Text: Hervey Allen, “Chapter 08,” Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe (1926), volume 1, pp. 132-146


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[page 132, unnumbered:]

 

CHAPTER VIII
Elmira and the Enchanted Garden

 

WHERE “Linden Row” now stands in Richmond, Virginia, at the corner of Franklin and Second Streets, there was once a beautiful garden that Edgar Poe loved more than well.(184) Even its story was romantic. Thomas Jefferson had once sought to use the space of ground that it occupied in order to erect a prison in which to carry out one of his favorite theories in regard to the reform of prisoners, but one Colonel Thomas Rutherford arranged to exchange the property, and under the care of well trained gardeners the spot became one of the most beautiful on a once lovely old street. The prisoners which dwelt behind its high brick wall were roses, honeysuckle, jasmine, and the flowering myrtle.

From childhood it had been familiar to Israfel, who on his way to and from school, or on play-larks with little Tom Ellis, caught the scent of Southern Spring as it drifted over the old walls, arresting passers-by with its perfumed invitation from many flowers, and inviting them to leave the white sunshine in the quiet, warm streets, and tarry for a while amid its green coolness.

Charles Ellis, of Ellis & Allan, lived just across the street on the opposite corner, in the long frame house with five dormer-windows and double chimneys where the Allans had visited after their return from England.(184) From the front windows, the whole of the block across the street stretched away in a green and flowered vista, musical with birds, a labyrinth of mystery for childhood, and a seat of shade for old age. The place was tended by Mr. Ellis’s gardener(185) and must have been a favorite haunt for the solitary hours beloved by Poe. [page 133:]

In his story, The Landscape Garden, he has left us the imperishable memory of its delights in the form of a phantasy upon the art of landscape gardening, and in a half homesick mood afterward recalls it by a quotation from Giles Fletcher:

The garden like a lady fair was cut,

That lay as if she slumbered in delight,

And to the open skies her eyes did shut;

The azure fields of heaven were ‘sembled right

In a large round set with flowers of light;

The flowers de luce, and the round sparks of dew

hat hung upon their azure leaves did show

Like twinkling stars that sparkle in the evening blue.

Here was a retreat, indeed, where he could forget the world of docks and ships along the river banks below, and the interminable babble of prices and merchandising at his foster-father’s counter and table. For Edgar Poe, it was the setting and the background of a world of dreams.

“Helen” was dead, but Israfel was still moving in the world of men; he looked about him and saw that their daughters were fair, and he walked with them in the enchanted garden. It was there that he brought Sarah Elmira Royster and whispered to her through her tangle of unforgettable curls. She was one of the first, and was destined to be the last, love of a life star-crossed by many women.

Elmira, for by that name the young lady was known, was the daughter of one of the neighbors.(186) She at one time lived just across the street from Edgar’s school.(187) Propinquity at any rate was present. Young Poe was not one to overlook the charming because they were near, and at the time she “swims into our ken” she was about fifteen and dowered with a trim little figure, an appealing mouth, large black eyes, and long, dark, chestnut hair. The combination was irresistible to Poe.

He had probably known her since 1823, certainly during 1824, [page 134:] and after the gloom of “Helen’s” passing and during the days of change and trouble in the Allan household, the walks with Elmira, or “Myra,” as he called her, along the quiet streets of old Richmond, or in the woods and fields about, must have been a balm, and have brought a glow of strange unwonted happiness to his lonely heart.

But it was to the enchanted garden above all that he brought her, to sit there in the myrtle shades, and talk to her about his love and dreams. Here it was that he recalled her, in the troubled days of aftertimes. Looking back, the dream seemed idyllic, and the light that lay upon it with such peculiar glory, he has caught up and left for us in some of his finest lines:

Thou wast that all to me, love,

For which my soul did pine —

A green isle in the sea, love,

A fountain and a shrine,

All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,

And all the flowers were mine. . . .

And all my days are trances

And all my nightly dreams

Are where thy dark eye glances,

And where thy footstep gleams —

In what ethereal dances,

By what eternal streams. . . .

The stuff that dreams are made of, in the case of Poe, has had a strange power of congealing. The garden, its brick walls, its roses and Elmira, have long vanished into the gulf that waits for all things, but as a memorial to the poet’s dream, and to the fresh young beauty of the little girl who would have been Poe’s wife if Fate had not intervened, there has arisen a memorial(188) nearby, which like its original, the enchanted garden, is also

a fountain and a shrine.

Before John Allan moved to the mansion of his better circumstances on Main and Fifth Streets, the Roysters lived in a frame [page 135:] house still standing across lots, or as it was then, across gardens, on Second Street. From Edgar’s window where he was then living to the back of Elmira’s house there was at that time an unbroken view, and it was the custom of the two young lovers to conduct a handkerchief flirtation, Edgar from his window, and Elmira from the casement at the head of the landing on the stairs. One can imagine their hearts fluttering with every wave of the white signals, and Elmira must have looked up many a night and seen the lamp glowing in the room of the young boy she loved. Nor were these signals purely sentimental. From after events it is known that Mr. Royster did not look too favorably upon the obvious attentions of young Poe, and certainly John Allan’s sympathy must at this time have been, to say the least, attenuated.

But the canny Scot along with the other increased ambitions and more impressive mode of life which his Uncle’s fortune brought into prospect, seems to have changed somewhat his plans for the education of Edgar. Up until the receipt of the Galt estate in 1825, it is probable that if John Allan had any plans at all for the future of his brilliant young foster-child, they centered about the store and warehouse of Ellis & Allan, where the practical-minded merchant probably visualized Edgar Poe as occupying a stool and working his way up to a possible share in the business, or to the point where he could start out on a mercantile career of his own, as he and Charles Ellis had done years before. Nor was it by any means an unkindly vista. That Edgar was much employed about the store, we know, and that he occasionally served behind the counter as a dry-goods clerk, or as a messenger carrying papers and valuables to and fro, was afterward recalled by many who saw him there. Of the use to which he put the book and periodical department we have already seen. Here he also met the book lovers, journalists, and literati of the town, and occasionally favored the clerks and customers about the place with the recitation of some favorite poem, a song — for he sang well — or a conversation upon literature, the world of which had become known to him in the articles and reviews between the covers of the magazine counter stock of Ellis & Allan. There is no record of his being carried upon the firm’s payrolls, though. Quite reasonably [page 136:] enough, his guardian seems to have charged up his small services against his board and keep. Whatever pocket money he had, came from his “Ma” and “Aunt Nancy,” their generosity, as his companions and schoolmates testify, supplied him with a more than usual amount which seems to have been as easily and generously spent as it was given.

So far, Poe had received as good an education as any boy in Richmond. With the new house, and the higher social status to which his “father” aspired, seems to have come a different idea as to the possible future and training of the foster-son. Edgar’s abilities at declamation, and his leaning toward literature and the world of the intellect, may have caused John Allan to ponder the manifest advantages of a professional career, the law,(189) with perhaps the halls of Congress in view; nor was he, it is only right to say, oblivious to the remarkable qualities of Edgar’s mind. There was another factor, too. A course at the University would take him out of the house, and out of the house for reasons that we have seen, Mr. Allan was very anxious at this time that the foster-son should go. At any rate, the University began to be talked of, and in March, 1825, Edgar Poe was removed from Master Burke’s school.(190) He was put under the care of private tutors with an early entrance at the University of Virginia directly in view.

Of the interviews with John Allan and of his life about the warehouse of Ellis & Allan together with the provincial and mercantile clap-trap of the conversation enjoyed there, Poe has left us a neat but sardonic picture in the thinly disguised autobiographical satire of The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq. — nor does he forget in an amused way to hint at his own naive literary aspirations. With even a small knowledge of his life in Richmond about this time, the whole thing is reasonably clear. Even his middle name with the ironical thoughts it afterwards occasioned, creeps into the satire.

Of one’s very remote ancestors it is superfluous to say much.(191) My [page 137:] father Thomas Bob, Esq., stood for many years at the summit of his profession, which was that of a merchant barber,(192) in the city of Smug. His warehouse was the resort of all the principal people of the place, and especially the editorial corps — a body(193) which inspires all about it with profound veneration and awe. For my own part, I regarded them as gods, and drank in with avidity the rich wit and wisdom which continuously flowed from their august mouths during the process of what is called “lather.” My first moment of positive inspiration must be dated from that ever-memorable epoch, when the brilliant conductor of the Gad Fly,(194) in the intervals of the important process just mentioned, recited aloud, before a conclave of our apprentices, an inimitable poem in honor of the “Only Genuine Oil-of-Bob” (so called from its talented inventor, my father,) and for which occasion the editor of the Fly was remunerated with a regal liberality by the firm of Thomas Bob & Company, merchant-barbers.(195)

The genius of the stanzas of the “Oil-of-Bob” first breathed into me, I say, the divine afflatus. I resolved at once to become a great man, and to commence by becoming a great poet. That very evening I fell upon my knees at the feet of my father.

“Father,” I said, “pardon me! — but I have a soul above lather. It is my firm intention to cut the shop. I would be an editor — I would be a poet — I would pen stanzas to the ‘Oil-of-Bob.’ Pardon me and aid me to be great!”

“My dear Thingum,” replied my father (I had been christened Thingum after a wealthy relative so surnamed), “My dear Thingum” he said, raising me from my knees by the ears — “Thingum, my boy, you’re a trump and take after your father in having a soul. You have an immense head, too, and it must hold a great many brains.(196) This I have long seen and had thoughts of making you a lawyer. The business, however, has grown ungenteel, and that of politician don’t pay. Upon the whole you judge wisely; — the trade of editor is best and if you can be a poet at the same time as most of the editors are, by the by, — why you will kill two birds with one stone. To encourage you in the beginning of things, I will allow you a garret; pen, ink, and paper, a rhyming dictionary, and a copy of the Gad-Fly. I suppose you would scarcely demand any more.” [page 138:]

“I would be an ungrateful villain if I did,”(197) I replied with enthusiasm. “Your generosity is boundless. I will repay it by making you the father of a genius.”

And he did!

Here we have the whole bucketful in a thimble, the cursory allusion to his real parents, “the remote ancestors of whom it is superfluous to say much,” “my father, the close-shaving merchant,” the cheap lather of conversation about the warehouse, the Genuine Oil-of-Bob of family pride, and the applause of the clerks which aroused Poe’s ambition — and John Allan — “raising me from my knees by the ears.” It is all quite palpable, and very, very tragic. How could he demand more than a garret, pen and paper; would he not be an “ungrateful villain” if he did?

John Allan had provided the garret, the pen and paper, the clothes, and the food. That as he grew older he was incapable of providing more for “the immense head that must hold a great many brains,” and for the heart that was beating so highly and proudly, was the beginning of a tragedy that has had no end.(198) The duel between these two giants, for they were both that, and duel it was, echoes even now in a subtle way in the melancholy and morbid cast of much of Poe’s work. Without a thorough understanding of the relations of these two extraordinary men there can be no comprehension whatever of the motions of Poe. For almost a full half of its life one of the most delicately adjusted and sensitively organized nervous systems that the world has ever seen was subject to the ceaseless and exacting dominance of a potent, a massive and a gigantically virile will. It was not Ariel at the beck of Caliban, the colors will not stand that, but it was Hamlet fostered by a northern Shylock, a central fact in Poe’s life that the world, which is seldom subtle, will probably not take the trouble to understand.

The relation of father and son is one that has been left strangely undisected in our literature, while its feminine counterpart has been unduly exploited. In John Allan vs. Edgar Poe the [page 139:] perturbations of father and son were raised by circumstances to the nth degree of possibilities — and the result was in proportion to the cause. The relation between them was one of the most perplexed, complicated, and subtle in the whole range of life or literature, and therefore doubly hard to understand. But it is also one of the most interesting, for as always in the case of Poe, it was cast dramatically and carried in its involved ramifications, domestic secrets, hidden and damaging letters, unforgiving pride, and the sorrow and death of a beautiful woman beloved by both of them. As we have already taken some pains to look at the physical furnishings in the Allan house, let us for a few moments retire behind the arras.

When John Allan permitted his wife to take the infant Edgar Poe into her house and arms, it was, as we have seen, on his part, reluctantly. Once the fact was accomplished, however, it must also be said that his acceptance of it was more than generous. The child, and John Allan was fond of children, seems to have undoubtedly crept very deqply into his affections, to such an extent that there can be little doubt that for many years he accepted him as his son. In England he went by his foster-father’s name, and John Allan made statements to his Scotch relatives that can only indicate that he regarded him then as his heir. Tradition as to Mrs. Allan’s coddling and Mr. Allan’s undue severity with frequent corporal punishments, in reality means little. Frances Allan was a childless woman whose indulgence her husband corrected in the universal manner of mankind. In plain English, Edgar was probably a naughty and wilful little boy who took no harm from being spanked. The situation thus created, however, grew more serious later as a basis for a dangerous family alignment, one which John Allan could not help but resent more than if the boy had been his own. The charges that the older man wounded the pride of the boy by constantly reminding him of his dependence upon charity are more serious, and from; much direct testimony appear to be true.

As they grew older, the gulf between their temperaments began to widen. Most men, even of a thick fiber, have a tenderness and fondness, though a hidden one, for little children. Edgar’s beauty [page 140:] and “his vivacious ways” no doubt appealed for a while to John Allan. As the boy became more of the man, the natural indifference and antagonism of male for male began to play its part in his foster-father’s attitude. There was, too, probably unknown to them both, a jealousy for the affection of Frances Allan so strongly concentrated on Edgar, one which even a real father sometimes experiences, as his part in the life of the woman is replaced by the advent of children; and in John Allan’s case this was accentuated by the actual fact of the extra parentage of the child.

As he increased in years, the older man seems to have lost, as often happens, some of the more endearing and easily youthful sides of his nature which he undoubtedly, at one time, possessed; and he became harder-grained, closer, short-tempered and obstinate. Quite incapable, in short, of appreciating the possibilities in the more delicate aspects of Edgar, and perhaps dissatisfied in a certain way with his wife. He had wronged her, but by that very fact he knew the reason why he had no legitimate children; as he became less attached to Edgar and the possessor of a great estate, he was more than ever desirous of a natural heir. In the meantime, while his wife’s affections for young Poe increased with the fine promise of Edgar’s young manhood, his own had waned. This seems to have been about the situation when he fell heir to the Galt fortune, and to have warranted Poe later in his statement that, “ He treated me as kindly as his gross nature would permit.” Edgar had been provided with a home and education — the garret and the pens and ink — but he missed in his foster-father what was of much more importance to a boy of genius, the sympathy and understanding of a generously responding temperament.

The situation was tragic and, as is nearly always the case, an ironical one. Into the house of a hard-headed, literal and commercially-minded Scotch merchant, the eccentricities of Fate had introduced one of the most cunningly and highly strung instruments that has ever trembled to the delicate breath of song, combined with an esthetic ego that later could not bear to contemplate the idea that even God was its superior. Add to this, the [page 141:] ugly noise of domestic dissension under the stress of secret sorrow, and the curious stage is set for an inevitable tragedy, a favorite one of the Infernal Mimes, known as the “Breaking Heart of Youth.”

For it was not mere incompatibility of natures that brought about the inevitable; that, perhaps, as in many an other family, might have spent itself in minor ways, but sometime between the return of the family from England and La Fayette’s visit to Richmond, Frances Allan seems to have become aware of her husband’s unfaithfulness, and the knowledge which was then or afterward shared by Edgar, brought the two together in an aggrieved compact that was inevitably against, and probably supremely exasperating to, John Allan. Miss Valentine’s “position as a dependent upon her brother-in-law’s bounty was anomalous, but it is not hard to guess where her sympathies lay, and upon occasions they must have shown. But this was by no means all.

When Mrs. Poe, Edgar’s mother, died, John Allan had come into the possession of her letters, and, among these, there was some family secret that was extremely damaging to the Poes. Mrs. Clemm, Poe’s mother-in-law, said that years later she destroyed the correspondence after her “Eddie” died, in order to keep the fact from ever becoming known to the world.(199) Just what it was, can therefore never be proven, but there is a strong suspicion that it in some way compromised David or Elizabeth Poe and dealt with the paternity of Rosalie. In the family scenes which occurred, for under the conditions they were bound to, it was this secret which John Allan reserved to add the last sting to the reproaches of ingratitude, which he heaped on the foster-son who now dared to sympathize with her whom he had come to regard as his mother. No scribe was present to record this as a fact for posterity, but what John Allan had written albeit shamefacedly, in a letter to Henry Poe,(200) he would scarcely in his rage withhold from Edgar. To have stones cast at his dead mother [page 142:] and his little sister, from the hands of one who should have been the last to throw them, was something which no lad of spirit could stand. That Edgar replied ably, and perhaps out of all bounds, is a warrantable guess.

In the Spring of 1824, Mrs. Stanard had died; Mrs. Allan’s health was failing through sorrow or some other cause; and the gloom in the privacy of John Allan’s house must have been quiet and deep, when it was not stormy. A few months later, we find John Allan writing Henry Poe that Edgar is moody and adding, hypocritically enough, “I cannot imagine what we have done to deserve this.”(200) There is not a word of pride over Edgar’s escorting La Fayette, or of his excellent record at school. Only a vague and irritated reproach. In the light of all the facts, it can now only seem that the letter to Baltimore was a gesture of precaution, on the part of John Allan, and a deliberate attempt to malign Edgar Poe.

Sometime in the Summer of 1825, however, Henry paid a visit to his brother Edgar in the new house on Main Street. Doubtless the brothers had much to talk about. They had seen each other at most, only upon two or three occasions before. Some of the contents of John Allan’s letter may well have been on their minds. Henry, it seems, was considerably upset and impressed by the inuendoes, and as late as 1827 published in the North American in Baltimore a poem entitled Lines on a Pocket Book in which “Rosalie” is addressed as being of doubtful paternity. This poem constitutes the closest approach to an explanation of the Poe family mystery that exists.(201)

William Henry Leonard Poe was a rather delicate and tubercularly inclined boy of some literary promise, as his few published poems show. He and Edgar may have had a good deal in common and enjoyed each other’s society. It was only upon rare occasions that Poe could “open up” with the freedom and confidence that a blood relative of sympathetic temperament inspires. At this time Henry Poe seems to have been in the Navy or the merchant marine. On this visit to Richmond he wore a nautical [page 143:] uniform and, upon one occasion at least, in company with Ebenezer Burling, the boys called upon Elmira Royster. If Rosalie came over from the Mackenzies’ to visit her two big brothers, it was one of the few occasions upon which the children of Elizabeth Poe sat together in the same room.

Rosalie was at this time a dull and undeveloped little girl of about fourteen or fifteen. She could have been in her condition only an annoyance and a sorrow to Edgar Poe. He was on close terms of friendship with the Mackenzies, whose kindness and care of Rosalie had continued, and was a frequent visitor in their house. Mrs. Mackenzie he often called “Ma,” and upon several occasions was heard to remark that he wished he had been adopted by them instead of the Allans, words which could not have failed to reach his guardian’s, by this time, burning ears. About this time, too, it is said he began to talk to the Mackenzies about running away to sea, and to complain frequently of Mr. Allan.(202) To the Mackenzies, Mr. Allan replied that Edgar did not know what gratitude was. Nevertheless, Mrs. Allan and Mrs. Mackenzie were still fast friends and continued so till the end.

Through the Summer and Autumn of 1825 Edgar Poe continued this work with tutors, looking forward to his entrance at the University of Virginia. Despite the trouble in the background, he could not have eluded a certain joy in the new variety of contacts in the life which surrounded him now in the new house. The Allans, as part of the social campaign for the position to which their wealth now entitled them, gave many entertainments and the house was noted for its hospitality. John Allan’s generosity in the manner of his way of life is not to be impugned. Thomas Ellis speaks of the many young folks and children who ran in and out, to peep through the telescope, or to see Edgar. Doubtless Elmira’s curls were no strange sight in the garden on the slope of the hill when the grapes were ripe. An arbor is an excellent place to exchange kisses. Poe seems to have idolized [page 144:] her, and a study of the changes in the text of Tamerlane will result in some interesting speculations about this little girl.(203)

Poe’s family moved in the best of Richmond society. Some of John Allan’s neighbors were Thomas Taylor, whose daughter William Galt married; Mr. Joseph Tate, Major James Gibbon, Mr. Joseph Marx and Thomas Gilliat. “These gentlemen were of the highest social position in Richmond” and were associates of Chief Justice Marshall, Colonel Ambler, Dr. Brockenbrough, Judge Cabell, Judge Stanard and others, famous for good dinners and whist parties. In such houses young Poe was welcome, and the associations of such an environment stamped upon him the attitude and the mode of conversation of a gentleman. It was the Virginia of the Old School, a school for manners.

Doubtless the possibility of Edgar’s being Mr. Allan’s heir did not escape the speculation of certain mamas with eligible daughters, young people married early then, but young Poe was becoming more and more interested in Elmira and the visits to her house were frequent. From her lips we get a fresh and vivid account of Israfel.(203)

It was Edgar’s habit, during the Summer and Fall of 1825, to slip over to the Royster House nearby and to spend long hours in the parlor with Elmira. She played the piano and they would sing together, Edgar in a fresh young tenor voice, or he would accompany her upon the flute which he played quite well. Sometimes, but not often, Ebenezer Burling would go along. But Elmira does not seem to have cared much for him. The conversation was of the news of the younger set of the day. Once, upon her repeating a brisk remark of a young lady acquaintance, Poe replied that he was surprised that Elmira would associate with anyone so unladylike. Years later she remembered this. There must also have been certain moments upon the sofa, or upon the window seat on the landing upstairs, when the conversation was of a decidedly endearing nature and more than mere words were [page 145:] exchanged, for before Poe left for the University, Elmira had promised to be his wife. A promise which was kept a secret, probably on account of the parental attitude toward the match.

Elmira said that Poe was shy but very handsome, with large dark grey eyes and rather august manners. In short, we get the feeling that little Elmira was carried off her feet by quite an impressive and princely young man. There was talk of books and poetry, and perhaps some verses in Elmira’s album,(204) the custom of the day, and when other amusements failed, Edgar drew pictures and sketches for his sweetheart. One of these, a portrait of Elmira herself by Poe’s own hand, has come down to us as a record of some of the happiest hours of his life. One can imagine the little girl sitting on the sofa in the Royster parlor, the sheets of music and the flute lying upon the open pianoforte, while Edgar Poe, pencil in hand, sketched the wistful little face that still looks out at us from the yellow paper, after more than a hundred years. There is certainly a very fetching flaunt to the tangle of pretty curls. One can almost hear their fresh voices blending in The Last Rose of Summer, through the half -open window; or the tinkle of the piano and the low bubbling notes of the flute.

Mrs. Allan does not seem to have looked upon Edgar’s approaching departure with anything but sorrow. Doubtless, her husband’s anxiety to have Edgar out of the house could not be concealed, and she may have had a feminine foreboding that it was the beginning of the end. Her health was rapidly failing, and the thought of being left alone in the house, to confront the Scotch harshness of her masterful husband, was probably more than she could bear. Perhaps she had some inkling of his future intentions as to Edgar, and knew that although his means for charity were now ample, the will for bounty had run out. That it was a gloomy time, the servants have testified. The antagonism between John Allan and his ward was extreme. On this account, and because of her great love for Edgar, Frances Allan seems to have deferred her parting with him to the uttermost. She resolved to accompany her son to Charlottesville, and to see him [page 146:] settled at the University. Christmas that year, despite the ample setting at the Allan house, must have been, at best, a gloomy affair.

Of Poe’s parting with John Allan there is no record. Let us hope there was a gleam of the old affection. Of admonitions and promises we can be certain. Perhaps Elmira’s kisses and avowals served somewhat to soften the admonitory thumping of the lame man’s cane; there was at least a fond farewell from “Aunt Nancy” Valentine. One of the new Allan carriages was ordered out, Edgar’s small baggage lashed at the back, and with old Jim on the box,(205) Frances Allan and Edgar Allan Poe drove away from the great house down Main Street. The black coachman remembered that they were both very sad. It was just about Valentine’s Day in February, 1826.

While they trotted along in the new family carriage, perhaps Mrs. Allan remembered another ride down Main Street, in a hired hack, some fifteen years before, and once again clasped warmly the hand of the same orphan who still sat by her side. She at least had given him all that any mother could. It was the end of the first momentous act. As Jim cracked his whip over the straining horses along the road to Charlottesville, and the spires and pillared porches of Richmond disappeared behind the snowy hills, Edgar’s boyhood with its homes, and warehouses, ships, “Helen,” Elmira and the Enchanted Garden, disappeared into the irrevocable past. As if in final farewell Poe entrusted a love letter for Elmira to be delivered to her by the hands of James Hill, the coachman. It was the last message which she was destined to receive from him for a long time.(206) In addition to the letter Poe left with Elmira a mother-of-pearl purse marked with her initials in which the engraver had made an error. On February the fourteenth, 1826, Poe matriculated at the University of Virginia.(207)


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 132:]

184.  See Chapter VI, page 95.

185.  In Poe’s story , The Landscape Garden, the hero is Ellison, my young friend.” It now appears that the land upon which this garden was situated actually belonged to Poe’s guardian, for in William Galt’s will among other bequests to John Allan is, “my vacant lot corner of F and 2nd Streets, opposite the residence of Charles Ellis.” See appendix III.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 133:]

186.  The Roysters were well known to both John Allan and Charles Ellis. This connection afterward was probably fatal to Poe’s hopes. Miss Royster became Mrs. Shelton. In 1810 I find that the Roysters loaned money to John Allan, charged to his personal account. Ellis & Allan — Papers a receipt dated Richmond, December 22, 1810.

187.  Old Richmond directory.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 134:]

188.  The Edgar Allan Poc Shrine in the Old Stone House, Main Street, Richmond, Virginia, is one of the best conceived and most beautiful memorials to literary genius in the United States.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 136:]

189.  Both Poe and Mr. Allan specifically mention “law” in later correspondence.

190.  Woodberry, 1909, vol. I, page 29.

191.  A covert reference to his real parents seems quite evident.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 137:]

192.  I. e., a merchant who gave his customers a close shave.

193.  Poe had all the delight of the day in puns. Like Keats he revelled in them.

194.  A reference to Poe himself and his editorial criticisms that stung deeply, and his recitations of poetry about the office.

195.  No salary was given him by the “close shaving” firm hence the irony.

196.  A study of Poe’s portraits will make this literal description of himself plain.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 138:]

197.  “Ungrateful” was John Allan’s favorite reproach of Poe.

198.  From his influence upon Poe’s life, John Allan becomes automatically one of the great secondary characters of literary annals.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 141:]

199.  See the mention of these letters Chapter II, page 4, note 41,

200.  Letter of John Allan to William Henry Leonard Poe, quoted page 125, ante, “God forbid, my dear Henry,” etc.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 142:]

201.  See Poe’s Brother, by Hervey Allen and Thomas Ollive Mabbott, Doran, 1926.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 143:]

202.  New light is thrown on Edgar’s desire to go to sea by the fact that, shortly after the visit to Richmond noted above, Henry sailed as a midshipman (sic) on the U.S.S. “Macedonian” for South America. See note 201.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 144:]

203.  In the accounts of Elmira (Mrs. Shelton) and her accounts of Poe, I have followed carefully the letters from her to Ingram, published in his biography of Poe, and other letters of interviews with Mrs. Shelton by Edward V. Valentine of Richmond, later sent to Ingram and now at the University of Virginia. Some of these latter have never been published.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 145:]

204.  This is inference. Mrs. Shelton does not say so.

[The following footnotes appear at the bottom of page 146:]

205.  James Hill was the name of Mr. Allan’s coachman. Edward V. Valentine to the author at Richmond, July 16, 1925. The carriage belonged to Mrs. Allan having been left to her by William Galt. See his will, appendix III.

206.  J. H. Whitty Memoir, large edition, page xxvii.

207.  Entry in the University of Virginia Records.

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - HVA26, 1926] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe (H. Allen) (Chapter 08)