The Vampyre, and Other Tales of the Macabre

By Robert Morrison; Chris Baldick | Go to book overview

THE VAMPYRE

John Polidori

IT HAPPENED that in the midst of the dissipations attendant upon a London winter, there appeared at the various parties of the leaders of the ton* a nobleman, more remarkable for his singularities, than his rank. He gazed upon the mirth around him, as if he could not participate therein. Apparently, the light laughter of the fair only attracted his attention, that he might by a look quell it, and throw fear into those breasts where thoughtlessness reigned. Those who felt this sensation of awe, could not explain whence it arose: some attributed it to the dead grey eye, which, fixing upon the object's face, did not seem to penetrate, and at one glance to pierce through to the inward workings of the heart; but fell upon the cheek with a leaden ray that weighed upon the skin it could not pass. His peculiarities caused him to be invited to every house; all wished to see him, and those who had been accustomed to violent excitement, and now felt the weight of ennui, were pleased at having something in their presence capable of engaging their attention. In spite of the deadly hue of his face, which never gained a warmer tint, either from the blush of modesty, or from the strong emotion of passion, though its form and outline were beautiful, many of the female hunters after notoriety attempted to win his attentions, and gain, at least, some marks of what they might term affection; Lady Mercer, who had been the mockery of every monster shewn in drawing rooms since her marriage, threw herself in his way, and did all but put on the dress of a mountebank, to attract his notice;--though in vain:--when she stood before him, though his eyes were apparently fixed upon her's, still it seemed as if they were unperceived--even her unappalled impudence was baffled, and she left the field.* But though the common adultress could not influence even the guidance of his eyes, it was not that the female sex was indifferent to him: yet such was the apparent caution with which he spoke

-3-

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The Vampyre, and Other Tales of the Macabre
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Introduction vii
  • Note on the Text xxiii
  • Select Bibliography xxv
  • Chronology of the Magazines xxvii
  • The Vampyre 3
  • Sir Guy Eveling''s Dream 25
  • Confessions of a Reformed Ribbonman 33
  • Monos and Daimonos 53
  • The Master of Logan 63
  • The Victim 87
  • Some Terrible Letters from Scotland 99
  • The Curse 113
  • Life in Death 129
  • My Hobby,--Rather 139
  • The Red Man 143
  • Post-Mortem Reflections of a Medical Lecturer 165
  • The Bride of Lindorf 175
  • Passage in the Secret History of an Irish Countess 201
  • Appendix A- PRELIMINARIES FOR THE VAMPYRE 235
  • Appendix B- NOTE ON THE VAMPYRE 244
  • Appendix C- AUGUSTUS DARVELL 246
  • Biographical Notes 253
  • Explanatory Notes 257
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