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[195] somber land, with such infernal lights gleaming in their windows, and crowded with such horrorhaunted forms. We could wish that his imagination dealt less often with those primitive terrors that belong to the childhood of our race. Yet when his spell is upon us we lapse back by a sort of atavism into primal savagery and shudder with a recrudescence of long forgotten fears. No doubt Poe was ignorant of life, in the highest sense. He was caged in by his ignorance. Yet he had beautiful dusky wings that bruised themselves against his prison.

Poe was a tireless critic of his own work, and both his standards of workmanship and his critical precepts have been of great service to his careless countrymen. He turned out between four and five short stories a year, was poorly paid for them, and indeed found difficulty in selling them at all. Yet he was constantly correcting them for the better. His best poems were likewise his latest. He was tantalized with the desire for artistic perfection. He became the pathbreaker for a long file of men in France, Italy, England, and America. He found the way and they brought back the glory and the cash.

I have sometimes imagined Poe, with four other

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