The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 58

the luminiferous ether.
The vibrations generate similar ones within the retina; these again
communicate similar ones to the optic nerve. The nerve conveys similar
ones to the brain; the brain, also, similar ones to the unparticled
matter which permeates it. The motion of this latter is thought, of
which perception is the first undulation. This is the mode by which the
mind of the rudimental life communicates with the external world; and
this external world is, to the rudimental life, limited, through the
idiosyncrasy of its organs. But in the ultimate, unorganized life, the
external world reaches the whole body, (which is of a substance having
affinity to brain, as I have said,) with no other intervention than that
of an infinitely rarer ether than even the luminiferous; and to this
ether--in unison with it--the whole body vibrates, setting in motion
the unparticled matter which permeates it. It is to the absence of
idiosyncratic organs, therefore, that we must attribute the nearly
unlimited perception of the ultimate life. To rudimental beings, organs
are the cages necessary to confine them until fledged.

_P._ You speak of rudimental "beings." Are there other rudimental
thinking beings than man?

_V._ The multitudinous conglomeration of rare matter into nebulae,
planets, suns, and other bodies which are neither nebulae, suns,
nor planets, is for the sole purpose of supplying _pabulum_ for the
idiosyncrasy of the organs of an infinity of rudimental beings. But for
the necessity of the rudimental, prior to the ultimate life, there
would have been no bodies such as these. Each of these is tenanted by a
distinct variety of organic, rudimental, thinking creatures. In all,
the organs vary with the features of the place tenanted. At death,
or metamorphosis, these creatures, enjoying the ultimate
life--immortality--and cognizant of all secrets but _the one_, act all
things and pass everywhere by mere volition:--indwelling, not the stars,
which to us seem the sole palpabilities, and for the accommodation
of which we blindly deem space created--but that SPACE itself--that
infinity of which the truly substantive vastness swallows up the
star-shadows--blotting them out as non-entities from the perception of
the angels.

_P._ You say that "but for the _necessity_ of the rudimental life" there
would have been no stars. But why this necessity?

_V._ In the inorganic life, as well as in the inorganic matter
generally, there is nothing to impede the action of one simple _unique_
law--the Divine Volition. With the view of producing impediment, the
organic life and matter, (complex, substantial, and law-encumbered,)
were contrived.

_P._ But again--why need this impediment have been produced?

_V._ The result of law inviolate is perfection--right--negative
happiness. The result of law violate is

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Text Comparison with The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket Comprising the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American brig Grampus, on her way to the South Seas, in the month of June, 1827.

Page 26
It was now some minutes before he came back--but when he did come, he brought with him a large slip, which proved to be all the paper missing--it having been torn, it seems, only into three pieces.
Page 28
At length I once more arose, and busied myself in reflection upon the horrors which encompassed me.
Page 35
connected in some manner with the Indian trading-posts on Lewis river.
Page 39
with Dirk Peters, and had given him up for lost, supposing him to have been thrown overboard by some of the malignant villains belonging to the mate's gang.
Page 61
At this the villain absolutely gasped for breath, and turned his head slowly round upon his companions, as if imploring some one to go up and perform the task.
Page 68
As no reply was at first made to this question, we all concluded that the hybrid had been drowned where he lay; but presently, to our great joy, he spoke, although very feebly, saying that he was in great pain, being so cut by the tightness of his lashings across the stomach, that he must either find means of loosening them or perish, as it was impossible that he could endure his misery much longer.
Page 76
The body from which it had been taken, resting as it did upon the rope, had been easily swayed to and fro by the exertions of the carnivorous bird, and it was this motion which had at first impressed us with the belief of its being alive.
Page 78
The brig was out of sight.
Page 80
We then resolved to treat Augustus and Peters in the same way, which we immediately did, when they both experienced much benefit from the shock.
Page 84
took Parker aside; and mentally praying to God for power to dissuade him from the horrible purpose he entertained, I expostulated with him for a long time and in the most supplicating manner, begging him in the name of everything which he held sacred, and urging him by every species of argument which the extremity of the case suggested, to abandon the idea, and not to mention it to either of the other two.
Page 92
At noon the wind had freshened into a two-reef breeze, and by night into a stiff gale, accompanied with a tremendously heavy swell.
Page 98
No signs of a cloud appeared during the day, and the agonies of our thirst were nearly intolerable.
Page 102
They always bring with them a heavy sea, and one of their most dangerous features is the instantaneous chopping round of the wind, an occurrence almost certain to take place during the greatest force of the gale.
Page 124
The whole of the savages were admitted on board in this manner, twenty at a time, Too-wit being suffered to remain during the entire period.
Page 134
Six men were left in the schooner with instructions to permit none of the savages to.
Page 139
blue sky, at the extremity of a thickly-wooded ravine.
Page 148
We also descended the chasm in which we had been overwhelmed, with the faint expectation of discovering, through this channel, some opening to the main ravine.
Page 151
By these means (means which I should never have conceived of myself, and for which we were indebted altogether to Peters's ingenuity and resolution) my companion finally succeeded, with the occasional aid of projections in the cliff, in reaching the bottom without accident.
Page 159
the appellation of the island we had left was _Tsalal_.
Page 161
NOTE.