The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 103

acrid taste.

The face of the country is hilly, although none of the hills can be
called lofty. Their tops are perpetually covered with snow. There are
several harbors, of which Christmas Harbour is the most convenient. It
is the first to be met with on the northeast side of the island after
passing Cape Francois, which forms the northern shore, and, by its
peculiar shape, serves to distinguish the harbour. Its projecting point
terminates in a high rock, through which is a large hole, forming a
natural arch. The entrance is in latitude 48 degrees 40’ S., longitude
69 degrees 6’ E. Passing in here, good anchorage may be found under the
shelter of several small islands, which form a sufficient protection
from all easterly winds. Proceeding on eastwardly from this anchorage
you come to Wasp Bay, at the head of the harbour. This is a small basin,
completely landlocked, into which you can go with four fathoms, and find
anchorage in from ten to three, hard clay bottom. A ship might lie
here with her best bower ahead all the year round without risk. To the
westward, at the head of Wasp Bay, is a small stream of excellent water,
easily procured.

Some seal of the fur and hair species are still to be found on
Kerguelen’s Island, and sea elephants abound. The feathered tribes are
discovered in great numbers. Penguins are very plenty, and of these
there are four different kinds. The royal penguin, so called from its
size and beautiful plumage, is the largest. The upper part of the body
is usually gray, sometimes of a lilac tint; the under portion of the
purest white imaginable. The head is of a glossy and most brilliant
black, the feet also. The chief beauty of plumage, however, consists in
two broad stripes of a gold color, which pass along from the head to the
breast. The bill is long, and either pink or bright scarlet. These birds
walk erect; with a stately carriage. They carry their heads high with
their wings drooping like two arms, and, as their tails project from
their body in a line with the legs, the resemblance to a human figure
is very striking, and would be apt to deceive the spectator at a casual
glance or in the gloom of the evening. The royal penguins which we met
with on Kerguelen’s Land were rather larger than a goose. The other
kinds are the macaroni, the jackass, and the rookery penguin. These
are much smaller, less beautiful in plumage, and different in other
respects.

Besides the penguin many other birds are

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Text Comparison with The Fall of the House of Usher

Page 0
During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.
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
A valet, of stealthy step, thence conducted me, in silence, through many dark and intricate passages in my progress to the studio of his master.
Page 3
The general furniture was profuse, comfortless, antique, and tattered.
Page 4
It displayed itself in a host of unnatural sensations.
Page 5
He was enchained by certain superstitious impressions in regard to the dwelling which he tenanted, and whence, for many years, he had never ventured forth--in regard to an influence whose supposititious force was conveyed in terms too shadowy here to be re-stated--an influence which some peculiarities in the mere form and substance of his family mansion, had, by dint of long sufferance, he said, obtained over his spirit--an effect which the physique of the grey walls and turrets, and of the dim tarn into which they all looked down, had, at length, brought about upon the morale of his existence.
Page 6
Among other things, I hold painfully in mind a certain singular perversion and amplification of the wild air of the last waltz of Von Weber.
Page 7
The words of one of these rhapsodies I have easily remembered.
Page 8
III.
Page 9
IV.
Page 10
This opinion, in its general form, was that of the sentience of all vegetable things.
Page 11
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.
Page 12
And now, some days of bitter grief having elapsed, an observable change came over the.
Page 13
Sleep came not near my couch--while the hours waned and waned away.
Page 14
But the under surfaces of the huge masses of agitated vapor, as well as all terrestrial objects immediately around us, were glowing in the unnatural light of a faintly luminous and distinctly visible gaseous exhalation which hung about and enshrouded the mansion.
Page 15
It was, however, the only book immediately at hand; and I indulged a vague hope that the excitement which now agitated the hypochondriac, might find relief (for the history of mental disorder is full of similar anomalies) even in the extremeness of the folly which I should read.
Page 16
From a position fronting my own, he had gradually brought round his chair, so as to sit with his face to the door of the chamber; and thus I could but partially perceive his features, although I saw that his lips trembled as if he were murmuring inaudibly.
Page 17
I heard them--many, many days ago--yet I dared not--I dared not speak! And now--to-night--Ethelred--ha! ha!--the breaking of the hermit's door, and the death-cry of the dragon, and the clangour of the shield!--say, rather, the rending of her coffin, and the grating of the iron hinges of her prison, and her struggles within the coppered archway of the vault! Oh whither shall I fly? Will she not be here anon? Is she not hurrying to upbraid me for my haste? Have I not heard her footsteps on the stair? Do I not distinguish that heavy and horrible beating of her heart? Madman!" here he sprang furiously to his feet, and shrieked out his syllables, as if in the effort he were giving up his soul--"Madman! I tell you that she now stands without the door!" As if in the superhuman energy of his utterance there had been found the potency of a spell--the huge antique panels to which the speaker pointed, threw slowly back, upon the instant, their ponderous and ebony.
Page 18
The radiance was that of the full, setting, and blood-red moon which now shone vividly through that once barely-discernible fissure of which I have before spoken as extending from the roof of the building, in a zigzag direction, to the base.