The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 192

adopted this surname within the last year in order to receive a large
inheritance left me by a distant male relative, Adolphus Simpson,
Esq. The bequest was conditioned upon my taking the name of the
testator,--the family, not the Christian name; my Christian name is
Napoleon Bonaparte--or, more properly, these are my first and middle

I assumed the name, Simpson, with some reluctance, as in my true
patronym, Froissart, I felt a very pardonable pride--believing that
I could trace a descent from the immortal author of the “Chronicles.”
While on the subject of names, by the bye, I may mention a singular
coincidence of sound attending the names of some of my immediate
predecessors. My father was a Monsieur Froissart, of Paris. His wife--my
mother, whom he married at fifteen--was a Mademoiselle Croissart, eldest
daughter of Croissart the banker, whose wife, again, being only sixteen
when married, was the eldest daughter of one Victor Voissart. Monsieur
Voissart, very singularly, had married a lady of similar name--a
Mademoiselle Moissart. She, too, was quite a child when married; and her
mother, also, Madame Moissart, was only fourteen when led to the altar.
These early marriages are usual in France. Here, however, are Moissart,
Voissart, Croissart, and Froissart, all in the direct line of descent.
My own name, though, as I say, became Simpson, by act of Legislature,
and with so much repugnance on my part, that, at one period, I actually
hesitated about accepting the legacy with the useless and annoying
proviso attached.

As to personal endowments, I am by no means deficient. On the contrary,
I believe that I am well made, and possess what nine tenths of the world
would call a handsome face. In height I am five feet eleven. My hair is
black and curling. My nose is sufficiently good. My eyes are large and
gray; and although, in fact they are weak a very inconvenient degree,
still no defect in this regard would be suspected from their appearance.
The weakness itself, however, has always much annoyed me, and I have
resorted to every remedy--short of wearing glasses. Being youthful and
good-looking, I naturally dislike these, and have resolutely refused to
employ them. I know nothing, indeed, which so disfigures the countenance
of a young person, or so impresses every feature with an air of
demureness, if not altogether of sanctimoniousness and of age. An
eyeglass, on the other hand, has a savor of downright foppery and
affectation. I have hitherto managed as well as I could without either.
But something too much of these merely personal details, which, after
all, are of little importance.

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Text Comparison with First Project Gutenberg Collection of Edgar Allan Poe

Page 0
Hart, hart@pobox.
Page 1
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Page 2
" Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is.
Page 3
" "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!-- Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate,.
Page 4
" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 5
It was a voluptuous scene, that masquerade.
Page 6
The third was green throughout, and so were the casements.
Page 7
Be sure they were grotesque.
Page 8
There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.
Page 9
At first, as he spoke, there was a slight rushing movement of this group in the direction of the intruder, who at the moment was also near at hand, and now, with deliberate and stately step, made closer approach to the speaker.
Page 10
_At length_ I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled--but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk.
Page 11
" "Let us go, nevertheless.
Page 12
I shall not die of a cough.
Page 13
My own fancy grew warm with the Medoc.
Page 14
"True," I replied; "the Amontillado.
Page 15
I struggled with its weight; I placed it partially in its destined position.
Page 16
For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them.