The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 88

into a full detail of all the
circumstances connected with it.

"You remember;" said he, "the night when I handed you the rough sketch I
had made of the scarabæus. You recollect also, that I became quite vexed
at you for insisting that my drawing resembled a death's-head. When you
first made this assertion I thought you were jesting; but afterwards
I called to mind the peculiar spots on the back of the insect, and
admitted to myself that your remark had some little foundation in fact.
Still, the sneer at my graphic powers irritated me--for I am considered
a good artist--and, therefore, when you handed me the scrap of
parchment, I was about to crumple it up and throw it angrily into the

"The scrap of paper, you mean," said I.

"No; it had much of the appearance of paper, and at first I supposed it
to be such, but when I came to draw upon it, I discovered it, at once,
to be a piece of very thin parchment. It was quite dirty, you remember.
Well, as I was in the very act of crumpling it up, my glance fell
upon the sketch at which you had been looking, and you may imagine my
astonishment when I perceived, in fact, the figure of a death's-head
just where, it seemed to me, I had made the drawing of the beetle. For
a moment I was too much amazed to think with accuracy. I knew that my
design was very different in detail from this--although there was a
certain similarity in general outline. Presently I took a candle, and
seating myself at the other end of the room, proceeded to scrutinize the
parchment more closely. Upon turning it over, I saw my own sketch
upon the reverse, just as I had made it. My first idea, now, was mere
surprise at the really remarkable similarity of outline--at the singular
coincidence involved in the fact, that unknown to me, there should have
been a skull upon the other side of the parchment, immediately beneath
my figure of the scarabæus, and that this skull, not only in outline,
but in size, should so closely resemble my drawing. I say the
singularity of this coincidence absolutely stupified me for a time.
This is the usual effect of such coincidences. The mind struggles to
establish a connexion--a sequence of cause and effect--and, being
unable to do so, suffers a species of temporary paralysis. But, when I
recovered from this stupor, there dawned upon me gradually a conviction
which startled me even far more than the coincidence. I began
distinctly, positively,

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Text Comparison with Eureka: A Prose Poem

Page 0
Page 9
Had he been asked to point out either the _de_ductive or _in_ductive route by which he attained them, his reply might have been--'I know nothing about _routes_--but I _do_ know the machinery of the Universe.
Page 14
As our starting-point, then, let us adopt the _Godhead_.
Page 16
A diffusion from Unity, under the conditions, involves a tendency to return into Unity--a tendency ineradicable until satisfied.
Page 18
Unless we are to conceive that the appetite for Unity among the atoms is doomed to be satisfied _never_;--unless we are to conceive that what had a beginning is to have no end--a conception which cannot _really_ be entertained, however much we may talk or dream of entertaining it--we are forced to conclude that the repulsive influence imagined, will, finally--under pressure of the _Unitendency collectively_ applied, but never and in no degree _until_, on fulfilment of the Divine purposes, such collective application shall be naturally made--yield to a force which, at that ultimate epoch, shall be the superior force precisely to the extent required, and thus permit the universal subsidence into the inevitable, because original and therefore normal, _One_.
Page 34
In looking carefully around me for rational objection to what I have advanced, I am able to discover _nothing_;--but of that class of objections usually urged by the doubters for Doubt's sake, I very readily perceive _three_; and proceed to dispose of them in order.
Page 35
The primary _act_--that of Irradiation from Unity--must have been independent of all that which the world now calls "principle"--because all that we so designate is but a consequence of the reaction of that primary act:--I say "_primary_" act; for the creation of the absolute material particle is more properly to be regarded as a _conception_ than as an "_act_" in the ordinary meaning of the term.
Page 38
Not to dwell upon the impossibility of the conception, the infinite extension of Matter is an idea which, if not positively disproved, is at least not in any respect warranted by telescopic observation of the stars--a point to be explained more fully hereafter; and this empirical reason.
Page 40
To explain:--Let us conceive _that_ particular agglomeration of which we have just spoken--the one at the point designated by our Sun's centre--to have so far proceeded that a vast quantity of nebulous matter has here assumed a roughly globular form; its centre being, of course, coincident with what is now, or rather was originally, the centre of our Sun; and its periphery extending out beyond the orbit.
Page 42
The ring being understood as yet unbroken, we see that its exterior, while the whole revolves about the parent body, moves more rapidly than its interior.
Page 58
_No_ consideration could be better adapted to convey an idea of this cluster's stupendous extent.
Page 61
Their material--their spirit is not ours--is not that which obtains in any part of our Universe.
Page 62
The progress of the pea _should be_--in other words, the progress of the planet _is_, of course,--slow in proportion to its distance from the Sun--swift in proportion to its proximity.
Page 74
precisely all this which he imagines in the case of the Galaxy.
Page 75
Page 78
He must have a care, however, lest, in pursuing too heedlessly the superficial symmetry of forms and motions, he leave out of sight the really essential symmetry of the principles which determine and control them.
Page 82
But this catastrophe--what is it? We have seen accomplished the ingathering of the orbs.
Page 85
Our souls no longer rebel at a _Sorrow_ which we ourselves have imposed upon ourselves, in furtherance of our own purposes--with a view--if even with a futile view--to the extension of our own _Joy_.
Page 94
Page 98
"This is a witty and amusing book.