Derniers Contes

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 47

importante des sciences exactes et fut un
grand homme dans un grand genre--je puis dire: dans le plus grand des

La filouterie--ou l'idee abstraite exprimee par le verbe _filouter_ est
assez claire. Cependant le fait, l'action, la chose est quelque peu
difficile a definir. Nous pouvons toutefois arriver a une conception
passable du sujet, en definissant, non la chose elle-meme, mais l'homme,
comme un animal qui filoute. Si Platon avait songe a cela, il se fut
epargne l'affront du poulet deplume.

On demandait fort pertinemment a Platon pourquoi un poulet deplume,
ou ce qui revient tres clairement au meme, "un bipede sans plumes" ne
serait pas, selon sa propre definition, un homme? Mais je n'ai pas a
craindre de m'entendre poser une semblable question. L'homme est un
animal qui filoute, et il n'y a pas d'autre animal qui filoute que
l'homme. Une cage entiere de poulets deplumes n'entamerait pas ma

Ce qui constitue l'essence, la nature, le principe de la filouterie
est, de fait, un caractere tout particulier a l'espece de creatures
qui portent jaquettes et pantalons. Une corneille derobe, un renard
escroque, une belette friponne; un homme filoute. Filouter est sa
destinee. "L'homme a ete fait pour pleurer", dit le poete. Mais non; il
a ete fait pour filouter. C'est la son but, son objet, sa _fin_. C'est
pour cela, que lorsqu'un homme a ete filoute, on dit qu'il est _refait_.

La filouterie, bien analysee, est un compose, dont les ingredients sont:
la minutie, l'interet, la perseverance, l'ingeniosite, l'audace, la
nonchalance, l'originalite, l'impertinence et la grimace.

_Minutie_.--Notre filou est meticuleux. Il opere sur une petite echelle.
Son affaire, c'est le detail; il lui faut de l'argent comptant ou un
papier bien en regle. Si par hasard il est tente de se lancer dans
quelque grande speculation, alors il perd aussitot ses traits
distinctifs, et devient ce que l'on appelle "un financier." Ce dernier
mot implique tout ce qui constitue la filouterie, excepte que le
financier travaille en grand. Un filou peut donc etre regarde comme un
banquier _in petto_--et une operation financiere, comme une filouterie
a Brobdignag. L'un est a l'autre ce qu'Homere est a Flaccus,--un
mastodonte a une souris, la queue d'une comete a celle d'un cochon.

_Interet_.--Notre filou est uniquement guide par l'interet. Il dedaigne
la filouterie pour le pur _amour_ de la filouterie. Il a toujours un
objet en vue;--sa poche--et la votre. Il est toujours a l'affut d'une
chance decisive. Il ne voit que le nombre un. Vous etes le nombre deux,
vous devez prendre garde a vous.

_Perseverance_.--Notre filou est perseverant. Il ne se laisse pas
facilement decourager. La terre lui manquat-elle sous les

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Text Comparison with Eureka: A Prose Poem

Page 2
Unity of the First Thing lies the Secondary Cause of All Things, with the Germ of their Inevitable Annihilation_.
Page 7
' Very well:--and now let me ask him, _why_.
Page 19
All existing bodies, of course, are composed of these atoms in proximate contact, and are therefore to be considered as mere assemblages of more or fewer differences; and the resistance made by the repulsive spirit, on bringing together any two such assemblages, would be in the ratio of the two sums of the differences in each:--an expression which, when reduced, is equivalent to this:--_The amount of electricity developed on the approximation of two bodies, is proportional to the difference between the respective sums of the atoms of which the bodies are composed.
Page 21
But let us see distinctly what it was that Newton _proved_--according to the grossly irrational definitions of _proof_ prescribed by the metaphysical schools.
Page 24
In a word, is it not because the atoms were, at some remote epoch of time, even _more than together_--is it not because originally, and therefore normally, they were _One_--that now, in all circumstances--at all points--in all directions--by all modes of approach--in all relations and through all conditions--they struggle _back_ to this absolutely, this irrelatively, this unconditionally _one_? Some person may here demand:--"Why--since it is to the _One_ that the atoms struggle back--do we not find and define Attraction 'a merely general tendency to a centre?'--why, in especial, do not _your_ atoms--the atoms which you describe as having been irradiated from a centre--proceed at once, rectilinearly, back to the central point of their origin?" I reply that _they do_; as will be distinctly shown; but that the cause of their so doing is quite irrespective of the centre _as such_.
Page 28
The sole difficulty existing, then, is to establish a direct proportion between "concentralization" and the _force_ of concentralization; and this is done, of course, if we establish such proportion between "irradiation" and the _force_ of irradiation.
Page 32
Matter, then, irradiated into space with a force varying as the squares of the distances, might, _a priori_, be supposed to return towards its centre of irradiation with a force varying _inversely_ as the squares of the distances: and I have already shown[3] that any principle which will explain why the atoms should tend, according to any law, to the general centre, must be admitted as satisfactorily explaining, at the same time, why, according to the same law, they should tend each to each.
Page 37
Being mutable, the "truths" which grow out of them are necessarily mutable too; or, in other words, are never to be positively depended upon as truths at all--since Truth and Immutability are one.
Page 39
To explain:--Grant the _abstract_ tendency of any one atom to any one other as the inevitable result of diffusion from the normal Unity:--or, what is the same thing, admit any given atom as _proposing_ to move in any given direction--it is clear that, since there is an _infinity_ of atoms on all sides of the atom proposing to move, it never can actually move toward the satisfaction of its tendency in the direction given, on account of a precisely equal and counterbalancing tendency in the direction diametrically opposite.
Page 48
Now, we know that tokens of such changes are distinctly recognizable.
Page 52
" What else was the Law of Gravity before the Maskelyne experiments? and who questioned the Law of Gravity, even then? Many of my readers will no doubt be inclined to say that the result of these new investigations _has_ at least a strong _tendency_ to overthrow the hypothesis; while some of them, more thoughtful, will suggest that, although the theory is by no means disproved through the segregation of the particular "nebulae," alluded to, still a _failure_ to segregate them, with such telescopes, might well have been understood as a triumphant _corroboration_ of the theory:--and this latter class will be surprised, perhaps, to hear me say that even with _them_ I disagree.
Page 53
Of course, it will be immediately objected that since the light by which we recognize the nebulae now, must be merely that which left their surfaces a vast number of years ago, the processes at present observed, or supposed to be observed, are, in fact, _not_ processes now actually going on, but the phantoms of processes completed long in the Past--just as I maintain all these mass-constitutive processes _must_ have been.
Page 76
Were I to describe, in my own words, what must necessarily be the existing condition of each nebula on the hypothesis that all matter is, as I suggest, now returning to its original Unity, I should simply be going over, nearly verbatim, the language here employed by Dr.
Page 78
It is an idea, in fact, which belongs to the class of the _excessively obvious_.
Page 88
With an introduction by Francis Lieber, LL.
Page 89
_By the same.
Page 93
By Charles D.
Page 96
By Leigh Hunt.
Page 97
Page 100
New edition, 1 vol.