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.

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 110

ivory. We
remained here a week, during which the prevailing winds were from the
northward and westward, and the weather somewhat hazy. On the fifth of
November we made sail to the southward and westward, with the intention
of having a thorough search for a group of islands called the Auroras,
respecting whose existence a great diversity of opinion has existed.

These islands are said to have been discovered as early as 1762, by the
commander of the ship Aurora. In 1790, Captain Manuel de Oyarvido, in
the ship Princess, belonging to the Royal Philippine Company, sailed,
as he asserts, directly among them. In 1794, the Spanish corvette
Atrevida went with the determination of ascertaining their precise
situation, and, in a paper published by the Royal Hydrographical
Society of Madrid in the year 1809, the following language is used
respecting this expedition. "The corvette Atrevida practised, in their
immediate vicinity, from the twenty-first to the twenty-seventh of
January, all the necessary observations, and measured by chronometers
the difference of longitude between these islands and the port of
Soledad in the Malninas. The islands are three; they are very nearly in
the same meridian; the centre one is rather low, and the other two may
be seen at nine leagues distance." The observations made on board the
Atrevida give the following results as the precise situation of each
island. The most northern is in latitude 52° 37' 24" S., longitude 47°
43' 15" W.; the middle one in latitude 53° 2' 40" S., longitude 47° 55'
15" W.; and the most southern in latitude 53° 15' 22" S., longitude 47°
57' 15" W.

On the twenty-seventh of January, 1820, Captain James Weddel, of the
British navy, sailed from Staten Land also in search of the Auroras. He
reports that, having made the most diligent search, and passed not only
immediately over the spots indicated by the commander of the Atrevida,
but in every direction throughout the vicinity of these spots, he could
discover no indication of land. These conflicting statements have
induced other navigators to look out for the islands; and, strange to
say, while some have sailed through every inch of sea where they are
supposed to lie without finding them, there have been not a few who
declare positively that they have seen them, and even been close in
with their shores. It was Captain Guy's intention to make every
exertion within his power to settle the question so oddly in

[Footnote 3: Among the vessels which at various times have professed to
meet with the Auroras may be mentioned the ship San Miguel, in 1769;
the ship

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Text Comparison with The Raven and The Philosophy of Composition

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_ _Lenore_ ] [Illustration] The Raven and The Philosophy of Composition By Edgar Allan Poe Quarto Photogravure Edition Illustrated from Paintings by Galen J.
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If they be again correct, Poe’s genius as seen in the creation of “The Philosophy of Composition” is far more startling than it has otherwise appeared; and “robbed of his bay leaves in the realm of poetry,” he is to be “crowned with a double wreath of berried holly for his prose.
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Nothing is more clear than that every plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its dénouement before anything be attempted with the pen.
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But since, ceteris paribus, no poet can afford to dispense with anything that may advance his design, it but remains to be seen whether there is, in extent, any advantage to counterbalance the loss of unity which attends it.
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Within this limit, the extent of a poem may be made to bear mathematical relation to its merit—in other words, to the excitement or elevation—again, in other words, to the degree of the true poetical effect which it is capable of inducing; for it is clear that the brevity must be in direct ratio to the intensity of the intended effect:—this, with one proviso—that a certain degree of duration is absolutely requisite for the production of any effect at all.
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The pleasure is deduced solely from the sense of identity—of repetition.
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These points being settled, I next bethought me of the nature of my refrain.
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“And when,” I said, “is this most melancholy of topics most poetical?” From what I have already explained at some length, the answer, here also, is obvious—“When it most closely allies itself to Beauty: the death, then, of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world—and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.
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And here I may as well say a few words of the versification.
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The room is represented as richly furnished—this, in mere pursuance of the ideas I have already explained on the subject of beauty as the sole true poetical thesis.
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In the two stanzas which follow, the design is more obviously carried out: Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling.
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storm, to seek admission at a window from which a light still gleams,—the chamber-window of a student, occupied half in poring over a volume, half in dreaming of a beloved mistress deceased.
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The reader begins now to regard the Raven as emblematical—but it is not until the very last line of the very last stanza, that the intention of making him emblematical of Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance is permitted distinctly to be seen: And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted—nevermore! [Illustration: _Fordham Cottage_] The Raven [Illustration] [Illustration] Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore— While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
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” [Illustration: _Copyright 1906 by The Harwell-Evans Co.
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” [Illustration: _Copyright 1906 by The Harwell-Evans Co.
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