Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “The Worm,” Alexander's Weekly Messenger, April 15, 1840, p. 2, col. 5


[page 2, column 5:]

The Worm.

Under this head we have observed, of late, a variety of erudite articles in some of our daily papers, not only here but in New York, Boston and elsewhere. The hubbub, it appears, has been created by an old story revived concerning a living worm seen in the eye of a horse. The Philadelphia Gazette is incredulous — the Ledger a true believer — and each paper has its partisans. The only wonder in the case is that so mighty a controversy should arise about a matter with which every tolerably decent schoolboy is acquainted, and a detailed account of which may be found in all works upon Natural History. The worm in question belongs to Cuvier's class of Entozoa — thus defined, “Body in general elongated or depressed; articulated or not; without limbs; no branchiee nor tracheae, nor any other organ of respiration; no traces of a true circulation: some vestiges of nerves; almost all live within other animals.” The fact is that there are hardly any tissues or cavities in the animal frame where entozoa are not discovered. They have been frequently observed in the muscular substance, and very frequently in the human brain.




This notice was first attributed to Poe by Clarence S. Brigham in Edgar Allan Poe's Contributions to Alexander's Weekly Messenger, 1943, pp. 69-70.


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