Text: Burton R. Pollin, “Hans Pfaall,” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. I: Imaginary Voyages (1981/1994), pp. 503-506 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 503, continued:]


1A 0.1677] This is taken verbatim from the beginning of the article “Moon” in Rees’s Cyclopaedia (p. 1. There are no page numbers. This and others below are my assigned numbers).

2A miles] This is taken verbatim (save for “square”) from “Moon” (p. 2).

3A miles] This is taken from a sentence (with omitted words and “excentricity” changed) in “Moon” (p. 2).

4A twilight] This is taken verbatim from “Moon” (p. 5), with “sunshine” spelled thus.

5A it] This is taken almost verbatim, with one part omitted, from “Moon” (p. 6). See para. 87 for Locke’s misuse of the material.

6A twilight] These two sentences appear to be Poe’s summarizing conclusion, derived from the quoted passage directly below.

6B & moon] The quotation is taken from “Moon” (p. 6) while the parenthesis about Riccioli is a rephrasing of a sentence about prior explanations (p. 6). The end of the sentence following “during” comes from another locus in the same passage: “After emerging from conjunction with the sun, says this ingenious philosopher, her sharp horns are seen, connected by a silver thread . . .” (p. 6).

6C moon] Here Poe is citing from the second part of the passage Brewster’s answer to the “phosphorescence” theory, presented in his edition of “Ferguson’s Astronomy, vol. ii,” as attributed at the end of the passage. Poe is rephrasing this sentence: “The immediate cause, therefore, of the lucid bow is to be sought for in the accidental circumstance of the moon’s eastern limb being more luminous than the adjacent regions towards the centre” (p. 6). Poe would accept a self-luminous moon much later in Eureka (1848 ed., p. 82).

6D hell] This accords with the hint, in the text, para. 72: “dark and hideous mysteries which lie in the outer regions of the moon, — regions which . . . by God’s mercy, never shall be turned, to the scrutiny of the telescopes of man.” Rather than preceding the 1835 edition, it probably represents the thought of writing a sequel before 1839, even after Locke’s “Moon-story.” See Eureka (1848 ed., p. [page 504:] 80) : “God” is “forever concealing from mortal eyes the glories, or perhaps the horrors, of the other side of the Moon.”

7A dial] This is taken verbatim from “Moon” (p. 7), with changed punctuation; the original has a semicolon after “seen.”

7B night] This is adapted from “Moon” (p. 19) : “. . . as there are thirty days, nearly, from one new moon to another, and twenty-four hours in a day. .. .”

8A cloud] This is a verbatim transcription of two paragraphs in “Moon” (p. 7). There are minor punctuation changes, and a new paragraph at “Dr. Smith.”

9A orbit] This is taken verbatim from “Moon” (p. 8).

12A change] Paras. 10-12 are taken from one sentence in “Moon” (p. 15).

13A rays] This is copied verbatim, with slight punctuation and capitalization changes, from “Moon” (p. 19).

14A moon] This is copied verbatim from “Moon” (p. 18) with minor punctuation changes and the “e” of “maculae” carelessly omitted. It was used for the footnote to para. 69, added to the D text, with the clause “but are . . . another” omitted.

15A elliptical] This was copied from the passage in “Moon” immediately following the above source, with a substitution of “when approaching the moon to occultation” for “when hid by the moon, near her limb, whether the illumined or dark one.” Harrison read the carelessly but correctly written “Cassini” as “Cassini.” The “Manuscript Note” is used for the first part of the second paragraph in the footnote to para. 69, added in C.

16A refracted] This is condensed from part of a sentence following that on Cassini (above) : “. . . some have concluded, that at the time when the circular figure of the stars is thus changed by the moon, there is a dense matter encompassing the moon, wherein the rays, emitted from the stars, are refracted . . .” (pp. 19 and 20). With a change of punctuation and added italics it is used for the end of the second paragraph of the note to para. 69 (above).

17A miles] This comes from “Moon” (p. 20): “Ricciolus measured the height of one of the mountains, called St. Catharine, and found it (as he conceived) nine miles high.”

18A earth] This comes from “Moon” (p. 20); the last phrase is changed from “highest hills on our earth.”

19A miles] This come from “Moon” (p. 20) with the last part changed from “has calculated the height of St. Catharine’s hill . . . and finds it nine miles.”

20A mile] This is abridged from “Moon” (p. 20) : “He concludes, that the height of the lunar mountains in general is greatly overrated; and that, with the exception of a few, they do not generally exceed half a mile in their perpendicular elevation.”

21A sun] This is copied verbatim from “Moon” (p. 21).

22 through 24A art. 16] These three paragraphs are verbatim from “Moon” (p. 21), save for changes in capitals, the form of numbers, minor punctuation, and the “new” spellings for “sun-set” and “indiscernible.” See para. 69 for incorporation of this unparagraphed passage into the text.

25A miles] The figure given in the article “Earth” of Rees (vol. 12) is 199,407,056.

26A earth] This is perhaps derived from the source material used for para. 10 above.

26B earth] No source is known. [page 505:]

27A day] This is perhaps derived from sentence 4 of para. 8 above.

28A feet] No source is known.

29A earth] This is taken verbatim from Nicholson’s British Encyclopaedia (2d American edition, Philadelphia, 1818; or 3d American ed., 1819), vol. 8 (unpaged).

30 and 31A nebulosity] These two paragraphs are taken verbatim from Thomas Dick, Celestial Scenery (London, 1837 or 1838; New York, 1838), chap. 3.

32A diameter] This comes from Thomas Dick, The Christian Philosopher (Glasgow, 1823; rev. 8th ed., 1842; there are many American reprints of various revised editions; Glasgow 1845 or 1846 ed. used here), 2:284 (Appendix, note IV) : “. . . a telescope which magnifies . . . 1000 times, will, of course, enable us to perceive a portion of the surface, whose size is only 122 yards.” Richard Locke, on p. 4 of his “Moon-story,” ascribes this observation to William Herschel.

33A roads] This comes from Thomas Dick, Christian Philosopher (rev. ed., Hartford, 1846), p. 151 (Appendix, note IV, but not in 1845 Glasgow ed.): “The British public was lately amused by the announcement of a discovery said to have been made by Prof. Frauenhofer, of Munich. This gentleman was said to have discovered a fortification in the moon, and to have distinguished several lines of road, supposed to be the work of the lunar inhabitants. . . .”

34A another] This appears to be a rewording of Thomas Dick, Christian Philosopher (Hartford, 1846), p. 151: “Schroeter conjectures the existence of a great city to the north of Marius . . . and of an extensive canal towards Hygea . . . and he reports part of the space named Mare Imbrium to be as fertile as the Campania.”

34B false] This sentence is not in Dick; but, oddly enough, Locke’s “Moonstory” (p. 4), describing the presumed “real” telescope at the Cape, with the same details as in para. 32 above, claims that Sir John Herschel disproved the above conjectures of both Frauhenhofer and Schroeter. Could Poe here be accepting and citing the verisimilar introduction of Locke?

35A rays] No direct source for this has been found, but it may be derived from the passage in Dick, Celestial Scenery, cited for para. 90 of the text, and used also for the 1846 “Literati” sketch of Locke, who presented the problem at length in the same paragraph of his “Moon-story” as that referred to in para. 34 and then gave his “rigmarole” solution (see Poe’s para. 89).

36A and 37A Aristarchus] These two paragraphs appear to be copied from Nicholson’s British Encyclopaedia, vol. 8, article “Moon.” The following changes were made (the first of each pair is Poe’s text) : very thin / thin; about as strong / about it, as strong; moon. / moon, and the; saw it, / saw it, which was about five minutes; The same / no paragraph here; London, on / London. On; Mr. Piazzi, / M. Piazzi, ; of the moon near Aristarchus. / of the moon; and several other philosophers have observed the same phenomenon [end].

38A p. 26] The Pliny quotation was derived from the article “Zodiacal Light” of Rees, cited in 26E of the text and used for the footnote to para. 26 in text D. “Paragraph 26” is not in this article; Bailey, p. 527, suggests its being cited in toto in some other article in Rees, not yet found.

38B atmosphere] With minor changes in wording, save for the parenthesis, this comes from Dick, Celestial Scenery (New York, 1838), p. 147. Poe’s continuing [page 506:] interest in the “multiplying” asteroids can be seen in Eureka (pp. 76 and 106).

39A high] This also comes from Celestial Scenery, p. 148: “The atmosphere of Pallas, according to Schroeter, is to that of Ceres as one hundred and one to one hundred and forty-six, or nearly as two to three. It undergoes similar changes, but the light of the planet exhibits greater variations.”

41A steam] No source for paras. 40 and 41 has been found.

42A Selenography] Poe evidently for a time incorrectly credited Sir David Brewster with a “selenography,” for he lists it as one of Roderick Usher’s recherché readings in the first printings of that tale (Tales, 1:408), removing it from the 1845 Tales. Could Poe have carelessly acquired the idea of such a work as Brewster’s “Selenography” from the introduction to the “Moon-story” of Locke in which there is much loose talk of Brewster on the telescope (pp. 4 and 6) along with Schroeter on the moon (see paras. 30, 34, 38, and 42C), or could he have mistaken “Brewster’s edition of Ferguson’s Astronomy” (see para. 6 above) for a “selenography“? Brewster (1781-1868), familiar to Poe who used his article on the automatic chessman, was eminent in optics and editor of the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia; he invented the kaleidoscope, introduced the stereoscope, and experimented with polarized light.

42B Globe] John Russell (1744-1806), eminent painter (R.A.) and friend of William Herschel, invented a machine called “Selenographia” for exhibiting the phenomena of the moon and also engraved two plates to form a globe showing its surface-requiring twenty years to complete. In 1797 he published an explanatory pamphlet for the “Selenographia.”

42C Maps] Johannes Hieronymus Schroeter (1745-1816), the “Herschel of Germany,” founded the comparative study of the moon’s surface, and embodied his findings in the two volumes (1791 and 1802) of the Selenotopographische Fragmente, full of detailed observations, such as the famous “rills.” His maps and studies were widely mentioned by articles on astronomy, including those in Rees’s Cyclopaedia (see paras. 22-24 above and 69 of the text).

42D Chart] Poe lists Richard Locke’s invention, as though it was a real work. For his probable error see text, para. 84A. The source, of course, is “The Moonstory,” passim.

42E Gas] This set of items probably indicates articles in Rees’s Cyclopaedia which Poe intended to consult for the revised tale. All are relevant, and all could build up the “verisimilar” aspect. The singular for “Article” probably first referred only to “Atmosphere” but was not altered for the two additions.






[S:0 - BRPIMV, 1981/1994] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (Hans Pfaall)