The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 104

time. I had told them that I should not return until the
morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house.
These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate
disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned.

I took from their sconces two flambeaux, and giving one to Fortunato,
bowed him through several suites of rooms to the archway that led into
the vaults. I passed down a long and winding staircase, requesting him
to be cautious as he followed. We came at length to the foot of the
descent, and stood together on the damp ground of the catacombs of the
Montresors.

The gait of my friend was unsteady, and the bells upon his cap jingled
as he strode.

"The pipe," said he.

"It is farther on," said I; "but observe the white web-work which gleams
from these cavern walls."

He turned towards me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that
distilled the rheum of intoxication.

"Nitre?" he asked, at length.

"Nitre," I replied. "How long have you had that cough?"

"Ugh! ugh! ugh!--ugh! ugh! ugh!--ugh! ugh! ugh!--ugh! ugh! ugh!--ugh!
ugh! ugh!"

My poor friend found it impossible to reply for many minutes.

"It is nothing," he said, at last.

"Come," I said, with decision, "we will go back; your health is
precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as
once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will
go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is
Luchesi--"

"Enough," he said; "the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I
shall not die of a cough."

"True--true," I replied; "and, indeed, I had no intention of alarming
you unnecessarily--but you should use all proper caution. A draught of
this Medoc will defend us from the damps."

Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row of
its fellows that lay upon the mould.

"Drink," I said, presenting him the wine.

He raised it to his lips with a leer. He paused and nodded to me
familiarly, while his bells jingled.

"I drink," he said, "to the buried that repose around us."

"And I to your long life."

He again took my arm, and we proceeded.

"These vaults," he said, "are extensive."

"The Montresors," I replied, "were a great and numerous family."

"I forget your arms."

"A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent
rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel."

"And the motto?"

"_Nemo me impune lacessit_."

"Good!" he

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Text Comparison with The Raven

Page 0
G.
Page 1
_ "''T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-- Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.
Page 2
G.
Page 3
" _R.
Page 4
G.
Page 6
"Le Juif-Errant" would have claims, had Beranger been a greater poet; and, but for their remoteness from popular sympathy, "The Lady of Shalott" and "The Blessed Damozel" might be added to the list.
Page 7
" The poet settled in New-York, in the winter of 1844-'45, finding work upon Willis's paper, "The Evening Mirror," and eking out his income by contributions elsewhere.
Page 9
This was at intervals so rare as almost to justify the Fairfield theory that each was the product of a nervous crisis.
Page 10
" Poe was one of the first to honor Miss Barrett's genius; he inscribed his collected poems to her as "the noblest of her sex," and was in sympathy with her lyrical method.
Page 11
The progressive music, the scenic detail and contrasted light and shade,--above all, the spiritual passion of the nocturn, make it the work of an informing genius.
Page 12
.
Page 13
at its calamity.
Page 14
is dead," etc.
Page 15
In the following pages, we have a fresh example of an artist's genius characterizing his interpretation of a famous poem.
Page 16
Had he lived to illustrate Shakespeare, we should have seen a remarkable treatment of Caliban, the Witches, the storm in "Lear"; but doubtless should have questioned his ideals of Imogen or Miranda.
Page 17
" EDMUND C.
Page 18
Then this 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 19
Nothing further 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.
Page 20
" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 22
" [Illustration] "'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!'" [Illustration] "And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted--nevermore!" [Illustration] [Illustration].