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[194] Murders in the Rue Morgue the most sensational. Then there are the tales upon scientific subjects or displaying the pretence of scientific knowledge, where the narrator loves to pose as a man without imagination and with “habits of rigid thought.” And there are tales of conscience, of which The black Cat is the most fearful and William Wilson the most subtle; and there are landscape sketches and fantasies and extravaganzas, most of these poor stuff.

It is ungrateful and perhaps unnecessary to dwell upon Poe's limitations. His scornful glance caught certain aspects of the human drama with camera-like precision. Other aspects of life, and nobler, he never seemed to perceive. The human comedy sometimes moved him to laughter, but his humor is impish and his wit malign. His imagination fled from the daylight; he dwelt in the twilight among the tombs. He closed his eyes to dream, and could not see the green sunlit earth, seed-time and harvest, man going forth to his toil and returning to his hearthstone, the America that laughs as it labors. He wore upon his finger the magic ring and the genii did his bidding. But we could wish that the palaces they reared for him were not in such a

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