The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 221

our duty to mulct thee and thy
companion in each a gallon of Black Strap--having imbibed which to the
prosperity of our kingdom--at a single draught--and upon your bended
knees--ye shall be forthwith free either to proceed upon your way, or
remain and be admitted to the privileges of our table, according to your
respective and individual pleasures.”

“It would be a matter of utter impossibility,” replied Legs, whom the
assumptions and dignity of King Pest the First had evidently inspired
some feelings of respect, and who arose and steadied himself by the
table as he spoke--“It would, please your majesty, be a matter of utter
impossibility to stow away in my hold even one-fourth part of the same
liquor which your majesty has just mentioned. To say nothing of the
stuffs placed on board in the forenoon by way of ballast, and not to
mention the various ales and liqueurs shipped this evening at different
sea-ports, I have, at present, a full cargo of ‘humming stuff’ taken in
and duly paid for at the sign of the ‘Jolly Tar.’ You will, therefore,
please your majesty, be so good as to take the will for the deed--for by
no manner of means either can I or will I swallow another drop--least
of all a drop of that villainous bilge-water that answers to the hall of
‘Black Strap.’”

“Belay that!” interrupted Tarpaulin, astonished not more at the length
of his companion’s speech than at the nature of his refusal--“Belay that
you tubber!--and I say, Legs, none of your palaver! My hull is still
light, although I confess you yourself seem to be a little top-heavy;
and as for the matter of your share of the cargo, why rather than raise
a squall I would find stowageroom for it myself, but”--

“This proceeding,” interposed the president, “is by no means in
accordance with the terms of the mulct or sentence, which is in its
nature Median, and not to be altered or recalled. The conditions we have
imposed must be fulfilled to the letter, and that without a moment’s
hesitation--in failure of which fulfilment we decree that you do here be
tied neck and heels together, and duly drowned as rebels in yon hogshead
of October beer!”

“A sentence!--a sentence!--a righteous and just sentence!--a glorious
decree!--a most worthy and upright, and holy condemnation!” shouted the
Pest family altogether. The king elevated his forehead into innumerable
wrinkles; the gouty little old man puffed like a pair of bellows; the
lady of the winding sheet waved her nose to and fro; the gentleman in
the cotton drawers pricked up his ears; she

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Text Comparison with First Project Gutenberg Collection of Edgar Allan Poe

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com The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe October, 1997 [Etext #1064]* THE RAVEN Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-- While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
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Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-- Merely this and nothing more.
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" Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is.
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its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-- Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore Of 'Never--nevermore.
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" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
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Blood was its Avatar and its seal--the redness and the horror of blood.
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Now in no one of the seven apartments was there any lamp or candelabrum, amid the profusion of golden ornaments that lay scattered to and fro or depended from the roof.
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He had directed, in great part, the movable embellishments of the seven chambers, upon occasion of this great _fete_; and it was his own guiding taste which had given character to the masqueraders.
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But now there were twelve strokes to be sounded by the bell of the clock; and thus it happened, perhaps, that more of thought crept, with more of time, into the meditations of the thoughtful among those who revelled.
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They rang throughout the seven rooms loudly and clearly, for the prince was a bold and robust man, and the music had become hushed at the waving of his hand.
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And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
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He had a weak point--this Fortunato--although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared.
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He raised it to his lips with a leer.
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His eyes flashed with a fierce light.
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He was too much astounded to resist.
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But is it not getting late? Will not they be awaiting us at the palazzo, the Lady Fortunato and the rest? Let us be gone.
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I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up.