Vampire City (French Horror)
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Read between January 28 - April 03, 2021
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“Why don’t you get your own back by stealing from the English?” “It is certainly not that there is nothing in your books that would be worth stealing, Madame,” I used to reply,
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“Do you trust Walter Scott?” she asked. “He was a passionate admirer of The Mysteries of Udolpho and wrote a biography of Mrs. Anne Radcliffe.
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The fame of Anne Radcliffe was worldwide at one time, and her dark tales obtained a height of fashionability that our most successful contemporaries have been unable to equal.
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It was said that she cast her spell on cottage and country house alike. The Mysteries of Udolpho went through two hundred editions in England.
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In France the book was translated several times over, and one of those versions was repri...
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by now the fever has calmed somewhat, but The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Confessional of the Black Penitents still terrify thousa...
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Miss 97 knew of a personal experience of Anne Radcliffe, which Anne Radcliffe herself had told to her ...
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Miss Jebb was none other than our own Miss 97,
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Miss 97 was a natural ventriloquist. Her voice had circled around us and was heard as if from behind.
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“You see that She is loved in France,” said Milady earnestly, as she opened the volume which contained the Life of Anne Radcliffe.
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Miss Jebb’s teeth became visible, the set still complete although they were yellow and strangely elongated.
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I don’t want to carry this incredible story to the grave.”
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I should like Her name to be on everyone’s lips one last time–and they will certainly talk, for it is terrible... terrible!”
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When Mr. Ward sold his establishment, in 1776 or thereabouts, he brought his wife and daughter to live in the cottage in which we are now gathered 
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William Radcliffe was nevertheless the happiest of husbands–Sir Walter Scott says so in his account of her life
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It is not a hundred but a thousand times that I have been asked where she found the melancholy inspiration of her genius. You, at least, when you have heard me out, will never ask me that question again.
Justin Tate
Premise
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Cornelia was the original on whom the character of Emily is based.
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In response to a delicate and sentimental impulse, they had arranged that both marriages would take place on the same day, at the same hour: one in Holland; the other in England.
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Every morning, as was his habit, the excellent Mr. Ward would look up at the weathervane atop the cottage and say: “As soon as that cock turns around, we’ll get a whole ream of letters all at once!”
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I should call your attention at this point to an important item: it is at this precise moment that I cease to speak as an actual eye-witness. From now on, it is to Anne Radcliffe herself that you are listening, for it was from her own lips that I had the rest of the story. I only saw her again after the events had taken place.
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Our Anna’s sleep was feverish and filled with dreams.
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Beside the church was a cemetery whose tombs were all white. There were two among them that seemed to be identical, from each of which–a simple but touching motif one often encounters in English cemeteries–an arm extended, sculpted in a substance whiter than marble. The two arms stretched towards one another, so that their hands clasped.
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Her gaze happened to fall upon the letters from Rotterdam which she had almost forgotten, and a loud gasp escaped her bosom. It was as if she could suddenly read the names inscribed on the marble of the two identical tombs: Cornelia! Edward!
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Anna envious–what blasphemy! No, but it is certainly true that Corny dwelt a little too much upon her new riches, her finery–and, above all, on the ardor of the attentions lavished upon her by the enraptured Ned.
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You have a nice saying in France: If you are rich enough, eat dinner twice! Perhaps our Anna thought: “They should be married twice, since they love one another so much.”
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Then, when she had become philosophical, thoroughly imbued with the kind of sagacity with which Christians regard pagans, she began to tell herself that an excess of happiness could easily be transformed into its opposite.
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serpent lurking beneath the roses
Justin Tate
Monk
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We had read, here and there, two or three fragments of paragraphs in which the word “happiness” had been repeated one more time–but, alas, it was to express the regret of happiness lost!
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we were struck by lightning and cast down; we are lost!”
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my dearest friend?” Other women usually faint in similar situations, but She was superior to the rest of her sex. Without abandoning her prayerful posture, she seized the letters again and continued to read through her tears.
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my beloved Cornelia, abducted by her infamous tutor, is on her way to Castle Montefalcone in Dalmatia.
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I was surrounded and attacked by four men with their faces obscured by masks. Nevertheless, by the light of the moon and through the holes in one of the masks, I believe I recognized that green light which shines in the eyes of Monsieur Goetzi.
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A bald woman came in, followed by the dog which now seems to look at me with the eyes of Monsieur Goetzi.
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The innkeeper has a parrot that he carries everywhere on his shoulder and which says incessantly: ‘Have you dined, Ducat?’ The green eyes transfix me from the depths of the black hole.
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Although she had not yet composed any of her admirable works, she already possessed the brilliant and noble style which Sir Walter Scott was to praise to the skies in his biography.
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“Instead of talking to yourself, Miss, you would do better to tell me why we are going to Stafford so early.”
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The journey was long and confounded by the most extraordinary obstacles. She was continually required to open her purse. Whence did she draw those expenses? I don’t know, and wash my hands of the matter.
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“See what happens when his name is spoken aloud,” he muttered. “No one knows anything about the man, except that he is a vampire.”
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“I don’t believe in vampires, my friend,” said our Anna, disdainfully.
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“One has to believe in vampires. They come from the Turkish lands, a long way off, beyond the city of Belgrade. Only, I don’t know exactly what they are. There’s nothing you don’t know–would you like to explain it to me, Miss?”
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“Vampires,” she said, “supposing that they exist, are monsters in human form, who originate from southern Hungary, between the Danube and the Sava. Their nourishment is the blood of young women...”
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He stalked and drank the blood of the little creature, like the disgusting weasel he is. And he stole raw cutlets from the kitchen! And he got up at night to talk to spiders! And everyone knows that was how Polly Bird of the High Farm died–found asleep by the side of the stream and never woke up.
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And whenever he goes into a room all the lamps glow green.
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And what of the tomcats which leap upon his back because he stinks worse ...
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all his shirts have a faded bloodstain in the place n...
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It was because Miss Cornelia contracted a chest complaint and began to see green, and... that’s odd, Miss Anna–look at the moon!” The near-full moon had risen behind a screen of leafless poplars. Our Anna had the courage of a hero, but she could not help shuddering when she saw that the moon was green.
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One morning Miss Cornelia was found unconscious in her bed. Upon her left breast there was a little black puncture-wound,
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saw a green spider of unusual size disappearing under the door.
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They arrived in London that evening. She went, with Grey Jack, to see the Olympic Circus in Southwark.
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Between the bills which advertised the clever horse that could walk on its hind legs, and the ones promoting the clown Bod-Big, who could swallow a mole and regurgitate it alive, there was inscribed in green letters:
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