The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 203

vague novelty, doubt, and apprehension. I
therefore thought proper to contrive a hiding-place in the hold. This I
did by removing a small portion of the shifting-boards, in such a manner
as to afford me a convenient retreat between the huge timbers of the
ship.

I had scarcely completed my work, when a footstep in the hold forced me
to make use of it. A man passed by my place of concealment with a feeble
and unsteady gait. I could not see his face, but had an opportunity
of observing his general appearance. There was about it an evidence of
great age and infirmity. His knees tottered beneath a load of years, and
his entire frame quivered under the burthen. He muttered to himself,
in a low broken tone, some words of a language which I could not
understand, and groped in a corner among a pile of singular-looking
instruments, and decayed charts of navigation. His manner was a wild
mixture of the peevishness of second childhood, and the solemn dignity
of a God. He at length went on deck, and I saw him no more.

* * * * *

A feeling, for which I have no name, has taken possession of my soul
--a sensation which will admit of no analysis, to which the lessons of
bygone times are inadequate, and for which I fear futurity itself
will offer me no key. To a mind constituted like my own, the latter
consideration is an evil. I shall never--I know that I shall
never--be satisfied with regard to the nature of my conceptions. Yet it
is not wonderful that these conceptions are indefinite, since they have
their origin in sources so utterly novel. A new sense--a new entity is
added to my soul.

* * * * *

It is long since I first trod the deck of this terrible ship, and the
rays of my destiny are, I think, gathering to a focus. Incomprehensible
men! Wrapped up in meditations of a kind which I cannot divine, they
pass me by unnoticed. Concealment is utter folly on my part, for the
people will not see. It was but just now that I passed directly before
the eyes of the mate--it was no long while ago that I ventured into the
captain's own private cabin, and took thence the materials with which
I write, and have written. I shall from time to time continue this
Journal. It is true that I may not find an opportunity of transmitting
it to the world, but I will not fall to make the endeavour. At the last
moment I will

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