The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 30

black shining rock, some fifteen or sixteen hundred feet
from the world of crags beneath us. Nothing would have tempted me to
within half a dozen yards of its brink. In truth so deeply was I excited
by the perilous position of my companion, that I fell at full length
upon the ground, clung to the shrubs around me, and dared not even
glance upward at the sky--while I struggled in vain to divest myself of
the idea that the very foundations of the mountain were in danger from
the fury of the winds. It was long before I could reason myself into
sufficient courage to sit up and look out into the distance.

"You must get over these fancies," said the guide, "for I have brought
you here that you might have the best possible view of the scene of that
event I mentioned--and to tell you the whole story with the spot just
under your eye."

"We are now," he continued, in that particularizing manner which
distinguished him--"we are now close upon the Norwegian coast--in the
sixty-eighth degree of latitude--in the great province of Nordland--and
in the dreary district of Lofoden. The mountain upon whose top we sit is
Helseggen, the Cloudy. Now raise yourself up a little higher--hold on to
the grass if you feel giddy--so--and look out, beyond the belt of vapor
beneath us, into the sea."

I looked dizzily, and beheld a wide expanse of ocean, whose waters wore
so inky a hue as to bring at once to my mind the Nubian geographer's
account of the _Mare Tenebrarum_. A panorama more deplorably desolate no
human imagination can conceive. To the right and left, as far as the eye
could reach, there lay outstretched, like ramparts of the world, lines
of horridly black and beetling cliff, whose character of gloom was but
the more forcibly illustrated by the surf which reared high up against
its white and ghastly crest, howling and shrieking forever. Just
opposite the promontory upon whose apex we were placed, and at a
distance of some five or six miles out at sea, there was visible
a small, bleak-looking island; or, more properly, its position was
discernible through the wilderness of surge in which it was enveloped.
About two miles nearer the land, arose another of smaller size,
hideously craggy and barren, and encompassed at various intervals by a
cluster of dark rocks.

The appearance of the ocean, in the space between the more distant
island and the shore, had something very unusual about it. Although,
at the time, so strong a gale was blowing landward that a brig

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Text Comparison with First Project Gutenberg Collection of Edgar Allan Poe

Page 0
We have traditionally used the smallest number of index entries--as somewhat of a protest against others who have copied Etexts and wanted it to appear as if they had more Etext than Project Gutenberg or various other etext collections.
Page 1
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping something louder than before.
Page 2
Then the ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-- Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 3
'" But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-- What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking "Nevermore.
Page 4
" "Be that our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting-- "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul has spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!--quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 5
It was towards the close of the fifth or sixth month of his seclusion, and while the pestilence raged most furiously abroad, that the Prince Prospero entertained his thousand friends at a masked ball of the most unusual magnificence.
Page 6
These windows were of stained glass whose colour varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations of the chamber into which it opened.
Page 7
But, in spite of these things, it was a gay and magnificent revel.
Page 8
In truth the masquerade licence of the night was nearly unlimited; but the figure in question had out-Heroded Herod, and gone beyond the bounds of even the prince's indefinite decorum.
Page 9
But from a certain nameless awe with which the mad assumptions of the mummer had inspired the whole party, there were found none who put forth hand to seize him; so that, unimpeded, he passed within a yard of the prince's person; and, while the vast assembly, as if with one impulse, shrank from the centres of the rooms to the walls, he made his way uninterruptedly, but with the same solemn and measured step which had distinguished him.
Page 10
It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good.
Page 11
He will tell me--" "Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.
Page 12
" He turned towards me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that distilled the rheum of intoxication.
Page 13
Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris.
Page 14
"Pass your hand," I said, "over the wall; you cannot help feeling the nitre.
Page 15
For a brief moment I hesitated--I trembled.
Page 16
I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up.