The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 136

calling to me for aid in the
name of God. I scrambled one or two paces forward, when I fell directly
over the head and shoulders of my companion, who, I soon discovered,
was buried in a loose mass of earth as far as his middle, and struggling
desperately to free himself from the pressure. I tore the dirt from
around him with all the energy I could command, and at length succeeded
in getting him out.

As soon as we sufficiently recovered from our fright and surprise to be
capable of conversing rationally, we both came to the conclusion
that the walls of the fissure in which we had ventured had, by some
convulsion of nature, or probably from their own weight, caved in
overhead, and that we were consequently lost for ever, being thus
entombed alive. For a long time we gave up supinely to the most intense
agony and despair, such as cannot be adequately imagined by those
who have never been in a similar position. I firmly believed that no
incident ever occurring in the course of human events is more adapted to
inspire the supremeness of mental and bodily distress than a case like
our own, of living inhumation. The blackness of darkness which envelops
the victim, the terrific oppression of lungs, the stifling fumes from
the damp earth, unite with the ghastly considerations that we are beyond
the remotest confines of hope, and that such is the allotted portion of
the dead, to carry into the human heart a degree of appalling awe and
horror not to be tolerated--never to be conceived.

At length Peters proposed that we should endeavour to ascertain
precisely the extent of our calamity, and grope about our prison; it
being barely possible, he observed, that some opening might yet be left
us for escape. I caught eagerly at this hope, and, arousing myself to
exertion, attempted to force my way through the loose earth. Hardly had
I advanced a single step before a glimmer of light became perceptible,
enough to convince me that, at all events, we should not immediately
perish for want of air. We now took some degree of heart, and encouraged
each other to hope for the best. Having scrambled over a bank of rubbish
which impeded our farther progress in the direction of the light, we
found less difficulty in advancing and also experienced some relief from
the excessive oppression of lungs which had tormented us. Presently we
were enabled to obtain a glimpse of the objects around, and discovered
that we were near the extremity of the straight portion of

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Eureka: A Prose Poem

Page 1
Page 2
The nearest approach to such a work is made in the "Cosmos" of Alexander Von Humboldt.
Page 10
I have stolen the golden secret of the Egyptians.
Page 24
It is not any _locality_, either in the concrete or in the abstract, to which I suppose them bound.
Page 30
I assumed no _continuous_ irradiation; and for the simple reason that such an assumption would have involved, first, the necessity of entertaining a conception which I have shown no man _can_ entertain, and which (as I will more fully explain hereafter) all observation of the firmament refutes--the conception of the absolute infinity of the Universe of stars--and would have involved, secondly, the impossibility of understanding a reaction--that is, gravitation--as existing now--since, while an act is continued, no reaction, of course, can take place.
Page 35
_Then_ commences Reaction, and through Reaction, "Principle," as we employ the word.
Page 37
It is clear, moreover, that what, to-day, is obvious even to the majority of mankind, or to the majority of the best intellects of mankind, may to-morrow be, to either majority, more or less obvious, or in no respect obvious at all.
Page 38
If this be a "mere assumption" then a "mere assumption" let it be.
Page 41
In the meantime, condensation still proceeding, the interval between the discharged ring and the main body continued to increase, until the former was left.
Page 47
But, on every successive rejection of the crust, the new surface would appear incandescent as before; and the period at which it would again become so far encrusted as to be readily loosened and discharged, may well be imagined as exactly coincident with that at which a new effort would be needed, by the whole mass, to restore the equilibrium of its two forces, disarranged through condensation.
Page 54
the things that are Caesar's, let me here remark that the assumption of the hypothesis which led him to so glorious a result, seems to have been suggested to Laplace in great measure by a misconception--by the very misconception of which we have just been speaking--by the generally prevalent misunderstanding of the character of the nebulae, so mis-named.
Page 57
The Galaxy, let me repeat, is but one of the _clusters_ which I have been describing--but one of the mis-called "nebulae" revealed to us--by the telescope alone, sometimes--as faint hazy spots in various quarters of the sky.
Page 62
By an elastic thread let us connect this orange with a pea; and let us place this latter on the circumference of the ellipse.
Page 66
It occupies a cubical space of 681 quadrillions, 472 trillions of miles.
Page 77
" But if facts--if even appearances justify the supposition of their being in this state, _why_, it may well be demanded, is he disinclined to admit it? Simply on account of a prejudice;--merely because the supposition is at war with a preconceived and utterly baseless notion--that of the endlessness--that of the eternal stability of the Universe.
Page 83
Matter, created for an end, would unquestionably, on fulfilment of that end, be Matter no longer.
Page 85
The utter impossibility of any one's soul feeling itself inferior to another; the intense, overwhelming dissatisfaction and rebellion at the thought;--these, with the omniprevalent aspirations at perfection, are but the spiritual, coincident with the material, struggles towards the original Unity--are, to my mind at least, a species of proof far surpassing what Man terms demonstration, that no one soul _is_ inferior to another--that nothing is, or can be, superior to any one soul--that each soul is, in part, its own God--its own Creator:--in a word, that God--the material _and_ spiritual God--_now_ exists solely in the diffused Matter and Spirit of the Universe; and that the regathering of this diffused Matter and Spirit will be but the re-constitution of the _purely_ Spiritual and Individual God.
Page 86
Of late firm of WILEY & PUTNAM.
Page 91
It altogether supersedes the volumes of Twiss and Ayscough, and should be on every student's shelves"--_Boston Courier.
Page 97