Text: Robert A. Stewart (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Notes to Mystification,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. IV: Tales - part 03 (1902), pp. 278-283


[page 278:]



The text follows the Broadway Journal.

The variations of Griswold from the Broadway Journal are few, and confined to spelling and punctuation.

This tale was first published in the 1840 collection under the title “Von Jung.”On its republication it appeared under a new tide, shortened, and revised in phraseology and punctuation, though the incidents remain unchanged.

The most important variation to be noted is the absence, in the later state, of the description of the personal appearance of Hermann.

Variations of 1840 from the text.

No motto 1840. page 102 l. 1 The . . . Jung (My friend, the Baron Ritzner Von Jung,) l. 4 the, — (—) l. 8 with Ritzner (with him — with Ritzner —) l. 10 me (me par hazard) page 103 l. 3 , that (o.) l. 4 impertinent (not pertinent) l. 8 , and (moral feelings, and physical) l. 10 despotic (absolutely despotic) After par. I. insert: — I have seen — and be it here borne in mind that gentlemen still living in Gotham who have been with myself witness of these things will have full recollection of the passages to which I now merely allude — I have seen, then, the most outrageously preposterous of events brought about by the most intangible and apparently inadequate of means. I have seen — what, indeed, have I not seen ? I have seen Villanova, the danseuse, lecturing in the chair of National Law, and have seen D —— , P —— T —— , and Von C —— , all enraptured with her [page 279:] profundity. I have seen the protector, the consul, and the whole faculty aghast at the convolutions of a weather-cock. I have seen Sontag received with hisses, and a hurdy-gurdy with sighs. I have seen an ox-cart, with oxen, on the summit of the Rotunda. I have seen all the pigs of G —— n in periwigs, and all her cows in canonicals. I have seen fifteen hundred vociferous cats in the steeple of St. P ——. I have seen the college chapel bombarded — I have seen the college ramparts most distressingly placarded — I have seen the whole world by the ears — I have seen old Wertemuller in tears — and, more than all, I have seen such events come to be regarded as the most reasonable, commendable, and inevitable things in creation, through the silent, yet all-pervading and magical influence of the dominator Baron Ritzner Von Jung. l. 17 his (the Baron’s) l. 18 age; — (—) l. 22 He (In stature he was about five feet eight inches. He) l. 23 the (rather the) l. 32 and (, and) l. 34 was (was neither more nor less than) page 104 l. 12 practical: — (—) l. 13 accused, — (—) l. 14 Heraclites, — (—) l. 20 [mystique] (mystifique) l. 20 , lay (o. c.) l. 23 a (the) l. 24 ,) by (), page 105 l. 3 rise. (Rise. How this difficult point was accomplished I have become fully aware by means of a long course of observation on the oddities of my friend, and by means of frequent dissertations on the subject from himself; but upon this matter I cannot dilate.) l. 3 instance (instance, however,) l. 6 — an (,) After Par. II. page 103 insert: — My readers have thus the physical baron before them. What I shall add respecting those mental peculiarities to which I have as yet only partially adverted, will be told in my own words — for I find that, in speaking of my friend, I have been falling unwittingly into one of the many odd literary mannerisms of the dominator Baron Ritzner Von Jung.

After par. I. page 105 insert: —

To enter fully into the labyrinths of the Baron’s finesse, or even to follow him in that droll career of practical [page 280:] mystification which gave him so wonderful an ascendency over the mad spirits of G —— n, would lead me to a far greater length than I have prescribed to myself in this article. I may dwell upon these topics hereafter, and then not in petto. I am well aware that in tracing minutely and deliberately to their almost magical results the operations of an intellect like that of Ritzner, wherein an hereditary and cultivated taste for the bizarre was allied with an intuitive acumen in regard to the every-day impulses of the heart — an untrodden field would be found to lie open before me, rich in novelty and vigor, of emotion and incident, and abounding in rich food for both speculation and analysis. But this, I have already said, could not be accomplished in little space. Moreover, the Baron is still living in Belgium, and it is not without the limits of the possible that his eye may rest upon what I am now writing. I shall be careful, therefore, not to disclose, at least thus and here, the mental machinery which he has a pleasure, however whimsical, in keeping concealed. An anecdote at random, however, may convey some idea of the spirit of his practice. The method varied ad infinitum; and in this well-sustained variety lay chiefly the secret of that unsuspectedness with which his multifarious operations were conducted.

Page 105 l. 13 his . . . G —— n (the domination) l. 16 at least was done (was done, at least,) l. 20 of the Baron (of your humble servant, and the Baron Ritzner Von Jung — for it must be understood we were chums.) l. 27 connection (connexion) l. 31 desperate, (o. c.) page 106 l. 6 arms (arms,) l. 7 and an (and, if I may so speak,) l. 15 may (, may) l. 21 respect (respect,) l. 21 , perhaps, (o. c.) l. 22 was . . . fool (was one of the greatest asses in Christendom.).

After “talent” page 106 l. 25 insert: —

His personal appearance was so peculiar that I feel confident my outline of him will be recognised at once by all who have been in company with the model. He was one of the tallest men I have ever seen, being fully six feet [page 281:] and a half. His proportions were singularly mal-apropos. His legs were brief, bowed, and very slender; while above them arose a trunk worthy of the Famesian Hercules. His shoulders, nevertheless, were round, his neck long although thick, and a general stoop forward gave him a slouching air. His head was of colossal dimensions, and overshadowed by a dense mass of straight raven hair, two huge locks of which, stiffly plastered with pomatum, extended with a lachrymose air down the temples, and partially over the cheek bones — a fashion which of late days has wormed itself (the wonder is that it has not arrived here before) into the good graces of the denizens of the United States. But the face itself was the chief oddity. The upper region was finely proportioned, and gave indication of the loftiest species of intellect. The forehead was massive and broad, the organs of ideality over the temples, as well as those of causality, comparison, and eventuality, which betray themselves above the os frontis, being so astonishingly developed as to attract the instant notice of every person who saw him. The eyes were full, brilliant, beaming with what might be mistaken for intelligence, and well relieved by the short, straight, picturesque-looking eyebrow, which is perhaps one of the surest indications of general ability. The aquiline nose, too, was superb; certainly nothing more magnificent was ever beheld, nothing more delicate nor more exquisitely modelled. All these things were well enough, as I have said; it was the inferior portions of the visage which abounded in deformity, and which gave the lie instanter to the tittle-tattle of the superior. The upper lip (a huge lip in length) had the appearance of being swollen as by the sting of a bee, and was rendered still more atrocious by a little spot of very black mustachio immediately beneath the nose. The under lip, apparently disgusted with the gross obesity of its fellow, seemed bent upon resembling it as little as might be, and getting as far removed from it as possible. It was accordingly very curt and thin, hanging back as if utterly ashamed of being seen; [page 281:] while the chin, retreating still an inch or two farther, might | have been taken for — anything in the universe but a chin. In this abrupt transition, or rather descent, in regard to character, from the upper to the lower regions of the face, an analogy was preserved between the face itself and the body at large, whose peculiar construction I have spoken of before. The result of the entire conformation was, that opinions directly conflicting were daily entertained in respect to the personal appearance of Hermann. Erect, he was absolutely hideous, and seemed to be, what in fact he really was, a fool. At table, with his hands covering the lower part of his visage, (an attitude of deep meditation which he much affected) truly I never witnessed a more impressive tableau than his general appearance presented.

Page 106 l. 11 fanfaronade (fanfaronnade) l. 28 ; (—) l. 30 duello (n. i.) l. 34 had (bodily and mental, had) page 107 l. 2 ; (,) l. 2 , in . . . instance, (o. c.) l. 4 friend (chum) l. 7 the latter (Hermann) l. 8 ; (,) l. 12 ) () , ) l. 13 , with (o. c.) l. 15 farrago (n. i.) l. 18 , in (o. c.) l. 18 points, (o. c.) l. 23 ( (, () l. 27 pale (very pale) l. 30 , while (o. c.) page 108 l. 1 ; (,) l. 1 afterward (afterwards) l. 3 saw (witnessed) l. 7 silent, (o.c.) l. 19 this (the present) l. 26 done, (o. c.) l. 31 . (,) l. 31 not new par. l. 32-33 , full of vine, (o. c.) l. 33 against (furiously against) l. 34; (,) page 109 l. 4 their (their hats for) l. 6 ; (,) l. 9 his (his usual) l. 9 stiff (stiff,) l. 9-10 ultra recherché (n. i.) l. 12 , with . . . gravity, (o. c.) l. 22 , and (; then) l. 22 , by (o. c.) l. 23 [D’Audiguier] (Andiguier) l. 24 [Brantôme] (o. a.) l. 30 , a (o. c.) l. 30 , a (,) page 110 l. 4 , he (o. c.) l. 10-21 Sir, . . . 18 — (“Sir, — . . . 18 —.”) l. 15 , with (o. c.) l. 20 Jung, (.) l. 23 it; (,) l. 25 Having . . . I (He then said he was aware of the contents of the note, and that he did not wish to peruse it. With this, to my great astonishment, he repeated the letter nearly verbatim, handing me, at the same time, an already written reply. This, which ran [page 283:] as follows, I) l. 26 . (:) l. 27 Sir (“Sir) page 111 l. 3 and (and, as it were,) l. 7 and (o.) l. 11 Hédelin (o. c.) l. 12 of “ ” (‘on) l. 13 scripta (cap.) l. 14 ; (,) l. 15 , will (of will) l. 17 me (my) l. 30 smiles (airs) l. 31 , (o. c.) page 112 l. 7 not new par. l. 9 and (and,) l. 12 ; (,) l. 19 , (o. c.) l. 19 ; (,) l. 20 prima (primà) l. 23 profundity (profound analysis) l. 27 a (o.) l. 32 , from (o. c.) l. 32 , that (o. c.) page 113 l. 3 anything (any) l. 4 duello (n. i.).

Variations of Griswold from text.

Page 102 [Motto] o’ (of) l. 1 Von (s. l. ) l. 4 description, — (—) page 103 l. 18 age; — (,) page 104 l. 17 , and (o. c.) l. 20 art (n. i.) l. 20 [mystyque] (mystifique) l. 29 which, (, which) page 106 l. 6 , with (o. c.) l. 1 [fanfaronnade] (fanfaronade) l. 12 duelling (dueling) l. 25 duellist (duelist) l. 28 red, (;) page 108 l. 10 , as (o. c.) [l. 21 gentlemen (gentleman B. J.)] page 109 l. 9 duellist (duelist) l. 10 and (and,) l. 23 [D’Audiguier] (Audiguier) l. 24 [Brantôme] (o. a.) l. 30 Hédelin (o. a.) l. 30 scripta (cap.) page 110 l. 25 , he (o. c.) page 111 l. 11 [Hédelin] (o. a.) l. 22 Jung (Juns) page 112 l. 3 behaviour (behavior).






[S:0 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Notes to Mystification)