The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 161

Each successive one
is multiple evidence--proof not _added_ to proof, but multiplied by
hundreds or thousands. Let us now discover, upon the deceased, garters
such as the living used, and it is almost folly to proceed. But these
garters are found to be tightened, by the setting back of a clasp,
in just such a manner as her own had been tightened by Marie, shortly
previous to her leaving home. It is now madness or hypocrisy to doubt.
What L'Etoile says in respect to this abbreviation of the garter's being
an usual occurrence, shows nothing beyond its own pertinacity in error.
The elastic nature of the clasp-garter is self-demonstration of the
unusualness of the abbreviation. What is made to adjust itself, must of
necessity require foreign adjustment but rarely. It must have been by an
accident, in its strictest sense, that these garters of Marie needed
the tightening described. They alone would have amply established her
identity. But it is not that the corpse was found to have the garters
of the missing girl, or found to have her shoes, or her bonnet, or the
flowers of her bonnet, or her feet, or a peculiar mark upon the arm,
or her general size and appearance--it is that the corpse had each,
and _all collectively_. Could it be proved that the editor of L'Etoile
_really_ entertained a doubt, under the circumstances, there would be
no need, in his case, of a commission de lunatico inquirendo. He has
thought it sagacious to echo the small talk of the lawyers, who, for the
most part, content themselves with echoing the rectangular precepts of
the courts. I would here observe that very much of what is rejected as
evidence by a court, is the best of evidence to the intellect. For
the court, guiding itself by the general principles of evidence--the
recognized and _booked_ principles--is averse from swerving at
particular instances. And this steadfast adherence to principle, with
rigorous disregard of the conflicting exception, is a sure mode of
attaining the maximum of attainable truth, in any long sequence of time.
The practice, in mass, is therefore philosophical; but it is not the
less certain that it engenders vast individual error. (*16)

"In respect to the insinuations levelled at Beauvais, you will be
willing to dismiss them in a breath. You have already fathomed the
true character of this good gentleman. He is a busy-body, with much
of romance and little of wit. Any one so constituted will readily so
conduct himself, upon occasion of real excitement, as to render himself
liable to suspicion on the part of the over acute,

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Text Comparison with The Raven Illustrated

Page 0
" Ah, distinctly I remember It was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember Wrought its ghost upon the floor.
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curtain Thrilled me--filled me with fantastic Terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating Of my heart, I stood repeating, "'Tis some visitor entreating Entrance at my chamber door-- Some late visitor entreating Entrance at my chamber door; This it is and nothing more.
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wide the door: Darkness there and nothing more.
Page 3
Not the least obeisance made he; Not an instant stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, [Illustration: 8021] Perched above my chamber door-- Perched upon a bust of Pallas Just above my chamber door-- Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
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Nothing farther then he uttered; Not a feather then he fluttered-- Till I scarcely more than muttered, " Other friends have flown before-- On the morrow he will leave me, As my hopes have flown before.
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master Whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster, So when hope he would adjure, Stern despair returned, Instead of the sweet hope he dared adjure, That sad answer, "Nevermore.
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" [Illustration: 0029] [Illustration: 0031] [Illustration: 9031] "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!" .
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" 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, .
Page 8
And the lamplight 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: 0035].