The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 24

detain him in Rotterdam, began
at this moment to make busy preparations for departure; and it being
necessary to discharge a portion of ballast to enable him to reascend,
the half dozen bags which he threw out, one after another, without
taking the trouble to empty their contents, tumbled, every one of them,
most unfortunately upon the back of the burgomaster, and rolled him over
and over no less than one-and-twenty times, in the face of every man in
Rotterdam. It is not to be supposed, however, that the great Underduk
suffered this impertinence on the part of the little old man to pass off
with impunity. It is said, on the contrary, that during each and every
one of his one-and twenty circumvolutions he emitted no less than
one-and-twenty distinct and furious whiffs from his pipe, to which he
held fast the whole time with all his might, and to which he intends
holding fast until the day of his death.

In the meantime the balloon arose like a lark, and, soaring far away
above the city, at length drifted quietly behind a cloud similar to that
from which it had so oddly emerged, and was thus lost forever to the
wondering eyes of the good citizens of Rotterdam. All attention was
now directed to the letter, the descent of which, and the consequences
attending thereupon, had proved so fatally subversive of both person and
personal dignity to his Excellency, the illustrious Burgomaster Mynheer
Superbus Von Underduk. That functionary, however, had not failed, during
his circumgyratory movements, to bestow a thought upon the important
subject of securing the packet in question, which was seen, upon
inspection, to have fallen into the most proper hands, being actually
addressed to himself and Professor Rub-a-dub, in their official
capacities of President and Vice-President of the Rotterdam College of
Astronomy. It was accordingly opened by those dignitaries upon the
spot, and found to contain the following extraordinary, and indeed very
serious, communications.

To their Excellencies Von Underduk and Rub-a-dub, President and
Vice-President of the States' College of Astronomers, in the city of
Rotterdam.

"Your Excellencies may perhaps be able to remember an humble artizan, by
name Hans Pfaall, and by occupation a mender of bellows, who, with three
others, disappeared from Rotterdam, about five years ago, in a manner
which must have been considered by all parties at once sudden, and
extremely unaccountable. If, however, it so please your Excellencies, I,
the writer of this communication, am the identical Hans Pfaall himself.
It is well known to most of my fellow citizens, that for the period of
forty years I continued to occupy

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Not the least.
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obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he, But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-- Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-- Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
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"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.
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" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
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had long devastated the country.
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The third was green throughout, and so were the casements.
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His plans were bold and fiery, and his conceptions glowed with barbaric lustre.
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And then the music ceased, as I have told; and the evolutions of the waltzers were quieted; and there was an uneasy cessation of all things as before.
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But from a certain nameless awe with which the mad assumptions of the mummer had inspired the whole party, there were found none who put forth hand to seize him; so that, unimpeded, he passed within a yard of the prince's person; and, while the vast assembly, as if with one impulse, shrank from the centres of the rooms to the walls, he made his way uninterruptedly, but with the same solemn and measured step which had distinguished him.
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I must not only punish, but punish with impunity.
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They are encrusted with nitre.
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He raised it to his lips with a leer.
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" "Good!" he said.
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No? Then I must positively leave you.
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I called aloud-- "Fortunato!" No answer.
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I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up.