The Fall of the House of Usher
by Edgar Allan Poe
Bewhile the whole of a dull, dark, and dinless day in the fall of the year, when the clouds hung downtreadingly low in the heavens, I had been going through alone, on horseback, through a one of a kindly dreary share of upland, and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within sight of the wistful House of Usher. I knew not how it was – but, with the first glimpse of the building, a feeling of unbearable gloom forwaded my soul. I say unbearable; for the feeling was unlightened by any of that half-quemeble, because leethy, feeling, with which the mind almost always onfangs even the sternest lundish bilthes of the forlorn or dreadful. I looked upon the scape before me --upon the [mere] house, and the onefold landscape marks of the lorddom --upon the bleak walls --upon the toom eye-like windows --upon a few rank sedges --and upon a few white trunks of forfalling trees --with an utter moodsink of soul which I can aliken to no earthly feeling more fittingly than to the after-dream of the frolicker upon [opium] --the bitter oversight into everyday life --the hideous dropping off of the wimple. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart --an ungainbought dreariness of thought which no goading of the mindsight could forpine into aught of the great. What was it --I halted to think --what was it that so unnerved me in the yondthinking of the House of Usher? It was a rune all unloosenable; nor could I clash with the shadowy dreams that crowded upon me as I bethought. I was burdened to fall back upon the unaftergladdening end, that while, beyond ink, there are blendings of pretty onefold lundish gainstands which have the might of thus swaying us, still the breakdown of this might lies among bethinkings beyond our depth. It was maybesome, I backthought, that a [mere] unalike layout of the marks of the scape, of the marks of the bilth, would be enough to shift, or maybe to wipe out its holdth for sorrowful outworking; and, doing upon this thought, I [reined] my horse to the steep brink of a black and gruesome tarn that lay in unruffled gloss by the dwelling, and gazed down --but with a shudder even more thrilling than before --upon the edshaped and switched bilthes of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the empty and eye-like windows.
Nevertheless, in this richhouse of gloom I now put forth to myself a beseeking of some weeks. Its owner, Roderick Usher, had been one of my good friends in ladhood; but many years had gone by since our last meeting. A writ, however, had lately reached me in a far away deal of the land --a writ from him --which, in its wildly bestanding lund, had acknowledged of no other than a monnly answer. The MS gave word of edgy worry. The writer spoke sharp bodily sickness --of a mindly sickness which downtrodde him --and of an earnest wish to see me, as his best, and indeed his only monnly friend, with a sight of forseeking, by the mirthness of my folkset, some soothing of his sickness. It was the way in which all this, and much more, was said --it the seeming heart that went with his asking --which let me no room for dithering; and I fitly [obeyed] forthwith what I still thought of as a mighty one of a kind calling.
Although, as lads, we had been even friendly fellow learners, yet I really knew little of my friend. His misgiving had been always overmuch and wonesome. I was aware, however, that his mighty olden kin had been bemindlocked, time out of mind, for an odd feelbereness of mindframe, showing itself, through long years, in many works of heightened craft, and swettled, of late, in agained deeds of kind yet [unobtrusive] alms, as well as in a strong felt betaking to the ravels, maybe even more than to the by-the-book and softly acknowable comelinesses, of swincrafty witship. I had learned, too, the mighty edmarkable truth, that the stem of the Usher breed, all time-worthinged as it was, had put forth, at no timespan, any abearing twig; in other words, that the whole kin lay in the straight stroke of downgoing, and had always, with mighty knickknacking and pretty makeshift sundriness, so lain. It was this flaw, I yondthought, while running over in thought the flawless keeping of the being of the grounds with the bequethed being of the folk, and while brainstorming upon the maybesome sway which the one, in the long oversight of hundredyears, might have avened upon the other --it was this flaw, maybe, of unstraight [issue], and the hence unpathleaving broadcast, from father to son, of the fatherland with the name, which had, at length, so undertold the two as to become one with the first sterling of the richhouse grounds in the weird hazy name of the "House of Usher" --a name which seemed to inshut, in the minds of the thorpfolk who noted it, both the kin and the kin richhouse.
I have said that the only outworking of my somewhat childish cun --that of looking down within the tarn --had been to deepen the first one of a kind outworking. There can be no ink that the awareness of the quick raise of my tokenbelief --for why should I not so name it? --thaned mainly to speed up the rise itself. Such, I have long known, is the witherspeakly law of all feelings having dread as a staddle. And it might have been for this orsake only, that, when I again uplifted my eyes to the house itself, from its bilth in the pool, there grew in my mind an odd liking --a liking so laughable, indeed, that I but speak of it to show the lively might of the feelings which downtrodde me. I had so worked upon my mindsight as truly to believe that about the whole richhouse and lorddom there hung a welkin one of a kindly to themselves and their nearby neighborhood-a welkin which had no forwanting with the loft of heaven, but which had reeked up from the rotten trees, and the gray wall, and the still tarn --a sickly and runesome athom, dull, sluggish, barely acknowable, and leaden-hued.
Shaking off from my soul what must have been a dream, I looked over more narrowly the true seeable mark of the building. Its main mark seemed to be that of an overmuch oldness. The mishueing of years had been great. Tiny swambs overspread the whole outside, hanging in a wonderful snarled web-work from the eaves. Yet all this was aside from any amazing tumbledowning. No lot of the stonework had fallen; and there seemed to be a wild [inconsistency] between its still flawless awendbering of deals, and the crumbling onlay of the onelipy stones. In this there was much that edminded me of the misleading wholeness of old wood-work which has rotted for long years in some forslacked shielded crate, with no stirring from the breath of the outside loft. Beyond this hint of far-reaching rot, however, the cloth gave little token of unfastness. Maybe the eye of an underseeking underlooker might have found a barely heedable gap, which, stretching out from the roof of the building in foreside, made its way down the wall in a staggered warding, until it became lost in the sulky waters of the tarn.
Taking heed of these things, I rode over a short dike to the house. A housekeeper in waiting took my horse, and I got into the Gothish bowway of the hall. A steward, of stealthy step, thence led me, in stillness, through many dark and ravely gangways in my forthstride to the workroom of his master. Much that I met on the way put in, I know not how, to heighten the hazy feelings of which I have already spoken. While the gainstands around me --while the carvings of the roomtops, the dark hangcloth of the walls, the blackwood blackness of the floors, and ghostly shieldweary wintokens which rattled as I strode, were but [matters] to which, or to such as which, I had been wont from my childhood --while I swithered not to acknowledge how kithy was all this --I still wondered to find how unkithy were the likings which everyday bilthes were stirring up. On one of the stairs, I met the healer of the kin. His leer, I thought, wore a mingled sayness of low cunning and rune. He welcomed me with worry and went on. The steward now threw open a door and led me into the bybe of his lord.
The room in which I found myself was mighty big and lofty. The windows were long, narrow, and tipped, and at so great a span from the black oaken floor as to be altogether unto-goly from within. Weak gleams of bloodreddened light made their way through the lathworked window splits, and thaned to make enoughly seeming the more outsticking gainstands around the eye, however, struggled for nothing to reach the most outlying nooks of the room, or the winkles of the [vaulted] and [fretted] roomtop. Dark deckcloth hung upon the walls. The overall roomware was overmuch, forverless, old, and tattered. Many books and swintools lay scattered about, but forsaid to give any life to the scape. I felt that I breathed a welkin of sorrow. A loft of stern, deep, and ungainbuyable gloom hung over and forwaded all.
Upon my way in, Usher arose from a settee on which he had been lying at full length, and greeted me with a lively warmth which had much in it, I at first thought, of an overdone friendliness --of the held back work of the soulweary man of the world. A quick look, however, at his leer, withwon me of his flawless turthfulness. We sat down; and for some blinktimes, while he spoke not, I gazed upon him with a feeling half of ruth, half of awe. Surely, man had never before so dreadfully shifted, in so short a timespan, as had Roderick Usher! It was with hardness that I could bring myself to acknowledge the whoness of the wan being before me with the lorehouse mate of my early ladhood. Yet the being of his leer had been at all times edmarkable. A dead-bodysome of hidehue; an eye big, flowy, and shiny beyond alikening; lips somewhat thin and mighty wan, but of a overcomingly comely bend; a nose of a weak Hebrew dummy, but with a breadth of nostril unoften in alike shapes; a wonderfully carved chin, speaking, in its want of outstickness, of a want of zedely dodrive; hair of a more than web-like softness and goodness; these marks, with an [inordinate] forgreatening above the landships of the forehead, made up altogether a leer not softly to be forgotten. And now in the [mere] overblowing of the overtopping being of these marks, and of the sayness they were wont to bear, lay so much of shift that I inked to whom I spoke. The now ghastly wanness of the hide, and the now wonderworksome gloss of the eve, above all things startled and even awed me. The silken hair, too, had been thrawed to grow all unheeded, and as, in its wild thin topsidefeel, it floated rather than fell about the leer, I could not, even with work, link its Arabian sayness with any thought of onefold mennishness.
In the way of my friend I was at once struck with an unthaving --an unfastness; and I soon found this to arise from a stream of weak and hopeless struggles to overcome an wonely worry --an overmuchsome edgy worry. For something of this lund I had indeed been ready, no less by his writ, than by inminds of some ladish marks, and by witcomings come to wit from his weird bodily shape and selfhood. His deed was frotheringly lively and sulky. His steven switched quickly from a shaking unchoosing (when the wight souls seemed utterly in idleness) to that kind of dodriven shortness --that sudden, weighty, unhurried, and hollow-dinning speech --that leaden, self-evened and flawlessly stringbent throaty uttering, which may be underlooked in the lost drunkard, or the unnereable eater of [opium], bewhile the timespans of his most strong willed thrilling.
It was thus that he spoke of the gainstand of my beseeking, of his earnest wish to see me, and of the forver he forwaited me to bring him. He got, at some length, into what he forseeded to be the lund of his sickness. It was, he said, a makeuply and a kin evil, and one for which he was hopeless to find a heelth --a [mere] edgy forwanting, he eked right away, which would uninkedly soon go away. It showed itself in a host of unlundish feelings. Some of these, as he tinymarked them, wastomshat and bewildered me; although, maybe, the name, and the overall way of the fortelling had their weight. He thrawed much from an unhealthy sharpness of the bodyfeelings; the dullest food was alone abearable; he could wear only clothes of some topsidefeel; the smell of all blossoms were downtroddesome; his eyes were forpined by even a soft light; and there were but odd dins, and these from stringed tools, which did not besoul him with dread.
To a freakish kind of dread I found him a bound slave. "I shall forfare," said he, "I must forfare in this shameful madness. Thus, thus, and not otherwise, shall I be lost. I dread the happenings of the tocome, not in themselves, but in their outcome. I shudder at the thought of any, even the paltriest, happening, which may bedrive upon this unbearable worry of soul. I have, indeed, no pukening of freech, other than in its full outworking --in dread. In this upset-in this ruthable onlay --I feel that the timespan will sooner or later come when I must forsake life and yewit together, in some struggle with the grim ghost, FEAR."
I learned, moreover, at breaks, and through broken and hazy hints, another one of a kindly mark of his mindly onlay. He was inshackled by some tokenbeliefsome outworkings about the dwelling which he dwelt, and whence, for many years, he had never set out --about a sway whose reckoned might was sent in names too shadowy here to be edsaid --a sway which some oddnesses in the [mere] shape and pith of his kin richhouse, had, by dint of long thrawdom, he said, gotten over his soul-an outworking which the built of the gray walls and small keeps, and of the dim tarn into which they all looked down, had, at length, brought about upon the self-trust of his wist.
He acknowledged, however, although with swithering, that much of the weird gloom which thus ailed him could be linked to a more lundish and far more openseelyble origin --to the harsh and long-ongoing sickness --indeed to the wordly coming near breakup-of a lovingly beloved sister --his only friend for long years --his last and only bloodsib on earth. "Her death," he said, with a bitterness which I can never forget, "would leave him (him the hopeless and the weak) the last of the olden breed of the Ushers." While he spoke, the lady Madeline (for so was she called) walked slowly through an outlying share of the flat, and, without having taken heed of my bybe, fordwindled. I looked at her with an utter amazeness not unmingled with dread --and yet I found it unmaybesome to sweetle for such feelings. A feeling of daze downtrodde me, as my eyes followed her withdrawing steps. When a door, at length, shut upon her, my look sought selfdoingly and yearnsomely the leer of the brother --but he had buried his leer in his hands, and I could only take heed that a far more than everyday wanness had overspread the thin fingers through which trickled many strongly felt tears.
The sickness of the lady Madeline had long bewildered the skill of her healers. A settled uncare, a fordwindling of the being little by little, and often although makeshift fondness of a bitly bodyhardening being, were the weird sickwhoness. Hitherto she had steadily borne up against the thringmight of her sickness, and had not betaken herself to bed at last; but, on the ending in of the evening of my coming at the house, she died (as her brother told me at night with unoutthrimpable worry) to the agrounding might of the wrecker; and I learned that the glimpse I had gotten of her being would thus likely be the last I should get --that the lady, at least while living, would be seen by me no more.
For many following days , her name was unspoken by either Usher or myself: and bewhile this timespan I was busied in earnest undertakings to soothe the gloominess of my friend. We mealed and read together; or I listened, as if in a dream, to the wild makeshifts of his speaking stringer. And thus, as a nearer and still nearness acknowledged me more unwithdrawnly into the winkles of his soul, the more bitterly did I take heed of the worthlessness of all forseeking at gladdening a mind from which darkness, as if a built-in upside ownship, gote forth upon all gainstands of the zedely and bodily allhome, in one unhalting fallout of gloom.
I shall ever bear about me a mindsight of the many heavy longlogs I thus spent alone with the lord of the House of Usher. Yet I should forsay in any forseeking to send a thought of the right being of the aloggings, or of the businesses, in which he inbound me, or led me the way. A thrilled and highly unannealed mindmight threw a swevely gloss over all. His long makeshift sad songs will ring forever in my ears. Among other things, I hold achely in mind some one of a kindly bewarping and forstrengthenings of the wild loft of the last waltz of Von Weber. From the mealworks over which his overwrought dream brooded, and which grew, rine by rine, into hazynesses at which I shuddered the more thrillingly, for I shuddered knowing not why; --from these mealworks (lively as their bilthes now are before me) I would for nothing undertake to bring out more than a small share which should lie within the turf of [merely] written words. By the utter straightforwardness, by the nakedness of his layouts, he nabbed and overawed heed. If ever deathling mealed a thought, that deathling was Roderick Usher. For me at least --in the happenings then begirding me --there arose out of the clean offdrawings which the sicknessfearer came up with to throw upon his hemprag, a strenght of unbearable awe, no shadow of which felt I ever yet in the yondthinking of the wisly glowing yet too true daydreams of Fuseli.
One of the ghostly hents of my friend, sharing not so stiffly of the soul of offdrawing, may be shadowed forth, although weakly, in words. A small build showed the inside of an overbigly long and [rectangular] shielded room or burrow, with low walls, smooth, white, and without underbreaking or token. Some deck tips of the layout thaned well to send the thought that this digging lay at an overgoing depth below the topside of the earth. No outlet was seen in any share of its great lenght, and no handlight, or other manmade springhead of light was seeming; yet a flood of strong beams rolled throughout, and bathed the whole in a ghastly an unfitting thrim.
I have just spoken of that unhealthy sickness of the hearing sinew which made all swincraft unbearable to the thrawer, with the standout of some outworkings of stringed tools. It was, maybe, the narrow stints to which he thus locked himself in upon the stringer, which gave birth, in great mete, to the wonderful being of his uptreads. But the rithingish softness of his speeding up could not be so sweetled. They must have been, and were, in the logs, as well as in the words of his wild makebelieve (for he not unoftenly beglided himself with likedinned spoken makeshifts), the outcome of that strong mindly coolness and mindheedness to which I have formely hinted at as underlookable only in some blinktimes of the highest manmade thrill. The words of one of these songwords I have softly kept in mind. I was, maybe, the more bewondered against my will with it, as he gave it, since, in the under or runesome stream of its meaning, I forestelled that I took heed of, and for the first time, a full awereness on the being of Usher, of the tottering of his lofty forstand upon her kingseat. The staves, which were sterlinged "The Ghosted Rikehouse," ran mighty nearly, if not rightly, thus:
In the greenest of our dales, By good errand-ghosts dwelt, Once fair and great rikehouse -- Beaming rikehouse --reared its head. In the king Thought's riketurf -- It stood there! Never highboder spread a wing Over cloth half so fair.
Fanes yellow, wuldersome, golden, On its roof did float and flow; (This --all this --was in the olden Time long ago) And every kind loft that dawdled, In that sweet day, Along the strongholds feathered and wan, A winged smell went away.
Wanderers in that happy dales Through two bright windows saw Souls bewaying swincraftly To a stringer's well-riffed law, Round about a kingseat, where sitting (Redblueson!) In rike his wulder well befitting, The leader of the kingdom was seen.
And all with seamote and redstone glowing Was the fair rikehouse door, Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing And sparkling evermore, A troop of Witherclanks whose sweet must-do Was but to sing, In stevens of overtaking comeliness, The wit and wisdom of their king.
But evil things, in robes of sorrow, Assailed the king's high stronghold; (Ah, let us mourn, for never morrow Shall dawn upon him, forlorn!) And, round about his home, the wulder That blushed and bloomed Is but a dim-kept-in-mind tale Of the old time ingraved.
And farers now within that dale, Through the red-litten windows, see Great shapes that beway wonderfully To an unthaving gleestaff; While, like a fast ghastly brook, Through the wan door, A hideous throng hurry out forever, And laugh --but smile no more.
I well edcall that redes arising from this tumbsong led us into a tug of thought wherein there became swettle a think-so of Usher's which I talk of not so much for its newness, (for other men have thought thus,) as for the bullheadedness with which he kept it. This think-so, in its overall shape, was that of the self-awareness of all lifeless things. But, in his unkiltered dream, the thought had taken a more daring being, and overstepped, under some onlays, upon the kingdom of unkiltering. I lack words to outthrimp the full lenght, or the earnest forsaking of his sweet-talking. The belief, however, was linked (as I have formely hinted) with the gray stones of the home of his forefathers. The onlays of the self-awareness had been here, he forestelled, fulfilled in the way of steading of these stones --in the kilter of their layout, as well as in that of the many swambs which overspread them, and of the rotten trees which stood around --above all, in the long undreefed abearing of this layout, and in its edtwofolding in the still waters of the tarn. Its word --the word of the self-awareness --was to be seen, he said, (and I here started as he spoke,) in the bit by bit yet wis shortening of a welkin of their own about the waters and the walls. The outcome was anddeckable, he eked, in that still, yet bestanding and dreadful sway which for hundredyears had shaped the lots of his kin, and which made him what I now saw him --what he was. Such think-soes need no underquote, and I will make none.
Our books --the books which, for years, had made no small share of the mindly wist of the unsound --were, as might be beminded, in narrow keeping with this being of 'ghost. We gote together over such works as the Ververt et Chartreuse of Gresset; the Belphegor of 'Machiavelli; the Heaven and Hell of Swedenborg; the Underground Farfare of Nicholas Klimm by Holberg; the Luck-telling of Robert Flud, of Jean D'Indagine, and of De la Chambre; the Wayfare into the Blue Farness of Tieck; and the Burg of the Sun of Campanella. One most liked wal was a small booklet uplay of the Directorium Inquisitorum, by the Dominican Eymeric de Gironne; and there were wordstrings in Pomponius Mela, about the old African Mengoat an Egypters, over which Usher would sit dreaming for longlogs. His main gladness, however, was found in the reading of an overmuchly seldom and weird book in booklet Gothish --the handbook of a forgotten church --the Vigilae Mortuorum secundum Chorum Ecclesiae Maguntinae.
I could not help thinking of the wild arightdoing of this work, and of its likely sway upon the sicknessfearer, when, one evening, having told me all of a sudden that the lady Madeline was no more, he stated his offwill of forlasting her dead body for a fortnight, (formely to its last burial,) in one of the many shielded rooms within the main walls of the building. The worldly rake, however, given for this one of a kindly forgoing, was one which I did not feel at freedom to call out against. The brother had been led to his forthsaying (so he told me) by bethinking of the weird being of the sickness of the dead, of wis hindering and keen askings from her healers, and of the outlying and bare setting of the burial-ground of the kin. I will not naysay that when I called to mind the ill-boding leer of the lede whom I met upon the stairs, on the day of my coming at the house, I had no wish to go against what I thought of as at best but a harmless, and by no [means] an unlundish, foreward.
At the asking of Usher, I personally aided him in the layouts for the makeshift burial. The body having been burycrated, we two alone bore it to its rest. The shielded room in which we put it (and which had been so long unopened that our handlights, half smothered in its downtroddesome welkin, gave us little opening for underseeking) was small, damp, and fully without [means] of infare for light; lying, at great depth, right beneath that lot of the building in which was my own sleeping flat. It had been noted, seemingly, in far bygone dark eldth times, for the worst sakes of an underground-keep, and, in later days, as a stead of hoardroom for powder, or some other highly burnable andwork, as a share of its floor, and the whole inside of a long bowway through which we reached it, were carefully sheathed with copper. The door, of overbig iron, had been, also, alikely warded. Its overmuch weight werthed an oddly sharp grinding din, as it bewayed upon its hinges.
Having put our mournful burden upon frameworks within this landship of dread, we bitly turned aside the yet unscrewed lid of the burycrate, and looked upon the leer of the dweller. A striking alikeness between the brother and sister now first got my heed; and Usher, reading, maybe, my thoughts, mumbled out some few words from which I learned that the dead and himself had been twins, and that sorryfeelings of a scantly understandable lund had always been between them. Our looks, however, rested not long upon the dead --for we could not look at her unawed. The sickness which had thus ingraved the lady in the ripeness of youth, had left, as often in all sicknesses of a narrowly bodystiffening being, the gecking of a soft blush upon the bosom and the leer, and that shadily lingering smile upon the lip which is so dreadful in death. We edput and screwed down the lid, and, having fastened the door of iron, made our way, with toll, into the scantly less gloomy flats of the upper lot of the house.
And now, some days of bitter mourning having gone by, an underlookable shift came over the marks of the mindly sickness of my friend. His everyday lund had fordwindled. His everyday businesses were forslacked or forgotten. He roamed from room to room with hurried, uneven, and gainstandless step. The wanness of his leer had gotten, if maybesome, a more ghastly hue --but the brightness of his eye had utterly gone out. The once sometimes huskiness of his pitch was heard no more; and a shaking quaver, as if of outermost dread, wonely marked his uttering. There were times, indeed, when I thought his unhaltingly worried mind was working with some downtroddesome hiddle, to acknowledge which he struggled for the needed boldness. At times, again, I was made to settle all into the [mere] unsweetleble dreams of madness, for I beheld him gazing upon emptiness for long longlogs, in an outlook of the deepest heed, as if listening to some madebelieve din. It was no wonder that his sickness filled with dread-that it smittled me. I felt creeping upon me, by slow yet wis steps, the wild sways of his own wonderful yet awe-besouling tokenbeliefs.
It was, besunders, upon leaving to bed late in the night of the seventh or eighth day after the putting of the lady Madeline within the underground, that I underwent the full might of such feelings. Sleep came not near my settee --while the longlogs waned and waned away. I struggled to sweetle off the edgyness which had full hold over me. I ettled to believe that much, if not all of what I felt, was since the bewildering sway of the gloomy roomware of the room --of the dark and tattered deckcloth, which, forpined into scrithe by the breath of a rising storm, swayed fitfully to and fro upon the walls, and rustled restlessly about the decks of the bed. But my work was outcomeless. A lively shaking forwaded my frame step by step; and, at length, there sat upon my very heart a swivehellfiend of utterly wertheless sudden fear. Shaking this off with a gasp and a struggle, I uplifted myself upon the pillows, and, peering earnestly within the great darkness of the room, hearkened --I know not why, but that a wightfeeling soul goaded me --to some low and hazy dins which came, through the breaks of the storm, at long breaks, I knew not whence. Beaten by a strong feeling of dread, [unaccountable] yet unsweetleable, I threw on my clothes with haste (for I felt that I should sleep no more bewhile the night), and ettled to stir myself from the ruthable fettle into which I had fallen, by stepping quickly to and fro through the flat.
I had taken but few turns in this way, when a light step on some nearby stairs got my heed. I now acknew it as that of Usher. In a blinktime afterward he rapped, with a kind rine, at my door, and got in, bearing a chell. His leer was, as kindish, dead-bodily wan --but, moreover, there was a kind of mad laughter in his eyes --a wordly held back dwolm in his whole behaveness. His loft affrightened me --but anything was forechooseable to the loneliness which I had so long abore, and I even welcomed his bybe as a soothing.
"And you have not seen it?" he said suddenly, after having stared about him for some blinktimes in stillness --"you have not then seen it? --but, linger! you shall." Thus speaking, and having carefully shaded his chell, he hurried to one of the frames, and threw it freely open to the storm.
The thoughtless wrath of the inganging gust nearly lifted us from our feet. It was, indeed, a stormy yet sternly comely night, and one wildly one of a kind in its dread and its comeliness. A whirlwind had seemingly hoarded its might in our nearhood; for there were often and hest shifts in the warding of the wind; and the overgoing thickness of the clouds (which hung so low as to thrimp upon the small keeps of the house) did not forehalt our undergetting the life-like speed with which they flew flowing from all steads against each other, without going away into the farness. I say that even their overgoing thickness did not forehalt our undergetting this --yet we had no glimpse of the moon or stars --nor was there any flashing forth of the lightning. But the under topsides of the overbig bulks of shaken athom, as well as all ground gainstands right around us, were glowing in the unlundish light of a softly bright and seemingly seeable loftstuffsome breathing out which hung about and enshrouded the richhouse.
"You must not --you shall not behold this!" said I, shudderingly, to Usher, as I led him, with a kind hest, from the window to a seat. "These ghosts, which bewilder you, are only sparkflowy wonders not uneveryday --or it may be that they have their ghastly headspring in the rank rotten wearing out of the tarn. Let us shut this frame; --the loft is chilling and freechy to your frame. Here is one of your most liked books. I will read, and you shall listen; --and so we will die this dreadful night together."
The olden wal which I had taken up was the "Mad Sad" of Lord Launcelot Canning; but I had called it a most liked of Usher's more in sad prank than in earnest; for, in truth, there is little in its uncouth and unforestellingy wordiness which could have had wastomshat for the lofty and soully mindmight of my friend. It was, however, the only book right at hand; and I yielded to the whim of a hazy hope that the thrill which now shook the sicknessfearer, might find soothing (for the yore of mindly sickness is full of alike weirdnesses) even in the outermostness of the madness which I should read. Could I have deemed, indeed, by the wild over-strained loft of liveliness with which he hearkened, or seemingly hearkened, to the words of the tale, I might well have [congratulated] myself upon the sigspeed of my layout.
I had oncome at that well-known deal of the tale where Ethelred, the white hat of the Sad, having sought for nothing for frithable infare into the dwelling of the lonesettler, goes forth to make good an ingang by brawn. Here, it will be kept in mind, the words of the fortelling run thus:
"And Ethelred, who was by lund of a doughty heart, and who was now mighty withal, since the mightyness of the wine which he had drunken, waited no longer to hold chaffer with the lonesettler, who, in sooth, was of a bullish and evestful turn, but, feeling the rain upon his shoulders, and fearing the rising of the storm, uplifted his spiked club outright, and, with blows, made quickly room in the boardings of the door for his wardgloved hand; and now pulling there-with hardily, he so cracked, and ripped, and tore all asunder, that the din of the dry and hollow-dining wood upset and quivered loudly throughout the woods.
At the ending of this wordstring I started, and for a blinktime, halted; for it seemed to me (although I at once came to wit that my thrilled dream had misled me) --it seemed to me that, from some mighty far away lot of the richhouse, there came, unclearly, to my ears, what might have been, in its right alikeness of being, the witherclank (but a choked and dull one wisly) of the same cracking and ripping din which Lord Launcelot had so ahonely bewritten. It was, beyond ink, the likehappening alone which had gotten my heed; for, amid the rattling of the bands of the frames, and the everyday blended dins of the still building up storm, the din, in itself, had nothing, wisly, which should have wastomshat or dreefed me. I went on with the tale:
"But the good white hat Ethelred, now getting in within the door, was sore angered and amazed to underget no beacon of the evestful lonesettler; but, in the stead thereof, a wyrm of a scaly and overbig behaveness, and of a fiery tongue, which sat in lookout before a rikehouse of gold, with a floor of silver; and upon the wall there hung a shield of shining brass with this wording enwritten --
Who got in herein, an overcomer hath bin; Who slayeth the wyrm, the shield he shall win.
And Ethelred uplifted his spiked club, and struck upon the head of the wyrm, which fell before him, and gave up his sickly breath, with a shriek so dreadful and harsh, and withal so boring, that Ethelred had fain to close his ears with his hands against the dreadful din of it, the like whereof was never before heard."
Here again I halted quickly, and now with a feeling of wild amazeness --for there could be no ink whatever that, in this time, I did truly hear (although from what warding it came from I found it unmaybesome to say) a low and seemingly far, but harsh, drawn out, and most weird screaming or grinding din --the right match of what my dream had already come up with for the wyrm's unlundish shriek as bewritten by the writer.
Downtrodden, as I wisly was, upon the come-about of the twoth and most amazing likehappening, by a thousand feelings at odds, in which wonder and outermost dread were overweighting, I still withkept enough bybe of mind to shun thrilling, by any underlooking, the yfeel edgyness of my friend. I was by no [means] wis that he had taken heed to the dins in I talk about; although, wisly, an odd shift had, bewhile the last few shortlogs, taken stead in his behaveness. From a howstand before my own, he had brought round his seat step by step, so as to sit with his leer to the door of the room; and thus I could but bitly underget his marks, although I saw that his lips shook as if he were mumbling unhearbly. His head had dropped upon his breast --yet I knew that he was not asleep, from the wide and stiff opening of the eye as I snared a quick look of it in foreside. The bewaying of his body, too, was at sundering with this thought --for he rocked from side to side with a kind yet besetting and [uniform] sway. Having fastly taken heed of all this, I took again the fortelling of Lord Launcelot, which thus forfared:
"And now, the white hat, having gotten away from the dreadful wrath of the wyrm, bethinking himself of the brazen shield, and of the breaking up of the spell which was upon it, took away the dead body from out of the way before him, and went nearer boldly over the silver sidewalk of the stronghold to where the shield was upon the wall; which in sooth dawdled not for his full coming, but fell down at his feet upon the silver floor, with a mighty great and dreadful ringing din."
No sooner had these worddeals gone though my lips, than --as if a shield of brass had indeed, at the blinktime, fallen heavily upon a floor of silver, became aware of a standing out, hollow, orestuffy, and clinking, yet seemingly deadened quivering din. Fully unboldened, I leaped to my feet; but the meten rocking bewaying of Usher was undreefed. I hurried to the seat in which he sat. His eyes were bent stiffly before him, and throughout his whole leer there held sway a stony stiffness. But, as I put my hand upon his shoulder, there came a strong shudder over his whole being; a sickly smile quivered about his lips; and I saw that he spoke in a low, hurried, and gibbering mutter, as if unaware of my bybe. Bending nearly over him, I at length drank in the hidesome meaning of his words.
"Not hear it? --yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long --long --long --many shortlogs, many longlogs, many days, have I heard it --yet I dared not --oh, ruth me, unworthy wretch that I am! --I dared not --I dared not speak! We have put her living in the grave! Said I not that my bodyfeelings were sharp? I now tell you that I heard her first weak bewayings in the hollow burycrate. I heard them --many, many days ago --yet I dared not --I dared not speak! And now --to-night --Ethelred --ha! ha! --the breaking of the lonesettler's door, and the death-shriek of the wyrm, and the clanking of the shield! --say, rather, the rending of her burycrate, and the grinding of the iron hinges of her lockup, and her struggles within the coppered bowway of the shielded room! Oh whither shall I fly? Will she not be here later? Is she not hurrying to upbraid me for my haste? Have I not heard her footstep on the stair? Do I not acknowledge that heavy and dreadful beating of her heart? MADMAN!" here he sprang wrathfully to his feet, and shrieked out his worddeals, as if in the work he were giving up his soul --"MADMAN! I TELL YOU THAT SHE NOW STANDS WITHOUT THE DOOR!"
As if in the overmennish dodrive of his uttering there had been found the strenght of a spell --the overbig olden panels to which the speaker tipped, threw slowly back, upon the blinktime, heavy and black mouthbones. It was the work of the hurrying gust --but then without those doors there DID stand the lofty and enshrouded being of the lady Madeline of Usher. There was blood upon her white robes, and the word of some bitter struggle upon every bit of her thin frame. For a blinktime she blove shaking and reeling to and fro upon the threshold, then, with a low moaning wail, fell heavily inward upon the being of her brother, and in her hest and now last death-thraws, bore him to the floor a dead body, and a [victim] to the dreads he had foreseen.
From that room, and from that richhouse, I fled aghast. The storm was still abroad in all its wrath as I found myself overstriding the old dike. Suddenly there shot along the path a wild light, and I turned to see whence a gleam so weird could have come from; for the great house and its shadows were alone behind me. The brightness was that of the full, setting, and blood-red moon which now shone lively through that once barely-seeable crack of which I have before spoken as stretching out from the roof of the building, in a staggered warding, to the ground. While I gazed, this crack quickly widened --there came a hest breath of the whirlwind --the whole ball of the [satellite] burst at once upon my sight --my brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls hurrying asunder --there was a long keyed-up shouting din like the steven of a thousand waters --and the deep and dank tarn at my feet shut sulkily and stilly over the breakbits of the "HOUSE OF USHER."
WinterWind 13:14, October 18, 2011 (UTC)