The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 91

it. Then it was not
done by human agency. And nevertheless it was done.

"At this stage of my reflections I endeavored to remember, and did
remember, with entire distinctness, every incident which occurred about
the period in question. The weather was chilly (oh rare and happy
accident!), and a fire was blazing upon the hearth. I was heated with
exercise and sat near the table. You, however, had drawn a chair close
to the chimney. Just as I placed the parchment in your hand, and as you
were in the act of inspecting it, Wolf, the Newfoundland, entered,
and leaped upon your shoulders. With your left hand you caressed him and
kept him off, while your right, holding the parchment, was permitted to
fall listlessly between your knees, and in close proximity to the fire.
At one moment I thought the blaze had caught it, and was about to
caution you, but, before I could speak, you had withdrawn it, and were
engaged in its examination. When I considered all these particulars, I
doubted not for a moment that heat had been the agent in bringing to
light, upon the parchment, the skull which I saw designed upon it. You
are well aware that chemical preparations exist, and have existed time
out of mind, by means of which it is possible to write upon either paper
or vellum, so that the characters shall become visible only when
subjected to the action of fire. Zaffre, digested in aqua regia, and
diluted with four times its weight of water, is sometimes employed; a
green tint results. The regulus of cobalt, dissolved in spirit of nitre,
gives a red. These colors disappear at longer or shorter intervals after
the material written upon cools, but again become apparent upon the
re-application of heat.

"I now scrutinized the death's-head with care. Its outer edges--the
edges of the drawing nearest the edge of the vellum--were far more
distinct than the others. It was clear that the action of the caloric
had been imperfect or unequal. I immediately kindled a fire, and
subjected every portion of the parchment to a glowing heat. At first,
the only effect was the strengthening of the faint lines in the skull;
but, upon persevering in the experiment, there became visible, at
the corner of the slip, diagonally opposite to the spot in which the
death's-head was delineated, the figure of what I at first supposed to
be a goat. A closer scrutiny, however, satisfied me that it was intended
for a kid."

"Ha! ha!" said I, "to be sure I have no right to laugh at you--a

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Text Comparison with The Raven

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Page 1
Then the ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-- Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" .
Page 2
" But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if its soul in that one word he did outpour Nothing farther then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered-- Till I scarcely more than muttered: "Other friends have flown before-- On the morrow _he_ will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.
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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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