The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 148

body was that of Marie Rogêt? He ripped up the gown sleeve,
and says he found marks which satisfied him of the identity. The public
generally supposed those marks to have consisted of some description
of scars. He rubbed the arm and found hair upon it--something as
indefinite, we think, as can readily be imagined--as little conclusive
as finding an arm in the sleeve. M. Beauvais did not return that night,
but sent word to Madame Rogêt, at seven o'clock, on Wednesday evening,
that an investigation was still in progress respecting her daughter. If
we allow that Madame Rogêt, from her age and grief, could not go over,
(which is allowing a great deal,) there certainly must have been some
one who would have thought it worth while to go over and attend the
investigation, if they thought the body was that of Marie. Nobody went
over. There was nothing said or heard about the matter in the Rue Pavée
St. Andrée, that reached even the occupants of the same building. M. St.
Eustache, the lover and intended husband of Marie, who boarded in her
mother's house, deposes that he did not hear of the discovery of the
body of his intended until the next morning, when M. Beauvais came
into his chamber and told him of it. For an item of news like this, it
strikes us it was very coolly received."

In this way the journal endeavored to create the impression of an apathy
on the part of the relatives of Marie, inconsistent with the supposition
that these relatives believed the corpse to be hers. Its insinuations
amount to this:--that Marie, with the connivance of her friends, had
absented herself from the city for reasons involving a charge against
her chastity; and that these friends, upon the discovery of a corpse in
the Seine, somewhat resembling that of the girl, had availed themselves
of the opportunity to impress the public with the belief of her
death. But L'Etoile was again over-hasty. It was distinctly proved
that no apathy, such as was imagined, existed; that the old lady was
exceedingly feeble, and so agitated as to be unable to attend to any
duty, that St. Eustache, so far from receiving the news coolly, was
distracted with grief, and bore himself so frantically, that M. Beauvais
prevailed upon a friend and relative to take charge of him, and prevent
his attending the examination at the disinterment. Moreover, although
it was stated by L'Etoile, that the corpse was re-interred at the public
expense--that an advantageous offer of private sculpture was absolutely
declined by the family--and that no

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