The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 170

the popular opinion,
under certain conditions, is not to be disregarded. When arising of
itself--when manifesting itself in a strictly spontaneous manner--we
should look upon it as analogous with that _intuition_ which is the
idiosyncrasy of the individual man of genius. In ninety-nine cases from
the hundred I would abide by its decision. But it is important that we
find no palpable traces of _suggestion_. The opinion must be rigorously
_the public's own_; and the distinction is often exceedingly difficult
to perceive and to maintain. In the present instance, it appears to me
that this 'public opinion' in respect to a gang, has been superinduced
by the collateral event which is detailed in the third of my extracts.
All Paris is excited by the discovered corpse of Marie, a girl young,
beautiful and notorious. This corpse is found, bearing marks of
violence, and floating in the river. But it is now made known that, at
the very period, or about the very period, in which it is supposed that
the girl was assassinated, an outrage similar in nature to that endured
by the deceased, although less in extent, was perpetuated, by a gang
of young ruffians, upon the person of a second young female. Is it
wonderful that the one known atrocity should influence the popular
judgment in regard to the other unknown? This judgment awaited
direction, and the known outrage seemed so opportunely to afford it!
Marie, too, was found in the river; and upon this very river was this
known outrage committed. The connexion of the two events had about it so
much of the palpable, that the true wonder would have been a failure
of the populace to appreciate and to seize it. But, in fact, the one
atrocity, known to be so committed, is, if any thing, evidence that the
other, committed at a time nearly coincident, was not so committed.
It would have been a miracle indeed, if, while a gang of ruffians were
perpetrating, at a given locality, a most unheard-of wrong, there should
have been another similar gang, in a similar locality, in the same
city, under the same circumstances, with the same means and appliances,
engaged in a wrong of precisely the same aspect, at precisely the
same period of time! Yet in what, if not in this marvellous train of
coincidence, does the accidentally suggested opinion of the populace
call upon us to believe?

"Before proceeding farther, let us consider the supposed scene of the
assassination, in the thicket at the Barrière du Roule. This thicket,
although dense, was in the close vicinity of a public road. Within
were

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Text Comparison with The Raven

Page 1
" _F.
Page 2
Staudenbaur.
Page 3
_ "'Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked, upstarting.
Page 4
The secret of a poem, no less than a jest's prosperity, lies in the ear of him that hears it.
Page 6
may not inspire the Fantasy that peoples with images the interlunar vague.
Page 7
Recognition is the more instant for having been postponed.
Page 8
All doubt of its authorship was dispelled when Poe recited it himself at a literary gathering, and for a time he was the most marked of American authors.
Page 9
In Mr.
Page 10
Ingram, after referring to "Lady Geraldine," cleverly points out another source from which Poe may have caught an impulse.
Page 11
There are other trails which may be followed by the curious; notably, a passage which Mr.
Page 12
"the Night's Plutonian shore," he seems the imaged soul of the questioner himself,--of him who can not, will not, quaff the kind nepenthe, because the memory of Lenore is all that is left him, and with the surcease of his sorrow even that would be put aside.
Page 13
Yet his heart was with the romancers and their Oriental or Gothic effects.
Page 14
Neither his avowal of cold-blooded artifice, nor his subsequent avowal to friends that an exposure of this artifice was only another of his intellectual hoaxes, need be wholly credited.
Page 15
" He confessed himself the bird's unhappy master, the stricken sufferer of this poem.
Page 16
Plainly there was something in common between the working moods of Poe and Dore.
Page 17
" EDMUND C.
Page 18
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-- Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-- 'T is the wind and nothing more!" Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Page 19
'" But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-- What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking "Nevermore.
Page 20
bosom's core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er _She_ shall press, ah, nevermore! Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
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thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.