The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 209

to say,
Simpson--spoke the English language but very little better than she
wrote it, and for this reason she very properly never attempted to speak
it upon ordinary occasions. But rage will carry a lady to any
extreme; and in the present care it carried Mrs. Simpson to the very
extraordinary extreme of attempting to hold a conversation in a tongue
that she did not altogether understand.

“Vell, Monsieur,” said she, after surveying me, in great apparent
astonishment, for some moments--“Vell, Monsieur?--and vat den?--vat de
matter now? Is it de dance of de Saint itusse dat you ave? If not like
me, vat for vy buy de pig in the poke?”

“You wretch!” said I, catching my breath--“you--you--you villainous old
hag!”

“Ag?--ole?--me not so ver ole, after all! Me not one single day more dan
de eighty-doo.”

“Eighty-two!” I ejaculated, staggering to the wall--“eighty-two hundred
thousand baboons! The miniature said twenty-seven years and seven
months!”

“To be sure!--dat is so!--ver true! but den de portraite has been take
for dese fifty-five year. Ven I go marry my segonde usbande, Monsieur
Lalande, at dat time I had de portraite take for my daughter by my first
usbande, Monsieur Moissart!”

“Moissart!” said I.

“Yes, Moissart,” said she, mimicking my pronunciation, which, to speak
the truth, was none of the best,--“and vat den? Vat you know about de
Moissart?”

“Nothing, you old fright!--I know nothing about him at all; only I had
an ancestor of that name, once upon a time.”

“Dat name! and vat you ave for say to dat name? ‘Tis ver goot name;
and so is Voissart--dat is ver goot name too. My daughter, Mademoiselle
Moissart, she marry von Monsieur Voissart,--and de name is bot ver
respectaable name.”

“Moissart?” I exclaimed, “and Voissart! Why, what is it you mean?”

“Vat I mean?--I mean Moissart and Voissart; and for de matter of dat, I
mean Croissart and Froisart, too, if I only tink proper to mean it.
My daughter’s daughter, Mademoiselle Voissart, she marry von Monsieur
Croissart, and den again, my daughter’s grande daughter, Mademoiselle
Croissart, she marry von Monsieur Froissart; and I suppose you say dat
dat is not von ver respectaable name.-”

“Froissart!” said I, beginning to faint, “why, surely you don’t say
Moissart, and Voissart, and Croissart, and Froissart?”

“Yes,” she replied, leaning fully back in her chair, and stretching
out her lower limbs at great length; “yes, Moissart, and Voissart, and
Croissart, and Froissart. But Monsieur Froissart, he vas von ver big vat
you call fool--he vas von ver great big donce like yourself--for he lef
la belle France for come to dis stupide Amerique--and ven he get here
he went and ave

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

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Page 183
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Page 188
The same name! the same contour of person! the same day of arrival at the academy! And then his dogged and meaningless imitation of my gait, my voice, my habits, and my manner! Was it, in truth, within the bounds of human possibility, that what I now saw was the result, merely, of the habitual practice of this sarcastic imitation? Awe-stricken, and with a creeping shudder, I extinguished the lamp, passed silently from the chamber, and left, at once, the halls of that old academy, never to enter them again.
Page 202
Herein was I born.