Derniers Contes

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 16

telle etendue qu'il pouvait se faire entendre
d'un bout de la terre a l'autre[31]. Un autre avait un bras si long
qu'il pouvait, assis a Damas, rediger une lettre a Bagdad, ou a quelque
distance que ce fut[32]. Un autre ordonnait a l'eclair de descendre du
ciel, et l'eclair descendait a son ordre, et une fois descendu, lui
servait de jouet. Un autre de deux sons retentissants reunis faisait
un silence. Un autre avec deux lumieres etincelantes produisait une
profonde obscurite[33]. Un autre faisait de la glace dans une fournaise
chauffee au rouge[34]. Un autre invitait le soleil a faire son portrait,
et le soleil le faisait[35]. Un autre prenait cet astre avec la lune et
les planetes, et apres les avoir peses avec un soin scrupuleux,
sondait leurs profondeurs, et se rendait compte de la solidite de leur
substance. Mais la nation tout entiere est douee d'une si surprenante
habilete en sorcellerie, que les enfants, les chats et les chiens
eux-memes les plus ordinaires n'eprouvent aucune difficulte a percevoir
des objets qui n'existent pas du tout, ou qui depuis vingt millions
d'annees avant la naissance de ce peuple ont disparu de la surface du
monde[36]."

"Deraisonnable!" dit le roi.

"Les femmes et les filles de ces incomparables sages et sorciers",
continua Scheherazade, sans se laisser aucunement troubler par les
frequentes et inciviles interruptions de son mari, "les filles et les
femmes de ces eminents magiciens sont tout ce qu'il y a d'accompli et de
raffine, et seraient ce qu'il y a de plus interessant et de plus beau,
sans une malheureuse fatalite qui pese sur elles, et dont les pouvoirs
miraculeux de leurs maris et de leurs peres n'ont pas ete capables
jusqu'ici de les preserver. Les fatalites prennent toutes sortes de
formes differentes; celle dont je parle prit la forme d'un caprice."

"Un quoi?" dit le roi.

"Un caprice," dit Scheherazade. "Un des mauvais genies, qui ne cherchent
que l'occasion de faire du mal, leur mit dans la tete, a ces dames
accomplies, que ce qui constitue la beaute personnelle consiste
entierement dans la protuberance de la region qui ne s'etend pas tres
loin au-dessous du dos. La perfection de la beaute, d'apres elles, est
en raison directe de l'etendue de cette protuberance. Cette idee leur
trotta longtemps par la tete, et comme les coussins sont a bon marche
dans ce pays, il ne fut bientot plus possible de distinguer une femme
d'un dromadaire."

"Assez", dit le roi--"je n'en saurais entendre davantage. Vous m'ayez
deja donne un terrible mal de tete avec vos mensonges. Il me semble
aussi que le jour commence a poindre. Depuis combien de temps
sommes-nous

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Text Comparison with The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe Including Essays on Poetry

Page 2
Upon his mother's death at Richmond, Virginia, Edgar was adopted by a wealthy Scotch merchant, John Allan.
Page 20
On the 17th November, 1875, his remains were removed from their first resting-place and, in the presence of a large number of people, were placed under a marble monument subscribed for by some of his many admirers.
Page 22
" Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping--tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door:-- Darkness there and nothing more.
Page 27
The skies they were ashen and sober; The leaves they were crisped and sere-- The leaves they were withering and sere; It was night in the lonesome October Of my most immemorial year; It was hard by the dim lake of Auber, In the misty mid region of Weir-- It was down by the dank tarn of Auber, In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
Page 29
Clad all in white, upon a violet bank I saw thee half-reclining; while the moon Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses, And on thine own, upturn'd--alas, in sorrow! Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight-- Was it not Fate (whose name is also Sorrow), That bade me pause before that garden-gate, To breathe the incense of those slumbering.
Page 56
Thou didst.
Page 62
If there be balm For the wounded spirit in Gilead, it is there! Dew in the night time of my bitter trouble Will there be found--"dew sweeter far than that Which hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill.
Page 82
is gone, he is gone-- Gone--gone.
Page 99
She pats the pony, where or when She knows not .
Page 121
* * * * * ROMANCE.
Page 124
And pride, what have I now with thee? Another brow may ev'n inherit The venom thou hast poured on me-- Be still my spirit! IV.
Page 128
[Footnote 1: Query "fervor"?--Ed.
Page 142
"The revolution which has just been made by the Fay," continued I musingly, "is the cycle of the brief year of her life.
Page 152
As these crossed the direct line of my vision they affected me as _forms;_ but upon passing to my side their images impressed me with the idea of shrieks, groans, and, other dismal expressions of terror, of horror, or of woe.
Page 163
And the shadow answered, "I am SHADOW, and my dwelling is near to the Catacombs of Ptolemais, and hard by those dim plains of Helusion which border upon the foul Charonian canal.
Page 167
And the lynx which dwelleth forever in the tomb, came out therefrom, and lay down at the feet of the Demon, and looked at him steadily in the face.
Page 169
Even the Quarterlies have not instructed us to be so impressed by it.
Page 176
The poem has always affected me in a remarkable manner.
Page 181
Perishing gloomily, Spurred by contumely, Cold inhumanity, Burning insanity, Into her rest,-- Cross her hands humbly, As if praying dumbly, Over her breast! Owning her weakness, Her evil behavior, And leaving, with meekness, Her sins to her Saviour! The vigor of this poem is no less remarkable than its pathos.
Page 190
This led me at once to a single word as the best _refrain_.