Varney the Vampire eBook

Thomas Peckett Prest
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 963 pages of information about Varney the Vampire.

“For my sake, Admiral Bell, I wish now to extract one promise from you.”

“Say your say, my dear, and I’ll promise you.”

“You will not then expose yourself to the danger of any personal conflict with that most dreadful man, whose powers of mischief we do not know, and therefore cannot well meet or appreciate.”

“Whew! is that what you mean?”

“Yes; you will, I am sure, promise me so much.”

“Why, my dear, you see the case is this.  In affairs of fighting, the less ladies interfere the better.”

“Nay, why so?”

“Because—­because, you see, a lady has no reputation for courage to keep up.  Indeed, it’s rather the other way, for we dislike a bold woman as much as we hold in contempt a cowardly man.”

“But if you grant to us females that in consequence of our affections, we are not courageous, you must likewise grant how much we are doomed to suffer from the dangers of those whom we esteem.”

“You would be the last person in the world to esteem a coward.”

“Certainly.  But there is more true courage often in not fighting than in entering into a contest.”

“You are right enough there, my dear.”

“Under ordinary circumstances, I should not oppose your carrying out the dictates of your honour, but now, let me entreat you not to meet this dreadful man, if man he can be called, when you know not how unfair the contest may be.”

“Unfair?”

“Yes.  May he not have some means of preventing you from injuring him, and of overcoming you, which no mortal possesses?”

“He may.”

“Then the supposition of such a case ought to be sufficient ground for at once inducing you to abandon all idea of meeting with him.”

“My dear, I’ll consider of this matter.”

“Do so.”

“There is another thing, however, which now you will permit me to ask of you as a favour.”

“It is granted ere it is spoken.”

“Very good.  Now you must not be offended with what I am going to say, because, however it may touch that very proper pride which you, and such as you, are always sure to possess, you are fortunately at all times able to call sufficient judgment to your aid to enable you to see what is really offensive and what is not.”

“You alarm me by such a preface.”

“Do I? then here goes at once.  Your brother Henry, poor fellow, has enough to do, has he not, to make all ends meet.”

A flush of excitement came over Flora’s cheek as the old admiral thus bluntly broached a subject of which she already knew the bitterness to such a spirit as her brother’s.

“You are silent,” continued the old man; “by that I guess I am not wrong in my I supposition; indeed it is hardly a supposition at all, for Master Charles told me as much, and no doubt he had it from a correct quarter.”

“I cannot deny it, sir.”

“Then don’t.  It ain’t worth denying, my dear.  Poverty is no crime, but, like being born a Frenchman, it’s a d——­d misfortune.”

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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