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An effort is being made by the pupils and graduates of the Western Female High School in Baltimore to erect a suitable monument over the remains of the dead poet, Edgar A. Poe. Virginia must wish well to that enterprise, for Poe was her man of mark in the literary world. As a critic, a story-teller and a poet, he had few equals. The Raven is one of the most exquisite lyrics in American literature. The errors and vices of Poe's life have been sufficiently commented on. Such consolation as the small can find in discovering that the great partake of their own moral infirmities is not withheld from them in the sad career of one of the more gifted of the children of men. But they will be referred to only in a spirit of charity by those who are themselves in a position to cast the first stone at the victim of human frailty. With the benevolent purpose of warning men of genius to beware of the rock upon which so many gallant barks have struck and gone down, but from no other motive, is it justifiable to draw the mantle from the face of the shipwrecked mariners and expose the traces of the tempestuous passions which hurled them upon the shore. The literary fame of Poe should be dear to his native State. Such a pearl should not be suffered to drop from her august brow and be heedlessly buried in the sands of time. No blade like his, of so true a temper and so keen an edge, has ever flashed in the van of Virginian letters. If Poe had been a resident of New England, he would long ago have had a memorial remembrance worthy of his splendid genius. That his grave should be so long neglected cannot, we trust, be attributed to any want of appreciation of literary merit. It is only lately that we have erected a monument to the first of mankind in war and peace, and many of our most illustrious personages sleep in obscure and unmarked graves. There is a strange indifference to the visible and permanent expression of our undoubted devotion to the memory of great men. We say that they have a monument in our hearts, forgetting how perishable is the shrine, and that the only evidence we can give to posterity of the inward virtue is the outward sign.
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