The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 184

parallel, or even to suggest that the measures adopted
in Paris for the discovery of the assassin of a grisette, or measures
founded in any similar ratiocination, would produce any similar result.

For, in respect to the latter branch of the supposition, it should be
considered that the most trifling variation in the facts of the
two cases might give rise to the most important miscalculations,
by diverting thoroughly the two courses of events; very much as,
in arithmetic, an error which, in its own individuality, may be
inappreciable, produces, at length, by dint of multiplication at all
points of the process, a result enormously at variance with truth. And,
in regard to the former branch, we must not fail to hold in view that
the very Calculus of Probabilities to which I have referred, forbids all
idea of the extension of the parallel:--forbids it with a positiveness
strong and decided just in proportion as this parallel has already been
long-drawn and exact. This is one of those anomalous propositions which,
seemingly appealing to thought altogether apart from the mathematical,
is yet one which only the mathematician can fully entertain. Nothing,
for example, is more difficult than to convince the merely general
reader that the fact of sixes having been thrown twice in succession by
a player at dice, is sufficient cause for betting the largest odds that
sixes will not be thrown in the third attempt. A suggestion to this
effect is usually rejected by the intellect at once. It does not
appear that the two throws which have been completed, and which lie now
absolutely in the Past, can have influence upon the throw which exists
only in the Future. The chance for throwing sixes seems to be precisely
as it was at any ordinary time--that is to say, subject only to the
influence of the various other throws which may be made by the dice. And
this is a reflection which appears so exceedingly obvious that attempts
to controvert it are received more frequently with a derisive smile
than with anything like respectful attention. The error here involved--a
gross error redolent of mischief--I cannot pretend to expose within the
limits assigned me at present; and with the philosophical it needs
no exposure. It may be sufficient here to say that it forms one of an
infinite series of mistakes which arise in the path of Reason through
her propensity for seeking truth in detail.

Footnotes--Marie Rogêt

(*1) Upon the original publication of "Marie Roget," the foot-notes now
appended were considered unnecessary; but the lapse of several years
since the tragedy upon which the tale is

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Complete Poetical Works of Edgar Allan Poe Including Essays on Poetry

Page 2
Dr.
Page 21
E.
Page 27
1849.
Page 35
And love a simple duty.
Page 53
For the heart whose woes are legion 'Tis a peaceful, soothing region-- For the spirit that walks in shadow 'Tis--oh, 'tis an Eldorado! But the traveller, travelling through it, May not--dare not openly view it; Never its mysteries are exposed To the weak human eye unclosed; So wills its King, who hath forbid The uplifting of the fringed lid; And thus the sad Soul that here passes Beholds it but through darkened glasses.
Page 77
Art thou not Lalage, and I Politian? Do I not love--art thou not beautiful-- What need we more? Ha! glory! now speak not of it: By all I hold most sacred and most solemn-- By all my wishes now--my fears hereafter-- By all I scorn on earth and hope in heaven-- There is no deed I would more glory in, Than in thy cause to scoff at this same glory And trample it under foot.
Page 85
At the Vatican.
Page 88
Before those whom thou lovest-- Before all Rome I'll taunt thee, villain,--I'll taunt thee, Dost hear? with _cowardice_--thou _wilt not_ fight me? Thou liest! thou _shalt_! (_Exit_.
Page 99
In reading that man's poetry, I tremble like one who stands upon a volcano, conscious from the very darkness bursting from the crater, of the fire and the light that are weltering below.
Page 101
--E.
Page 103
She stirr'd not--breath'd not--for a voice was there How solemnly pervading the calm air! A sound of silence on the startled ear .
Page 106
kiss'd her golden hair And long'd to rest, yet could but sparkle there! Young flowers were whispering in melody [21] To happy flowers that night--and tree to tree; Fountains were gushing music as they fell In many a star-lit grove, or moon-light dell; Yet silence came upon material things-- Fair flowers, bright waterfalls and angel wings-- And sound alone that from the spirit sprang Bore burthen to the charm the maiden sang: "Neath blue-bell or streamer-- Or tufted wild spray That keeps, from the dreamer, The moonbeam away--[22] Bright beings! that ponder, With half-closing eyes, On the stars which your wonder Hath drawn from the skies, Till they glance thro' the shade, and Come down to your brow Like--eyes of the maiden Who calls on you now-- Arise! from your dreaming In violet bowers, To duty beseeming These star-litten hours-- And shake from your tresses Encumber'd with dew The breath of those kisses That cumber them too-- (O! how, without you, Love! Could angels be blest?) Those kisses of true love That lull'd ye to rest! Up! shake from your wing Each hindering thing: The dew of the night-- It would weigh down your flight; And true love caresses-- O! leave them apart! They are light on the tresses, But lead on the heart.
Page 134
Like music heard in dreams, Like strains of harps unknown, Of birds for ever flown,-- Audible as the voice of streams That murmur in some leafy dell, I hear thy gentlest tone, And Silence cometh with her spell Like that which on my tongue doth dwell, When tremulous in dreams I tell My love to thee alone! V.
Page 139
I love, indeed, to regard the dark valleys, and the gray rocks, and the waters that silently smile, and the forests that sigh in uneasy slumbers, and the proud watchful mountains that look down upon all,--I love to regard these as themselves but the colossal members of one vast animate and sentient whole--a whole whose form (that of the sphere) is the most perfect and most inclusive of all; whose path is among associate planets; whose meek handmaiden is the moon; whose mediate sovereign is the sun; whose life is eternity; whose thought is that of a god; whose enjoyment is knowledge; whose destinies are lost in immensity; whose cognizance of ourselves is akin with our own cognizance of the _animalculae_ which infest the brain, a being which we in consequence regard as purely inanimate and material, much in the same manner as these _animalculae_ must thus regard us.
Page 142
And again and again she made the circuit of the island (while the sun rushed down to his slumbers), and at each issuing into the light there was more sorrow about her person, while it grew feebler and far fainter and more indistinct, and at each passage into the gloom there fell from her a.
Page 143
"] [Footnote 2: Speaking of the tides, Pomponius Mela, in his treatise, 'De Situ Orbis', says, "Either the world is a great animal, or," etc.
Page 157
And that last hour--speak of it.
Page 159
The learned spoke of slight geological disturbances, of probable alterations in climate, and consequently in vegetation; of possible magnetic and electric influences.
Page 163
And the door whereupon the shadow rested was, if I remember aright, over against the feet of the young Zoilus enshrouded.
Page 170
Their warm, yet delicate and ethereal imagination will be appreciated by all, but by none so thoroughly as by him who has himself arisen from sweet dreams of one beloved to bathe in the aromatic air of a southern midsummer night.