request urgently or persistently
For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor
elaborate ornamentation in decorative art and architecture
To me, they have presented little but horror -- to many they will seem less terrible than
*characterized by grotesqueness, extravagance, complexity, or flamboyance
something existing in perception only
Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my
phantasm to the commonplace -- some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with
awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.
acutely insightful and wise
To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and
sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature of the intensity of the gratification thus derivable.
contemptibly small in amount or size
There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the
paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
the quality of being faithful
There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer
fidelity of mere Man.
passing reference or indirect mention
In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent
allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise.
excessive in behavior
I suffered myself to use
intemperate language to my wife.
* unkind, abusive language
imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind
One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I
fancied that the cat avoided my presence.
wishing evil to others
My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish
malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame.
an act of shocking cruelty
I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable
open to question
When reason returned with the morning -- when I had slept off the fumes of the night's debauch -- I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best, a feeble and
equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched.
incapable of being retracted
And then came, as if to my final and
irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS.
Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a
vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not?
continuing forever or indefinitely
Have we not a
perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such?
impossible to come to understand
It was this
unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself -- to offer violence to its own nature -- to do wrong for the wrong's sake only -- that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute.
perfect and complete in every respect
It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself -- to offer violence to its own nature -- to do wrong for the wrong's sake only -- that urged me to continue and finally to
consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute.
a very intense and uncontrolled fire
It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escape from the
any epidemic disease with a high death rate
I did not, for some weeks, strike, or otherwise violently ill-use it; but gradually -- very gradually -- I came to look upon it with unutterable loathing, and to flee silently from its odious presence, as from the breath of a
a feeling of intense dislike
aversion to this cat, however, its partiality for myself seemed to increase.
a grotesque product of the imagination
I am almost ashamed to own -- yes, even in this felon's cell, I am almost ashamed to own -- that the terror and horror with which the animal inspired me, had been heightened by one of the merest
chimeras it would be possible to conceive.
misery resulting from affliction
And a brute beast -- whose fellow I had contemptuously destroyed -- a brute beast to work out for me -- for me, a man, fashioned in the image of the High God -- so much of insufferable
necessary as a duty or responsibility; morally binding
During the former the creature left me no moment alone; and, in the latter, I started, hourly, from dreams of unutterable fear, to find the hot breath of the thing upon my face, and its vast weight -- an incarnate nightmare that I had no power to shake off --
incumbent eternally upon my heart!
give in or consent reluctantly
Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me
a means to an end
Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better
expedient than either of these.
pleasing and appropriate manner or style
I looked upon my future
felicity as secured.
lessen the intensity of or calm
'Gentlemen,' I said at last, as the party ascended the steps, 'I delight to have
allayed your suspicions.
a swaggering show of courage
These walls -- are you going, gentlemen? -- these walls are solidly put together'; and here, through the mere frenzy of
bravado, I rapped heavily, with a cane which I held in my hand, upon that very portion of the brickwork behind which stood the corpse of the wife of my bosom.
feel extreme happiness or elation
No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk into silence, than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb! -- by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream, half of horror and half of triumph, such as might have arisen only out of hell, conjointly from the throats of the damned in their agony and of the demons that
exult in the damnation.
Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had
consigned me to the hangman.