EMS ANTI CHEATING SYSTEM ONLINE ... .
The Certificate in English Literature
January - 2024
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat.
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Earth has not any thing to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear
How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls
But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse
The wife of a rich man fell sick, and as she felt that her end was drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, dear child, be good and pious, and then the good God will always protect you, and I will look down on you from heaven and be near you. Thereupon she closed her eyes and departed. Every day the maiden went out to her mother’s grave, and wept, and she remained pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white sheet over the grave, and by the time the spring sun had drawn it off again, the man had taken another wife. The woman had brought with her into the house two daughters, who were beautiful and fair of face, but vile and black of heart. Now began a bad time for the poor step-child. Is the stupid goose to sit in the parlor with us, they said. He who wants to eat bread must earn it. Out with the kitchen-wench. They took her pretty clothes away from her, put an old grey bedgown on her, and gave her wooden shoes. Just look at the proud princess, how decked out she is, they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before daybreak, carry water, light fires, cook and wash. Besides this, the sisters did her every imaginable injury – they mocked her and emptied her peas and lentils into the ashes, so that she was forced to sit and pick them out again. In the evening when she had worked till she was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the hearth in the cinders. And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her cinderella.
It happened that the father was once going to the fair, and he asked his two step-daughters what he should bring back for them. Beautiful dresses, said one, pearls and jewels, said the second. And you, cinderella, said he, what will you have. Father break off for me the first branch which knocks against your hat on your way home. So he bought beautiful dresses, pearls and jewels for his two step-daughters, and on his way home, as he was riding through a green thicket, a hazel twig brushed against him and knocked off his hat. Then he broke off the branch and took it with him. When he reached home he gave his step-daughters the things which they had wished for, and to cinderella he gave the branch from the hazel-bush. Cinderella thanked him, went to her mother’s grave and planted the branch on it, and wept so much that the tears fell down on it and watered it. And it grew and became a handsome tree. Thrice a day cinderella went and sat beneath it, and wept and prayed, and a little white bird always came on the tree, and if cinderella expressed a wish, the bird threw down to her what she had wished for.
It happened, however, that the king gave orders for a festival which was to last three days, and to which all the beautiful young girls in the country were invited, in order that his son might choose himself a bride. When the two step-sisters heard that they too were to appear among the number, they were delighted, called Cinderella and said,
comb our hair for us, brush our shoes and fasten our buckles, for we are going to the wedding at the king’s palace. Cinderella obeyed, but wept, because she too would have liked to go with them to the dance, and begged her step-mother to allow her to do so. You go, cinderella, said she, covered in dust and dirt as you are, and would go to the festival. You have no clothes and shoes, and yet would dance. As, however, cinderella went on asking, the step-mother said at last, I have emptied a dish of lentils into the ashes for you, if you have picked them out again in two hours, you shall go with us. The maiden went through the back-door into the garden, and called, you tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to pick
the good into the pot,
the bad into the crop.
Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen window, and afterwards the turtle-doves, and at last all the birds beneath the sky, came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes. And the pigeons nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, pick, and the rest began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all the good grains into the dish. Hardly had one hour passed before they had finished, and all flew out again. Then the girl took the dish to her step-mother, and was glad, and believed that now she would be allowed to go with them to the festival. But the step-mother said, no, cinderella, you have no clothes and you can not dance. You would only be laughed at. And as cinderella wept at this, the step-mother said, if you can pick two dishes of lentils out of the ashes for me in one hour, you shall go with us. And she thought to herself, that she most certainly cannot do again. When the step-mother had emptied the two dishes of lentils amongst the ashes, the maiden went through the back-door into the garden and cried, you tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to pick
the good into the pot,
the bad into the crop.
Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen-window, and afterwards the turtle-doves, and at length all the birds beneath the sky, came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes. And the doves nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, pick, and the others began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all the good seeds into the dishes, and before half an hour was over they had already finished, and all flew out again. Then the maiden was delighted, and believed that she might now go with them to the wedding. But the step-mother said, all
this will not help. You cannot go with us, for you have no clothes and can not dance. We should be ashamed of you. On this she turned her back on cinderella, and hurried away with her two proud daughters. As no one was now at home, cinderella went to her mother’s grave beneath the hazel-tree, and cried –
shiver and quiver, little tree,
silver and gold throw down over me.
Then the bird threw a gold and silver dress down to her, and slippers embroidered with silk and silver. She put on the dress with all speed, and went to the wedding. Her step-sisters and the step-mother however did not know her, and thought she must be a foreign princess, for she looked so beautiful in the golden dress. They never once thought of cinderella, and believed that she was sitting at home in the dirt, picking lentils out of the ashes. The prince approached her, took her by the hand and danced with her. He would dance with no other maiden, and never let loose of her hand, and if any one else came to invite her, he said, this is my partner.
She danced till it was evening, and then she wanted to go home. But the king’s son said, I will go with you and bear you company, for he wished to see to whom the beautiful maiden belonged. She escaped from him, however, and sprang into the pigeon-house. The king’s son waited until her father came, and then he told him that the unknown maiden had leapt into the pigeon-house. The old man thought, can it be cinderella. And they had to bring him an axe and a pickaxe that he might hew the pigeon-house to pieces, but no one was inside it. And when they got home cinderella lay in her dirty clothes among the ashes, and a dim little oil-lamp was burning on the mantle-piece, for cinderella had jumped quickly down from the back of the pigeon-house and had run to the little hazel-tree, and there she had taken off her beautiful clothes and laid them on the grave, and the bird had taken them away again, and then she had seated herself in the kitchen amongst the ashes in her grey gown. Next day when the festival began afresh, and her parents and the step-sisters had gone once more, cinderella went to the hazel-tree and said –
shiver and quiver, my little tree,
silver and gold throw down over me.
Then the bird threw down a much more beautiful dress than on the preceding day. And when cinderella appeared at the wedding in this dress, every one was astonished at her beauty. The king’s son had waited until she came, and instantly took her by the hand and danced with no one but her. When others came and invited her, he said, this is
my partner. When evening came she wished to leave, and the king’s son followed her and wanted to see into which house she went. But she sprang away from him, and into the garden behind the house. Therein stood a beautiful tall tree on which hung the most magnificent pears. She clambered so nimbly between the branches like a squirrel that the king’s son did not know where she was gone. He waited until her father came, and said to him, the unknown maiden has escaped from me, and I believe she has climbed up the pear-tree. The father thought, can it be cinderella. And had an axe brought and cut the tree down, but no one was on it. And when they got into the kitchen, cinderella lay there among the ashes, as usual, for she had jumped down on the other side of the tree, had taken the beautiful dress to the bird on the little hazel-tree, and put on her grey gown.
On the third day, when the parents and sisters had gone away, cinderella went once more to her mother’s grave and said to the little tree –
shiver and quiver, my little tree,
silver and gold throw down over me.
And now the bird threw down to her a dress which was more splendid and magnificent than any she had yet had, and the slippers were golden. And when she went to the festival in the dress, no one knew how to speak for astonishment. The king’s son danced with her only, and if any one invited her to dance, he said this is my partner.
When evening came, cinderella wished to leave, and the king’s son was anxious to go with her, but she escaped from him so quickly that he could not follow her. The king’s son, however, had employed a ruse, and had caused the whole staircase to be smeared with pitch, and there, when she ran down, had the maiden’s left slipper remained stuck. The king’s son picked it up, and it was small and dainty, and all golden. Next morning, he went with it to the father, and said to him, no one shall be my wife but she whose foot this golden slipper fits. Then were the two sisters glad, for they had pretty feet. The eldest went with the shoe into her room and wanted to try it on, and her mother stood by. But she could not get her big toe into it, and the shoe was too small for her. Then her mother gave her a knife and said, cut the toe off, when you are queen you will have no more need to go on foot. The maiden cut the toe off, forced the foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the king’s son. Then he took her on his his horse as his bride and rode away with her. They were obliged, however, to pass the grave, and there, on the hazel-tree, sat the two pigeons and cried –
turn and peep, turn and peep,
there’s blood within the shoe,
the shoe it is too small for her,
the true bride waits for you.
Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was trickling from it. He turned his horse round and took the false bride home again, and said she was not the true one, and that the other sister was to put the shoe on. Then this one went into her chamber and got her toes safely into the shoe, but her heel was too large. So her mother gave her a knife and said, cut a bit off your heel, when you are queen you will have no more need to go on foot. The maiden cut a bit off her heel, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the king’s son. He took her on his horse as his bride, and rode away with her, but when they passed by the hazel-tree, the two pigeons sat on it and cried –
turn and peep, turn and peep,
there’s blood within the shoe,
the shoe it is too small for her,
the true bride waits for you.
He looked down at her foot and saw how the blood was running out of her shoe, and how it had stained her white stocking quite red. Then he turned his horse and took the false bride home again. This also is not the right one, said he, have you no other daughter. No, said the man, there is still a little stunted kitchen-wench which my late wife left behind her, but she cannot possibly be the bride. The king’s son said he was to send her up to him, but the mother answered, oh, no, she is much too dirty, she cannot show herself. But he absolutely insisted on it, and cinderella had to be called. She first washed her hands and face clean, and then went and bowed down before the king’s son, who gave her the golden shoe. Then she seated herself on a stool, drew her foot out of the heavy wooden shoe, and put it into the slipper, which fitted like a glove. And when she rose up and the king’s son looked at her face he recognized the beautiful maiden who had danced with him and cried, that is the true bride. The step-mother and the two sisters were horrified and became pale with rage, he, however, took cinderella on his horse and rode away with her. As they passed by the hazel-tree, the two white doves cried –
turn and peep, turn and peep,
no blood is in the shoe,
the shoe is not too small for her,
the true bride rides with you,
and when they had cried that, the two came flying down and placed themselves on cinderella’s shoulders, one on the right, the other on the left, and remained sitting there. When the wedding with the king’s son was to be celebrated, the two false sisters came and wanted to get into favor with cinderella and share her good fortune. When the betrothed couple went to church, the elder was at the right side and the younger at the left, and the pigeons pecked out one eye from each of them. Afterwards as they came back the elder was at the left, and the younger at the right, and then the pigeons pecked out the other eye from each. And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness all their days.
Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by every one who looked at her, but most of all by her
grandmother, and there was nothing that she would not have given to the child. Once she gave her a little cap of
red velvet, which suited her so well that she would never wear anything else. So she was always called little redcap.
One day her mother said to her, come, little red-cap, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine. Take them to
your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are
going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your
grandmother will get nothing. And when you go into her room, don’t forget to say, good-morning, and don’t peep
into every corner before you do it.
I will take great care, said little red-cap to her mother, and
gave her hand on it.
The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village, and just as little red-cap entered the wood,
a wolf met her. Red-cap did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him.
“Good-day, little red-cap,” said he.
“Thank you kindly, wolf.”
“Whither away so early, little red-cap?”
“To my grandmother’s.”
“What have you got in your apron?”
“Cake and wine. Yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick
grandmother is to have something good, to make her stronger.”
“Where does your grandmother live, little red-cap?”
“A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood. Her house stands under the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees
are just below. You surely must know it,” replied little red-cap.
The wolf thought to himself, what a tender young creature. What a nice plump mouthful, she will be better to eat
than the old woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both. So he walked for a short time by the side of little
red-cap, and then he said, “see little red-cap, how pretty the flowers are about here. Why do you not look round. I
believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are singing. You walk gravely along as if you were
going to school, while everything else out here in the wood is merry.”
Little red-cap raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing here and there through the trees, and
pretty flowers growing everywhere, she thought, suppose I take grandmother a fresh nosegay. That would please
her too. It is so early in the day that I shall still get there in good time. And so she ran from the path into the
wood to look for flowers. And whenever she had picked one, she fancied that she saw a still prettier one farther
on, and ran after it, and so got deeper and deeper into the wood.
Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother’s house and knocked at the door.
“Who is there?”
“Little red-cap,” replied the wolf. “She is bringing cake and wine. Open the door.”
“Lift the latch,” called out the grandmother, “I am too weak, and cannot get up.”
The wolf lifted the latch, the door sprang open, and without saying a word he went straight to the grandmother’s
bed, and devoured her. Then he put on her clothes, dressed himself in her cap, laid himself in bed and drew the
Little red-cap, however, had been running about picking flowers, and when she had gathered so many that she
could carry no more, she remembered her grandmother, and set out on the way to her.
She was surprised to find the cottage-door standing open, and when she went into the room, she had such a
strange feeling that she said to herself, oh dear, how uneasy I feel to-day, and at other times I like being with
grandmother so much. She called out, “good morning,” but received no answer. So she went to the bed and drew
back the curtains. There lay her grandmother with her cap pulled far over her face, and looking very strange.
“Oh, grandmother,” she said, “what big ears you have.”
“The better to hear you with, my child,” was the reply.
“But, grandmother, what big eyes you have,” she said.
“The better to see you with,” my dear.
“But, grandmother, what large hands you have.”
“The better to hug you with.”
“Oh, but, grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have.”
“The better to eat you with.”
And scarcely had the wolf said this, than with one bound he was out of bed and swallowed up red-cap.
When the wolf had appeased his appetite, he lay down again in the bed, fell asleep and began to snore very loud.
The huntsman was just passing the house, and thought to himself, how the old woman is snoring. I must just see
if she wants anything.
So he went into the room, and when he came to the bed, he saw that the wolf was lying in it. Do I find you here,
you old sinner, said he. I have long sought you. Then just as he was going to fire at him, it occurred to him that
the wolf might have devoured the grandmother, and that she might still be saved, so he did not fire, but took a pair
of scissors, and began to cut open the stomach of the sleeping wolf. When he had made two snips, he saw the
little red-cap shining, and then he made two snips more, and the little girl sprang out, crying, ah, how frightened I
have been. How dark it was inside the wolf. And after that the aged grandmother came out alive also, but
scarcely able to breathe. Red-cap, however, quickly fetched great stones with which they filled the wolf’s belly,
and when he awoke, he wanted to run away, but the stones were so heavy that he collapsed at once, and fell dead.
Then all three were delighted. The huntsman drew off the wolf’s skin and went home with it. The grandmother
ate the cake and drank the wine which red-cap had brought, and revived, but red-cap thought to herself, as long as
I live, I will never by myself leave the path, to run into the wood, when my mother has forbidden me to do so.
It is also related that once when red-cap was again taking cakes to the old grandmother, another wolf spoke to her,
and tried to entice her from the path. Red-cap, however, was on her guard, and went straight forward on her way,
and told her grandmother that she had met the wolf, and that he had said good-morning to her, but with such a
wicked look in his eyes, that if they had not been on the public road she was certain he would have eaten her up.
Well, said the grandmother, we will shut the door, that he may not come in. Soon afterwards the wolf knocked,
and cried, open the door, grandmother, I am little red-cap, and am bringing you some cakes. But they did not
speak, or open the door, so the grey-beard stole twice or thrice round the house, and at last jumped on the roof,
intending to wait until red-cap went home in the evening, and then to steal after her and devour her in the
darkness. But the grandmother saw what was in his thoughts. In front of the house was a great stone trough, so
she said to the child, take the pail, red-cap. I made some sausages yesterday, so carry the water in which I boiled
them to the trough. Red-cap carried until the great trough was quite full. Then the smell of the sausages reached
the wolf, and he sniffed and peeped down, and at last stretched out his neck so far that he could no longer keep his
footing and began to slip, and slipped down from the roof straight into the great trough, and was drowned. But
red-cap went joyously home, and no one ever did anything to harm her again.
TRUE! –nervous –very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The
disease had sharpened my senses –not destroyed –not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I
heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and
observe how healthily –how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night.
Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never
given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a
pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees –very
gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should
have seen how wisely I proceeded –with what caution –with what foresight –with what dissimulation I went to
work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about
midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it –oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening
sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my
head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly –very, very slowly, so
that I might not disturb the old man’s sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far
that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this, And then, when my
head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously-oh, so cautiously –cautiously (for the hinges creaked) —
I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights –every
night just at midnight –but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not
the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the
chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed
the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at
twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.
Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch’s minute hand moves more
quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers –of my sagacity. I could
scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not
even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he
moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back –but no. His room was as black as
pitch with the thick darkness, (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers,) and so I knew that he
could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.
I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old
man sprang up in bed, crying out –“Who’s there?”
I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear
him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening; –just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the
death watches in the wall.
Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief
–oh, no! –it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew
the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom,
deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt,
and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise,
when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy
them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself –“It is nothing but the wind in the chimney –it is
only a mouse crossing the floor,” or “It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp.” Yes, he had been
trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in
approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the
mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel –although he neither saw nor heard –to
feel the presence of my head within the room.
When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little –a very,
very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it –you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily –until, at length a
simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.
It was open –wide, wide open –and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness –all a dull
blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old
man’s face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot.
And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? –now, I say, there
came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound
well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the
soldier into courage.
But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I
could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and
quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say,
louder every moment! –do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead
hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to
uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder,
louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me –the sound would be heard by a
neighbour! The old man’s hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He
shrieked once –once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then
smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This,
however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I
removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and
held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eve would trouble me no more.
If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the
concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the
corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.
I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then
replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye –not even his –could have detected any thing
wrong. There was nothing to wash out –no stain of any kind –no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for
that. A tub had caught all –ha! ha!
When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o’clock –still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour,
there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, –for what had I now to fear?
There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had
been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged
at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.
I smiled, –for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The
old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search –search
well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of
my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in
the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the
corpse of the victim.
The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I
answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone.
My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more
distinct: –It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued
and gained definiteness –until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.
No doubt I now grew very pale; –but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased –and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound –much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath –and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly –more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men –but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed –I raved –I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder –louder –louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! –no, no! They heard! –they suspected! — they knew! –they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now –again! –hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! –tear up the planks! here, here! –It is the beating of his hideous heart!”