Text: Thomas Ollive Mabbott (and E. A. Poe), Politian: An Unfinished Tragedy (1923)


[title page:]










[page iii:]


In preparing this, the first edition of the one important imaginative work of Edgar Allan Poe which has been suffered to remain partly in manuscript, I have been animated by the belief that all the verse of so great a poet should be easily accessible to the public. Though a prolific prose writer, Poe wrote a very small amount of verse, and even when all the cancelled passages are collected, there are only about 5000 lines in the most complete edition of his works. Politian was Poe’s one serious attempt at drama, and it has excited much curiosity, yet though many scholars of the first rank have expressed a desire to study it, Poe’s biographers and editors, the late Mr. Ingram excepted, have been unable to examine the unpublished portions, and even Ingram seems never to have seen the ending.

Late in his life, Poe gave the original MS to Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewis — from her most of it passed to Mr. Ingram, and from him indirectly into the Pierpont Morgan Library, where, among so many treasures, it was singled out for special comment in Mr. E. V. Lucas’ Roving East and Roving West (page 120) — and it is through the generosity of Mr. Morgan that I am enabled to do for the play even more than W. M. Rossetti for Shelley’s Charles I, since Politian is almost complete.

During the poet’s lifetime, five scenes were published and a few selections from other parts have been printed posthumously, but about a third of what is here given is wholly new. The two breaks in the MS carry away many lines, but fortunately most of these are in scenes Poe published so that probably only about one hundred lines have been lost. When it is considered how large a portion of Poe’s blank verse is here first given to the world — nay even of all his verse, rhymed and unrhymed, the importance of this material, if only to students of metrics, must be evident at once, while examination of the [page iv:] text sets at naught some theories which have been published about the probable ending of the play.

Those who seek only for dramatic excellence may be disappointed — one experiment seems to have convinced Poe that he was not quite at home in this province; yet as the late Dr. Richard Garnett remarked in connection with the dramas of Dryden and Byron, it is not well to slight any work of a great man. Again, a few of the scenes show far more dramatic ability than some writers have recognized. The sixth scene is pleasing — the delicately suggested influence of Fate in the words of Lalage’s song seems very effective, and at least one student of Poe has felt in Lalage’s speech at the close of the seventh scene “distinct dramatic quality of the old sort.” Monsieur William Little Hughes who first translated the old selections from the drama into French (in Contes inedits d’Edgar Poe, Paris, [1862] pp. 249-281) characterizes them as “an admirable fragment of romantic drama, wherein live truly human characters” (p. iii) and on the basis of them Hughes expresses the belief that Poe could have supplied the lack of an important American dramatist, had he turned his attention more to that field (pp. 249-250); while G. Edmund Gündel (Edgar Allan Poe, Freiberg, 1895, p. 28) expressed regret that portions of the play remained unpublished. The humorous scenes, Poe’s only real attempt at comic verse, are curious and Scene x shows his perculiar [[peculiar]] bitter humor at a level with that in his best tales of the grotesque. Those who love poetry will find in the serious scenes passages of beauty and pathos, and those who study Poe can watch how, working in a new field, he strove to embody those fancies that haunted his brain, and can compare the first efforts (sometimes crude) with the perfected expressions in his later tales and poems. Finally, there is in this play “much of Poe’s soul,” and the — student of Poe’s literary genius, and of his tragic career may find new light both in the play, and in my notes which have been made as full as possible with the aid of the chief Poe specialists in this country. The imperfections of Politian are apparent enough, but the qualities of sincerity and earnestness, together with flashes of the true fire throughout, have made my task of editing not only a labor of love but [page v:] a pleasure. It is no less a pleasure to thank those who have aided me in my work, and to whom I would now express my gratitude.

First and most deeply I am indebted to Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan for permission to use the original MS upon which my text is so largely based, and to his librarians, Miss Greene and Miss Thurston for their unfailing courtesy. I am also grateful to Mr. Thos. F. Madigan who showed me and permits me to use the printed transcript of the one MS leaf not in the Pierpont Morgan Library.

Professor Wm. P. Trent has supervised my work, and helped me by constant good counsel, and two of the foremost Poe specialists, my friends Mr. J. H. Whitty and Professor Killis Campbell, have read my MS, granted me permission to use what I liked from their excellent editions of Poe’s poems, and in addition have given me other valuable suggestions. Professor Geo. E. Woodberry and Mr. Whitty also consented to read my proof sheets, an honor of which I am deeply sensible.

Through the kindness of Professor Brander Matthews and Professor W. W. Lawrence I obtained access to the J. Lorimer Graham copy of Poe’s 1845 volume at the Century Club, New York, and through the courtesy of Miss Elizabeth Cloud Seip, the owner of the unique file of the Baltimore Visiter I have examined the Poe texts of that paper.

My indebtedness to many others is great — Miss Mary E. Phillips sent me her notes on the play, as did Professor C. Alphonso Smith his, and I am thankful also for aid received from correspondents and friends, who have replied to queries or collected items for me — Mrs. Ruth Shearin, Miss Caroline Ticknor, Mrs. Chase (literary executor of Sarah Helen Whitman) and Mr. L. F. Johnson deserve special mention, as do my sometime fellow students at Columbia, the Misses Anna Reubenia Dubach and Margaret A. Nolan, Messrs. Henry W. Wells, and Ralph Marcus.

Last but not least come the various members of the faculty of Columbia University, especially of the Departments of English and Comparative Literature, and of Classical Philology [page vi:] — and the officials of the great libraries wherein I have worked, or had work done, especially The New York Public Library; the Library of Congress; the British Museum; The American Antiquarian Society; The Ridgway Library, Philadelphia; The Boston Public Library; The libraries of Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Transylvania, and Yale Universities, of the Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin Historical Societies; the Valentine Museum at Richmond; and the libraries of Mr. Henry E. Huntington; of the Curtis Publishing Co.; and of the Supreme Council of the 33° at Washington. To all I express my sincere gratitude.


Columbia University, May 28, 1923.

[page 1, unnumbered:]



A Tragedy

Scene — Rome in the [16th] Century.




LALANGE, an orphan ward of Di Broglio.


ALESSANDRA, niece of Di Broglio, and betrothed to Castiglione.


JACINTA, servant maid to Lalage.





CASTIGLIONE, his son and heir.


SAN OZZO, companion of Castiglione.




BALDAZZAR, his friend.





BENITO} servants in the family of Di Broglio.




[An apartment in the Palazzo of Di Broglio. Traces of a protracted revel. On a wine-table some candles burnt to the socket. Masks, a lute, a lady’s slipper, cards and broken bottles are strewn about the floor and on the table. Enter BENITO meeting UGO intoxicated.]


UGO.  Oh! is that you Benito (hiccup) are they gone?

BENITO.  Faith that’s a question, Ugo, hard to answer,

But are the bottles empty? — then they’re gone.

As for the Count San Ozzo who knocked me down


Just now on the staircase as I came up hither,

I can with more precision speak of him —

He’s gone, I’m sure of that — pretty far gone.


UGO.  Is the bravo gone? (hiccup) where is the buffo-singer?

Did you say his Excellency had departed?


Are all the fiddlers off (hiccup) the devil go with them!

I’m positively stupid for want of sleep! [page 2:]

BENITO [eyeing him.] Oh you are right — quite right — being as you say

Ugo, a most confounded stupid man.

UGO.  Sirrah! I said not so, or else I (hiccup) lied.


BENITO.  I have no doubt, good Ugo, that you lied

Being, as you observe, a most notorious liar —

[Ugo sits [[,]] and helps himself to wine. Enter RUPERT.]

Well, master Rupert, what have you done with the count?

RUPERT.  What should I do with any drunken man?

I pulled him from under the table where he lay

And tumbled him into bed.


BENITO.  I say, good Rupert!

Can it be the Duke di Broglio is acquainted

With these untimely revels of his son?

It is a pity in so proper a man

Is’t not a pity in so young a man


And of so gentle blood? Here is a change

I had not look’d to see — he is sadly altered!

UGO.  He is drunk, Benito, — did you not say so, Rupert?

Most men are sadly altered when they’re drunk

Oh, I am sadly altered when I’m (hiccup) drunk.


RUPERT [to BENITO.] You think the Count Castiglione altered —

I think so too. He was, not long ago,

Barring some trivial improprieties,

A very nobleman in heart and deed.

BENITO.  Now I’ve no faith in him, poor Lady Lalage!

So beautiful and kind.


RUPERT.  Truly Benito

His conduct there has damned him in my eyes.

O villain! villain! she his plighted wife

And his own father’s ward. I have noticed well

That we may date his ruin — so I call it —


His low debaucheries — his gambling habits

And all his numerous vices from the time

Of that most base seduction and abandonment. [page 3:]


BENITO.  We may: the sin sits heavy on his soul

And goads him to these courses. They say the Duke


Pardons his son, but is most wroth with her

And treats her with such marked severity


As humbles her to the dust.

RUPERT.  She sits alone

Continually in her chamber with clasped hands


(Jacinta tells me this).



BENITO.  Ah Noble lady!


I saw her yester eve thro’ the lattice-work

Of her chamber-window sobbing upon her knees

And ever and anon amid her sobs


She murmured forth Castiglione’s name

Rupert, she loves him still!

RUPERT.  How will she bear


Think you, the consummation of these nuptials?

Tomorrow week are they not?

BENITO.  Most true! they are.

Tomorrow week Castiglione weds

His cousin Alessandra. She was the friend

The bosom friend of the fair lady Lalage


Ere this mischance. I cannot bear to think

On the despair of the young lady Lalage.

UGO.  This wine’s not bad! gentlemen why d’ye blame

My master in this matter? very good (hiccup) wine!

Who is my lady Lalage? God knows!


I don’t, a super (hiccup) ciliary somebody

Who play’d on the guitar! most excellent wine!


And pride should have a fall. The count’s a rake

Or was, that very sure, but he’s reforming

And drinks none but the very (hiccup!) best of wine.


RUPERT.  Let us to bed! the man is steeped in liquor.

[to BENITO.] Come let us to bed [Exeunt RUPERT and BENITO.]

UGO [arousing.] What did they say? to bed!

Is it so late? is it all gone? very well!

I will to bed anon [Enter JACINTA] ah! bless my eyes!

Jacinta! is it you? [page 4:]

JACINTA.  Why, yes it is


And yet it isn’t, Ugo, there’s a riddle!

I was Jacinta yesternight, but now

Madam Jacinta if you please, Sir Ugo!

UGO.  Sweetheart, I fear me (hiccup!) very much (hiccup!) that you

Have been at the bottle — a pretty madam truly!


JACINTA.  You may well say that Sir Ugo — very pretty!

At all events the Count Castiglione

Tells me I’m pretty — drunken dolt look here! [Showing some jewels]

UGO.  (Hiccup!) where?


JACINTA.  Here! — look here!

UGO.  Jacinta! (hiccup!) why, Jacinta!

You do not mean to say the count my master

Gave you those jewels!


JACINTA.  What if he did friend Ugo?

What if he did?


UGO.  Look here! — I’ll take my oath

I saw that very ring upon the finger

The middle — the fore — no on the little finger


Of the Count. I’m (hiccup!) done with You Jacinta!

O you vile wretch! I’ll (hiccup!) not have you Jacinta!

I’m in despair! I’ll (hiccup!) do some desperate deed!

I’m desperate!

JACINTA.  You’re drunk!


UGO.  I’m going to cut —

JACINTA.  Your throat! O Heaven!

UGO.  To cut you altogether!

I’m gone Jacinta. [going.]

JACINTA [pulling him back.] Stop! you snivelling fool!


Will you not see the jewels — look you here!

This broach — these pearls — these rubies — don’t you see?


UGO [sulkily.] I see. [page 5:]


JACINTA.  These emeralds and this topaz! — won’t you see?


UGO.  I see.


JACINTA.  You see! you see! can I get nothing more

Out of your ugly mouth but “I see, I see”? —

Dolt I’m not sure you see — or if you see

You certainly see double. Here’s a cross

A cross of rubies, you oaf! a cross of rubies!



D’ye hear — a cross which never cost a zecchin

Less than five thousand crowns!

UGO.  I see, oh I (hiccup!) see it all. [looking knowing.]

JACINTA.  You see it all!

You do not see it all. Heaven grant me patience!

You do not see it all [mocking him] you do not see

That I’m the richest waiting maid in Rome


The richest vintner’s daughter owning these jewels!


You do not see, I say, that my mistress Lalage

Who gave them to me, d’ye hear? who gave them to me

As a free gift, and for a marriage present

(All of her jewels! — every one of them!)

Is certainly gone mad!


UGO.  The lady Lalage

Gave you the jewels! How (hiccup!) came you by the ring?

JACINTA.  The count Castiglione, your sweet master

Gave it her as a token of his love

Last year — she gave it to me — d’ye see?

UGO.  Jacinta! [with a leer.]

JACINTA! Ugo! [returning it.]

UGO.  What dear Jacinta?


JACINTA.  Do you see?

UGO.  Oh, nonsense, sweet Jacinta, let me look Again (hiccup!) at the jewels!

JACINTA.  D’ye see?

UGO.  Pshaw! — let me look!

JACINTA.  D’ye see? [going and holding up the jewels.]

UGO.  Sweet, dear, Jacinta! madame Jacinta.

JACINTA.  Oh I see. [Puts them up and exit followed by UGO staggering.]

[page 6:]


Castiglione’s dressing-room. CASTIGLIONE [in dishabille] and SAN OZZO.  

SAN OZZO.  An excellent joke! I’ faith an excellent joke!

Ha! ha! ha! ha! — a most superlative joke!

I shall die, Castiglione, I shall die!

Ha! ha! ha! ha! — Oh, I shall die of laughing!

I shall die, I shall die.


CASTIGLIONE [sullenly.] I meant it for no joke.

SAN OZZO.  Oh no! oh no! — you meant it for no joke.

Not you! — ha! ha! ha! ha! — I’ll die, I’ll die!

It’s a very serious business I assure you

To get drunk — a very serious business — excellent!


So you’ve turned penitent at last — bravo!

Why, Cas! I’ve got a string of beads at home

(I’ll send them to you) — a bundle of paternosters

(You shall have them all) a robe of sackcloth too

I used at a masquerade, you shall have it — you shall have it!


And I’ll go home and send you in a trice

A tub of excellent ashes!

CASTIGLIONE.  San Ozzo! have done for — [hesitating.]

SAN OZZO.  Oh! I am — I am done for — completely done for — I’ll die!

I shall die of laughing — yes! I’m done for — I’m done for!

CASTIGLIONE [sternly.] San Ozzo!


CASTIGLIONE.  I am serious.

SAN OZZO.  I know it — very!


CASTIGLIONE.  Why then do you worry me with these ribald jests

I’ve the headach, and besides I am not well

Either in body or soul. When saw you last

The lady — Lalage?

SAN OZZO.  Not for eleven months.

What could have put that creature in your head? [page 7:]

CASTIGLIONE [fiercely.] San Ozzo!

SAN OZZO [calmly.] Sir?


CASTIGLIONE [after a pause.] Nothing. When did you say

You spoke to the Lady Lalage?

SAN OZZO.  Sir Count,

I have not seen her for eleven months.

The Duke your father, as you very well know,

Keeps her secluded from society



And, between you and I, he’s right in it:

Ha! ha! you understand?

CASTIGLIONE.  Not I, San Ozzo!

I do not understand.


SAN OZZO.  Well! well! no matter [sings.]

Birds of so fine a feather

And of so wanton eye


Should be caged — should be caged

Should be caged in all weather

Lest they fly!


CASTIGLIONE.  San Ozzo! you do her wrong — unmanly wrong

Never in woman’s breast enthroned sat


A purer heart! If ever woman fell

With an excuse for falling it was she!

If ever plighted vows most sacredly

Solemnly sworn perfidiously broken

Will damn a man, that damnéd villain am I!


Young, ardent, beautiful, and loving well

And pure as beautiful, how could she think —

How could she dream, being herself all truth

Of my black perfidy? Oh that I were not

Castiglione but some peasant hind


The humble tiller of some humble field

That I might dare be honest!

SAN OZZO.  Exceeding fine!

I never heard a better speech in my life.

Besides you’re right — Oh! honesty’s the thing! [page 8:]

Honesty, poverty, and true content,


With the unutterable extacies

Of butternuts, gingerbread, and milk and water!

CASTIGLIONE [trying to suppress a smile.] San Ozzo you are a fool!

SAN OZZO.  He’s right again. My lord, I’m going home,

Ere I be tainted with your wisdomship.


Good day! — I crave your patronage however

When you become a cardinal: meantime

I’ll take the opportunity of sending

The sackcloth and the ashes. [Exit.]

CASTIGLIONE.  Get you gone

You merry devil! ha! ha! he makes me laugh


Spite of myself. One can’t be angry with him

For the life of one. After all I don’t see why

I should so grieve about this little matter

This every-day occurrence. Marry her — no!

Castiglione wed him with a wanton!


Never! — oh never! — what would they say at the club?

What would San Ozzo think? I have no right

Had I the will, to bring such foul disgrace

Upon my family — Di Broglio’s line


Di Broglio’s haughty and time-honoured line!



No right at all to do it. Am I not bound too

By the most sacred ties of honor bound

To my cousin Alessandra? Honor’s the thing!

I can not pawn my honor! and Lalage

Is lowly born — I can not pawn my honor.



My honor — my honor. Pshaw! Pshaw! ’tis but the headach —

The consequence of yestereve’s debauch —

Gives me these qualms of conscience. Be a man!

A man, Castiglione, be a man!

A glass of wine will put you all to rights.

Ugo! — do you hear there? — wine!

[Enter UGO, bearing a bundle and a basket full of bottles.]


What the devil’s that? [page 9:]

UGO [hesitatingly.] My lord!

CASTIGLIONE.  What’s that I say? — where is the wine?

UGO.  My lord! — the wine? — here is some wine my lord —

A dozen bottles, my lord.

CASTIGLIONE.  A dozen fools!

Bring me a glass of wine!

UGO.  A dozen bottles



So please you, Sir, of best Salermo brand

Sent as a present by his reverence

The Count San Ozzo.

CASTIGLIONE.  Really I’m much obliged

[smiling] To his reverence — did you not say his reverence?

Uncork a bottle, Ugo, and let me see

What it is made of.


UGO.  No, Sir, you can’t have any.

CASTIGLIONE.  How, Sir! — not have it? — what do you mean by that?

UGO.  Not a drop, Sir, — not a drop.

CASTIGLIONE.  And why? you ass.

UGO.  Why, Sir, you see, the servant who brings it says

You’re not to have the wine, only your choice.

CASTIGLIONE.  What does the idiot mean?


UGO.  There’s another present

Down in the hall, Sir, — you’re to have your choice

Of the wine or of that.

CASTIGLIONE.  Blockhead! why don’t you bring

The other present in?

UGO.  Eh? — Sir?


CASTIGLIONE.  Dolt! dunderhead! why don’t you bring me up

The other present and let me see it?


UGO.  I can’t.

CASTIGLIONE.  You can’t! you villain? I’ll try and make you then!


[in a passion] Scoundrel bring it up! What’s that you have on your shoulder? [page 10:]


UGO.  Sir? — it’s the sackcloth, and that down below

[throwing down the bundle] ’S a monstrous tub of ashes —

I can’t lift it.


CASTIGLIONE.  A monstrous tub of ashes! San Ozzo’s a fool!

Ha! ha! ha! ha! too bad upon my soul!

A tub of ashes! too bad! I can’t be angry


If I should die for it — to have my choice

The wine or the ashes! Ugo, send word to the Count


Ha! ha! ha! ha! — Ugo send word to the Count

I’ll keep the wine, and he may have the ashes.


Stay! — tell him I’ve been thinking — I’ve been thinking

Of what he said — he knows — and that I’ll meet him


At the masquerade, and afterwards crack a bottle

[Exit UGO]


With him and the buffo-singer. Ha! ha! ha!

Only to think of that! a tub of ashes!

Ha! ha! ha! ha! I can’t be angry with him!

He’s a fine fellow after all, San Ozzo! [Exit.]

[page 10, continued:]


III. [I.]


ALESSANDRA.  Thou art sad, Castiglione.

CASTIGLIONE.  Sad! — not I.

Oh, I’m the happiest, happiest man in Rome!

A few days more, thou knowest, my Alessandra,

Will make thee mine. Oh, I am very happy!


ALESSANDRA.  Methinks thou hast a singular way of showing

Thy happiness! — what ails thee, cousin of mine?

Why didst thou sigh so deeply?


I was not conscious of it. It is a fashion,

A silly — a most silly fashion I have


When I am very happy. Did I sigh? [sighing.] [page 11:]

ALESSANDRA.  Thou didst. Thou art not well. Thou has indulged

Too much of late, and I am vexed to see it.

Late hours and wine, Castiglione, — these

Will ruin thee! thou art already altered —


Thy looks are haggard — nothing so wears away

The constitution as late hours and wine.

CASTIGLIONE [musing.] Nothing, fair cousin, nothing — not even deep sorrow —

Wears it away like evil hours and wine.

I will amend.

ALESSANDRA.  Do it! I would have thee drop


Thy riotous company, too — fellows low born —

Ill suit the like with old Di Broglio’s heir

And Alessandra’s husband.

CASTIGLIONE.  I will drop them.



ALESSANDRA.  Thou wilt — thou must. Attend thou also more


To thy dress and equipage — they are over plain


For thy lofty rank and fashion — much depends

Upon appearances.


CASTIGLIONE.  I’ll see to it.

ALESSANDRA.  Then see to it! — pay more attention, sir,

To a becoming carriage — much thou wantest

In dignity.

CASTIGLIONE.  Much, much, oh much I want

In proper dignity.


ALESSANDRA [haughtily.] Thou mockest me, sir!


CASTIGLIONE [abstractedly.] Sweet, gentle Lalage!

ALESSANDRA.  Heard I aright?

I speak to him — he speaks of Lalage!

Sir Count! [places her hand on his shoulder] what art thou dreaming? he’s not well!

What ails thee, sir?

CASTIGLIONE [starting.] Cousin! fair cousin! — madam!




I crave thy pardon — indeed I am not well —

Your hand from off my shoulder, if you please. [page 12:]

This air is most oppressive! — Madam — the Duke!


DI BROGLIO.  My son, I’ve news for thee! — hey? — what’s the matter? [observing ALESSANDRA.]


I’ the pouts? Kiss her, Castiglione! kiss her,



You dog! and make it up, I say, this minute!

I’ve news for you both. Politian is expected

Hourly in Rome — Politian, Earl of Leicester!

We’ll have him at the wedding. ’Tis his first visit

To the imperial city.

ALESSANDRA.  What! Politian

Of Britain, Earl of Leicester?



DI BROGLIO.  The same, my love.


We’ll have him at the wedding. A man quite young


In years, but grey in fame. I have not seen him,

But Rumour speaks of him as of a prodigy

Pre-eminent in arts and arms, and wealth,


And high descent. We’ll have him at the wedding.

ALESSANDRA.  I have heard much of this Politian.

Gay, volatile and giddy — is he not?

And little given to thinking.


DI BROGLIO.  Far from it, love.

No branch, they say, of all philosophy


So deep abstruse he has not mastered it.

Learned as few are learned.

ALESSANDRA.  ’Tis very strange!

I have known men have seen Politian

And sought his company. They speak of him

As of one who entered madly into life,


Drinking the cup of pleasure to the dregs.

CASTIGLIONE.  Ridiculous! Now I have seen Politian

And know him well — nor learned nor mirthful he.

He is a dreamer and a man shut out

From common passions.

DI BROGLIO.  Children, we disagree.


Let us go forth and taste the fragrant air

Of the garden. Did dream, or did I hear


Politian was a melancholy man? [exeunt.]

[page 13:]


IV. [II.]

A Lady’s apartment, with a window open and looking into a garden. LALANGE, in deep mourning, reading at a table on which lie some books and a hand mirror. In the background JACINTA [a servant maid] leans carelessly upon a chair.   [[v]]


LALANGE.  Jacinta! is it thou?

JACINTA [pertly.] Yes, Ma’am, I’m here.

LALANGE.  I did not know, Jacinta, you were in waiting.

Sit down! — let not my presence trouble you —

Sit down! — for I am humble, most humble.


JACINTA [aside.] ’Tis time.

[JACINTA seats herself in a side-long manner upon the chair, resting her elbows upon the back, and regarding her mistress with a contemptuous look. LALANGE continues to read.]




LALANGE.  “It in another climate, so he said,

“Bore a bright golden flower, but not i’ this soil!”


[pauses — turns over some leaves, and resumes.]


“No lingering winters there, nor snow, nor shower —

“But Ocean ever to refresh mankind

“Breathes the shrill spirit of the western wind.”


Oh, beautiful! — most beautiful! — how like

To what my fevered soul doth dream of Heaven!

O happy land! [pauses.] She died! — the maiden died!

O still more happy maiden who couldst die!


[JACINTA returns no answer; and LALANGE presently resumes.]



Again! — a similar tale



Told of a beauteous dame beyond the sea!


Thus speaketh one Ferdinand in the words of the play —

“She died full young” — one Bossola answers him —

“I think not so — her infelicity

“Seemed to have years too many” — Ah luckless lady! [page 14:]

Jacinta! [still no answer.]




Here’s a far sterner story

But like — oh, very like in its despair —

Of that Egyptian queen, winning so easily

A thousand hearts — losing at length her own.


She died. Thus endeth the history — and her maids


Lean over her and weep — two gentle maids

With gentle names — Eiros and Charmion!



Rainbow and Dove! — Jacinta!


JACINTA [pettishly.] Madam, what is it?

LALANGE.  Wilt thou, my good Jacinta, be so kind

As go down in the library and bring me

The Holy Evangelists.

JACINTA.  Pshaw! [exit.]



LALANGE.  If there be balm

For the wounded spirit in Gilead it is there!

Dew in the night time of my bitter trouble


Will there be found — “dew sweeter far than that

Which hangs like chains of pearls on Hermon hill.”

[re-enter JACINTA, and throws a volume on the table.]


[JACINTA] There, ma’am,’s the book. Indeed she is very

troublesome. [aside.]

LALANGE [astonished.] What didst thou say, Jacinta? Have I done aught

To grieve thee or to vex thee? — I am sorry.

For thou hast served me long and ever been

Trust-worthy and respectful. [resumes her reading.]

JACINTA, I can’t believe


She has any more jewels — no — no — she gave me all. [aside.]

LALANGE.  What didst thou say, Jacinta? Now I bethink me

Thou hast not spoken lately of thy wedding.

How fares good Ugo? — and when is it to be?

Can I do aught? — is there no farther aid

Thou needest, Jacinta? [page 15:]


JACINTA.  Is there no farther aid!

That’s meant for me. [aside] I’m sure, Madam, you need not

Be always throwing those jewels in my teeth.

LALANGE.  Jewels! Jacinta, — now indeed, Jacinta,

I thought not of the jewels.

JACINTA.  Oh! perhaps not!


But then I might have sworn it. After all,

There’s Ugo says the ring is only paste,

For he’s sure the Count Castiglione never

Would have given a real diamond to such as you;

And at the best I’m certain, Madam, you cannot


Have use for jewels now. But I might have sworn it. [exit.]


[LALANGE bursts into tears and leans her head upon the table — after a short pause raises it.]


LALANGE.  Poor Lalage! — and is it come to this?

Thy servant maid! — but courage! — ’tis but a viper

Whom thou hast cherished to sting thee to the soul! [taking up the mirror.]

Ha! here at least’s a friend — too much a friend


In earlier days — a friend will not deceive thee.

Fair mirror and true! now tell me (for thou canst)

A tale — a pretty tale — and heed thou not

Though it be rife with woe. It answers me.

It speaks of sunken eyes, and wasted cheeks,


And Beauty long deceased — remembers me


Of Joy departed — Hope, the Seraph Hope,


Inurned and entombed! — now, in a tone

Low, sad, and solemn, but most audible,

Whispers of early grave untimely yawning


For ruined maid. Fair mirror and true! — thou liest not!

Thou hast no end to gain — no heart to break —

Castiglione lied who said he loved —


Thou true — he false! — false! — false!

[while she speaks, a monk enters her apartment, and approaches unobserved.] [page 16:]

MONK.  Refuge thou hast,

Sweet daughter! in Heaven. Think of eternal things!


Give up thy soul to penitence, and pray!


LALANGE [arising hurriedly.] I cannot pray! — My soul is at war with God!


The frightful sounds of merriment below

Disturb my senses — go! I cannot pray —

The sweet airs from the garden worry me!


Thy presence grieves me — go! — thy priestly raiment

Fills me with dread — thy ebony crucifix

With horror and awe!


MONK.  Think of thy precious soul!

LALANGE.  Think of my early days! — think of my father

And mother in Heaven! think of our quiet home,


And the rivulet that ran before the door!

Think of my little sisters! — think of them!

And think of me! — think of my trusting love

And confidence — his vows — my ruin — think — think

Of my unspeakable misery! — begone!


Yet stay! yet stay! — what was it thou saidst of prayer

And penitence? Didst thou not speak of faith

And vows before the throne?

MONK.  I did.

LALANGE.  ’Tis well.

There is a vow were fitting should be made —

A sacred vow, imperative, and urgent,

A solemn vow!


MONK.  Daughter, this zeal is well!

LALANGE.  Father, this zeal is anything but well!

Hast thou a crucifix fit for this thing?

A crucifix whereon to register


This sacred vow? [he hands her his own.]


Not that — Oh no! — no! — no! [shuddering.]

Not that! Not that! — I tell thee, holy man,

Thy raiments and thy ebony cross affright me! [page 17:]

Stand back! I have a crucifix myself, —

I have a crucifix! Methinks ’twere fitting

The deed — the vow — the symbol of the deed —



And the deed’s register should tally, father!


[draws a cross-handled dagger and raises it on high.]

Behold the cross wherewith a vow like mine

Is written in Heaven!


MONK.  Thy words are madness, daughter,

And speak a purpose unholy — thy lips are livid —

Thine eyes are wild — tempt not the wrath divine!


Pause ere too late! — oh be not — be not rash!


Swear not the oath — oh swear it not!

LALANGE.  ’Tis sworn!

[page 17, continued:]


[A room in the palace of DI BROGLIO.  DI BROGLIO and CASTIGLIONE.]


[CASTIGLIONE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]


DUKE.  Why do you laugh?


I hardly know myself. Stay! was it not

On yesterday we were speaking of the Earl?

Of the Earl Politian? Yes it was yesterday.


Alessandra, you and I, you must remember!

We were walking in the garden.

DUKE.  Perfectly


I do remember it — what of it? — what then?

CASTIGLIONE.  O nothing — nothing at all.

DUKE.  Nothing at all!

It is most singular now that you should laugh

At nothing at all!


CASTIGLIONE.  Most singular — singular!

DUKE.  Look you, Castiglione, be so kind

As tell me, Sir, at once what is’t you mean.

What are you talking of?

CASTIGLIONE.  Was it not so?

We differed in opinion touching him. [page 18:]

DUKE.  Him! — whom?


CASTIGLIONE.  Why, Sir, the Earl Politian.

DUKE.  The Earl of Leicester! — yes! — is it he you mean?

We differed indeed. If I now recollect

The words you used were that the Earl you knew

Was neither learned nor mirthful.

CASTIGLIONE.  Ha! ha! — now did I?


DUKE.  That did you, Sir, and well I knew at the time

You were wrong — it being not the character

Of the Earl — whom all the world allows to be

A most hilarious man. Be not, my son,

Too positive again.

CASTIGLIONE.  ’Tis singular!


Most singular! I could not think it possible

So little time could so much alter one!

To say the truth about an hour ago

As I was walking with the Count San Ozzo

All arm in arm we met this very man


The Earl — he with his friend Baldazzar

Having just arrived in Rome. Ha! ha! he is altered!

Such an account he gave me of his journey!

’Twould have made you die with laughter — such tales he told

Of his caprices and his merry freaks


Along the road — such oddity — such humour


Such wit — such whim — such flashes of wild merriment

Set off too in such full relief by the grave

Demeanour of his friend — who to speak the truth


Was gravity itself.

DUKE.  Did I not tell you?



CASTIGLIONE.  You did — and yet ’tis strange! but true as strange.

How much I was mistaken! I always thought

The Earl a gloomy man.

DUKE.  So, So, you see. [page 19:]

Be not too positive. Whom have we here?

It cannot be the Earl?

CASTIGLIONE.  The Earl! oh, no!


’Tis not the Earl — but yet it is — and leaning

Upon his friend Baldazzar. Ah! welcome, Sir!


My Lord! a second welcome let me give you

To Rome — his Grace the Duke of Broglio.

Father! this is the Earl Politian, Earl


Of Leicester in Great Britain, [POLITIAN bows haughtily] this his friend

Baldazzar, Duke of Surrey. The Earl has letters,

So please you for your Grace.

DUKE.  Ah — ha! most welcome

To Rome and to our palace Earl Politian!

And you most noble Duke! am glad to see you!


I knew your father well, my lord Politian.

Castiglione! call your cousin hither

And let me make the noble Earl acquainted

With your betrothed. You come, Sir, at a time

Most seasonable. The wedding —

POLITIAN.  Touching those letters, Sir,


Your son made mention of — (your son is he not?)

Touching those letters, Sir, I wot not of them.

If such there be, my friend Baldazzar here —

Baldazzar! — ah! — my friend Baldazzar here

Will hand them to your Grace. I would retire.

DUKE.  Retire! — so soon?


CASTIGLIONE.  What ho! Benito! Rupert!

His lordship’s chambers — show his lordship to them!

His lordship is unwell! [Enter BENITO.]

BENITO.  This way my lord! [Exit followed by POLITIAN.]

DUKE.  Retire! — unwell!


BALDAZZAR.  So please you, Sir, I fear me

’Tis as you say — his lordship is unwell.


The damp air of the evening — the fatigue [page 20:]

Of a long journey — the — indeed I had better

Follow his lordship. He must be unwell.

I will return anon.

DUKE.  Return anon!

Now this is very strange! Castiglione!


This way, my son, I wish to speak with thee.

You surely were mistaken in what you said

Of the Earl, mirthful indeed! — which of us said


Politian was a melancholy man? [Exeunt.]

[page 20, continued:]




An apartment in a palace. POLITIAN and BALDAZZAR.   [[v]]

BALDAZZAR.  ——— Arouse thee now, Politian!

Thou must not — nay indeed, indeed, thou shalt not

Give way unto these humours. Be thyself!

Shake off the idle fancies that beset thee,

And live, for now thou diest!


POLITIAN.  Not so, Baldazzar!


Surely I live.

BALDAZZAR.  Politian, it doth grieve me

To see thee thus.

POLITIAN.  Baldazzar, it does grieve me

To give thee cause for grief, my honoured friend.

Command me, sir! what wouldst thou have me do?


At thy behest I will shake off that nature

Which from my forefathers I did inherit,

Which with my mother’s milk I did imbibe,

And be no more Politian, but some other.

Command me, sir!

BALDAZZAR.  To the field then — to the field —

To the senate or the field.


POLITIAN.  Alas! alas!

There is an imp would follow me even there!

There is an imp hath followed me even there!

There is — what voice was that? [page 21:]

BALDAZZAR.  I heard it not.

I heard not any voice except thine own,

And the echo of thine own.

POLITIAN.  Then I but dreamed.


BALDAZZAR.  Give not thy soul to dreams: the camp — the court


Befit thee — Fame awaits thee — Glory calls —


And her the trumpet-tongued thou wilt not hear


In hearkening to imaginary sounds


And phantom voices.



POLITIAN.  It is a phantom voice!

Didst thou not hear it then?

BALDAZZAR.  I heard it not.

POLITIAN.  Thou heardst it not! — Baldazzar, speak no more

To me, Politian, of thy camps and courts.


Oh! I am sick, sick, sick, even unto death,


Of the hollow and high-sounding vanities


Of the populous Earth! Bear with me yet awhile!

We have been boys together — school-fellows —

And now are friends — yet shall not be so long —


For in the eternal city thou shalt do me


A kind and gentle office, and a Power —

A Power august, benignant and supreme —

Shall then absolve thee of all farther duties

Unto thy friend.

BALDAZZAR.  Thou speakest a fearful riddle

I will not understand.

POLITIAN.  Yet now as Fate



Approaches, and the Hours are breathing low,


The sands of Time are changed to golden grains,

And dazzle me, Baldazzar. Alas! alas!

I cannot die, having within my heart

So keen a relish for the beautiful


As hath been kindled within it. Methinks the air

Is balmier now than it was wont to be —

Rich melodies are floating in the winds —

A rarer loveliness bedecks the earth — [page 22:]

And with a holier lustre the quiet moon


Sitteth in Heaven. — Hist! hist! thou canst not say

Thou hearest not now, Baldazzar?

BALDAZZAR.  Indeed I hear not.

POLITIAN.  Not hear it! — listen now — listen! — the faintest sound

And yet the sweetest that ear ever heard!

A lady’s voice! — and sorrow in the tone!



Baldazzar, it oppresses me like a spell!

Again! — again! — how solemnly it falls



Into my heart of hearts! that eloquent voice


Surely I never heard — yet it were well

Had I but heard it with its thrilling tones

In earlier days!



BALDAZZAR.  I myself hear it now.

Be still! — the voice, if I mistake not greatly,


Proceeds from yonder lattice — which you may see


Very plainly through the window — it belongs,

Does it not? unto this palace of the Duke.


The singer is undoubtedly beneath

The roof of his Excellency — and perhaps

Is even that Alessandra of whom he spoke

As the betrothed of Castiglione,

His son and heir.

POLITIAN.  Be still! — it comes again!



Voice “And is thy heart so strong

[very faintly.] As for to leave me thus

Who hath loved thee so long

In wealth and wo among?

And is thy heart so strong


As for to leave me thus?

Say nay — say nay!”

BALDAZZAR.  The song is English, and I oft have heard it

In merry England — never so plaintively —


Hist! hist! it comes again!

Voice “Is it so strong


[more loudly.] As for to leave me thus [page 23:]

Who hath loved thee so long

In wealth and wo among?

And is thy heart so strong

As for to leave me thus?


Say nay — say nay!”

BALDAZZAR.  ’Tis hushed and all is still!

POLITIAN.  All is not still.

BALDAZZAR.  Let us go down.

POLITIAN.  Go down, Baldazzar, go!

BALDAZZAR.  The hour is growing late — the Duke awaits us, —

Thy presence is expected in the hall


Below. What ails thee, Earl Politian?

Voice “Who hath loved thee so long,

[distinctly.] In wealth and wo among,

And is thy heart so strong?

Say nay — say nay!”


BALDAZZAR.  Let us descend! — ’tis time. Politian, give

These fancies to the wind. Remember, pray,


Your bearing lately savoured much of rudeness

Unto the Duke. Arouse thee! and remember!

POLITIAN.  Remember? I do. Lead on! I do remember. [going.]



Let us descend. Believe me I would give,

Freely would give the broad lands of my earldom

To look upon the face hidden by yon lattice —


“To gaze upon that veiled face, and hear

Once more that silent tongue.”

BALDAZZAR.  Let me beg you sir,


Descend with me — the Duke may be offended.

Let us go down, I pray you.

[Voice loudly.] Say nay! — say nay!

POLITIAN [aside.] ’Tis strange! — ’tis very strange — methought the voice

Chimed in with my desires and bade me stay!

[approaching the window.]

Sweet voice! I heed thee, and will surely stay.


Now be this Fancy, by Heaven, or be it Fate, [page 24:]

Still will I not descend. Baldazzar, make

Apology unto the Duke for me;

I go not down tonight.

BALDAZZAR.  Your lordship’s pleasure

Shall be attended to. Good night, Politian.


POLITIAN.  Good night, my friend, good night.

[page 24, continued:]




The gardens of a palace — Moonlight. LALANGE and POLITIAN.   [[v]]

LALANGE.  And dost thou speak of love

To me, Politian? — dost thou speak of love

To Lalage? — ah wo — ah wo is me!

This mockery is most cruel! — most cruel indeed!



POLITIAN.  Weep not! oh, sob not thus! — thy bitter tears


Will madden me. Oh mourn not, Lalage —

Be comforted! I know — I know it all,

And still I speak of love. Look at me, brightest,


And beautiful Lalage! — turn here thine eyes!


Thou askest me if I could speak of love,

Knowing what I know, and seeing what I have seen.

Thou askest me that — and thus I answer thee —

Thus on my bended knee I answer thee. [kneeling.]

Sweet Lalage, I love thee — love thee — love thee;


Thro’ good and ill — thro’ weal and wo I love thee.


Not mother, with her first born on her knee,

Thrills with intenser love than I for thee.

Not on God’s altar, in any time or clime,

Burned there a holier fire than burneth now




Within my spirit for thee. And do I love? [arising.]

Even for thy woes I love thee — even for thy woes —

Thy beauty and thy woes.

LALANGE.  Alas, proud Earl,

Thou dost forget thyself, remembering me!

How, in thy father’s halls, among the maidens


Pure and reproachless of thy princely line, [page 25:]

Could the dishonoured Lalage abide?

Thy wife, and with a tainted memory —


My seared and blighted name, how would it tally

With the ancestral honours of thy house,

And with thy glory?



POLITIAN.  Speak not to me of glory!

I hate — I loathe the name; I do abhor


The unsatisfactory and ideal thing.

Art thou not Lalage and I Politian?

Do I not love — art thou not beautiful —


What need we more? Ha! glory! — now speak not of it!

By all I hold most sacred and most solemn —

By all my wishes now — my fears hereafter —


By all I scorn on earth and hope in heaven —

There is no deed I would more glory in,


Than in thy cause to scoff at this same glory

And trample it under foot. What matters it —

What matters it, my fairest, and my best,


That we go down unhonoured and forgotten

Into the dust — so we descend together.


Descend together — and then — and then perchance —

LALANGE.  Why dost thou pause, Politian?

POLITIAN.  And then perchance

Arise together, Lalage, and roam

The starry and quiet dwellings of the blest,

And still —

LALANGE.  Why dost thou pause, Politian?


POLITIAN.  And still togethertogether.

LALANGE.  Now Earl of Leicester!

Thou lovest me, and in my heart of hearts

I feel thou lovest me truly.

POLITIAN.  Oh, Lalage! [throwing himself upon his knee.]

And lovest thou me?

LALANGE.  Hist! hush! within the gloom



Of yonder trees methought a figure past —


A spectral figure, solemn, and slow, and noiseless — [page 26:]

Like the grim shadow Conscience, solemn and noiseless.


[walks across and returns.]

I was mistaken — ’twas but a giant bough


Stirred by the autumn wind. Politian!

POLITIAN.  My Lalage — my love! why art thou moved?



Why dost thou turn so pale? Not Conscience’ self,

Far less a shadow which thou likenest to it,

Should shake the firm spirit thus. But the night wind



Is chilly — and these melancholy boughs

Throw over all things a gloom.

LALANGE.  Politian!




Thou speakest to me of love. Knowest thou the land


With which all tongues are busy — a land new found —


Miraculously found by one of Genoa —

A thousand leagues within the golden west?


A fairy land of flowers, and fruit, and sunshine,


And crystal lakes, and over-arching forests,

And mountains, around whose towering summits the winds

Of Heaven untrammelled flow — which air to breathe

Is Happiness now, and will be Freedom hereafter

In days that are to come?

POLITIAN.  O, wilt thou — wilt thou


Fly to that Paradise — my Lalage, wilt thou

Fly thither with me? There Care shall be forgotten,

And Sorrow shall be no more, and Eros be all.


And life shall then be mine, for I will live

For thee, and in thine eyes — and thou shalt be


No more a mourner — but the radiant Joys

Shall wait upon thee, and the angel Hope

Attend thee ever; and I will kneel to thee


And worship thee, and call thee my beloved,

My own, my beautiful, my love, my wife, [page 27:]


My all; — oh, wilt thou — wilt thou, Lalage,

Fly thither with me?

LALANGE.  A deed is to be done —

Castiglione lives!

POLITIAN.  And he shall die! [exit.]

LALANGE [after a pause.] And — he — shall — die! — alas!

Castiglione die? Who spoke the words?


Where am I? — what was it he said? — Politian!

Thou art not gone — thou art not gone, Politian!

I feel thou art not gone — yet dare not look,

Lest I behold thee not; thou couldst not go

With those words upon thy lips — O, speak to me!


And let me hear thy voice — one word — one word,

To say thou art not gone, — one little sentence,

To say how thou dost scorn — how thou dost hate

My womanly weakness. Ha! ha! thou art not gone —

O speak to me! I knew thou wouldst not go!



I knew thou wouldst not, couldst not, durst not go.

Villain, thou art not gone — thou mockest me!

And thus I clutch thee — thus! — He is gone, he is gone —

Gone — gone. Where am I? —’tis well — ’tis very well!

So that the blade be keen — the blow be sure,


’Tis well, ’tis very well — alas! alas! [exit.]

[page 27, continued:]



A street near a Palace. Bells ringing and shouts heard in the distance. Several persons cross and recross the stage rapidly. Enter BENITO walking quickly, and followed by RUPERT at the same pace.   [[v]]

RUPERT.  What ho! Benito! did you say to-night?

Is it to night — the wedding?

BENITO.  To night I believe. [Exeunt.]

[Enter JACINTA fantastically dressed, and bearing a flat band-box. She enters at first quickly — then [page 28:] saunteringly — and finally stops near the middle of the stage, and is lost in the contemplation of the jewels upon one of her hands, which is ungloved. She at length sets down the band-box and looks at a watch hanging by her side.]


JACINTA.  It is not late — o no! it is not late —

What need is there of hurry? I’ll answer for it


There’s time enough to spare — now let me see!

The wedding is to be at dark, and here

The day is not half done, — stay I can tell

To a minute how many hours there are between

This time and dark — one, two, three, four, five, six!


Six hours! why I can very easily do

The whole of my errands in two hours at farthest!

Who’d be without a watch? — these are pretty gloves!

I will not walk myself to death at all —

I won’t — I’ll take my time.


[Seats herself on a bank and kicks the bandbox to and fro with an air of [nonchalance]. BENITO recrosses the stage rapidly with a bundle.]

Look you Benito!


Benito! I say — Benito! — don’t you hear?

The impudent varlet not to answer me!

The wretch not even to deign to condescend


To see me, as I sit upon the bank

Looking so like a lady! I’m a lady!


I am indeed! — but after all I think

There is a difference between some ladies

And others — the ignorant, stupid, villain! —

Between my former mistress, Lalage,


For instance, and my present noble mistress


The lady Alessandra. I made a change

For the better I think — indeed I’m sure of it —

Besides, you know it was impossible

When such reports have been in circulation

To stay with her now. She’d nothing of the lady


About her — not a tittle! One would have thought [page 29:]

She was a peasant girl, she was so humble.

I hate all humble people! — and then she talked

To one with such an air of condescension.

And she had not common sense — of that I’m sure


Or would she, now — I ask you now, Jacinta,

Do you, or do you not suppose your mistress

Had common sense or understanding when


She gave you all these jewels?

[RUPERT recrosses the stage rapidly and without noticing JACINTA.]

That man’s a fool

Or he would not be in a hurry — he would have stopped —


If he had not been a fool he would have stopped —



[Took] off his hat, and, making a low bow,

Said “I am most superlatively happy

To see you, Madam Jacinta.” Well I don’t know

Some people are fools by nature — some have a talent


For being stupid — look at that ass now, Ugo,

He thinks I’ll have him — but oh no! — I couldn’t.

He might as well, for all the use he makes of it,

Have been born without a head. Heigho! what’s this?

Oh! it’s the paper that my lady gave me,


With the list of articles she wants — ten yards

Of taffeta — sixteen of gold brocade —


And ten of Genoa velvet — one, two, three,

[As she counts, she tears a slip from the paper at each number, and arranges it on the floor in an abstracted manner.]

Four, five, six, seven — that’s it — now eight, nine, ten,


Ten yards — I can’t forget it now — ten yards —


Ten yards of velvet — I must try and get me

A dress of Genoa velvet — ’tis becoming.

And I would look so like my lady in it!

Methinks I see her now — Oh! she’s a lady [page 30:]

Worth serving indeed — oh she has airs and graces


And dignity — yes! she has dignity.

[Arises and struts affectedly across the stage.]

And then she has a voice. Heavens! what a voice!

So loud, so lady-like, and so commanding!

“Jacinta, get me this” — “D’ye hear? — bring that”

“And tell the Count Castiglione I want him.”


Then “yes ma’am” I reply, and curtsey thus

Meekly and daintily thus. Oh! I’m a maid

One in a thousand for a dainty curtsey.

But when I get to be a lady — when

I wed the apothecary — oh then it will be


A different thing — a different thing indeed!

I’ll play my lady to a T, that will I.

I’ll be all dignity, and I’ll talk thus

“Ugo, you villain!” (Ugo shall be my servant)

[During this part of the soliloquy UGO enters unperceived and in his astonishment treads upon the bandbox, and remains with his foot in it, as if stupified.]

“Ugo you villain! — look you here, you rascal!


“You good-for-nothing, idle, lazy scoundrel!

“What are you doing here? Begone you ugly


“You silly, sulky, dirty, stupid ideot!

“Begone I say this minute — get out you viper.

“Get out you jackass! — out you vagabond!”


And then if he’s not gone in half a moment

I’ll turn about and let him have it [seeing UGO whom she encounters in turning round] — who’s this

It’s he, by all that’s good, it is himself!


I’ll turn about and let him have it so — [striking him.]

It’s as well now as any other time —


Thus — thus — I’ll let him have it thus — thus — thus.

You wretch! what are you doing with your foot

Stuffed in that bandbox? I’ll let him have it thus

Thus — thus — [Exit UGO followed by JACINTA who throws the bandbox after him.]

[page 31:]



The suburbs. POLITIAN alone.   [[v]]


POLITIAN.  This weakness grows upon me. I am faint,

And much I fear me ill — it will not do

To die ere I have lived! — Stay — stay thy hand,


O Azrael, yet awhile! — Prince of the Powers


Of Darkness and the Tomb, O pity me!

O pity me! let me not perish now,


In the budding of my Paradisal Hope!

Give me to live yet — yet a little while:

’Tis I who pray for life — I who so late


Demanded but to die! — what sayeth the Count?


BALDAZZAR.  That knowing no cause of quarrel or of feud

Between the Earl Politian and himself,

He doth decline your cartel.

POLITIAN.  What didst thou say?

What answer was it you brought me, good Baldazzar?


With what excessive fragrance the zephyr comes

Laden from yonder bowers! — a fairer day,

Or one more worthy Italy, methinks

No mortal eyes have seen! — what said the Count?

BALDAZZAR.  That he, Castiglione, not being aware


Of any feud existing, or any cause

Of quarrel between your lordship and himself

Cannot accept the challenge.

POLITIAN.  It is most true —

All this is very true. When saw you, sir,

When saw you now, Baldazzar, in the frigid


Ungenial Britain which we left so lately,

A heaven so calm as this — so utterly free

From the evil taint of clouds? — and he did say?

BALDAZZAR.  No more, my Lord, than I have told you, sir:

The Count Castiglione will not fight,

Having no cause for quarrel.


POLITIAN.  Now this is true — [page 32:]

All very true. Thou art my friend, Baldazzar,

And I have not forgotten it — thou’lt do me

A piece of service; wilt thou go back and say

Unto this man, that I, the Earl of Leicester,


Hold him a villain? — thus much, I prythee, say

Unto the Count — it is exceeding just

He should have cause for quarrel.


BALDAZZAR.  My lord! — my friend! —

POLITIAN [aside.] ’Tis he — he comes himself! [aloud.] thou reasonest well.

I know what thou wouldst say — not send the message —


Well! — I will think of it — I will not send it.

Now prythee, leave me — hither doth come a person

With whom affairs of a most private nature

I would adjust.

BALDAZZAR.  I go — to-morrow we meet,

Do we not? — at the Vatican.


POLITIAN.  At the Vatican. [exit BALDAZZAR.]



CASTIGLIONE.  The Earl of Leicester here!

POLITIAN.  I am the Earl of Leicester, and thou seest,

Dost thou not? that I am here.

CASTIGLIONE.  My lord, some strange,

Some singular mistake — misunderstanding —

Hath without doubt arisen: thou hast been urged


Thereby, in heat of anger, to address

Some words most unaccountable, in writing

To me, Castiglione; the bearer being

Baldazzar, Duke of Surrey. I am aware

Of nothing which might warrant thee in this thing,



Having given thee no offence. Ha! — am I right?

’Twas a mistake? — undoubtedly — we all


Do err at times.

POLITIAN.  Draw, villain, and prate no more!


CASTIGLIONE.  Ha! — draw? — and villain? have at thee then at once,

Proud Earl! [draws.] [page 33:]

POLITIAN [drawing.] Thus to the expiatory tomb,


Untimely sepulchre, I do devote thee

In the name of Lalage!


CASTIGLIONE [letting fall his sword and recoiling to the extremity of the stage.]

Of Lalage!

Hold off — thy sacred hand! — avaunt I say!

Avaunt — I will not fight thee — indeed I dare not.

POLITIAN.  Thou wilt not fight with me didst say, Sir Count?



Shall I be baffled thus? — now this is well;

Didst say thou darest not? Ha!

CASTIGLIONE.  I dare not — dare not —

Hold off thy hand — with that beloved name

So fresh upon thy lips I will not fight thee —

I cannot — dare not.

POLITIAN.  Now by my halidom



I do believe thee! — coward, I do believe thee!

CASTIGLIONE.  Ha! — coward! — this may not be!

[clutches his sword and staggers toward POLITIAN, but his purpose is changed before reaching him, and he falls upon his knee at the feet o f the Earl.]


Alas! my lord,

It is — it is — most true. In such a cause


I am the veriest coward. O pity me!


POLITIAN [greatly softened.] Alas! — I do — indeed I pity thee.

CASTIGLIONE.  And Lalage —



POLITIAN.  Scoundrel! — arise and die!

CASTIGLIONE.  It needeth not be — thus — thus — O let me die

Thus on my bended knee. It were most fitting

That in this deep humiliation I perish.

For in the fight I will not raise a hand


Against thee, Earl of Leicester. Strike thou home —

[baring his bosom.]

Here is no let or hindrance to thy weapon —

Strike home. I will not fight thee. [page 34:]

POLITIAN.  Now s’Death and Hell!

Am I not — am I not sorely — grievously tempted

To take thee at thy word? But mark me, sir!


Think not to fly me thus. Do thou prepare

For public insult in the streets — before

The eyes of the citizens. I’ll follow thee —

Like an avenging spirit I’ll follow thee

Even unto death. Before those whom thou lovest —


Before all Rome I’ll taunt thee, villain, — I’ll taunt thee,

Dost hear? with cowardice — thou wilt not fight me?

Thou liest! thou shalt! [exit.]


CASTIGLIONE.  Now this indeed is just!

Most righteous, and most just, avenging Heaven!

[page 34, continued:]




[The Hall of Di Broglio’s Palace. UGO and SAN OZZO.]

[UGO - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]


SAN OZZO.  D—d if he does that’s flat! why — yes, that’s flat.

Extremely flat, and candid, and so forth

And sociable, and all that kind of thing

Damned if you do? — look you, you ignoramus


What is it you mean? is it your fixed intention

To lie all day in that especial manner

If so pray let me know!

UGO.  I’ll let you know

Nothing about it, and for the best of reasons

In the first place, Sir, I did not hear a word


Your honour said, and in the second, Sir,


I cannot talk at all. It’s very strange

You can’t perceive I’m dead!

SAN OZZO.  It’s very strange

I can’t perceive you’re dead? soho! I see!

[aside] I’ve heard before that such ideas as these


Have seized on human brains, still not believing [page 35:]

The matter possible. Ha! ha! I have it!

I wish to see the Count — he’ll not admit me —

Being in the dumps about this little matter

Touching Politian, who in the public streets


Called him a coward on yesterday forenoon,

Set him a laughing once, and he’ll forget

Both the Earl and himself. I’d bet a trifle now

I’ll make this idiot go and tell the Count

That he’s deceased — if so the game is up.


[aloud] So — so — you’re dead eh? come now — come now, Ugo!

Be candid with me — is it indeed a fact

And are you really dead?

UGO.  Not, Sir, exactly

Dead, so to say, but having just committed

Felo de se, I’m what they call deceased.


SAN OZZO.  Ah! I perceive — it’s positively so

Poor soul he’s gone! But now I think of it

Deceased is not the word. What say you, Ugo?

Deceased is not the proper word to express

Your case with due exactitude. Perhaps


Defunct would suit it better.

UGO.  Sir! — I’m defunct.

SAN OZZO.  Ah — very well! — then I shall tell your master

That you’re defunct — or stop suppose I say —

I think there would be more of dignity

In saying “Sir Count, your worthy servant Ugo


Not being dead, nor yet to say deceased,

Nor yet defunct, but having unluckily

Made way with himself — that’s felo de se you know —

Hath now departed this life.”

UGO.  Say that, Sir, say that!

For now, upon consideration, I think

I have — departed this life.


SAN OZZO.  I will — I’ll say it!

I will inform the Count — but not so fast —

I’m wrong — I must not do it — it were against [page 36:]

All rules of etiquette. This is a matter

Demanding due consideration, Ugo,


One of the last importance. Do you not think

(You see I yield unto your better judgment)

Do you not think it were more fitting, Sir,

More decorous, you know, — you understand me?

More delicate, more proper, and all that —


That you should tell the circumstance yourself

Unto the Count — ha! — do you take me Sir!

’Tis the better plan, is it not?

UGO.  Why yes, it is.

SAN OZZO.  Undoubtedly — it is — you are right — get up!

And lose no time about it — be quick — get up!


UGO.  Get up? I can’t — Sir, I’ve been dead an hour

And am stiff as you perceive.

SAN OZZO.  Well, yes, I do.

You are a little — stiff — all very true.

I most sincerely pity you — but, Sir,

Could you not, think you, by a desperate effort,


Contrive to stir a little? let me help you?


Paugh! this will never do! — why, bless me, Sir,

Perhaps you’re not aware that — that — in short


The day is very sultry — and that a corpse

In very hot weather won’t — keep, you take me, Sir?


My nose is delicate, and to be plain

You smell, Sir, yes you smell — come now be quick!

Indeed I cannot will not answer for

The consequence of any longer stay

Sir, you may drop to pieces

UGO.  Good God! that’s true!

Lend me your hand, Sir, do!


SAN OZZO.  Ah that is well!

Extremely well attempted! — Sir I am glad

To see you on your legs, — a little stiff

No matter! — not ungraceful in a corpse.

Now Sir, this leg — a little farther — that’s it!


Most excellent! — ah! that is exquisite! [page 37:]

Now Sir the left — you have a genius, Ugo,

For putting out a leg! Pray Sir proceed!

Superlative! — now that’s what I call walking!

Magnificent! — a little farther, Sir!


Farewell! — now recollect you tell

The Count as I directed — you’ve departed

This life — you’re dead, deceased, defunct,

And all that sort of thing — ha! ha! ha! ha!

[page 37, continued:]



Interior of the Coliseum. POLITIAN entering from behind — moonlight.


POLITIAN.  Shall meet me here within the Coliseum!


Type of the antique Rome — rich reliquary

Of lofty contemplation left to Time

By buried centuries of pomp and power!


At length at length after so many days

Of weary pilgrimage, and burning thirst

(Thirst for the springs of lore that in thee lie)

I stand, an altered and an humble man

Amid thy shadows, and so drink within


My very soul thy grandeur, gloom and glory!

She comes not, and the spirit of the place


Oppresses me!

Vastness and Age and Memories of Eld

Silence and Desolation and dim Night


Gaunt vestibules, and phantom-peopled aisles

I feel ye now — I feel ye in your strength!

O spells more sure than e’er Jud@aelig;an king

Taught in the gardens of Gethsemane

O spells more potent than the rapt Chaldee


Ever drew down from out the quiet stars!

She comes not and the moon is high in Heaven!

Here where a hero fell, a column falls


Here where the mimic eagle glared in gold

A secret vigil holds the swarthy bat


Here where the dames of Rome their yellow hair [page 38:]

Waved to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle:

Here where on ivory couch the Cæsar sate

On bed of moss lies gloating the foul adder:

Here where on golden throne the monarch lolled


Glides spectre-like unto his marble home

Lit by the wan light of the horned moon

The swift and silent lizard of the stones.

These crumbling walls — these tottering arcades

These mouldering plinths — these sad and blackened shafts


These vague entablatures: this broken frieze

These shattered cornices, this wreck, this ruin,

These stones, alas! these grey stones are they all

All of the great and the colossal left

By the corrosive hours to Fate and me?


Not all the echoes answer me — not all:

Prophetic sounds and loud arise forever

From us and from all ruin unto the wise,


As from the granite Memnon to the sun.

We rule the hearts of mightiest men: we rule


With a despotic sway all giant minds.

We are not desolate we pallid stones,

Not all our power is gone — not all our Fame

Not all the magic of our high renown

Not all the wonder that encircles us


Not all the mysteries that in us lie

Not all the memories that hang upon

And cling around about us as a garment

Clothing its in a robe of more than glory.


[Enter LALANGE wildly].

She comes.

[LALANGE.] I come. And now the hour is come



For vengeance or will never. So! the priest


Is standing by the altar — the robed priest!

And by him the bride — so beautiful — the bride

And in a bride’s array! and by the bride


The bridegroom — where art thou? [page 39:]

[POLITIAN.] ’Tis true where am I?


Not where I should be? — By the God of Heaven



I’ll mar this bridal if at the altar’s foot

The bridegroom dies. [Exit]

[LALANGE.] Away — Away — farewell!



Farewell Castiglione and farewell

My hope in Heaven! [Exit]


[page 40:]


Certain rather simple abbreviations, in the main familiar to Poe students, are used in the Notes. B. J. = Broadway Journal; B. S. V. = Baltimore Saturday Visiter; J. L. G. = The J.

Lorimer Graham copy of Poe’s 1845 volume, with his own MS corrections; MS = manuscipt; MS canc. = cancelled readings of the MS; P. O. = Poet’s Offering; P. P. A. = Poets and Poetry of,4merica; P. S. = Poetry of the Sentiments; S. E. P. = Saturday Evening Post; S. L. M. = Southern Literary Messenger; S. M. = Saturday Museum. Books published by Poe are referred to sometimes by date only, standard editions, like those of Campbell, Whitty (2nd edition of Complete Poems) and Harrison, are referred to by editor’s names alone, Harrison contracted to “H. “ Woodberry refers to Mr. Woodberry’s two volume Life of Poe. The familiar Library abbreviations N. Y. H. [istorical] S[ociety]; N. Y. P[ublic] L[ibrary] and L[ibrary of] C[ongress] are self-explanatory. All titles of books, articles, poems, etc., are italicized, Roman numerals refer to volumes, chapters, acts or scenes; Arabic to pages or lines. Authors of all poems and articles cited are named except works of Poe, of Shakespeare, and books of the Bible, but there may be a few exceptions unrecorded. References consisting wholly of numerals are of course to scenes and lines of Politian itself.

[page 41, unnumbered:]


The text of the play here given is based on a thorough collation of the remaining portions of Poe’s original MS, and of all printed versions of the play known to have appeared

during the poet’s lifetime. The latest text certainly authorized by the poet has been in all cases adopted, as Poe’s corrections were made with great care in all his works. There has been no trouble in deciding just what should be held the final text — for the scenes printed in The Raven and other Poems (1845), the J. Lorimer Graham copy of that volume with Poe’s own pencil corrections has been followed; the other scenes follow the MS. The last scene is in part the same as Poe’s poem The Coliseum, but the MS has been followed because the changes made in the separate publications of the poem may not have been intended for the version in the drama — the versions of Poe’s To One in Paradise as a separate poem and as incorporated in his tale The Assignation differ. All known verbal variations of the different texts and cancelled readings are however collected in the Notes following.

The editing of the actual text of the play has been very conservative, and while all abbreviations of names and words have been fully expanded, stage directions put in italics, and names of characters in small capitals, in the interest of uniformity and the reader’s convenience, as little change has been made in the text as possible. For the portions of the play given in 1845, Poe’s punctuation has been followed exactly — in the scenes edited from the MS alone, a few corrections of spelling and punctuation have been made, but these changes, even the addition of periods at the ends of speeches, have been listed in the Notes. The editor has scrupled less to make these changes in view of Poe’s confession in a letter to T. W. White, June 22, 1835 (H. xvii, p. 9) that he had been previously careless of his pointing, and the Politian MS antedates this. I have not however attempted to introduce any uniformity into the text, [page 42:] and have retained everything which Poe might possibly have kept. In one thing only I could not follow Poe, and I have wholly abandoned the division into acts. Poe seems to have changed his purpose regarding this in the MS, and since the MS is imperfect at places where it alone could show his final intentions, I have concluded to number the scenes consecutively i-xi, adding in brackets the numbers given them in Poe’s old selection, since references are made at times to these. All that can be made out of Poe’s changes is recorded in the Notes, and Ingram’s proposed arrangement is also given. The question might be raised whether Poe intended to omit any scenes altogether — certainly he drew his pen carelessly across one or two of the pages, but probably this was done to indicate what the printer should omit in setting up the selections in the Messenger.

I have made no formal bibliography of my sources, but have described all the uncommon books cited where first mentioned. An Index of persons mentioned is given.

[page 43, unnumbered:]


(All versions before 1850 are listed — thereafter only first printings and first incorporations in editions of the poems are given.)

1833. Baltimore Saturday Visiter (Baltimore, Cloud and Pouder) October 26, contains the Coliseum (vol. iii, n. s. No. 39, page 1, column 1).

1835. The original MS dates from about this period, and includes as preserved, Scenes i; ii; iii; iv, 1-23; v (incomplete); vi; vii; viii; ix, 1-54; x, (incomplete); xi. It now consists of eleven sheets, of which the first ten are in the Pierpont Morgan Library, all with writing on both sides of the page-the other sheet which was clearly the last has writing on one side only. Two sheets only seem to have been lost.

The Southern Literary Messenger (Richmond, Va., T. W. White) August contains the Coliseum (vol. i, p. 706) as “Selected Poetry,” and December, Scenes iv; vi; vii (vol. ii, pp. 13-16).

1836. The Southern Literary Messenger for January contains Scenes iii; ix, (vol. ii, pp. 106-108).

1841. The Saturday Evening Post (Philadelphia, George R. Graham) June 12 contains The Coliseum (vol. xxi, No. 1037, p. 1, col. 1.)

1842. The Poets and Poetry of America, [edited] by Rufus W. Griswold (Philadelphia, Carey and Hart), 1st edition, contains The Coliseum at pages 387-388, as also in the following editions: — 2nd (1842); 3rd (1843); 4th (1843); 5th (1844?); 6th (1845); 7th (1846); and at pages 431-432 in the 8th (1847) and 9th (1848) editions. From the 10th (1850) and subsequent editions the Coliseum is excluded.

1843. The Saturday Museum (Philadelphia, T. C. Clarke) Feb. 25 contained the Coliseum in the article on Poe by Henry B. Hirst, reprinted by the same paper, March 4. This exists only in clippings.

1845. The Broadway Journal (New York, John Bisco) March 29 contains iv, 5-27, 56-111 (vol. 1, p. 197.)

The same periodical, July 12, contains The Coliseum (vol. ii, p. 14 (“41”).)

The Raven and other Poems, by Edgar A. Poe (New York, Wiley and Putnam) contains The Coliseum, (pp. 12-13); and iii; iv; vi; vii; ix (pp, 31-51.)

1846. The Raven volume was issued with this date (London, Wiley and Putnam.)

The Poetry of the Sentiments, edited by R. W. Griswold (Philadelphia, U. Hunt & Son) contains the Coliseum (pp. 53-54.)

1846-49. Poe’s MS revisions of the J. Lorimer Graham copy of The Raven volume belong to this period — there are revisions only in the Coliseum (p. 13) and iv (p. 34.)

1849. The Poet’s Offering edited by Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale (Philadelphia, Grigg, Elliot & Co., “1850,” copyright 1849) contains under the heading Ruins, the Coliseum, II. 22-28, 33-39, (P- 460.) [page 44:]

1850. The Works of the Late Edgar A. Poe (New York, J. S. Redfield) contains iii; iv; vi; vii; ix (vol. ii, pp. 54-74) and The Coliseum (vol. ii, pp. 15-16.)These are mere reprints of The Raven volume versions, but the misprint in the Coliseum is corrected.

1875. The Southern Magazine (Baltimore, Turnbull Brothers) for November contains Ingram’s article Poe’s “Politian” where are first printed (in slightly garbled form) i, 31, 33, 36-45 58-60, 113; ii, 34-S7, 75; v, 3536, 41-42; x 14-15, ig-2o (vol. x pp. 588-594.)

1888. The Poetical Works of Poe edited by John H. Ingram, “The Chandos Classics” (London, Frederick Warne & Co.; also issued in New York) contains Scene V, garbled, in a note at pp. 96-99. This portion is reprinted in Whitty’s 2nd edition, but not by Stedman & Woodberry, Harrison, nor Campbell.

1909. The Bibliophile (London) for May gives, (vol. iii, No. 3, p. 136) a facsimile of the MS of xi, 1-9 in an article by Ingram called variations in Edgar Poe’s Poetry.

1911. The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by J[ames] H[oward] Whitty (Boston, Houghton Mifflin) reprints most of the Southern Magazine material (pages 228-230).

1912. The Autograph (New York, P. F. Madigan) November-December issue contains xi,15-end (vol. i, No. 8, p. 196), II, 15-32 later appeared in an auction catalogue of the Anderson Galleries.

1917. The Complete Poems, ed. Whitty, 2nd ed. reprints v from Ingram’s 1888 note (pp. 325-327) and xi, 15-32 (pp. 327-328) from the auction catalogue.

[page 45, unnumbered:]


The text has been edited conservatively, but it seemed pedantic to reproduce certain abbreviations and very obvious errors, which are listed below, while the stage directions have been handled with some freedom. All abbreviations have been expanded, the names of all characters put in small capitals, followed by a period, and all “directions” placed in italics, followed by a period and enclosed in square brackets. Exceptions to this rule are, first, the omission of the period after a speaker’s name where it is immediately followed by a direction; second, the omission of the period where a direction is inserted within a sentence. The capitalization of Enter, Exit and Exeunt has been made uniform.

The division into lines is ultimately Poe’s, but since he “justified” the beginning of each speech, the arrangement of lines spoken by two or more characters, is, like the numbering, due to the editor. See Notes on the Verse.

Obsolete spellings are retained, absolutely wrong spellings have been corrected, and a very few marks of punctuation added. Except for silent expansions of the symbol “&” all intentional changes are listed below.

In the Scene “16th” is added to fill a blank in the MS; in the Cast “neice” after Alessandra has been corrected; and a comma added after Baldazzar. That the date is shortly after 1492 is shown by the allusion to Columbus in vii 65 f.

I. The words in italics of 92-93 are not underlined in the MS but are in a different script which seems to demand italics. Periods are added in 92, 94 and i19; interrogation points in 96 and 98, and a comma and exclamation point in 123.

II. 35-36, MS has “slid”; 39, accent added; 56, the reading of the third word is uncertain; Ingram printed the line “of bread and milk and water” (!); 63, Stage directions added.

III. See Variorum for omission of ROME at head of this Scene.

V. 19, Period added; 54, See Variorum.

VIII. 14, and 41, see Variorum; 77, Poe has “ideot”; 82, Poe has “Its. “

X. 35, period added at end; 60, Poe has “Ive”; 77, no tail is visible in comma after “legs. “

XI. 54, 59, 62, Speakers’ names not given in the Autograph, where the changes are indicated by quotation marks only. Quotation marks added in 1-40.

[page 46:]


[The following list of changes etc. made by Poe himself is verbally as complete as possible, but some erasures, if made with a penknife may have escaped detection.]

TITLE. The title is from the MS. Poe wrote above IV, in pencil “Scenes from Politian. An Unpublished Drama, by Edgar A. Poe” but in the printed version of the S. L. M. called his selections “Scenes from an Unpublished Drama, by Edgar A. Poe” and in 1845 the heading is “Scenes from “Politian;” an Unpublished Drama.” The last title is adopted by Griswold.


In the description of Lalage after orphan are the cancelled words of illustrious family, last of her race, and,

After San Ozzo MS cancels a.

Politian was first called a young and noble Roman but this was cancelled.

I. Text from MSthere headed Act I, Scene I which Ingram adopts.

49  After this MS cancels

and listens aghast

To the frightful sounds of merriment below

Which she must never more share in.

49   Ah inserted later in MS.

83. After the first Here! MS cancels here! —

86. Look is written over a cancelled word now illegible.

94. gone is changed in MS from going

98. this inserted later in MS.

111. For my mistress MS earlier reading was the lady.

II. Text, MS; there called Scene 2d, by Ingram Act I, Scene ii.

80. The second Pshaw added later by Poe.

104. Before this line MS cancels I say.

107. Before this line Ugo (as speaker’s name) is cancelled.

110. After that MS cancels there.

115. After it MS cancels and I.

119. The second I’ve inserted later.

III. This scene is complete in MS where it was first called Scene 3d then changed to Act 2d, Sc. 1st. Ingram called it Act I, iii. The scene was printed in S. L. M., Jan. 1836, numbered 1 and again in 1845 as 1. The text follows 1835 except that the word ROME there given at the beginning of the Stage directions is omitted as unnecessary, since it does not occur in MS and the place of action has already been given in this edition.

3. After this line MS adds

Oh! I am very happy! — sad? — not I. [page 47:]

4. MS adds stage direction (sighs heavily).

23. MS and S. L. M. omit thou wilt

Also substituted in MS for cancelled somewhat.

24. For dress and equipage MS canc. reads habiliments.

26. I’ll changed in MS from I will.

31. After gentle MS cancels humble.

35. For thy MS canc. reads your.

39. For i’ MS reads in.

39-40. For kiss her, You dog MS canc. reads you dog, kiss her, Kiss her.

46. For a man quite MS canc. reads Politian’s.

47. For fame MS canc. reads reputation.

For have not seen MS reads never saw.

IV. Of this scene the MS includes only the first 23 lines. It was first called Act 2nd Scene 1st, then Scene 4th, then Scene 3d. Ingram calls it Act II, Scene i. It was published in S. L. M. for December 1835 as I and in 1845 as II. The quotations in B. J., March 29,1845 are without title. The text follows 1845 (J. Lorimer Graham copy) . At the beginning of the stage directions S. L. M. and 1845 insert ROME but this is cancelled in J. L. G. copy, which also expands the abbreviation before the first two speeches from Lal. and Jac. In these stage directions the phrase with.... garden is inserted later in the MS. For upon MS reads upon the back of, and B. J. on the back of. MS and B. J. omit a servant maid.

4. For ‘Tis MS reads It’s.

6. Stage directions, for and B. J. reads and then.

14. For again MS canc. reads La! again.

15. For beyond the sea MS canc. reads in Albion.

16. one inserted later in MS.

17. For In B. J. reads I’.

20. For Here’s MS canc. reads This is.

55. Stage directions. B. J. reads here “[Jacinta finally in a discussion about certain jewels, insults her mistress, who bursts into tears.]”

76. Stage directions moved to end of line in B. J.

99. For This sacred S. L. M. reads A vow — a and B. J. A pious.

106. Stage direction moved to end of 108 in B. J.

V. This scene lacks the heading and opening lines, it is called by Ingram Act 2 Scene ii. The text follows MS.

7. For what of it MS canc. reads decidedly.

39. itself changed in MS from himself.

54. There is space for I before am but no mark appears in the MS, and I hesitate to add the word.

88. After me MS canc. reads very much.

VI. Complete in MS, and there called first Scene 2d then Scene 3d — and by Ingram Act II, Scene iii. Published in S. L. M. for December 1835 as II and in 1845 as III. Text,1845. [page 48:]

Stage directions S. L. M. inserts ROME at beginning and after Baldazzar S. L. M. adds his friend.

6. For surely MS and S. L. M. read I live.

57. For that eloquent MS and S. L. M. read that voice — that.

58. For Surely I MS and S. L. M. read I surely.

For were MS canc. reads had been.

62. For which you may see MS canc. reads this way you can see it.

63. For it MS and S. L. M. read that lattice though a pencil note in the MS indicates the change.

79-END. Originally the Scene closed simply as follows ‘Tis hushed and all is still.

POLITIAN. What didst thou say?

That all is still? Alas, all is not still!

BALDAZZAR. Let us go down — for it is getting. late

And they wait for us below — Politian give

These fancies to the winds. Remember, pray

Your bearing lately savoured much of rudeness

Unto the Duke — Arouse thee! and remember!

POLITIAN. Remember! I do — I do — lead on! — remember!

Poe then wrote Scene 3d but before proceeding changed his mind fastened a piece of paper over the above lines, and continued to the end of the scene as it now stands.

100. For Believe me MS and S. L. M. read Baldazzar! oh.

VII. Complete in MS, called Act 3rd Sc. [illegible ] and by Ingram Act III, i. It was published in S. L. M. Dec. 1835 as III and in 1845 as IV. Text 1845.

Stage directions MS omits Lalage and Politian.

5. For sob MS and S. L. M. read weep.

6. For mourn MS and S. L. M. read weep.

9. For turn here thine eyes MS and S. L. M. read and listen to me.

16. For knee MS canc. reads bosom.

20. For love MS reads love thee.

30. For to me MS and S. L. M. read — speak not.

54. figure written in MS over an erased word which may have been spectral.

58. For Stirred MS canc. reads Moved.

60. For turn so pale MS canc. reads tremble thus.

63. For boughs MS reads bowers.

64. For gloom MS canc. reads shade.

65. For speakest MS reads spokest.

66. For With MS reads Of; for busy MS reads speaking.

VIII. Complete in MS, there first called Sc. 2nd then Act 4th Sc. 1 [or 2, the figure is uncertain ]. Ingram calls it Act III, Scene ii. Text follows MS.

Stage directions, for a Palace MS canc. reads the Palace.

3. After late is a stage direction [turns the back of the watch] cancelled in pencil in MS. [page 49:]

14. The word nonchalance is cancelled in pencil in the MS, but I retain it since Poe did not substitute any other word.

24. For instance MS canc. reads example.

38. For these MS canc. reads them.

41. Poe indicated his dissatisfaction with the word took in pencil, but did not change to taken.

54. At end MS canc. reads of velvet.

55. At one time Poe changed ten yards of to Of Genoese in pencil, but later erased the new reading.

83. For so MS canc. reads thus.

IX. The MS contains only the first 54 lines of this scene which is there headed first Scene 3d then Scene 2d then simply 2. Ingram calls it Act III, Scene iii. Published in S. L. M., January 1836 as II and in 1845 as V. Text follows 1845.

Stage directions, for alone MS reads solus.

7. For In MS reads I’ and for Paradisal Hope! MS and S. L. M. read hopes — give me to live.

44. After this line MS adds:

If that we meet at all it were as well

That I should meet him in the Vatican —

I’ the Vatican — within the holy walls

Of the Vatican.

S. L. M. follows this but changes I’ to In.

58. For then at once S. L. M. reads have at thee then.

61. Stage directions, for letting fall S. L. M. reads dropping.

62. For Hold off — thy S. L. M. reads Hold off — hold off thy.

63. For dare not S. L. M. reads dare not — dare not.

65. After this line S. L. M. adds

Exceeding well! — thou darest not fight with me?

70. After this line S. L. M. adds Thou darest not!

71. For Alas! my lord S. L. M. reads Alas! alas!

73. For I am the veriest S. L. M. reads I am — I am — a.

92. For “Thou liest! thou shalt!” S. L. M. reads “By God! thou shalt!”

93. For Now this indeed S. L. M. reads Now this — now this.

X. This scene lacks the heading and several of the opening lines. Ingram calls it Act IV Scene ii, believing a whole scene before it was lost, though without grounds in my opinion. At the end of the scene “135” is writtenprobably the number of lines in the scene when complete. Since nobody knows whether Poe counted half lines or not, little can be judged as to what is lost. Text follows MS which is without change.

XI. This scene is headed in the MS Scene 3rd and is called Act IV, Scene iii by Ingram. While the MS is preserved, Mrs. Lewis sometime during the sixties gave the last sheet to an autograph collector, and for all the text after 1.15 I have been forced to rely on the transcript of this sheet, printed by Mr. Madigan in the Autograph of November-December 1912. The scene is largely made up from The Coliseum, [page 50:] which Poe published as a separate poem, and I include the variants of all authorized texts belowthose of the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, Oct. 26, 1833; S. L. M., August 1835; Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post, June 12,1841; Griswold’s Poets and Poetry of America (1st-9th editions, 1842-1848) ; Philadelphia Saturday Museum February 25, and March 4, 1843; B. J. July 12, 1845; 1845; and J. L. G. revisions. The texts in Griswold’s Poetry of the Sentiments, 1846, and in Mrs. Hale’s Poets’ Offering for 1850 are probably derived from the P. P. A. without special authorization from Poe, but they have been collated far the sake of completeness.

Stage directions and speaker’s name omitted in all save MS. The other versions, except the P. O. fragments, have a title The Coliseum, which S. L. M. and S. E. P. expand to The Coliseum, a Prize Poem, and P. P. A and P. S. contract to Coliseum.

7. B. S. V. misprints love for lore.

8. All others read kneel for stand.

9. For Amid S. E. P. reads Among P. P. A. and P. S. read Within.

11-12. All others omit.

12. MS canc. adds at end with woe — ye memories!

[The second word cancelled being uncertain, perhaps should be read more.]

13. For Eld P. S. reads old.

15. Omitted by S. E. P., P. P. A., P. S., S. M., B. J., 1845.

19. For spells all others read charms.

21. All others omit.

22. For the all others read a.

24. For secret all others read midnight.

25. For yellow, S. E. P., P. P. A., P. S., P. O., S. M., B. J., 1845 read gilded.

27. For ivory couch P. P. A., P. S., and P. O. read golden throne.

27-28. Omitted by S. E. P., S. M., B. J., 1845.

29. For golden throne P. P. A., and P. S., read ivory couch.

30. For into all others read unto.

31. 1845 misprints wanlight which is corrected in ink in J. L. G. copy.

33. S. E. P., S. M., B. J., and 1845 read

But stay! — these walls — these ivy-clad arcades

P. P. A., P. S., and P. O., read

But hold! — these dark, these perishing arcades.

35. For broken, S. E. P., S. M., B. J., 1845 read crumbling.

For great S. E. P. reads grand, P. P. A., P. S. and P. O. proud and S. M., B. J., and 1845 famed. 42. For to P. P. A., and P. S. read unto.

43. B. S. V. and S. L. M. read As in old days from Memnon to the Sun S. E. P., P. P. A., P. S., S. M., B. J.,1845 read As melody from Memnon to the Sun.

46. For desolate S. E. P., P. P. A., P. S., S. M., B. J., and 1845 read impotent.

52. For as a garment B. S. V. reads now and ever.

53. For Clothing B. S. V. reads And clothe.

54-END. All other texts omit.

[page 80, unnumbered:]


The Cast of Characters.

LALAGE. This name is familiar from Horace, Odes, I, xxii — but it is just possible Poe was playing on the name of his early sweetheart Sarah Elmira Royster. President John Quincy Adams translated Horace’s ode with the title To Sally (Poems, Auburn and Buffalo, 1848, p. 100), and that Poe was fond of tracing remote similarities in names we know from a MS note in the copy of the Broadway Journal he gave Mrs. Whitman, which points out the identity of the names “Helen, Ellen, Elenore, Lenore.” For evidence that this note is Poe’s see Miss Caroline Ticknor’s Poe’s Helen, p. 189. Lalage in the play represents Miss Cook, — who in her Letters constantly speaks of the death of her father and sister — (cf. esp. l. c. p. 37)

ALESSANDRA. Cf. a note in Poe’s Pinakidia, (S. L. M., August 1836; H. xiv, 65).

“Politian, the poet and scholar, was an admirer of Alessandra Scala, and addressed to her this extempore:

To teach me that in hapless suit

I do but waste my hours,

Cold maid, whene’er I ask for fruit,

Thou givest me naught but flowers. “

The original of this is in Politian’s Epigrammata Greeca [Graeca], xxxii,

Καρπòν ....

Δωρη ....

and explains the imagery of 11. 3-6 of To One in Paradise which is said to be inspired by a passage in Politian’s Orfeo III, (The Assignation H. ii, 120).

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.

Alessandra di Bartolomeo Scala, according to Isidoro del Lungo, (editor of Politian’s Prose Volgari etc. Florence 1867, p. 199) famed for beauty and learning, was a pupil of Giov. Lascari and of Calcondila, married the scholar Marullo, and after his death in 1500 became a nun in San Pier Maggiore, where she died in 1506.

JACINTA. This name is a form of Hyacinth, a name which Poe plays with in various forms, as Ianthe (the form used by Ovid, Landor, Byron, and Shelley, who even gave it to his daughter by Harriet) which is borne by the heroine of the narrative in Al Aaraaf ii, 198; Zanthe, a lady addressed in an apostrophe by the poet, Al Aaraaf ii, 57; and Zante, as in the fine Sonnet to Zante beginning

Fair isle that from the fairest of all flowers

Thy gentlest of all gentle names dost take.

Professor Campbell found the name Jacinta in Shirley’s play The Example, but now observes that it is a name common enough in [page 60:] Europe. It is the title of a poem by William Rufus of Charleston (see his Rufiana, New York, 1826, pp. 49-51) whose book contains a serenade, Oh Lady, love, awake! which is worthy attention as a possible source for The Sleeper. Poe is also fond of the word “hyacinth” as applied to hair, cf. To Helen 1. 6, and the passage in Ligeia (H. ii, p. 250 1. 20) where he refers indirectly to the Homeric source in Odyssey, vi, 231.

DUKE DI BROGLIO. Perhaps an Italianized form of the name of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Achille Charles Léonard Victor duc de Broglie (1785-1870) whom Poe later mentioned in Graham’s Magazine for April 1841 (vol. xviii, p. 202; H. x, 134 f.) in a criticism of Walsh’s Sketches of Conspicuous Living Characters of France. Poe mentions “the Neapolitan Duke di Broglio” in William Wilson (H. iii, 323,1. 18).

CASTIGLIONE. This was the surname of Politian’s admirer Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529), author of The Book of the Courtier, Venice, 1528, who is mentioned in Pinakidia (H. xiv, 37) and Marginalia (H. xvi, 37). He represents Col. Sharp.

SAN OZZO. According to Professor Dino Bigongiari, San Ozzo is a common Tuscan diminutive or nickname, even to the present day, but is properly written as one word, Sanozzo.

POLITIAN is named for the Florentine scholar and poet Angelo Ambrogini Poliziano (1454-1494) mentioned s. v. Alessandra. His title Earl of Leicester the variants show was an afterthought, doubtless from the title of Dudley, patron of Spenser and favorite of Elizabeth, who is a leading character in Scott’s Kenilworth. He represents Beauchamp, but his character (like that of the hero of The Assignation) has in it much of Byron, and some tincture of Poe himself. See notes on Baldazzar — and those on Scene III.

BALDAZZAR. This was the given name of the Castiglione mentioned above, and is thus spelled in Pinakidia. Another instance of Poe’s using the given and surname of a single historical personage for two of his characters occurs in Arthur Gordon Pym (H. iii, 19, l 29) where the two sons of Mr. Ross are named Robert and Emmet, from Robert Emmet (1778-1803), the Irish Patriot. The title “Duke of Surrey” given Baldazzar (v, 51 etc.) is from the famous Tudor poet, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-1547), Professor Trent believes that the Surrey-Geraldine story may have given Poe the hint for having an English noble in Italy, and having love adventures, and that Sir Philip Sidney’s, vast reputation on the continent may have influenced the description of Politian. Leicester’s connections were more with Holland and Spain — Poe knew the old poets more or less well, quotes sometimes from Sidney, and in this play from Wyatt. Whether the hint came from their travels (on which see Miss Clare Howard’s English Travellers of the Renaissance, London and New York, 1914) or from C. F. Hoffman’s comparison of the Kentucky crime to deeds of the Italian Renaissance, or from both, which is most probable, the combining imagination of the artist is [page 61:] well displayed in this mingling of Italian, English, and Kentucky elements into a romantic and poetic unity.

UGO. There is a soldier named Ugo in Chapter xxxii etc. of Mrs. Radcliff’s Mysteries of Udolpho (from whose Montoni came Poe’s Marquis de Montom in The Assignation) and there was a famous Italian writer Ugo Foscolo (1778-1827) though I do not recall that Poe mentions him.

BENITO. Professor Campbell mentions a character of the name in Dryden’s Assignation.

RUPERT is perhaps too common a name for comment.

Scene I. With Poe’s opening scene note his remarks in a criticism of Mrs. Mowatt’s Fashion in B. J., March 29,1845 (H. xii, 120,l 4f) “The denouément should in all cases be full of action and nothing else. Whatever cannot be explained by such action should be communicated at the opening of the play. “

1. The “hiccup” is extra-metrical except perhaps in line 89.

8. For a similar description of a drunken man with the hiccoughs cf. Bon-Bon (H. ii, 139). A buffo-singer is a singer in comic opera, or of burlesque songs. The compound is not in the N. E. D. but is in the latest Standard Dictionary.

28. The student may well apply this very quotable line to the author, and recall that the description of the effect of liquor in Hop Frog (H. vi, 220, 1. 14 etc.) was drawn from personal experience. Compare the words of Messrs. Williamson and Burns, editors of the Weekly Universe in a letter to George W. Eveleth, August 17, 1847, quoted by Eveleth to Poe, January 11, 1848. (Cf. my Letters from George W. Eveleth to Edgar Allan Poe, p. 17 — also in Bulletin of N. Y. Public Library March 1922, vol. xxvi, p. 179) “he is a gentleman-a man of fine taste, and of warm impulses, with a generous heart. The little eccentricities of his character are never offensive except when he is drunk. “ Thomas Holley Chivers felt that Poe put much of himself into his characters, and apparently sings a dirge for Poe under the name ‘Politian’ in The Vigil in Aiden (Eonchs of Ruby, New York, Spalding and Shepherd, 1851, pp. 5-26), though “Politian” is merely a conventional name for a poet in his Isadore (1. c. p. 97-102, quoted in part as early as Feb. 21, 1847 in a letter to Poe, H. xvii, 280). In a note to VI, 13 W. L. Hughes (loc. cit. p. 263) says in substance that “Like all great writers, Poe gave the characters he created his personal sentiments and sensations — had he not often given some such answer to friends who reproached him etc. “ While Poe did put much of his personality into his characters, he also based them in no small measure on the romantic figures in the Kentucky Tragedy, and many phrases and actions are copied from life. Lauvrière (Edgar Poe, p. 370) in his anxiety to trace his misconception of Poe’s personality in all his works, relegates Sharp and Beauchamp to a footnote, as not materially affecting the case, and then produces a criticism of the play “of the imagination all compact. “

43. This line is strangely like Chamberlayne s Love’s Victory l. 273.

Yet though the grief sit heavy on our souls,

and this play, reprinted with Pharronida, London 1820, may have been known to Poe. The lines attributed to Pharronida in the motto to William Wilson [page 62:] I could not find in the poem, but there is in it so much of Conscience, one suspects Poe erred through, faulty memory rather than intent.

43-44. Probably reminiscent of Vergil’s Æneid, vi, 100-101

ea frena furenti

concutit et stimulos sub pectore vertit Apollo.

In Æneid vi, 78-80, Apollo is compared to a rider on the Sibyl’s spirit, and compare Servius’ commentary on the lines. Poe quotes from Servius on Æneid V, 9S in his motto to The Island of the Fay.

49. In a cancelled passage following this line is Poe’s first poetic use of the famous refrain of the Raven, “nevermore. “ Compare with these lines IV, 77 f., and note two passages from Beauchamp’s Confession. “She [Miss Cook] sternly refused to make any acquaintances or even to receive the society or visits of her former acquaintances” (p. 9); and “She said’she could never be happy in society again. “‘ (p. 10). There are similar passages in her Letters.

54. Miss Cook wrote (Letters p. 60) after her betrayal of suffering “my heart to be irrecoverably lost and blighted by one so little to be trusted — so little worthy of my affections. But, whom I yet love. “ There is similar phraseology in Ballad (a poem in S. L. M. Aug. 1835 believed by Professor Woodberry and others to be Poe’s first draft for Bridal Ballad) ll. 31-32

And tho’ my poor heart be broken,

It will love her, love her yet

while Poe (H. xiii, 21) praises a poem by Mrs. Osgood (Song CVII in her Poems, 1850, p. 457) which has a kind of refrain “She loves him yet.”

67. Cf. Proverbs, xvi, 18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. “

74f. Cf. V 45, and Poe’s earlier Autography (H. xv, 140) “we are British, but not particularly British.... This is a riddle which you may be able to read hereafter. “

92. An interesting essay might be written on Poe’s puns and plays upon words. A good many are listed by Professor Campbell (p. 265) but there are more than twenty-five in the essay Enigmatical and Conundrum-ical recently discovered by Professor John M. Manly in Alexander’s Weekly Messenger, Dec, 18, 1839, (vol. iii, No. So). And there is a curious story in The Cosmopolitan Art Journal (New York, Dec. 1858, vol. iii, p. 51) which perhaps may be told here.

“Poe once was dunned savagely for a grocer’s bill, long overdue. [On finally paying it] “There, sir!” said he, “grow, sir, you grocer puppy, into a dog, sir, and may you then be dogged, sir, as you have dogged Poe, sir. Now, go sir, and be ——— to you. “ This, properly expressed, would look very like a Poe-stanza.”

From other references in the periodical it is clear the editor was a great admirer of Poe, who, as early as July 1856 advocated the erection of a monument to Poe, and was eager to learn about him, as well as to praise him (see Honor to Genius in the March 1857 issue, vol. i, 83; Remembrance of the Dead in the next (June) issue, vol. i, 11,2 etc.) and tells the above story as fact. Whether perfectly authentic or not it shows Poe had a reputation for punning. [page 63:]

105. A zecchin, zecchino, or sequin was a gold coin worth about $2.29, first coined in Venice about 1280, and down to the 19th Century, also issued elsewhere, as in Modena and Savoy.

II 1-2. Cf. The Cask of Amontillado (H. vi, 175) “Ha! ha! ha! — he! he! he! — a very good joke indeed — an excellent jest. “

24. Cf. Why the Little Frenchman (H. iv, 117) “his riverence, Sir Pathrick O’Grandison, Baronitt.”

28. “Between you and I” is retained, because San Ozzo (III, 20) is called a “fellow low-born. “ But Poe in his revision corrected Jacinta’s grammar in VIII, 38, (see Variorum) and an error of like nature of which he was himself guilty in early versions of Four Beasts in One (H. ii, 204 l. 33)

33f. Cf. Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy Part III, Sect. I, Memb. i, Subsect. 2 On the Objects of Love for “birds of a feather” which has not necessarily a bad connotation, though it has here.

38. Cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, The Maid’s Tragedy, I, ii, 70-72,

You do me wrong

A most unmanly wrong, and I am slow

In taking vengeance; but be well advis’d.

45. Cf. Othello V, ii, 345, “one who loved not wisely, but too well. “

54. Cf. Keats, Lamia, ii, 1-2

Love in a hut, with water and a crust

Is — Love forgive us! — cinders, ashes, dust.

74. Cf. The Fall of the House of Usher (H. iii, 275, 1. 17) “the Usher race, all time-honoured as it was.”

75. Cf. King . John, III, i, 313 f.

Blanche. How shall I see thy love, what motive may

Be stronger with thee than the name of wife?

Constance. That which upholdeth him that thee upholds

His honor; O, thine honor, Lewes, thine honor!

Poe seems to echo King John again, IV, 94; 107; VII, 84

92. Salermo is clear in the MS, it is however probably an error for Salerno, a town in Italy famous for its wine.

III. The first scene in the 1845 selections.

23f. Cf. Polonius’ speech, Hamlet, I, iii, 70-75

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy

But not express’t in fancy: rich, not gaudy,

For the apparel oft proclaims the man

And they in France of the best rank and station

Are most select and generous chief in that.

35-36. Cf. Notes to VI, 97-98.

45f. Cf. the descriptions of Politian with that of the hero of The Assignation (H. ii, 109 ff.) “Ill-fated and mysterious man! bewildered in the brilliancy of thine own imagination, and fallen in the flames of thine own youth .... squandering away a life of magnificent meditation in that city of dim visions, thine own Venice.... . Who then shall call thy conduct into question? who blame thee for thy visionary hours, or denounce those occupations as a wasting away of life, which were but the overflowings of thine everlasting energies?” (H. ii, 113) “the graceful person of a very young man, with the sound of whose name the greater part of Europe was [page 64:] then ringing. “ (H. ii, i 15) “Not that the spirit of each rapid passion failed, at any time, to throw its own distinct image upon the mirror of that face — but that the mirror, mirror-like, retained no vestige of the passion, when the passion had departed .... . Report had spoken of his possessions in terms which I had even ventured to call terms of ridiculous exaggeration....” (H. ii, 118, I. 5) “the unexpected eccentricity of his address and manner.... .” (H. ii, 122 I. 8) “the person of whom I speak was not only by birth, but in education, an Englishman.”

54-55. Cf. Ligeia (H. ii, 253, l. 33 f.) “I have spoken of the learning of Ligeia: it was immense — such as I have never known in woman. Indeed upon any theme of the most admired, because simply the most abstruse of the boasted erudition of the Academy, have I ever found Ligeia at fault?.... where breathes the man who has traversed, and successfully, all the wide areas of moral, physical, and mathematical science?

65. This confusion of the senses, termed by psychologists “synasthesia” is commonly found in the poets, especially Shelley. In Poe’s works note Tamerlane (1827)11. 372-373, Al Aaraaf, n, 47, Poe’s notes to those passages, a paragraph in Marginalia from the Democratic Review, November 1844 (H. xvi, 17) and a long passage in The Colloquy of Monos and Una (H. iv, 207).

67. Identical with V, 78.

IV. From this scene, the second in the 1845 selections, Poe accused Longfellow of plagiarizing a scene (II, iv) in the Spanish Student. Poe’s discussion from the Broadway Journal may be found in H. xii, 96 f. W. L. Hughes (Contes inédits p. 255) remarks that, well-founded or not, the accusation is more probable than many of Poe’s charges of like nature, and the similarities are certainly striking. The variants show that in quoting the play in the Broadway Journal, Poe read from the original MS, not the slightly revised S. L. M. version.

3-4. Cf. VIII, 31 f

6-7. Quoted with slight changes from Milton’s Comus ll. 632-633

But in another country, as he said,

Bore a bright golden flowre, but not in this soyle. (K. C.)

8-10. Translated from Homer’s Odyssey iv, 566-568

06 vtcper6s, o6r’ ap Xetywv aoMs oure 7ror’ b,uopos,

XA’ aiel Zc~pbpoto kvyb avelovros a~ras

‘Olceav6s avi77vw ava4,bXew avOpworovs.

Professor Campbell and I have failed to discover the source of Poe’s lines in any English translation accessible to us, and while many translations of parts of the Homeric poems into English unknown to us must exist, I incline to the belief Poe translated the lines himself. It is notable that lines 9-10 rhyme, which suggests we may have a portion of a school exercise in rhymed translation revamped. The lines are echoed in ll. 11-14 of the newly found Saturday Visiter poem To ——— (Sleep on etc.)

In heaven thou hadst thy birth

Where comes no storm

To mar the bright, the perfect flow’r,

But all is beautiful and still. [page 65:]

12-13. Seemingly a distinct story.

15. Lalage reads from Webster’s Duchess of Malfi, IV, ii, 261-263 with slight changes. (K. C.) In a review of Lamb’s Specimens of the English Dramatic Poets in the Broadway Journal, Nov. 15, 1845 (vol. ii, 288) Poe again quotes the passage. While indebted to Lamb for many quotations from the Elizabethans, Poe seems to have known some through other sources, since he cites passages not in Lamb, on occasion, like the line from Marston’s llntonio and Mellida (Part I, Act III, ii, 204) erroneously ascribed to The Malcontent in Loss of Breath (H. ii, 161).

23. Lalage reads of the death of Cleopatra, whether in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra V, ii, or Dryden’s All for Love V, 490 f, is hard to say. Poe quotes a very famous phrase from the prologue to the latter play in his Letter to B ——— (Preface to Poems, New York, 1831, p. 21; also in S. L. M. version reprinted H. vii, p. xxxix) and names it in the Saturday Courier version of The Duc de l’Omelette, and see also introductory notes on VI. Cleopatra’s attendants furnish names for the characters in Poe’s dialogue The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion (1839) but W. L. Hughes (Contes inédits p. 257) remarks that Shakespeare and Plutarch (Parallel Lives, Antony, lxxxv, 4) both spell the names Iras and Charmian.

31f. “Balm in Gilead” (Jeremiah, viii, 22) is mentioned also in The Raven 1. 89. Cf. the phrasing with The Angel of the Odd (H. vi, 111, 1. 20) “to her wounded spirit I offered the balm of my vows.”

34-35. Quoted from Peele’s David and Bethsabe ll. 46-47, and used again in To ——— (Not long ago etc.) 11. 9-10.

By angels dreaming in the moonlist “dew

That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill. “ [K. C.]

Peele’s lines are based on Psalm exxxiii, 3 “As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore,” and are also alluded to in Poe’s Lines to Sarah, ll. 16-17.

When from thy balmy lips I drew

Fragrance as sweet as Hermia’s dew.

Poe quotes a different passage from Peele’s play in the review cited in my note to l. 15.

57. The story of the farmer who cherished a viper in his bosom and was bitten for his pains is found among Æsop’s Fables. A copy of Æsopi Fabulae in Mr. Whitty’s collection is the only one of Poe’s schoolbooks known to survive. Notable literary uses of the story are in Theognis,1. 602; Shakespeare’s Richard II, III, ii, 131; Chapman’s Bussy D’Ambois, III, ii, 377-378 (Poe quotes from the play in The Assignation and the review cited on I. 15) and especially Dryden’s All for Love IV, 467-469.

Draw near, you well-joined wickedness, you serpents,’

Whom I have in my kindly bosom warm’d

Till I am stung to death.

See notes to line 23

60. Cf. VI, 60. Poe may have had in mind the celebrated epigram, attributed to Plato (No. 4) or Julian of Egypt — on the mirror of Lais. [page 66:]

[[Greek text]]

to which I may append a recent anonymous version, given in ward Capps From Homer to Theocritus (New York, 1901), p. 154,

I, Lais, who on Conquered Greece looked down with haughty pride,

I, to whose courts in other days a score of lovers hied,

O, ever-lovely Venus! now this mirror give to thee,

For my present self I would not and my past I cannot see!

Professor La Rue Van Hook calls my attention to other modern translations, by Walter Leaf, Little Poems from the Greek, p. 24; and Mackail, Select Epigrams from the Greek Mythology p. 138. Poe might have seen several Latin and French versions in Sallengré, Mémoires de Littérature, xviii, a work mentioned in Pinakidia, and a possible source for a quotation in The Island of the Fay (H. iv, 196).

66. Cf. The Premature Burial (H. v,271 1-10) “The Cherub Hope” and VII, 81, “The Angel Hope. “

67. Cf. Blair’s Grave ll. 109-110

Of joys departed

Not to return, how painful the remembrance.

and Burns, The Banks o’ Doon (2nd version) I. 7

Thou minds me o’ departed joys.

Poe’s! A Dream ll. 1-2.

In visions of the dark night

I have dreamed of joy departed

and Al Aaraaf (1831) I 23f (more similar than other versions 1. 8)

Joy so peacefully departs

That its echo still doth dwell.

67-68. Cf. To Zante l. 6

How many thoughts of what entombèd hopes.

73. Miss Cook had a counterpart of Lalage’s monk in her friend to whom the Letters are addressed — cf. the note (l. c. p, 37) where “E. R. “ writes “I tried to show her that [a spirit of revenge] was both unwomanly and unchristian. I begged her to consult her bible; for in that alone she would find happiness and peace; and to struggle to subdue her violent passions, which might yet lead her into the commission of dreadful errors. “

76. Cf. Coleridge, Ancient Mariner IV, 21f and Wordsworth Guilt and Sorrow, xxvii, 8 “I could not pray. “ Poe quoted from the next stanza in Wordsworth’s poem in his January 1837 review of Bryant in S. L. M. (H. ix, 276.)

76ff. Cf. Tamerlane (1827) l. 339f, where the dying king says,

The sound of revelry by night

Comes o’er me, with the mingled voice

Of many with a breast as light

As if ‘twere not the dying hour

Of one, in whom they did rejoice. [page 67:]

In the Wilmer MS Poe changed l. 339 to “The sound of revelry, to-night” to lessen the borrowing from Byron’s Childe Harold III, xxi,1, but in 1829 cancelled the passage.

77. Cf. a line in cancelled passage after I, 49

To the frightful sounds of merriment below.

84. Cf. note on “Lalage” in Cast. This mourning for the past is constantly emphasized in Miss Cook’s Letters.


85. Cf. Tamerlane (18,27) 11. 220f

Gush’d shoutingly a thousand rills, [which....]

Embrac’d two hamlets — those our own —

Peacefully happy — yet alone —

and also Poe’s letter to Mrs. Whitman, Oct. 18,1848 (Last Letters p. 28, l. 11) “the rivulet that ran by the very door” and Landor’s Cottage (H. vi, 261, 11. 23f).

86ff. In Beauchamp’s Confession p. 99 it is said of Miss Cook that “father, brothers, and friends, by a most strange succession of calamities, had been swept into the grave,” yet perhaps the parallel is not wholly accidental to Kirke White’s Sonnet, supposed to have been addressed by a Female Lunatic to a Lady ll. 2-8.

And thou art fair, and thou, like me, art young:

Oh, may thy bosom never, never know

The pangs with which my wretched heart is wrung!

I had a mother once — a brother too —

(Beneath yon yew my father rests his head;)

I had a lover once, — and kind and true,

But mother, brother, lover, all are fled.

94. Cf. King fohn IV, iii, 67 “a vow, a holy vow. “

107-8. Cf. King John III, iv, 43-44

Pandulph. Lady, you utter madness and not sorrow!

Constance. Thou art unholy to belie me so.

105f. The custom of using a sword or dagger as a crucifix was widespread. Poe must have been familiar with the stage tradition in Hamlet I, in, where the actor holds his sword before him as a cross while following the ghost. Poe quotes from Hamlet’s speech to the ghost in The Literary Life of Thingum Bob (H. v, 6,1. S).

108-9. Cf. The Assignation (H. ii, 124, 1. 25) “his lips were livid — his lately beaming eyes were riveted in death. “

111. Lalage swears Castiglione’s death, not her own — Lauvrière (p. 370) unmindful of Poe’s use of the facts of the Beauchamp tragedy, curiously misunderstands the passage.

V. Castiglione seems in Hamlet mood in this scene, as Professor Trent observes, especially 1. 8f.

19. Cf. III 62 “nor learned nor mirthful he. “

36. Cf. Hamlet V, i, 210 “your flashes of merriment. “

40. Cf. Midsummer Night’s Dream V, i, 1-2.

Hippolita. Tis strange my Theseus that these lovers speak of

Theseus. More strange than true

and Hamlet 1, ii, 22o-221; Poe frequently quotes Byron’s famous “Truth is stranger than fiction” (Don Juan XIV, ci, i-2) — e. g. How to Write a Blackwood [page 68:] Article (H. ii 2741. 34 f), 1002nd Tale of Scheherazade (H. vi, 78), Von Kempelen and his Discovery (H. vi, 250 l. 18), Marginalia, (H. xvi, 25).

45. Cf. I, 74-75.

50. Poe uses’ honest” not in the Elizabethan sense of “chaste” but the more modern “honorable. “ See his notes on Dryden’s translation of Vergil’s Georgics II, 392 in Pinakidia, (H. xiv, 48), and Marginalia (H. xvi, 47); and a comment on “homines honesti” in The Purloined Letter (H. vi, 44).

78. Identical with III, 67.

VI. This, the third scene in the 1845 selections, is one of the best in the play. It is reminiscent however of Shakespeare, especially of Hamlet, though the similarities are rarely close enough for annotation; and my friend Mr. H. W. Wells believes Poe had in mind Dryden’s All for Love I, i, end, — where Antony is urged to activity by Ventidius. See notes on IV, 23.

6-7. Perhaps modeled on Hamlet, III, iv, 8-9.

Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

Hamlet. Mother, you have my father much offended.

13. See note to I, 28.

21. Cf. The Murders in the Rue Morgue (H. iv, 151, l. 33) “we then busied our souls in dreams” and The Colloquy of Monos and Una (H. iv, 205, ll. 12-13) “we wrapped our spirits, daily, in dreams. “

22. Professor Campbell compares Moore’s poem beginning “Go, where Glory waits thee. “

23. Professor Campbell notes the source of “trumpet-tongued” in Macbeth I, vii, 19.

24. Cf. The Fall of the House of Usher (H. iii, 289, 1. 33) “listening to some imaginary sound” and The Assignation (H. ii, 120, 11. 2-5) “he seemed to be listening.... to sounds which must have had existence in his imagination alone. “

25. Cf. Wordsworth, To the Cuckoo, ll. 3-4, 1S-16.

O! Cuckoo, shall I call thee bird

Or but a wandering voice....

No bird but an invisible thing,

A voice, a mystery.

One may also comparePoe’sRaven 11. 27-30, and remark that Poe twice quotes the saying “Vox et praeterea nihil” (criticism of Mathews, Graham’s, February 1842, H. xi, 33f, and Marginalia, H. xvi, 172) which in the latter instance he wrongly ascribes to Catullus, perhaps confusing it with the one nightingale mentioned by that poet, (lxiv, 9-11 quoted in the notes on VI, 103 f.). The saying is really the Latin translation of one of Plutarch’s,4pothegmate Laconica (incert. xiii) and Lipsius at the beginning of his. Adversus Dialogistam Liber has “Lacon quidem ad lusciniam, ‘vox es, praeterea nihil.’ “ See Notes and Queries to s, ii, 281, and 12 s, viii, 269 for Professor Bensley’s comment on King’s Classical and Foreign Quotations No. 3116.

25, 56-7. These lines are used as the motto of Mrs. Whitman’s poem The Phantom Voice first published in Graham’s Magazine vol. xxxvi, p. 91, January 1850; then in her Hours of Life (Providence, George H. Whitney, 1853, pp. 85-88); and her Poems (Boston, Houghton, Osgood & Co., 1879, pp. 83-8S, where it is dated “November 1849”). The Poems have been re-issued [page 69:] — “2nd edition,” Providence, Preston and Rounds Co. 1894,”Third Edition,” 1913 from the Boston plates.

29. Cf. opening of The Pit and the Pendulum (H. v, 67, l. t) “I was sick — sick unto death with that long agony. “

31. One recalls Antony’s use of “Bear with me” in Julius Caesar III, ii.

34. “Eternal city” is first found in Tibullus II, v, 23, and again in Ovid, Fasti, III, 72 — see Professor F. G. Moore’s article On Urbs Sacra and Urbs Æterna in Transactions, Am. Philological Assn. xxv, 34f.

40. Cf. The City in the Sea, l. 49.

The hours are breathing faint and low.

and Shelley’s Indian Serenade 1. 3.

When the winds are breathing low

Poe quoted this poem in The Poetic Principle (H. xiv, 269).

41. This beautiful and quotable line was perhaps suggested to Poe by a passage in Wm. Elliot’s translation of The Visions of Quevedo, Philadelphia, 1832, in The Palace of Love (p. 73) where it is said Opportunity “took for a cravat an hour glass with golden grains” (a source for certain parts of Bon-Bon may also be discovered in this book, of which a copy purporting to have been Poe’s is preserved). Other parallels in Poe’s works are A Dream within a Dream ll. 14-15

I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand.

To — (Sleep on etc.) ll. 15-16

And golden sands proclaim the hour

Which brings no ill.

while an opposite idea is found in Al Aaraaf, i, 140.

The sands of Time grow dimmer as they run.

Poe’s line is earlier than Tennyson’s Locksley Hall (1842) ll. 31-32.

Love took up the glass of Time, and turn’d it in his glowing hands;

Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands

The parallel is clearly accidental, for Tennyson could hardly have seen Politian prior to 1845 — but a possible echo of Poe is in Miss A. D. Woodbridge’s Sonnet (Godey’s Lady’s Book, January 1844, vol, xxviii, p. 1) I. 3.

Thy smile hath chang’d to gold time’s flowing sand.

Another possible echo of Poe is in the second stanza of The Island of the Soul, a poem (so full of Poesque phraseology as to suggest that it was written after a rereading of Poe) by Thomas Dunn English (to be found in his Select Poems, Newark, 1894, p. 547; and first printed in the N. Y. Independent. )

45-46. Perhaps reminiscent of Milton’s Paradise Lost, ii, 400-402

The soft delicious air

To heal the scar of these corrosive fires

Shall breathe her balm.

(Note use of “corrosive” in XI, 39.)

45-50. Professor Campbell would see in The Merchant of Venice V, i, a remote parallel to certain lines here.

52-57. This passage is echoed in 1. 13f of The Beleaguered Heart by Mrs. Sarah [Estelle] Anna Lewis: — [page 70:]

The softest — saddest Music that

O’er mortal ear e’er stole

Up from the Hearthstone of the Heart,

Or, the Altars of the Soul.

The poem was first published in the Democractic [[Democratic ]] Review March 1848 (vol. xxii, 270) and later in her Child of the Sea, and Other Poems, N. Y. 1848, p. 156f and Records of the Heart and Other Poems, N. Y. 1857, p. 199f. In an unsigned review of Mrs. Lewis in Graham’s for April 1 849 (by Poe, as is shown in Stoddard’s Recollections p. 159) some other lines from the poem appear — for Poe’s relation to Mrs. Lewis’ poems see Whitty p. 210, and Mrs. Gove-Nichols, Mary Lyndon, N. Y. 1855, p. 342.

52-60. Perhaps influenced by Shelley’s Fragments of an Unfinished Drama, ll. 100-102.

Your breath is like soft music, your words are

The echoes of a voice which on my heart

Sleeps like a melody of early days.

55. Cf. Morella (H. ii, 29,1. 20) “oppressed me as a spell” [earlier reading “like”] .

57. The phrase “heart of hearts” is used again by Poe, VII, 51; To My Mother 1. 7; Landor’s Cottage (H. vi, 269,1. 5); and letter of Oct. 1, 1848 to Mrs. Whitman (Last Letters, p. 15, l. 15). “Heart of heart” is in Hamlet III, ii, 68; and see also Poe’s or closely akin phrases in Wordsworth, Ode on the Intimations of Immortality l. 190; and Shelley, Epipsychidion l. 385; Fragment, A Soul Known 1. 2; Cenci V, ii, 126.

60. Cf. IV, 60. To the meter of the speech beginning here Judge Beverley Tucker objected in a letter to Poe of Dec. 5, 1835 (H. xvii, 21 f). See notes on Verse.

70f. Lalage’s song is A Suit to his Unkind Mistress not to forsake him by Sir Thomas Wyatt — stanza ii, slightly garbled. (K. C.) The poem, long a favorite with anthologists, perhaps influenced Ballad (ascribed to Poe) 1. 9.

Oh! was it weal to leave me?

I find Wyatt’s lines reprinted in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier Feb. 8, 1840, at a time Poe may have been working for that paper.

97-98. “Your” clashes with “thee,” as in III, 35 and 36, and the Examiner proof sheet text of To ——— (A dream within a dream) ll. 1 and 2. Poe valued euphony above consistency however, and in the MS draft of his Prose Writers of America [[Living Writers of America ]] wrote “He who is consistent is a fool. “

103-104. This passage is without quotation marks in MS and S. L. M., and as yet has not been definitely located in the works of any other writer. I half believe that it is a reminiscence only — perhaps of Catullus lxiv, 9-11.

audiero numquam tua facto loquentem

Numquam ego te, vita frater amabilior,

Aspiciam posthac?

for Poe’s inaccurate reference to a nightingale in Catullus suggests a familiarity with this poem. See note to l. 18.

110. Cf. To Helen (1848) ll. 21-24

Was it not Fate that, on this July midnight

Was it not Fate (whose name is also Sorrow) [page 71:]

That bade me pause before that garden gate,

To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses?

In this connection it may be well to observe that although Mrs. Whitman destroyed or lost her MS copy of To Helen, I believe she preserves a reading from it (1. 22) “whose earthly name is Sorrow” in her quotation of the line in her To Arcturus, written in . April 1. 19 (Graham’s Magazine, June 1850, vol. xxxvi, 383; Hours of Life, p. 80; Poems, p. 97).

VII. This scene, the fourth among the 1845 selections, termed by Professor Campbell “the most spirited in the play,” seems in great part based on fact; compare the following from Miss Cook’s Letters, pages 74-75:

“I felt myself driven from society, and an object of scorn and derision.... He offered me his hand. Yes, forlorn and abandoned as I was, he was willing to become my husband as he had been my friend. What could I do? I addressed him candidly and openly. You know my history, said I, and my shame, if you are willing to receive to your bosom a poor outcast, whom the world has stigmatised as guilty and polluted, with a wounded heart and a blighted name, then take me. I am yours forever. My dear Ann, he replied, I regard you as the innocent victim of the most detestable treachery.... . I have long admired the cultivation of your mind, and the proud dignity and

elevation of your soul. You were calculated to grace the most brilliant and the most elevated circles of society.... . I am proud to be the object of your choice, humbled as you may be in your own estimation, or.... in that of an unfeeling world. I have never felt for any woman what I feel for you; my attachment is deep, sincere, and ardent, and while we live it shall never become extinct.... . He had given me sufficient proofs of the truth of what he asserted. “

This is in a way confirmed by the following from the statement To the Public of Mrs. Eliza T. Sharp:

“Beauchamp married Miss Cook with a full knowledge of all the circumstances of her shame and of the charges which had been so widely circulated against my husband. It is said he laughed at the delicacy of his family who would have dissuaded him from forming this connection, and [he] evinced the most perfect indifference upon the subject of her character. 16-18. Poe’s use of rhyme in passages of high emotion finds parallels below, l. 100, and in some of the prose tales, e. g. Morella (H. ii, 30,11. 27-28); Eleonora (H. iv, 243, 1. 29); The Masque of the Red Death (H. iv, 258, 1. 10). He uses it elsewhere in the tales for humorous effects as in Lionizing (H. ii, 40, 11. 2-8); The Scythe of Time (early version of A Predicament, H. ii, 294, I. 31); Von Jung (early version of Mystification, H. iv, 103 I. 16), X-ing a Paragrab (H. vi, 232,1. 34f) and House Furniture (H. xiv,104,1. 20) — See also Poe’s remarks on the distinct uses of rhyme for poetic and humorous effect in his criticisms of Brainerd [[Brainard]] and Longfellow in Graham’s (February and March, 1842, H. xi, 24f, 76).

20. In The Poetic Principle (H. xiv, 282) Poe says of lines 7-8 of Moore’s song “Come rest in this bosom “ (which he probably here had in mind)

I know not, I ask not, if guilt’s in that heart,

I but know that I love thee, whatever thou art

that they are “lines in which a sentiment is conveyed that embodies the all in all of the divine passion of love — a sentiment which, perhaps, has [page 72:] found its echo in more, and in more passionate, human hearts than any other single sentiment ever embodied in words,” while in a letter of October 18, 1848 to Mrs. Whitman (Last Letters, p. 24) he calls them the “very noblest lines in all human poetry. “ See also his remarks on Longfellow’s Spanish Student (H. xiii, 68).

28. Cf. The Happiest Day, l. 2, “My seared and blighted heart” — both passages are no doubt reminiscent of Byron’s Fare thee well, xiv, 3 “Seared in heart and lone and blighted” but Miss Mary Cook wrote (Ann Cook’s Letters p. 28) “My heart is seared and blasted .... but I cannot weep — my eyes are dry but my lips are parched and burning. “

32. “Ideal” is here used in the sense of “unreal,” from “idea” as opposed to “reality. “

38. Cf. XI, 64; and Tamerlane 1. 178.

On earth of all we hope in Heaven. [K. C. in part]

43-45. Cf. Poe’s letter to Mrs. Whitman Oct. 1, 1848 (Last Letters p. 1811. 4-5) “joyfully go down with you into the night of the grave. “ Both passages are probably reminiscent of Job vii, 9 “As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall rise up no more. “ In Poe’s Bible, the 16th verse of this chapter is marked in ink, supposedly by Poe himself. Beside the mark are pencilled the initials R. H. C., those I presume of Mrs. Cromwell, to whom Mrs. Clemm gave the Bible (see the New York Herald June 10, 1883). The Bible, printed by the American Bible Society, N. Y. 1846, 10th edition, small pica, 8 vo. is now preserved in the Poe Cottage at Fordham, where I examined it and found no other markings in ink, but in pencil were marked 2 Samuel xii, 16; St. Luke, xi, 2; xiv, 26; Galatians v, and vi, 14-18.

47. Cf. Letter to Mrs. Whitman Oct. I, 1848 (Last Letters, p. 11, ll. 25-27) “If ever, then, I dared to picture for myself a richer happiness, it was always connected with your image in Heaven. “

54-56. Cf. William Wilson (H. iii, 302,1. 5) “with step solemn and slow”; The Imp of the Perverse (cancelled passage after H. vi, 15211. 15-16) “I saw — or fancied that I saw — a vast and formless shadow that seemed to dog my footsteps, approaching me from behind, with a cat-like and stealthy pace,” and The Masque of the Red Death (H. iv, 256,1. 17) (with 1. 55) “this spectral image (which with a slow and solemn movement .... stalked to and fro among the waltzers. “

The motto to William Wilson

What say of it, what say of Conscience grim

That spectre in my path

is a possible source, though it does not occur, as Poe says it does in Chamberlayne’s Pharronida.

55. Echoed by Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewis, The Beleagured Heart, 1. 6. With a solemn step and slow.

57-58. The words in this line and the manner in which they are employed, seem, like “It is nothing but the wind in the chimney” of The Tell-Tale Heart (H. v, 90 1. 32f.) and the like l. 36 of The Raven, “‘Tis the wind and nothing more,” so strangely akin to the vainly reassuring replies of the father in Goethe’s famous Erlkönig, ll. 8, 16, [page 73:]

Mein Sohn, es ist ein Nebelstreif....

In diirren Blattern sauselt der Wind

that it seems worth while to cite them. The whole question of Poe’s Knowledge of German is a very complex one — it has been ably discussed by Gustav Gruener in Modern Philology, ii, I 25f and again in Palmer Cobb’s thesis on The Influence of E. T. A. Hoffmann on the Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, Chapel Hill, 1908, pp. 20-30 and passim, but the last word has not been said on the subject, for some important evidence was inaccessible to former writers. Poe quoted from Goethe’s Das veilchen ll. 19-20 in his motto to the version of The Visionary (The Assignation) in the Lady’s Book for January 1834, and quite possibly through Carlyle or Coleridge (not to mention Scott) had become interested in and dipped into the language — in a letter of Nov. 26, 1841 to F. W. Thomas (published in Ernest Dressel North’s Catalogue N. Y. October, 1905, item 357) he remarks “To the Latin and Greek proficient, the study of all additional languages is mere play” — or he may have used translations, for Monk Lewis had rendered Erlkönig. I do not believe any deep knowledge of German on Poe’s part can be proved, and some of Poe’s German “sources” must be given up; no man reading Washington Irving’s An Unwritten Drama of Lord Byron in The Gift for 1836 (to which Poe was a contributor) will seek farther for the origin of William Wilson, but I have met with no mention of this save in an article by Joel Benton, which was preserved in a newspaper clipping among the Poeana once owned by the late George P. Philes, sold recently at auction in this city, while one or two more of Poe’s most learned notes may be traced to non-German sources. E. g. the bit about Dichtkunst, Pinakidia No. 153 (H. xiv, 67) repeated in a criticism of Longfellow from Graham’s for April, 1842 (H. xi, 74) may be found in the English and probably the French version of Bielfeld’s Universal Erudition II, vi, 5. Yet Poe’s use of translated idioms and single words, nay his very emphasis on and repetition of the few simple points which betray how slight his knowledge was, also make it certain that there was “a little knowledge,” which in the case of a genius of Poe’s order cannot have been quite contemptible.

62-63. Cf. Dreams ll. 21-22,

‘Twas the chilly wind

Came o’er me in the night. [K. C.]

63. Cf. Shakespeare, Is You Like It, II, vii, I I I-112,

Under the shade of melancholy boughs

Lose and neglect the creeping sands of time.

65. Cf. Byron’s Bride of Abydos I, i, I (quoted in The Rationale of Verse H. xiv, 242),

Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle

in itself copied from Goethe’s Mignon’s Song “Kennst du das Land. “ From the allusion to Columbus we learn the play is laid about the year 1500. It seems that before the killing Beauchamp did announce his intention to go to Missouri (Confession p. 28).

69. Cf. To One in Paradise, l. 5.

All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers.

70. Poe’s ideal landscapes, in Eleonora, The Island of the Fay, and The Domain of Arnheim should be compared,, though there are no close verbal parallels. [page 74:]

78. Reminiscent of Baldazzar’s reproach VI, 4.

79. Cf. Beauchamp’s dramatic farewell to his dying wife (Appendix to Confession, p. 133).

She returned no answer. He felt of her pulse, and said, “Physicians, you have deceived me-she is dying. “ To the ladies who surrounded the bed she said “from you, ladies, I demand a tear of sympathy. “ He laid conversing with perfect composure, occasionally putting one hand upon his wife’s face and feeling her pulse with the other until he had felt the last throb. “Farewell,” said he, “child of sorrow — Farewell child of misfortune and persecution — You are now secure from the tongue of slander — For you I have lived; for you I die.” He then kissed her twice, and said, “I am now ready to go. “ [The italics are mine.] [This is related in much the same way in a note in Miss Cook’s Letters, p. 90; Hoffman’s Winter in the West, p. 342; Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia July 29, 1826, from Lexington Kentucky Reporter, July 7, 1826, and in some of the more recent articles.]

81. Cf. IV, 66 and note.

82-83. Cf. Letter to Mrs. Whitman, Oct. 18, 1848 (Last Letters p. 21, l. 4 etc.) “whom I love — by one at whose feet I knelt — I still kneel — in deeper worship than ever man offered to God. “

84. Cf. King John, III, iv, 104.

My life, my joy, my food, my all — the — world.

90f. Perhaps modeled on a speech of Dido, in Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage, V, 177 f

95-96. Cf. Arthur Gordon Pym (H. iii, 45,11. 18-22) “he would abandon me — he was gone! He would leave me to perish miserably, to expire in the most horrible and loathsome of dungeons — and one ward — one little syllable would save me — yet that single syllable I could not utter. “

100. See my notes to ll. 16-18 and cf. King Lear, II, iv, 22-23.

They durst not do’t

They could not, would not do’t.

VIII. 18. Cf. Tempest I, ii, 389 “sitting upon a bank. “

31. Cf. IV, 3-4

38-41. See notes to II, 28.

44. Cf. Twelfth Night II, v, 158 etc. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness” etc.

52. Cf. Bon Bon (H. ii, 1301. 12) “the particolored velvet of Genoa” and Landor’s Cottage (H. vi, 256, l. 19) where the grass is compared to “green Genoese velvet. “

IX. Much of this scene fifth and last in the 1845 selections is closely modelled on passages in Beauchamp’s Confession — the parallels are given below.

4. Poe frequently mentions Azrael, Mohammedan angel of death, as in the Saturday Courier version of Metzengerstein, and in Mesmeric Revelation (H. v, 254,1. 16) and Ligeia (H. ii, 255, l. 6). Compare his use of Aidenn in the Raven.

6. Paradisal is the oldest form of the adjective, used as early as 1560.

16. Cf. Macbeth I, iii, 39.

So fair and foul a day I have not seen. [page 75:]

38. Professor Campbell compares Addison’s Cato IV, iv, Plato, thou reasonest well and note The Merchant of Venice II, ii, 22

Conscience, say I, you counsel well.

44. Poe cancelled some lines here, hence the metrical imperfection (K. C.).

60-END. Cf. Beauchamp’s Confession, pp. 15-17 — a description of an encounter between Beauchamp and Sharp. [The latter said] “My friend.... I never can fight the friend of that worthy injured lady.... I never will raise my hand against you. “ [Beauchamp replied] “Now, sir, tell me, will you fight me a duel, (again raising my dagger) .... He then stepped back a step, and I thought from the turn of his eye, was preparing to run. I sprang forward and caught him by the breast of his coat, and said, “Now you damned villain, you shall die. “ He then fell upon his knees and said “My life is in your hands, my friend, I beg my life.... . . I then said “Get up, you coward, and go till I meet you in the street to-morrow;.... go arm yourself, for to-morrow I shall horsewhip you in the streets, and repeat it daily till you fight me a duel.... You are about such a whining coward, as I was told you were.... “ [Sharp said] “You are the favored possessor of that great and worthy woman’s love? Be it so, then, Here, take my life. I deserve it. But do not disgrace me in the streets. “.... [Beauchamp continues.] “I bade him begone from me, or I would abide his offer in one moment (starting towards him.)”

71f. Cf. Beauchamp’s poem The Death Scene ll. 17-18 (Confession p. 124)

I pause — but short as lightning’s gleam

The flash of Pity through my soul.

75. Cf. Confession, p. 35, where describing the actual murder Beauchamp says “I muttered in his face, ‘die, you villain.’ “

X. This scene shows Poe’s grotesque humor at a high level — grim enough in a way, it would yet, I think, be very comical if well acted.

1. “That’s flat” is an Elizabethan expression, “that’s final. “ San Ozzo perhaps plays on the other meaning of flat in the next lines — i. e. “stupid. “

15f. Cf. Marginalia (H. xvi, 175) “it would sing with the Opera heroine

The flattering error cease to prove,

Oh, let me be deceased!”

and compare also the early version of Loss of Breath (S. L. M., i, 738, col, 2) “yet never for one moment did I imagine that 1 was not actually dead. “ Cf. also A Tale of the Ragged Mountains (H. v, 172, l. 34 f.) “You are not prepared to maintain that you are dead?” where the person questioned. gives no definite answer; but contrast The Pit and the Pendulum, (H. v, 71, l. 18f.) “[To suppose oneself really dead] notwithstanding what we read in fiction is altogether inconsistent with real existence. “

27-29. Cf. Romeo and Juliet, IV, v, 23

She’s dead, deceased, she’s dead; alack the day!

66. Paugh — the N. E. D. records no example of this spelling, though “pah” is common. [page 76:]

67ff. Cf. Bon-Bon (H. ii, 143) where Satan remarks to the drunken Bon-Bon, “You must know that, in a climate so sultry as mine, it is frequently impossible to keep a spirit alive for more than two or three hours; and after death, unless pickled immediately, (and a pickled spirit is not good), they will-smell-you understand, eh?”

70ff. Compare the conclusion of The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar (H. vi, 1661. 20) for an example of the lengths to which Poe’s charnel fancy could go, and the almost equally gruesome passage in Arthur Gordon Pym, (H. III, 140, ll. 15-18).

XI. This, the last scene of the play to be written, is made up principally from Poe’s poem The Coliseum — upon the early history of which, as a separate poem, much light was thrown by Professor John C. French in Modern Language Notes for May 1917 (vol. xxxiii, p. 257f.) in an article called Poe and theBaltimore Saturday Visiter.’ Professor French was the first to consult the unique file of the Visiter in the possession of Miss Elizabeth Cloud Seip of Catonsville, Md., and to give exact information where tradition had become confused. While I am deeply indebted to Professor French’s article I have personally examined the Poe texts of the Visiter through the courtesy of Miss Seip and my notes on the variants are more correct than any before published.

On June 15, 1833 was first announced an offer of Premiums of “50 dollars for the best Tale and 25 dollars for the best Poem, not exceeding one hundred lines” offered before the first of October, to the Visiter. The paper, formerly edited by Poe’s friend Lambert A. Wilmer (see his Our Press Gang, Phila. 1866, p. 22 etc.) was at the time conducted for the proprietors Charles Ferree Cloud and Wm. P. Pouder, on South Gay St., one door from the corner of Market St., by John H. Hewitt, whose relations with Poe were not cordial; but the contest was judged by John P. Kennedy, John H. B. Latrobe, and Dr. James H. Miller. According to an entry in Kennedy’s Journal, Nov. 2, 1833, the committee met to judge early in October, having about one hundred tales and poems, (Killis Campbell’s Kennedy Papers, 1917, p. 25). Poe submitted several tales and at least one poem, and to quote his own letter of July 20, 1835 to T. W. White (H. xvii, 11) concerning the Premiums “both.... were awarded to me. The award was, however, altered, and the Premium for Poetry awarded to the second best in consideration of my having obtained the higher Prize. This Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Latrobe told me themselves. “ White printed in the Messenger for August (vol. i, 716) an editorial note embodying the substance of this, together with a letter from the judges of the contest which had appeared in the Visiter of October 12, 1833. (See Stoddard’s edition of Poe, vol. i, 73, and consult Latrobe’s account of the proceedings of the committee in Edgar Allan Poe, a Memorial Volume, edited by Sara Sigourney Rice, Baltimore, 1877, pp. 57-60.)

The decision of the judges, as announced October 12, gave the prize for the tale to Poe’s MS Found in a Bottle, and for the poem to The Song of the Wind by Henry Wilton, the pen-name assumed by Hewitt, who, as the announcement of the Visiter permitted, chose to receive his prize in the form of a silver goblet. (See Hewitt’s Shadows on the Wall or Glimpses of the Past, Baltimore, Turnbull Brothers, 1877, p. 154.) The winning tale and poem [page 77:] were printed October 19, while the Coliseum appeared on the 26th. Hewitt’s poem of 68 lines, which has been twice reprinted (in his Miscellaneous Poems, Baltimore, N. Hickman,1838, p. 74; and Shadows on the Wall, p. 157) need hardly be given here in full, but since both volumes are rare, the reader may like to see as a sample the concluding lines.

But, shrink not; I’ve gathered the sweets of the flowers,

And, laden with perfume, I come to thee now,

To kiss the dew-lips of the rosy-wing’d hours,

And play with the dark locks that shadow thy brow.

Some of the poem is better, some worse than this-the earlier lines seem to echo more definitely Shelley’s Cloud — on the whole one cannot blame Poe for wanting Hewitt to renounce the honor and keep the money as Gill (Life of Edgar Allan Poe, pp. 69-70) relates. Hewitt evidently disliked Poe both before and after the contest, but wrote a half apologetic poem At the Grave of Edgar A. Poe which may be read in Shadows on the Wall, p. 240 f.

Poe’s poem, his most rhetorical production, except the Raven, was early popular, and besides appearing in full in two of Griswold’s anthologies, extracts (lines 22-28, 33-39) from the Poets and Poetry of America version were printed in Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale’s anthology The Poet’s Offering for 1850 (Philadelphia, compiled 1849 — p. 460, s. v. “Ruins”). For the various authorized publications of the poem see the Bibliography. Poe himself rated the poem sixth in a list of his six best poems yet written, in a letter of July 2, 1844 to James Russell Lowell (Woodberry ii, 94).

I have stated that Poe incorporated the poem in Politian because the meter is very different from that of the rest of the play; and because a careful study of the variants seems to me conclusive. The version in the play contains one simile not in the Visiter version, but given in all the others (ll. 52-53), while the abortive readings (11. 19-24 etc.) are to be expected since a study of I. 43 tends to show that the Politian version, and that of the S. L. M. represent two different revisions on the Visiter text, while all subsequent versions are based directly or indirectly on the S. L. M. version. An analogy is to be found in Poe’s treatment of the MS Found in a Bottle, where the versions of the Gift for 1836, and the S. L. M. are distinct and separate revisions of the Visiter text, while all other versions are based on the S. L. M.

2-3. Cf. Byron, Childe Harold, IV, cxxviii, 7-8

This long explored but still exhaustless mine

Of contemplation.

4. Cf. Gray’s Elegy l. 33.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power

a line earlier echoed by Poe in Tamerlane (1827) l. 355

My eyes were still on pomp and power.

5-10. Cf. MS found in a Bottle (H. ii, 13,1. 24 f) [I] “have imbibed the shadows of fallen columns at Balbec, and Tadmor and Persepolis, until my very soul has become a ruin” and Al Aaraaf II, 36 f. Poe in all these passages probably had in mind Shelley’s Alastor ll. 109-128, in addition to the passage which in his notes to Al Aaraaf he cites inaccurately from Voltaire’s Essai sur les mœurs et l’esprit des nations, Chap. V, ¶7 (œuvres, ed. Beuchot, Paris, 1829, xv, 307). [page 78:]

7. In part the same as l. 50.

10. Cf. T. Campbell, Gertrude of Wyoming, I, vii, 1-2.

Here was not mingled with the city’s pomp

Of Life’s extremes the grandeur and the gloom.

Professor Campbell cites Moore, Loves of the Angels, ll. 1180-1181

Or if they did, their gloom was gone,

Their darkness put a glory on

and Wordsworth, Ode on the Intimations of Immortality, l. 57

Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Parallels in Poe’s works are Romance (1831) l. 47

Gone are the glory and the gloom,

Eleonora (H. iv, 239, 1. 31) “A prison house of grandeur and of glory,” and The Oval Portrait (H. iv, 245, ll. 4-5) “commingled gloom and grandeur. “

17-18. It has been assumed the allusion is to Christ, but Poe was interested in Jewish history and may have some legend or story about Gethsemane in mind. Poe rarely mentions Our Lord in his poetry, I recall only the cancelled passage of The Sleeper.

19. Cf. Al Aaraaf ii, 42-43

That stole upon the ear in Eyraco

Of many a wild star-gazer long ago

where Poe explains that Eyraco is Chaldea. As only one person is mentioned here perhaps the allusion is to Abraham (cf. Genesis xv, 5) though according to the introduction to Bk. I of the Lives of the Philosophers of Diogenes Laertius with which Poe was acquainted, to judge from Loss of Breath (H. ii, 167.) the Chaldees were priests among the Babylonians and Assyrians.

22. There are many similar passages — e. g. Thomas Warton, Pleasures of Melancholy 1. 263 f

27-28. Cf. Byron, Childe Harold, IV, exl1i for triple use of the “here where” and Manfred III, iv, 22-26

Where the Caesars dwelt

And dwell the tuneless birds of night amidst

A grove which springs through levelled battlements,

And twines its roots with the imperial hearths,

Ivy usurps the laurel’s place of growth. [K. C.]

and Mrs. Sigourney’s Rome ll. 26-27

Mid Nero’s house of gold, with clustering bats

And gliding lizards.

29. “Golden throne” cf Lenore l. 22.

33. Cf. Gray’s Impromptu (1766) ll. 13-14.

Here mouldering fanes and battlements arise

Turrets and arches nodding to their fall.

and the expression “tottering to their fall” in The Man of the Crowd (H. iv, 144, l. 9) and The Murders in the Rue Morgue (H. iv, 151, l. 11).

33f. One may compare the architectural description in Al Aaraaf II, 28 f.

36. Professor Campbell compares Byron’s Childe Harold IV, cxlv, 8

Rome and her Ruin past Redemption’s skill

and the passage may be vaguely influenced by Gaunt’s speech in Richard II [page 79:]

II, i, 40-60, or the sonnet of Bellay, translated by Edmund Spenser, The Ruins of Rome, iii, of which l. 5 reads

Behold what wreake, what ruine, and what wast

A parallel cited by Professor Campbell (p. 220) from a translation published by Mrs. Ellet, in December 1833 is rendered improbable by the dates.

39. “Corrosive hours” — the phrase recurs in The Colloquy of Monos and Una, (H. iv, 206,1. 5) see also note to VI, 45-46. With the other part of the line cf Gray’s Elegy, l. 4.

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

and The Assignation (H. ii, 118,1. 18) “has left to silence and to me. “

43. Memnon, son of Tithonus and Eos (Aurora or Dawn) is mentioned by Homer, and other ancient writers. The Greeks gave his name to one of the two Colossi of Amenhotep III at Thebes in Egypt, because it was believed to salute the dawn with a musical sound (described as resembling the breaking of a harp-string.) Allusions to this are countless in literature — see Gayley’s Classic Myths pp. 179, 512, and Campbell p. 221. The allusion in Henry B. Hirst’s sonnet La Chanteuse 1. 4 (The Penance of Roland etc., Boston 1849, p. 64) seems to echo Poe’s phrasing.

44f. In connection with these lines Lauvrière (Edgar Poe, p. 373) cites Byron, Manfred III, iv, 40-41.

The dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule

Our spirits from their urns.

51. Seemingly echoed in Hirst’s sonnet No More 1. 6 (published in Ladies’ Garland, Phila. Feb. 1848, vol. xiii, p. 46; and in Penance etc., p. 88).

52-53. Cf. Wordsworth, Sonnet upon Westminster Bridge ll. 4-S.

The city now doth like a garment wear

The beauty of the morning

and Ode on the Intimations of Immortality, V, 7

Trailing clouds of glory.

and Shelley, PrinceAthanase, ll. 288-289

they wear

Beauty like some light robe

and Psalms, civ, 2, 6. “Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment” .... “Thou coverest it with the deep as with a garment.”

56. Perhaps an echo of Milton, Paradise Regain’d i, 257

Before the altar and the vested priest.

61-62. Cf. Miss Cook’s words, July 4, 18 26 (Letters, p. 84) “I suggest it would be better to plunge the dagger into his heart while folded in the arms of her for whom he had deserted me. “

64. Cf. VII, 38 and note thereon.

[page 80, unnumbered:]


Politian — or rather the scenes from it published by Poe, did not prove a favorite with the critics. The first opinions expressed of it which have survived are those of the contemporary press, and since Poe himself collected a large number of notices of the Southern Literary Messenger which he published in a Supplement (January 1836, vol. ii, 133 f) those which relate to the extracts from the drama should not be ignored. Only four give anything beyond a passing mention to the drama — and I give the passages in full, adding such bibliographical notes as I can.

The United States Telegraph [Washington City, Dec. 5, 1835, vol. x, No. 316, p. 12625 — edited by an unknown writer during the absence of the regular editor Duff Green, benefactor of Poe’s friend Wilmer, and sometime friend of President Andrew Jackson — see Wilmer’s Our Press Gang passim] says “We were disappointed in a “Dramatic Extract” from the pen of Mr. Edgar A. Poe. He had taught us to expect much, for his prose is often high wrought poetry; but his poetry is prose, not in thought but in measure. This is a defect of ear alone, which can only be corrected by more study than the thing is worth. “

The Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser [Dec. 15, 1835, vol. vii, No. 103, p. 13, by Pleasants and Abbott] quotes Major M. M. Noah as saying (evidently in the New York Evening Star of slightly prior date, but I can locate no files of the Star for the first half of December 1835) “Mr. Poe’s “Unpublished Drama” does not suit our taste. Why eternally ring the changes on those everlasting and hackneyed Venetian Doges and Italian counts — latticed balconies and verandas — time out of mind exhausted?”

The Lynchburg Virginian [Dec. 10, 1835, vol. xiv, No. 38, p. 32, edited by Fletcher and Toler] said “Scenes from Politian” like the prose productions from the same pen (Mr. Poe) evince great powers, wasted on trifles. Why, (to adopt the catechetical style of his own criticisms,) why does Mr. Poe throw away his strength on shafts and columns, instead of building a temple to his fame? Can he not execute as well as design? No one can doubt it who is conversant with his writings. Eschew affectation, Mr. Poe. It is a blot upon genius as well as upon beauty.

And in a notice of the Messenger under the heading Our Table, probably from the pen of the editor, Horace Greeley The New Yorker (Dec. 12, 1835, whole No. 90, p. 1 1-2) said — “Scraps from an Unpublished Drama, by Edgar A. Poe “contains one or two stirring and many beautiful passages — but we are not partial to dramatic poetry.”

Besides these printed criticisms, there were some strictures made on the versification, by judge Beverley Tucker, whose letter Dec. 5, 1835 to Poe, is printed (H. xvii, 21-24), but Poe’s reply defending his meter has not been published, altho’ it was read at the opening ceremonies of the Poe Shrine at Richmond, April 26, 1922. Poe’s remarks are not very specific but resemble those on verse in his S. L. M. review of Bryant, January 1837 (H. ix 268 f.) [page 81:]

Of other contemporary criticisms and allusions to the play few survive. Of Poe’s other correspondents only Eveleth seems to have mentioned the play, in a letter to Poe, January 19, 1847 (see my edition of The Letters from Geo. W. Eveleth, p. 11) — this with a few harsh words in a letter from Elizabeth Barrett to Robert Browning, Jan. 26, 1846 (Letters Harper & Bros. 1899, p. 429), the unkindly remarks in the London Atheneum Feb. 28, 1846 (No. 957, p. 215) and a passing reference in Hiram Fuller’s attack on Poe in the N. Y. Evening Mirror, May 26, 1846, comprise all the notices which I have found.

In my notes I have pointed out the certain or probable imitations of or references to the play in the works of Chivers, English, Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Whitman. Passing to more recent opinions, beyond those mentioned elsewhere in this book I may note that while James Hannay (The Poetical Works of .... Poe, London 1853, p. 73) characterized the play as “a juvenile production and the least meritorious work Poe has left,” Professor J. P. Fruit (The Mind and Art of Poe’s Poetry, New York, 1899, p. 108) says it shows Poe’s “ability to appreciate dramatic situations. “ See also Stoddard, Memoir, p. 73, and Campbell, p. 229. It is perhaps worth noting that the old selections have been translated into French, Italian, and German.

[page 82, unnumbered:]


Poe’s blank verse in Politian is extraordinarily free. It is true, the rule of five stresses to a line is scrupulously preserved — there are few cases of fragmentary lines, except the first and last lines of scenes, or where a cancellation has caused the break — and there are scarce half a dozen lines of prose in the play. The following passages deserve comment: — I, 97 and 99 are probably prose, II, 55-57 is arranged as Poe wrote it, though the meter is uncertain, as it is in VIII, 7-8. Since Poe avoided imperfect lines I count the beginning of the song as part of VI, 79. Finally, while I have not ventured to change Poe’s text, I would point out that it might be more correct, metrically, to divide II, 102-103 “why don’t/You bring etc” and V, 30-31 “Baldazzar having / Just etc. “ But with the preservation of stress, the conventionality ends. About one third of the lines have feminine terminations (a very high rate, though less than Fletcher’s) and about two fifths of all lines contain one or more resolutions of the iambus each. Poe resolves especially where two vowels come together, and where the speaker is changed within the verse, but does not confine himself to such cases. He has a tendency to balance irregularities in adjacent lines, as well as feminine endings. The very few lines ending in a definite trisyllable (usually the name Lalage) are otherwise very regular, only two out of nineteen showing resolutions in my count. The use of a pause to replace a syllable is very rare. There is no attempt to end speeches with a full line — Poe almost seems to prefer transitions within the verse, and divides some lines between several speakers.

There are, I think, but two or three intentional rhymes, but a curious jingling phrase in VII, 42 should be noticed, for such things appealed to Poe and he sought after them.

The verse of the last scene (XI) is far more conventional than that of the rest of the play, and I regard its low proportion of resolutions (one-tenth) and of feminine endings (one-fifth) as compared with the rest of the play as an added indication that the Coliseum is an earlier poem incorporated in the play, for Poe’s later blank verse is only slightly if at all more regular than most portions of Politian. Almost all Poe’s later blank verse dates from 1847-1848, To Helen, To M. L. S —; and To ——— (Not long ago etc.)though he wrote five lines in 1844-5 (H. xii, 24).

It seems to me that while often following Shakespeare closely, Poe was moderately successful in his attempt to reproduce “with some improvements” the verse of such Jacobean writers as Ford whose work he knew through Lamb’s Specimens, and in the best portions of the play, he has perhaps “almost if not quite conquered the dangerous redundance of blank verse” as Saintsbury, History of English Prosody, iii, 485, says he has done in To Helen. Certainly the close of Scene IV is forcible, such a passage as VI, 39 f is very lovely, and that at VII, 53 is indeed thrillingly beautiful. [page 83:]

Although no mention of Politian is made in Prof. C. Alphonso Smith’s study, Repetition and Parallelism in English Verse, pp. 44-56, there are many cases of repetition and parallelism even in this play, though less than in some of Poe’s later lyrics.

In particular one should examine I, 13-16, 23-24, 28-29, S9-61, 109-111; II, 74-80, 114-115; IV, 3-4, 24-25, 59-60, 83 f, 93 f; V, S9-61; VI, 16-17, 108-109; VII, 1-2, 12-13, 21-22, 55-56, 91 f; VIII, 34-37; IX, 73-74; X, 32-33 XI, 17-19, 22-30, 33-37, 47-51, 55. While this includes the more notable passages, this list is not exhaustive, and an interesting example in the cancelled passage after IX, 44 should be pointed out.

There is perhaps room for a thorough study of Poe’s prosody (Mr. Saintsbury’s remarks though excellent, are few) and fortunately we have a synopsis of Poe’s own views on the subject in The Rationale of Verse, an essay based on a careful observation of his own practice. When the study is made however, the student will do well to remember that Poe’s verse came first and theories later, and that these theories changed somewhat with the years, as is apparent to any one reading the remarks on verse in Poe’s review of Bryant, S. L. M. January 1837, (H. ix, 268 f), and in Some Notes on English Verse in Lowell’s Pioneer March, 1843 (i, lo2) compared with the Rationale (of 1848.) That the Rationale did not give Poe’s final views is shown by his violation of one of his own dicta (H. xiv, 247) in 1849 in l. 91 of The Bells.

[page 85, unnumbered:]

On Chivers’ “Conrad and Eudora”

Through the courtesy of Mr. H. L. Koopman, Librarian of Brown University, I have recently examined the copy of Dr. Chivers’ Conrad and Eudora in the Harris Collection. It is a small 12 mo of 144 pages with title page reading as follows: — “Conrad and Eudora; | or, | the death of Alonzo. | A Tragedy. | In five acts. | Founded on the murder of Sharp, by Beauchamp, | in Kentucky. | — | By Thomas Holley Chivers, M. D. Philadelphia. | 1834. “ The play occupies pp. [5]-82, the rest of the volume containing a collection of lyrics under the title Songs of the Heart. Chivers (who had studied medicine at Transylvania University) probably learned of the story while in Kentucky, and keeps the scene of his drama there, rarely altering the original facts. Considering that both plays have a single series of incidents as a common basis, surprisingly few parallels can be found. The similarity between the scenes (Conrad and Eudora III, i and ii; Politian IX) describing the preliminary encounters of Sharp and Beauchamp, is due to the fact both poets kept close to the Confession. Chivers’ play is less strange than his later work, but the lack of a publisher’s name argues that the volume was privately printed. It is very unlikely that Poe knew of the little book when he wrote Politian, for his friendship with Chivers was not begun until much later.



The line numbers as printed in Mabbott’s edition are highly idiosyncratic, and they are often difficult to justify. In Act I, for example, there are more than 5 lines between lines 120 and 125, and in Act II there are more than 5 lines between lines 15 and 20, even if one were to count only the lines newly assigned to characters, and with no regard to internal lines or punctuation. In spite of these problems, the line numbers have been replicated here for the sake of variant and note references.

In the original prointing, the line numbers appear to the right of the appropriate line. In the current presentation, these line numbers have been moved to the left of the line, which makes the numbers stand out more promiently and conforms to the 1969 format (although the numbers do not always correspond). (This choice also frees up the right side for the variant and notes markers.) In Scene I, line 89 is marked instead of line 90 because line 90 is too long for the number to fit at the right end within the page border. Although this anomaly results from characteristics of the printed version, the numbering of the original edition has been maintained for consistency.


[S:0 - PUT, 1923] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - Politian (T. O. Mabbott)