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It was open, wide, wide open,

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and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. But even yet I refrained and

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kept still. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. -- they suspected! -- no, no? -- and now -- again -- hark! I was singularly at ease. When I had waited a long time very patiently without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little -- a very,

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very little crevice in the lantern. He had been

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trying to fancy them диета 5 causeless, but could not. Why WOULD they not be gone? I knew that sound well too. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND -- MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A WATCH MAKES WHEN ENVELOPED IN COTTON. I had been too wary for that. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant. They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. Now you may think that I drew back -- but no. And then when my head was well in the room I undid the lantern cautiously -- oh, so cautiously -- cautiously (for

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the hinges creaked),

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I undid it just диета 5 so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. For his gold I had no desire. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened

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through fear of robbers), and so I knew that

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he could not see the opening of the door,

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and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily. The

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night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. But anything was better than this agony! I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not. I think it was

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his eye! And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful

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silence of that диета 5 old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. But for many minutes

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the heart beat on with a muffled sound. I then smiled gaily, to find диета 5 the deed so far done. It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage. And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern

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all closed, closed so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent

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gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. At length it ceased. I placed my hand upon

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the heart and held

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it there many minutes. and observe how healthily,

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how calmly, I can tell you the whole story. Was it possible they heard not? You should

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have

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seen how wisely I proceeded -- with what

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caution

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-- with what foresight, with what dissimulation, I went to work! I say I knew it well. A watch's minute

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hand moves more

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quickly than did mine. -- do you mark

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me well? They heard! Almighty God! You fancy me mad. now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I had

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my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening , and the old man диета 5 sprang up in the bed, crying out, "Who's there? Now this is the point. Object there was none. The old man was

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dead. -- here, here! -- tear up the planks! And still the men chatted диета 5 pleasantly , and smiled. I knew the sound well. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. So you see he would have been a very profound old

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man, indeed , to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept. I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. I was never kinder to the old man

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than during the whole week before I killed him. I moved it slowly, very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. -- this I thought, and this I think. I thought the heart must burst. I felt that I must scream or die! Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. It grew louder -- louder -- louder! Yes, it was this! But the beating grew louder, louder! So I opened it -- you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily

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-- until at length a single dim ray like the thread of the spider shot out from the crevice and fell upon the vulture eye. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. My head диета 5 ached, and I fancied

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a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. My MANNER had convinced them. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. To think that there I was opening the door little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. The ringing became more distinct : I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness -- until, at length, I found that the noise was NOT within my ears. He had never given me insult. I saw it with perfect distinctness -- all a dull blue with a hideous veil over it that chilled the

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very marrow in my bones, but I could see nothing

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else of the old man's face or person, for I had directed the ray as if by instinct precisely upon the damned spot. And now a new anxiety seized me -- the sound would be heard by a neighbour! It was the beating of the old

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man's heart. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them диета 5 gone. No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. And every night about midnight I turned the latch

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of his

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door and opened it oh, so gently! " I kept quite still and said nothing. When I had made an end of these labours, it was four o'clock -- still dark as midnight. I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased. The officers

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were satisfied. Yet the sound increased -- and what could I do? Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. I bade the gentlemen welcome. I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. I went down to open it with a light heart, -- for what had

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I now to fear? -- it is the beating of his hideous heart! The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. He shrieked once -- once only. There диета 5 entered three men, диета 5 who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers диета 5 of the police. He had never wronged me. Whenever it fell

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upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very

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gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever.

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would a madman have been so wise as this? -- "Villains! I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. I led them, at length, to his chamber.

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ALL IN VAIN, because Death in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before

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him and enveloped the victim. One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture

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-- a pale blue eye with a film over it. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was stone dead.

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Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers, of my sagacity. Passion there was none. I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! The old man's

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hour had come! And every morning, when the day broke,

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I went boldly into the chamber and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he had passed the night. There was no pulsation. I smiled, -- for what had I to fear? " Yes he has been trying to comfort himself with

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these

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suppositions ; but

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he had found

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all in vain. Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew

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it was the groan of mortal terror.

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Yes, диета 5 he was stone, stone dead. But you should have seen me. I could

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bear those hypocritical smiles no longer!

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I admit the deed!

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It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. If still

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you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment

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of the body. I fairly chuckled at the idea,

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and perhaps he heard me, for he moved on the bed suddenly as if startled. It was not a groan of pain or of grief -- oh, no! I held the lantern motionless. I scarcely breathed. what COULD I do? " I shrieked, "dissemble no more! -- they KNEW! -- they were making a mockery of my horror! In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim. How then am I mad? Anything was more tolerable than this derision! His eye would

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trouble me no more. It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. And this I did for seven long nights, every night just at midnight, but I found the eye always closed, and so it was impossible

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to do the work, for it was not the old man who vexed me but his Evil Eye. I loved

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the old man. I heard many things in hell. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. Oh, you would have laughed

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to see how cunningly I thrust it in! ------------------------------------------------------------- TRUE! The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed

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over him.

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A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.

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