The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 186

in secret over the sting he had inflicted, and was characteristically
disregardful of the public applause which the success of his witty
endeavours might have so easily elicited. That the school, indeed, did
not feel his design, perceive its accomplishment, and participate in
his sneer, was, for many anxious months, a riddle I could not
resolve. Perhaps the gradation of his copy rendered it not so readily
perceptible; or, more possibly, I owed my security to the master air of
the copyist, who, disdaining the letter, (which in a painting is all
the obtuse can see,) gave but the full spirit of his original for my
individual contemplation and chagrin.

I have already more than once spoken of the disgusting air of patronage
which he assumed toward me, and of his frequent officious interference
with my will. This interference often took the ungracious character of
advice; advice not openly given, but hinted or insinuated. I received it
with a repugnance which gained strength as I grew in years. Yet, at this
distant day, let me do him the simple justice to acknowledge that I can
recall no occasion when the suggestions of my rival were on the side
of those errors or follies so usual to his immature age and seeming
inexperience; that his moral sense, at least, if not his general talents
and worldly wisdom, was far keener than my own; and that I might,
to-day, have been a better, and thus a happier man, had I less
frequently rejected the counsels embodied in those meaning whispers
which I then but too cordially hated and too bitterly despised.

As it was, I at length grew restive in the extreme under his distasteful
supervision, and daily resented more and more openly what I considered
his intolerable arrogance. I have said that, in the first years of our
connexion as schoolmates, my feelings in regard to him might have
been easily ripened into friendship: but, in the latter months of my
residence at the academy, although the intrusion of his ordinary manner
had, beyond doubt, in some measure, abated, my sentiments, in nearly
similar proportion, partook very much of positive hatred. Upon one
occasion he saw this, I think, and afterwards avoided, or made a show of
avoiding me.

It was about the same period, if I remember aright, that, in an
altercation of violence with him, in which he was more than usually
thrown off his guard, and spoke and acted with an openness of demeanor
rather foreign to his nature, I discovered, or fancied I discovered,
in his accent, his air, and general appearance, a something

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Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping something louder than before.
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" Then the bird said "Nevermore.
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"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee--by these angels he hath sent thee Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
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" And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadows on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted--nevermore! The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe October, 1997 [Etext #1064]* The Masque of the Red Death The "Red Death".
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The abbey was amply provisioned.
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The panes here were scarlet--a deep blood colour.
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It was necessary to hear and see and touch him to be _sure_ that he was not.
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But to the chamber which lies most westwardly of the seven, there are now none of the maskers who venture; for the night is waning away; and there flows a ruddier light through the blood-coloured panes; and the blackness of the sable drapery appals; and to him whose foot falls upon the sable carpet, there comes from the near clock of ebony a muffled peal more solemnly emphatic than any which reaches _their_ ears who indulged in the more remote gaieties of the other apartments.
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equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made.
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A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser.
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" "Amontillado!" "As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchesi.
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"Nitre?" he asked, at length.
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" "You? Impossible! A mason?" "A mason," I replied.
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I laid the second tier, and the third, and the fourth;.
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I called again-- "Fortunato--" No answer still.
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For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them.