Globalization Poverty Development Sustainability
It seems to me that imagination and reasoning have reached magnificent heights with some writers, especially poets. Among them, I strongly believe, the highest ever was Edgar Allan Poe. With Baudelaire I state that "le poete est souverainement intelligent, qu'il est l'intelligence par excellence, -et que l'imagination est la plus scientifique des facultes, parce que seule elle comprend l'analogie universelle...". One of those poets was Edgar Allan Poe. I reproduce here "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe" as a gesture against what Baudelaire called "la ferocite de l'hypocrisie bourgeoise", and what I personally call mediocrity, imbecility, and comprehensive intellectual dishonesty, all of which is presented as "realistic thinking". And, as we know, contemporary development studies are full of  "realistic thinking". So, let us learn something from Edgar Allan Poe!.  (Róbinson Rojas)
The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe V. 1
Volume 1 of the Raven Edition  #6 in our series by Edgar Allan Poe

VOLUME II  Contents
The Purloined Letter
The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherezade
A Descent into the Maelström
Von Kempelen and his Discovery
Mesmeric Revelation
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
The Black Cat
The Fall of the House of Usher
Silence -- a Fable
The Masque of the Red Death
The Cask of Amontillado
The Imp of the Perverse
The Island of the Fay
The Assignation
The Pit and the Pendulum
The Premature Burial
The Domain of Arnheim
Landor's Cottage
William Wilson
The Tell-Tale Heart
Eleonora                                       BACK TO MAIN INDEX
A Pendant to "The Domain of Arnheim"
DURING A pedestrian trip last summer, through one or two of the river
counties of New York, I found myself, as the day declined, somewhat
embarrassed about the road I was pursuing. The land undulated very
remarkably; and my path, for the last hour, had wound about and about
so confusedly, in its effort to keep in the valleys, that I no longer
knew in what direction lay the sweet village of B-, where I had
determined to stop for the night. The sun had scarcely shone --
strictly speaking -- during the day, which nevertheless, had been
unpleasantly warm. A smoky mist, resembling that of the Indian
summer, enveloped all things, and of course, added to my uncertainty.
Not that I cared much about the matter. If I did not hit upon the
village before sunset, or even before dark, it was more than possible
that a little Dutch farmhouse, or something of that kind, would soon
make its appearance -- although, in fact, the neighborhood (perhaps
on account of being more picturesque than fertile) was very sparsely
inhabited. At all events, with my knapsack for a pillow, and my hound
as a sentry, a bivouac in the open air was just the thing which would
have amused me. I sauntered on, therefore, quite at ease -- Ponto
taking charge of my gun -- until at length, just as I had begun to
consider whether the numerous little glades that led hither and
thither, were intended to be paths at all, I was conducted by one of
them into an unquestionable carriage track. There could be no
mistaking it. The traces of light wheels were evident; and although
the tall shrubberies and overgrown undergrowth met overhead, there
was no obstruction whatever below, even to the passage of a Virginian
mountain wagon -- the most aspiring vehicle, I take it, of its kind.
The road, however, except in being open through the wood -- if wood
be not too weighty a name for such an assemblage of light trees --
and except in the particulars of evident wheel-tracks -- bore no
resemblance to any road I had before seen. The tracks of which I
speak were but faintly perceptible -- having been impressed upon the
firm, yet pleasantly moist surface of -- what looked more like green
Genoese velvet than any thing else. It was grass, clearly -- but
grass such as we seldom see out of England -- so short, so thick, so
even, and so vivid in color. Not a single impediment lay in the
wheel-route -- not even a chip or dead twig. The stones that once
obstructed the way had been carefully placed -- not thrown-along the
sides of the lane, so as to define its boundaries at bottom with a
kind of half-precise, half-negligent, and wholly picturesque
definition. Clumps of wild flowers grew everywhere, luxuriantly, in
the interspaces.
What to make of all this, of course I knew not. Here was art
undoubtedly -- that did not surprise me -- all roads, in the ordinary
sense, are works of art; nor can I say that there was much to wonder
at in the mere excess of art manifested; all that seemed to have been
done, might have been done here -- with such natural "capabilities"
(as they have it in the books on Landscape Gardening) -- with very
little labor and expense. No; it was not the amount but the character
of the art which caused me to take a seat on one of the blossomy
stones and gaze up and down this fairy -- like avenue for half an
hour or more in bewildered admiration. One thing became more and more
evident the longer I gazed: an artist, and one with a most scrupulous
eye for form, had superintended all these arrangements. The greatest
care had been taken to preserve a due medium between the neat and
graceful on the one hand, and the pittoresque, in the true sense of
the Italian term, on the other. There were few straight, and no long
uninterrupted lines. The same effect of curvature or of color
appeared twice, usually, but not oftener, at any one point of view.
Everywhere was variety in uniformity. It was a piece of
"composition," in which the most fastidiously critical taste could
scarcely have suggested an emendation.
I had turned to the right as I entered this road, and now, arising, I
continued in the same direction. The path was so serpentine, that at
no moment could I trace its course for more than two or three paces
in advance. Its character did not undergo any material change.
Presently the murmur of water fell gently upon my ear -- and in a few
moments afterward, as I turned with the road somewhat more abruptly
than hitherto, I became aware that a building of some kind lay at the
foot of a gentle declivity just before me. I could see nothing
distinctly on account of the mist which occupied all the little
valley below. A gentle breeze, however, now arose, as the sun was
about descending; and while I remained standing on the brow of the
slope, the fog gradually became dissipated into wreaths, and so
floated over the scene.
As it came fully into view -- thus gradually as I describe it --
piece by piece, here a tree, there a glimpse of water, and here again
the summit of a chimney, I could scarcely help fancying that the
whole was one of the ingenious illusions sometimes exhibited under
the name of "vanishing pictures."
By the time, however, that the fog had thoroughly disappeared, the
sun had made its way down behind the gentle hills, and thence, as it
with a slight chassez to the south, had come again fully into sight,
glaring with a purplish lustre through a chasm that entered the
valley from the west. Suddenly, therefore -- and as if by the hand of
magic -- this whole valley and every thing in it became brilliantly
The first coup d'oeil, as the sun slid into the position described,
impressed me very much as I have been impressed, when a boy, by the
concluding scene of some well-arranged theatrical spectacle or
melodrama. Not even the monstrosity of color was wanting; for the
sunlight came out through the chasm, tinted all orange and purple;
while the vivid green of the grass in the valley was reflected more
or less upon all objects from the curtain of vapor that still hung
overhead, as if loth to take its total departure from a scene so
enchantingly beautiful.
The little vale into which I thus peered down from under the fog
canopy could not have been more than four hundred yards long; while
in breadth it varied from fifty to one hundred and fifty or perhaps
two hundred. It was most narrow at its northern extremity, opening
out as it tended southwardly, but with no very precise regularity.
The widest portion was within eighty yards of the southern extreme.
The slopes which encompassed the vale could not fairly be called
hills, unless at their northern face. Here a precipitous ledge of
granite arose to a height of some ninety feet; and, as I have
mentioned, the valley at this point was not more than fifty feet
wide; but as the visiter proceeded southwardly from the cliff, he
found on his right hand and on his left, declivities at once less
high, less precipitous, and less rocky. All, in a word, sloped and
softened to the south; and yet the whole vale was engirdled by
eminences, more or less high, except at two points. One of these I
have already spoken of. It lay considerably to the north of west, and
was where the setting sun made its way, as I have before described,
into the amphitheatre, through a cleanly cut natural cleft in the
granite embankment; this fissure might have been ten yards wide at
its widest point, so far as the eye could trace it. It seemed to lead
up, up like a natural causeway, into the recesses of unexplored
mountains and forests. The other opening was directly at the southern
end of the vale. Here, generally, the slopes were nothing more than
gentle inclinations, extending from east to west about one hundred
and fifty yards. In the middle of this extent was a depression, level
with the ordinary floor of the valley. As regards vegetation, as well
as in respect to every thing else, the scene softened and sloped to
the south. To the north -- on the craggy precipice -- a few paces
from the verge -- up sprang the magnificent trunks of numerous
hickories, black walnuts, and chestnuts, interspersed with occasional
oak, and the strong lateral branches thrown out by the walnuts
especially, spread far over the edge of the cliff. Proceeding
southwardly, the explorer saw, at first, the same class of trees, but
less and less lofty and Salvatorish in character; then he saw the
gentler elm, succeeded by the sassafras and locust -- these again by
the softer linden, red-bud, catalpa, and maple -- these yet again by
still more graceful and more modest varieties. The whole face of the
southern declivity was covered with wild shrubbery alone -- an
occasional silver willow or white poplar excepted. In the bottom of
the valley itself -- (for it must be borne in mind that the
vegetation hitherto mentioned grew only on the cliffs or hillsides)
-- were to be seen three insulated trees. One was an elm of fine size
and exquisite form: it stood guard over the southern gate of the
vale. Another was a hickory, much larger than the elm, and altogether
a much finer tree, although both were exceedingly beautiful: it
seemed to have taken charge of the northwestern entrance, springing
from a group of rocks in the very jaws of the ravine, and throwing
its graceful body, at an angle of nearly forty-five degrees, far out
into the sunshine of the amphitheatre. About thirty yards east of
this tree stood, however, the pride of the valley, and beyond all
question the most magnificent tree I have ever seen, unless, perhaps,
among the cypresses of the Itchiatuckanee. It was a triple -- stemmed
tulip-tree -- the Liriodendron Tulipiferum -- one of the natural
order of magnolias. Its three trunks separated from the parent at
about three feet from the soil, and diverging very slightly and
gradually, were not more than four feet apart at the point where the
largest stem shot out into foliage: this was at an elevation of about
eighty feet. The whole height of the principal division was one
hundred and twenty feet. Nothing can surpass in beauty the form, or
the glossy, vivid green of the leaves of the tulip-tree. In the
present instance they were fully eight inches wide; but their glory
was altogether eclipsed by the gorgeous splendor of the profuse
blossoms. Conceive, closely congregated, a million of the largest and
most resplendent tulips! Only thus can the reader get any idea of the
picture I would convey. And then the stately grace of the clean,
delicately -- granulated columnar stems, the largest four feet in
diameter, at twenty from the ground. The innumerable blossoms,
mingling with those of other trees scarcely less beautiful, although
infinitely less majestic, filled the valley with more than Arabian
The general floor of the amphitheatre was grass of the same character
as that I had found in the road; if anything, more deliciously soft,
thick, velvety, and miraculously green. It was hard to conceive how
all this beauty had been attained.
I have spoken of two openings into the vale. From the one to the
northwest issued a rivulet, which came, gently murmuring and slightly
foaming, down the ravine, until it dashed against the group of rocks
out of which sprang the insulated hickory. Here, after encircling the
tree, it passed on a little to the north of east, leaving the tulip
tree some twenty feet to the south, and making no decided alteration
in its course until it came near the midway between the eastern and
western boundaries of the valley. At this point, after a series of
sweeps, it turned off at right angles and pursued a generally
southern direction meandering as it went -- until it became lost in a
small lake of irregular figure (although roughly oval), that lay
gleaming near the lower extremity of the vale. This lakelet was,
perhaps, a hundred yards in diameter at its widest part. No crystal
could be clearer than its waters. Its bottom, which could be
distinctly seen, consisted altogether, of pebbles brilliantly white.
Its banks, of the emerald grass already described, rounded, rather
than sloped, off into the clear heaven below; and so clear was this
heaven, so perfectly, at times, did it reflect all objects above it,
that where the true bank ended and where the mimic one commenced, it
was a point of no little difficulty to determine. The trout, and some
other varieties of fish, with which this pond seemed to be almost
inconveniently crowded, had all the appearance of veritable
flying-fish. It was almost impossible to believe that they were not
absolutely suspended in the air. A light birch canoe that lay
placidly on the water, was reflected in its minutest fibres with a
fidelity unsurpassed by the most exquisitely polished mirror. A small
island, fairly laughing with flowers in full bloom, and affording
little more space than just enough for a picturesque little building,
seemingly a fowl-house -- arose from the lake not far from its
northern shore -- to which it was connected by means of an
inconceivably light -- looking and yet very primitive bridge. It was
formed of a single, broad and thick plank of the tulip wood. This was
forty feet long, and spanned the interval between shore and shore
with a slight but very perceptible arch, preventing all oscillation.
From the southern extreme of the lake issued a continuation of the
rivulet, which, after meandering for, perhaps, thirty yards, finally
passed through the "depression" (already described) in the middle of
the southern declivity, and tumbling down a sheer precipice of a
hundred feet, made its devious and unnoticed way to the Hudson.
The lake was deep -- at some points thirty feet -- but the rivulet
seldom exceeded three, while its greatest width was about eight. Its
bottom and banks were as those of the pond -- if a defect could have
been attributed, in point of picturesqueness, it was that of
excessive neatness.
The expanse of the green turf was relieved, here and there, by an
occasional showy shrub, such as the hydrangea, or the common
snowball, or the aromatic seringa; or, more frequently, by a clump of
geraniums blossoming gorgeously in great varieties. These latter grew
in pots which were carefully buried in the soil, so as to give the
plants the appearance of being indigenous. Besides all this, the
lawn's velvet was exquisitely spotted with sheep -- a considerable
flock of which roamed about the vale, in company with three tamed
deer, and a vast number of brilliantly -- plumed ducks. A very large
mastiff seemed to be in vigilant attendance upon these animals, each
and all.
Along the eastern and western cliffs -- where, toward the upper
portion of the amphitheatre, the boundaries were more or less
precipitous -- grew ivy in great profusion -- so that only here and
there could even a glimpse of the naked rock be obtained. The
northern precipice, in like manner, was almost entirely clothed by
grape-vines of rare luxuriance; some springing from the soil at the
base of the cliff, and others from ledges on its face.
The slight elevation which formed the lower boundary of this little
domain, was crowned by a neat stone wall, of sufficient height to
prevent the escape of the deer. Nothing of the fence kind was
observable elsewhere; for nowhere else was an artificial enclosure
needed: -- any stray sheep, for example, which should attempt to make
its way out of the vale by means of the ravine, would find its
progress arrested, after a few yards' advance, by the precipitous
ledge of rock over which tumbled the cascade that had arrested my
attention as I first drew near the domain. In short, the only ingress
or egress was through a gate occupying a rocky pass in the road, a
few paces below the point at which I stopped to reconnoitre the
I have described the brook as meandering very irregularly through the
whole of its course. Its two general directions, as I have said, were
first from west to east, and then from north to south. At the turn,
the stream, sweeping backward, made an almost circular loop, so as to
form a peninsula which was very nearly an island, and which included
about the sixteenth of an acre. On this peninsula stood a
dwelling-house -- and when I say that this house, like the infernal
terrace seen by Vathek, "etait d'une architecture inconnue dans les
annales de la terre," I mean, merely, that its tout ensemble struck
me with the keenest sense of combined novelty and propriety -- in a
word, of poetry -- (for, than in the words just employed, I could
scarcely give, of poetry in the abstract, a more rigorous definition)
-- and I do not mean that merely outre was perceptible in any
In fact nothing could well be more simple -- more utterly
unpretending than this cottage. Its marvellous effect lay altogether
in its artistic arrangement as a picture. I could have fancied, while
I looked at it, that some eminent landscape-painter had built it with
his brush.
The point of view from which I first saw the valley, was not
altogether, although it was nearly, the best point from which to
survey the house. I will therefore describe it as I afterwards saw it
-- from a position on the stone wall at the southern extreme of the
The main building was about twenty-four feet long and sixteen broad
-- certainly not more. Its total height, from the ground to the apex
of the roof, could not have exceeded eighteen feet. To the west end
of this structure was attached one about a third smaller in all its
proportions: -- the line of its front standing back about two yards
from that of the larger house, and the line of its roof, of course,
being considerably depressed below that of the roof adjoining. At
right angles to these buildings, and from the rear of the main one --
not exactly in the middle -- extended a third compartment, very small
-- being, in general, one-third less than the western wing. The roofs
of the two larger were very steep -- sweeping down from the
ridge-beam with a long concave curve, and extending at least four
feet beyond the walls in front, so as to form the roofs of two
piazzas. These latter roofs, of course, needed no support; but as
they had the air of needing it, slight and perfectly plain pillars
were inserted at the corners alone. The roof of the northern wing was
merely an extension of a portion of the main roof. Between the chief
building and western wing arose a very tall and rather slender square
chimney of hard Dutch bricks, alternately black and red: -- a slight
cornice of projecting bricks at the top. Over the gables the roofs
also projected very much: -- in the main building about four feet to
the east and two to the west. The principal door was not exactly in
the main division, being a little to the east -- while the two
windows were to the west. These latter did not extend to the floor,
but were much longer and narrower than usual -- they had single
shutters like doors -- the panes were of lozenge form, but quite
large. The door itself had its upper half of glass, also in lozenge
panes -- a movable shutter secured it at night. The door to the west
wing was in its gable, and quite simple -- a single window looked out
to the south. There was no external door to the north wing, and it
also had only one window to the east.
The blank wall of the eastern gable was relieved by stairs (with a
balustrade) running diagonally across it -- the ascent being from the
south. Under cover of the widely projecting eave these steps gave
access to a door leading to the garret, or rather loft -- for it was
lighted only by a single window to the north, and seemed to have been
intended as a store-room.
The piazzas of the main building and western wing had no floors, as
is usual; but at the doors and at each window, large, flat irregular
slabs of granite lay imbedded in the delicious turf, affording
comfortable footing in all weather. Excellent paths of the same
material -- not nicely adapted, but with the velvety sod filling
frequent intervals between the stones, led hither and thither from
the house, to a crystal spring about five paces off, to the road, or
to one or two out -- houses that lay to the north, beyond the brook,
and were thoroughly concealed by a few locusts and catalpas.
Not more than six steps from the main door of the cottage stood the
dead trunk of a fantastic pear-tree, so clothed from head to foot in
the gorgeous bignonia blossoms that one required no little scrutiny
to determine what manner of sweet thing it could be. From various
arms of this tree hung cages of different kinds. In one, a large
wicker cylinder with a ring at top, revelled a mocking bird; in
another an oriole; in a third the impudent bobolink -- while three or
four more delicate prisons were loudly vocal with canaries.
The pillars of the piazza were enwreathed in jasmine and sweet
honeysuckle; while from the angle formed by the main structure and
its west wing, in front, sprang a grape-vine of unexampled
luxuriance. Scorning all restraint, it had clambered first to the
lower roof -- then to the higher; and along the ridge of this latter
it continued to writhe on, throwing out tendrils to the right and
left, until at length it fairly attained the east gable, and fell
trailing over the stairs.
The whole house, with its wings, was constructed of the old-fashioned
Dutch shingles -- broad, and with unrounded corners. It is a
peculiarity of this material to give houses built of it the
appearance of being wider at bottom than at top -- after the manner
of Egyptian architecture; and in the present instance, this
exceedingly picturesque effect was aided by numerous pots of gorgeous
flowers that almost encompassed the base of the buildings.
The shingles were painted a dull gray; and the happiness with which
this neutral tint melted into the vivid green of the tulip tree
leaves that partially overshadowed the cottage, can readily be
conceived by an artist.
From the position near the stone wall, as described, the buildings
were seen at great advantage -- for the southeastern angle was thrown
forward -- so that the eye took in at once the whole of the two
fronts, with the picturesque eastern gable, and at the same time
obtained just a sufficient glimpse of the northern wing, with parts
of a pretty roof to the spring-house, and nearly half of a light
bridge that spanned the brook in the near vicinity of the main
I did not remain very long on the brow of the hill, although long
enough to make a thorough survey of the scene at my feet. It was
clear that I had wandered from the road to the village, and I had
thus good traveller's excuse to open the gate before me, and inquire
my way, at all events; so, without more ado, I proceeded.
The road, after passing the gate, seemed to lie upon a natural ledge,
sloping gradually down along the face of the north-eastern cliffs. It
led me on to the foot of the northern precipice, and thence over the
bridge, round by the eastern gable to the front door. In this
progress, I took notice that no sight of the out-houses could be
As I turned the corner of the gable, the mastiff bounded towards me
in stern silence, but with the eye and the whole air of a tiger. I
held him out my hand, however, in token of amity -- and I never yet
knew the dog who was proof against such an appeal to his courtesy. He
not only shut his mouth and wagged his tail, but absolutely offered
me his paw-afterward extending his civilities to Ponto.
As no bell was discernible, I rapped with my stick against the door,
which stood half open. Instantly a figure advanced to the threshold
-- that of a young woman about twenty-eight years of age -- slender,
or rather slight, and somewhat above the medium height. As she
approached, with a certain modest decision of step altogether
indescribable. I said to myself, "Surely here I have found the
perfection of natural, in contradistinction from artificial grace."
The second impression which she made on me, but by far the more vivid
of the two, was that of enthusiasm. So intense an expression of
romance, perhaps I should call it, or of unworldliness, as that which
gleamed from her deep-set eyes, had never so sunk into my heart of
hearts before. I know not how it is, but this peculiar expression of
the eye, wreathing itself occasionally into the lips, is the most
powerful, if not absolutely the sole spell, which rivets my interest
in woman. "Romance, provided my readers fully comprehended what I
would here imply by the word -- "romance" and "womanliness" seem to
me convertible terms: and, after all, what man truly loves in woman,
is simply her womanhood. The eyes of Annie (I heard some one from the
interior call her "Annie, darling!") were "spiritual grey;" her hair,
a light chestnut: this is all I had time to observe of her.
At her most courteous of invitations, I entered -- passing first into
a tolerably wide vestibule. Having come mainly to observe, I took
notice that to my right as I stepped in, was a window, such as those
in front of the house; to the left, a door leading into the principal
room; while, opposite me, an open door enabled me to see a small
apartment, just the size of the vestibule, arranged as a study, and
having a large bow window looking out to the north.
Passing into the parlor, I found myself with Mr. Landor -- for this,
I afterwards found, was his name. He was civil, even cordial in his
manner, but just then, I was more intent on observing the
arrangements of the dwelling which had so much interested me, than
the personal appearance of the tenant.
The north wing, I now saw, was a bed-chamber, its door opened into
the parlor. West of this door was a single window, looking toward the
brook. At the west end of the parlor, were a fireplace, and a door
leading into the west wing -- probably a kitchen.
Nothing could be more rigorously simple than the furniture of the
parlor. On the floor was an ingrain carpet, of excellent texture -- a
white ground, spotted with small circular green figures. At the
windows were curtains of snowy white jaconet muslin: they were
tolerably full, and hung decisively, perhaps rather formally in
sharp, parallel plaits to the floor -- just to the floor. The walls
were prepared with a French paper of great delicacy, a silver ground,
with a faint green cord running zig-zag throughout. Its expanse was
relieved merely by three of Julien's exquisite lithographs a trois
crayons, fastened to the wall without frames. One of these drawings
was a scene of Oriental luxury, or rather voluptuousness; another was
a "carnival piece," spirited beyond compare; the third was a Greek
female head -- a face so divinely beautiful, and yet of an expression
so provokingly indeterminate, never before arrested my attention.
The more substantial furniture consisted of a round table, a few
chairs (including a large rocking-chair), and a sofa, or rather
"settee;" its material was plain maple painted a creamy white,
slightly interstriped with green; the seat of cane. The chairs and
table were "to match," but the forms of all had evidently been
designed by the same brain which planned "the grounds;" it is
impossible to conceive anything more graceful.
On the table were a few books, a large, square, crystal bottle of
some novel perfume, a plain ground -- glass astral (not solar) lamp
with an Italian shade, and a large vase of resplendently-blooming
flowers. Flowers, indeed, of gorgeous colours and delicate odour
formed the sole mere decoration of the apartment. The fire-place was
nearly filled with a vase of brilliant geranium. On a triangular
shelf in each angle of the room stood also a similar vase, varied
only as to its lovely contents. One or two smaller bouquets adorned
the mantel, and late violets clustered about the open windows.
It is not the purpose of this work to do more than give in detail, a
picture of Mr. Landor's residence -- as I found it. How he made it
what it was -- and why -- with some particulars of Mr. Landor himself
-- may, possibly form the subject of another article.
~~~ End of Text ~~~