The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 67

that, being
ill during a sea voyage, the crew abandoned him, together with a
negro servant, on the island of St. Helena. To increase the chances of
obtaining food, the two separate, and live as far apart as possible.
This brings about a training of birds, to serve the purpose of
carrier-pigeons between them. By and by these are taught to carry
parcels of some weight-and this weight is gradually increased. At length
the idea is entertained of uniting the force of a great number of the
birds, with a view to raising the author himself. A machine is contrived
for the purpose, and we have a minute description of it, which is
materially helped out by a steel engraving. Here we perceive the
Signor Gonzales, with point ruffles and a huge periwig, seated astride
something which resembles very closely a broomstick, and borne aloft by
a multitude of wild swans _(ganzas) _who had strings reaching from their
tails to the machine.

The main event detailed in the Signor's narrative depends upon a very
important fact, of which the reader is kept in ignorance until near the
end of the book. The _ganzas, _with whom he had become so familiar, were
not really denizens of St. Helena, but of the moon. Thence it had been
their custom, time out of mind, to migrate annually to some portion of
the earth. In proper season, of course, they would return home; and
the author, happening, one day, to require their services for a short
voyage, is unexpectedly carried straight tip, and in a very brief period
arrives at the satellite. Here he finds, among other odd things, that
the people enjoy extreme happiness; that they have no _law; _that they
die without pain; that they are from ten to thirty feet in height;
that they live five thousand years; that they have an emperor called
Irdonozur; and that they can jump sixty feet high, when, being out of
the gravitating influence, they fly about with fans.

I cannot forbear giving a specimen of the general _philosophy _of the
volume.

"I must not forget here, that the stars appeared only on that side of
the globe turned toward the moon, and that the closer they were to it
the larger they seemed. I have also me and the earth. As to the
stars, _since there was no night where I was, they always had the same
appearance; not brilliant, as usual, but pale, and very nearly like the
moon of a morning. _But few of them were visible, and these ten times
larger (as well as I could judge) than

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

Page 2
We occupied the same bed, and he would be sure to keep me awake until almost light, telling me stories of the natives of the Island of Tinian, and other places he had visited in his travels.
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They had scarcely made this resolve when a feeble cry arose from a dark object that floated rapidly by.
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As he pressed, this portion rose up at one end sufficiently to allow the passage of his finger beneath.
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The few words I had been able to read, however, had cut me off from these final resources, and I now, for the first time, felt all the misery of my fate.
Page 31
CHAPTER 4 THE brig put to sea, as I had supposed, in about an hour after he had left the watch.
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Fortunately he was so far overcome by intoxication as to be easily restrained by the less bloodthirsty of the party, among whom was a line-manager, who went by the name of Dirk Peters.
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At length the cook came to the berth in which Augustus was lying, and seated himself in it near the head.
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The desertion of his party had frustrated Peters’ design of going into the Pacific--an adventure which could not be accomplished without a crew, and he depended upon either getting acquitted upon trial, on the score of insanity (which he solemnly avowed had actuated him in lending his aid to the mutiny), or upon obtaining a pardon, if found guilty, through the representations of Augustus and myself.
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We were lying on the deck near the companion-way, and debating the possibility of yet making our way into the storeroom, when, looking toward Augustus, who lay fronting myself, I perceived that he had become all at once deadly pale, and that his lips were quivering in the most singular and unaccountable manner.
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I now told them I was willing to submit to the proposal, merely requesting a delay of about one hour, in order that the fog which had gathered around us might have an opportunity of lifting, when it was possible that the ship we had seen might be again in sight.
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A stab with a bowie knife, however, at length brought it to the ground, and we dragged it into the ravine, congratulating ourselves.
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Two of the natives by this time had got hold of our boat, obstinately refusing to let go, until we were forced to despatch them with our knives.
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To attempt, therefore, getting back would be folly--especially at so late a period of the season.
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But one autumnal evening, when the winds lay still in heaven, Morella called me to her bedside.
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While I stood thus in despair, conversing with a trio of friends upon the all absorbing subject of my heart, it so happened that the subject itself passed by.
Page 203
Of this latter point, however, I am scarcely qualified to judge; for it was just dark as we arrived; and in American mansions of the better sort lights seldom, during the heat of summer, make their appearance at this, the most pleasant period of the day.
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It is beyond the reach of art to endow either air or recitative with more impassioned expression than was hers.
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Talbot took a seat at his side.
Page 217
--His head was stuck full of sable hearse-plumes, which he nodded to and fro with a jaunty and knowing air; and, in his right hand, he held a huge human thigh-bone, with which he appeared to have been just knocking down some member of the company for a song.
Page 227
” SMITHERTON.