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 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. They had now been at sea twenty-four days,
without holding more than a speaking communication with any vessel
whatever. The whole of the crew, too, at least all whom they had the
most remote reason for suspecting to be on board, were assembled in the
cabin, with the exception of Allen, the watch; and his gigantic stature
(he was six feet six inches high) was too familiar in their eyes to
permit the notion that he was the apparition before them to enter their
minds even for an instant. Add to these considerations the
awe-inspiring nature of the tempest, and that of the conversation
brought about by Peters; the deep impression which the loathsomeness of
the actual corpse had made in the morning upon the imaginations of the
men; the excellence of the imitation in my person; and the uncertain
and wavering light in which they beheld me, as the glare of the cabin
lantern, swinging violently to and fro, fell dubiously and fitfully
upon my figure, and there will be no reason to wonder that the
deception had even more than the entire effect which we had
anticipated. The mate sprang up from the mattress on which he was
lying, and, without uttering a syllable, fell back, stone dead, upon
the cabin floor, and was hurled to the leeward like a log by a heavy
roll of the brig. Of the remaining seven there were but three who had
at first any degree of presence of mind. The four others sat for some
time rooted apparently to the floor, the most pitiable objects of
horror and utter despair my eyes ever encountered. The only opposition
we experienced at all was from the cook, John Hunt, and Richard Parker;
but they made but a feeble and irresolute defence. The two former were
shot instantly by Peters, and I felled Parker with a blow on the head
from the pump-handle which I had brought with me. In the mean time
Augustus seized one of the muskets lying on the floor, and shot another
mutineer (---- Wilson) through the breast. There were now but three
remaining; but by this time they had become aroused from their
lethargy, and perhaps began to see that a deception had been practised
upon them, for they fought with great resolution and fury, and, but for
the immense muscular strength of Peters, might have ultimately got the
better of

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Text Comparison with The Raven and The Philosophy of Composition

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Perrett The Decorations by Will Jenkins [Illustration] Paul Elder and Company San Francisco and New York Contents Foreword .
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If so, it becomes all the more distinctive as a marvelous bit of imaginative writing, and as such ranks equally with that wild snatch of melody, “The Raven.
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It is only with the dénouement constantly in view that we can give a plot its indispensable air of consequence, or causation, by making the incidents, and especially the tone at all points, tend to the development of the intention.
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What we term a long poem is, in fact, merely a succession of brief ones—that is.
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I should be carried too far out of my immediate topic were I to demonstrate a point upon which I have repeatedly insisted, and which, with the poetical, stands not in the slightest need of demonstration—the point, I mean, that Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem.
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.
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The next desideratum was a pretext for the continuous use of the one word “Nevermore.
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” I had to combine these, bearing in mind my design of varying, at every turn, the application of the word repeated; but the only intelligible mode of such combination is that of imagining the Raven employing the word in answer to the queries of the lover.
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Had I been able, in the subsequent composition, to construct more vigorous stanzas, I should, without scruple, have purposely enfeebled them, so as not to interfere with the climacteric effect.
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The effect of this originality of combination is aided by other unusual and some altogether novel effects, arising from an extension of the application of the principles of rhyme and alliteration.
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By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore— Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!” Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.
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It is this latter, in especial, which imparts to a work of art so much of that richness (to borrow from colloquy a forcible term) which we are too fond of confounding with the ideal.
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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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_] [Illustration] “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!— Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted— On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore— Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!” Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.
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