Page:Edgar Allan Poe - how to know him.djvu/77

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J.11A �" ���THE MAN 57 �atitiful light. Playful, affectionate, witty, alter- nately docile and wayward as a petted child, for his oung, gentle, and idolized wife, and for all who came, e had, even in the midst of his most harassing lit- erary duties, a kind word, a pleasant smile, a graceful and courteous attention. At his desk beneath the ro- mantic picture of his loved and lost Lenore, he would sit, hour after hour, patient, assiduous, and uncom- plaining, tracing, in an exquisitely clear chirography and with almost superhuman swiftness, the lightning thoughts the 'rare and radiant fancies' as they flashed through his wonderful and ever-wakeful brain. I recollect, one morning, toward the close of his resi- dence in this city, when he seemed unusually gay and lighthearted. Virginia, his sweet wife, had written me a pressing invitation to come to them ; and I, who ver could resist her affectionate summons, and who enjoyed his society far more in his own home than elsewhere, hastened to Amity Street. I found him ust completing his series of papers entitled The Lit- erati of New York. 'See,' said he, displaying in laughing triumph several little rolls of narrow paper (he always wrote thus for the press), 'I am going to show you by the difference of length in these the dif- ferent degrees of estimation in which I hold all you literary people. In each of these one of you is rolled up and fully discussed. Come, Virginia, help me!' And one by one they unfolded them. At last they came to one which seemed interminable. Virginia laughingly ran to one corner of the room with one end, and her husband to the opposite with the other. 'And hose lengthened sweetness long drawn out is that?' id I. 'Hear her!' he cried. 'Just as if her little ain heart didn't tell her it's herself!' " ��� �