New York Jan 27 1829.
My dear Sir
I have not written to you since the contract with Bliss was agreed to by you. I believe we shall have a splendid book so far as respects the embellishments. Neilson takes hold of the thing with zeal and is assisted by the opinions of the artists. 1
As to the degree of favour with which the Talisman has been received--I can only say that the impartial opinions seem to place it even higher than last years. I suppose you have seen Buckingham's opinion of it--placing it in point of literary merit above all other works of the kind 2. The Middletown Gazette--a paper in which I showed you a criticism on Ch[arles] King's style--expressed the same opinion, but committed a great blunder as to the authors--ascribing the book to Paulding Halleck and myself. 3 The Norfolk Herald paid a high compliment to Maverick's engraving of the Dismal Swamp, which it said gave a pleasing view of the Great Feeder with a lady crossing the lake by the fire-fly lamp in a canoe rowed by an Indian. 4 As I told you before hand Coleman cannot abide the Scenes at Washington--not liking the ridicule of fat women 5--and Lewis Tappan is outrageous against the Simple Tale which he looks upon as an impious sneer at the charitable and religious societies of many of which he is a principal pillar. 6
I suppose you saw an Ode to Miss Wright in the Post not long since. It has passed for Halleck's among most of the knowing ones--and Carter was so cock-sure of it that he republished it in the Statesman and laid a wager with Col. Stone that Halleck was the author. Mr. Walsh I suppose fell into the same mistake for he republished it with praise. 7
You have doubtless seen the learned epistle of a Mr. John Smith to the editors of the Evening Post. The prose was concocted--as well as the