The Cask of Amontillado
Edgar Allan Poe
The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but
when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know
the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance
to a threat. _At length_ I would be avenged; this was a point definitely
settled--but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved,
precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with
impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its
redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make
himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.
It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given
Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to
smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile _now_ was at
the thought of his immolation.
He had a weak point--this Fortunato--although in other regards he was a
man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his
connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit.
For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and
opportunity--to practise imposture upon the British and Austrian
_millionaires_. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen,
was a quack--but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this
respect I did not differ from him materially: I was skillful in the
Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.
It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the
carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with
excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley.
He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was
surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him,
that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.
I said to him--"My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably
well you are looking to-day! But I have received a pipe of what passes
for Amontillado, and I have my doubts."
"How?" said he. "Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle
of the carnival!"
"I have my doubts," I replied; "and I was silly enough to pay the full
Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to
be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain."
"I have my doubts."
The fact is, it is becoming of more and more importance every day; and the reward has been lately doubled.Page 8
If the guess is right, the guesser wins one; if wrong, he loses one.Page 22
To this the porter replied, as well as he could for trepidation, that he had once before heard of this sea-beast; that it was a cruel demon, with bowels of sulphur and blood of fire, created by evil genii as the means of inflicting misery upon mankind; that the things upon its back were vermin, such as sometimes infest cats and dogs, only a little larger and more savage; and that these vermin had their uses, however evil--for, through the torture they caused the beast by their nibbling and stingings, it was goaded into that degree of wrath which was requisite to make it roar and commit ill, and so fulfil the vengeful and malicious designs of the wicked genii.Page 27
"'One of this nation of mighty conjurors created a man out of brass and wood, and leather, and endowed him with such ingenuity that he would have beaten at chess, all the race of mankind with the exception of the great Caliph, Haroun Alraschid.Page 35
Here we used to remain until nearly time for slack-water again, when we weighed and made for home.Page 37
It was my elder brother, and my heart leaped for joy, for I had made sure that he was overboard--but the next moment all this joy was turned into horror--for he put his mouth close to my ear, and screamed out the word '_Moskoe-stroem!_' "No one ever will know what my feelings were at that moment.Page 48
In person, he is short and stout, with large, fat, blue eyes, sandy hair and whiskers, a wide but pleasing mouth, fine teeth, and I think a Roman nose.Page 51
in the price of lead, and nearly twenty-five per cent.Page 52
finally, that his susceptibility to the impression increases with its frequency, while, in the same proportion, the peculiar phenomena elicited are more extended and more _pronounced_.Page 61
His face wore a leaden hue; the eyes were utterly lustreless; and the emaciation was so extreme that the skin had been broken through by the cheek-bones.Page 67
It was now suggested that I should attempt to influence the patient's arm, as heretofore.Page 71
One night as I sat, half stupified, in a den of more than infamy, my attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of Gin, or of Rum, which constituted the chief furniture of the apartment.Page 98
The third was green throughout, and so were the casements.Page 100
And then, for a moment, all is still, and all is silent save the voice of the clock.Page 118
Who then shall call thy conduct into question? who blame thee for thy visionary hours, or denounce those occupations as a wasting away of life, which were but the overflowings of thine everlasting energies? It was at Venice, beneath the covered archway there called the _Ponte di Sospiri_, that I met for the third or fourth time the person of whom I speak.Page 121
Not that the spirit of each rapid passion failed, at any time, to throw its own distinct image upon the mirror of that face--but that the mirror, mirror-like, retained no vestige of the passion, when the passion had departed.Page 143
suspensions, properly so called.Page 144
In the year 1810, a case of living inhumation happened in France, attended with circumstances which go far to warrant the assertion that truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction.Page 149
Suddenly there came an icy hand upon my forehead, and an impatient, gibbering voice whispered the word "Arise!" within my ear.Page 216
The globular part contains the pistil, which consists merely of a germen and stigma, together with the surrounding stamens.