The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 197

thronged out, of course, to see the balloon; but it was with the
greatest difficulty that any one could be made to credit the actual
voyage--_the crossing of the Atlantic_. The grapnel caught at 2, P.M.,
precisely; and thus the whole voyage was completed in seventy-five
hours; or rather less, counting from shore to shore. No serious accident
occurred. No real danger was at any time apprehended. The balloon was
exhausted and secured without trouble; and when the MS. from which this
narrative is compiled was despatched from Charleston, the party were
still at Fort Moultrie. Their farther intentions were not ascertained;
but we can safely promise our readers some additional information either
on Monday or in the course of the next day, at farthest.

This is unquestionably the most stupendous, the most interesting, and
the most important undertaking, ever accomplished or even attempted by
man. What magnificent events may ensue, it would be useless now to think
of determining.

(*1) _Note_.--Mr. Ainsworth has not attempted to account for this
phenomenon, which, however, is quite susceptible of explanation. A line
dropped from an elevation of 25,000 feet, perpendicularly to the surface
of the earth (or sea), would form the perpendicular of a right-angled
triangle, of which the base would extend from the right angle to the
horizon, and the hypothenuse from the horizon to the balloon. But the
25,000 feet of altitude is little or nothing, in comparison with the
extent of the prospect. In other words, the base and hypothenuse of the
supposed triangle would be so long when compared with the perpendicular,
that the two former may be regarded as nearly parallel. In this manner
the horizon of the æronaut would appear to be _on a level_ with the
car. But, as the point immediately beneath him seems, and is, at a great
distance below him, it seems, of course, also, at a great distance below
the horizon. Hence the impression of _concavity_; and this impression
must remain, until the elevation shall bear so great a proportion to
the extent of prospect, that the apparent parallelism of the base and
hypothenuse disappears--when the earth's real convexity must become


Qui n'a plus qu'un moment a vivre

N'a plus rien a dissimuler.

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Text Comparison with First Project Gutenberg Collection of Edgar Allan Poe

Page 0
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-- Only this and nothing more.
Page 1
" Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door-- Darkness there and nothing more.
Page 2
" Then the bird said "Nevermore.
Page 3
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee--by these angels he hath sent thee Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 4
" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 5
And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.
Page 6
The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries, and here the panes were purple.
Page 7
the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause, momentarily, in their performance, to harken to the sound; and thus the waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions; and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company; and, while the chimes of the clock yet rang, it was observed that the giddiest grew pale, and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as if in confused revery or meditation.
Page 8
But the echoes of the chime die away--they have endured but an instant--and a light, half-subdued laughter floats after them as they depart.
Page 9
"Who dares,"--he demanded hoarsely of the courtiers who stood near him--"who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and unmask him--that we may know whom we have to hang, at sunrise, from the battlements!" It was in the eastern or blue chamber in which stood the Prince Prospero as he uttered these words.
Page 10
There was a sharp cry--and the dagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet, upon which, instantly afterwards, fell prostrate in death the Prince Prospero.
Page 11
You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.
Page 12
" Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row of its fellows that lay upon the mould.
Page 13
Three sides of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner.
Page 14
Indeed, it is _very_ damp.
Page 15
The noise lasted for several minutes, during which, that I might hearken to it with the more satisfaction, I ceased my labours and sat down upon the bones.
Page 16
For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them.