The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 162

or the ill-disposed.
M. Beauvais (as it appears from your notes) had some personal interviews
with the editor of L'Etoile, and offended him by venturing an opinion
that the corpse, notwithstanding the theory of the editor, was, in sober
fact, that of Marie. 'He persists,' says the paper, 'in asserting the
corpse to be that of Marie, but cannot give a circumstance, in addition
to those which we have commented upon, to make others believe.' Now,
without re-adverting to the fact that stronger evidence 'to make others
believe,' could never have been adduced, it may be remarked that a man
may very well be understood to believe, in a case of this kind, without
the ability to advance a single reason for the belief of a second party.
Nothing is more vague than impressions of individual identity. Each man
recognizes his neighbor, yet there are few instances in which any one
is prepared to give a reason for his recognition. The editor of L'Etoile
had no right to be offended at M. Beauvais' unreasoning belief.

"The suspicious circumstances which invest him, will be found to tally
much better with my hypothesis of romantic busy-bodyism, than with
the reasoner's suggestion of guilt. Once adopting the more charitable
interpretation, we shall find no difficulty in comprehending the rose
in the key-hole; the 'Marie' upon the slate; the 'elbowing the male
relatives out of the way;' the 'aversion to permitting them to see
the body;' the caution given to Madame B----, that she must hold no
conversation with the gendarme until his return (Beauvais'); and,
lastly, his apparent determination 'that nobody should have anything to
do with the proceedings except himself.' It seems to me unquestionable
that Beauvais was a suitor of Marie's; that she coquetted with him; and
that he was ambitious of being thought to enjoy her fullest intimacy
and confidence. I shall say nothing more upon this point; and, as the
evidence fully rebuts the assertion of L'Etoile, touching the matter
of apathy on the part of the mother and other relatives--an apathy
inconsistent with the supposition of their believing the corpse to be
that of the perfumery-girl--we shall now proceed as if the question of
identity were settled to our perfect satisfaction."

"And what," I here demanded, "do you think of the opinions of Le

"That, in spirit, they are far more worthy of attention than any which
have been promulgated upon the subject. The deductions from the premises
are philosophical and acute; but the premises, in two instances, at
least, are founded in imperfect observation. Le Commerciel wishes to
intimate that Marie was seized by some

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Page 0
However, we prefer to post short works for you in collections, to eliminate you having to download all 11 kilobytes of our header and "legal fine print" to get files of sizes less than the headers.
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Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping something louder than before.
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" Then the bird said "Nevermore.
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its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-- Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore Of 'Never--nevermore.
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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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And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.
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But in the western or black chamber the effect of the fire-light that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood-tinted panes, was ghastly in the extreme, and produced so wild a look upon the countenances of those who entered, that there were few of the company bold enough to set foot within its precincts at all.
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There were much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the _bizarre_, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.
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And now again the music swells, and the dreams live, and writhe to and fro more merrily than ever, taking hue from the many tinted windows through which stream the rays from the tripods.
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And yet all this might have been endured, if not approved, by the mad revellers around.
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And the flames of the tripods expired.
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" "My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature.
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"The pipe," said he.
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" "Be it so," I said, replacing the tool beneath the cloak and again offering him my arm.
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It was in vain that Fortunato, uplifting his dull torch, endeavoured to pry into the depth of the recess.
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A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back.
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My heart grew sick on account of the dampness of the catacombs.