I met Poe first in an anthology with a title like "Fifty Stories for Boys." I was eleven, and the story was "Hop-Frog," that remarkable tale of terrible revenge, which sat incongruously beside the tales of boys having adventures of desert islands or discovering secret plans hidden inside hollowed-out vegetables. As the king and his seven courtiers, tarred and chained, were hauled upwards, as the jester they had called Hop-Frog clambered up the chain, holding his burning torch, I found myself astonished and elated by the appropriateness of his monstrous revenge. I do not believe there were any other murders in "Fifty Stories for Boys" and certainly none with such a colourful and satisfactory cast, nor such terrible and appropriate cruelty.
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