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NOTE

by Edgar Allan Poe

THE circumstances connected with the late sudden and distressing
death of Mr. Pym are already well known to the public through the
medium of the daily press. It is feared that the few remaining
chapters which were to have completed his narrative, and which were
retained by him, while the above were in type, for the purpose of
revision, have been irrecoverably lost through the accident by which
he perished himself. This, however, may prove not to be the case, and
the papers, if ultimately found, will be given to the public.

No means have been left untried to remedy the deficiency. The
gentleman whose name is mentioned in the preface, and who, from the
statement there made, might be supposed able to fill the vacuum, has
declined the task-this, for satisfactory reasons connected with the
general inaccuracy of the details afforded him, and his disbelief in
the entire truth of the latter portions of the narration. Peters,
from whom some information might be expected, is still alive, and a
resident of Illinois, but cannot be met with at present. He may
hereafter be found, and will, no doubt, afford material for a
conclusion of Mr. Pym's account.

The loss of two or three final chapters (for there were but two or
three) is the more deeply to be regretted, as it can not be doubted
they contained matter relative to the Pole itself, or at least to
regions in its very near proximity; and as, too, the statements of
the author in relation to these regions may shortly be verified or
contradicted by means of the governmental expedition now preparing
for the Southern Ocean.

On one point in the narrative some remarks may well be offered; and
it would afford the writer of this appendix much pleasure if what he
may here observe should have a tendency to throw credit, in any
degree, upon the very singular pages now published. We allude to the
chasms found in the island of Tsalal, and to the whole of the figures
upon pages 245-47 {of the printed edition -ed.}.

Mr. Pym has given the figures of the chasms without comment, and
speaks decidedly of the _indentures _found at the extremity of the
most easterly of these chasms as having but a fanciful resemblance to
alphabetical characters, and, in short, as being positively _not
such. _This assertion is made in a manner so simple, and sustained by
a species of demonstration so conclusive (viz., the fitting of the
projections of the fragments found among the dust into the indentures
upon the wall), that we are forced to believe the writer in earnest;
and no reasonable reader should suppose otherwise. But as the facts
in relation to all the figures are most singular (especially when
taken in connection with statements made in the body of the
narrative), it may be as well to say a word or two concerning them
all-this, too, the more especially as the facts in question have,
beyond doubt, escaped the attention of Mr. Poe.

Figure 1, then, figure 2, figure 3, and figure 5, when conjoined with
one another in the precise order which the chasms themselves
presented, and when deprived of the small lateral branches or arches
(which, it will be remembered, served only as a means of
communication between the main chambers, and were of totally distinct
character), constitute an Ethiopian verbal root-the root {image} "To
be shady,'-- whence all the inflections of shadow or darkness.

In regard to the "left or most northwardly" of the indentures in
figure 4, it is more than probable that the opinion of Peters was
correct, and that the hieroglyphical appearance was really the work
of art, and intended as the representation of a human form. The
delineation is before the reader, and he may, or may not, perceive
the resemblance suggested; but the rest of the indentures afford
strong confirmation of Peters' idea. The upper range is evidently the
Arabic verbal root {image}. "To be white," whence all the inflections
of brilliancy and whiteness. The lower range is not so immediately
perspicuous. The characters are somewhat broken and disjointed;
nevertheless, it can not be doubted that, in their perfect state,
they formed the full Egyptian word {image}. "The region of the
south.' It should be observed that these interpretations confirm the
opinion of Peters in regard to the "most northwardly" of the,
figures. The arm is outstretched toward the south.

Conclusions such as these open a wide field for speculation and
exciting conjecture. They should be regarded, perhaps, in connection
with some of the most faintly detailed incidents of the narrative;
although in no visible manner is this chain of connection complete.
Tekeli-li! was the cry of the affrighted natives of Tsalal upon
discovering the carcase of the _white _animal picked up at sea. This
also was the shuddering exclamatives of Tsalal upon discovering the
carcass of the _white _materials in possession of Mr. Pym. This also
was the shriek of the swift-flying, _white, _and gigantic birds which
issued from the vapory _white _curtain of the South. Nothing _white
_was to be found at Tsalal, and nothing otherwise in the subsequent
voyage to the region beyond. It is not impossible that "Tsalal," the
appellation of the island of the chasms, may be found, upon minute
philological scrutiny, to betray either some alliance with the chasms
themselves, or some reference to the Ethiopian characters so
mysteriously written in their windings.

_"I have graven it within the hills, and my vengeance upon the dust
within the rock."_


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