The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 139

perhaps three hundred feet, and ranging at about ten feet back from the
edge of the gulf. Strong cords of grape vine were attached to the stakes
still remaining on the hill, and it was evident that such cords had also
been attached to each of the other stakes. I have already spoken of the
singular stratification of these soapstone hills; and the description
just given of the narrow and deep fissure through which we effected our
escape from inhumation will afford a further conception of its nature.
This was such that almost every natural convulsion would be sure to
split the soil into perpendicular layers or ridges running parallel with
one another, and a very moderate exertion of art would be sufficient
for effecting the same purpose. Of this stratification the savages had
availed themselves to accomplish their treacherous ends. There can be no
doubt that, by the continuous line of stakes, a partial rupture of the
soil had been brought about probably to the depth of one or two feet,
when by means of a savage pulling at the end of each of the cords (these
cords being attached to the tops of the stakes, and extending back from
the edge of the cliff), a vast leverage power was obtained, capable of
hurling the whole face of the hill, upon a given signal, into the bosom
of the abyss below. The fate of our poor companions was no longer a
matter of uncertainty. We alone had escaped from the tempest of that
overwhelming destruction. We were the only living white men upon the


OUR situation, as it now appeared, was scarcely less dreadful than
when we had conceived ourselves entombed forever. We saw before us no
prospect but that of being put to death by the savages, or of dragging
out a miserable existence in captivity among them. We might, to be sure,
conceal ourselves for a time from their observation among the fastnesses
of the hills, and, as a final resort, in the chasm from which we had
just issued; but we must either perish in the long polar winter through
cold and famine, or be ultimately discovered in our efforts to obtain

The whole country around us seemed to be swarming with savages, crowds
of whom, we now perceived, had come over from the islands to the
southward on flat rafts, doubtless with a view of lending their aid
in the capture and plunder of the Jane. The vessel still lay calmly at
anchor in the bay, those on board being apparently quite unconscious of
any danger awaiting them.

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

Page 0
For one hour at least we had maintained a profound silence; while each, to any casual observer, might have seemed intently and exclusively occupied with the curling eddies of smoke that oppressed the atmosphere of the chamber.
Page 2
During its perusal she was suddenly interrupted by the entrance of the other exalted personage from whom especially it was her wish to conceal it.
Page 22
"This account determined me to take to my heels, and, without once even looking behind me, I ran at full speed up into the hills, while the porter ran equally fast, although nearly in an opposite direction, so that, by these means, he finally made his escape with my bundles, of which I have no doubt he took excellent care--although this is a point I cannot determine, as I do not remember that I ever beheld him again.
Page 29
For some minutes the old man seemed too much exhausted to speak.
Page 74
Uplifting an axe, and forgetting, in my wrath, the childish dread which had hitherto stayed my hand, I aimed a blow at the animal which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished.
Page 77
I looked upon the scene before me--upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain--upon the bleak walls--upon the vacant eye-like windows--upon a few rank sedges--and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees--with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium--the bitter lapse into everyday life--the hideous dropping off of the veil.
Page 84
No outlet was observed in any portion of its vast extent, and no torch, or other artificial source of light was discernible; yet a flood of intense rays rolled throughout, and bathed the whole in a ghastly and inappropriate splendor.
Page 85
long ago) And every gentle air that dallied, In that sweet day, Along the ramparts plumed and pallid, A winged odor went away.
Page 87
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.
Page 95
And the man listened to the sighs of the water-lilies, and to the murmur that came up from among them.
Page 99
There were delirious fancies such as the madman fashions.
Page 107
I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied.
Page 118
I was returning home from the Piazetta, by way of the Grand Canal.
Page 125
Alas! for that accursed time They bore thee o'er the billow, .
Page 176
The whole house, with its wings, was constructed of the old-fashioned Dutch shingles--broad, and with unrounded corners.
Page 179
What chance--what one event brought this evil thing to pass, bear with me while I relate.
Page 182
All is gray shadow--a weak and irregular remembrance--an indistinct regathering of feeble pleasures and phantasmagoric pains.
Page 186
chuckle in secret over the sting he had inflicted, and was characteristically disregardful of the public applause which the success of his witty endeavours might have so easily elicited.
Page 207
I turned them in every attitude.
Page 218
(*34) Although light travels 167,000 miles in a second, the distance of 61 Cygni (the only star whose distance is ascertained) is so inconceivably great, that its rays would require more than ten years to reach the earth.