The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 27

of the horse, (to whom, in fact, she was nearly
related,) was boiling water; and like him she ate nothing but wood or
black stones. This hen brought forth very frequently, a hundred chickens
in the day; and, after birth, they took up their residence for several
weeks within the stomach of their mother.'" (*21)

"Fa! lal!" said the king.

"'One of this nation of mighty conjurors created a man out of brass and
wood, and leather, and endowed him with such ingenuity that he would
have beaten at chess, all the race of mankind with the exception of the
great Caliph, Haroun Alraschid. (*22) Another of these magi constructed
(of like material) a creature that put to shame even the genius of him
who made it; for so great were its reasoning powers that, in a second,
it performed calculations of so vast an extent that they would have
required the united labor of fifty thousand fleshy men for a year. (*23)
But a still more wonderful conjuror fashioned for himself a mighty thing
that was neither man nor beast, but which had brains of lead, intermixed
with a black matter like pitch, and fingers that it employed with such
incredible speed and dexterity that it would have had no trouble in
writing out twenty thousand copies of the Koran in an hour, and this
with so exquisite a precision, that in all the copies there should not
be found one to vary from another by the breadth of the finest hair.
This thing was of prodigious strength, so that it erected or overthrew
the mightiest empires at a breath; but its powers were exercised equally
for evil and for good.'"

"Ridiculous!" said the king.

"'Among this nation of necromancers there was also one who had in his
veins the blood of the salamanders; for he made no scruple of sitting
down to smoke his chibouc in a red-hot oven until his dinner was
thoroughly roasted upon its floor. (*24) Another had the faculty of
converting the common metals into gold, without even looking at them
during the process. (*25) Another had such a delicacy of touch that he
made a wire so fine as to be invisible. (*26) Another had such quickness
of perception that he counted all the separate motions of an elastic
body, while it was springing backward and forward at the rate of nine
hundred millions of times in a second.'" (*27)

"Absurd!" said the king.

"'Another of these magicians, by means of a fluid that nobody ever yet
saw, could make the corpses of his friends brandish their arms, kick out
their

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Text Comparison with The Fall of the House of Usher

Page 0
The Fall of the House of Usher Son coeur est un luth suspendu; Sitot qu'on le touche il resonne.
Page 1
A letter, however, had lately reached me in a distant part of the country--a letter from him--which, in its wildly importunate nature, had admitted of no other than a personal reply.
Page 2
Noticing these things, I rode over a short causeway to the house.
Page 3
Upon my entrance, Usher rose from a sofa on which he had been lying at full length, and greeted me with a vivacious warmth which had much in it, I at first thought, of an overdone cordiality--of the constrained effort of the ennuye man of the world.
Page 4
beautiful curve; a nose of a delicate Hebrew model, but with a breadth of nostril unusual in similar formations; a finely-moulded chin, speaking, in its want of prominence, of a want of moral energy; hair of a more than web-like softness and tenuity; these features, with an inordinate expansion above the regions of the temple, made up altogether a countenance not easily to be forgotten.
Page 5
"I shall perish," said he, "I must perish in this deplorable folly.
Page 6
For several days ensuing, her name was unmentioned by either Usher or myself: and during this period I was busied in earnest endeavours to alleviate the melancholy of my friend.
Page 7
Certain accessory points of the design served well to convey the idea that this excavation lay at an exceeding depth below the surface of the earth.
Page 8
In the monarch Thought's dominion-- It stood there! Never seraph spread a pinion Over fabric half so fair.
Page 9
And all with pearl and ruby glowing Was the fair palace door, Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing And sparkling evermore, A troop of Echoes whose sweet duty Was but to sing, In voices of surpassing beauty, The wit and wisdom of their king.
Page 10
This opinion, in its general form, was that of the sentience of all vegetable things.
Page 11
The result was discoverable, he added, in that silent, yet importunate and terrible influence which for centuries had moulded the destinies of his family, and which made him what I now saw him--what he was.
Page 12
Our glances, however, rested not long upon the dead--for we could not regard her unawed.
Page 13
The pallor of his countenance had assumed, if possible, a more ghastly hue--but the luminousness of his eye had utterly gone out.
Page 14
I had taken but few turns in this manner, when a light step on an adjoining staircase arrested my attention.
Page 15
It was, beyond doubt, the coincidence alone which had arrested my attention; for, amid the rattling of the sashes of the casements, and the ordinary commingled noises of the still increasing storm, the sound, in itself, had nothing, surely, which should have interested or disturbed me.
Page 16
" Here again I paused abruptly, and now with a feeling of wild amazement--for there could be no doubt whatever that, in this instance, I did actually hear (although from what direction it proceeded I found it impossible to say) a low and apparently distant, but harsh, protracted, and most unusual screaming or grating sound--the exact counterpart of what my fancy had already conjured up for the dragon's unnatural shriek as described by the romancer.
Page 17
the way before him, and approached valorously over the silver pavement of the castle to where the shield was upon the wall; which in sooth tarried not for his full coming, but fell down at his feet upon the silver floor, with a mighty great and terrible ringing sound.
Page 18
* Watson, Dr Percival, Spallanzani, and especially the Bishop of Landaff.