The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 87

works as the Ververt et Chartreuse of Gresset; the Belphegor of
Machiavelli; the Heaven and Hell of Swedenborg; the Subterranean Voyage
of Nicholas Klimm by Holberg; the Chiromancy of Robert Flud, of Jean
D'Indagine, and of De la Chambre; the Journey into the Blue Distance of
Tieck; and the City of the Sun of Campanella. One favorite volume was
a small octavo edition of the _Directorium Inquisitorium_, by the
Dominican Eymeric de Gironne; and there were passages in Pomponius Mela,
about the old African Satyrs and OEgipans, over which Usher would sit
dreaming for hours. His chief delight, however, was found in the perusal
of an exceedingly rare and curious book in quarto Gothic--the manual of
a forgotten church--the _Vigiliae Mortuorum secundum Chorum Ecclesiae
Maguntinae_.

I could not help thinking of the wild ritual of this work, and of its
probable influence upon the hypochondriac, when, one evening, having
informed me abruptly that the lady Madeline was no more, he stated his
intention of preserving her corpse for a fortnight, (previously to its
final interment,) in one of the numerous vaults within the main walls
of the building. The worldly reason, however, assigned for this singular
proceeding, was one which I did not feel at liberty to dispute. The
brother had been led to his resolution (so he told me) by consideration
of the unusual character of the malady of the deceased, of certain
obtrusive and eager inquiries on the part of her medical men, and of the
remote and exposed situation of the burial-ground of the family. I will
not deny that when I called to mind the sinister countenance of the
person whom I met upon the staircase, on the day of my arrival at
the house, I had no desire to oppose what I regarded as at best but a
harmless, and by no means an unnatural, precaution.

At the request of Usher, I personally aided him in the arrangements for
the temporary entombment. The body having been encoffined, we two alone
bore it to its rest. The vault in which we placed it (and which had
been so long unopened that our torches, half smothered in its oppressive
atmosphere, gave us little opportunity for investigation) was small,
damp, and entirely without means of admission for light; lying, at great
depth, immediately beneath that portion of the building in which was my
own sleeping apartment. It had been used, apparently, in remote feudal
times, for the worst purposes of a donjon-keep, and, in later days, as a
place of deposit for powder, or some other highly combustible substance,
as a portion of its floor,

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Text Comparison with Le Corbeau = The Raven

Page 0
" _Une fois, par un minuit lugubre, tandis que je m'appesantissais, faible et fatigué, sur maint curieux et bizarre volume de savoir oublié--tandis que je dodelinais la tête, somnolant presque: soudain se fit un heurt, comme de quelqu'un frappant doucement, frappant à la porte de ma chambre--cela seul et rien de plus.
Page 1
c'était en le glacial Décembre: et chaque tison, mourant isolé, ouvrageait son spectre sur le sol.
Page 2
plus.
Page 3
_Au large je poussai le volet; quand, avec maints enjouement et agitation d'ailes, entra un majestueux Corbeau des saints jours de jadis.
Page 4
" Then the bird said, "Nevermore.
Page 5
" _Le Corbeau induisant toute ma triste âme encore au sourire, je roulai soudain un siége à coussins en face de l'oiseau et du buste et de la porte; et m'enfonçant dans le velours, je me pris à enchaîner songerie à songerie, pensant à ce que cet augural oiseau de jadis--à ce que ce sombre, disgracieux, sinistre, maigre et augural oiseau de jadis signifiait en croassant: «Jamais plus.
Page 6
" _«Prophète, dis-je, être de malheur! prophète, oui, oiseau ou démon! Que si le Tentateur t'envoya ou la tempête t'échoua vers ces bords, désolé et encore tout indompté, vers cette déserte terre enchantée--vers ce logis par l'horreur hanté: dis-moi véritablement, je t'implore! y a-t-il du baume en Judée?--dis-moi, je t'implore.
Page 7
chagrin chargée si, dans le distant Eden, elle doit embrasser une jeune fille sanctifiée que les anges nomment Lénore--embrasser une rare et rayonnante jeune fille que les anges nomment Lénore.