Nouvelles histoires extraordinaires

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 148

nous
nous y attendions bien, ne donna aucun indice de susceptibilité
galvanique quand on le mit en contact avec le fil. Ce premier essai nous
parut décisif; et, tout en riant de bon coeur de notre propre absurdité,
nous nous souhaitions réciproquement une bonne nuit, quand mes yeux,
tombant par hasard sur ceux de la momie, y restèrent immédiatement
cloués d'étonnement. De fait, le premier coup d'oeil m'avait suffi pour
m'assurer que les globes, que nous avions tous supposé être de verre, et
qui primitivement se distinguaient par une certaine fixité singulière,
étaient maintenant si bien recouverts par les paupières, qu'une petite
portion de la _tunica albuginea_ restait seule visible.

Je poussai un cri, et j'attirai l'attention sur ce fait, qui devint
immédiatement évident pour tout le monde.

Je ne dirai pas que j'étais _alarmé_ par le phénomène, parce que le mot
alarmé, dans mon cas, ne serait pas précisément le mot propre. Il aurait
pu se faire toutefois que, sans ma provision de _Brown Stout_, je me
sentisse légèrement ému. Quant aux autres personnes de la société, elle
ne firent vraiment aucun effort pour cacher leur naïve terreur. Le
docteur Ponnonner était un homme à faire pitié. M. Gliddon, par je ne
sais quel procédé particulier, s'était rendu invisible. Je présume que
M. Silk Buckingham n'aura pas l'audace de nier qu'il ne se soit fourré à
quatre pattes sous la table.

Après le premier choc de l'étonnement, nous résolûmes, cela va sans
dire, de tenter tout de suite une nouvelle expérience. Nos opérations
furent alors dirigées contre le gros orteil du pied droit. Nous fîmes
une incision au-dessus de la région de l'os _sesamoideum pollicis
pedis_, et nous arrivâmes ainsi à la naissance du muscle _abductor_.
Rajustant la batterie, nous appliquâmes de nouveau le fluide aux nerfs
mis à nu,--quand, avec un mouvement plus vif que la vie elle-même, la
momie retira son genou droit comme pour le rapprocher le plus possible
de l'abdomen, puis, redressant le membre avec une force inconcevable,
allongea au docteur Ponnonner une ruade qui eut pour effet de décocher
ce gentleman, comme le projectile d'une catapulte, et de l'envoyer dans
la rue à travers une fenêtre.

Nous nous précipitâmes en masse pour rapporter les débris mutilés de
l'infortuné; mais nous eûmes le bonheur de le rencontrer sur l'escalier,
remontant avec une inconcevable diligence, bouillant de la plus vive
ardeur philosophique, et plus que jamais frappé de la nécessité de
poursuivre nos expériences avec rigueur et avec zèle.

Ce fut donc d'après son conseil que nous fîmes sur-le-champ une incision
profonde dans le bout du nez du sujet; et le docteur, y jetant des mains
impétueuses,

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Text Comparison with The Fall of the House of Usher

Page 0
There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart--an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime.
Page 1
It was this deficiency, I considered, while running over in thought the perfect keeping of the character of the premises with the accredited character of the people, and while speculating upon the possible influence which the one, in the long lapse of centuries, might have exercised upon the other--it was this deficiency, perhaps, of collateral issue, and the consequent undeviating transmission, from sire to son, of the patrimony with the name, which had, at length, so identified the two as to merge the original title of the estate in the quaint and equivocal appellation of the "House of Usher"--an appellation which seemed to include, in the minds of the peasantry who used it, both the family and the family mansion.
Page 2
A valet, of stealthy step, thence conducted me, in silence, through many dark and intricate passages in my progress to the studio of his master.
Page 3
He accosted me with trepidation and passed on.
Page 4
His voice varied rapidly from a tremulous indecision (when the animal spirits seemed utterly in abeyance) to that species of energetic concision--that abrupt, weighty, unhurried, and hollow-sounding enunciation--that leaden, self-balanced and perfectly modulated guttural utterance, which may be observed in the lost drunkard, or the irreclaimable eater of opium, during the periods of his most intense excitement.
Page 5
A sensation of stupor oppressed me, as my eyes followed her retreating steps.
Page 6
.
Page 7
I was, perhaps, the more forcibly impressed with it, as he gave it, because, in the under or mystic current of its meaning, I fancied that I perceived, and for the first time, a full consciousness on the part of Usher, of the tottering of his lofty reason upon her throne.
Page 8
In the greenest of our valleys, By good angels tenanted, Once a fair and stately palace-- Radiant palace--reared its head.
Page 9
Through two luminous windows saw Spirits moving musically To a lute's well tuned law, Round about a throne, where sitting (Porphyrogene!) In state his glory well befitting, The ruler of the realm was seen.
Page 10
I well remember that suggestions arising from this ballad, led us into a train of thought wherein there became manifest an opinion of Usher's which I mention not so much on account of its novelty (for other men* have thought thus,) as on account of the pertinacity with which he maintained it.
Page 11
His chief delight, however, was found in the perusal of an exceedingly rare and curious book in quarto Gothic--the manual of a forgotten church--the Vigiliae Mortuorum Secundum Chorum Ecclesiae Maguntinae.
Page 12
Having deposited our mournful burden upon tressels within this region of horror, we partially turned aside the yet unscrewed lid of the coffin, and looked upon the face of the tenant.
Page 13
It was no wonder that his condition terrified--that it infected me.
Page 14
through the apartment.
Page 15
Could I have judged, indeed, by the wild overstrained air of vivacity with which he hearkened, or apparently hearkened, to the words of the tale, I might well have congratulated myself upon the success of my design.
Page 16
From a position fronting my own, he had gradually brought round his chair, so as to sit with his face to the door of the chamber; and thus I could but partially perceive his features, although I saw that his lips trembled as if he were murmuring inaudibly.
Page 17
the way before him, and approached valorously over the silver pavement of the castle to where the shield was upon the wall; which in sooth tarried not for his full coming, but fell down at his feet upon the silver floor, with a mighty great and terrible ringing sound.
Page 18
While I gazed, this fissure rapidly widened--there came a fierce breath of the whirlwind--the entire orb of the satellite burst at once upon my sight--my brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls rushing asunder--there was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand waters--and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the "House of Usher".