Nouvelles histoires extraordinaires

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 51

ses aînées dans le
vice; des ivrognes innombrables et indescriptibles, ceux-ci déguenillés,
chancelants, désarticulés, avec le visage meurtri et les yeux
ternes,--ceux-là avec leurs vêtements entiers, mais sales, une crânerie
légèrement vacillante, de grosses lèvres sensuelles, des faces
rubicondes et sincères,--d'autres vêtus d'étoffes qui jadis avaient été
bonnes, et qui maintenant encore étaient scrupuleusement brossées,--des
hommes qui marchaient d'un pas plus ferme et plus élastique que nature,
mais dont les physionomies étaient terriblement pâles, les yeux
atrocement effarés et rouges, et qui, tout en allant à grands pas à
travers la foule, agrippaient avec des doigts tremblants tous les objets
qui se trouvaient à leur portée; et puis des pâtissiers, des
commissionnaires, des porteurs de charbon, des ramoneurs; des joueurs
d'orgue, des montreurs de singes, des marchands de chansons, ceux qui
vendaient avec ceux qui chantaient; des artisans déguenillés et des
travailleurs de toutes sortes épuisés à la peine,--et tous pleins d'une
activité bruyante et désordonnée qui affligeait l'oreille par ses
discordances et apportait à l'oeil une sensation douloureuse.

À mesure que la nuit devenait plus profonde, l'intérêt de la scène
s'approfondissait aussi pour moi; car non-seulement le caractère général
de la foule était altéré (ses traits les plus nobles s'effaçant avec la
retraite graduelle de la partie la plus sage de la population, et les
plus grossiers venant plus vigoureusement en relief, à mesure que
l'heure plus avancée tirait chaque espèce d'infamie de sa tanière), mais
les rayons des becs de gaz, faibles d'abord quand ils luttaient avec le
jour mourant, avaient maintenant pris le dessus et jetaient sur toutes
choses une lumière étincelante et agitée. Tout était noir, mais
éclatant--comme cette ébène à laquelle on a comparé le style de
Tertullien.

Les étranges effets de la lumière me forcèrent à examiner les figures
des individus; et, bien que la rapidité avec laquelle ce monde de
lumière fuyait devant la fenêtre m'empêchât de jeter plus d'un coup
d'oeil sur chaque visage, il me semblait toutefois que, grâce à ma
singulière disposition morale, je pouvais souvent lire dans ce bref
intervalle d'un coup d'oeil l'histoire de longues années.

Le front collé à la vitre, j'étais ainsi occupé à examiner la foule,
quand soudainement apparut une physionomie (celle d'un vieux homme
décrépit de soixante-cinq à soixante-dix ans),--une physionomie qui tout
d'abord arrêta et absorba toute mon attention, en raison de l'absolue
idiosyncrasie de son expression. Jusqu'alors je n'avais jamais rien vu
qui ressemblât à cette expression, même à un degré très-éloigné. Je me
rappelle bien que ma première pensée, en le voyant, fut que Retzch, s'il
l'avait contemplé, l'aurait grandement préféré aux figures dans
lesquelles il a essayé d'incarner le démon. Comme je tâchais,

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Text Comparison with The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket Comprising the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American brig Grampus, on her way to the South Seas, in the month of June, 1827.

Page 3
As usual, in such cases, I took part of his bed in preference to going home.
Page 12
In pursuance of my scheme of deception, I was necessarily obliged to leave much to the management of Augustus, who was employed for the greater part of every day on board the Grampus, attending to some arrangements for his father in the cabin and cabin hold.
Page 13
He started back two or three steps, turned first pale and then excessively red, threw up his spectacles, then, putting them down, ran full tilt at me, with his umbrella uplifted.
Page 20
Getting now hold of the watch, I found, upon applying it to my ear, that it had again run down; but at this I was not at all surprised, being convinced, from the peculiar state of my feelings, that I had slept, as before, for a very long period of time; how long, it was of course impossible to say.
Page 38
A voice was now heard at the forecastle companion-way, and he had just time to put his right hand into its handcuff (the left had not been removed), and to draw the rope in a slipknot around his ankle, when Dirk Peters came below, followed by Tiger, who immediately leaped into the berth and lay down.
Page 41
close.
Page 44
CHAPTER VI.
Page 45
We therefore dragged him along with us as well as we could, although with the greatest difficulty and fatigue; Augustus, during part of the time, being forced to clamber over the impediments in our way with the huge dog in his arms--a feat to which the feebleness of my frame rendered me totally inadequate.
Page 49
Of this, when we were left alone, I partook heartily, without returning through the hole.
Page 55
Large square-rigged vessels have sails for the express purpose, called storm-staysails.
Page 62
entire inaccessibility on account of the gale, confined the apparently possible means of deception within such narrow and definite limits, that they must have thought themselves enabled to survey them all at a glance.
Page 69
I was also in great pain from another rope which went about my waist, and had been drawn to an insufferable degree of tightness.
Page 77
We had seen and felt, but we could neither think nor act, until, alas, too late.
Page 82
About noon Parker declared that he saw land off the larboard quarter, and it was with the utmost difficulty I could restrain him from plunging into the sea with the view of swimming towards it.
Page 92
before, awaited the event with far more calmness than could have been anticipated, or would have been imagined possible under the circumstances.
Page 98
_August 6.
Page 122
In the four canoes, which might have been fifty feet long and five broad, there were a hundred and ten savages in all.
Page 125
On account of the singular character of the water, we refused to taste it, supposing it to be polluted; and it was not until some time afterward we came to understand that such was the appearance of the streams throughout the whole group.
Page 133
They are then buried in the ground for four hours, then boiled again for a short time, after which they are dried, either by the fire or the sun.
Page 146
By-and-by the men with the stakes drove them in a circle around it, and, no sooner was this arrangement completed, than the whole of the vast assembly rushed into the interior of the island, with loud screams of _Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!_ CHAPTER XXIII.