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[56] as a ‘quick and clever boy,’ though embarrassed by ‘an extravagant amount of pocket-money’; and John Allan wrote of him in 1818 that he was ‘a fine boy’ and read ‘Latin pretty sharply.’ In 1816 Allan described him as ‘thin as a razor,’ but in 1819 he wrote that he was ‘growing wonderfully.’

On his return to Richmond in the summer of 1820, Poe entered an academy kept, first, by Joseph H. Clarke and, later, by William Burke, under whom he continued his work in the languages, earning the admiration of his fellows by his readiness at ‘capping verses’ from the Latin and by his skill in declamation. He also wrote verses of his own, and it is said that a sheaf of his juvenilia was collected in 1822 or 1823 in the hope that they might be published in volume form. But before the end of 1824 he had somehow broken with his foster-father, and the breach between the two was never to be entirely healed. ‘The boy possesses not a spark of affection for us,’ wrote John Allan in November, 1824, ‘not a particle of gratitude for all my care and kindness towards him. . . . I fear his associates have led him to adopt a line of thinking and acting very contrary to what he possessed when in England.’ The immediate cause of the breach we do not know; but a parting of the ways between the two, who were radically dissimilar in tastes and ideals, was inevitable sooner or later.

The year 1826 Poe spent as a student at the University of Virginia. Here he made a creditable record in his classes, winning honourable mention in Latin and French; and he at no time fell under the censure of his instructors. At the end of the year, however, because of his having accumulated gambling debts of some twenty-five hundred dollars, he was withdrawn from college; and with the beginning of the next year he was placed by his adoptive father in his counting-house in Richmond, in the hope that he might develop a taste for a business career. But he had small leaning that way; besides, he had been disappointed in a love-affair, having become engaged before going to college to Miss Sarah Elmira Royster, of Richmond, who, in consequence of a misunderstanding, had jilted him in his absence and had betrothed herself to another. Smarting under this disappointment and completely out of sympathy with the life marked out for him by his foster-father, Poe now determined to run away; and at some time in March, 1827, he left Richmond

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