The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 22

enough to be accurately discerned. It
appeared to be--yes! it was undoubtedly a species of balloon; but surely
no such balloon had ever been seen in Rotterdam before. For who, let me
ask, ever heard of a balloon manufactured entirely of dirty newspapers?
No man in Holland certainly; yet here, under the very noses of the
people, or rather at some distance above their noses was the identical
thing in question, and composed, I have it on the best authority, of
the precise material which no one had ever before known to be used for
a similar purpose. It was an egregious insult to the good sense of the
burghers of Rotterdam. As to the shape of the phenomenon, it was even
still more reprehensible. Being little or nothing better than a huge
foolscap turned upside down. And this similitude was regarded as by no
means lessened when, upon nearer inspection, there was perceived a large
tassel depending from its apex, and, around the upper rim or base of the
cone, a circle of little instruments, resembling sheep-bells, which kept
up a continual tinkling to the tune of Betty Martin. But still worse.
Suspended by blue ribbons to the end of this fantastic machine,
there hung, by way of car, an enormous drab beaver hat, with a brim
superlatively broad, and a hemispherical crown with a black band and a
silver buckle. It is, however, somewhat remarkable that many citizens
of Rotterdam swore to having seen the same hat repeatedly before; and
indeed the whole assembly seemed to regard it with eyes of familiarity;
while the vrow Grettel Pfaall, upon sight of it, uttered an exclamation
of joyful surprise, and declared it to be the identical hat of her good
man himself. Now this was a circumstance the more to be observed, as
Pfaall, with three companions, had actually disappeared from Rotterdam
about five years before, in a very sudden and unaccountable manner, and
up to the date of this narrative all attempts had failed of obtaining
any intelligence concerning them whatsoever. To be sure, some bones
which were thought to be human, mixed up with a quantity of odd-looking
rubbish, had been lately discovered in a retired situation to the east
of Rotterdam, and some people went so far as to imagine that in this
spot a foul murder had been committed, and that the sufferers were in
all probability Hans Pfaall and his associates. But to return.

The balloon (for such no doubt it was) had now descended to within
a hundred feet of the earth, allowing the crowd below a sufficiently
distinct view

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven Edition Table Of Contents And Index Of The Five Volumes

Page 0
THE COLISEUM.
Page 1
THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM THE POWER OF WORDS A PREDICAMENT THE PREMATURE BURIAL THE PURLOINED LETTER A TALE OF THE RAGGED MOUNTAINS SHADOW—A PARABLE SILENCE—A FABLE THE SPECTACLES THE SPHINX THREE SUNDAYS IN A WEEK THE SYSTEM OF DOCTOR TARR AND PROFESSOR FETHER THE TELL-TALE HEART.