The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 113

I would have
done it, but a rough voice resounded in my ears--a rougher grasp seized
me by the shoulder. I turned--I gasped for breath. For a moment I
experienced all the pangs of suffocation; I became blind, and deaf,
and giddy; and then some invisible fiend, I thought, struck me with his
broad palm upon the back. The long imprisoned secret burst forth from my

They say that I spoke with a distinct enunciation, but with marked
emphasis and passionate hurry, as if in dread of interruption before
concluding the brief, but pregnant sentences that consigned me to the
hangman and to hell.

Having related all that was necessary for the fullest judicial
conviction, I fell prostrate in a swoon.

But why shall I say more? To-day I wear these chains, and am here!
To-morrow I shall be fetterless!--but where?


Nullus enim locus sine genio est.--_Servius_.

"LA MUSIQUE," says Marmontel, in those "Contes Moraux" (*1) which in all
our translations, we have insisted upon calling "Moral Tales," as if
in mockery of their spirit--"la musique est le seul des talents qui
jouissent de lui-meme; tous les autres veulent des temoins." He here
confounds the pleasure derivable from sweet sounds with the capacity
for creating them. No more than any other talent, is that for music
susceptible of complete enjoyment, where there is no second party to
appreciate its exercise. And it is only in common with other talents
that it produces effects which may be fully enjoyed in solitude. The
idea which the raconteur has either failed to entertain clearly, or
has sacrificed in its expression to his national love of point, is,
doubtless, the very tenable one that the higher order of music is
the most thoroughly estimated when we are exclusively alone. The
proposition, in this form, will be admitted at once by those who love
the lyre for its own sake, and for its spiritual uses. But there is one
pleasure still within the reach of fallen mortality and perhaps only
one--which owes even more than does music to the accessory sentiment
of seclusion. I mean the happiness experienced in the contemplation of
natural scenery. In truth, the man who would behold aright the glory of
God upon earth must in solitude behold that glory. To me, at least, the
presence--not of human life only, but of life in any other form than
that of the green things which grow upon the soil and are voiceless--is
a stain upon the landscape--is at war with the genius of the scene. I
love, indeed, to regard the

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