The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 19

he has invariably seemed to us, in all we have happened
personally to know of him, through a friendship of five or six years.
And so much easier is it to believe what we have seen and known, than
what we hear of only, that we remember him but with admiration and
respect; these descriptions of him, when morally insane, seeming to
us like portraits, painted in sickness, of a man we have only known in
health.

But there is another, more touching, and far more forcible evidence that
there was _goodness _in Edgar A. Poe. To reveal it we are obliged to
venture upon the lifting of the veil which sacredly covers grief and
refinement in poverty; but we think it may be excused, if so we can
brighten the memory of the poet, even were there not a more needed and
immediate service which it may render to the nearest link broken by his
death.

Our first knowledge of Mr. Poe's removal to this city was by a call
which we received from a lady who introduced herself to us as the mother
of his wife. She was in search of employment for him, and she excused
her errand by mentioning that he was ill, that her daughter was a
confirmed invalid, and that their circumstances were such as compelled
her taking it upon herself. The countenance of this lady, made beautiful
and saintly with an evidently complete giving up of her life to
privation and sorrowful tenderness, her gentle and mournful voice urging
its plea, her long-forgotten but habitually and unconsciously refined
manners, and her appealing and yet appreciative mention of the claims
and abilities of her son, disclosed at once the presence of one of those
angels upon earth that women in adversity can be. It was a hard fate
that she was watching over. Mr. Poe wrote with fastidious difficulty,
and in a style too much above the popular level to be well paid. He was
always in pecuniary difficulty, and, with his sick wife, frequently in
want of the merest necessaries of life. Winter after winter, for
years, the most touching sight to us, in this whole city, has been that
tireless minister to genius, thinly and insufficiently clad, going from
office to office with a poem, or an article on some literary subject, to
sell, sometimes simply pleading in a broken voice that he was ill, and
begging for him, mentioning nothing but that "he was ill," whatever
might be the reason for his writing nothing, and never, amid all her
tears and recitals of distress, suffering one syllable

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--28 juin[22].
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B.
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Toute issue de ma chambre, excepté la fenêtre, se trouvait coupée.
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.
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Que conclure de tout cela, je n'en savais naturellement rien.
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