ready and eloquent conversationist and declaimer.

His allowance of money while at Charlottesville had been liberal, but he quitted the place very much in debt, and when Mr. Allan refused to accept some of the drafts with which he had paid losses in gaming, he wrote to him an abusive letter, quitted his house, and soon after left the country with the Quixotic intention of joining the Greeks, then in the midst of their struggle with the Turks. He never reached his destination, and we know but little of his adventures in Europe for nearly a year. By the end of this time he had made his way to St. Petersburgh, and our Minister in that capital, the late Mr. Henry Middleton, of South Carolina, was summoned one morning to save him from penalties incurred in a drunken debauch. Through Mr. Middleton's kindness he was set at liberty and enabled to return to this country.

His meeting with Mr. Allan was not very cordial, but that gentleman declared himself willing to serve him in any way that should seem judicious ; and when Poe expressed some anxiety to enter the Military Academy, he induced Chief Justice Marshall, Andrew Stevenson, General Scott, and other eminent persons, to sign an application which secured his appointment to a · scholarship in that institution.

Mrs. Allan, whom Poe appears to have regarded with much affection, and who had more influence over him than any one else at this period, died on the twenty-seventh of February, 1829, which I believe was just before Poe left Richmond for West Point. It has been erroneously stated by all Poe's biographers, that Mr. Allan was now sixty-five years of age, and that Miss Paterson, to whom he was married afterward, was young enough to be his grand-daughter. Mr. Allan was in his forty-eighth year, and the difference between his age and that of his second wife was not so great as justly to attract any observation.

For a few weeks the cadet applied himself with much assiduity to his studies, and he became at once a favorite with his mess and with the officers and professors of the Academy; but his habits of dissipation were renewed; he neglected his duties and disobeyed orders; and in ten months from his matriculation he was cashiered.

* This statement was first printed during Mr. Poe's life-tiine, and its truth being questioned in some of the journals, the following certificate was published by a distinguished gentleman of Virginia :

"I was one of several who witnessed this swimming feat. We accompanied Mr. Poe in boats. Messrs. Robert Stannard, John Lyle, (since dead) Robert Saunders, John Munford, I think, and one or two others, were also of the party. Mr. P. did not seem at all fatigued, and walked back to Richmond immediately after the feat-which was under


taken for a wager.

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