The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 140

How we longed at that moment to be with them!
either to aid in effecting their escape, or to perish with them in
attempting a defence. We saw no chance even of warning them of their
danger without bringing immediate destruction upon our own heads, with
but a remote hope of benefit to them. A pistol fired might suffice to
apprise them that something wrong had occurred; but the report could not
possibly inform them that their only prospect of safety lay in getting
out of the harbour forthwith--it could not tell them that no principles
of honour now bound them to remain, that their companions were no longer
among the living. Upon hearing the discharge they could not be more
thoroughly prepared to meet the foe, who were now getting ready to
attack, than they already were, and always had been. No good, therefore,
and infinite harm, would result from our firing, and after mature
deliberation, we forbore.

Our next thought was to attempt to rush toward the vessel, to seize one
of the four canoes which lay at the head of the bay, and endeavour to
force a passage on board. But the utter impossibility of succeeding in
this desperate task soon became evident. The country, as I said before,
was literally swarming with the natives, skulking among the bushes and
recesses of the hills, so as not to be observed from the schooner. In
our immediate vicinity especially, and blockading the sole path by which
we could hope to attain the shore at the proper point were stationed the
whole party of the black skin warriors, with Too-wit at their head, and
apparently only waiting for some re-enforcement to commence his onset
upon the Jane. The canoes, too, which lay at the head of the bay, were
manned with savages, unarmed, it is true, but who undoubtedly had arms
within reach. We were forced, therefore, however unwillingly, to remain
in our place of concealment, mere spectators of the conflict which
presently ensued.

In about half an hour we saw some sixty or seventy rafts, or flatboats,
without riggers, filled with savages, and coming round the southern
bight of the harbor. They appeared to have no arms except short clubs,
and stones which lay in the bottom of the rafts. Immediately afterward
another detachment, still larger, appeared in an opposite direction, and
with similar weapons. The four canoes, too, were now quickly filled with
natives, starting up from the bushes at the head of the bay, and put off
swiftly to join the other parties. Thus, in less time than I have taken
to tell

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Fall of the House of Usher

Page 0
I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth.
Page 1
I was aware, however, that his very ancient family had been noted, time out of mind, for a peculiar sensibility of temperament, displaying itself, through long ages, in many works of exalted art, and manifested, of late, in repeated deeds of munificent yet unobtrusive charity, as well as in a passionate devotion to the intricacies, perhaps even more than to the orthodox and easily recognisable beauties of musical science.
Page 2
Noticing these things, I rode over a short causeway to the house.
Page 3
His countenance, I thought, wore a mingled expression of low cunning and perplexity.
Page 4
It was, he said, a constitutional and a family evil, and one for which he despaired to find a remedy--a mere nervous affection, he immediately added, which would undoubtedly soon pass off.
Page 5
I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect--in terror.
Page 6
And thus, as a closer and still closer intimacy admitted me more unreservedly into the recesses of his spirit, the more bitterly did I perceive the futility of all attempt at cheering a mind from which darkness, as if an inherent positive quality, poured forth upon all objects of the moral and physical universe, in one unceasing radiation of gloom.
Page 7
Certain accessory points of the design served well to convey the idea that this excavation lay at an exceeding depth below the surface of the earth.
Page 8
III.
Page 9
IV.
Page 10
The belief, however, was connected (as I.
Page 11
The conditions of the sentience had been here, he imagined, fulfilled in the method of collocation of these stones--in the order of their arrangement, as well as in that of the many fungi which overspread them, and of the decayed trees which stood around--above all, in the long undisturbed endurance of this arrangement, and in its reduplication in the still waters of the tarn.
Page 12
We replaced and screwed down the lid, and, having secured the door of iron, made our way, with toil, into the scarcely less gloomy apartments of the upper portion of the house.
Page 13
Shaking this off with a gasp and a struggle, I uplifted myself upon the pillows, and, peering earnestly within the intense darkness of the chamber, hearkened--I know not why, except that an instinctive spirit prompted me--to certain low and indefinite sounds which came, through the pauses of the storm, at long intervals, I knew not whence.
Page 14
I say that even their exceeding density did not prevent our perceiving this--yet we had no glimpse of the moon or stars--nor was there any flashing forth of the lightning.
Page 15
a favourite of Usher's more in sad jest than in earnest; for, in truth, there is little in its uncouth and unimaginative prolixity which could have had interest for the lofty and spiritual ideality of my friend.
Page 16
stead thereof, a dragon of a scaly and prodigious demeanour, and of a fiery tongue, which sate in guard before a palace of gold, with a floor of silver; and upon the wall there hung a shield of shining brass with this legend enwritten-- Who entereth herein, a conquerer hath bin; Who slayeth the dragon, the shield he shall win; and Ethelred uplifted his mace, and struck upon the head of the dragon, which fell before him, and gave up his pesty breath, with a shriek so horrid and harsh, and withal so piercing, that Ethelred had fain to close his ears with his hands against the dreadful noise of it, the like whereof was never before heard.
Page 17
Long--long--long--many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it--yet I dared not--oh, pity me, miserable wretch that I am!--I dared not--I dared not speak! We have put her living in the tomb! Said I not that my senses were acute? I now tell you that I heard her first feeble movements in the hollow coffin.
Page 18
.