The Vampyre: A Tale

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The author, John Polidori, crafts a brief novella about a vampire named Lord Ruthven. Historically, the story has been attributed to Lord Byron, but in fact Polidori, Byron's doctor, €authored the tale after parting on bad terms with Byron. Polidori's depiction of Lord Ruthven as a wealthy aristocratic vampire represents one of the first romanticized characterizations of the vampire figure in literature. In the story, Ruthven befriends a young man named Aubrey, who begins to notice the deaths and suffering of everyone he and Ruthven encounter. Towards the end of the story, Aubrey's sister is engaged to marry Ruthven, but is found dead and drained of her blood on her wedding night.

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Contents

I
xix
II
27
III
73
IV
75

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Page x - The sky is changed! - and such a change! Oh night, And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong, Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light Of a dark eye in woman! Far along, From peak to peak, the rattling crags among Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone cloud, But every mountain now hath found a tongue, And Jura answers, through her misty shroud, Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud!
Page x - Far along, From peak to peak, the rattling crags among, Leaps the live thunder ! Not from one lone cloud, But every mountain now hath found a tongue ; And Jura answers through her misty shroud Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud...
Page xi - And this is in the night. — Most glorious night! Thou wert not sent for slumber! let me be A sharer in thy fierce and far delight, — A portion of the tempest and of thee! How the lit lake shines, — a phosphoric sea! And the big rain comes dancing to the earth ! And now again, 'tis black, — and now, the glee Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain mirth, As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth.
Page xi - Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way between Heights which appear as lovers who have parted In hate, whose mining depths so intervene, That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted ; Though in their souls, which thus each other thwarted, Love was the very root of the fond rage Which blighted their life's bloom, and then departed : — Itself expired, but leaving them an age Of years all winters — war within themselves to wage.
Page xxiii - Wet with thine own best blood shall drip ^ Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip ; Then, stalking to thy sullen grave, Go — and with Gouls and Afrits rave ; Till these in horror shrink away From spectre more accursed than they...
Page 81 - He also bought a new boat for a fisherman who had lost his own in a gale, and he often gave Greek Testaments to the poor children. In short, he appeared to us, from all we collected, to have been a very eccentric and benevolent character.
Page 52 - Ruthven, to whom he held himself bound by the tender care he had taken of him during his illness, that they should visit those parts of Greece neither had yet seen. They travelled in every direction, and sought every spot to which a recollection could be attached: but though they thus hastened from place to place, yet they seemed not to heed what they gazed upon. They heard much of robbers, but they gradually began to slight these reports, which they imagined were only the invention of individuals...
Page 36 - Ruthven in his carriage, and amidst the various wild and rich scenes of nature, was always the same: his eye spoke less than his lip; and though Aubrey was near the object of his curiosity, he obtained no greater gratification from it than the constant excitement of vainly wishing to break that mystery, which to his exalted imagination began to assume the appearance of something supernatural. They soon arrived at Rome, and Aubrey for a time lost sight of his companion; he left him in daily attendance...
Page xiv - I must, however, free him from one imputation attached to him - of having in his house two sisters as the partakers of his revels.
Page 67 - Earl of Marsden. Thinking this was a young Earl whom he had met with in society, Aubrey seemed pleased, and astonished them still more by his expressing his intention to be present at the nuptials, and desiring to see his sister. They answered not, but in a few minutes his sister was with him. He was apparently again capable of being affected by the influence of her lovely smile; for he pressed her to his breast, and kissed her cheek, wet with tears, flowing at the thought of her brother's being...

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