The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 181

angle of the ponderous wall frowned a more ponderous gate. It was
riveted and studded with iron bolts, and surmounted with jagged iron
spikes. What impressions of deep awe did it inspire! It was never
opened save for the three periodical egressions and ingressions already
mentioned; then, in every creak of its mighty hinges, we found a
plenitude of mystery--a world of matter for solemn remark, or for more
solemn meditation.

The extensive enclosure was irregular in form, having many capacious
recesses. Of these, three or four of the largest constituted the
play-ground. It was level, and covered with fine hard gravel. I well
remember it had no trees, nor benches, nor anything similar within
it. Of course it was in the rear of the house. In front lay a small
parterre, planted with box and other shrubs; but through this sacred
division we passed only upon rare occasions indeed--such as a first
advent to school or final departure thence, or perhaps, when a parent
or friend having called for us, we joyfully took our way home for the
Christmas or Midsummer holy-days.

But the house!--how quaint an old building was this!--to me how
veritably a palace of enchantment! There was really no end to its
windings--to its incomprehensible subdivisions. It was difficult, at
any given time, to say with certainty upon which of its two stories
one happened to be. From each room to every other there were sure to be
found three or four steps either in ascent or descent. Then the lateral
branches were innumerable--inconceivable--and so returning in upon
themselves, that our most exact ideas in regard to the whole mansion
were not very far different from those with which we pondered upon
infinity. During the five years of my residence here, I was never able
to ascertain with precision, in what remote locality lay the little
sleeping apartment assigned to myself and some eighteen or twenty other
scholars.

The school-room was the largest in the house--I could not help thinking,
in the world. It was very long, narrow, and dismally low, with pointed
Gothic windows and a ceiling of oak. In a remote and terror-inspiring
angle was a square enclosure of eight or ten feet, comprising the
sanctum, "during hours," of our principal, the Reverend Dr. Bransby. It
was a solid structure, with massy door, sooner than open which in the
absence of the "Dominic," we would all have willingly perished by the
peine forte et dure. In other angles were two other similar boxes, far
less reverenced, indeed, but still greatly matters of awe. One of
these was the pulpit of the "classical" usher,

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Text Comparison with The Cask of Amontillado

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I was so pleased to see him, that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.
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And as for Luchesi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado.
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A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps.
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We continued our route in search of the Amontillado.
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