Derniers Contes

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 51

rive) mais vous m'avez l'air d'un honnete homme.
Voulez-vous me rendre le service de vous charger de ce portefeuille--je
vois que je puis me fier a vous--et de le faire publier? Les billets,
vous le voyez, montent a une somme fort considerable. Le proprietaire,
sans aucun doute, tiendra a vous recompenser de votre peine."

"Moi?--non, vous! C'est vous qui l'avez trouve."

"Oui, si vous y tenez.--Je veux bien accepter un leger
retour--uniquement pour faire taire vos scrupules. Voyons--ces billets
sont tous des billets de mille--Dieu me benisse! un millier de dollars
serait trop--cinquante seulement, c'est bien assez!"

"Larguez!" dit le capitaine.

"Mais je n'ai pas la monnaie de cent, et en somme, vous feriez
mieux...."

"Larguez!" dit le capitaine.

"Attendez donc!" crie le gentilhomme qui vient d'examiner pendant la
derniere minute son propre portefeuille. "Attendez donc! J'ai
votre affaire. Voici un billet de cinquante sur la banque du North
America.--donnez-moi le portefeuille."

Le toujours tres consciencieux auteur de la trouvaille prend le billet
de cinquante avec une repugnance marquee, et jette au gentilhomme le
portefeuille, pendant que le steamboat fume et siffle en s'ebranlant.
Une demi-heure apres son depart, le gentilhomme s'apercoit que "les
valeurs considerables" ne sont que des billets faux, et toute l'histoire
une pure filouterie.

Voici une filouterie hardie. Un champ de foire, ou quelque chose
d'analogue doit se tenir dans un endroit ou l'on n'a acces que par un
pont libre. Un filou s'installe sur ce pont, et informe respectueusement
tous les passants de la nouvelle loi qui vient d'etablir un droit de
peage d'un centime par tete d'homme, de deux centimes par tete de cheval
ou d'ane, et ainsi de suite... Quelques-uns grondent, mais tous se
soumettent, et le filou rentre chez lui plus riche de quelque cinquante
ou soixante dollars bien gagnes. Il n'y a rien de plus fatigant que de
percevoir un droit de peage sur une grande foule.

Une habile filouterie est celle-ci. L'ami d'un filou garde une promesse
de paiement, remplie et signee en due forme sur billet ordinaire imprime
a l'encre rouge. Le filou se procure une ou deux douzaines de ces
billets en blanc, et chaque jour en trempe un dans sa soupe, le presente
a son chien qui saute apres, et finit par le lui donner _en bonne
bouche_. Le temps de l'echeance arrivant, le filou et son chien vont
trouver l'ami, et l'engagement devient le sujet de la discussion. L'ami
tire le billet de son secretaire, et fait le geste de le presenter au
filou, quand le chien saute sur le billet et le devore. Le filou est non
seulement surpris, mais vexe et furieux de la conduite absurde

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 4

Page 17
Of the doctrines themselves--that is, of their falsity, or of their probability--I say nothing.
Page 28
When I had first seen her, she was attired, most becomingly, in deep mourning.
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Some time ago, there were about twenty-seven patients here; and, of that number, no less than eighteen were women; but, lately, matters have changed very much, as you see.
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U.
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Page 52
It might have been half an hour after this altercation when, as I was deeply absorbed in the heavenly scenery beneath me, I was startled by something very cold which pressed with a gentle pressure on the back of my neck.
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The fellow opened his mouth from ear to ear, and shut his two eyes as if he were endeavoring to crack nuts between the lids.
Page 57
His forehead was lofty and very fair; his nose a snub; his eyes large, heavy, glassy, and meaningless.
Page 61
With sentiments of perfect respect, Your most humble servant, JOHANN HERMAN.
Page 63
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Page 72
IT was a chilly November afternoon.
Page 109
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Page 111
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Page 112
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Page 114
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Page 140
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Page 157
For if it were, the inventor, so far from wishing its mechanism to appear complex, and using deception for the purpose of giving it this appearance, would have been especially desirous of convincing those who witnessed his exhibition, of the _simplicity _of the means by which results so wonderful were brought about.
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Alas! we had fallen upon the most evil of all our evil days.
Page 169
Now it was that, in twilight, we discoursed of the days to come, when the Art-scarred surface of the Earth, having undergone that purification {*3} which alone could efface its rectangular obscenities, should clothe itself anew in the verdure and the mountain-slopes and the smiling waters of Paradise, and be rendered at length a fit dwelling-place for man:--for man the Death purged--for man to whose now exalted intellect there should be poison in knowledge no more--for the redeemed, regenerated, blissful, and now immortal, but still for the material, man.
Page 179
There were things around us and about of which I can render no distinct account--things material and spiritual--heaviness in the atmosphere--a sense of suffocation--anxiety--and, above all, that terrible state of existence which the nervous experience when the senses are keenly living and awake, and meanwhile the powers of thought lie dormant.