The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 190

He
nearly fainted as he gazed. And yet it was but a miniature portrait--a
miraculously accurate one, to be sure--of his own very remarkable
features. At least this was my thought as I regarded it.

“You will perceive,” said Templeton, “the date of this picture--it
is here, scarcely visible, in this corner--1780. In this year was the
portrait taken. It is the likeness of a dead friend--a Mr. Oldeb--to
whom I became much attached at Calcutta, during the administration of
Warren Hastings. I was then only twenty years old. When I first saw you,
Mr. Bedloe, at Saratoga, it was the miraculous similarity which existed
between yourself and the painting which induced me to accost you,
to seek your friendship, and to bring about those arrangements which
resulted in my becoming your constant companion. In accomplishing this
point, I was urged partly, and perhaps principally, by a regretful
memory of the deceased, but also, in part, by an uneasy, and not
altogether horrorless curiosity respecting yourself.

“In your detail of the vision which presented itself to you amid the
hills, you have described, with the minutest accuracy, the Indian city
of Benares, upon the Holy River. The riots, the combat, the massacre,
were the actual events of the insurrection of Cheyte Sing, which took
place in 1780, when Hastings was put in imminent peril of his life. The
man escaping by the string of turbans was Cheyte Sing himself. The party
in the kiosk were sepoys and British officers, headed by Hastings. Of
this party I was one, and did all I could to prevent the rash and fatal
sally of the officer who fell, in the crowded alleys, by the poisoned
arrow of a Bengalee. That officer was my dearest friend. It was Oldeb.
You will perceive by these manuscripts,” (here the speaker produced a
note-book in which several pages appeared to have been freshly written,)
“that at the very period in which you fancied these things amid the
hills, I was engaged in detailing them upon paper here at home.”

In about a week after this conversation, the following paragraphs
appeared in a Charlottesville paper:

“We have the painful duty of announcing the death of Mr. Augustus Bedlo,
a gentleman whose amiable manners and many virtues have long endeared
him to the citizens of Charlottesville.

“Mr. B., for some years past, has been subject to neuralgia, which has
often threatened to terminate fatally; but this can be regarded only
as the mediate cause of his decease. The proximate cause was one of
especial singularity. In an excursion to the Ragged Mountains, a few
days since, a slight

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