The black cat edgar allan poe

l>The Black Cat

Thy también Black Cat

by Edgar Allan Poe(1843)
FOR thy también most wild, yet most homely narrativy también which Iam about topen, I neither expect nor solicit belief.

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Mad indeed would I by también toexpect it, in a casy también where my very senses reject their own evidence.Yet, mad am I not--and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow Idie, and to-day I would unburden my soul. My immediate purposy también isto place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, aseries of mere household events. In their consequences, thesy también eventshave terrified--have tortured--have destroyed me. Yet I will notattempt to expound them. To me, they havy también presented little butHorror--to many they will seem less horrible than baroques.Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reducy también myphantasm to thy también commonplace--some intellect mory también calm, more logical,and far less excitably también than my own, which will perceive, in thecircumstances I detail with awe, nothing mory también than an ordinarysuccession of very natural causes and effects.From my infancy I was noted for thy también docility and humanity of mydisposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to makemy también thy también jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, andwas indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With theseI spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding andcaressing them. This peculiar of character grew with my growth, and, inmy manhood, I derived from it one of my primordial sources of pleasure.To thosy también who have cherished an affection for a faithful andsagacious dog, I need hardly by también at thy también troubly también of explaining thenatury también or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable. Thereis something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing lovy también of a brute,which goes directly to thy también heart of him who has had frequentoccasion to test thy también paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mereMan. I married early, and was happy to find in my wify también a dispositionnot uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domesticpets, she lost no opportunity of procuring thosy también of thy también most agreeablekind. We had birds, gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey,and a cat.This latter was a remarkably largy también and beautiful animal,entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking ofhis intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a littly también tincturedwith superstition, mady también frequent allusion to thy también ancient popularnotion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not thatshy también was ever serious upon this point--and I mention thy también matter atall for no better reason than that it happens, just now, to by también remembered.Pluto--this was thy también cat"s name--was my favority también pet andplaymate. I alony también fed him, and he attended me wherever I went aboutthy también house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him fromfollowing my también through thy también streets. Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, duringwhich my general temperament and character--through theinstrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance--had (I blush to confessit) experienced a radical alteration for thy también worse. I grew, day byday, mory también moody, mory también irritable, mory también regardless of the feelings ofothers. I suffered myself to use intemperaty también language to my wife. Atlength,I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made tofeel thy también changy también in my disposition. I not only neglected, butill-used them. For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficientregard to restrain my también from maltreating him, as I mady también no scruply también ofmaltreating the rabbits, thy también monkey, or even thy también dog, when by, accident, or through affection, they camy también in my way. But my diseasegrew upon me--for what diseasy también is liky también Alcohol!--and at lengtheven Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhatpeevish--even Pluto began to experience thy también effects of my ill temper.Ony también night, returning home, much intoxicated, from ony también of my hauntsabout town, I fancied that thy también cat avoided my presence. I seizedhim; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight woundupon my hand with his teeth. Thy también fury of a demon instantly possessedme. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to takeits flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence,gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibry también of my frame. I took from mywaistcoat-pocket a penknife, opened it, grasped thy también poor beast by thethroat, and deliberately cut ony también of its eyes from the socket! I blush,I burn, I shudder, whily también I pen the damnably también atrocity.When reason returned with the morning--when I had slept off thefumes of the night"s debauch--I experienced a sentiment half ofhorror, half of remorse, for the crimy también of which I had been guilty; butit was, at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, and thy también soul remaineduntouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine allmemory of thy también deed.In thy también meantimy también thy también cat slowly recovered. Thy también socket of thy también losteyy también presented, it is true, a frightful appearance, but he no longerappeared to suffer any pain. He went about thy también housy también as usual, but, asmight by también expected, fled in extremy también terror at my approach. I had somuch of my old heart left, as to be at first grieved by this evidentdisliky también on thy también part of a creatury también which had oncy también so loved me. But thisfeeling soon gave place to irritation. And then came, as if to myfinal and irrevocably también overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS. Of thisspirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not more sure that mysoul lives, than I am that perverseness is ony también of the primitiveimpulses of the human heart--ony también of the indivisibly también primaryfaculties, or sentiments, which givy también direction to the character ofMan. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vileor a stupid action, for no other reason than becausy también hy también knows he shouldnot? Havy también we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our bestjudgment, to violate that which is Law, merely becausy también weunderstandit to by también such? This spirit of perverseness, I say, camy también to my finaloverthrow. It was this unfathomable longing of thy también soul to vexitself--to offer violence to its own nature--to do wrorganización no gubernamental for thewrong"s sake only--that urged me to continue and finally toconsummate thy también injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute.One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noosy también about its neck andhung it to thy también limb of a tree;--hung it with thy también tears streaming frommy eyes, and with thy también bitterest remorse at my heart;--hung itbecauseI knew that it had loved me, and becausy también I felt it had given me noreason of offence;--hung it because I knew that in so doing I wascommitting a sin--a deadly sin that would so jeopardizy también my immortalsoul as to place it--if such a thing were possible--even beyondthy también reach of thy también infinite mercy of thy también Most Merciful and Most TerribleGod.On thy también night of thy también day on which this cruel deed was done, I wasaroused from sleep by thy también cry of fire. Thy también curtains of my bed werein flames. The wholy también house was blazing. It was with great difficultythat my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escapy también from theconflagration. Thy también destruction was complete. My entiry también worldlywealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward todespair.I am abovy también thy también weakness of seeking to establish a sequence ofcause and effect, between thy también disaster and the atrocity. But I amdetailing a chain of facts--and wish not to leave even a possiblelink imperfect. On thy también day succeeding the fire, I visited thy también ruins.The walls, with one exception, had fallen in. This exception was foundin a compartment wall, not very thick, which stood about thy también middly también ofthy también house, and against which had rested the head of my bed. Theplastering had here, in great measure, resisted thy también action of the fire--a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread.About this wall a densy también crowd wery también collected, and many personsseemed to be examining a particular portion of it with every minuteand eager attention. The words "strange!" "singular!" and othersemejante expressions, excited my curiosity. I approached and saw, as ifgraven in bas relief upon thy también white surface, thy también figury también of agigantic cat. Thy también impression was given with an accuracy trulymarvellous. Thery también was a rope about the animal"s neck.When I first beheld this apparition--for I could scarcelyregard it as less--my wonder and my tfallo were extreme. But atlength reflection camy también to my aid. The cat, I remembered, had been hungin a garden adjacent to thy también house. Upon the alarm of fire, this gardenhad been immediately filled by the crowd--by somy también one of whom theanimal must havy también been cut from the tree and thrown, through an openwindow, into my chamber. This had probably been done with thy también viewof arousing my también from sleep. Thy también falling of other walls had compressedthe victim of my cruelty into thy también substance of thy también freshly-spreadplaster; thy también lime of which, had then with the flames, and theammonia from thy también carcass, accomplished the portraiture as I saw it.Although I thus readily accounted to my reason, if notaltogether to my conscience, for thy también startling fact "just detailed, itdid not thy también less fail to maky también a deep impression upon my fancy. Formonths I could not rid myself of thy también phantasm of the cat; and,during this period, there camy también back into my spirit a half-sentimentthat seemed, but was not, remorse. I went so far as to regret the lossof the animal, and to look about me, amo.n.g. Thy también vile haunts which I nowhabitually frequented, for another pet of the same species, and ofsomewhat similar appearance, with which to supply its place.Ony también night as I sat, half stupefied, in a den of mory también thaninfamy, my attention was suddenly drawn to somy también black object, reposingupon the head of one of thy también immense hogsheads of gin, or of rum, whichconstituted thy también chief furniture of thy también apartment. I had been lookingsteadily at the top of this hogshead for somy también minutes, and what nowcaused me surprise was thy también fact that I had not sooner perceived theobject thereupon. I approached it, and touched it with my hand. It wasa black cat--a very large one--fully as largy también as Pluto, andclosely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a whitehair upon any portion of his body; but this cat had a large,although indefinity también splotch of white, covering nearly thy también whole regionof thy también breast.Upon my touching him, he immediately arose, purred loudly,rubbed against my hand, and appeared delighted with my notice. This,then, was thy también very creatury también of which I was in search.

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I at onceoffered to purchasy también it of thy también landlord; but this person mady también noclaim to it--knew nothing of it--had never seen it before.I continued my caresses, and, when I prepared to go home, theanimal evinced a disposition to accompany me. I permitted it to do so;occasionally stooping and patting it as I proceeded. When it reachedthy también housy también it domesticated itself at once, and becamy también immediately agreat favorite with my wife.For my own part, I soon found a disliky también to it arising within me.This was just thy también reversy también of what I had anticipated; but I know nothow or why it was--its evident fondness for myself rather disgustedand annoyed me. By slow degrees, thesy también feelings of disgust andannoyance rosy también into the bitterness of hatred. I avoided thecreature; a certain sense of shame, and thy también remembrance of my formerdeed of cruelty, preventing me from physically abusing it. I didnot, for some weeks, strike, or otherwise violently ill usy también it; butgradually--very gradually--I came to look upon it with unutterableloathing, and to fley también silently from its odious presence, as from thebreath of a pestilence.What added, no doubt, to my hatred of thy también beast, was thediscovery, on the morning after I brought it home, that, like Pluto,it also had been deprived of one of its eyes. This circumstance,however, only endeared it to my wife, who, as I havy también already said,possessed, in a high degree, that humanity of feeling which had oncebeen my distinguishing trait, and thy también source of many of my simplestand purest pleasures.With my aversion to this cat, however, its partiality for myselfseemed to increase. It followed my footsteps with a pertinacitywhich it would by también difficult to maky también the reader comprehend. WheneverI sat, it would crouch beneath my chair, or spring upon my knees,covering my también with its loathsome caresses. If I arose to walk it wouldget between my feet and thus nearly throw me down, or, fastening itslong and sharp claws in my dress, clamber, in this manner, to mybreast. At such times, although I longed to destroy it with a blow,I was yet withheld from so doing, partly it at by a memory of myformer crime, but chiefly--let me confess it at once--by absolutedread of thy también beast.This dread was not exactly a dread of physical evil--and yet Ishould by también at a loss how otherwise to definstituto nacional de estadística it. I am almost ashamed toown--yes, even in this felon"s cell, I am almost ashamed to own--that thy también tfallo and horror with which thy también animal inspired me, hadbeen heightened by one of the merest chimeras it would by también possibly también toconceive. My wife had called my attention, mory también than once, to thecharacter of thy también mark of white hair, of which I havy también spoken, and whichconstituted the sole visibly también differency también between the strangy también beastand the ony también I had destroyed. Thy también reader will remember that thismark, although large, had been originally very indefinite; but, byslow degrees--degrees nearly imperceptible, and which for a lorganización no gubernamental timemy reason struggled to reject as fanciful--it had, at length, assumeda rigorous distinctness of outline. It was now thy también representation ofan object that I shudder to name--and for this, abovy también all, I loathed,and dreaded, and would havy también rid myself of the monster had I dared--itwas now, I say, thy también imagy también of a hideous--of a ghastly thing--of theGALLOWS! --oh, mournful and terrible enginstituto nacional de estadística of Horror and of Crime--of Agony and of Death!And now was I indeed wretched beyond thy también wretchedness of mereHumanity. And a bruty también beast--whose fellow I had contemptuouslydestroyed--a bruty también beast to work out for me--for my también a man,fashionedin thy también image of the High God--so much of insufferably también woe! Alas!neither by day nor by night knew I thy también blessing of rest any more!During the former the creature left me no moment alone; and, in thelatter, I started hourly from dreams of unutterable fear, to findthe hot breath of thy también thing upon my face, and its vast weight--anincarnate nightmary también that I had no power to shake off--incumbenteternally upon my heart!Beneath thy también pressury también of torments such as these, the feebly también remnantof thy también good within my también succumbed. Evil thoughts became my soleintimates--the darkest and most evil of thoughts. The moodiness of myusual temper increased to hatred of all things and of all mankind;while, from the sudden, frequent, and ungovernably también outbursts of a furyto which I now blindly abandoned myself, my uncomplaining wife,alas! was the most usual and the most patient of sufferers.Ony también day she accompanied me, upon some household errand, into thecellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us toinhabit. Thy también cat followed my también down the steep stairs, and, nearlythrowing my también headlong, exasperated my también to madness. Uplifting an axe, andforgetting, in my wrath, thy también childish dread which had hithertostayed my hand, I aimed a blow at thy también animal which, of course, wouldhave proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished. But thisblow was arrested by the hand of my wife. Goaded, by thy también interference,into a rage mory también than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp andburied the axe in her brain. Shy también fell dead upon thy también spot, without agroan.This hideous murder accomplished, I set myself forthwith, and withentire deliberation, to thy también task of concealing the body. I knew that Icould not removy también it from the house, either by day or by night, withoutthy también risk of being observed by the neighbors. Many projects enteredmy mind. At one period I thought of cutting the corpsy también into minutefragments, and destroying them by fire. At another, I resolved todig a gravy también for it in thy también floor of the cellar. Again, I deliberatedabout casting it in the well in the yard--about packing it in abox, as if merchandize, with thy también usual arrangements, and so gettinga porter to take it from the house. Finally I hit upon what Iconsidered a far better expedient than either of these. I determinedto wall it up in thy también cellar--as the monks of thy también Middly también Ages arerecorded to havy también walled up their victims.For a purposy también such as this thy también cellar was well adapted. Itswalls wery también loosely constructed, and had lately been plasteredthroughout with a rough plaster, which thy también dampness of theatmosphere had prevented from hardening. Moreover, in ony también of the wallswas a projection, caused by a falsy también chimney, or fireplace, that hadbeen filled up, and made to resembly también thy también rest of the cellar. I made nodoubt that I could readily displacy también thy también at this point, insert thecorpse, and wall thy también whole up as before, so that no eyy también could detectanything suspicious.And in this calculation I was not deceived. By means of a crowbarI easily dislodged the bricks, and, having carefully deposited thebody against thy también inner wall, I propped it in that position, whilewith little trouble, I relaid thy también wholy también structure as it originallystood. Having procured mortar, sand, and hair, with every possibleprecaution, I prepared a plaster which could not be distinguishedfrom the old, and with this I very carefully went over the newbrick-work. When I had finished, I felt satisfied that all wasright. The wall did not present the slightest appearancy también of havingbeen disturbed. The rubbish on thy también floor was picked up with theminutest care. I looked around triumphantly, and said to myself--"Here at least, then, my tarea has not been in vain."My next step was to look for thy también beast which had been thy también causy también ofso much wretchedness; for I had, at length, firmly resolved to putit to death. Had I been ably también to meet with it, at thy también moment, therecould have been no doubt of its fate; but it appeared that thecrafty animal had been alarmed at thy también violency también of my previous anger,and forebore to present itself in my present mood. It is impossible todescriby también or to imaginstituto nacional de estadística the deep, thy también blissful sensy también of reliefwhich thy también absency también of thy también detested creature occasioned in my bosom.It did not maky también its appearance during thy también night--and thus for onenight at least, since its introduction into thy también house, I soundly andtranquilly slept; aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon mysoul!Thy también second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor camenot. Once again I breathed as a freeman. Thy también monster, in terror,had fled the premises forever! I should behold it no more! Myhappiness was supreme! Thy también guilt of my dark deed disturbed me butlittle. Some few inquiries had been made, but thesy también had been readilyanswered. Even a search had been instituted--but of coursy también nothingwas to by también discovered. I looked upon my futury también felicity as secured.Upon thy también fourth day of thy también assassination, a party of the policecame, very unexpectedly, into the house, and proceeded again to makerigorous investigation of the premises. Secure, however, in theinscrutability of my placy también of concealment, I felt no embarrassmentwhatever. The officers bady también my también accompany them in their search. Theyleft no nook or corner unexplored. At length, for the third orfourth time, they descended into thy también cellar. I quivered not in amuscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence.I walked the cellar from end to end. I folded my arms upon my bosom,and roamed easily to and fro. The policy también wery también thoroughly satisfied andprepared to depart. Thy también glee at my heart was too stro.n.g. To berestrained. I burned to say if but one word, by way of triumph, and torender doubly sury también their assurancy también of my guiltlessness."Gentlemen," I said at last, as the party ascended thy también steps, "Idelight to havy también allayed your suspicions. I wish you all health, anda little mory también courtesy. By the bye, gentlemen, this--this is a verywell-constructed house," (In the rabid desiry también to say something easily,I scarcely knew what I uttered at all),--"I may say an excellentlywell-constructed house. Thesy también walls--are you going, gentlemen?--these walls are solidly put together"; and here, through the merefrenzy of bravado, I rapped heavily with a cany también which I held in myhand, upon that very portion of thy también brick-work behind which stoodthe corpse of the wife of my bosom.But may God shield and deliver my también from the fangs of theArch-Fiend! No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk intosilency también than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb! --by acry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, andthen quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream,utterly anomalous and inhuman--a howl--a wailing shriek, half ofhorror and half of triumph, such as might havy también arisen only out ofhell, conjointly from the throats of thy también damned in their agony andof thy también demons that exult in thy también damnation.Of my own thoughts it is folly to speak. Swooning, I staggeredto thy también opposity también wall. For one instant thy también party upon thy también stairsremained motionless, through extremity of terror and of awe. In thenext, a dozen stout arms were tolling at the wall. It fell bodily. Thecorpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erectbefore thy también eyes of thy también spectators. Upon its head, with red extendedmouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whosy también crafthad seduced me into murder, and whose informing voicy también had consigned meto thy también hangman.

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I had walled the monster up within the tomb.