The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 198


OF my country and of my family I have little to say. Ill usage and
length of years have driven me from the one, and estranged me from the
other. Hereditary wealth afforded me an education of no common order,
and a contemplative turn of mind enabled me to methodize the stores
which early study very diligently garnered up.--Beyond all things,
the study of the German moralists gave me great delight; not from any
ill-advised admiration of their eloquent madness, but from the ease with
which my habits of rigid thought enabled me to detect their falsities.
I have often been reproached with the aridity of my genius; a deficiency
of imagination has been imputed to me as a crime; and the Pyrrhonism
of my opinions has at all times rendered me notorious. Indeed, a strong
relish for physical philosophy has, I fear, tinctured my mind with
a very common error of this age--I mean the habit of referring
occurrences, even the least susceptible of such reference, to the
principles of that science. Upon the whole, no person could be less
liable than myself to be led away from the severe precincts of truth by
the ignes fatui of superstition. I have thought proper to premise thus
much, lest the incredible tale I have to tell should be considered
rather the raving of a crude imagination, than the positive experience
of a mind to which the reveries of fancy have been a dead letter and a

After many years spent in foreign travel, I sailed in the year 18-- ,
from the port of Batavia, in the rich and populous island of Java, on
a voyage to the Archipelago of the Sunda islands. I went as
passenger--having no other inducement than a kind of nervous
restlessness which haunted me as a fiend.

Our vessel was a beautiful ship of about four hundred tons,
copper-fastened, and built at Bombay of Malabar teak. She was freighted
with cotton-wool and oil, from the Lachadive islands. We had also on
board coir, jaggeree, ghee, cocoa-nuts, and a few cases of opium. The
stowage was clumsily done, and the vessel consequently crank.

We got under way with a mere breath of wind, and for many days stood
along the eastern coast of Java, without any other incident to beguile
the monotony of our course than the occasional meeting with some of the
small grabs of the Archipelago to which we were bound.

One evening, leaning over the taffrail, I observed a very singular,
isolated cloud, to the N.W. It was remarkable, as well for its color, as
from its being

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket Comprising the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American brig Grampus, on her way to the South Seas, in the month of June, 1827.

Page 1
He strongly advised me, among others, to prepare at once a full account of what I had seen and undergone, and trust to the shrewdness and common sense of the public--insisting, with great plausibility, that however roughly, as regards mere authorship, my book should be got up, its very uncouthness, if there were any, would give it all the better chance of being received as truth.
Page 23
I had a confused recollection of having put them carefully away just before falling asleep; and, indeed, previously to my last journey to the trap, I had been able to remember the exact.
Page 33
His father was tied hand and foot, and lying along the steps of the companion-way with his head down, and a deep wound in the forehead, from which the blood was flowing in a continued stream.
Page 44
The leading particulars of this narration were all that Augustus communicated to me while we remained near the box.
Page 57
Peters had expressed to us his opinion that this man had been poisoned by the mate, and for this belief he had reasons, so he said, which were incontrovertible, but which he could not be prevailed upon to explain to us--this wayward refusal being only in keeping with other points of his singular character.
Page 62
Add to these considerations the awe-inspiring nature of the tempest, and that of the conversation brought about by Peters; the deep impression which the loathsomeness of the actual corpse had made in the morning upon the imaginations of the men; the excellence of the imitation in my person; and the uncertain and wavering light in which they beheld me, as the glare of the cabin lantern, swinging violently to and fro, fell dubiously and fitfully upon my figure, and there will be no reason to wonder that the deception had even more than the entire effect which we had anticipated.
Page 66
Augustus alone replied, saying, "It is all over with us, and may God have mercy upon our souls.
Page 70
We now lost no time in getting loose the rope from Peters.
Page 81
The morning of the sixteenth at length dawned, and we looked eagerly around the horizon for relief, but to no purpose.
Page 87
At length delay was no longer possible, and, with a heart almost bursting from my bosom, I advanced to the region of the forecastle, where my companions were awaiting me.
Page 91
_ This morning saw us wonderfully recruited in spirits and strength.
Page 98
_August 6.
Page 108
The land in all of them is very high, especially in Tristan d'Acunha, properly so called.
Page 111
It had been Captain Guy's original intention, after satisfying himself about the Auroras, to proceed through the Strait of Magellan, and up along the western coast of Patagonia; but information received at Tristan d'Acunha induced him to steer to the southward, in the hope of falling in with some small islands said to lie about the parallel of 60° S.
Page 119
The meat was tender, but excessively rank and fishy, although the men devoured it with avidity, and declared it excellent eating.
Page 135
The general width was about forty feet, and occasionally it diminished so as not to allow the passage of more than five or six persons abreast.
Page 138
I have before said that the chain of hills through which ran the main gorge was composed of a species of soft rock resembling soapstone.
Page 141
Upon hearing the discharge they could not be more thoroughly prepared to meet the foe, who were now getting ready to attack, than they already were, and always had been.
Page 142
And this they would most likely have done had our men followed up their broadside by a discharge of small arms, in which, as the canoes were now so near at hand, they could not have failed in doing some execution, sufficient, at least, to deter this party from a farther advance, until they could have given the rafts also a broadside.
Page 163