The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 101

without emotion. Even with
the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are
matters of which no jest can be made. The whole company, indeed, seemed
now deeply to feel that in the costume and bearing of the stranger
neither wit nor propriety existed. The figure was tall and gaunt, and
shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The
mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the
countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have
had difficulty in detecting the cheat. And yet all this might have been
endured, if not approved, by the mad revellers around. But the mummer
had gone so far as to assume the type of the Red Death. His vesture was
dabbled in blood--and his broad brow, with all the features of the face,
was besprinkled with the scarlet horror.

When the eyes of Prince Prospero fell upon this spectral image (which
with a slow and solemn movement, as if more fully to sustain its role,
stalked to and fro among the waltzers) he was seen to be convulsed, in
the first moment with a strong shudder either of terror or distaste;
but, in the next, his brow reddened with rage.

"Who dares?" he demanded hoarsely of the courtiers who stood near
him--"who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and
unmask him--that we may know whom we have to hang at sunrise, from the

It was in the eastern or blue chamber in which stood the Prince Prospero
as he uttered these words. They rang throughout the seven rooms loudly
and clearly--for the prince was a bold and robust man, and the music had
become hushed at the waving of his hand.

It was in the blue room where stood the prince, with a group of pale
courtiers by his side. At first, as he spoke, there was a slight rushing
movement of this group in the direction of the intruder, who at the
moment was also near at hand, and now, with deliberate and stately step,
made closer approach to the speaker. 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

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Eureka: A Prose Poem

Page 8
Mill himself, no doubt after thorough deliberation, has most distinctly, and most rationally, excluded all opportunity for exception, by the emphasis of his proposition, that, _in no case_, is ability or inability to conceive, to be taken as a criterion of axiomatic truth:--in the third place, even were exceptions admissible at all, it remains to be shown how any exception is admissible _here_.
Page 16
We now proceed to the ultimate purpose for which we are to suppose the Particle created--that is to say, the ultimate purpose so far as our considerations _yet_ enable us to see it--the constitution of the Universe from it, the Particle.
Page 20
I said, just now, that what I have described as the tendency of the diffused atoms to return into their original unity, would be understood as the principle of the Newtonian law of gravity: and, in fact, there can be little difficulty in such an understanding, if we look at the Newtonian gravity in a merely general view, as a force impelling matter to seek matter; that is to say, when we pay no attention to the known _modus operandi_ of the Newtonian force.
Page 22
Now, to what does so partial a consideration tend--to what species of error does it give rise? On the Earth we _see_ and _feel_, only that gravity impels all bodies towards the _centre_ of the Earth.
Page 26
no such thing)--but these principles are clearly _not_ "ultimate;" in other terms what we are in the habit of calling principles are no principles, properly speaking--since there can be but one _principle_, the Volition of God.
Page 35
The second supposable objection is somewhat better entitled to an answer.
Page 46
But with the very idea of God, omnipotent, omniscient, we entertain, also, the idea of _the infallibility_ of his laws.
Page 65
What are we to understand, then, of the force, which under similar circumstances, would be required to move the _largest_ of our planets, Jupiter? This is 86,000 miles in diameter, and would include within its periphery more than a thousand orbs of the magnitude of our own.
Page 66
Let this be borne in mind while we glance at some one of the brightest stars.
Page 69
By dint, however, of wonderfully minute and cautious observations, continued, with novel instruments, for many laborious years, _Bessel_, not long ago deceased, has lately succeeded in determining the distance of six or seven stars; among others, that of the star numbered 61 in the constellation of the Swan.
Page 72
The pleasure which we derive from any display of human ingenuity is in the ratio of _the approach_ to this species of reciprocity.
Page 78
And, in fact, the sense of the symmetrical is an instinct which may be depended upon with an almost blindfold reliance.
Page 79
This cause--this sufficient reason for the final ingathering--was declared to exist in an exceedingly rare but still material medium pervading space; which medium, by retarding, in some degree, the progress of the comet, perpetually weakened its tangential force; thus giving a predominance to the centripetal; which, of course, drew the comet nearer and nearer at each revolution, and would eventually precipitate it upon the Sun.
Page 85
The utter impossibility of any one's soul feeling itself inferior to another; the intense, overwhelming dissatisfaction and rebellion at the thought;--these, with the omniprevalent aspirations at perfection, are but the spiritual, coincident with the material, struggles towards the original Unity--are, to my mind at least, a species of proof far surpassing what Man terms demonstration, that no one soul _is_ inferior to another--that nothing is, or can be, superior to any one soul--that each soul is, in part, its own God--its own Creator:--in a word, that God--the material _and_ spiritual God--_now_ exists solely in the diffused Matter and Spirit of the Universe; and that the regathering of this diffused Matter and Spirit will be but the re-constitution of the _purely_ Spiritual and Individual God.
Page 86
joy of his Existence; but just as it _is_ in your power to expand or to concentrate your pleasures (the absolute amount of happiness remaining always the same) so did and does a similar capability appertain to this Divine Being, who thus passes his Eternity in perpetual variation of Concentrated Self and almost Infinite Self-Diffusion.
Page 88
Downing, Thos.
Page 96
_ Hunt.
Page 97
Page 98
cloth, 75 cents Mahan's Course of Civil Engineering.
Page 100
_ Tupper.