The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 13

aesthetically deficient. Unerring in his
analysis of dictions, metres and plots, he seemed wanting in the faculty
of perceiving the profounder ethics of art. His criticisms are, however,
distinguished for scientific precision and coherence of logic. They
have the exactness, and at the same time, the coldness of mathematical
demonstrations. Yet they stand in strikingly refreshing contrast with
the vague generalisms and sharp personalities of the day. If deficient
in warmth, they are also without the heat of partisanship. They are
especially valuable as illustrating the great truth, too generally
overlooked, that analytic power is a subordinate quality of the critic.

On the whole, it may be considered certain that Mr. Poe has attained an
individual eminence in our literature which he will keep. He has given
proof of power and originality. He has done that which could only be
done once with success or safety, and the imitation or repetition of
which would produce weariness.


By N. P. Willis

THE ancient fable of two antagonistic spirits imprisoned in one body,
equally powerful and having the complete mastery by turns-of one man,
that is to say, inhabited by both a devil and an angel seems to
have been realized, if all we hear is true, in the character of the
extraordinary man whose name we have written above. Our own impression
of the nature of Edgar A. Poe, differs in some important degree,
however, from that which has been generally conveyed in the notices of
his death. Let us, before telling what we personally know of him, copy
a graphic and highly finished portraiture, from the pen of Dr. Rufus W.
Griswold, which appeared in a recent number of the "Tribune":

"Edgar Allen Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore on Sunday, October 7th.
This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it. The
poet was known, personally or by reputation, in all this country; he had
readers in England and in several of the states of Continental Europe;
but he had few or no friends; and the regrets for his death will be
suggested principally by the consideration that in him literary art has
lost one of its most brilliant but erratic stars.

"His conversation was at times almost supramortal in its eloquence. His
voice was modulated with astonishing skill, and his large and variably
expressive eyes looked repose or shot fiery tumult into theirs who
listened, while his own face glowed, or was changeless in pallor, as his
imagination quickened his blood or drew it back frozen to his heart. His
imagery was from the worlds which no mortals

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