The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 110

the deep regret and
mortification of the speaker, and in defiance of all consequences) is
indulged.

We have a task before us which must be speedily performed. We know that
it will be ruinous to make delay. The most important crisis of our life
calls, trumpet-tongued, for immediate energy and action. We glow, we are
consumed with eagerness to commence the work, with the anticipation of
whose glorious result our whole souls are on fire. It must, it shall be
undertaken to-day, and yet we put it off until to-morrow, and why?
There is no answer, except that we feel perverse, using the word with
no comprehension of the principle. To-morrow arrives, and with it a more
impatient anxiety to do our duty, but with this very increase of anxiety
arrives, also, a nameless, a positively fearful, because unfathomable,
craving for delay. This craving gathers strength as the moments fly.
The last hour for action is at hand. We tremble with the violence of
the conflict within us,--of the definite with the indefinite--of the
substance with the shadow. But, if the contest have proceeded thus
far, it is the shadow which prevails,--we struggle in vain. The clock
strikes, and is the knell of our welfare. At the same time, it is
the chanticleer--note to the ghost that has so long overawed us. It
flies--it disappears--we are free. The old energy returns. We will labor
now. Alas, it is too late!

We stand upon the brink of a precipice. We peer into the abyss--we
grow sick and dizzy. Our first impulse is to shrink from the danger.
Unaccountably we remain. By slow degrees our sickness and dizziness and
horror become merged in a cloud of unnamable feeling. By gradations,
still more imperceptible, this cloud assumes shape, as did the vapor
from the bottle out of which arose the genius in the Arabian Nights.
But out of this our cloud upon the precipice's edge, there grows into
palpability, a shape, far more terrible than any genius or any demon
of a tale, and yet it is but a thought, although a fearful one, and one
which chills the very marrow of our bones with the fierceness of the
delight of its horror. It is merely the idea of what would be our
sensations during the sweeping precipitancy of a fall from such a
height. And this fall--this rushing annihilation--for the very reason
that it involves that one most ghastly and loathsome of all the most
ghastly and loathsome images of death and suffering which have ever
presented themselves to our imagination--for this very cause do we now
the most vividly

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

Page 4
Even in 1844, when his literary reputation was established securely, he wrote to a friend expressing.
Page 12
This analyzing tendency of his mind balances the poetical, and by giving him the patience to be minute, enables him to throw a wonderful reality into his most unreal fancies.
Page 26
In other words, I believed, and still do believe, that truth, is frequently of its own essence, superficial, and that, in many cases, the depth lies more in the abysses where we seek her, than in the actual situations wherein she may be found.
Page 33
In good time came to my rescue the spirit of despair, and, with frantic cries and struggles, I jerked my way bodily upwards, till at length, clutching with a vise-like grip the long-desired rim, I writhed my person over it, and fell headlong and shuddering within the car.
Page 44
But if the net-work were separated from the hoop to admit this passage, what was to sustain the car in the meantime? Now the net-work was not permanently fastened to the hoop, but attached by a series of running loops or nooses.
Page 51
My bed was so contrived upon the floor of the car, as to bring my head, in lying down, immediately below the mouth of the pitcher.
Page 53
Northwardly from that huge rim before mentioned, and which, with slight qualification, may be called the limit of human discovery in these regions, one unbroken, or nearly unbroken, sheet of ice continues to extend.
Page 61
All this, and more--much more--would I most willingly detail.
Page 70
Just before sunset I scrambled my way through the evergreens to the hut of my friend, whom I had not visited for several weeks--my residence being, at that time, in Charleston, a distance of nine miles.
Page 76
Is it any wonder, then, that I prize it? Since Fortune has thought fit to bestow it upon me, I have only to use it properly and I shall arrive at the gold of which it is the index.
Page 94
"In the present case--indeed in all cases of secret writing--the first question regards the language of the cipher; for the principles of solution, so far, especially, as the more simple ciphers are concerned, depend upon, and are varied by, the genius of the particular idiom.
Page 97
But this discovery gives us three new letters, _o_, _u_ and _g_, represented by #? and 3.
Page 105
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Page 112
Germain.
Page 125
Yet there _was_ something to be observed.
Page 126
I merely wish you to bear in mind that, with myself, it was sufficiently forcible to give a definite form--a certain tendency--to my inquiries in the chamber.
Page 144
In the morning, I procured, at the Prefecture, a full report of all the evidence elicited, and, at the various newspaper offices, a copy of every paper in which, from first to last, had been published any decisive information in regard to this sad affair.
Page 152
There is nothing peculiarly outré about it.
Page 208
The position of the candelabrum displeased me, and outreaching my hand with difficulty, rather than disturb my slumbering valet, I placed it so as to throw its rays more fully upon the book.
Page 210
But at length, as the labor drew nearer to its conclusion, there were admitted none into the turret; for the painter had grown wild with the ardor of his work, and turned his eyes from canvas merely, even to regard the countenance of his wife.