The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 131

remarkable as this (the delivery of the money, and murder committed
within three days upon the party receiving it), happen to all of us
every hour of our lives, without attracting even momentary notice.
Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling-blocks in the way of that
class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory
of probabilities--that theory to which the most glorious objects of
human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration. In
the present instance, had the gold been gone, the fact of its delivery
three days before would have formed something more than a coincidence.
It would have been corroborative of this idea of motive. But, under the
real circumstances of the case, if we are to suppose gold the motive
of this outrage, we must also imagine the perpetrator so vacillating an
idiot as to have abandoned his gold and his motive together.

"Keeping now steadily in mind the points to which I have drawn your
attention--that peculiar voice, that unusual agility, and that startling
absence of motive in a murder so singularly atrocious as this--let us
glance at the butchery itself. Here is a woman strangled to death
by manual strength, and thrust up a chimney, head downward. Ordinary
assassins employ no such modes of murder as this. Least of all, do they
thus dispose of the murdered. In the manner of thrusting the corpse
up the chimney, you will admit that there was something _excessively
outré_--something altogether irreconcilable with our common notions of
human action, even when we suppose the actors the most depraved of men.
Think, too, how great must have been that strength which could have
thrust the body _up_ such an aperture so forcibly that the united vigor
of several persons was found barely sufficient to drag it _down!_

"Turn, now, to other indications of the employment of a vigor most
marvellous. On the hearth were thick tresses--very thick tresses--of
grey human hair. These had been torn out by the roots. You are aware of
the great force necessary in tearing thus from the head even twenty or
thirty hairs together. You saw the locks in question as well as myself.
Their roots (a hideous sight!) were clotted with fragments of the flesh
of the scalp--sure token of the prodigious power which had been exerted
in uprooting perhaps half a million of hairs at a time. The throat of
the old lady was not merely cut, but the head absolutely severed from
the body: the instrument was a mere razor. I wish you also to look at
the _brutal_ ferocity of these

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

Page 10
Poe has two of the prime qualities of genius, a faculty of vigorous yet minute analysis, and a wonderful fecundity of imagination.
Page 11
The Mystic dwells in the mystery, is enveloped with it; it colors all his thoughts; it affects his optic nerve especially, and the commonest things get a rainbow edging from it.
Page 20
Clemm, on the morning in which she heard of the death of this object of her untiring care.
Page 28
I found it, however, altogether too expensive, and was not sure, upon the whole, whether cambric muslin with a coating of gum caoutchouc, was not equally as good.
Page 31
Indeed, there was much of incipient madness in the calm survey which I began to take of my situation.
Page 35
the 237,000 miles I would have to deduct the radius of the earth, say 4,000, and the radius of the moon, say 1080, in all 5,080, leaving an actual interval to be traversed, under average circumstances, of 231,920 miles.
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The greater part of them were in a state of evident eruption, and gave me fearfully to understand their fury and their power, by the repeated thunders of the miscalled meteoric stones, which now rushed upward by the balloon with a frequency more and more appalling.
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This approach, however, was still impetuous in the extreme; and it soon became alarmingly certain that, although I had probably not been deceived in the expectation of an atmosphere dense in proportion to the mass of the satellite, still I had been wrong in supposing this density, even at the surface, at all adequate to the support of the great weight contained in the.
Page 78
I thought it best, however, to humor his fancy, at least for the present, or until I could adopt some more energetic measures with a chance of success.
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Embracing the huge cylinder, as closely as possible, with his arms and knees, seizing with his hands some projections, and resting.
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Mought ventur out leetle way pon de limb by myself, dat's true.
Page 88
When you first made this assertion I thought you were jesting; but afterwards I called to mind the peculiar spots on the back of the insect, and admitted to myself that your remark had some little foundation in fact.
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A chess-player, for example, does the one without effort at the other.
Page 127
There was no escape from this conclusion.
Page 159
He wishes to prove that Marie is not assassinated--not that the corpse was not.
Page 162
or the ill-disposed.
Page 182
There was no advertisement of the picking up of this boat.
Page 189
Osborne, two gentlemen well known for scientific acquirement, and especially for the interest they have exhibited in the progress of ærostation.
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Page 201
All around were horror, and thick gloom, and a black sweltering desert of ebony.