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The Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Part 4 out of 5

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downward from the summit of the hill, the sides of the abyss bore
little resemblance to each other, and, apparently, had at no time
been connected, the one surface being of the soapstone, and the other
of marl, granulated with some metallic matter. The average breadth or
interval between the two cliffs was probably here sixty feet, but
there seemed to be no regularity of formation. Passing down, however,
beyond the limit spoken of, the interval rapidly contracted, and the
sides began to run parallel, although, for some distance farther,
they were still dissimilar in their material and form of surface.
Upon arriving within fifty feet of the bottom, a perfect regularity
commenced. The sides were now entirely uniform in substance, in
colour, and in lateral direction, the material being a very black and
shining granite, and the distance between the two sides, at all
points facing each other, exactly twenty yards. The precise formation
of the chasm will be best understood by means of a delineation taken
upon the spot; for I had luckily with me a pocketbook and pencil,
which I preserved with great care through a long series of subsequent
adventure, and to which I am indebted for memoranda of many subjects
which would otherwise have been crowded from my remembrance.

This figure (see figure 1) {image} gives the general outlines of
the chasm, without the minor cavities in the sides, of which there
were several, each cavity having a corresponding protuberance
opposite. The bottom of the gulf was covered to the depth of three or
four inches with a powder almost impalpable, beneath which we found a
continuation of the black granite. To the right, at the lower
extremity, will be noticed the appearance of a small opening; this is
the fissure alluded to above, and to examine which more minutely than
before was the object of our second visit. We now pushed into it with
vigor, cutting away a quantity of brambles which impeded us, and
removing a vast heap of sharp flints somewhat resembling arrowheads
in shape. We were encouraged to persevere, however, by perceiving
some little light proceeding from the farther end. We at length
squeezed our way for about thirty feet, and found that the aperture
was a low and regularly formed arch, having a bottom of the same
impalpable powder as that in the main chasm. A strong light now broke
upon us, and, turning a short bend, we found ourselves in another
lofty chamber, similar to the one we had left in every respect but
longitudinal form. Its general figure is here given. (See figure 2.)

The total length of this chasm, commencing at the opening a and
proceeding round the curve _b_ to the extremity _d_, is five hundred
and fifty yards. At _c_ we discovered a small aperture similar to the
one through which we had issued from the other chasm, and this was
choked up in the same manner with brambles and a quantity of the
white arrowhead flints. We forced our way through it, finding it
about forty feet long, and emerged into a third chasm. This, too, was
precisely like the first, except in its longitudinal shape, which was
thus. (See figure 3.) {image}

We found the entire length of the third chasm three hundred and
twenty yards. At the point _a_ was an opening about six feet wide,
and extending fifteen feet into the rock, where it terminated in a
bed of marl, there being no other chasm beyond, as we had expected.
We were about leaving this fissure, into which very little light was
admitted, when Peters called my attention to a range of
singular-looking indentures in the surface of the marl forming the
termination of the _cul-de-sac_. With a very slight exertion of the
imagination, the left, or most northern of these indentures might
have been taken for the intentional, although rude, representation of
a human figure standing erect, with outstretched arm. The rest of
them bore also some little resemblance to alphabetical characters,
and Peters was willing, at all events, to adopt the idle opinion that
they were really such. I convinced him of his error, finally, by
directing his attention to the floor of the fissure, where, among the
powder, we picked up, piece by piece, several large flakes of the
marl, which had evidently been broken off by some convulsion from the
surface where the indentures were found, and which had projecting
points exactly fitting the indentures; thus proving them to have been
the work of nature. Figure 4 {image} presents an accurate copy of the

After satisfying ourselves that these singular caverns afforded
us no means of escape from our prison, we made our way back, dejected
and dispirited, to the summit of the hill. Nothing worth mentioning
occurred during the next twenty-four hours, except that, in examining
the ground to the eastward of the third chasm, we found two
triangular holes of great depth, and also with black granite sides.
Into these holes we did not think it worth while to attempt
descending, as they had the appearance of mere natural wells, without
outlet. They were each about twenty yards in circumference, and their
shape, as well as relative position in regard to the third chasm, is
shown in figure 5. {image}

~~~ End of Text of Chapter 23 ~~~


ON the twentieth of the month, finding it altogether impossible to
subsist any longer upon the filberts, the use of which occasioned us
the most excruciating torment, we resolved to make a desperate
attempt at descending the southern declivity of the hill. The face of
the precipice was here of the softest species of soapstone, although
nearly perpendicular throughout its whole extent (a depth of a
hundred and fifty feet at the least), and in many places even
overarching. After a long search we discovered a narrow ledge about
twenty feet below the brink of the gulf; upon this Peters contrived
to leap, with what assistance I could render him by means of our
pocket-handkerchiefs tied together. With somewhat more difficulty I
also got down; and we then saw the possibility of descending the
whole way by the process in which we had clambered up from the chasm
when we had been buried by the fall of the hill-that is, by cutting
steps in the face of the soapstone with our knives. The extreme
hazard of the attempt can scarcely be conceived; but, as there was no
other resource, we determined to undertake it.

Upon the ledge where we stood there grew some filbert-bushes; and to
one of these we made fast an end of our rope of handkerchiefs. The
other end being tied round Peters' waist, I lowered him down over the
edge of the precipice until the handkerchiefs were stretched tight.
He now proceeded to dig a deep hole in the soapstone (as far in as
eight or ten inches), sloping away the rock above to the height of a
foot, or thereabout, so as to allow of his driving, with the butt of
a pistol, a tolerably strong peg into the levelled surface. I then
drew him up for about four feet, when he made a hole similar to the
one below, driving in a peg as before, and having thus a
resting-place for both feet and hands. I now unfastened the
handkerchiefs from the bush, throwing him the end, which he tied to
the peg in the uppermost hole, letting himself down gently to a
station about three feet lower than he had yet been that is, to the
full extent of the handkerchiefs. Here he dug another hole, and drove
another peg. He then drew himself up, so as to rest his feet in the
hole just cut, taking hold with his hands upon the peg in the one
above. It was now necessary to untie the handkerchiefs from the
topmost peg, with the view of fastening them to the second; and here
he found that an error had been committed in cutting the holes at so
great a distance apart. However, after one or two unsuccessful and
dangerous attempts at reaching the knot (having to hold on with his
left hand while he labored to undo the fastening with his right), he
at length cut the string, leaving six inches of it affixed to the
peg. Tying the handkerchiefs now to the second peg, he descended to a
station below the third, taking care not to go too far down. By these
means (means which I should never have conceived of myself, and for
which we were indebted altogether to Peters' ingenuity and
resolution) my companion finally succeeded, with the occasional aid
of projections in the cliff, in reaching the bottom without accident.

It was some time before I could summon sufficient resolution to
follow him; but I did at length attempt it. Peters had taken off his
shirt before descending, and this, with my own, formed the rope
necessary for the adventure. After throwing down the musket found in
the chasm, I fastened this rope to the bushes, and let myself down
rapidly, striving, by the vigor of my movements, to banish the
trepidation which I could overcome in no other manner. This answered
sufficiently well for the first four or five steps; but presently I
found my imagination growing terribly excited by thoughts of the vast
depths yet to be descended, and the precarious nature of the pegs and
soapstone holes which were my only support. It was in vain I
endeavored to banish these reflections, and to keep my eyes steadily
bent upon the flat surface of the cliff before me. The more earnestly
I struggled _not to think, _the more intensely vivid became my
conceptions, and the more horribly distinct. At length arrived that
crisis of fancy, so fearful in all similar cases, the crisis in which
we began to anticipate the feelings with which we _shall _fall-to
picture to ourselves the sickness, and dizziness, and the last
struggle, and the half swoon, and the final bitterness of the rushing
and headlong descent. And now I found these fancies creating their
own realities, and all imagined horrors crowding upon me in fact. I
felt my knees strike violently together, while my fingers were
gradually but certainly relaxing their grasp. There was a ringing in
my ears, and I said, "This is my knell of death!" And now I was
consumed with the irrepressible desire of looking below. I could not,
I would not, confine my glances to the cliff; and, with a wild,
indefinable emotion, half of horror, half of a relieved oppression, I
threw my vision far down into the abyss. For one moment my fingers
clutched convulsively upon their hold, while, with the movement, the
faintest possible idea of ultimate escape wandered, like a shadow,
through my mind -in the next my whole soul was pervaded with a
longing to fall; a desire, a yearning, a passion utterly
uncontrollable. I let go at once my grasp upon the peg, and, turning
half round from the precipice, remained tottering for an instant
against its naked face. But now there came a spinning of the brain; a
shrill-sounding and phantom voice screamed within my ears; a dusky,
fiendish, and filmy figure stood immediately beneath me; and,
sighing, I sunk down with a bursting heart, and plunged within its

I had swooned, and Peters had caught me as I fell. He had observed my
proceedings from his station at the bottom of the cliff; and
perceiving my imminent danger, had endeavored to inspire me with
courage by every suggestion he could devise; although my confusion of
mind had been so great as to prevent my hearing what he said, or
being conscious that he had even spoken to me at all. At length,
seeing me totter, he hastened to ascend to my rescue, and arrived
just in time for my preservation. Had I fallen with my full weight,
the rope of linen would inevitably have snapped, and I should have
been precipitated into the abyss; as it was, he contrived to let me
down gently, so as to remain suspended without danger until animation
returned. This was in about fifteen minutes. On recovery, my
trepidation had entirely vanished; I felt a new being, and, with some
little further aid from my companion, reached the bottom also in

We now found ourselves not far from the ravine which had proved the
tomb of our friends, and to the southward of the spot where the hill
had fallen. The place was one of singular wildness, and its aspect
brought to my mind the descriptions given by travellers of those
dreary regions marking the site of degraded Babylon. Not to speak of
the ruins of the disrupted cliff, which formed a chaotic barrier in
the vista to the northward, the surface of the ground in every other
direction was strewn with huge tumuli, apparently the wreck of some
gigantic structures of art; although, in detail, no semblance of art
could be detected. Scoria were abundant, and large shapeless blocks
of the black granite, intermingled with others of marl, {*6} and both
granulated with metal. Of vegetation there were no traces whatsoever
throughout the whole of the desolate area within sight. Several
immense scorpions were seen, and various reptiles not elsewhere to be
found in the high latitudes. As food was our most immediate object,
we resolved to make our way to the seacoast, distant not more than
half a mile, with a view of catching turtle, several of which we had
observed from our place of concealment on the hill. We had proceeded
some hundred yards, threading our route cautiously between the huge
rocks and tumuli, when, upon turning a corner, five savages sprung
upon us from a small cavern, felling Peters to the ground with a blow
from a club. As he fell the whole party rushed upon him to secure
their victim, leaving me time to recover from my astonishment. I
still had the musket, but the barrel had received so much injury in
being thrown from the precipice that I cast it aside as useless,
preferring to trust my pistols, which had been carefully preserved in
order. With these I advanced upon the assailants, firing one after
the other in quick succession. Two savages fell, and one, who was in
the act of thrusting a spear into Peters, sprung to his feet without
accomplishing his purpose. My companion being thus released, we had
no further difficulty. He had his pistols also, but prudently
declined using them, confiding in his great personal strength, which
far exceeded that of any person I have ever known. Seizing a club
from one of the savages who had fallen, he dashed out the brains of
the three who remained, killing each instantaneously with a single
blow of the weapon, and leaving us completely masters of the field.

So rapidly bad these events passed, that we could scarcely believe in
their reality, and were standing over the bodies of the dead in a
species of stupid contemplation, when we were brought to recollection
by the sound of shouts in the distance. It was clear that the savages
had been alarmed by the firing, and that we had little chance of
avoiding discovery. To regain the cliff, it would be necessary to
proceed in the direction of the shouts, and even should we succeed in
arriving at its base, we should never be able to ascend it without
being seen. Our situation was one of the greatest peril, and we were
hesitating in which path to commence a flight, when one of the
savages _whom _I had shot, and supposed dead, sprang briskly to his
feet, and attempted to make his escape. We overtook _him, _however,
before he had advanced many paces, and were about to put him to
death, when Peters suggested that we might derive some benefit from
forcing him to accompany us in our attempt to escape. We therefore
dragged him with us, making him understand that we would shoot him if
he offered resistance. In a few minutes he was perfectly submissive,
and ran by our sides as we pushed in among the rocks, making for the

So far, the irregularities of the ground we had been traversing hid
the sea, except at intervals, from our sight, and, when we first had
it fairly in view, it was perhaps two hundred yards distant. As we
emerged into the open beach we saw, to our great dismay, an immense
crowd of the natives pouring from the village, and from all visible
quarters of the island, making toward us with gesticulations of
extreme fury, and howling like wild beasts. We were upon the point of
turning upon our steps, and trying to secure a retreat among the
fastnesses of the rougher ground, when I discovered the bows of two
canoes projecting from behind a large rock which ran out into the
water. Toward these we now ran with all speed, and, reaching them,
found them unguarded, and without any other freight than three of the
large Gallipago turtles and the usual supply of paddles for sixty
rowers. We instantly took possession of one of them, and, forcing our
captive on board, pushed out to sea with all the strength we could

We had not made, however, more than fifty yards from the shore before
we became sufficiently calm to perceive the great oversight of which
we had been guilty in leaving the other canoe in the power of the
savages, who, by this time, were not more than twice as far from the
beach as ourselves, and were rapidly advancing to the pursuit. No
time was now to be lost. Our hope was, at best, a forlorn one, but we
had none other. It was very doubtful whether, with the utmost
exertion, we could get back in time to anticipate them in taking
possession of the canoe; but yet there was a chance that we could. We
might save ourselves if we succeeded, while not to make the attempt
was to resign ourselves to inevitable butchery.

The canoe was modelled with the bow and stern alike, and, in place of
turning it around, we merely changed our position in paddling. As
soon as the savages perceived this they redoubled their yells, as
well as their speed, and approached with inconceivable rapidity. We
pulled, however, with all the energy of desperation, and arrived at
the contested point before more than one of the natives had attained
it. This man paid dearly for his superior agility, Peters shooting
him through the head with a pistol as he approached the shore. The
foremost among the rest of his party were probably some twenty or
thirty paces distant as we seized upon the canoe. We at first
endeavored to pull her into the deep water, beyond the reach of the
savages, but, finding her too firmly aground, and there being no time
to spare, Peters, with one or two heavy strokes from the butt of the
musket, succeeded in dashing out a large portion of the bow and of
one side. We then pushed off. Two of the natives by this time had got
hold of our boat, obstinately refusing to let go, until we were
forced to despatch them with our knives. We were now clear off, and
making great way out to sea. The main body of the savages, upon
reaching the broken canoe, set up the most tremendous yell of rage
and disappointment conceivable. In truth, from everything I could see
of these wretches, they appeared to be the most wicked, hypocritical,
vindictive, bloodthirsty, and altogether fiendish race of men upon
the face of the globe. It is clear we should have had no mercy had we
fallen into their hands. They made a mad attempt at following us in
the fractured canoe, but, finding it useless, again vented their rage
in a series of hideous vociferations, and rushed up into the hills.

We were thus relieved from immediate danger, but our situation was
still sufficiently gloomy. We knew that four canoes of the kind we
had were at one time in the possession of the savages, and were not
aware of the fact (afterward ascertained from our captive) that two
of these had been blown to pieces in the explosion of the _Jane Guy.
_We calculated, therefore, upon being yet pursued, as soon as our
enemies could get round to the bay (distant about three miles) where
the boats were usually laid up. Fearing this, we made every exertion
to leave the island behind us, and went rapidly through the water,
forcing the prisoner to take a paddle. In about half an hour, when we
had gained probably five or six miles to the southward, a large fleet
of the flat-bottomed canoes or rafts were seen to emerge from the bay
evidently with the design of pursuit. Presently they put back,
despairing to overtake us.

~~~ End of Text Chapter 24 ~~~


WE now found ourselves in the wide and desolate Antarctic Ocean, in
a latitude exceeding eighty-four degrees, in a frail canoe, and with
no provision but the three turtles. The long polar winter, too, could
not be considered as far distant, and it became necessary that we
should deliberate well upon the course to be pursued. There were six
or seven islands in sight belonging to the same group, and distant
from each other about five or six leagues; but upon neither of these
had we any intention to venture. In coming from the northward in the
_Jane Guy_ we had been gradually leaving behind us the severest
regions of ice-this, however little it maybe in accordance with the
generally received notions respecting the Antarctic, was a fact-
experience would not permit us to deny. To attempt, therefore,
getting back would be folly --- especially at so late a period of the
season. Only one course seemed to be left open for hope. We resolved
to steer boldly to the southward, where there was at least a
probability of discovering other lands, and more than a probability
of finding a still milder climate.

So far we had found the Antarctic, like the Arctic Ocean, peculiarly
free from violent storms or immoderately rough water; but our canoe
was, at best, of frail structure, although large, and we set busily
to work with a view of rendering her as safe as the limited means in
our possession would admit. The body of the boat was of no better
material than bark -the bark of a tree unknown. The ribs were of a
tough osier, well adapted to the purpose for which it was used. We
had fifty feet room from stem to stern, from four to six in breadth,
and in depth throughout four feet and a half-the boats thus differing
vastly in shape from those of any other inhabitants of the Southern
Ocean with whom civilized nations are acquainted. We never did
believe them the workmanship of the ignorant islanders who owned
them; and some days after this period discovered, by questioning our
captive, that they were in fact made by the natives of a group to the
southwest of the country where we found them, having fallen
accidentally into the hands of our barbarians. What we could do for
the security of our boat was very little indeed. Several wide rents
were discovered near both ends, and these we contrived to patch up
with pieces of woollen jacket. With the help of the superfluous
paddles, of which there were a great many, we erected a kind of
framework about the bow, so as to break the force of any seas which
might threaten to fill us in that quarter. We also set up two
paddle-blades for masts, placing them opposite each other, one by
each gunwale, thus saving the necessity of a yard. To these masts we
attached a sail made of our shirts-doing this with some difficulty,
as here we could get no assistance from our prisoner whatever,
although he bad been willing enough to labor in all the other
operations. The sight of the linen seemed to affect him in a very
singular manner. He could not be prevailed upon to touch it or go
near it, shuddering when we attempted to force him, and shrieking
out, _"Tekeli-li!"_

Having completed our arrangements in regard to the security of the
canoe, we now set sail to the south-southeast for the present, with
the view of weathering the most southerly of the group in sight. This
being done, we turned the bow full to the southward. The weather
could by no means be considered disagreeable. We had a prevailing
andvery gentle wind from the northward, a smooth sea, and continual
daylight. No ice whatever was to be seen; _nor did I ever see one
particle of this after leaving the parallel of Bennet's Islet.
_Indeed, the temperature of the water was here far too warm for its
existence in any quantity. Having killed the largest of our
tortoises, and obtained from him not only food but a copious supply
of water, we continued on our course, without any incident of moment,
for perhaps seven or eight days, during which period we must have
proceeded a vast distance to the southward, as the wind blew
constantly with us, and a very strong current set continually in the
direction we were pursuing.

_March 1st_. {*7}-Many unusual phenomena now -indicated that we were
entering upon a region of novelty and wonder. A high range of light
gray vapor appeared constantly in the southern horizon, flaring up
occasionally in lofty streaks, now darting from east to west, now
from west to east, and again presenting a level and uniform summit-in
short, having all the wild variations of the Aurora Borealis. The
average height of this vapor, as apparent from our station, was about
twenty-five degrees. The temperature of the sea seemed to be
increasing momentarily, and there was a very perceptible alteration
in its color.

_March 2d._-To-day by repeated questioning of our captive, we came to
the knowledge of many particulars in regard to the island of the
massacre, its inhabitants, and customs-but with these how can I now
detain the reader? I may say, however, that we learned there were
eight islands in the group-that they were governed by a common king,
named _Tsalemon _or _Psalemoun, _who resided in one of the smallest
of the islands; that the black skins forming the dress of the
warriors came from an animal of huge size to be found only in a
valley near the court of the king-that the inhabitants of the group
fabricated no other boats than the flat-bottomed rafts; the four
canoes being all of the kind in their possession, and, these having
been obtained, by mere accident, from some large island in the
southwest-that his own name was Nu-Nu-that he had no knowledge of
Bennet's Islet-and that the appellation of the island he had left was
Tsalal. The commencement of the words _Tsalemon _and Tsalal was given
with a prolonged hissing sound, which 'we found it impossible to
imitate, even after repeated endeavors, and which was precisely the
same with the note of the black bittern we had eaten up on the summit
of the hill.

_March 3d._-The heat of the water was now truly remarkable, and in
color was undergoing a rapid change, being no longer transparent, but
of a milky consistency and hue. In our immediate vicinity it was
usually smooth, never so rough as to endanger the canoe-but we were
frequently surprised at perceiving, to our right and left, at
different distances, sudden and extensive agitations of the surface;
these, we at length noticed, were always preceded by wild flickerings
in the region of vapor to the southward.

_March 4th._-To-day, with the view of widening our sail, the breeze
from the northward dying away perceptibly, I took from my coat-pocket
a white handkerchief. Nu-Nu was seated at my elbow, and the linen
accidentally flaring in his face, he became violently affected with
convulsions. These were succeeded by drowsiness and stupor, and low
murmurings of _"'Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!"_

_March _5th.-The wind had entirely ceased, but it was evident that we
were still hurrying on to the southward, under the influence of a
powerful current. And now, -indeed, it would seem reasonable that we
should experience some alarm at the turn events were taking-but we
felt none. The countenance of Peters indicated nothing of this
nature, although it wore at times an expression I could not fathom.
The polar winter appeared to be coming on--but coming without its
terrors. I felt a numbness of body and mind--a dreaminess of
sensation but this was all.

_March 6th._-The gray vapor had now arisen many more degrees above
the horizon, and was gradually losing its grayness of tint. The heat
of the water was extreme, even unpleasant to the touch, and its milky
hue was more evident than ever. Today a violent agitation of the
water occurred very close to the canoe. It was attended, as usual,
with a wild flaring up of the vapor at its summit, and a momentary
division at its base. A fine white powder, resembling ashes-but
certainly not such-fell over the canoe and over a large surface of
the water, as the flickering died away among the vapor and the
commotion subsided in the sea. Nu-Nu now threw himself on his face in
the bottom of the boat, and no persuasions could induce him to arise.

_March 7th._-This day we questioned Nu-Nu concerning the motives of
his countrymen in destroying our companions; but he appeared to be
too utterly overcome by terror to afford us any rational reply. He
still obstinately lay in the bottom of the boat; and, upon
reiterating the questions as to the motive, made use only of idiotic
gesticulations, such as raising with his forefinger the upper lip,
and displaying the teeth which lay beneath it. These were black. We
had never before seen the teeth of an inhabitant of Tsalal.

_March 8th._-To-day there floated by us one of the white animals
whose appearance upon the beach at Tsalal had occasioned so wild a
commotion among the savages. I would have picked it up, but there
came over me a sudden listlessness, and I forbore. The heat of the
water still increased, and the hand could no longer be endured within
it. Peters spoke little, and I knew not what to think of his apathy.
Nu-Nu breathed, and no more.

_March 9th._-The whole ashy material fell now continually around us,
and in vast quantities. The range of vapor to the southward had
arisen prodigiously in the horizon, and began to assume more
distinctness of form. I can liken it to nothing but a limitless
cataract, rolling silently into the sea from some immense and
far-distant rampart in the heaven. The gigantic curtain ranged along
the whole extent of the southern horizon. It emitted no sound.

_March 21st._-A sullen darkness now hovered above us-but from out the
milky depths of the ocean a luminous glare arose, and stole up along
the bulwarks of the boat. We were nearly overwhelmed by the white
ashy shower which settled upon us and upon the canoe, but melted into
the water as it fell. The summit of the cataract was utterly lost in
the dimness and the distance. Yet we were evidently approaching it
with a hideous velocity. At intervals there were visible in it wide,
yawning, but momentary rents, and from out these rents, within which
was a chaos of flitting and indistinct images, there came rushing and
mighty, but soundless winds, tearing up the enkindled ocean in their

_March 22d._-The darkness had materially increased, relieved only by
the glare of the water thrown back from the white curtain before us.
Many gigantic and pallidly white birds flew continuously now from
beyond the veil, and their scream was the eternal _Tekeli-li! _as
they retreated from our vision. Hereupon Nu-Nu stirred in the bottom
of the boat; but upon touching him we found his spirit departed. And
now we rushed into the embraces of the cataract, where a chasm threw
itself open to receive us. But there arose in our pathway a shrouded
human figure, very far larger in its proportions than any dweller
among men. And the hue of the skin of the figure was of the perfect
whiteness of the snow.


THE circumstances connected with the late sudden and distressing
death of Mr. Pym are already well known to the public through the
medium of the daily press. It is feared that the few remaining
chapters which were to have completed his narrative, and which were
retained by him, while the above were in type, for the purpose of
revision, have been irrecoverably lost through the accident by which
he perished himself. This, however, may prove not to be the case, and
the papers, if ultimately found, will be given to the public.

No means have been left untried to remedy the deficiency. The
gentleman whose name is mentioned in the preface, and who, from the
statement there made, might be supposed able to fill the vacuum, has
declined the task-this, for satisfactory reasons connected with the
general inaccuracy of the details afforded him, and his disbelief in
the entire truth of the latter portions of the narration. Peters,
from whom some information might be expected, is still alive, and a
resident of Illinois, but cannot be met with at present. He may
hereafter be found, and will, no doubt, afford material for a
conclusion of Mr. Pym's account.

The loss of two or three final chapters (for there were but two or
three) is the more deeply to be regretted, as it can not be doubted
they contained matter relative to the Pole itself, or at least to
regions in its very near proximity; and as, too, the statements of
the author in relation to these regions may shortly be verified or
contradicted by means of the governmental expedition now preparing
for the Southern Ocean.

On one point in the narrative some remarks may well be offered; and
it would afford the writer of this appendix much pleasure if what he
may here observe should have a tendency to throw credit, in any
degree, upon the very singular pages now published. We allude to the
chasms found in the island of Tsalal, and to the whole of the figures
upon pages 245-47 {of the printed edition -ed.}.

Mr. Pym has given the figures of the chasms without comment, and
speaks decidedly of the _indentures _found at the extremity of the
most easterly of these chasms as having but a fanciful resemblance to
alphabetical characters, and, in short, as being positively _not
such. _This assertion is made in a manner so simple, and sustained by
a species of demonstration so conclusive (viz., the fitting of the
projections of the fragments found among the dust into the indentures
upon the wall), that we are forced to believe the writer in earnest;
and no reasonable reader should suppose otherwise. But as the facts
in relation to all the figures are most singular (especially when
taken in connection with statements made in the body of the
narrative), it may be as well to say a word or two concerning them
all-this, too, the more especially as the facts in question have,
beyond doubt, escaped the attention of Mr. Poe.

Figure 1, then, figure 2, figure 3, and figure 5, when conjoined with
one another in the precise order which the chasms themselves
presented, and when deprived of the small lateral branches or arches
(which, it will be remembered, served only as a means of
communication between the main chambers, and were of totally distinct
character), constitute an Ethiopian verbal root-the root {image} "To
be shady,'-- whence all the inflections of shadow or darkness.

In regard to the "left or most northwardly" of the indentures in
figure 4, it is more than probable that the opinion of Peters was
correct, and that the hieroglyphical appearance was really the work
of art, and intended as the representation of a human form. The
delineation is before the reader, and he may, or may not, perceive
the resemblance suggested; but the rest of the indentures afford
strong confirmation of Peters' idea. The upper range is evidently the
Arabic verbal root {image}. "To be white," whence all the inflections
of brilliancy and whiteness. The lower range is not so immediately
perspicuous. The characters are somewhat broken and disjointed;
nevertheless, it can not be doubted that, in their perfect state,
they formed the full Egyptian word {image}. "The region of the
south.' It should be observed that these interpretations confirm the
opinion of Peters in regard to the "most northwardly" of the,
figures. The arm is outstretched toward the south.

Conclusions such as these open a wide field for speculation and
exciting conjecture. They should be regarded, perhaps, in connection
with some of the most faintly detailed incidents of the narrative;
although in no visible manner is this chain of connection complete.
Tekeli-li! was the cry of the affrighted natives of Tsalal upon
discovering the carcase of the _white _animal picked up at sea. This
also was the shuddering exclamatives of Tsalal upon discovering the
carcass of the _white _materials in possession of Mr. Pym. This also
was the shriek of the swift-flying, _white, _and gigantic birds which
issued from the vapory _white _curtain of the South. Nothing _white
_was to be found at Tsalal, and nothing otherwise in the subsequent
voyage to the region beyond. It is not impossible that "Tsalal," the
appellation of the island of the chasms, may be found, upon minute
philological scrutiny, to betray either some alliance with the chasms
themselves, or some reference to the Ethiopian characters so
mysteriously written in their windings.

_"I have graven it within the hills, and my vengeance upon the dust
within the rock."_

~~~ End of text Chapter 25 ~~~


{*1} Whaling vessels are usually fitted with iron oil-tanks- why the
_Grampus_ was not I have never been able to ascertain.

{*2} The case of the brig _Polly_, of Boston, is one so much in
point, and her fate, in many respects, so remarkably similar to our
own, that I cannot forbear alluding to it here. This vessel, of one
hundred and thirty tons burden, sailed from Boston, with a cargo of
lumber and provisions, for Santa Croix, on the twelfth of December,
1811, under the command of Captain Casneau. There were eight souls on
board besides the captain- the mate, four seamen, and the cook,
together with a Mr. Hunt, and a negro girl belonging to him. On the
fifteenth, having cleared the shoal of Georges, she sprung a leak in
a gale of wind from the southeast, and was finally capsized; but, the
masts going by the board, she afterward righted. They remained in
this situation, without fire, and with very little provision, for the
period of one hundred and ninety-one days (from December the
fifteenth to June the twentieth), when Captain Casneau and Samuel
Badger, the only survivors, were taken off the wreck by the Fame, of
Hull, Captain Featherstone, bound home from Rio Janeiro. When picked
up, they were in latitude 28 degrees N., longitude 13 degrees W.,
having drifted above two thousand miles! On the ninth of July the
Fame fell in with the brig Dromero, Captain Perkins, who landed the
two sufferers in Kennebeck. The narrative from which we gather these
details ends in the following words:

"It is natural to inquire how they could float such a vast
distance, upon the most frequented part of the Atlantic, and not be
discovered all this time. They were passed by more than a dozen sail,
one of which came so nigh them that they could distinctly see the
people on deck and on the rigging looking at them; but, to the
inexpressible disappointment of the starving and freezing men, they
stifled the dictates of compassion, hoisted sail, and cruelly
abandoned them to their fate."

{*3} Among the vessels which at various times have professed to meet
with the Auroras may be mentioned the ship San Miguel, in 1769; the
ship Aurora, in 1774; the brig Pearl, in 1779; and the ship Dolores,
in 1790. They all agree in giving the mean latitude fifty-three
degrees south.

{*4} The terms morning and evening, which I have made use of to avoid
confusion in my narrative, as far as possible, must not, of course,
be taken in their ordinary sense. For a long time past we had had no
night at all, the daylight being continual. The dates throughout are
according to nautical time, and the bearing must be understood as per
compass. I would also remark, in this place, that I cannot, in the
first portion of what is here written, pretend to strict accuracy in
respect to dates, or latitudes and longitudes, having kept no regular
journal until after the period of which this first portion treats. In
many instances I have relied altogether upon memory.

{*5} This day was rendered remarkable by our observing in the south
several huge wreaths of the grayish vapour I have spoken of.

{*6} The marl was also black; indeed, we noticed no light colored
substances of any kind upon the island.

{*7}For obvious reasons I cannot pretend to strict accuracy in these
dates. They are given principally with a view to perspicity of
naarrative, and as set down in my pencil memorandum..

~~~~~~ End of Text ~~~~~~ Narrative of A. Gordon Pym



And the will therein lieth, which dieth not. Who knoweth the
mysteries of the will, with its vigor? For God is but a great will
pervading all things by nature of its intentness. Man doth not yield
himself to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the
weakness of his feeble will. --Joseph Glanvill.

I Cannot, for my soul, remember how, when, or even precisely where, I
first became acquainted with the lady Ligeia. Long years have since
elapsed, and my memory is feeble through much suffering. Or, perhaps,
I cannot now bring these points to mind, because, in truth, the
character of my beloved, her rare learning, her singular yet placid
cast of beauty, and the thrilling and enthralling eloquence of her
low musical language, made their way into my heart by paces so
steadily and stealthily progressive that they have been unnoticed and
unknown. Yet I believe that I met her first and most frequently in
some large, old, decaying city near the Rhine. Of her family -- I
have surely heard her speak. That it is of a remotely ancient date
cannot be doubted. Ligeia! Ligeia! in studies of a nature more than
all else adapted to deaden impressions of the outward world, it is by
that sweet word alone -- by Ligeia -- that I bring before mine eyes
in fancy the image of her who is no more. And now, while I write, a
recollection flashes upon me that I have never known the paternal
name of her who was my friend and my betrothed, and who became the
partner of my studies, and finally the wife of my bosom. Was it a
playful charge on the part of my Ligeia? or was it a test of my
strength of affection, that I should institute no inquiries upon this
point? or was it rather a caprice of my own -- a wildly romantic
offering on the shrine of the most passionate devotion? I but
indistinctly recall the fact itself -- what wonder that I have
utterly forgotten the circumstances which originated or attended it?
And, indeed, if ever she, the wan and the misty-winged Ashtophet of
idolatrous Egypt, presided, as they tell, over marriages ill-omened,
then most surely she presided over mine.

There is one dear topic, however, on which my memory falls me not. It
is the person of Ligeia. In stature she was tall, somewhat slender,
and, in her latter days, even emaciated. I would in vain attempt to
portray the majesty, the quiet ease, of her demeanor, or the
incomprehensible lightness and elasticity of her footfall. She came
and departed as a shadow. I was never made aware of her entrance into
my closed study save by the dear music of her low sweet voice, as she
placed her marble hand upon my shoulder. In beauty of face no maiden
ever equalled her. It was the radiance of an opium-dream -- an airy
and spirit-lifting vision more wildly divine than the phantasies
which hovered vision about the slumbering souls of the daughters of
Delos. Yet her features were not of that regular mould which we have
been falsely taught to worship in the classical labors of the
heathen. "There is no exquisite beauty," says Bacon, Lord Verulam,
speaking truly of all the forms and genera of beauty, without some
strangeness in the proportion." Yet, although I saw that the features
of Ligeia were not of a classic regularity -- although I perceived
that her loveliness was indeed "exquisite," and felt that there was
much of "strangeness" pervading it, yet I have tried in vain to
detect the irregularity and to trace home my own perception of "the
strange." I examined the contour of the lofty and pale forehead -- it
was faultless -- how cold indeed that word when applied to a majesty
so divine! -- the skin rivalling the purest ivory, the commanding
extent and repose, the gentle prominence of the regions above the
temples; and then the raven-black, the glossy, the luxuriant and
naturally-curling tresses, setting forth the full force of the
Homeric epithet, "hyacinthine!" I looked at the delicate outlines of
the nose -- and nowhere but in the graceful medallions of the Hebrews
had I beheld a similar perfection. There were the same luxurious
smoothness of surface, the same scarcely perceptible tendency to the
aquiline, the same harmoniously curved nostrils speaking the free
spirit. I regarded the sweet mouth. Here was indeed the triumph of
all things heavenly -- the magnificent turn of the short upper lip --
the soft, voluptuous slumber of the under -- the dimples which
sported, and the color which spoke -- the teeth glancing back, with a
brilliancy almost startling, every ray of the holy light which fell
upon them in her serene and placid, yet most exultingly radiant of
all smiles. I scrutinized the formation of the chin -- and here, too,
I found the gentleness of breadth, the softness and the majesty, the
fullness and the spirituality, of the Greek -- the contour which the
god Apollo revealed but in a dream, to Cleomenes, the son of the
Athenian. And then I peered into the large eves of Ligeia.

For eyes we have no models in the remotely antique. It might have
been, too, that in these eves of my beloved lay the secret to which
Lord Verulam alludes. They were, I must believe, far larger than the
ordinary eyes of our own race. They were even fuller than the fullest
of the gazelle eyes of the tribe of the valley of Nourjahad. Yet it
was only at intervals -- in moments of intense excitement -- that
this peculiarity became more than slightly noticeable in Ligeia. And
at such moments was her beauty -- in my heated fancy thus it appeared
perhaps -- the beauty of beings either above or apart from the earth
-- the beauty of the fabulous Houri of the Turk. The hue of the orbs
was the most brilliant of black, and, far over them, hung jetty
lashes of great length. The brows, slightly irregular in outline, had
the same tint. The "strangeness," however, which I found in the eyes,
was of a nature distinct from the formation, or the color, or the
brilliancy of the features, and must, after all, be referred to the
expression. Ah, word of no meaning! behind whose vast latitude of
mere sound we intrench our ignorance of so much of the spiritual. The
expression of the eyes of Ligeia! How for long hours have I pondered
upon it! How have I, through the whole of a midsummer night,
struggled to fathom it! What was it -- that something more profound
than the well of Democritus -- which lay far within the pupils of my
beloved? What was it? I was possessed with a passion to discover.
Those eyes! those large, those shining, those divine orbs! they
became to me twin stars of Leda, and I to them devoutest of

There is no point, among the many incomprehensible anomalies of the
science of mind, more thrillingly exciting than the fact -- never, I
believe, noticed in the schools -- that, in our endeavors to recall
to memory something long forgotten, we often find ourselves upon the
very verge of remembrance, without being able, in the end, to
remember. And thus how frequently, in my intense scrutiny of Ligeia's
eyes, have I felt approaching the full knowledge of their expression
-- felt it approaching -- yet not quite be mine -- and so at length
entirely depart! And (strange, oh strangest mystery of all!) I found,
in the commonest objects of the universe, a circle of analogies to
theat expression. I mean to say that, subsequently to the period when
Ligeia's beauty passed into my spirit, there dwelling as in a shrine,
I derived, from many existences in the material world, a sentiment
such as I felt always aroused within me by her large and luminous
orbs. Yet not the more could I define that sentiment, or analyze, or
even steadily view it. I recognized it, let me repeat, sometimes in
the survey of a rapidly-growing vine -- in the contemplation of a
moth, a butterfly, a chrysalis, a stream of running water. I have
felt it in the ocean; in the falling of a meteor. I have felt it in
the glances of unusually aged people. And there are one or two stars
in heaven -- (one especially, a star of the sixth magnitude, double
and changeable, to be found near the large star in Lyra) in a
telescopic scrutiny of which I have been made aware of the feeling. I
have been filled with it by certain sounds from stringed instruments,
and not unfrequently by passages from books. Among innumerable other
instances, I well remember something in a volume of Joseph Glanvill,
which (perhaps merely from its quaintness -- who shall say?) never
failed to inspire me with the sentiment; -- "And the will therein
lieth, which dieth not. Who knoweth the mysteries of the will, with
its vigor? For God is but a great will pervading all things by nature
of its intentness. Man doth not yield him to the angels, nor unto
death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will."

Length of years, and subsequent reflection, have enabled me to trace,
indeed, some remote connection between this passage in the English
moralist and a portion of the character of Ligeia. An intensity in
thought, action, or speech, was possibly, in her, a result, or at
least an index, of that gigantic volition which, during our long
intercourse, failed to give other and more immediate evidence of its
existence. Of all the women whom I have ever known, she, the
outwardly calm, the ever-placid Ligeia, was the most violently a prey
to the tumultuous vultures of stern passion. And of such passion I
could form no estimate, save by the miraculous expansion of those
eyes which at once so delighted and appalled me -- by the almost
magical melody, modulation, distinctness and placidity of her very
low voice -- and by the fierce energy (rendered doubly effective by
contrast with her manner of utterance) of the wild words which she
habitually uttered.

I have spoken of the learning of Ligeia: it was immense -- such as I
have never known in woman. In the classical tongues was she deeply
proficient, and as far as my own acquaintance extended in regard to
the modern dialects of Europe, I have never known her at fault.
Indeed upon any theme of the most admired, because simply the most
abstruse of the boasted erudition of the academy, have I ever found
Ligeia at fault? How singularly -- how thrillingly, this one point in
the nature of my wife has forced itself, at this late period only,
upon my attention! I said her knowledge was such as I have never
known in woman -- but where breathes the man who has traversed, and
successfully, all the wide areas of moral, physical, and mathematical
science? I saw not then what I now clearly perceive, that the
acquisitions of Ligeia were gigantic, were astounding; yet I was
sufficiently aware of her infinite supremacy to resign myself, with a
child-like confidence, to her guidance through the chaotic world of
metaphysical investigation at which I was most busily occupied during
the earlier years of our marriage. With how vast a triumph -- with
how vivid a delight -- with how much of all that is ethereal in hope
-- did I feel, as she bent over me in studies but little sought --
but less known -- that delicious vista by slow degrees expanding
before me, down whose long, gorgeous, and all untrodden path, I might
at length pass onward to the goal of a wisdom too divinely precious
not to be forbidden!

How poignant, then, must have been the grief with which, after some
years, I beheld my well-grounded expectations take wings to
themselves and fly away! Without Ligeia I was but as a child groping
benighted. Her presence, her readings alone, rendered vividly
luminous the many mysteries of the transcendentalism in which we were
immersed. Wanting the radiant lustre of her eyes, letters, lambent
and golden, grew duller than Saturnian lead. And now those eyes shone
less and less frequently upon the pages over which I pored. Ligeia
grew ill. The wild eyes blazed with a too -- too glorious effulgence;
the pale fingers became of the transparent waxen hue of the grave,
and the blue veins upon the lofty forehead swelled and sank
impetuously with the tides of the gentle emotion. I saw that she must
die -- and I struggled desperately in spirit with the grim Azrael.
And the struggles of the passionate wife were, to my astonishment,
even more energetic than my own. There had been much in her stern
nature to impress me with the belief that, to her, death would have
come without its terrors; -- but not so. Words are impotent to convey
any just idea of the fierceness of resistance with which she wrestled
with the Shadow. I groaned in anguish at the pitiable spectacle.
would have soothed -- I would have reasoned; but, in the intensity of
her wild desire for life, -- for life -- but for life -- solace and
reason were the uttermost folly. Yet not until the last instance,
amid the most convulsive writhings of her fierce spirit, was shaken
the external placidity of her demeanor. Her voice grew more gentle --
grew more low -- yet I would not wish to dwell upon the wild meaning
of the quietly uttered words. My brain reeled as I hearkened
entranced, to a melody more than mortal -- to assumptions and
aspirations which mortality had never before known.

That she loved me I should not have doubted; and I might have been
easily aware that, in a bosom such as hers, love would have reigned
no ordinary passion. But in death only, was I fully impressed with
the strength of her affection. For long hours, detaining my hand,
would she pour out before me the overflowing of a heart whose more
than passionate devotion amounted to idolatry. How had I deserved to
be so blessed by such confessions? -- how had I deserved to be so
cursed with the removal of my beloved in the hour of her making them,
But upon this subject I cannot bear to dilate. Let me say only, that
in Ligeia's more than womanly abandonment to a love, alas! all
unmerited, all unworthily bestowed, I at length recognized the
principle of her longing with so wildly earnest a desire for the life
which was now fleeing so rapidly away. It is this wild longing -- it
is this eager vehemence of desire for life -- but for life -- that I
have no power to portray -- no utterance capable of expressing.

At high noon of the night in which she departed, beckoning me,
peremptorily, to her side, she bade me repeat certain verses composed
by herself not many days before. I obeyed her. -- They were these:

Lo! 'tis a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly;
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Wo!

That motley drama! -- oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased forever more,
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness and more of Sin
And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout,
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes! -- it writhes! -- with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.

Out -- out are the lights -- out all!
And over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
And the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.

"O God!" half shrieked Ligeia, leaping to her feet and extending her
arms aloft with a spasmodic movement, as I made an end of these lines
-- "O God! O Divine Father! -- shall these things be undeviatingly
so? -- shall this Conqueror be not once conquered? Are we not part
and parcel in Thee? Who -- who knoweth the mysteries of the will with
its vigor? Man doth not yield him to the angels, nor unto death
utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will."

And now, as if exhausted with emotion, she suffered her white arms to
fall, and returned solemnly to her bed of death. And as she breathed
her last sighs, there came mingled with them a low murmur from her
lips. I bent to them my ear and distinguished, again, the concluding
words of the passage in Glanvill -- "Man doth not yield him to the
angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his
feeble will."

She died; -- and I, crushed into the very dust with sorrow, could no
longer endure the lonely desolation of my dwelling in the dim and
decaying city by the Rhine. I had no lack of what the world calls
wealth. Ligeia had brought me far more, very far more than ordinarily
falls to the lot of mortals. After a few months, therefore, of weary
and aimless wandering, I purchased, and put in some repair, an abbey,
which I shall not name, in one of the wildest and least frequented
portions of fair England. The gloomy and dreary grandeur of the
building, the almost savage aspect of the domain, the many melancholy
and time-honored memories connected with both, had much in unison
with the feelings of utter abandonment which had driven me into that
remote and unsocial region of the country. Yet although the external
abbey, with its verdant decay hanging about it, suffered but little
alteration, I gave way, with a child-like perversity, and perchance
with a faint hope of alleviating my sorrows, to a display of more
than regal magnificence within. -- For such follies, even in
childhood, I had imbibed a taste and now they came back to me as if
in the dotage of grief. Alas, I feel how much even of incipient
madness might have been discovered in the gorgeous and fantastic
draperies, in the solemn carvings of Egypt, in the wild cornices and
furniture, in the Bedlam patterns of the carpets of tufted gold! I
had become a bounden slave in the trammels of opium, and my labors
and my orders had taken a coloring from my dreams. But these
absurdities must not pause to detail. Let me speak only of that one
chamber, ever accursed, whither in a moment of mental alienation, I
led from the altar as my bride -- as the successor of the unforgotten
Ligeia -- the fair-haired and blue-eyed Lady Rowena Trevanion, of

There is no individual portion of the architecture and decoration of
that bridal chamber which is not now visibly before me. Where were
the souls of the haughty family of the bride, when, through thirst of
gold, they permitted to pass the threshold of an apartment so
bedecked, a maiden and a daughter so beloved? I have said that I
minutely remember the details of the chamber -- yet I am sadly
forgetful on topics of deep moment -- and here there was no system,
no keeping, in the fantastic display, to take hold upon the memory.
The room lay in a high turret of the castellated abbey, was
pentagonal in shape, and of capacious size. Occupying the whole
southern face of the pentagon was the sole window -- an immense sheet
of unbroken glass from Venice -- a single pane, and tinted of a
leaden hue, so that the rays of either the sun or moon, passing
through it, fell with a ghastly lustre on the objects within. Over
the upper portion of this huge window, extended the trellice-work of
an aged vine, which clambered up the massy walls of the turret. The
ceiling, of gloomy-looking oak, was excessively lofty, vaulted, and
elaborately fretted with the wildest and most grotesque specimens of
a semi-Gothic, semi-Druidical device. From out the most central
recess of this melancholy vaulting, depended, by a single chain of
gold with long links, a huge censer of the same metal, Saracenic in
pattern, and with many perforations so contrived that there writhed
in and out of them, as if endued with a serpent vitality, a continual
succession of parti-colored fires.

Some few ottomans and golden candelabra, of Eastern figure, were in
various stations about -- and there was the couch, too -- bridal
couch -- of an Indian model, and low, and sculptured of solid ebony,
with a pall-like canopy above. In each of the angles of the chamber
stood on end a gigantic sarcophagus of black granite, from the tombs
of the kings over against Luxor, with their aged lids full of
immemorial sculpture. But in the draping of the apartment lay, alas!
the chief phantasy of all. The lofty walls, gigantic in height --
even unproportionably so -- were hung from summit to foot, in vast
folds, with a heavy and massive-looking tapestry -- tapestry of a
material which was found alike as a carpet on the floor, as a
covering for the ottomans and the ebony bed, as a canopy for the bed,
and as the gorgeous volutes of the curtains which partially shaded
the window. The material was the richest cloth of gold. It was
spotted all over, at irregular intervals, with arabesque figures,
about a foot in diameter, and wrought upon the cloth in patterns of
the most jetty black. But these figures partook of the true character
of the arabesque only when regarded from a single point of view. By a
contrivance now common, and indeed traceable to a very remote period
of antiquity, they were made changeable in aspect. To one entering
the room, they bore the appearance of simple monstrosities; but upon
a farther advance, this appearance gradually departed; and step by
step, as the visitor moved his station in the chamber, he saw himself
surrounded by an endless succession of the ghastly forms which belong
to the superstition of the Norman, or arise in the guilty slumbers of
the monk. The phantasmagoric effect was vastly heightened by the
artificial introduction of a strong continual current of wind behind
the draperies -- giving a hideous and uneasy animation to the whole.

In halls such as these -- in a bridal chamber such as this -- I
passed, with the Lady of Tremaine, the unhallowed hours of the first
month of our marriage -- passed them with but little disquietude.
That my wife dreaded the fierce moodiness of my temper -- that she
shunned me and loved me but little -- I could not help perceiving;
but it gave me rather pleasure than otherwise. I loathed her with a
hatred belonging more to demon than to man. My memory flew back, (oh,
with what intensity of regret!) to Ligeia, the beloved, the august,
the beautiful, the entombed. I revelled in recollections of her
purity, of her wisdom, of her lofty, her ethereal nature, of her
passionate, her idolatrous love. Now, then, did my spirit fully and
freely burn with more than all the fires of her own. In the
excitement of my opium dreams (for I was habitually fettered in the
shackles of the drug) I would call aloud upon her name, during the
silence of the night, or among the sheltered recesses of the glens by
day, as if, through the wild eagerness, the solemn passion, the
consuming ardor of my longing for the departed, I could restore her
to the pathway she had abandoned -- ah, could it be forever? -- upon
the earth.

About the commencement of the second month of the marriage, the Lady
Rowena was attacked with sudden illness, from which her recovery was
slow. The fever which consumed her rendered her nights uneasy; and in
her perturbed state of half-slumber, she spoke of sounds, and of
motions, in and about the chamber of the turret, which I concluded
had no origin save in the distemper of her fancy, or perhaps in the
phantasmagoric influences of the chamber itself. She became at length
convalescent -- finally well. Yet but a brief period elapsed, ere a
second more violent disorder again threw her upon a bed of suffering;
and from this attack her frame, at all times feeble, never altogether
recovered. Her illnesses were, after this epoch, of alarming
character, and of more alarming recurrence, defying alike the
knowledge and the great exertions of her physicians. With the
increase of the chronic disease which had thus, apparently, taken too
sure hold upon her constitution to be eradicated by human means, I
could not fall to observe a similar increase in the nervous
irritation of her temperament, and in her excitability by trivial
causes of fear. She spoke again, and now more frequently and
pertinaciously, of the sounds -- of the slight sounds -- and of the
unusual motions among the tapestries, to which she had formerly

One night, near the closing in of September, she pressed this
distressing subject with more than usual emphasis upon my attention.
She had just awakened from an unquiet slumber, and I had been
watching, with feelings half of anxiety, half of vague terror, the
workings of her emaciated countenance. I sat by the side of her ebony
bed, upon one of the ottomans of India. She partly arose, and spoke,
in an earnest low whisper, of sounds which she then heard, but which
I could not hear -- of motions which she then saw, but which I could
not perceive. The wind was rushing hurriedly behind the tapestries,
and I wished to show her (what, let me confess it, I could not all
believe) that those almost inarticulate breathings, and those very
gentle variations of the figures upon the wall, were but the natural
effects of that customary rushing of the wind. But a deadly pallor,
overspreading her face, had proved to me that my exertions to
reassure her would be fruitless. She appeared to be fainting, and no
attendants were within call. I remembered where was deposited a
decanter of light wine which had been ordered by her physicians, and
hastened across the chamber to procure it. But, as I stepped beneath
the light of the censer, two circumstances of a startling nature
attracted my attention. I had felt that some palpable although
invisible object had passed lightly by my person; and I saw that
there lay upon the golden carpet, in the very middle of the rich
lustre thrown from the censer, a shadow -- a faint, indefinite shadow
of angelic aspect -- such as might be fancied for the shadow of a
shade. But I was wild with the excitement of an immoderate dose of
opium, and heeded these things but little, nor spoke of them to
Rowena. Having found the wine, I recrossed the chamber, and poured
out a gobletful, which I held to the lips of the fainting lady. She
had now partially recovered, however, and took the vessel herself,
while I sank upon an ottoman near me, with my eyes fastened upon her
person. It was then that I became distinctly aware of a gentle
footfall upon the carpet, and near the couch; and in a second
thereafter, as Rowena was in the act of raising the wine to her lips,
I saw, or may have dreamed that I saw, fall within the goblet, as if
from some invisible spring in the atmosphere of the room, three or
four large drops of a brilliant and ruby colored fluid. If this I saw
-- not so Rowena. She swallowed the wine unhesitatingly, and I
forbore to speak to her of a circumstance which must, after all, I
considered, have been but the suggestion of a vivid imagination,
rendered morbidly active by the terror of the lady, by the opium, and
by the hour.

Yet I cannot conceal it from my own perception that, immediately
subsequent to the fall of the ruby-drops, a rapid change for the
worse took place in the disorder of my wife; so that, on the third
subsequent night, the hands of her menials prepared her for the tomb,
and on the fourth, I sat alone, with her shrouded body, in that
fantastic chamber which had received her as my bride. -- Wild
visions, opium-engendered, flitted, shadow-like, before me. I gazed
with unquiet eye upon the sarcophagi in the angles of the room, upon
the varying figures of the drapery, and upon the writhing of the
parti-colored fires in the censer overhead. My eyes then fell, as I
called to mind the circumstances of a former night, to the spot
beneath the glare of the censer where I had seen the faint traces of
the shadow. It was there, however, no longer; and breathing with
greater freedom, I turned my glances to the pallid and rigid figure
upon the bed. Then rushed upon me a thousand memories of Ligeia --
and then came back upon my heart, with the turbulent violence of a
flood, the whole of that unutterable wo with which I had regarded her
thus enshrouded. The night waned; and still, with a bosom full of
bitter thoughts of the one only and supremely beloved, I remained
gazing upon the body of Rowena.

It might have been midnight, or perhaps earlier, or later, for I had
taken no note of time, when a sob, low, gentle, but very distinct,
startled me from my revery. -- I felt that it came from the bed of
ebony -- the bed of death. I listened in an agony of superstitious
terror -- but there was no repetition of the sound. I strained my
vision to detect any motion in the corpse -- but there was not the
slightest perceptible. Yet I could not have been deceived. I had
heard the noise, however faint, and my soul was awakened within me. I
resolutely and perseveringly kept my attention riveted upon the body.
Many minutes elapsed before any circumstance occurred tending to
throw light upon the mystery. At length it became evident that a
slight, a very feeble, and barely noticeable tinge of color had
flushed up within the cheeks, and along the sunken small veins of the
eyelids. Through a species of unutterable horror and awe, for which
the language of mortality has no sufficiently energetic expression, I
felt my heart cease to beat, my limbs grow rigid where I sat. Yet a
sense of duty finally operated to restore my self-possession. I could
no longer doubt that we had been precipitate in our preparations --
that Rowena still lived. It was necessary that some immediate
exertion be made; yet turret was altogether apart from the portion of
the abbey tenanted by the servants -- there were none within call --
I had no means of summoning them to my aid without leaving the room
for many minutes -- and this I could not venture to do. I therefore
struggled alone in my endeavors to call back the spirit ill hovering.
In a short period it was certain, however, that a relapse had taken
place; the color disappeared from both eyelid and cheek, leaving a
wanness even more than that of marble; the lips became doubly
shrivelled and pinched up in the ghastly expression of death; a
repulsive clamminess and coldness overspread rapidly the surface of
the body; and all the usual rigorous illness immediately supervened.
I fell back with a shudder upon the couch from which I had been so
startlingly aroused, and again gave myself up to passionate waking
visions of Ligeia.

An hour thus elapsed when (could it be possible?) I was a second time
aware of some vague sound issuing from the region of the bed. I
listened -- in extremity of horror. The sound came again -- it was a
sigh. Rushing to the corpse, I saw -- distinctly saw -- a tremor upon
the lips. In a minute afterward they relaxed, disclosing a bright
line of the pearly teeth. Amazement now struggled in my bosom with
the profound awe which had hitherto reigned there alone. I felt that
my vision grew dim, that my reason wandered; and it was only by a
violent effort that I at length succeeded in nerving myself to the
task which duty thus once more had pointed out. There was now a
partial glow upon the forehead and upon the cheek and throat; a
perceptible warmth pervaded the whole frame; there was even a slight
pulsation at the heart. The lady lived; and with redoubled ardor I
betook myself to the task of restoration. I chafed and bathed the
temples and the hands, and used every exertion which experience, and
no little. medical reading, could suggest. But in vain. Suddenly, the
color fled, the pulsation ceased, the lips resumed the expression of
the dead, and, in an instant afterward, the whole body took upon
itself the icy chilliness, the livid hue, the intense rigidity, the
sunken outline, and all the loathsome peculiarities of that which has
been, for many days, a tenant of the tomb.

And again I sunk into visions of Ligeia -- and again, (what marvel
that I shudder while I write,) again there reached my ears a low sob
from the region of the ebony bed. But why shall I minutely detail the
unspeakable horrors of that night? Why shall I pause to relate how,
time after time, until near the period of the gray dawn, this hideous
drama of revivification was repeated; how each terrific relapse was
only into a sterner and apparently more irredeemable death; how each
agony wore the aspect of a struggle with some invisible foe; and how
each struggle was succeeded by I know not what of wild change in the
personal appearance of the corpse? Let me hurry to a conclusion.

The greater part of the fearful night had worn away, and she who had
been dead, once again stirred -- and now more vigorously than
hitherto, although arousing from a dissolution more appalling in its
utter hopelessness than any. I had long ceased to struggle or to
move, and remained sitting rigidly upon the ottoman, a helpless prey
to a whirl of violent emotions, of which extreme awe was perhaps the
least terrible, the least consuming. The corpse, I repeat, stirred,
and now more vigorously than before. The hues of life flushed up with
unwonted energy into the countenance -- the limbs relaxed -- and,
save that the eyelids were yet pressed heavily together, and that the
bandages and draperies of the grave still imparted their charnel
character to the figure, I might have dreamed that Rowena had indeed
shaken off, utterly, the fetters of Death. But if this idea was not,
even then, altogether adopted, I could at least doubt no longer,
when, arising from the bed, tottering, with feeble steps, with closed
eyes, and with the manner of one bewildered in a dream, the thing
that was enshrouded advanced boldly and palpably into the middle of
the apartment.

I trembled not -- I stirred not -- for a crowd of unutterable fancies
connected with the air, the stature, the demeanor of the figure,
rushing hurriedly through my brain, had paralyzed -- had chilled me
into stone. I stirred not -- but gazed upon the apparition. There was
a mad disorder in my thoughts -- a tumult unappeasable. Could it,
indeed, be the living Rowena who confronted me? Could it indeed be
Rowena at all -- the fair-haired, the blue-eyed Lady Rowena Trevanion
of Tremaine? Why, why should I doubt it? The bandage lay heavily
about the mouth -- but then might it not be the mouth of the
breathing Lady of Tremaine? And the cheeks-there were the roses as in
her noon of life -- yes, these might indeed be the fair cheeks of the
living Lady of Tremaine. And the chin, with its dimples, as in
health, might it not be hers? -- but had she then grown taller since
her malady? What inexpressible madness seized me with that thought?
One bound, and I had reached her feet! Shrinking from my touch, she
let fall from her head, unloosened, the ghastly cerements which had
confined it, and there streamed forth, into the rushing atmosphere of
the chamber, huge masses of long and dishevelled hair; it was blacker
than the raven wings of the midnight! And now slowly opened the eyes
of the figure which stood before me. "Here then, at least," I
shrieked aloud, "can I never -- can I never be mistaken -- these are
the full, and the black, and the wild eyes -- of my lost love -- of
the lady -- of the LADY LIGEIA."

~~~ End of Text ~~~



Itself, by itself, solely, one everlasting, and single.


WITH a feeling of deep yet most singular affection I regarded my
friend Morella. Thrown by accident into her society many years ago,
my soul from our first meeting, burned with fires it had never before
known; but the fires were not of Eros, and bitter and tormenting to
my spirit was the gradual conviction that I could in no manner define
their unusual meaning or regulate their vague intensity. Yet we met;
and fate bound us together at the altar, and I never spoke of passion
nor thought of love. She, however, shunned society, and, attaching
herself to me alone rendered me happy. It is a happiness to wonder;
it is a happiness to dream.

Morella's erudition was profound. As I hope to live, her talents were
of no common order -- her powers of mind were gigantic. I felt this,
and, in many matters, became her pupil. I soon, however, found that,
perhaps on account of her Presburg education, she placed before me a
number of those mystical writings which are usually considered the
mere dross of the early German literature. These, for what reason I
could not imagine, were her favourite and constant study -- and that
in process of time they became my own, should be attributed to the
simple but effectual influence of habit and example.

In all this, if I err not, my reason had little to do. My
convictions, or I forget myself, were in no manner acted upon by the
ideal, nor was any tincture of the mysticism which I read to be
discovered, unless I am greatly mistaken, either in my deeds or in my
thoughts. Persuaded of this, I abandoned myself implicitly to the
guidance of my wife, and entered with an unflinching heart into the
intricacies of her studies. And then -- then, when poring over
forbidden pages, I felt a forbidden spirit enkindling within me --
would Morella place her cold hand upon my own, and rake up from the
ashes of a dead philosophy some low, singular words, whose strange
meaning burned themselves in upon my memory. And then, hour after
hour, would I linger by her side, and dwell upon the music of her
voice, until at length its melody was tainted with terror, and there
fell a shadow upon my soul, and I grew pale, and shuddered inwardly
at those too unearthly tones. And thus, joy suddenly faded into
horror, and the most beautiful became the most hideous, as Hinnon
became Ge-Henna.

It is unnecessary to state the exact character of those disquisitions
which, growing out of the volumes I have mentioned, formed, for so
long a time, almost the sole conversation of Morella and myself. By
the learned in what might be termed theological morality they will be
readily conceived, and by the unlearned they would, at all events, be
little understood. The wild Pantheism of Fichte; the modified
Paliggenedia of the Pythagoreans; and, above all, the doctrines of
Identity as urged by Schelling, were generally the points of
discussion presenting the most of beauty to the imaginative Morella.
That identity which is termed personal, Mr. Locke, I think, truly
defines to consist in the saneness of rational being. And since by
person we understand an intelligent essence having reason, and since
there is a consciousness which always accompanies thinking, it is
this which makes us all to be that which we call ourselves, thereby
distinguishing us from other beings that think, and giving us our
personal identity. But the principium indivduationis, the notion of
that identity which at death is or is not lost for ever, was to me,
at all times, a consideration of intense interest; not more from the
perplexing and exciting nature of its consequences, than from the
marked and agitated manner in which Morella mentioned them.

But, indeed, the time had now arrived when the mystery of my wife's
manner oppressed me as a spell. I could no longer bear the touch of
her wan fingers, nor the low tone of her musical language, nor the
lustre of her melancholy eyes. And she knew all this, but did not
upbraid; she seemed conscious of my weakness or my folly, and,
smiling, called it fate. She seemed also conscious of a cause, to me
unknown, for the gradual alienation of my regard; but she gave me no
hint or token of its nature. Yet was she woman, and pined away daily.
In time the crimson spot settled steadily upon the cheek, and the
blue veins upon the pale forehead became prominent; and one instant
my nature melted into pity, but in, next I met the glance of her
meaning eyes, and then my soul sickened and became giddy with the
giddiness of one who gazes downward into some dreary and unfathomable

Shall I then say that I longed with an earnest and consuming desire
for the moment of Morella's decease? I did; but the fragile spirit
clung to its tenement of clay for many days, for many weeks and
irksome months, until my tortured nerves obtained the mastery over my
mind, and I grew furious through delay, and, with the heart of a
fiend, cursed the days and the hours and the bitter moments, which
seemed to lengthen and lengthen as her gentle life declined, like
shadows in the dying of the day.

But one autumnal evening, when the winds lay still in heaven, Morella
called me to her bedside. There was a dim mist over all the earth,
and a warm glow upon the waters, and amid the rich October leaves of
the forest, a rainbow from the firmament had surely fallen.

"It is a day of days," she said, as I approached; "a day of all days
either to live or die. It is a fair day for the sons of earth and
life -- ah, more fair for the daughters of heaven and death!"

I kissed her forehead, and she continued:

"I am dying, yet shall I live."


"The days have never been when thou couldst love me -- but her whom
in life thou didst abhor, in death thou shalt adore."


"I repeat I am dying. But within me is a pledge of that affection --
ah, how little! -- which thou didst feel for me, Morella. And when my
spirit departs shall the child live -- thy child and mine, Morella's.
But thy days shall be days of sorrow -- that sorrow which is the most
lasting of impressions, as the cypress is the most enduring of trees.
For the hours of thy happiness are over and joy is not gathered twice
in a life, as the roses of Paestum twice in a year. Thou shalt no
longer, then, play the Teian with time, but, being ignorant of the
myrtle and the vine, thou shalt bear about with thee thy shroud on
the earth, as do the Moslemin at Mecca."

"Morella!" I cried, "Morella! how knowest thou this?" but she turned
away her face upon the pillow and a slight tremor coming over her
limbs, she thus died, and I heard her voice no more.

Yet, as she had foretold, her child, to which in dying she had given
birth, which breathed not until the mother breathed no more, her
child, a daughter, lived. And she grew strangely in stature and
intellect, and was the perfect resemblance of her who had departed,
and I loved her with a love more fervent than I had believed it
possible to feel for any denizen of earth.

But, ere long the heaven of this pure affection became darkened, and
gloom, and horror, and grief swept over it in clouds. I said the
child grew strangely in stature and intelligence. Strange, indeed,
was her rapid increase in bodily size, but terrible, oh! terrible
were the tumultuous thoughts which crowded upon me while watching the
development of her mental being. Could it be otherwise, when I daily
discovered in the conceptions of the child the adult powers and
faculties of the woman? when the lessons of experience fell from the
lips of infancy? and when the wisdom or the passions of maturity I
found hourly gleaming from its full and speculative eye? When, I say,
all this beeame evident to my appalled senses, when I could no longer
hide it from my soul, nor throw it off from those perceptions which
trembled to receive it, is it to be wondered at that suspicions, of a
nature fearful and exciting, crept in upon my spirit, or that my
thoughts fell back aghast upon the wild tales and thrilling theories
of the entombed Morella? I snatched from the scrutiny of the world a
being whom destiny compelled me to adore, and in the rigorous
seclusion of my home, watched with an agonizing anxiety over all
which concerned the beloved.

And as years rolled away, and I gazed day after day upon her holy,
and mild, and eloquent face, and poured over her maturing form, day
after day did I discover new points of resemblance in the child to
her mother, the melancholy and the dead. And hourly grew darker these
shadows of similitude, and more full, and more definite, and more
perplexing, and more hideously terrible in their aspect. For that her
smile was like her mother's I could bear; but then I shuddered at its
too perfect identity, that her eyes were like Morella's I could
endure; but then they, too, often looked down into the depths of my
soul with Morella's own intense and bewildering meaning. And in the
contour of the high forehead, and in the ringlets of the silken hair,
and in the wan fingers which buried themselves therein, and in the
sad musical tones of her speech, and above all -- oh, above all, in
the phrases and expressions of the dead on the lips of the loved and
the living, I found food for consuming thought and horror, for a worm
that would not die.

Thus passed away two lustra of her life, and as yet my daughter
remained nameless upon the earth. "My child," and "my love," were the
designations usually prompted by a father's affection, and the rigid
seclusion of her days precluded all other intercourse. Morella's name
died with her at her death. Of the mother I had never spoken to the
daughter, it was impossible to speak. Indeed, during the brief period
of her existence, the latter had received no impressions from the
outward world, save such as might have been afforded by the narrow
limits of her privacy. But at length the ceremony of baptism
presented to my mind, in its unnerved and agitated condition, a
present deliverance from the terrors of my destiny. And at the
baptismal font I hesitated for a name. And many titles of the wise
and beautiful, of old and modern times, of my own and foreign lands,
came thronging to my lips, with many, many fair titles of the gentle,
and the happy, and the good. What prompted me then to disturb the
memory of the buried dead? What demon urged me to breathe that sound,
which in its very recollection was wont to make ebb the purple blood
in torrents from the temples to the heart? What fiend spoke from the
recesses of my soul, when amid those dim aisles, and in the silence
of the night, I whispered within the ears of the holy man the
syllables -- Morella? What more than fiend convulsed the features of
my child, and overspread them with hues of death, as starting at that
scarcely audible sound, she turned her glassy eyes from the earth to
heaven, and falling prostrate on the black slabs of our ancestral
vault, responded -- "I am here!"

Distinct, coldly, calmly distinct, fell those few simple sounds
within my ear, and thence like molten lead rolled hissingly into my
brain. Years -- years may pass away, but the memory of that epoch
never. Nor was I indeed ignorant of the flowers and the vine -- but
the hemlock and the cypress overshadowed me night and day. And I kept
no reckoning of time or place, and the stars of my fate faded from
heaven, and therefore the earth grew dark, and its figures passed by
me like flitting shadows, and among them all I beheld only --
Morella. The winds of the firmament breathed but one sound within my
ears, and the ripples upon the sea murmured evermore -- Morella. But
she died; and with my own hands I bore her to the tomb; and I laughed
with a long and bitter laugh as I found no traces of the first in the
channel where I laid the second. -- Morella.

~~~ End of Text ~~~



DURING the fall of the year 1827, while residing near
Charlottesville, Virginia, I casually made the acquaintance of Mr.
Augustus Bedloe. This young gentleman was remarkable in every
respect, and excited in me a profound interest and curiosity. I found
it impossible to comprehend him either in his moral or his physical
relations. Of his family I could obtain no satisfactory account.
Whence he came, I never ascertained. Even about his age -- although I
call him a young gentleman -- there was something which perplexed me
in no little degree. He certainly seemed young -- and he made a point
of speaking about his youth -- yet there were moments when I should
have had little trouble in imagining him a hundred years of age. But
in no regard was he more peculiar than in his personal appearance. He
was singularly tall and thin. He stooped much. His limbs were
exceedingly long and emaciated. His forehead was broad and low. His
complexion was absolutely bloodless. His mouth was large and
flexible, and his teeth were more wildly uneven, although sound, than
I had ever before seen teeth in a human head. The expression of his
smile, however, was by no means unpleasing, as might be supposed; but
it had no variation whatever. It was one of profound melancholy -- of
a phaseless and unceasing gloom. His eyes were abnormally large, and
round like those of a cat. The pupils, too, upon any accession or
diminution of light, underwent contraction or dilation, just such as
is observed in the feline tribe. In moments of excitement the orbs
grew bright to a degree almost inconceivable; seeming to emit
luminous rays, not of a reflected but of an intrinsic lustre, as does
a candle or the sun; yet their ordinary condition was so totally
vapid, filmy, and dull as to convey the idea of the eyes of a
long-interred corpse.

These peculiarities of person appeared to cause him much annoyance,
and he was continually alluding to them in a sort of half
explanatory, half apologetic strain, which, when I first heard it,
impressed me very painfully. I soon, however, grew accustomed to it,
and my uneasiness wore off. It seemed to be his design rather to
insinuate than directly to assert that, physically, he had not always
been what he was -- that a long series of neuralgic attacks had
reduced him from a condition of more than usual personal beauty, to
that which I saw. For many years past he had been attended by a
physician, named Templeton -- an old gentleman, perhaps seventy years
of age -- whom he had first encountered at Saratoga, and from whose
attention, while there, he either received, or fancied that he
received, great benefit. The result was that Bedloe, who was wealthy,
had made an arrangement with Dr. Templeton, by which the latter, in
consideration of a liberal annual allowance, had consented to devote
his time and medical experience exclusively to the care of the

Doctor Templeton had been a traveller in his younger days, and at
Paris had become a convert, in great measure, to the doctrines of
Mesmer. It was altogether by means of magnetic remedies that he had
succeeded in alleviating the acute pains of his patient; and this
success had very naturally inspired the latter with a certain degree
of confidence in the opinions from which the remedies had been
educed. The Doctor, however, like all enthusiasts, had struggled hard
to make a thorough convert of his pupil, and finally so far gained
his point as to induce the sufferer to submit to numerous
experiments. By a frequent repetition of these, a result had arisen,
which of late days has become so common as to attract little or no
attention, but which, at the period of which I write, had very rarely
been known in America. I mean to say, that between Doctor Templeton
and Bedloe there had grown up, little by little, a very distinct and
strongly marked rapport, or magnetic relation. I am not prepared to
assert, however, that this rapport extended beyond the limits of the
simple sleep-producing power, but this power itself had attained
great intensity. At the first attempt to induce the magnetic
somnolency, the mesmerist entirely failed. In the fifth or sixth he
succeeded very partially, and after long continued effort. Only at
the twelfth was the triumph complete. After this the will of the
patient succumbed rapidly to that of the physician, so that, when I
first became acquainted with the two, sleep was brought about almost
instantaneously by the mere volition of the operator, even when the
invalid was unaware of his presence. It is only now, in the year
1845, when similar miracles are witnessed daily by thousands, that I
dare venture to record this apparent impossibility as a matter of
serious fact.

The temperature of Bedloe was, in the highest degree sensitive,
excitable, enthusiastic. His imagination was singularly vigorous and
creative; and no doubt it derived additional force from the habitual
use of morphine, which he swallowed in great quantity, and without
which he would have found it impossible to exist. It was his practice
to take a very large dose of it immediately after breakfast each
morning -- or, rather, immediately after a cup of strong coffee, for
he ate nothing in the forenoon -- and then set forth alone, or
attended only by a dog, upon a long ramble among the chain of wild
and dreary hills that lie westward and southward of Charlottesville,
and are there dignified by the title of the Ragged Mountains.

Upon a dim, warm, misty day, toward the close of November, and during
the strange interregnum of the seasons which in America is termed the
Indian Summer, Mr. Bedloe departed as usual for the hills. The day
passed, and still he did not return.

About eight o'clock at night, having become seriously alarmed at his
protracted absence, we were about setting out in search of him, when
he unexpectedly made his appearance, in health no worse than usual,
and in rather more than ordinary spirits. The account which he gave
of his expedition, and of the events which had detained him, was a
singular one indeed.

"You will remember," said he, "that it was about nine in the morning
when I left Charlottesville. I bent my steps immediately to the
mountains, and, about ten, entered a gorge which was entirely new to
me. I followed the windings of this pass with much interest. The
scenery which presented itself on all sides, although scarcely
entitled to be called grand, had about it an indescribable and to me
a delicious aspect of dreary desolation. The solitude seemed
absolutely virgin. I could not help believing that the green sods and
the gray rocks upon which I trod had been trodden never before by the
foot of a human being. So entirely secluded, and in fact
inaccessible, except through a series of accidents, is the entrance
of the ravine, that it is by no means impossible that I was indeed
the first adventurer -- the very first and sole adventurer who had
ever penetrated its recesses.

"The thick and peculiar mist, or smoke, which distinguishes the
Indian Summer, and which now hung heavily over all objects, served,
no doubt, to deepen the vague impressions which these objects
created. So dense was this pleasant fog that I could at no time see
more than a dozen yards of the path before me. This path was
excessively sinuous, and as the sun could not be seen, I soon lost
all idea of the direction in which I journeyed. In the meantime the
morphine had its customary effect -- that of enduing all the external
world with an intensity of interest. In the quivering of a leaf -- in
the hue of a blade of grass -- in the shape of a trefoil -- in the
humming of a bee -- in the gleaming of a dew-drop -- in the breathing
of the wind -- in the faint odors that came from the forest -- there
came a whole universe of suggestion -- a gay and motley train of
rhapsodical and immethodical thought.

"Busied in this, I walked on for several hours, during which the mist
deepened around me to so great an extent that at length I was reduced
to an absolute groping of the way. And now an indescribable
uneasiness possessed me -- a species of nervous hesitation and
tremor. I feared to tread, lest I should be precipitated into some
abyss. I remembered, too, strange stories told about these Ragged
Hills, and of the uncouth and fierce races of men who tenanted their
groves and caverns. A thousand vague fancies oppressed and
disconcerted me- fancies the more distressing because vague. Very
suddenly my attention was arrested by the loud beating of a drum.

"My amazement was, of course, extreme. A drum in these hills was a
thing unknown. I could not have been more surprised at the sound of
the trump of the Archangel. But a new and still more astounding
source of interest and perplexity arose. There came a wild rattling
or jingling sound, as if of a bunch of large keys, and upon the
instant a dusky-visaged and half-naked man rushed past me with a
shriek. He came so close to my person that I felt his hot breath upon
my face. He bore in one hand an instrument composed of an assemblage
of steel rings, and shook them vigorously as he ran. Scarcely had he
disappeared in the mist before, panting after him, with open mouth
and glaring eyes, there darted a huge beast. I could not be mistaken
in its character. It was a hyena.

"The sight of this monster rather relieved than heightened my terrors
-- for I now made sure that I dreamed, and endeavored to arouse
myself to waking consciousness. I stepped boldly and briskly forward.
I rubbed my eyes. I called aloud. I pinched my limbs. A small spring
of water presented itself to my view, and here, stooping, I bathed my
hands and my head and neck. This seemed to dissipate the equivocal
sensations which had hitherto annoyed me. I arose, as I thought, a
new man, and proceeded steadily and complacently on my unknown way.

"At length, quite overcome by exertion, and by a certain oppressive
closeness of the atmosphere, I seated myself beneath a tree.
Presently there came a feeble gleam of sunshine, and the shadow of
the leaves of the tree fell faintly but definitely upon the grass. At
this shadow I gazed wonderingly for many minutes. Its character
stupefied me with astonishment. I looked upward. The tree was a palm.

"I now arose hurriedly, and in a state of fearful agitation -- for
the fancy that I dreamed would serve me no longer. I saw -- I felt
that I had perfect command of my senses -- and these senses now
brought to my soul a world of novel and singular sensation. The heat
became all at once intolerable. A strange odor loaded the breeze. A
low, continuous murmur, like that arising from a full, but gently
flowing river, came to my ears, intermingled with the peculiar hum of
multitudinous human voices.

"While I listened in an extremity of astonishment which I need not
attempt to describe, a strong and brief gust of wind bore off the
incumbent fog as if by the wand of an enchanter.

"I found myself at the foot of a high mountain, and looking down into
a vast plain, through which wound a majestic river. On the margin of
this river stood an Eastern-looking city, such as we read of in the
Arabian Tales, but of a character even more singular than any there
described. From my position, which was far above the level of the
town, I could perceive its every nook and corner, as if delineated on
a map. The streets seemed innumerable, and crossed each other
irregularly in all directions, but were rather long winding alleys
than streets, and absolutely swarmed with inhabitants. The houses
were wildly picturesque. On every hand was a wilderness of balconies,
of verandas, of minarets, of shrines, and fantastically carved
oriels. Bazaars abounded; and in these were displayed rich wares in
infinite variety and profusion -- silks, muslins, the most dazzling
cutlery, the most magnificent jewels and gems. Besides these things,
were seen, on all sides, banners and palanquins, litters with stately
dames close veiled, elephants gorgeously caparisoned, idols
grotesquely hewn, drums, banners, and gongs, spears, silver and
gilded maces. And amid the crowd, and the clamor, and the general
intricacy and confusion- amid the million of black and yellow men,
turbaned and robed, and of flowing beard, there roamed a countless
multitude of holy filleted bulls, while vast legions of the filthy
but sacred ape clambered, chattering and shrieking, about the
cornices of the mosques, or clung to the minarets and oriels. From
the swarming streets to the banks of the river, there descended
innumerable flights of steps leading to bathing places, while the
river itself seemed to force a passage with difficulty through the
vast fleets of deeply -- burthened ships that far and wide
encountered its surface. Beyond the limits of the city arose, in
frequent majestic groups, the palm and the cocoa, with other gigantic
and weird trees of vast age, and here and there might be seen a field
of rice, the thatched hut of a peasant, a tank, a stray temple, a
gypsy camp, or a solitary graceful maiden taking her way, with a
pitcher upon her head, to the banks of the magnificent river.

"You will say now, of course, that I dreamed; but not so. What I saw
-- what I heard -- what I felt -- what I thought -- had about it
nothing of the unmistakable idiosyncrasy of the dream. All was
rigorously self-consistent. At first, doubting that I was really
awake, I entered into a series of tests, which soon convinced me that
I really was. Now, when one dreams, and, in the dream, suspects that
he dreams, the suspicion never fails to confirm itself, and the
sleeper is almost immediately aroused. Thus Novalis errs not in
saying that 'we are near waking when we dream that we dream.' Had the
vision occurred to me as I describe it, without my suspecting it as a
dream, then a dream it might absolutely have been, but, occurring as
it did, and suspected and tested as it was, I am forced to class it
among other phenomena."

"In this I am not sure that you are wrong," observed Dr. Templeton,
"but proceed. You arose and descended into the city."

"I arose," continued Bedloe, regarding the Doctor with an air of
profound astonishment "I arose, as you say, and descended into the
city. On my way I fell in with an immense populace, crowding through
every avenue, all in the same direction, and exhibiting in every
action the wildest excitement. Very suddenly, and by some
inconceivable impulse, I became intensely imbued with personal
interest in what was going on. I seemed to feel that I had an
important part to play, without exactly understanding what it was.
Against the crowd which environed me, however, I experienced a deep
sentiment of animosity. I shrank from amid them, and, swiftly, by a
circuitous path, reached and entered the city. Here all was the
wildest tumult and contention. A small party of men, clad in garments
half-Indian, half-European, and officered by gentlemen in a uniform
partly British, were engaged, at great odds, with the swarming rabble
of the alleys. I joined the weaker party, arming myself with the
weapons of a fallen officer, and fighting I knew not whom with the
nervous ferocity of despair. We were soon overpowered by numbers, and
driven to seek refuge in a species of kiosk. Here we barricaded
ourselves, and, for the present were secure. From a loop-hole near
the summit of the kiosk, I perceived a vast crowd, in furious
agitation, surrounding and assaulting a gay palace that overhung the
river. Presently, from an upper window of this place, there descended
an effeminate-looking person, by means of a string made of the
turbans of his attendants. A boat was at hand, in which he escaped to
the opposite bank of the river.

"And now a new object took possession of my soul. I spoke a few
hurried but energetic words to my companions, and, having succeeded
in gaining over a few of them to my purpose made a frantic sally from
the kiosk. We rushed amid the crowd that surrounded it. They
retreated, at first, before us. They rallied, fought madly, and
retreated again. In the mean time we were borne far from the kiosk,
and became bewildered and entangled among the narrow streets of tall,
overhanging houses, into the recesses of which the sun had never been
able to shine. The rabble pressed impetuously upon us, harrassing us
with their spears, and overwhelming us with flights of arrows. These
latter were very remarkable, and resembled in some respects the
writhing creese of the Malay. They were made to imitate the body of a
creeping serpent, and were long and black, with a poisoned barb. One
of them struck me upon the right temple. I reeled and fell. An
instantaneous and dreadful sickness seized me. I struggled -- I
gasped -- I died." "You will hardly persist now," said I smiling,
"that the whole of your adventure was not a dream. You are not
prepared to maintain that you are dead?"

When I said these words, I of course expected some lively sally from
Bedloe in reply, but, to my astonishment, he hesitated, trembled,
became fearfully pallid, and remained silent. I looked toward
Templeton. He sat erect and rigid in his chair -- his teeth
chattered, and his eyes were starting from their sockets. "Proceed!"
he at length said hoarsely to Bedloe.

"For many minutes," continued the latter, "my sole sentiment -- my
sole feeling -- was that of darkness and nonentity, with the
consciousness of death. At length there seemed to pass a violent and
sudden shock through my soul, as if of electricity. With it came the
sense of elasticity and of light. This latter I felt -- not saw. In
an instant I seemed to rise from the ground. But I had no bodily, no
visible, audible, or palpable presence. The crowd had departed. The
tumult had ceased. The city was in comparative repose. Beneath me lay
my corpse, with the arrow in my temple, the whole head greatly
swollen and disfigured. But all these things I felt -- not saw. I
took interest in nothing. Even the corpse seemed a matter in which I
had no concern. Volition I had none, but appeared to be impelled into
motion, and flitted buoyantly out of the city, retracing the
circuitous path by which I had entered it. When I had attained that
point of the ravine in the mountains at which I had encountered the
hyena, I again experienced a shock as of a galvanic battery, the
sense of weight, of volition, of substance, returned. I became my
original self, and bent my steps eagerly homeward -- but the past had
not lost the vividness of the real -- and not now, even for an
instant, can I compel my understanding to regard it as a dream."

"Nor was it," said Templeton, with an air of deep solemnity, "yet it
would be difficult to say how otherwise it should be termed. Let us
suppose only, that the soul of the man of to-day is upon the verge of
some stupendous psychal discoveries. Let us content ourselves with
this supposition. For the rest I have some explanation to make. Here
is a watercolor drawing, which I should have shown you before, but
which an unaccountable sentiment of horror has hitherto prevented me
from showing."

We looked at the picture which he presented. I saw nothing in it of
an extraordinary character, but its effect upon Bedloe was
prodigious. He nearly fainted as he gazed. And yet it was but a
miniature portrait -- a miraculously accurate one, to be sure -- of
his own very remarkable features. At least this was my thought as I
regarded it.

"You will perceive," said Templeton, "the date of this picture -- it
is here, scarcely visible, in this corner -- 1780. In this year was
the portrait taken. It is the likeness of a dead friend -- a Mr.
Oldeb -- to whom I became much attached at Calcutta, during the
administration of Warren Hastings. I was then only twenty years old.
When I first saw you, Mr. Bedloe, at Saratoga, it was the miraculous
similarity which existed between yourself and the painting which
induced me to accost you, to seek your friendship, and to bring about
those arrangements which resulted in my becoming your constant
companion. In accomplishing this point, I was urged partly, and
perhaps principally, by a regretful memory of the deceased, but also,
in part, by an uneasy, and not altogether horrorless curiosity
respecting yourself.

"In your detail of the vision which presented itself to you amid the
hills, you have described, with the minutest accuracy, the Indian
city of Benares, upon the Holy River. The riots, the combat, the
massacre, were the actual events of the insurrection of Cheyte Sing,
which took place in 1780, when Hastings was put in imminent peril of
his life. The man escaping by the string of turbans was Cheyte Sing
himself. The party in the kiosk were sepoys and British officers,
headed by Hastings. Of this party I was one, and did all I could to
prevent the rash and fatal sally of the officer who fell, in the
crowded alleys, by the poisoned arrow of a Bengalee. That officer was
my dearest friend. It was Oldeb. You will perceive by these
manuscripts," (here the speaker produced a note-book in which several
pages appeared to have been freshly written,) "that at the very
period in which you fancied these things amid the hills, I was
engaged in detailing them upon paper here at home."

In about a week after this conversation, the following paragraphs
appeared in a Charlottesville paper:

"We have the painful duty of announcing the death of Mr. Augustus
Bedlo, a gentleman whose amiable manners and many virtues have long
endeared him to the citizens of Charlottesville.

"Mr. B., for some years past, has been subject to neuralgia, which
has often threatened to terminate fatally; but this can be regarded
only as the mediate cause of his decease. The proximate cause was one
of especial singularity. In an excursion to the Ragged Mountains, a
few days since, a slight cold and fever were contracted, attended
with great determination of blood to the head. To relieve this, Dr.
Templeton resorted to topical bleeding. Leeches were applied to the
temples. In a fearfully brief period the patient died, when it
appeared that in the jar containing the leeches, had been introduced,
by accident, one of the venomous vermicular sangsues which are now
and then found in the neighboring ponds. This creature fastened
itself upon a small artery in the right temple. Its close resemblance
to the medicinal leech caused the mistake to be overlooked until too

"N. B. The poisonous sangsue of Charlottesville may always be
distinguished from the medicinal leech by its blackness, and
especially by its writhing or vermicular motions, which very nearly
resemble those of a snake."

I was speaking with the editor of the paper in question, upon the
topic of this remarkable accident, when it occurred to me to ask how
it happened that the name of the deceased had been given as Bedlo.

"I presume," I said, "you have authority for this spelling, but I
have always supposed the name to be written with an e at the end."

"Authority? -- no," he replied. "It is a mere typographical error.
The name is Bedlo with an e, all the world over, and I never knew it
to be spelt otherwise in my life."

"Then," said I mutteringly, as I turned upon my heel, "then indeed
has it come to pass that one truth is stranger than any fiction --
for Bedloe, without the e, what is it but Oldeb conversed! And this
man tells me that it is a typographical error."

~~~ End of Text ~~~



MANY years ago, it was the fashion to ridicule the idea of "love at
first sight;" but those who think, not less than those who feel
deeply, have always advocated its existence. Modern discoveries,
indeed, in what may be termed ethical magnetism or magnetoesthetics,
render it probable that the most natural, and, consequently, the
truest and most intense of the human affections are those which arise
in the heart as if by electric sympathy -- in a word, that the
brightest and most enduring of the psychal fetters are those which
are riveted by a glance. The confession I am about to make will add
another to the already almost innumerable instances of the truth of
the position.

My story requires that I should be somewhat minute. I am still a very
young man -- not yet twenty-two years of age. My name, at present, is
a very usual and rather plebeian one -- Simpson. I say "at present;"
for it is only lately that I have been so called -- having
legislatively adopted this surname within the last year in order to
receive a large inheritance left me by a distant male relative,
Adolphus Simpson, Esq. The bequest was conditioned upon my taking the
name of the testator, -- the family, not the Christian name; my
Christian name is Napoleon Bonaparte -- or, more properly, these are
my first and middle appellations.

I assumed the name, Simpson, with some reluctance, as in my true
patronym, Froissart, I felt a very pardonable pride -- believing that
I could trace a descent from the immortal author of the "Chronicles."
While on the subject of names, by the bye, I may mention a singular
coincidence of sound attending the names of some of my immediate
predecessors. My father was a Monsieur Froissart, of Paris. His wife
-- my mother, whom he married at fifteen -- was a Mademoiselle
Croissart, eldest daughter of Croissart the banker, whose wife,
again, being only sixteen when married, was the eldest daughter of
one Victor Voissart. Monsieur Voissart, very singularly, had married
a lady of similar name -- a Mademoiselle Moissart. She, too, was
quite a child when married; and her mother, also, Madame Moissart,
was only fourteen when led to the altar. These early marriages are
usual in France. Here, however, are Moissart, Voissart, Croissart,
and Froissart, all in the direct line of descent. My own name,
though, as I say, became Simpson, by act of Legislature, and with so
much repugnance on my part, that, at one period, I actually hesitated
about accepting the legacy with the useless and annoying proviso

As to personal endowments, I am by no means deficient. On the
contrary, I believe that I am well made, and possess what nine tenths
of the world would call a handsome face. In height I am five feet
eleven. My hair is black and curling. My nose is sufficiently good.
My eyes are large and gray; and although, in fact they are weak a
very inconvenient degree, still no defect in this regard would be
suspected from their appearance. The weakness itself, however, has
always much annoyed me, and I have resorted to every remedy -- short
of wearing glasses. Being youthful and good-looking, I naturally
dislike these, and have resolutely refused to employ them. I know
nothing, indeed, which so disfigures the countenance of a young
person, or so impresses every feature with an air of demureness, if
not altogether of sanctimoniousness and of age. An eyeglass, on the
other hand, has a savor of downright foppery and affectation. I have
hitherto managed as well as I could without either. But something too
much of these merely personal details, which, after all, are of
little importance. I will content myself with saying, in addition,
that my temperament is sanguine, rash, ardent, enthusiastic -- and
that all my life I have been a devoted admirer of the women.

One night last winter I entered a box at the P- -- Theatre, in
company with a friend, Mr. Talbot. It was an opera night, and the
bills presented a very rare attraction, so that the house was
excessively crowded. We were in time, however, to obtain the front
seats which had been reserved for us, and into which, with some
little difficulty, we elbowed our way.

For two hours my companion, who was a musical fanatico, gave his
undivided attention to the stage; and, in the meantime, I amused
myself by observing the audience, which consisted, in chief part, of
the very elite of the city. Having satisfied myself upon this point,
I was about turning my eyes to the prima donna, when they were
arrested and riveted by a figure in one of the private boxes which
had escaped my observation.

If I live a thousand years, I can never forget the intense emotion
with which I regarded this figure. It was that of a female, the most
exquisite I had ever beheld. The face was so far turned toward the
stage that, for some minutes, I could not obtain a view of it -- but
the form was divine; no other word can sufficiently express its
magnificent proportion -- and even the term "divine" seems
ridiculously feeble as I write it.

The magic of a lovely form in woman -- the necromancy of female
gracefulness -- was always a power which I had found it impossible to
resist, but here was grace personified, incarnate, the beau ideal of
my wildest and most enthusiastic visions. The figure, almost all of
which the construction of the box permitted to be seen, was somewhat
above the medium height, and nearly approached, without positively
reaching, the majestic. Its perfect fullness and tournure were
delicious. The head of which only the back was visible, rivalled in
outline that of the Greek Psyche, and was rather displayed than
concealed by an elegant cap of gaze aerienne, which put me in mind of
the ventum textilem of Apuleius. The right arm hung over the
balustrade of the box, and thrilled every nerve of my frame with its
exquisite symmetry. Its upper portion was draperied by one of the
loose open sleeves now in fashion. This extended but little below the
elbow. Beneath it was worn an under one of some frail material,
close-fitting, and terminated by a cuff of rich lace, which fell
gracefully over the top of the hand, revealing only the delicate
fingers, upon one of which sparkled a diamond ring, which I at once
saw was of extraordinary value. The admirable roundness of the wrist
was well set off by a bracelet which encircled it, and which also was
ornamented and clasped by a magnificent aigrette of jewels-telling,
in words that could not be mistaken, at once of the wealth and
fastidious taste of the wearer.

I gazed at this queenly apparition for at least half an hour, as if I
had been suddenly converted to stone; and, during this period, I felt
the full force and truth of all that has been said or sung concerning
"love at first sight." My feelings were totally different from any
which I had hitherto experienced, in the presence of even the most
celebrated specimens of female loveliness. An unaccountable, and what
I am compelled to consider a magnetic, sympathy of soul for soul,

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