Do you read French? No? Google Translate to the rescue! But even then this short story is confusing. I read it twice in hardcopy format and online. To fully understand what happens I had to resort to Google where I found the clearest explanation from the Examiner.
Basically a self-absorbed dandy Duke chokes on an olive and dies. In Hell with the Devil he’s asked to strip. Offended he demands a fencing duel to win back his life. Since the Devil doesn’t know how, they play cards. Our dandy Duke wins, though if he had to be in hell, he wouldn’t mind being the Devil.
My guess is Poe didn’t like superficial dandies if he’s sending them straight to Hell.
Le Duc de L’Omelette is the second tale Poe wrote, in 1832, two months after Metzengerstein – another tale for which I had to resort to Google for help.
Poe’s early work certainly isn’t his best.
Lesson: Never assume your audience is as educated as you.
*Read in the Barnes & Noble leatherbound The Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe.