Notes on The Purloined Letter

"Nil sapientiae odiosus acumine nimio" (Seneca):  "Nothing is so hateful to wisdom as an excess of cleverness"

Non distributio medii: a logical fallacy (fallacy of the undistributed middle).

"Il y a a parier que toute idee publique, toute convention recue, est un sottise, car elle a convenue a plus grand nombre.":  you can bet on the fact that any idea and convention that is widely accepted is wrong, for it is simply convenient to the greatest number.

"Facilis descensus Averni": descent into hell is easy

"Un dessein si funeste/S'il n'est digne d'Atree, est digne de Thyeste": a scheme so hateful, if it is not worthy of Atreus, is worthy of Thyestes.

        Atreus & Thyestes were twin brothers in Greek mythology.  Thyestes sleeps with Atreus' wife; Atreus gets revenge by killing Thyestes' children and serving them to Thyestes in a stew which Thyestes eats.  Thyestes then gets revenge by consulting an oracle, which advises to have a son who would then kill Atreus.