As we approached the brink of the pit he let go his hold upon this, and made for the ring, from which, in the agony of his terror, he endeavored to force my hands, as it was not large enough to afford us both a secure grasp. I never felt deeper grief than when I saw him attempt this act — although I thought he was a madman when he did it — a raving maniac through sheer fright.
Edgar Allan Poe, A Descent into the Maelström, 1841