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on entering the room where he was, took his hand and spoke some words of welcome, which penetrated his heart so deeply that he lost the power of speech, if not of consciousness itself. To the friend thus formed he was wont to impart all his youthful sorrows. She had a happy influence over him in his darker moods, and after her death it was his habit for months to pay a nightly visit to the cemetery in which she was buried. The drearier the nights the longer he lingered, and the more regretfully he came away. The memory of this lady is said to have suggested the most beautiful of his minor poems, the lines beginning :
“Helen, thy beauty is to me.”
It is far more likely, however, that she remotely suggested “The Sleeper,” the concluding lines of which reflect what we may suppose to have been his feelings in his long night watches at her grave :
“My love, she sleeps ! O, may her sleep,
Some vault that oft hath flung its black
The next episode of Poe's life—his college career was a dangerous one, in view of the liberty which had hitherto been allowed him, and the readiness with which his faults had been overlooked; and that it proved a source of pain and disappointment to his adopted parents is not to be wondered at. He entered the University of Virginia during its second session, which commenced on the ist of February, and terminated on the 15th of December, 1826. He signed the matriculation book on the 14th of February-five days before his seventeenth birthday, and remained until the session closed.
“The University was then a most dissolute place,
and Mr. Edgar A. Poe was remarked as the most dissolute and dissipated youth in the University.” So writes one of the most friendly of his biographers ; but his testimony is not confirmed by a fellowstudent,* who declares that he was in good standing
a student. “He belonged to the schools of Ancient and Modern Languages, and as I was myself a member of the latter I can testify that he was tolerably regular in his attendance, and a very successful student, having obtained distinction in it at the final examinations, and this, at that time, was the highest honour a student could obtain. The present regulation in regard to degrees had not then been adopted. On one occasion Professor Blatterman requested his Italian class to render into English verse a portion of the lesson in Tasso, which he had assigned them for the next lecture. He did not require this of them as a regular class exercise, but recommended it as one from which he thought the student would derive benefit. At the next lecture on Italian, the Professor stated, from his chair, that Mr. Poe was the only member of his class who had complied with his request, and he paid a very high compliment to his performance. Although I had a passing acquaintance with Mr. Poe from an early period of the session, it was not until near its close that I had any social intercourse with him. After spending an evening with him at a private house, he invited me to his rooms. It was a cold night in December, and his fire having gone pretty nearly out, by the aid of some tallow candles and the wreck of a table he soon re-kindled it, and by its comfortable blaze I spent a very pleasant hour with him. On this occasion he spoke with regret of the enormous amount of money he had wasted, and of the debts he had contracted during the session; the latter he estimated at $2000, and although they were for the most part gaming debts, he was earnest and emphatic that he was bound by honour to pay, at the earliest opportunity, every cent of them.
* William Wertenbaker, Esq., Secretary of the Faculty of the University of Virginia, May 12th, 1860.
"In a biographical sketch of Mr. Poe, I have seen it stated that he was at one time expelled from the University ; but that he afterwards returned, and graduated with the highest honours. This is entirely a mistake. He spent but the one session, 1826, at the Institution, and at no time did he fall under the censure of the Faculty. He was not at that time addicted to drinking, but had an ungovernable passion for card-playing. His violation of the laws, however, in this particular, escaped detection.” This testimony is corroborated by the presiding officer of the University, Dr. S. Maupin, who adds, on his own account, that there was not only nothing in the Faculty records to the prejudice of Mr. Poe, but that he appears to have been a successful student; that he obtained distinction in Latin and French; and that he was not graduated, because no provision had been made for conferring degrees of any kind at the time he was a student.
This rose-coloured view of the situation was not enjoyed by the old folks at home. “Mr. Gilliet,"