Text: Thomas Ollive Mabbott (E. A. Poe), “A Succession of Sundays,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. II: Tales and Sketches (1978), pp. 648-659 (This material is protected by copyright)


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


[page 648:]

A SUCCESSION OF SUNDAYS
(THREE SUNDAYS IN A WEEK)

Poe prided himself on the variety of his subjects. This is his only tale that can possibly be read as a simple happy love story. Probably because of its superficial comedy — reminiscent of “Lionizing” — it has been more popular with ordinary readers than with professed critics.

The natural phenomenon on which the plot is based is something noticed when Spanish and Portuguese navigators reached China by different routes. Rabelais, Book II, chapter 1, mentions a “week of three Thursdays.” Poe’s attention was probably attracted by an unsigned article, “Three Thursdays in One Week” in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, October 29, 1841, and by a reference to “three Sundays within nine days” in an article signed “Naval” in that paper on November 17, 1841.* He added a satirical element that must have been easily understood by his first readers: Dionysius Lardner, LL.D. (1793-1859), appointed in 1827 professor of natural philosophy and astronomy in the newly established University of London, founder and editor of the Cabinet Cyclopaedia of more than 130 volumes, left London in 1840 for the United States and began to deliver lectures on scientific subjects that proved immensely popular with American audiences. His lectures were announced in the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post of November 20, 1841, the issue immediately preceding that containing Poe’s story. Poe certainly thought him a quack, for in “Marginalia,” number 38 (Democratic Review, November 1844), he discussed a pretentious “demonstration” of the lecturer. However, many of Poe’s notes in “The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade” come from a pamphlet by Lardner. [page 649:]

The story has an element of autobiography also, for Poe had married his cousin; and it may not be purely fanciful to see something of John Allan in Uncle Rumgudgeon.

Poe’s tale was presumably published almost immediately after he wrote it.

TEXTS

(A) Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post, November 27, 1841, as “A Succession of Sundays”; (B) Broadway Journal, May 10, 1845 (1:293-295); (C) Works (1850), II, 376-382. PHANTASY-PIECES, title only.

The text of Works (C) is followed with slight corrections from the first form (A). The Broadway Journal version (B) differs verbally from C only in having more typographical errors. An examination of the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post text (A) shows that the tale was thoroughly revised for the Broadway Journal. Some pointings, such as would’nt, must’nt and is’nt have been normalized for this text.

Reprints

Spirit of the Times (Philadelphia), May 14, 1845; Star of Bethlehem (Lowell, Mass.), June 7, 1845. Both from the Broadway Journal.

THREE SUNDAYS IN A WEEK.   [C]   [[n]]   [[v]]

“You hard-hearted, dunder-headed, obstinate, rusty, crusty, musty, fusty, old savage!”(1) said I, in fancy, one afternoon, to my grand uncle Rumgudgeon —(2) I shaking my fist{a} at him in imagination.

Only in imagination. The fact is,{a’} some trivial discrepancy did {bb}exist, just then{bb} between what I said{c} and what I had not the [page 650:] courage to say — between what I did and what I had half a mind to do.

The old porpoise, as I opened the drawing-room{d} door, was sitting with his feet upon{e} the mantel-piece, and a bumper of port in his paw, making strenuous efforts to accomplish the ditty,

Remplis ton verre vide!{f}

Vide{g} ton verre plein! (3)

“My dear uncle,” said I, closing the door gently, and approaching him with the blandest of smiles, “you are always so very kind and considerate, and have evinced your benevolence in so many — so very many ways — that — that I feel I have only to suggest this little point to you once more to make sure of{h} your full acquiescence.”

“Hem!” said he, “good boy! go on!”

“I am sure, my dearest uncle, [you confounded old rascal!] that you have no design really, seriously, to oppose my union with Kate. This is merely a joke of yours, I know — ha! ha! ha! — how very pleasant you are at times.”

“Ha! ha! ha!” said he, “curse you! yes!”

{ii}To be sure — of course!{ii} I knew you were jesting. Now, uncle, all that Kate and myself wish at present, is that you would oblige us with your advice as{j} — as regards the timeyou know, uncle — in short, when will it be most convenient for yourself, that the wedding shall — shall — come off, you know?”

“Come off, you scoundrel! — what do you mean by that? — Better wait till it goes on.”

“Ha! ha! ha! — he! he! he! — hi! hi! hi! — ho! ho! ho! — hu! hu! hu!(4) — oh!, that’s good! — oh, that’s capital — such a wit! But all we want{k} just{l} now, you know, uncle, is that you would indicate the time precisely.”{m}

“Ah! — precisely?”{m}

“Yes, uncle — that is, if it would be quite agreeable to yourself.”

“Wouldn’t it answer, Bobby, if I were to leave it at random — some time within a year or so, for example? — must I say precisely?”

If you please, uncle — precisely.”

“Well, then, Bobby, my boy — you’re a fine fellow, aren’t you? — since you will have the exact time, I’ll — why,{n} I’ll oblige you for once.”

“Dear{o} uncle!”

“Hush, {pp}sir!” [drowning my voice] — “I’ll{pp} oblige you for once. You shall have my consent — and the plum,{q} (5) we mustn’t forget the plum — let me see!{r} when shall it be? To-day’s Sunday — isn’t it? {ss}Well, then, you{ss} shall be married precisely — precisely, now mind! — when three Sundays come {tt}together in a week!{tt} Do you hear me, sir! What are you gaping at? I say, you shall have Kate and her{u} plum when three {vv}Sundays come together in a week{vv} — but not till then — you young scapegrace — not till then, if I die for it. You know me — I’m a man of my word — now be off!” Here he swallowed his bumper{w} of port, while I rushed from the room in despair.

A very “fine old English gentleman,”(6) was my grand-uncle Rumgudgeon, but unlike him of the song, he had his weak points. He was a little, pursy, pompous, passionate, semicircular somebody, with a red nose, a thick skull, a long purse, and a strong sense of his own consequence. With the best heart in the world, he {xx}contrived, through a predominant whim of contradiction,{xx} to earn for himself, among those who only knew him superficially, the character of a curmudgeon.{y} Like many excellent people, he seemed possessed with{z} a spirit of tantalization, which might easily, at a casual glance, have been mistaken for malevolence. To every [page 651] request, a positive “No!”{a} was his immediate answer; but in the end — in the long, long end — there were exceedingly few requests which he refused. Against all attacks upon his purse he made the most sturdy defence; but the amount extorted from him, at last {bb}was, generally,{bb} in direct{c} ratio with the length of the siege and the stubbornness of the resistance. In charity no one gave more liberally or with a{d} worse grace.

For the fine arts, and especially for the belles lettres,{e} he entertained a profound contempt. With this he had been inspired by Casimir Périer,{f} whose pert little query “A quoi un poète est-il{g} bon?(7) he was in the habit of quoting, with a very droll pronunciation, as the ne plus ultra of logical wit. Thus my own inkling(8) for the Muses had{h} excited his entire displeasure. He assured me one day, when I{i} asked him for a new copy of Horace, that the translation{j} of “Poeta nascitur non fit(9) was “a{k} nasty poet for nothing fit” — a remark{l} which I took in high{m} dudgeon. His repugnance to “the humanities” had, also, much{n} increased of late, by an accidental bias in favor of what he supposed to be natural science. Somebody had accosted him in the street, mistaking him for no less a personage than Doctor Dubble L. Dee, the lecturer upon quack physics.(10) This set him off at a tangent; and just at the epoch of this story — for story it is getting{o} to be after all — my grand-uncle Rumgudgeon was accessible and pacific only upon points which happened to chime in with the caprioles of the hobby he was riding. For the rest, he laughed with his arms and legs, and his politics were stubborn and easily understood. He thought, with Horsley, that “the people have{p} nothing to do with the laws but to obey them.”(11)

I had lived with the old gentleman all my life. My {qq}parents, in [page 653:] dying,{qq} had bequeathed me to him as a rich legacy.{r} (12) I believe{s} the old villain loved me as his own child — nearly if not quite as well as he loved Kate — but it was a dog’s existence that he led me, after all. From my first year until my fifth, he obliged me with very regular floggings. From five to fifteen, he threatened me, hourly, with the House of Correction. From fifteen to twenty, not a day passed in which he did not {tt}promise to{tt} cut me off with a shilling. I was a sad dog, it is true — but then it was a part of my nature — a point of my faith. In {uu}Kate, however, I had{uu} a firm friend, and I knew it. She was a good girl, and told me very sweetly that I might have her (plum and all) whenever I could badger my grand uncle Rumgudgeon{v} into the necessary consent. Poor girl! — she was barely fifteen, and without this consent, her little amount in the funds was not{w} come-at-able until five immeasurable summers had “dragged their slow length{x} along.”(13) What then, to do? At fifteen, or even at twenty-one{y} (for I had now passed{z} my fifth olympiad){a} five years in prospect are very much the same as five hundred. In vain we besieged the old gentleman with importunities. Here was a pièce de résistance{b} (as Messieurs Ude and Careme{c} would say)(14) Which suited his perverse fancy to a T. It would have stirred the indignation of Job himself, to see how much like an old mouser he behaved to us two poor wretched little mice. In his heart he wished for nothing more ardently than our{d} union. He had made up his mind to this all along. In fact, he would have given ten thousand pounds from his own pocket (Kate’s plum was her own) if he could have{e} invented anything like an{f} excuse for complying with our very natural wishes. But then we had been so imprudent as to broach the subject ourselves. [page 654:] Not to oppose it under such circumstances, I sincerely believe was not in his power.{g}

I have said already that he had his weak points; but, in speaking of these, I must not be understood as referring to his {hh}obstinacy: which{hh} was one of his strong points — “assurément ce n’était{i} pas sa foible.”(15) When I {jj}mention his weakness I leave{jj} allusion to a bizarre old-womanish superstition which beset him. He was great in dreams, portents, et id genus omne(16) of rigmarole. He was excessively punctilious, too, upon small points of {kk}honor, and, after his own fashion, was a man of his word, beyond doubt.(17) This{kk} was, in fact, one of his hobbies. The spirit of his vows he made no scruple of setting at naught, but the letter{l} was a bond inviolable. Now it was this latter peculiarity in his disposition, of which Kate’s ingenuity enabled us one fine day, not long after our interview in the dining-room, to take a very unexpected advantage; and, having thus, in the fashion of all modern bards and orators, exhausted in prolegomena,{m} all the time at my command, and nearly {nn}all the room at my disposal,{nn} I will sum {oo}up in a few words{oo} what constitutes the whole{p} pith of the story.{q} (18)

It happened then — so the Fates ordered it — that among the naval acquaintances of my betrothed, were{r} two gentlemen who had just set foot upon{s} the shores of England, after a year’s absence, each, in foreign travel. In company with these gentlemen, my cousin and I, preconcertedly, paid uncle{t} Rumgudgeon a visit on the afternoon of Sunday, October the tenth,{u} (19) — just three weeks after the memorable decision which had so cruelly defeated our hopes. For about half an hour the conversation ran upon ordinary [page 655:] topics; but at last, we contrived, quite naturally, to give it the following turn:{v}

Capt. Pratt.{ww}Well, I have been absent just one year. Just one year to-day, as I live — let me see! yes! — this is October the tenth. You remember, Mr. Rumgudgeon, I called, this day year, to{ww} bid you good-bye. And by the way,{x} it does seem something like a coincidence, does it not — that our friend, Captain Smitherton, here, has been absent exactly a year also — a year to-day?”

Smitherton.{y} “Yes! just one year to a fraction. You will remember, Mr. Rumgudgeon, that I called with Capt. Pratt{z} on this very day, last year,(20) to pay{a} my parting respects.”

Uncle. “Yes, yes, yes — I remember it very{b} well — very queer indeed! Both of you gone just one year. A very strange coincidence, indeed! just what Doctor {cc}Dubble L. Dee would denominate an extraordinary concurrence of events. Doctor Dub —”{cc}

Kate. [Interrupting.]{d} “To be sure, papa, it is something strange; but then Captain Pratt and Captain Smitherton didn’t go altogether{e} the same route, and that makes a difference you know.”

Uncle. “I don’t know any such thing, you huzzy! How should I? I think it only makes the matter more remarkable. Doctor Dubble{f} L. Dee —”

Kate. “Why, papa, Captain Pratt went round Cape Horn, and Captain Smitherton doubled the Cape of Good Hope.”

Uncle. “Precisely! — the one went east and the other went west, you jade, and they both have gone quite round the world. By the by, Doctor Dubble{g} L. Dee —”

Myself, [hurriedly.] “Captain Pratt, you must come and spend the evening with us to-morrow — you and Smitherton{h} — you can tell us all about your voyage, and we’ll have a game of whist, and —” [page 656:]

Pratt.{i} “Whist, my dear fellow — you forget.{j} To-morrow will be Sunday. Some other evening —”

Kate. “Oh, no, fie! — Robert’s{k} not quite so bad as that. Today’s Sunday.”

Uncle. “To be sure — to be sure!”

Pratt.{l} “I beg both your pardons{m} — but I can’t be so much mistaken. I know{n} to-morrow’s Sunday, because —”

{oo}Smitherton, (much surprised.){oo} “What are you all thinking about? Wasn’t yesterday Sunday, I should like to know?”

All. “Yesterday, indeed! you are out!”

Uncle. “To-day’s{p} Sunday, I say — don’t I know?”

Pratt.{q} “Oh no! — to-morrow’s Sunday.”

Smitherton.{r} “You are all mad — every one of you. I am as positive that yesterday was Sunday, as I am that I sit upon this chair.”

Kate, (jumping up eagerly.) “I see it — I see it all. Papa, this is a judgment upon you, about — about you know what. Let me alone, and I’ll explain it all in a minute. It’s a very simple thing, indeed. Captain Smitherton says that yesterday was Sunday: so it was; he is right. Cousin Bobby, and uncle and I, say that{s} to-day is Sunday: so it is; we are right. Captain Pratt maintains that tomorrow will be Sunday: so it will; he is right, too. The fact is, we are all right, and thus {tt}three Sundays have come together in a week.”{tt}

{uu}Smitherton, (after a pause.) “By{uu} the by, Pratt, Kate {vv}has us completely.{vv} What fools we two are! Mr. Rumgudgeon, the matter stands thus: the earth you know is twenty-four thousand miles in {ww}circumference. Now{ww} this globe of the earth turns upon its own axis — revolves — spins round — these twenty-four thousand miles [page 657:] of extent, going from west to east, in precisely twenty-four hours. Do you understand, Mr. Rumgudgeon?”

Uncle. “To be sure — to be sure — Doctor Dub —”{x}

{yy}Smitherton, (drowning his voice.){yy} “Well, sir; that is at the rate of one thousand miles per hour. Now, suppose that{z} I sail from this position a thousand miles east. Of course,{a} I anticipate the rising of the sun here at London, by just one hour. {bb}I see the sun rise one hour before you do.{bb} Proceeding, in the same direction, yet another thousand miles, I anticipate the rising by two hours — another thousand, and I anticipate it by three hours, and so on, until I go entirely round the globe, and back to this spot, when, having gone twenty-four thousand miles east, I anticipate the rising of the London sun by no less than twenty-four hours; that is to say, I am a day in advance of your time. {cc}Understand, eh?”

Uncle. “But Dubble L. Dee —”

Smitherton, (speaking very loud.){cc} Captain Pratt, on the contrary, when he had sailed a thousand miles west of this position, was an hour, and when he had sailed twenty-four thousand miles west, was twenty-four hours, or one{d} day, behind the time at London. Thus, with me, yesterday was Sunday — thus, with you, today is Sunday — and thus, with Pratt, to-morrow will be Sunday. And what is more, Mr. Rumgudgeon, it is positively clear that we are all right; for there can be no philosophical{e} reason assigned why the idea of one of us{f} should have preference over that of the other.”

Uncle. “My eyes! — well, Kate — well, Bobby! — this is a judgment upon me, as you say.{g} {hh}But I am a man of my word{hh}mark that! you shall have her, boy{i} (plum and all,) when you please. Done up, by Jove! Three Sundays all in a row! I’ll go, and take Dubble{j} L. Dee’s opinion upon that.”

 


VARIANTS

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 649:]

Title:  A Succession of Sundays (A) and PHANTASY-PIECES.

a  first (C) misprint

a’  is, / is that (A)

bb . . . bb  exist (A)

c  said just then (A)

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 650:]

d  dining-room (A)

e  up on (A)

f  vuide, (A) misprint [The quotation is not italicized in A]

g  vuide (A) misprint

h  make sure of / procure (A)

ii . . . ii  Of course, (A)

j  advice as / advice — you are so very competent to advise us, uncle — and — and (A)

k  wish (A)

l  just (A)

m  precisely.” (A)

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 651:]

n  Omitted (A)

o  Dear (A)

pp . . . pp  sir! — I’ll (A)

q  plum, Bobby, (A)

r  see now, (A)

ss . . . ss  Well then, I have it. You (A)

tt . . . tt  in succession! (A)

u  and her plum / (and the plum) (A)

vv . . . vv  Sundays come in succession (A)

w  tumbler (A)

xx . . . xx  contrived (A)

y  curmudgeon, merely through a predominant whim of contradiction. (A)

z  by (A)

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 652:]

a  “No!” (A)

bb . . . bb  was always (A)

c  exact (A)

d  Omitted (A)

e  belles lettres, (A)

f  Perier, (A, B, C)

g  poete est il (A, B, C)

h  Omitted (A)

i  I had (A)

j  meaning (A)

k  “a / a (B) misprint

l  a remark / an insult (A)

m  very serious (A)

n  been much (A)

o  growing (A)

p  had (A)

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 653:]

qq . . . qq  parents (A)

r  legacy, in dying. (A)

s  believed (A)

tt . . . tt  swear a round oath that he would (A)

uu . . . uu  Kate I had, however, (A)

v  Rumgudgeon, (B, C) comma deleted to follow A

w  was not / would not be (A)

x  lengths (A)

y  twenty (A)

z  reached (A)

a  lustrum) (A)

b  piece de resistance (A, B, C)

c  Careme (A, B); Carene (C) misprint

d  our own (A)

e  have discovered or (A)

f  a decent (A)

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 654:]

g  his power. / the power of my dear, good, obstinate, tantalistical, old uncle Rumgudgeon. (A)

hh . . . hh  obstinacy. That (A); obstinacy: that (B)

i  n’tail (A) misprint [The French is not accented in A, B, C]

jj . . . jj  mentioned his weaknesses I had (A)

kk . . . kk  honor — although sufficiently loose in regard to large ones. He was a man of his word, beyond doubt, but it was after his own fashion to

Keep the word of promise to the ear,

But break it to the hope, (A)

l  letter of his word (A)

m  prolegomend, (A)

nn . . . nn  every inch of the space assigned me, (A)

oo . . . oo  up (A)

p  Omitted (A)

q  story. / story in as concise a style as that of Tacitus or Montesquieu. (A)

r  there were (A)

s  on (A)

t  old Uncle (A)

u  10th, (A)

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 655:]

v  After this is another paragraph:

Uncle. — And so, Captain Pratt, you have been absent from London a whole year — a whole year to a day, as I live. Let me see — yes — this is October the tenth. (A)

ww . . . ww  A whole year to-day, sir, — precisely. You remember I called to (A)

x  way, Mr. Rumgudgeon, (A)

y  Capt. Smitherton. (A)

z  Pratol (B, C) misprint, corrected from A

a  pay you (A)

b  Omitted (A)

cc . . . cc  Double L. Dee — (A)

d  Omitted (A)

e  alttogether (B) misprint

f  Double (A)

g  Double (A)

h  Captain Smitherton (A)

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 656:]

i  Captain Pratt. (A)

j  forget yourself. (A)

k  Bobby’s (A)

l  Capt. Pratt. (A)

m  pardon’s (B) misprint

n  know (A)

oo . . . oo  Capt. Smitherton (in surprise.) (A)

p  Today’s (A)

q  Capt. Pratt. (A)

r  Capt. Smitherton. (A)

s  Omitted (A)

tt . . . tt  three Sundays’ have come together. (A)

uu . . . uu  Smitherton. Oh yes, by (A)

vv . . . vv  is quite rational. (A)

ww . . . ww  circumference —

Uncle. — To be sure! — Doctor Double —

Smitherton. — Twenty-four thousand miles in circumference. Now (A)

[The following variants appear at the bottom of page 657:]

x  Doub — (A)

yy . . . yy  Smitherton. (A)

z  Now, suppose that / Now (A)

a  Of course, omitted (A)

bb . . . bb  Omitted (A)

cc . . . cc  Omitted (A)

d  a (A)

e  philosophical or just (A)

f  one of us / one (A)

g  After this: I always was a great old scoundrel. (A)

hh . . . hh  But I am a man of my word (A)

i  my boy, (A)

j  Double (A)

 


[page 658:]

NOTES

Title:  The final title is a proverbial phrase for “never,” especially used among the rural Irish. See Archer Taylor in American Notes & Queries, January 1944.

1.  Compare “Crusty . . . Rusty . . . Musty . . . Fusty Christopher” in Tennyson’s verses “To Christopher North” quoted in full in a review of Poems by Alfred Tennyson (London, 1833) in the Quarterly Review (London), April 1833, p. 95.

2.  The gudgeon is a small fish, notable for being easily caught; hence a gudgeon is a person easily taken in.

3.  Charles Nizard, Des Chansons populaires (1867), I, 104, says the lines were written by one of the “Diners du Vaudeville,” founded in 1796. They mean “Refill your empty glass, Empty your full glass.”

4.  In a letter to Beverley Tucker, December 1, 1835, Poe indicates that he thinks the grotesque is humorous, and refers to this silly way of recording laughter as having been “most effective” in “a critique in Blackwood’s Mag.” His memory served him ill. The review was identified by Kenneth L. Daughrity (AL, November 1930) as “The Age — A Poem — In Eight Books” in Blackwood’s for January 1830, where Professor Wilson ridiculed the author’s trade but did not use the odd kind of laughter.

5.  A plum — eighteenth and early nineteenth century slang — is one hundred thousand pounds.

6.  The “Fine Old English Gentleman,” popular in Poe’s day, was based on a ballad ascribed to the period of James I and subsequently included in many collections. Pepys heard it on June 16, 1668 (Diary, Bell edition, London, 1896, III, 50); Thomas D’Urfey collected a version of it, with music, in Songs Compleat and Diversive, III, 271-273 (1719), and the same year in Wit and Mirth; Henry Phillips revived it in his own adaptation for nineteenth century concerts; C. H. Purday, a music seller, published a version and sued Phillips for infringement of copyright (Phillips, Musical and Personal Recollections, 1864, I, 197-211); Fraser’s (March 1834, pp. 373-374) commented on the copyright squabble and published comparative excerpts; and Charles Dickens parodied the verses with lines “to be said or sung at all Conservative Dinners” in the Examiner (London), August 7, 1841. Poe very probably saw the comment in Fraser’s, since he drew other material from issues of the same year, and he may possibly have seen Dickens’ parody.

7.  “What is a poet good for?” Casimir-Pierre Périer (1777-1832) was a French statesman, premier 1831-32 under Louis Philippe. His Opinions et discours were published by his family in 1838. Poe quoted the same remark in reviewing Fouqué’s Undine in Burton’s, September 1839.

8.  Inclination. Now obsolete in this sense.

9.  “A poet is born, not made” is not, as often supposed, from Horace but is derived from Florus, De Qualitate Vitae, Fragment 8: “Each year new consuls and proconsuls are made, but not every year is a king or a poet born.” (Stevenson’s [page 659:] Home Book of Quotations, 1967.) See also “Fifty Suggestions,” number 10 (Graham’s, May 1849).

10.  Undoubtedly Dionysius Lardner; see general introductory note above.

11.  Samuel Horsley (1733-1806), then Bishop of Rochester, made his remark on November 11, 1795, during the debate in the House of Lords on the Treasonable Practices bill. See The Parliamentary History of England, XXXII, 258. Poe used it again in “Fifty Suggestions,” number 45 (Graham’s, June 1849).

12.  An allusion to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, III, ii, 142, “Bequeathing it as a rich legacy.”

13.  See Pope, Essay on Criticism, II, 157, “A needless Alexandrine ends the song / That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.”

14.  Louis-Eustache Ude and Marie-Antoine Carême were prominent writers of French cookbooks, current in Poe’s time. An article in the London Quarterly Review for July 1835 (pp. 117-155) reviewing Brillat-Savarin’s Physiologie du goût (Paris, 1835) and Ude’s book The French Cook (12th edition, London, 1833) was noticed in the Southern Literary Messenger for December 1835, with the comment, “This article is written in the most exquisite spirit of banter and is irresistibly amusing.” It contains, among other pleasant bits, the statement: “Pièces de résistance, says Lady Morgan on Carême’s authority, came in with the National Convention,” and quotes Lady Morgan’s description of a dinner by Carême at Baron Rothschild’s.

15.  “Certainly it was not his weak point.” Poe uses here an early form of foible current in the time of Molière. Compare “Whatever may be the foible of Dr. Lardner’s intellect, its forte is certainly not originality” in “Marginalia,” number 38 (Democratic Review, November 1844, p. 491), cited in the introduction above, and “X-ing a Paragrab,” paragraph 1.

16.  “And all that sort of thing.”

17.  The passage that follows this in the first version echoes Macbeth, V, viii, 21-22: “That keep the word of promise to our ear / And break it to our hope.”

18.  For the canceled reference to Tacitus and Montesquieu, see “The Man that was Used Up,” note 22.

19.  October 10, 1841 fell on a Sunday.

20.  Compare “Ulalume,” line 86, “on this very night of last year.”

 


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 648:]

*  See Fannye N. Cherry in American Literature, November 1930. I am indebted to Archer Taylor, cited in the note to the title, below, for the reference to Rabelais.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 648, running to the bottom of page 649:]

  See my article in American N & Q, November 1943, and see also the amusing skit and portrait in Fraser’s Magazine, July 1832. There was some scandal attached to Lardner’s name in America, as he was accompanied by a Mrs. Heaviside who had run away with him, and, according to the Saturday Evening Post of January 16, [page 649:] 1841, was then with him in New York. Lardner, after making $200,000, retired in 1845 to France with the lady. See A Gallery of Illustrious Literary Characters . . . (reprinted from Fraser’s Magazine; edited by William Bates, London, 1873), pp. 72-73.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 649:]

  This story seems to have been the first of Poe’s tales to be translated into Spanish — as “La Semana de los tres Domingos” in El Museo Universal, Madrid, February 15, 1857, where the author was not named. See J. DeLancey Ferguson, American Literature in Spain (1916), p. 56.

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - TOM2T, 1978] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (T. O. Mabbott) (A Succession of Sundays)