The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 166

it. While you ascertain the validity of the affidavits, I will
examine the newspapers more generally than you have as yet done. So far,
we have only reconnoitred the field of investigation; but it will be
strange indeed if a comprehensive survey, such as I propose, of the
public prints, will not afford us some minute points which shall
establish a direction for inquiry."

In pursuance of Dupin's suggestion, I made scrupulous examination of
the affair of the affidavits. The result was a firm conviction of their
validity, and of the consequent innocence of St. Eustache. In the mean
time my friend occupied himself, with what seemed to me a minuteness
altogether objectless, in a scrutiny of the various newspaper files. At
the end of a week he placed before me the following extracts:

"About three years and a half ago, a disturbance very similar to the
present, was caused by the disappearance of this same Marie Rogêt, from
the parfumerie of Monsieur Le Blanc, in the Palais Royal. At the end of
a week, however, she re-appeared at her customary comptoir, as well as
ever, with the exception of a slight paleness not altogether usual. It
was given out by Monsieur Le Blanc and her mother, that she had merely
been on a visit to some friend in the country; and the affair was
speedily hushed up. We presume that the present absence is a freak of
the same nature, and that, at the expiration of a week, or perhaps of
a month, we shall have her among us again."--Evening Paper--Monday June
23. (*17)

"An evening journal of yesterday, refers to a former mysterious
disappearance of Mademoiselle Rogêt. It is well known that, during the
week of her absence from Le Blanc's parfumerie, she was in the company
of a young naval officer, much noted for his debaucheries. A quarrel, it
is supposed, providentially led to her return home. We have the name of
the Lothario in question, who is, at present, stationed in Paris, but,
for obvious reasons, forbear to make it public."--Le Mercurie--Tuesday
Morning, June 24. (*18)

"An outrage of the most atrocious character was perpetrated near this
city the day before yesterday. A gentleman, with his wife and daughter,
engaged, about dusk, the services of six young men, who were idly rowing
a boat to and fro near the banks of the Seine, to convey him across the
river. Upon reaching the opposite shore, the three passengers stepped
out, and had proceeded so far as to be beyond the view of the boat,
when the daughter discovered that she had left in it

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Text Comparison with The Raven and The Philosophy of Composition

Page 0
The Raven and The Philosophy of Composition [Illustration] [Illustration: _Copyright 1906 by The Harwell-Evans Co.
Page 1
” But these same critics would lead us further to believe that “The Raven” itself is almost a literal translation of the work of a Persian poet.
Page 2
Keeping originality always in view—for he is false to himself who ventures to dispense with so obvious and so easily attainable a source of interest—I say to myself, in the first place, “Of the innumerable effects, or impressions, of which the heart, the intellect, or (more generally) the soul is susceptible, what one shall I, on the present occasion, select?” Having chosen a novel, first, and secondly a vivid effect, I consider whether it can be best wrought by incident or tone—whether by ordinary incidents and peculiar tone, or the converse, or by peculiarity both of incident and tone—afterward looking about me (or rather within) for such combinations of event, or tone, as shall best aid me in the construction of the effect.
Page 3
For my own part, I have neither sympathy with the repugnance alluded to, nor at any time the least difficulty in recalling to mind the progressive steps of any of my compositions; and, since the interest of an analysis, or reconstruction, such as I have considered a desideratum, is quite independent of any real or fancied interest in the thing analyzed, it will not be regarded as a breach of decorum on my part to show the modus operandi by which some one of my own works was put together.
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It is, in fact, a hundred and eight.
Page 5
” Now I designate Beauty as the province of the poem, merely because it is an obvious rule of Art that effects should be made to spring from direct causes—that objects should be attained through means best adapted for their attainment—no one as yet having been weak enough to deny that the peculiar elevation alluded to is most readily attained in the poem.
Page 6
This led me at once to a single word as the best refrain.
Page 7
” I had now to combine the two ideas, of a lover lamenting his deceased mistress and a Raven continuously repeating the word “Nevermore.
Page 8
The fact is, that originality (unless in minds of very unusual force) is by no means a matter, as some suppose, of impulse or intuition.
Page 9
For this the most natural suggestion might seem to be a forest, or the fields—but it has always appeared to me that a close circumscription of space is absolutely necessary to the effect of insulated incident: it has the force of a frame to a picture.
Page 10
” This revolution of thought, or fancy, on the lover’s part, is intended to induce a similar one on the part of the reader—to bring the mind into a proper frame for the dénouement—which is now brought about as rapidly and as directly as possible.
Page 11
The under-current of meaning is rendered first apparent in the lines: “Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.
Page 12
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— Only this and nothing more.
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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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Finished this Tenth Day of July, in the year Nineteen Hundred and Seven.