“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe is a publicationof the Pennsylvania
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“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, the Pennsylvania State University,
Electronic Classics Series, Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, Hazleton, PA 18201-
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The Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe
TRUE!—Nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been
and am! but why will you say that I am mad? The disease
had sharpened my senses—not destroyed—not dulled them.
Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things
in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell.
How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how health-
ily--how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to tell how first the idea entered my brain;
but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object
there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old
man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me
insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye!
Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vul-
ture—a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell
upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—very gradu-
ally—I made up my mind to take the life of the old man,
and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
Now this is the point. You fancy