Edgar Allan Poe.

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The Complete works of Edgar Allan Poe



Edgar Allan Poe



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THE MURDPRS IN THE RUE MORGOE.

Drawn by I'^ierge.



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The Complete Works of

Edgar Allan Poe

Edited by
JAMES A. HARRISON

Profuior in th§
Umo^rmitf of Virgmia






JOHN D. MORRIS AND COMPANY

New York PhiladelphU Chicago



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Copyright, 190s
By THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO.



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i-ix-i^^ 'J



CONTENTS.

Pacs
The Conversation of Eiros and Charmioiv ... i -

The Journal of Julius Rodman 9

Mystification 102

Why the Little Frenchman Wears His Hand in a

Sling 114

The Business Man laa

The Man of the Crowd 134

The Murders in the Rue Morgue 146 ^

The Island of the Fay 193

The Colloquy of Monos and Una 200

Never Bet the Devil Your Head 213

Three Sundays in a Week 227

v^lconora 236 ""^

^^hc Oval Portrait 245

The Masque of the Red Death »50*—

The Landscape Garden 259

Notes:

Abbreviations used in the Notes 274

The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion . . 275

The Journal of Julius Rodman 277

Mystification 27S

Why the Little Frenchman Wears His Hand in

a Sling 183



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vi CONTENTS.

Notes (continued) : P^^j,

The Business Man 285

The Man of the Crowd 187

The Murders in the Rue Morgue . . . 288

The Island of the Fay 307

The Colloquy of Monos and Una . . . . 309

Never Bet the Devil Vour Head 309

Three Sundays in a Week 312

Eleonora 312

The Oval Pflftrait 316

The Masque of the Red Death 319

The Landscape Garden 320

Variations of the Stedman-Woodbeiry, Stoddard,

and Ingram Texts from Griswold . . • 320



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EXPLANATORY NOTE

The lack of uniformity in spelling is intentional,
being found also in the original used for copy.

At the head of each ule will be found information
as to the dates of all early printings.

The figures 1 840, 1 843, 1 845, refer to the collected
editions of those dates : '* Tales of the Grotesque and
Arabesque," 2 vols,, Philadelphia, Lea & Blanchard,
1 840 ; " Prose Romances of Edgar Allan Poe," Phila-
delphia, 1 843 ; "Tales by Edgar A. Poe," New York,
Wiley Sc Putnam, 1845 (Duyckinck Selection).



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THE CONVERSATION OF EIROS
AND CHARMION.

[Burton's Gentleman* s Magazine , December, 1839;
1840; 1845.]

nOp O'Ot Tpocolffw,
I will bring fire to thee.

EvitPiDit, Androm. [157] •

BIROS.
Why do you call me Eiros ?

CHARMION.

So henceforward will you always be called. You
must forget, too, my earthly name, and speak to me as
Charmion.

EIROS.

This is indeed no dream!

CHARMION.

Dreams are with us no more ; — but of these mys-
teries anon. I rejoice to see you looking life-like and
rational. The film of the shadow has already passed
fi"om off your eyes. Be of heart, and fear nothing.
Your allotted days of stupor have expired ; and, to-
morrow, I wiU myself induct you into the full joys and
wonders of your novel existence,

VOL. IV— I I



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2 TALES.

EIROS.

True — I feel no stupor — none at all. The wfld
sickness and the terrible darkness have left me, and I
hear no longer that mad, rushmg, horrible sound, like
the ** voice of many waters." Yet my senses are be-
wildered, Charmion, with the keenness of their percep-
tion of the new,

CHARMION.

A few days will remove all this ; — but I fully under-
stand you, and feel for you. It is now ten earthly
years since I underwent what you undergo — yet the
remembrance of it hangs by me still. You have now
suffered all of pain, however, which you wiU suffer in
Aidenn.



In Aidenn ?
In Aidenn.



CHARMION.



EIROS.

Oh God ! — pity me, Charmion ! — I am over-
burthened with the majesty of all things — of the un-
known now known — of the speculative Future merged
in the august and certain Present.

CHARMION.

Grapple not now with such thoughts. To-morrow
we will speak of this. Your mind wavers, and its agi-
tation will find relief in the exercise of simple memories.
Look not around, nor forward — but back. I am burn-
ing with anxiety to hear the details of that stupendous
event which threw you among us. Tell me of it.
Let us converse of familiar things, in the old &miliar
language of the world which has so fearfully perished.



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EIROS AND CHARMION. 3

EIRO8.

Most fearfiilly, fearfully ! — this is indeed no dream.

CHARMION.

Dreams are no more. Was I much mourned, my
Eiros?

EIROS.

Mourned, Channion? — oh deeply. To that last
hour of all, there hung a cloud of intense gloom and
devout sorrow over your household.

CHARMION.

And that last hour — speak of it. Remember that,
beyond the naked fiict of the catastrophe itself, I know
nothing. When, coming out &om among mankind, I
passed into Night through the Grave — at that period,
if I remember aright, the calamity which overwhelmed
you was utterly unanticipated. But, indeed, I knew
little of the speculative philosophy of the day.

EIROS.

The individual calamity was, as you say, entirely
unanticipated ; but analogous misfortunes had been long
a subject of discussion with astronomers. I need scarce
tell you, my friend, that, even when you left us, men
had agreed to understand those passages in the most
holy writings which speak of the final destruction of
all things by fire, as having reference to the orb of the
earth alone. But in regard to the immediate agency of
the ruin, speculation had been at &ult from that epoch
in astronomical knowledge in which the comets were
divested of the terrors of flame. The very moderate



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4 TALES.

density of these bodies had been well established.
They had been observed to pass among the satellites of
Jupiter, without bringing about any sensible alteration
either in the masses or in the orbits of these secondary
planets. We had long regarded the wanderers as
vapory creations of inconceivable tenuity, and as alto-
gether incapable of doing injury to our substantial globe,
even in the event of contact. But contact was not in
any degree dreaded ; for the elements of all the comets
were accurately known. That among tbem we should
look for the agency of the threatened fiery destruction had
been for many years considered an inadmissible idea.
But wonders and wild fancies had been, of late days,
strangely rife among mankind ; and, although it was only
with a few of the ignorant that actual apprehension pre-
vailed, upon the announcement by astronomers of a new
comet, yet this announcement was generally received
with I know not what of agitation and mistrust.

The elements of the strange orb were immediately
calculated, and it was at once conceded by all observers,
that its path, at perihelion, would bring it into very close
proximity with the earth. There were two or three
astronomers, of secondary note, who resolutely main-
tained that a contact was inevitable. I cannot very
well express to you the effect of this intelligence upon
the people. For a few short days they would not be-
lieve an assertion which their intellect, so long employed
among worldly considerations, could not in any manner
grasp. But the truth of a vitally important fact soon
makes its way into the understanding of even the most
stolid. Finally, all men saw that astronomical knowl-
edge lied not, and they awaited the comet. Its approach
was not, at first, seemingly rapid ; nor was its appear-
ance of very unusual character. It was of a dull red.



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filROS AND CHARMION. $

and had little perceptible train. For seven or eight
days we saw no material increase in its apparent diam-
eter, and but a partial alteration in its color. Meantime^
the ordinary affairs of men were discarded, and all in-
terests absorbed in a growing discussion, instituted by
the philosophic, in respect to the cometary nature. Even
the grossly ignorant aroused their sluggish capacities to_
such considerations. The learned now gave their intel-
lect — their soul — to no such points as the allaying of
fear, or to the sustenance of loved theory. They sought
— they panted for right views. They groaned for per-
fected knowledge. Truth arose in the purity of her
strength and exceeding majesty, and the wise bowed
down and adored.

That material injury to our globe or. to its inhabitants
would result from the apprehended contact, was an
opinion which hourly lost ground among the wise ; and
the wise were now freely permitted to rule the reason
and the fancy of the crowd. It was demonstrated, that
the density of the comet's nucleus was far less than that
of our rarest gas ; and the harmless passage of a similar
visitor among the satellites of Jupiter was a point strongly
insisted upon, and which served greatly to allay terror.
Theologists, with an earnestness fear-enkindled, dwelt
upon the biblical prophecies, and expounded them to
the people with a directness and simplicity of which no
previous instance had been known. That the final de-
struction of the earth must be brought about by the agency
of fire, was urged with a spirit that enforced everywhere
conviction ; and that the comets were of no fiery nature
(as all men now knew) was a truth which relieved all,
in a great measure, from the apprehension of the great
calamity foretold. It is noticeable that the popular prej-
udices and vulgar errors in regard to pestilence and wars



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6 TALEa

— errors which were wont to prevail upon every appear-
ance of a comet — were now altogether unknown. As
if by some sudden convulsive exertion, reason had at
once hurled superstition from her throne. The feeblest
intellect had derived vigor from excessive interest.

What minor evils might arise from the contact were
points of elaborate question. The learned spoke of
slight geological disturbances, of probable alterations in
climate, and consequently in vegetation ; of possible
magnetic and electric influences. Many held that no
visible or perceptible effect would in any manner be pro-
duced. While such discussions were going on, their
subject gradually approached, growing larger in apparent
diameter, and of a more brilliant lustre. Mankind
grew paler as it came. All human operations were sus-
pended.

There was an epoch in the course of the general
sentiment when the comet had attained, at length, a size
surpassing that of any previously recorded visitation.
The people now, dismissing any lingering hope that
the astronomers were wrong, experienced all the cer-
tainty of evil. The chimerical aspect of their terror
was gone. The hearts of the stoutest of our race beat
violently within their bosoms. A very few days sufficed,
however, to merge even such feelings in sentiments more
unendurable. We could no longer apply to the strange
orb any accustomed thoughts. Its historical attributes
had disappeared. It oppressed us with a hideous novelty
of emotion. We saw it not as an astronomical phenom-
enon in the heavens, but as an incubus upon our hearts,
and a shadow upon our brains. It had taken, with in-
conceivable rapidity, the character of a gigantic mantle
of rare flame, extending from horizon to horizon.

Yet a day, and men breathed with greater freedom. It



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EIROS AND CHARMION. 7

was clear chat we were already within the influence of the
comet ; yet we lived. We even felt an unusual elastic-
ity of frame and vivacity of mind. The exceeding te-
nuity of the object of our dread was apparent ; for all
heavenly objects were plainly visible through it. Mean-
time, our vegetation had perceptibly altered ; and we
gained ^th, from this predicted circumstance, in the fore-
sight of the wise. A wild luxuriance of foliage, utterly
unknown before, burst out upon every vegetable thing.

Yet another day — and the evil was not altogether
upon us. It was now evident that its nucleus would
first reach us. A wild change had come over all men ;
and the first sense oi pain was the wild signal for general
lamentation and horror. This first sense of pain lay in
a rigorous constriction of the breast and lungs, and an
insufierable dryness of the skin. It could not be denied
that our atmosphere was radically affected ; the confor-
mation of this atmosphere and the possible modifications
to which it might be subjected, were now the topics of
discussion. The result of investigation sent an electric
thrill of the intensest terror through the universal heart
of man.

It had been long known that the air which encircled
us was a compound of oxygen and nitrogen gases, in
the proportion of twenty-one measures of oxygen, and
seventy-nine of nitrogen, in every one hundred of the
atmosphere. Oxygen, which was the principle of com-
bustion, and the vehicle of heat, was absolutely neces-
sary to the support of animal life, and was the most
powerfiil and energetic agent in nature. Nitrogen, on
the contrary, was incapable of supporting either animal
life or flame. An unnatural excess of oxygen would
result, it had been ascertained, in just such an elevation
of the animal spirits as we had latterly experienced. It



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8 TALEa

was the pursuit, the extension of the idea, which had
engendered awe. What would be the result of a total
extraction of the nitrogen ? A combustion irresistible,
all-devouring, omni-prevalent, immediate ; — the entire
fulfilment, in all their minute and terrible details, of the
fiery and horror-inspiring denunciations of the prophecies
of the Holy Book.

Why need I paint, Charmion, the now disenchained
frenzy of mankind ? That tenuity m the comet which
had previously inspired us with hope, was now the
source of the bitterness of despair. In its impalpable
gaseous character we clearly perceived the consummation
of Fate. Meantime a day again passed — bearing away
with it the last shadow of Hope. We gasped in the
rapid modification of the air. The red blood bounded
tumultuously through its strict channels. A furious
delirium possessed all men ; and, with arms rigidly out-
stretched towards the threatening heavens, they trembled
and shrieked aloud. But the nucleus of the destroyer
was now upon us ; — even here in Aidenn, I shudder
while I speak. Let me be brief — brief as the ruin that
overwhelmed. For a moment there was a wild lurid
light alone, visiting and penetrating all things. Then
let us bow down, Charmion, before the excessive maj-
esty of the great God ! — then, there came a shouting
and pervading sound, as if from the mouth itself of
HIM ; while the whole incumbent mass of ether in
which we existed, burst at once into a species of intense
flame, for whose surpassing brilliancy and all-fervid heat
even the angels in the high Heaven of pure knowledge
have no name. Thus ended all.



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THE JOURNAL OF JULIUS
RODMAN,

BEING AN ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST
PASSAGE ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUN-
TAINS OF NORTH AMERICA EVER
ACHIEVED BY CIVIUZED MAN.

[Discovered by Mr. J. H. Ingram in Burton's Gen-
tieman^s Magazine y January, 1 840, and continuing
six numbers. Text follows Burton's Gentleman's
Magazine,']

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTORY.

What we must consider an unusual piece of good
fortune has enabled us to present our readers, under
this head, with a narrative of very remarkable character,
and certainly of very deep interest. The Journal which
follows not only embodies a relation of the first success-
ful attempt to cross the gigantic barriers of that immense
chain of mountains which stretches from the Polar Sea
in the north, to the Isthmus of Darien in the south,
forming a craggy and snow-capped rampart through-
out its whole course, but, what is of still greater im-
portance, gives the particulars of a tour, beyond these
mountains, through an immense extent of territory
which, at this day, is looked upon as totally untravelled
and unknown, and which, in every map of the country
9



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lO TALES.

to which we can obtam access, is marked as ^^ an unex-
plored region y It is, moreover, the only unexplored
region within the limits of the continent of North
America. Such being the case, our friends will know
how to pardon us for the slight amount of unction with
which we have urged this Journal upon the public
attention. For our own parts, we have found, in its
perusal, a degree, and a species of interest such as no
similar narrative ever inspired. Nor do we think that
our relation to these papers, as the channel through
which they will be first made known, has had more
than a moderate influence in begetting this interest.
We feel assured that all our readers will unite with us
in thinking the adventures here recorded unusually
entertaining and important. The peculiar character of
the gentleman who was the leader and soul of the ex-
pedition, as well as its historian, has imbued what he
has written with a vast deal of romantic fervor, very
different from the luke-warm and statistical air which
pervades most records of the kind. Mr. James E.
Rodman, fi-om whom we obtained the MS., is well
known to many of the readers of this Magazine ; and
partakes, in some degree, of that temperament which
embittered the earlier portion of the life of his grand-
father, Mr. Julius Rodman, the writer of the narrative.
We allude to an hereditary hypochondria. It was the
instigation of this disease which, more than anything
else, led him to attempt the extraordinary journey here
detailed. The hunting and trapping designs, of which
he speaks himself, in the beginning of his Journal, were,
as far as we can perceive, but excuses made to his own
reason, for the audacity and novelty of his attempt.
There can be no doubt, we think, (and our readers will
think with us,) that he was urged solely by a desire to



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JULIUS RODMAN. II

seek, in the bosom of the wilderness, that peace which
his peculiar disposition would not suffer him to enjoy
among men. He fled to the desert as to a friend. In
no other view of the case can we reconcile many points
of his record with our ordinary notions of human
action.

As we have thought proper to omit two pages of the
MS.y in which Mr. R. gives some account of his life
previous to his departure up the Missouri, it may be
as well to state here that he was a native of England,
where his relatives were of excellent standing, where
he had received a good education, and from which
country he emigrated to this, in 1784, (being then
about eighteen years of age,) with his lather and two
maiden sisters. The family first settled in New York ;
but afterwards made their way to Kentucky, and
established themselves, almost in hermit fashion, on
the banks of the Mississippi, near where Mills' Point
now makes mto the river. Here old Mr. Rodman
died, in the fall of 1 790 ; and, in the ensuing winter,
both his daughters perished of the small-pox, within a
few weeks of each other. Shortly afterwards, (in the
spring of 1791,) Mr. Julius Rodman, the son, set out
upon the expedition which forms the subject of the
following pages. Returning from this in 1794, as
hereinafter stated, he took up his abode near Abingdon,
m Virginia, where he married, and had three children,
and where most of his descendants now live.

We are informed by Mr. James Rodman, that his
grand&ther had merely kept an outline diary of his
tour, during the many difficulties of its progress ; and
that the MSS. with which we have been furnished
were not written out in detail, from that diary, until
many years afterwards, when the tourist was induced



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12 TALES.

to undertake the task^ at the instigation of M. Andrk
Micbau, the botanist, and author of the Flora BoreaU-
.Americana^ and of the Histoire des Chines d^ Amirique.
M. Micbau, it will be remembered, had made an ofier
of his services to Mr. Jefferson, when that statesman
first contemplated sending an expedition across the
Rocky Mountains. He was engaged to prosecute the
journey, and had even proceeded on his way as far as
Kentucky, when he was overtaken by an order from
the French minister, then at Philadelphia, requiring
him to relinquish the design, and to pursue elsewhere
the botanical inquiries on which he was employed by
his government. The contemplated undertaking then
fell into the hands of Messieurs Lewis and Clarke, by
whom it was successfully accomplished.

The MS. when completed, however, never reached
M. Michau, for whose inspection it had been drawn
up ; and was always supposed to have been lost on the
road by the young man to whom it was entrusted
for delivery at M. M.'s temporary residence, near
Monticello. Scarcely any attempt was made to recover
the papers ; Mr. Rodman's peculiar disposition leading
him to take but little interest in the search. Indeed,
strange as it may appear, we doubt, from what we are
told of him, whether he would have ever taken, any
steps to make public the results of his most extraordi-
nary tour ; we think that his only object in re-touching
his origmal Diary was to oblige M. Michau. Even
Mr. Jefferson's exploring project, a project which, at
the time it was broached, excited almost universal com-
ment, and was considered a perfect novelty , drew from
the hero of our narradve, only a few general observa-
tions, addressed to the members of his family. He
never made his own journey a subject of conversation ;



Online LibraryEdgar Allan PoeThe complete works of Edgar Allan Poe; → online text (page 1 of 46)