Varney the Vampire eBook

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

“I care not.”

“What if they were overheard now by unfriendly ears?  What might not be the uncomfortable results?  I pray you be more cautious what you say of this strange man.”

“I must destroy him.”

“And wherefore?”

“Can you ask?  Is he not a vampyre?”

“Yes; but reflect, Henry, for a moment upon the length to which you might carry out so dangerous an argument.  It is said that vampyres are made by vampyres sucking the blood of those who, but for that circumstance, would have died and gone to decay in the tomb along with ordinary mortals; but that being so attacked during life by a vampyre, they themselves, after death, become such.”

“Well—­well, what is that to me?”

“Have you forgotten Flora?”

A cry of despair came from poor Henry’s lips, and in a moment he seemed completely, mentally and physically, prostrated.

“God of Heaven!” he moaned, “I had forgotten her!”

“I thought you had.”

“Oh, if the sacrifice of my own life would suffice to put an end to all this accumulating horror, how gladly would I lay it down.  Ay, in any way—­in any way.  No mode of death should appal me.  No amount of pain make me shrink.  I could smile then upon the destroyer, and say, ‘welcome—­welcome—­most welcome.’”

“Rather, Henry, seek to live for those whom you love than die for them.  Your death would leave them desolate.  In life you may ward off many a blow of fate from them.”

“I may endeavour so to do.”

“Consider that Flora may be wholly dependent upon such kindness as you may be able to bestow upon her.”

“Charles clings to her.”

“Humph!”

“You do not doubt him?”

“My dear friend, Henry Bannerworth, although I am not an old man, yet I am so much older than you that I have seen a great deal of the world, and am, perhaps, far better able to come to accurate judgments with regard to individuals.”

“No doubt—­no doubt; but yet—­”

“Nay, hear me out.  Such judgments, founded upon experience, when uttered have all the character of prophecy about them.  I, therefore, now prophecy to you that Charles Holland will yet be so stung with horror at the circumstance of a vampyre visiting Flora, that he will never make her his wife.”

“Marchdale, I differ from you most completely,” said Henry.  “I know that Charles Holland is the very soul of honour.”

“I cannot argue the matter with you.  It has not become a thing of fact.  I have only sincerely to hope that I am wrong.”

“You are, you may depend, entirely wrong.  I cannot be deceived in Charles.  From you such words produce no effect but one of regret that you should so much err in your estimate of any one.  From any one but yourself they would have produced in me a feeling of anger I might have found it difficult to smother.”

“It has often been my misfortune through life,” said Mr. Marchdale, sadly, “to give the greatest offence where I feel the truest friendship, because it is in such quarters that I am always tempted to speak too freely.”

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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