Text: Burton R. Pollin (and E. A. Poe), “Supplemental Pinakidia,” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. II: The Brevities (1985), pp. 424-453 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 424:]


Southern Literary Messenger

1835, 1836, 1848

[46 items]

  * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

Supplementary Pinakidia 1

SLM I, 698 (August 1835)

The Unities.

Aristotle’s name is supposed to be authority for the three unities. The only one of which he speaks decisively is the unity of action. With regard to the unity of time he merely throws out an indefinite hint. Of the unity of place not one word does he say.


Note: This is the first of the “fillers” provided to the SLM by Poe for his “tenure” on the magazine, issue of 8/35, 1.698. This first part of the series, numbering 28 items (plus my addition of no. 16A below), was traced in its inception by Margaret Alterton, Origins of Poe’s Critical Theory (1925), pp. 72-73 and Killis Campbell, The Mind of Poe (1933), p. 215. For full discussion see my Intro. and David K. Jackson, “Poe Notes,” AL, 1933, 5.258-60. I am using the numbering of the 28 items provided by Mr. Jackson.

The source of this article is John Black’s translation of A. W. Schlegel, A Course of Lectures on Dramatic Art, published in 1818 (London) and republished frequently, including 1833 (New York). This is from Lecture 17 (1846 Bohn ed., p. 237; Poe makes a faint effort to mask his borrowing): “It is amusing enough to see Aristotle driven perforce to lend his name to these three Unities, whereas the only one of which he speaks with any degree of fulness is the first, the Unity of Action. With respect to the Unity of Time he merely throws out a vague hint; while of the Unity of Place he says not a syllable.” Because of Poe’s stress on the unity of plot or action, especially for the tale, as in the 5/42 Graham’s review of Twice-Told Tales, and the 8/45 “American Drama” review in the American [page 425:] Whig Review, this almost verbatim transcription has some interest. Alterton wished to make it the basis for Poe’s study of Aristotle, rightly discountenanced by A. J. Lubell in his fine study of Poe and Schlegel in JEGP, 1953, 52.1-12, specifically 6n27. Further proof may be offered in Poe’s misquotation of a key phrase in Aristotle’s Poetics, in “Letter to Mr. —— ———” (H 7.xxxvii). As shown elsewhere, other strands were stronger in the unity-theme of Poe’s criticism (cf. Discoveries in Poe, [ 1970], Ch. 7, “Poe and Godwin”). Schlegel’s ref. here is chiefly to the Poetics, Part 2 (Tragedy), section 5.

Supplementary Pinakidia 2

SLM I, 699 (August 1835)

By what bizarrerie does it happen that Sardanapalus is discovered in Greek literature under the name of Tenos Concoleros?


Note: This comes from Jacob Bielfeld’s Elements of Universal Erudition (Hooper, 1770 tr. of the French 1767), article “On Chronology,” I, iii, (2.66): “The different names that the Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, and Greeks, have given to the same prince, have contributed not a little to embarrass all accurate chronology. Three or four princes have borne the name of Assuerus, although they had also other names. . . . Sargon is Sennacherib, . . . Sardanapalus is called by the Greeks Tenos Concoleros.” The word “bizarrerie” misspelled with two “z’s” by the SLM can be found in Poe’s works elsewhere: “Rue Morgue” (TOM 532/27) and “Blackwood Article” (338/30).

Supplementary Pinakidia 3

SLM I, 734 (September 1835)

Milton is indebted for some of the finest passages in the Paradise Lost to Marino’s “Sospetti D‘Herode.”


Note: The source of this article is unknown. For other Paradise Lost entries see Pin 35, 37, 76, 92, SP 20. The present article raises interesting questions about an influence which is ignored even by David Masson in his great work on Milton (1858-81), which does pay some attention to the relationship with Richard Crashaw (1.248, 499-500). He was the translator of The suspicion of Herod, being the first book of The murder of the Innocents (London, 1834), by Giovanni Battista Marino (or Marini) (1569-1625). Milton need not have read the English of his Cambridge classmate, but could have read the Italian; he praises the [page 426:] Marquis of Villa Lago (Manso) as a patron of Tasso and Marino (see Mirollo, The Poet of the Marvelous / Giambattuta Marini [Col. U. P., 1963], 9-10). Marianna Woodhull, The Epic of Paradise Lost (1907; rep. N. Y., 1968), pp. 238-40, cites as parallel Satan’s defiance at the birth of Christ (in Marini) with that of Satan in PL, citing stanzas 26-28, 30-32. Poe’s informant seems most plausible.

Supplementary Pinakidia 4

SLM I, 740 (September 1835)

The “Acajou et Zirphile” of Du Clos is a whimsical and amusing Fairy Tale, ingeniously composed in illustration of a series of grotesque, and extravagant engravings, whose figures, rats, apes, butterflies, and men, have no earthly meaning or connection but that given by the pen of the writer.


Note: This is adapted from CL (1865 ed., 3.43). Charles Pinot Duclos (more correctly) (1704-1772) was at first a writer of tales and novels who eventually became historiographer royal after Voltaire. The CL passage is this:

The “Acajou et Zirphile” of Du Clos. . .is one of the most whimsical of fairy tales, and an amusing satire originating in an odd circumstance. Count Tessin, the Swedish Ambassador at the Court of France, had a number of grotesque designs made by Boucher, the king’s painter, and engraved by the first artists . . . . The count was recalled. . . . [and] left. . . all the plates in the hands of Boucher. . . . Du Clos. . . offered to invent a tale to correspond with these grotesque subjects. . . . In the first plate, the author appears in his morning-gown, writing in his study, surrounded by apes, rats, butterflies, and smoke. . . .”

Supplementary Pinakidia 5

SLM II, 16 (December 1835)


Among ridiculous conceits may be selected par excellence, the thought of a celebrated Abbé — “that the heart of man being triangular, and the world spherical in form, it was evident that all worldly greatness could not fill the heart of man.” The same person concluded, “that since among the Hebrews the same word expresses death and life, (a point only [page 427:] making the difference,) it was therefore plain that there was little difference between life and death.” The chief objection to this is, that no one Hebrew word signifies life and death.


Note: This is ascribed to Poe by David K. Jackson in his AL, 11/33 article (p. 260), in part on the basis of its being listed under its title as “Original Article” in the Index of the magazine. It appears at the end of the column devoted to Part III of Poe’s “Politian” and certainly taps interests exploited by Poe in his “Pinakidia.” The source is unknown. The material itself is erroneous, since there are two distinctly different words in Hebrew: “chayim” for life and “mazet” for death. The error may have come about through the fact that the word for “cemetery” in Hebrew is “house of life.” If this is indeed Poe’s inclusion, it serves to prove that Poe did not know Hebrew.

Supplementary Pinakidia 6

SLM II, 27 (December 1835)


Le Brun, a Jesuit, wrote what he called a Christian Virgil, and a Christian Ovid. The Virgil consists, of Eclogues, Georgics, and an Epic of twelve books, all however on devotional subjects. The Ovid is in the same taste. The Epistles are pious ones — the Fasti are the six days of the Creation — the Elegies are the Lamentations of Jeremiah — the Art of Love is a poem on The Love of God, and the history of some Conversions supplies the place of the Metamorphoses.


Note: The source of this article is Disraeli, Curiosities of Literature, “Imitators” (1865 ed., 1.124), which includes the Sallust-Aruntius text used by Poe in M 188. This is a slight adaptation of Disraeli’s text:

Le Brun, a Jesuit, was a singular instance of such unhappy imitation. He was a Latin poet, and his themes were religious. He formed the extravagant project of substituting a religious Virgil and Ovid merely by adapting his works to their titles. His Christian Virgil consists, like the Pagan Virgil, of Eclogues, Georgics, and of an Epic of twelve books; with this difference, that devotional subjects are substituted for fabulous ones. . . . His Christian Ovid is in the same taste; every thing wears a new face. His Epistles are pious ones; the Fasti are the six days of the Creation; the Elegies are the Lamentations of Jeremiah; a poem on the Love of God is substituted for the Art of Love; and the history of some Conversions supplies the place of the Metamorphoses! [page 428:]

There is a similarity of idea in Pin 142, touching upon far-fetched allegories in standard literary works. The writer here is Lorenzo Lebrun (1608-1663), author of Virgilius Christianus, the Psycurgicon (imitating the Georgics), the epic Ignaciad on the pilgrimage of St. Ignatius, and an Hexameron paralleling the Fasti.

Supplementary Pinakidia 7

SLM II, 96 (January 1836)

A. W. Schlegel says, that in a German drama is the following stage direction. “He flashes lightning at him with his eyes, and exit.” (Er blitzt ihn mit den augen an.)


Note: This is taken from A. W. Schlegel’s Lectures, No. XXI (p. 332 n), which reads thus: “I remember to have read the following direction in a German drama, which is not worse than many others: — He flashes lightning at him with his eyes (Er blitzt ihn mit den Augen an) and goes off.” We note that the original ed. of London capitalizes the substantive “Augen” as is the rule, while Poe fails to do so — typical of the error that led him to interpret “Andere” as a Frenchman named Andre in Pin Intro. This is further proof of Poe’s poor grasp of German. However, the Philadelphia edition of 1833, p. 266, by a printer’s error, printed “augen” which Poe apparently blindly followed.

Supplementary Pinakidia 8

SLM II, 148 (February 1836)


The gourd mentioned in Jonah as springing up in one night, is in the Hebrew ‘Kikajon.’ St. Jerom (sic) and many others call it ivy. St. Jerom (sic) however, acknowledges ivy to be an improper translation. The Kikajon, according to Galmet, is a non-parasitical shrub found in the sandy places of Palestine. It grows with rapidity, and has thick leaves resembling those of a vine.


Note: The direct (that is, intermediary) source of this is unknown, unless it was Calmet’s Dictionary of the Bible, to which Poe leads us through an incorrect name (Galmêt). Poe may have consulted this work for one of his numerous Biblical references: Calmet’s Great Dictionary of the Holy Bible, Historical, Critical, Geographical, and Etymological . . . in 4 vols. (Charleston, 1813, from the London ed.). The article explicates Jonah 4.6: “And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his [page 429:] grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.” Under the article “Kikajon” in Calmet (vol. 2, unpaged) we read: St. Jerom [as in Poe] translates Hedera, Ivy. The LXX [Septuagint] Gourd . . .Jerom confesses, that ivy does not answer the Hebrew KIKAJON: but as he could not find Latin words proper to it, he chose rather to use Hedera, than to leave Kikajon, which might be taken for a monstrous animal in the Indies, or mountains of Boeotia. His account of Kikajon is this. It is a shrub which grows in the sandy places of Palestine, and increases so suddenly, that within a few days it comes to a considerable height. The leaves of it are large, and almost like those of the vine. It is supported by its trunk, without being upheld by any thing else, and furnishes a very agreeable shade under the thickness of its leaves. Modern interpreters almost all agree that the Hebrew Kikajon signifies the Palma Christi, or Ricenus, in Egypt called Kiki, in Greek, Selicypion,” etc. The London ed. is a translation of the original: Dom Augustin Calmet, Dictionnaire historique et de la Bible (Paris, 1720-21). The Interpreter’s Bible 6.893, also favors the ricinus or castor-oil plant as meant; cf. also Hasting’s Dictionary of the Bible, 2.250, and the full discussion in H. N. and A. L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (4 vols. in German, 1924-34; 1 vol. English tr., Waltham, Mass., 1952), pp. 203-4.

Supplementary Pinakidia 9

SLM 11, 151 (February 1836)


Mr. H. N. Coleridge says there would be no difficulty in composing a complete epic poem with as much symmetry of parts as is seen in the Iliad, from the English ballads on Robin Hood.


Note: The source of this is H. N. Coleridge, Introductions to the Study of the Greek Classic Poets, not Coleridge’s Table Talk as in Jackson, whose article was published before that of P. C. Holt, AL, 1962, 34.6-30. As Holt indicates, Coleridge is discussing the theory “that several rhapsodists originally composed the songs out of which, or with which, the Iliad as a Poem was compiled” and gives this note: “There would be no great difficulty in composing a complete epic poem, with as much symmetry of parts as is seen in the Iliad, out of the Spanish Romances on the subject of the Cid’s Life and Adventures, or out of the English Ballads on Robin Hood and his companions” (Boston 1842 ed., p. 53). Holt aptly points to “The Poetic Principle” (1850; H 14.267) in which Poe speaks of the Iliad as “intended as a series of lyrics” as a distant effect of this source. Also to be noted is Pin 22 and cross refs. indicated therein. This filler fills out the page for Poe’s “Duc de L‘Omelette” at the bottom. [page 430:]

Supplementary Pinakidia 10

SLM II, 153 (February 1836)


Martorelli was occupied for two years in a treatise to prove that the use of glass for windows was unknown to the ancients. Fifteen days after the publication of his folio, a house was found in Pompeii all whose windows were paned with glass.


Note: No source for this has been discovered, but one suspects that Poe took it over entire, in view of the awkward phrasing in “all whose windows . . .” Reflecting current interest in the question was Ch. 7 of Bk. 1 of Bulwer’s Last Days of Pompeii (1834) which footnotes the following sentence: “Two windows of glass alone admitted the soft and shaded ray” with this: “The discoveries at Pompeii have controverted the long-established error of the antiquaries, that glass windows were unknown to the Romans — the use of them was not, however, common among the middle and inferior classes in their private dwellings.” Orazio Giacomo Martorelli (1699-1777) was a Neopolitan abbot, professor of Greek, literature, and archeology, busy, and conceited, passionately interested in the finds of the two cities being excavated near Naples, having helped locate Pompeii. Favors and posts from the King were part of his objective. He helped found the Academy of Herculaneum in 1755 and published a pretentious 2-vol. work to “prove” that classic books were like ours in format (Egon Corti, The Destruction . . . of Pompeii . . ., 1951 [tr.], pp. 114-23). Martorelli published De RegiaTheca Calamaria in Regia Academia (Naples, 1746), that is, “Concerning the royal pen-holder box in the Royal Academy.” On pp. 398-99 (vol. 2), I find a citation of authors who mention the glass presumably used in building, which Martorelli asserts belonged to cups and other vessels, not windows (two paras.). Now this dictum would be contradicted by the findings at Pompeii which were first dug up in 1762 (cf. the panes used in The House of the Faun). Obviously Poe’s source is mistaken in the “fifteen days” stated. See M 49 for Poe’s continued interest in classic excavations.

Supplementary Pinakidia 11

SLM II, 154 (February 1836)


The Greek of the New Testament is by no means, whatever some zealots assert, the Greek of Homer, of Anacreon, or of Thucydides. It is thickly interspersed with Hebraisms, barbarisms, and theological expressions. The Evangelists differ much in style among themselves. St. [page 431:] Matthew is not as pure as St. John, nor he as St. Paul. St. Luke is the most correct — especially in the Acts.


Note: This is closely adapted from Jacob Bielfeld, “On Theology, 1, I (1.38-39 in the Hooper tr.): “But it must not be imagined, that the Greek [of the New Testament] is that of Athens or Lacedemon, and that they who understand the New Testament, will fully comprehend Homer, Anacreon or Thucydides . . . [Concerning] the evangelists and the apostles. . . their style is not pure, being strewed with hebraisms and barbarisms, and with theological terms and phrases. The four evangelists differ moreover among themselves, with regard to their style, and so do the appostles [sic]: St. Matthew is not so elegant as St. John; nor St. John so elegant as St. Paul. . . . The diction of St. Luke is the most elegant, and most correct, especially in his book of the acts of the apostles.”

Supplementary Pinakidia 12

SLM II, 159 (February 1836)


Gibbon, the historian, was at one time a zealous partisan of Charles Fox. No man denounced Mr. Pitt with a keener sarcasm, or more bitter malignity. But he had his price. A lucrative office won him over to the ministry. A week before his appointment he had said in Mr. Fox’s presence, “that public indignation should not be appeased, until the heads of at least six of the ministers were laid on the table of the House of Commons.”

This fact is found stated in the hand writing of Mr. Fox, on a blank leaf of a copy of Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which was purchased after Mr. F’s death, at a sale of his effects. The anecdote is followed by these lines, also in Mr. F’s hand writing.

King George, in a fright,

Lest Gibbon should write

The story of Britain’s disgrace,

Thought no means so sure

His pen to secure,

As to give the Historian a place.

But the caution was vain —

‘Tis the curse of his reign,

That his projects should never succeed.

Though he write not a line,

Yet a cause of decline

In the Author’s example we read.

His book well describes [page 432:]

How corruption and bribes

Overthrew the great Empire of Rome;

And his writings declare

A degeneracy there

Which his conduct exhibits at home.


Note: Unlike most of the other 28 SP articles in D. Jackson’s list, this has no known source and is not of para. length (although placed over a typical filler), but because it is indexed as one of the “Original Articles” he includes it. To this one might add Poe’s great interest in Gibbon (see the Brevities Index and almost all of LST). We shall, then, annotate it with a caveat that a contributor-friend of T. W. White might have submitted it. The style of the first para. is not characteristic of Poe: e.g., “keener sarcasm or more bitter malignity.” Again, however, this may merely represent Poe’s copying an intermediary source, as in many of the articles. Poe’s attitude toward both King George and Gibbon was irreverent enough to admit the article as filler (see “Bon-Bon” in TOM 117 and “Epimanes” in TOM 118; also H 8.180 and 11.96, for the King). The account is roughly correct, having been given by John Nichols, Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century (8 vols., 1817-1858), 111 (1818), p. 213; there it had come from a letter of G. Hardinge to Horace Walpole, probably of 1782, but revealed only in 1816. The episode can be found in D. M. Low, Edward Gibbon (1937), pp. 282-83, and more briefly in the article on Gibbon in En. Brit. (11th ed., 11.933). The second para. however, is not correct; although lampoons were common on broadsides and in the press in 1779, when he received his sinecure seat at the Board of Trade and Plantations, this set of verses was not on Fox’s copy in his handwriting at all. The “poem” certainly demonstrated the popularity and sway of even vol. 1 (1776).

Supplementary Pinakidia 13

SLM 11, 159 (February 1836)


In Statius’ Poem on the Via Domitiana, are these lines.

Qui primo Tiberim reliquit ortu,

Primo vespere navigat Lucrinum —

making a distance of one hundred and twenty-seven miles commonly travelled by the Romans in one day.


Note: Publius Papinius Statius (c. 45-96 A. D.) was favored by the emperor Domitian and the elite of Rome for his fluent and polished poems, which include the epic Thebazs and the Silvae, in which Bk. 4, [page 433:] No. 3 has these lines. The Via Domitiana was built by the emperor (95) from Sinuessa to Puteoli. The lines (correct save for “naviget”) mean “But he who leaves Tiber at break of day I Let him sail the Lucrine lake at earliest eventide” (J. H. Mozley, tr., Loeb Classics, 1928, 1.224). The computation of distance is undoubtedly not by Poe.

Supplementary Pinakidia 14

SLM 11, 220 (March 1836)


Bai was the Egyptian term for the branch of the Palm-tree. Homer says that one of Diomede’s horses, Phoenix, was of a palm-color, which is a bright red. It is therefore not improbable that our word bay as applied to the color of horses, may boast as remote an origin as the Egyptian Bai.


Note: This comes from Jacob Bryant, New System of Mythology (1807 ed.), 2.11-12: “Homer, describing the horses of Diomedes, says, that the one was Phoenix, or of a bright Palm colour. . . which is a bright red. We call such horses bays, which probably is a term of the same original. The branch of a Palm tree was called Bai in Egypt, and it had the same name in other places. . . . The Romans called the same colour Badius.” The OED confirms this, referring the word to “badius, meaning brown, chestnut-colored, and used only of horses.” (For fuller treatment of “Bai” and Bryant see S. and S. Levine in PS, 1976, 9.53.) Poe or the typesetter mistakenly assumes the name to be “Diomede” according to the error in the apostrophe.

Supplementary Pinakidia 15

SLM 11, 259 (March 1836)


Adam Smith has decided that authors are “manufacturers of certain wares for a very paltry recompense.”


Note: Whatever the intermediary source, the primary one is a passage in Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations of 1776. Smith referred to “that unprosperous race of men, commonly called men of letters . . . . Their numbers are everywhere so great, as commonly to reduce the price of their labour to a very paltry recompense” (1819 Edinburgh ed., 1.182). [page 434:]

Supplementary Pinakidia 16

SLM II, 314 (April 1836)

Lucian calls unmeaning verbosity, anemonæ verborum. The anemone, with great brilliancy, has no fragrance.


Note: This comes almost verbatim from Disraeli’s CL, article “Inequalities of Genius” (1865 ed., 1.147): “Lucian . . . calls . . . unmeaning verbosity ‘anemone-words:’ for anemones are flowers, which, however brilliant, only please the eye, leaving no fragrance.” This is again given in “Blackwood Article” of 11/38 (TOM 346, 361n36) where K. Norman is cited for its being the Latin translation of a phrase in Lucian’s Lexiphones, sect. 23.

Supplementary Pinakidia 16A

SLM II, 340 (April 1836)

Mr. Fay wishes us to believe that the sale of a book is the proper test of its merit. To save time and trouble we will believe it, and are prepared to acknowledge, as a consequence of the theory, that the novel of Norman Leslie is not at all comparable to the Memoirs of Davy Crockett, or the popular lyric of Jim Crow.


Note: This is not given in D. K. Jackson’s list of 28 “Supplementary Pinakidia” in AL, 11/33, 5.258-62. The independence of this obvious filler at the end of Poe’s review of Bubbles from the Brunnens, the attempted wit, the importance to his readers of the general topic (novelcriticism) all entitle it to inclusion with a special numbering that avoids disruption of the series. For the whole account of the quarrels between Poe and the Northern supporters of the bland, untalented essayist and novelist Theodore Fay at the time of his published novel Norman Leslie (11/35), with sharp journalistic counterattacks, see Poe’s Drake-Halleck review in the same issue with a footnote sneer by Poe at the New York Mirror’s attack on him for “The Successless Novel” on p. 327 — the germ of SP 16A. For the whole complicated matter see S. P. Moss, Poe’s Literary Battles, 1963, chs. 2 and 3; and Pollin, “‘Mystification’ by Poe: Its Source in Fay’s Norman Leslie,” Miss. Quarterly, 1972, 25.111-130. Fay was a favorite of the New York clique, headed by the editors of the Knickerbocker, the Commercial Advertiser, and the other two of the Mirror (Fay being one); their excerpts and fulsome praise justified this squib by Poe.

Davy (i.e. David) Crockett (1786-1836), after a shiftless youth in Tennessee had some military service, entered local politics, became renowned as a hunter, and went from the state legislature to Congress, as an anti Jackson man. After two terms, he toured cities of the North lecturing, lost his seat and went to Texas, to die at the Alamo. Whig [page 435:] journalists turned out “autobiographical” books in his name such as Sketches and Eccentricities (1833), Crockett’s Tour (1835) Crockett’s Exploits and Adventures (1836), and Narrative of the Life of . . . (1834), claimed as autobiography, but much disputed, like the others. This last especially may qualify for Poe’s “Memoirs.” The “lyric” is the inordinately popular song and dance introduced by “blackface” minstrel Thomas D. Rice in 1828. The refrain was this: “Wheel about and turn about / And do jis so. / And ebry time I wheel about / I jump Jim Crow.”

Supplementary Pinakidia 17

SLM 11, 372 (May 1836)


The “Corpus Juris,” which is written in Latin, has never been translated into any living tongue; yet it is the basis of law in nearly all Europe and America. It was written by Tribonien, Theophilus, Dorotheus, and John, and although called The Roman Law, is in nothing Roman but the name. It is in four parts — Institutes, Pandects or Digests, The Code, and The Novel Law. This celebrated book is full of pedantry, and abounds in the most whimsical platitudes. For example, in the chapter, “De patria potestate,” ‘The father loses his authority over the son in many ways, firstly, when the father dies, secondly, when the son dies,’ &c. There is a Greek version of the Institutes by Angelus Politianus.


Note: This paragraph is a very close adaptation of passages in Jacob Bielfeld’s Universal Erudition, Hooper translation, article “On Those Sciences Which Relate to the Understanding,” Book I, chs. xiii and xv, pp. 96, 123, 128. The first and last of the conflated excerpts are only one sentence long. How surprising it is that Poe should have made this effort to smooth out the structure or topicality of a mere filler! One assumes that his interest in Politian led to the last addition (see Pin 140) and his play Politian, from which scenes had been printed in the 12/35 and 1/36 SLM.

Supplementary Pinakidia 18

SLM II, 380 (May 1836)


“Pierce Plowman’s Vision,” by William Langlande, in the reign of Edward III, is the longest specimen extant of alliterative poetry. It proceeds in this manner without rhyme, and with few pretensions to metre —

It befell on a Friday two friars I mette

Maisters of the minours, men of great wytte. [page 436:]


Note: Poe adapted this from a source used extensively in the Pinakidia, James Montgomery, Lectures on Poetry and General Literature (1833) — Lecture IV, “The Diction of Poetry,” pp. 114-15: “‘Pierce Plowman’s Vision,’ by William Langlande, who lived in the reigns of Edward III and Richard II, and published his poem about the year 1350 [sic], is the longest specimen of alliterative poetry bequeathed to us from remote times. This . . . neither depends for its effect upon the quantity of the syllables, their number, their particular accent nor yet their rhyming terminations, but consists in an artful repetition of the same sounds, at least three times in each distich. . . .

Till it befel on a Fryday two fryers I mette,

Maisters of the minours, men of great wytte.”

Notice that not only has Poe cut out much of Montgomery’s fustian, but he has also deprived the penultimate quoted word of one syllable necessary to the line. There is no other ref. to Langland in Poe’s works.

Supplementary Pinakidia 19

SLM 11, 427 (June 1836)


Otto Venius, the designer of “Le Theatre moral de la Vie Humaine,” illustrates Horace’s “Raro antecedentem scelestum deseruit pede poena claudo,” by sketching Punishment with a wooden leg.


Note: This is closely adapted from a passage in Disraeli’s CL, article “Literary Follies” (1865 ed., 1.400): “The following are strange inventions, originating in the wilful bad taste of the authors. Otto Venius, the master of Rubens, is the designer of Le Théâtre moral de la Vie humaine. In this emblematical history of human life, he has taken his subjects from Horace; but certainly his conceptions are not Horatian. He takes every image in a literal sense. . . . In the emblem which answers Horace’s ‘Raro antecedentem scelestum deseruit PEDE POENA CLAUDO,’ we find Punishment with a wooden leg.” The ref. is to Horace’s “Ode” (Carmen) III, 2.31-32: “Rarely has Retribution with her halting foot / Left the track of the guilty, though far in front.” The emblem book was by Octavio van Veen, known as Otto Vaenius (1560?-1629?) although the volume is attributed to Otho Venius (Bruxelles, 1672), a name variant. The picture described is on p. 41, and shows Punishment with a wooden leg flagellating the wicked man toward the distant gallows. It illustrates not only the line of Horace but also one of Seneca and one of Tibullus, as given. [page 437:]

Supplementary Pinakidia 20

SLM 11, 500 (July 1836)


There exists a prose version of Milton’s Paradise Lost, which was innocently translated from the French version of that epic. One Green, also, published a new version of the poem into blank verse.


Note: D. K. Jackson in his listing of the “new” Pinakidia in AL (1933) notes that this para. was reprinted in the 1/38 SLM (4.24) — a fact which he regards as indicating Poe’s authorship. As with all the other fillers during Poe’s virtual editorship, however, this reprinting is unnecessary as proof and, indeed, Poe’s complete detachment from the SLM in 1838 makes it seem a whim entirely of the new editor (not entirely established) and/or T. W. White (see Mott, Am. Magazines, p. 640). Poe closely follows Disraeli’s CL, article “Literary Follies” (1865 ed., 1.398), save that he drops “a specimen of” before “a new version,” thereby greatly changing the scope of the work by George Smith Green, an eccentric 18th century watchmaker of Oxford, whose production was called “A new version of Paradise Lost — or Milton Paraphrased” (1756). As for the translation — Thomas Osborne published State of Innocence which was innocently translated from a French version of the epic, according to Henry S. Todd’s “Bibliography” in Milton’s Poetical Works (ed. of 1842), 4.540 (this being given in Ants Oras’ Milton’s Editions and Commentators [Univ. of Tartu/Dorpit, Estonia, 1931], pp. 181-83). See SP 3 for Milton and the many uses in the Brevities, listed in the Index.

Supplementary Pinakidia 21

SLM II, 535 (August 1836)

In “Dodsley’s Collection” is an old play called “Eastward Hoe!” It was written by Ben Jonson, and published in 1605 by George Chapman and John Marston. This probably suggested to our Paulding the title of his “Westward Ho!”


Note: The exact source of this is unknown. It may represent Poe’s overtures to James K. Paulding (1778-1860) for favorable consideration and support in his aim to have Harper and Brothers (Paulding having influence) publish his short story collection. With Washington Irving (his relative by marriage) Paulding had won great popularity and reputation as a leader in American letters, versus the “British” influence; hence “our own Paulding” in the 2/36 SLM review of Bulwer’s Rienzi (H 8.223) and, in his “Reply to his Critics,” Poe’s ref. to Paulding’s kindness, in the 7/36 SLM Supplement (H 8.338). In the 5/36 SLM was his unctuous review of Paulding’s Washington (H 9.13-16), part of which was used [page 438:] for SM 13 (q.v.). In the 8136 SLM appeared Paulding’s “Judgment of Rhadamanthus” (2.539-40). Obviously Poe had an interest in “planting” this filler. (See also the correspondence with Paulding, in Letters.)

Robert Dodsley published his Select Collection of Old Plays in 1744. Eastward Hoe! was a comedy by Chapman, Jonson, and Marston (1605). Thomas Dekker and John Webster collaborated on Westward Ho! (1605), a title available for Paulding’s novel of 1832 (and also Kingsley’s of 1855). Could Poe have known of only Eastward Hoe!? The influence on Paulding’s work was limited to the title, for the elements of plot and characters derive from novels by J. F. Cooper and C. B. Brown, according to Nelson Adkins, in his study of the work, American Collector, 1927, 3.221-29.

Supplemental Pinakidia 22

SLM, II, 557 (August 1836)

Wherever the Inquisition had power, the word fata was not allowed in any book. An author wishing to use the word, printed in his book facta, and put in the errata “for facta read fata.”


Note: This is a close adaptation of a passage in Disraeli’s CL, article “Errata” (1865 ed., 1.135). The source is very similar, save for the phrase after “power”; “particularly at Rome.” Poe was rather more interested in the sly wit demonstrated than in any religious observation, although one of his great stories, “The Pit and the Pendulum,” exploits the cruelties of the Spanish Inquisition in its 19th century reinstallation.

Supplemental Pinakidia 23

SLM 11, 572 (August 1836)

Swift’s “Liliputian Ode” is an imitation from Scarron The French poet concludes a long tri-syllabic poetical epistle to Sarrazin, who had failed to pay him a visit, in the following words.

Mais pourtant


Si to viens

Et to tiens


Un moment

Avec nous,

Mon corroux


Et cætera.


[page 439:]

Note: This comes from Disraeli’s CL, article “Scarron” (1865 ed., 2.100-102): “Swift, in his dotage, appears to have been gratified by such puerilities as Scarron frequently wrote. An ode which Swift calls ‘A Lilliputian Ode,’ consisting of verses of three syllables, probably originated in a long epistle in verses of three syllables, which Scarron addressed to Sarrazin. It is pleasant, and the following lines will serve as a specimen:[he gives the Epitre ending with Poe’s excerpt].” Disraeli gives the correct “courroux” and uses lower capitals for “Et caetera.” The form “Liliputian” has always been allowed. The next page of the SLM (2.573) begins the regular Pinakidia series.

Supplementary Pinakidia 24

SLM 11, 622 (September 1836)


“The Rainbow,” by Campbell, “Triumphal Arch,” &c. is indeed a glorious piece, and worthy at once of the subject and the poet. Nor does it derogate much from his genius, though it does a little perhaps from his honesty, that he has borrowed (without acknowledgment) two or three of the finest thoughts and phrases in it from an older bard, a certain Henry Vaughan, who flourished about two centuries ago, and whose poems, says Montgomery, “amidst much harshness and obscurity, show gleams of rare excellence.” Thus these lines of Vaughan,

How bright wert thou when Shem’s admiring eye,

Thy burning, flaming arch did first descry;

When Zerah, Nahor, Haram, Abram, Lot,

The youthful World’s gray fathers, in one knot,

Did, with intentive looks, watch every hour

For thy new light, and trembled at each shower:

evidently suggested that fine stanza of Campbell —

When o‘er the green undeluged earth

Heaven’s covenant thou didst shine,

How came the world’s gray fathers forth

To watch thy sacred sign.

But the verse which follows is an admirable addition of his own.

And when its yellow lustre smiled,

O‘er mountains yet untrod,

Each mother held aloft her child,

To bless the bow of God.

This finishes the picture, and makes it perfect. And Vaughan’s two first lines, [page 440:]

Still young and fine, but what is still in view,

We slight as old and soil‘d, though fresh and new,

together with his two last,

Who looks upon thee from his glorious throne,

And minds the covenant betwixt ALL and ONE,

obviously kindled Campbell’s two closing stanzas —

As fresh in yon horizon dark,

As young thy beauties seem,

As when the eagle from the ark

First sported in thy beam.

For faithful to its sacred page,

Heaven still rebuilds thy span,

Nor lets the type grow pale with age

That first spoke peace to man.

A splendid improvement indeed! In short, Campbell’s Rainbow (or the best part of it, from the fifth verse to the end,) is but a sort of secondary of Vaughan’s, though it is not in this case, as in nature, fainter, but triumphantly brighter and more beautiful than the first.*

* Perhaps the reader may like to see Vaughan’s piece entire. Here it is.

THE RAINBOW. — By Henry Vaughan.

Still young and fine! but what is still in view

We slight as old and soil‘d, though fresh and new;

How bright wert thou when Shem’s admiring eye,

Thy burning, flaming arch did first descry;

When Zerah, Nahor, Haram, Abram, Lot,

The youthful world’s gray fathers, in one knot,

Did, with intentive looks, watch every hour

For thy new light, and trembled at each shower.

When thou dost shine, darkness looks white and fair;

Storms turn to music, clouds to smiles and air;

Rain gently spends his honey-drops, and pours

Balm on the cleft earth, milk on grass and flowers.

Bright pledge of peace and sunshine! the sure tie

Of thy Lord’s hand, the object of his eye!

When I behold thee, though my light be dim,

Distant and iow, I can in thine see Him,

Who looks upon thee from his glorious throne,

And minds the covenant betwixt All and One.


Note: Item 24 is included solely because it is listed by David K. Jackson in his article in AL of 11/1933, 5.262 with this number. My deleting it would cause a gap in the series or throw off the numbering of the entire set which adheres to Jackson’s (1-28). Moreover, it seems best to furnish the text so that the reader may judge for himself and evaluate my arguments for rejection, listed below: [page 441:]

1. Jackson’s implied reasons for including this article of over a full column are the nature of the topic and the use by Campbell of ideas and phrases and words from Vaughan’s poem, with an identical title. Campbell’s being similarly cited in Pin 5 and 38 and M 139A (twice) implies Poe’s authorship, but if so, why is there no allusion to his “plagiaristic” habits or to the material of the main Pinakidia items in the 8/36 magazine? Jackson assumes that its being listed by title in the index of the journal and as an “Original Article” ascribes it to Poe, but this is not true of all “Original Article” items. In the marginal notes on his vol. of the SLM TOM has jotted: “P. P. Cooke may have done this” — a very likely suggestion to my mind.

2. The style is uncharacteristic in general and in specific: e.g., “Worthy at once of the subject” (Poe usually drops the “of”); “a certain Henry Vaughan, who flourished”: Poe never introduces past worthies with this condescending and yet naive adjective, nor does he use “flourished” thus; “This finishes the picture, and makes it perfect.”; Poe would not ascribe “perfection” to such verses and almost never uses the term in criticism; “kindled Campbell’s. . . stanzas”: Poe never used the word thus, nor would he.

3. Poe rarely becomes so enthusiastic over Campbell’s poems, nor does he seem to mix the direct and the ironic, leaving a confused response (Campbell’s verse is “secondary” but “brighter“!). He usually calls Campbell a sort of “balladeer” because of “Hohenlinden” (see the 14 citations to Campbell, some of review length in PD , p. 17). He alludes to his “odes” or his “rhythm” vaguely without even mentioning the title of the poem implied, as though he scarcely knows his poems. Similarly James Montgomery’s Lectures on Literature is indeed the source of several items (see Index under the name), but he is objurgated in direct refs., not cited with respect as here. Moreover, Jackson assumes that this article proves Lectures to be the source of the whole (according to his preliminary statement, p. 260); in reality, perusing it has not revealed any passage about Vaughan that could be the source.

4. The colloquially casual tone is atypical, as in the headnote to the quotation at the end: “Perhaps. . . it is.”

5. The missed opportunity to draw a parallel and to damn a poor phrase is atypical: “watch” is not italicized in the first two citations; and the last line of Vaughan’s poem is metrically and accentually highly irregular.

Supplementary Pinakidia 25

SLM 11, 676 (October 1836)


Balzac’s real name was Guez — Metastasio’s was Trapasso — Melancthon’s Hertz Schwartz — Erasmus’ Gerard.


Note: This is one of two fillers, each at the bottom of a column. The title, “NOMS DE GUERRE” meaning “assumed or supposititious names,” was given by Poe to the material taken from Disraeli’s CL, article “Influence of a Name” (2.230-31). Poe selected widely separated items, indicated by the suspension points: “Guez (a beggar) . . . felt such extreme delicacy at so low a name, that to give some authority to the splendour of his diction, he assumed the name of his estate; and is well known as Balzac. . . . Desiderius Erasmus was a name formed out of his family name Gerard, which in Dutch signifies amiable. . . . He first changed it to a Latin word of much the same signification, desiderius, which afterwards he refined into the Greek Erasmus. . . .One of the most amiable of the reformers was originally named Hertz Schwarts (black earth), which he elegantly turned into the Greek name Melancthon. The vulgar name of a great Italian poet was Trapasso; but when the learned Gravina resolved to devote the youth to the muses, he gave him a mellifluous name . . . Metastasio.”

Concerning the eminent man of letters, Jean Louis Guez de Balzac, see Pin Intro, 103, M 46. The regular word for “beggar or poor” is “gueux” but close to Balzac’s form of the name. In the main article of the Pinakidia Poe had confused Balzac with Bouhours, as author of La Manière de bien penser, usually printed without name. In Poe’s review of E. Barrett’s Drama of Exile of 1/4/45 in BJ (H 12.11) he cites a phrase allegedly by Balzac, which I have not traced to its source, and in his “Vaudeville” cited as motto to “Bon-Bon” appears a ref. to being “wiser than Balzac.” Philip Melancthon enters Pin 131, borrowed from the H. N. Coleridge source, and used similarly in para. 1 of “Never Bet the Devil.” Erasmus is mentioned in reviews of 1835 (H 8.49, 104); Metastasio in the first of these two (8.49).

Supplementary Pinakidia 26

SLM II, 676 (October 1836)


The first Polyglot Bible is that of Cardinal Ximenes, printed in 1515. It contains the Hebrew text, the Chaldaic Paraphrase, the Greek Septuagint, and the ancient Latin edition. The second is the Royal Bible, Anvers, 1752: the third that of Le Jay, Paris, 1645: the fourth that of England, London, 1657, edited by Walton. There are many since, but of less celebrity.


Note: This comes from Jacob Bielfeld, Elements of Universal Erudition, I, iii, “Of the Exegesis and the Hermeneutic” (1.4), in the Hooper ed. (London, 1770): 442

“[Of] the Bibles, called Polyglot . . . the first is that of cardinal Ximenes, printed in the year 1515. . . . It contains the Hebrew text, the Chaldean paraphrase, the Greek version of the Septuagint, and the antient Latin edition. The second is . . . the Royal Bible, printed at Antwerp in 1572. The third, that of le Jay, printed at Paris in 1645. The fourth is the English Polyglot, printed at London in 1657, of which Walton is the editor. There are several more. . . neither so complete nor so celebrated.”

Bielfeld is correct in his statement. The idea of publishing the Paris polyglot originated with Cardinal du Perron. After his death Guy Michel le Jay took up the project and brought it to completion, 1629-45, in 9 vols. Poe showed great interest in this general topic: for Chaldaic see Pin 137, 170; see also “Bible” in the Index.

Supplementary Pinakidia 27

SLM II, 773 (November 1836)


Sir W. Scott’s reputation prompted some German publishers to make a bold attempt at imposition. A work was announced under the title of Walladmor, and professing to be a free translation from the English of Sir Walter. It was a miserable failure.


Note: The exact source of this is unknown, but it may well be the De Quincey article on the book in the London Magazine of 10/1824, 10.353-82, reviewing and summarizing the book in thirty double columns. The full story was later given by Thomas De Quincey in Tait’s Magazine, 9/1838, pp. 554-63, subsequently reprinted as Ch. 5 of Literary Reminiscences, in 2 vols (Boston ed.,1851),1.135-150. In the 1824 article, De Quincey called it “the boldest hoax of our times,” for it had been written to order for the Leipzig Easter book fair (by Georg Wilhelm Heinrich Haering) as a three-vol. novel “freely translated” from the English of Sir Walter Scott, whose novels were in such demand on the Continent. De Quincey later explained that he had selected the three best episodes from the thousand page work for summarizing, as a result of which he was given a contract by Taylor and Hessey of London to translate the whole. He found it so appalling that he had to rewrite and even largely invent most of the work, published in 2 vols. in 1825. Poe is not correct, for the German “translation” had some immediate success through Scott’s fame. [page 444:]

Supplementary Pinakidia 28

SLM II, 779 (November 1836)

Sir John Hill, who passed for the translator of Swammerdam’s work on insects, understood not a word of Dutch. He was to receive 50 guineas for the translation, and bargained with another translator for 25 — this other being in a like predicament paid a third person 12 pounds for the job.


Note: This is an abridgment of a passage in Disraeli’s CL, article “Literary Impostures” (1865 ed., 1.204-205): “Sir John Hill . . . once contracted to translate Swammerdam’s work on insects for fifty guineas. After the agreement with the bookseller, he recollected that he did not understand a word of the Dutch language! . . . Sir John bargained with another translator for twenty-five guineas. The second translator was precisely in the same situation as the first. . . . He rebargained with a third, who perfectly understood his original, for twelve guineas!” Disraeli’s account gives a somewhat false impression, for the man named Hill assumed his “knighthood” by virtue of receiving the Swedish Order of Vasa (1774) for his elaborate work The Vegetable System (26 vols.) written at the insistence of his patron Lord Bute. In actuality John Hill (1716?-75) was a roguish writer of great versatility, on scientific and literary topics, also on scandalous and scurrilous themes, who knew and also alienated almost every literary man in London. Among the 76 varied works ascribed to him by the DNB this does not appear, but in a sense it is Hill’s. Jan Swammerdam (1637-80), a brilliant Dutch naturalist and physician, wrote Biblia naturae, sive Historia insectorum (or, in Dutch, Bibel der natur), published in 1737, in a bilingual version, the Latin being by Hieronimus David Gaubius (Leyden). This Latin translation was certainly more accessible to Hill, whose production is thus listed (L. C., Mansell catalogue): The book of nature; or, The History of insects. . . translated from the Dutch and Latin original ed. by Thomas Floyd. Revised and improved by notes from Réaumur and others by John Hill, M. D. (London, 1758). Poe used the name of Swammerdam also in “Gold-Bug” of 1843 (Tales 807, 845n4).

Supplementary Pinakidia 29

SLM XIV, 96 (February 1848)


(title for the group, 29-34)

In Sir Thomas Bodley’s Remains is a curious letter to Lord Bacon, in which Sir Thomas remonstrates with Bacon on his new mode of philosophising. Sir Edward Coke wrote some miserable, but bitter verses on [page 445:] a copy of the Instauratio, and James I. declared, that “like God’s power it surpassed all understanding.”


Note: The next six articles are from a collection entitled “Excerpta” in the SLM of 2/48, 14.96 (column 2). D. K. Jackson briefly discusses them in his AL article of 11/1933, 258 n7a. There is little reason to doubt that Poe had arranged with John R. Thompson, the editor, to publish them (see my Intro.); their nature, sources, and the duplication in the last of an earlier Pin — all support Poe’s being their personal source.

The source for this article is Disraeli’s CL, article “Of Lord Bacon at Home” (1865 ed., 4.224-233). Poe has adroitly managed to epitomize one para. (p. 229) and dip into two others (pp. 231-32) for the second sentence. He transfers the information of the “Remains” from a footnote to the text: “This letter may be found in Reliquiae Bodleianae, p. 369.” In fact, it may be found in The remaines of the right Honorable Francis lord Verulam. Being essayes and severall letters to severall great personages. . . (London, 1648), pp. 80-87, “Sir Thomas Bodleys Letter to Sir Francis Bacon about his Cogitata et visa” (19 February 1607). This is either Disraeli’s error or an indication of his using other documents. Disraeli used the term “copious letter” for Poe’s phrase and he gives Coke’s verses, written over Bacon’s “device of a ship passing between Hercules’s pillars” — called by Disraeli “a miserable distich”: “It deserveth not to be read in schools, / But to be freighted in the Ship of Fools.” The words of the king are given thus: “It is like the peace of God, that surpasseth all understanding.” For other refs. to Bacon see MM 147, 183, 196, 213, 262, FS 3, Pin Intro. (and the notes thereon).

Supplementary Pinakidia 30

SLM XIV, 96 (February 1848)


(title for the group, 29-34)

There is a curious work by the emperor Julian entitled “The Misopogon, or the Antiochian, the Enemy of the Beard.” It is a reply to some lampoons of the Antiochians on the beard of the monarch.


Note: This, the second of the “Excerpta,” comes from Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. 22 (Bury ed., rep. of 1909), 2.446, and also ch. 24, 2.511, passages concerning Gibbon’s hero, the Emperor Julian the Apostate. In the first he speaks of “the shaggy and populous beard, which he fondly cherished after the example of the philosophers of Greece.” The second, concerns Julian’s lengthy sojourn at Antioch in his deferred campaign against Persia. He detested the hostile municipal [page 446:] senate of Antioch as greedy and corrupt, and had them briefly arrested. During the Saturnalia, the streets resounded with “insolent songs which derided the laws, the religion, the personal conduct, and even the beard of the emperor.” Julian therefore composed “the Enemy of the Beard,” an “ironical confession of his own faults, and a severe satire of the licentious and effeminate manners of Antioch.” The title is properly “Misopogon or, Beard-Hater” and Poe’s inserting “the Antiochian” seems to indicate a misunderstanding of the nature of this satire, which seems to coincide with the churlish scorn of the inhabitants.

Supplementary Pinakidia 31

SLM XIV, 96 (February 1848)


(title for the group, 29-34)

Plato compares Socrates to the gallipots of the Athenian apothecaries which were painted on the outside with the figures of apes and owls, but contained within a precious balm.


Note: Since this has no direct correspondence to anything in the Platonic dialogues, it must be a version of a passage in the speech by Alcibiades in the Symposium: “What he reminds me of more than anything is one of those little sileni that you see on the statuaries’ stalls; . . . when you open them down the middle there are little figures of the gods inside. And then again, he reminds me of Marsyas the satyr” (Collected Works, tr. by Michael Joyce [Bollingen Series 71, Princeton, 1961], 215 c, p. 566); also, “Isn‘t that like Silenus?. . . Don‘t you see that it’s just his outer casing, like those little figures I was telling you about?” (216 d, p. 568). For the importance of Plato in the Brevities see, with annotations, Pin 19, M 23, M 239. This is Excerpta no. 3.

Supplementary Pinakidia 32

SLM XIV, 96 (February 1848)


(title for the group, 29-34)

Goldoni, in his drama of Torquato Tasso, thus contrasts the poet’s writings and conversation:

Ammiro il suo talento, gradisco; carmi suoi;

Ma piacer non trove a conversar con lui. [page 447:]


Note: This is the fourth no. of “Excerpta.” The assumed intermediary source is unknown; it is unlikely that Poe was reading the play Torguato Tasso (1754-55) of Carlo Goldoni (1736-93), among whose 250 plays it is very far from being prominent. The two lines were miscopied, although the meaning was not radically changed. They should read thus: “Ammiro il suo talento, gradisco i carmi sui; / Ma egual piacer non trovo a conversar con lui” (1.6 in Opere Complette, Venice, 1911,11.420). Spoken by the Marchesa to Donna Eleonora, the lines mean: “I admire his talent, I appreciate his songs (or poems); I do not find the same pleasure in conversing with him.” After 1575, a little more than thirty, Tasso (154495) “became the victim of a mental malady, which . . . rendered him fantastical and insupportable” (En. Brit., 26.444). For Poe’s interest in Tasso see Pin 21, 105, M 138.

Supplementary Pinakidia 33

SLM XIV, 96 (February 1848)


(title for the group, 29-34)

Gibbon observes that some singular errors have been occasioned by the use of the word mil. in MSS., which is an abreviation for soldiers as well as for thousands.


Note: Poe or his source found this in Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, but a rapid perusal of the text and notes has not as yet revealed it. Nor does it seem likely that such a misunderstanding could easily take place. Yet Poe is usually faithful to his text when he so pointedly declares a source. This is the fifth of the “Excerpta.”

Supplementary Pinakidia 34

SLM XIV, 96 (February 1848)


(title for the group, 29-34)

Milton in Paradise Lost has this passage —

— when the scourge

Inexorably, and the torturing hour

Calls us to penance.

Gray in his Ode to Adversity has the following —

Thou tamer of the human breast, [page 447:]

Whose iron scourge, and torturing hour

The bad affright.


Note: This is the sixth and last of the “Excerpta.” Originally taken from Disraeli’s CL, it is a reprinting of Pin 92, q.v. for fuller details.

Supplementary Pinakidia 35

SLM XIV, 228 (April 1848)

In the bull of the canonization of Ignatius Loyola, 1623, Luther is called “monstrum teterrimum, et detestabilis pestis.”


Note: This is a continuation of Pin 46, even using the same source text, namely, Disraeli’s CL, article “Literary Controversy” (1865 ed., 1.403). Poe copies this almost verbatim from Disraeli, save for the month of “August” in 1623. The Latin means “most foul monster and detestable plague” (with the more accurate form being “taeterrimum”). For the prominence of Luther in Poe’s refs. see the end of Pin 46.

Supplementary Pinakidia 36

SLM XIV, 319 (May 1848)

“An unshaped kind of something first appeared,” is a line in Cowley’s famous description of the Creation.


Note: This is repeated from Pin 48, with its source in Cowley’s Davideis (see Pin 48 for discussion).

Supplementary Pinakidia 37

SLM XIV, 376 (June 1848)

A religious hubbub, such as the world has seldom seen, was excited during the reign of Frederic II. by the imagined virulence of a book entitled “The Three Imposters.” It was attributed to Pierre des Vignes, chancellor of the king, who was accused by the Pope of having treated the religions of Moses, Jesus and Mahomet as political fables. The work in question, however, which was squabbled about, abused, defended, and familiarly quoted by all parties, is well proved never to have existed.


Note: This is repeated from Pin 8, q.v. [page 449:]

Supplementary Pinakidia 38

SLM XIV, 376 (June 1848)


There is no particular air known throughout Switzerland by the name of Ranz des Vaches. Every canton has its own song varying in words, notes, and even language.


Note: This is repeated from Pin 29 except for the last sentence, here omitted: “Mr. Cooper, the novelist, is our authority.” Since Cooper’s Excursions in Switzerland, Poe’s source in 1836, was less timely and popular in 1848, there seemed far less reason to retain Cooper’s name and title. This kind of change certainly suggests Poe’s instrumentality rather than the SLM editor’s.

Supplementary Pinakidia 39

SLM XIV, 654 (November 1848)


On a street in London, which was much infested by lawyers, and the bottom of which were wharves for shipping.

“At the top of my street the attorneys abound,

And down at the bottom the barges are found;

Fly, honesty, fly to some safer retreat,

For there’s craft in the river and craft in the street.”


Note: There are reasons to doubt that this is inserted by Poe or through his direction, especially since there was such a gap of time since the printing of SP 38 in June. But five items in the 11/48 issue are probably by Poe, two almost definitely (40, 41) as well as, probably, SP 45 of 12/48. Hence, this punning quatrain is ascribed to him here. The source is unknown. The contempt shown for lawyers as “crafty” is not uncharacteristic. We should consider his deprecation of the minions of the law in the detective fiction and the inept constable and magistrate in “Thou Art the Man,” as well as the ineptness of rulers in such works as “Hop-Frog” and implicitly “King Pest” or “Metzengerstein.” “Infested by lawyers” shows no respect for the profession; see his use of this term traced in FS 28n. Poe’s fondness for punning can be verified through the discussions under that rubric in the Index. [page 450:]

Supplementary Pinakidia 40

SLM XIV, 671 (November 1848)

The heathen poets are mentioned three times in the New Testament. Aratus in the seventeenth chapter of Acts — Menander in the fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians — also Epimenides.


Note: This is repeated from Pin 133, no exact source for which is known.

Supplementary Pinakidia 41

SLM XIV, 671 (November 1848)

The vulgar Christian era is the invention of Dionysius Exiguus.


Note: This is the same as Pin 136, for which no exact source known.

Supplementary Pinakidia 42

SLM XIV, 698 (November 1848)

According to Lord Bolingbroke, Virgil preferred Livy and Tacitus to any Grecian historians. He founds this idea upon the celebrated lives commencing, “Excudent alii,” etc. This is a singular blunder on his Lordship’s part, for Virgil died before Livy had written his history, and before Tacitus was born.


Note: No source for this is known, save for the material in Lord Bolingbroke’s (Henry Saint John, 1678-1751), Of the Study of History, “Letter V” (Works, 1777, 5 vols., 2.340-41). The carping criticism is just in Poe’s style, as is the required close reading for matching the discrepant material. Poe was quite capable of knowing the errors in dating. He had a particular interest in Bolingbroke, expressed in several passages: a comment on his prose style in a 9/35 SLM review of Southey’s Naval History (H 8.49), a ref. to his erudition in an 11/39 BGM review (10.47), refs. in Pin Intro and M 46, a Voltaire ref. used as a motto for the first version of “Bon-Bon” and an inquiry of “Landor” (H. B. Wallace) on 7/7/41 about a notice of Bolingbroke’s works in the American edition — a notice not written by Poe, he says, but discussing his works and the prefatory memoir and including a ref. to the work, Of the Study of History (Ostrom, Letters 174). For Lord Bolingbroke in general see Pin Intro.

Poe is here alluding to the following passages in Bolingbroke: “I have sometimes thought that Virgil might have justly ascribed to his countrymen the praise of writing history better as well as that of affording the noblest subjects in it, in those famous verses where the [page 451:] different excellencies of the two nations are so finely touched: ‘Excudent alii spirantia mollius aera I (credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore vultus“’ (Works, 2.340). On the next page we find this: “Even Polybius and Dionysius of Halicarnassus must bow to the great Roman authors . . . Rome afforded men equal to their great task: Sallust, Livy and Tacitus.” No ref. is made to Virgil here, but Poe is correct in implying the absence of historians before the last two named for Virgil to praise or prefer. Early annalists and mere chronographers could not qualify. Virgil (70-19 B. C.) wrote his Aeneid from 26 to 19 B. C. Livy’s “History of Rome” appeared from 27 B. C. to 14 A. D. Cornelius Tacitus, whose dates of birth and death are unknown, preceded Pliny a little (61 A. D.) and survived Trajan, who died in 117. Hence, Poe is correct about the inference concerning Virgil’s preferences among historians. The two lines from the Aeneid (6.847-48) are part of father Anchises’ prediction to Aeneas of the future greatness in culture of Rome (“And there are others, assuredly I believe l Shall work in bronze more sensitively molding I Breathing images, or carving from the marble I More lifelike features” — (tr. of P. Dickinson, 1961), but the inference about historians is unsupported by the rest of the passage.

Supplementary Pinakidia 43

SLM XIV, 698 (November 1848)

Gilbert Wakefield in his edition of Pope, supposes the well-known “Song by a Person of Quality,” to be a serious composition, and in a long commentary goes about to prove the whole a disgrace to its author.


Note: This seems to be derived directly from Wakefield’s edition of Pope’s works and no intermediary source, especially since it either misinterprets or distorts the material. It refers to The Works of Alexander Pope, Esquire. In verse and Prose: Containing the principal notes of Dr. Warburton and Warton: illustrations and. . . remarks, by ,Johnson, Wakefield, A. Chalmers and others (London: J. Johnson, 1806), in 10 vols. (specifically, vol. 2, pp. 360-63, text and notes on “Song. By a Person of Quality” of 8 stanzas). The editor, Gilbert Wakefield, (1756-1801) was a teacher, scholar, and controversial writer, who issued many Greek and Latin classics and English works. After the text of the poem is a long note by an earlier editor declaring the “Song” to be “a pleasant burlesque on the gawdy [sic], glittering, florid style” and including a long satirical “Ode to Horror” by the young Warton while at Oxford. The note then comments that “the humour of this ode is not half so obvious as the humour of Pope’s ballad. It might pass for a serious Descriptive Ode . . . with a certain class of poetical readers.”

The item does indicate at least Poe’s constant interest in the works [page 452:] of Pope, as can be seen in refs. in Pin 8, 36, 88, 96; MM 42, 50, 139A, 150e, 159, 191, 218, 225d, 237, 255; FS 24.

Supplementary Pinakidia 44

SLM XIV, 726 (December 1848)

The magnificent edition of Camoen’s As Lusiadas printed in 1817 by Dom Jose Souza, assisted by Didot, is perhaps the most immaculate specimen of typography in existence. In a few copies, however, one error was discovered occasioned by one of the letters in the word Lusitano getting misplaced during the working of a sheet.


Note: This article is drawn from Disraeli’s CL, article on “Errata” (1865 ed., 1.138-39), already used in M 76, q. v. for the full text in CL. Either Poe or the compositor has printed “As” for the Portuguese definite article “Os.”

Supplementary Pinakidia 45

SLM XIV, 752 (December 1848)

Congora (sic), in one of his odes calls the river of Madrid, “the Duke of Streams and Viscount of Rivers.”

Manzanares, Manzanares,

Os que en todo el aguatismo,

Estois Duque de Arroyos

Y Visconde de los Rios.


Note: Several elements in this article enable us to ascribe it to Poe: Poe’s liking to cite from the Spanish (cf. FS 19 and the 5141 review of Malibran’s Memoirs, H 10.95), a language over which he has very slight control; his great interest in promoting unadorned, lucid language; and his desire to seem apt in another romance tongue. Luis de Góngora y Argote (1561-1627), in his Polifemo, Soledades, and Romances (ballads), earned the distinction of being the most original, imaginative, experimental, and influential of all of Spain’s poets, although in such disrepute in the 18th century as to need the revival efforts of Damaso Alonso in 1927. This “Romance” of 1619, no. 78 in the Obras completas (Madrid, 1956), pp. 220-22, is not quite correct as Poe quoted it (with the wrong spelling of the poet’s name): “Manzanares, Manzanares, / vos, que en todo el acuatismo / Duque sois de los arroyos / y Vizconde de los ríos, / soberbio corréis.” This may be translated thus: “Manzanares, Manzanares, you who, among all the most watery elements, are the duke of the streams and the viscount of the rivers, flow proudly.” Aside from the [page 453:] differences produced by archaic spelling, Poe’s (or the typesetter’s) error lies in “aguatismo,” Góngora’s creation is “acuatismo” (or “aguatismo”), presumably. Poe’s frequent use of Dubartas as a glaring example of extravagant metaphor (“grand duke of candles” for the sun) should be noted (see Pollin, Miss. Quarterly, 1969, 33.45-55).

Supplementary Pinakidia 46

SLM XIV, 760 (December 1848)

The following inscription intended for the Louvre possesses both simplicity and dignity —

Pande fores populis, sublimis Lupara: non est

Terrarum imperio dignior ulla domus.


Note: This item, taken from Bouhours’ Bien penser, is repeated from Pin 110, q.v.






[S:0 - BRP2B, 1985] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (Supplemental Pinakidia)