Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Cabs,” Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, vol. 4, no. 14, April 1, 1840, page 2, col. 5


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CABS.

These anomalous vehicles, of which we Americans know so little by personal inspection, and so much through the accounts of the travelled, and the pages of the novelist, are about to be introduced among us “as a regular thing.” In New-York they are already gaining ground, and going over it. The cab proper, as used in London, is an affair sui generis, and has very little affinity with any thing else in nature. It resembles, in some respect, the old-fashioned sedan chair, and carries two inside passengers, who sit vis a vis, with the coachman at top. The bottom nearly touches the pavement, and the entire vehicle has an outré appearance. Those in New[[-]]York at present, are of a bright chocolate color, and look very stylish. Their charge is twenty five cents for any distance under two miles. The cab-introduction will bring about among us a peculiar race of people — the cabmen. These creatures are not mentioned in Buffon, and Cuvier has entirely forgotten them. They bear a droll kind of resemblance to the human species — but their faces are all fashioned of brass, and they carry both their brains and their souls in their pockets.


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Notes:

This humorous item was first attributed to Poe by Clarence S. Brigham in Edgar Allan Poe’s Contributions to Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, 1943, pp. 65-66. Mabbott reiterates the attribution in his edition of Poe’s Tales and Sketches, 1978, p. 493.


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