Nouvelles histoires extraordinaires

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 31

et dont
toutes les maisons étaient excessivement anciennes. En vérité, c'était
un lieu semblable à un rêve et bien fait pour charmer l'esprit que cette
vénérable vieille ville. En ce moment même je sens en imagination le
frisson rafraîchissant de ses avenues profondément ombreuses, je respire
l'émanation de ses mille taillis, et je tressaille encore, avec une
indéfinissable volupté, à la note profonde et sourde de la cloche,
déchirant à chaque heure, de son rugissement soudain et morose, la
quiétude de l'atmosphère brune dans laquelle s'enfonçait et s'endormait
le clocher gothique tout dentelé.

Je trouve peut-être autant de plaisir qu'il m'est donné d'en éprouver
maintenant à m'appesantir sur ces minutieux souvenirs de l'école et de
ses rêveries. Plongé dans le malheur comme je le suis,--malheur, hélas!
qui n'est que trop réel,--on me pardonnera de chercher un soulagement,
bien léger et bien court, dans ces puérils et divagants détails.
D'ailleurs, quoique absolument vulgaires et risibles en eux-mêmes, ils
prennent dans mon imagination une importance circonstancielle, à cause
de leur intime connexion avec les lieux et l'époque où je distingue
maintenant les premiers avertissements ambigus de la destinée, qui
depuis lors m'a si profondément enveloppé de son ombre. Laissez-moi donc
me souvenir.

La maison, je l'ai dit, était vieille et irrégulière. Les terrains
étaient vastes, et un haut et solide mur de briques, couronné d'une
couche de mortier et de verre cassé, en faisait le circuit. Ce rempart
digne d'une prison formait la limite de notre domaine; nos regards
n'allaient au delà que trois fois par semaine,--une fois chaque samedi,
dans l'après-midi, quand, accompagnés de deux maîtres d'étude, on nous
permettait de faire de courtes promenades en commun à travers la
campagne voisine, et deux fois le dimanche, quand nous allions, avec la
régularité des troupes à la parade, assister aux offices du soir et du
matin dans l'unique église du village. Le principal de notre école était
pasteur de cette église. Avec quel profond sentiment d'admiration et de
perplexité avais-je coutume de le contempler, de notre banc relégué dans
la tribune, quand il montait en chaire d'un pas solennel et lent! Ce
personnage vénérable, avec ce visage si modeste et si bénin, avec une
robe si bien lustrée et si cléricalement ondoyante, avec une perruque si
minutieusement poudrée, si roide et si vaste, pouvait-il être le même
homme qui, tout à l'heure, avec un visage aigre et dans des vêtements
souillés de tabac, faisait exécuter, férule en main, les lois
draconiennes de l'école? Oh! gigantesque paradoxe, dont la monstruosité
exclut toute solution!

Dans un angle du mur massif rechignait une porte plus massive encore,
solidement fermée, garnie de verrous et surmontée d'un buisson

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

Page 1
" "That is another of your odd notions," said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling every thing "odd" that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of "oddities.
Page 10
never been known to fail.
Page 13
"But the more I reflected upon the daring, dashing, and discriminating ingenuity of D--; upon the fact that the document must always have been at hand, if he intended to use it to good purpose; and upon the decisive evidence, obtained by the Prefect, that it was not hidden within the limits of that dignitary's ordinary search--the more satisfied I became that, to conceal this letter, the Minister had resorted to the comprehensive and sagacious expedient of not attempting to conceal it at all.
Page 21
As the smoke cleared away, we saw one of the odd man-animals standing near the head of the large beast with a trumpet in his hand, through which (putting it to his mouth) he presently addressed us in loud, harsh, and disagreeable accents, that, perhaps, we should have mistaken for language, had they not come altogether through the nose.
Page 23
Do you know I think them exceedingly entertaining and strange?" The king having thus expressed himself, we are told, the fair Scheherazade resumed her history in the following words: "Sinbad went on in this manner with his narrative to the caliph--'I thanked the man-animal for its kindness, and soon found myself very much at home on the beast, which swam at a prodigious rate through the ocean; although the surface of the latter is, in that part of the world, by no means flat, but round like a pomegranate, so that we went--so to say--either up hill or down hill all the time.
Page 53
] No--no! _P.
Page 55
When we flatter ourselves that we have formed its conception, we have merely deceived our understanding by the consideration of infinitely rarified matter.
Page 60
Ernest Valdemar, the well-known compiler of the "Bibliotheca Forensica," and author (under the nom de plume of Issachar Marx) of the Polish versions of "Wallenstein" and "Gargantua.
Page 65
The eyes rolled themselves slowly open, the pupils disappearing upwardly; the skin generally assumed a cadaverous hue, resembling not so much parchment as white paper; and the circular hectic spots which, hitherto, had been strongly defined in the centre of each cheek, went out at once.
Page 77
A letter, however, had lately reached me in a distant part of the country--a letter from him--which, in its wildly importunate nature, had admitted of no other than a personal reply.
Page 78
I had learned, too, the very remarkable fact, that the stem of the Usher race, all time-honored as it was, had put forth, at no period, any enduring branch; in other words, that the entire family lay in the direct line of descent, and had always, with very trifling and very temporary variation, so lain.
Page 149
Apart from the tendency to trance, however, my general health appeared to be good; nor could I perceive that it was at all affected by the one prevalent malady--unless, indeed, an idiosyncrasy in my ordinary sleep may be looked upon as superinduced.
Page 160
Of course, every thing depends on the selection of a spot with capabilities.
Page 163
We came at length to an elevated table-land of wonderful fertility and beauty, affording a panoramic prospect very little less in extent than that of Aetna, and, in Ellison's opinion as well as my own, surpassing the far-famed view from that mountain in all the true elements of the picturesque.
Page 184
own nativity.
Page 185
My dress it was an easy matter to copy; my gait and general manner were, without difficulty, appropriated; in spite of his constitutional defect, even my voice did not escape him.
Page 191
To give to this a better colouring, I had contrived to have assembled a party of some eight or ten, and was solicitously careful that the introduction of cards should appear accidental, and originate in the proposal of my contemplated dupe himself.
Page 192
" While he spoke, so profound was the stillness that one might have heard a pin drop upon the floor.
Page 206
Was it my own excited imagination--or the misty influence of the atmosphere--or the uncertain twilight of the chamber--or the gray draperies which fell around her figure--that caused in it so vacillating and indistinct an outline? I could not tell.
Page 218
, gives an intensity equal to one ray only; but a multiple by 2 1/2, 3 1/2, &c.