Diddling describes the many ways in which a diddler operated at the time of Poe's life. Poe describes the necessary ingredients of being a diddler as minuteness, interest, perseverance, ingenuity, audacity, nonchalance, originality, impertinence, and grin. He obviously believed that diddlers are quite the intellectuals, and I would agree with him. My particular favorite ingredient description was for ingenuity:
Your diddler is ingenious. He has constructiveness large. He understands plot. He invents and circumvents. Were he not Alexander he would be Diogenes. Were he not a diddler, he would be a maker of patent rat-traps or an angler for trout.
Were he not Alexander he would be Diogenes. Poe never fails to impress me with his encyclopedia-like knowledge base. This, of course, is a tale, perhaps true, perhaps false, of Alexander meeting Diogenese in Athens. Diogenes was quite the character to say the least.
The rest of the story is made up of clever ways to cheat people. While the story is no longer relevant today, it is still an interesting look into the past.
I would rate this short story a 2.8 out of 5. It was interesting but I wouldn't care to read it multiple times.