Sheridan Le Fanu Quotes

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But to die as lovers may - to die together, so that they may live together.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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You will think me cruel, very selfish, but love is always selfish; the more ardent the more selfish. How jealous I am you cannot know. You must come with me, loving me, to death; or else hate me, and still come with me, and hating me through death and after. There is no such word as indifference in my apathetic nature.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exits and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla (The Gothic Vampire Classic!))
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Nevertheless, life and death are mysterious states, and we know little of the resources of either.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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If your dear heart is wounded, my wild heart bleeds with yours.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one for ever.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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For some nights I slept profoundly; but still every morning I felt the same lassitude, and a languor weighed upon me all day. I felt myself a changed girl. A strange melancholy was stealing over me, a melancholy that I would not have interrupted. Dim thoughts of death began to open, and an idea that I was slowly sinking took gentle, and, somehow, not unwelcome possession of me. If it was sad, the tone of mind which this induced was also sweet. Whatever it might be, my soul acquiesced in it.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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You must come with me, loving me, to death; or else hate me, and still come with me.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Girls are caterpillars while they live in the world, to be finally butterflies when the summer comes; but in the meantime there are grubs and larvae, don't you see - each with their peculiar propensities, necessities and structure.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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I have been in love with no one, and never shall," she whispered, "unless it should be with you." How beautiful she looked in the moonlight! Shy and strange was the look with which she quickly hid her face in my neck and hair, with tumultuous sighs, that seemed almost to sob, and pressed in mine a hand that trembled. Her soft cheek was glowing against mine. "Darling, darling," she murmured, "I live in you; and you would die for me, I love you so." I started from her. She was gazing on me with eyes from which all fire, all meaning had flown, and a face colorless and apathetic. "Is there a chill in the air, dear?" she said drowsily. "I almost shiver; have I been dreaming? Let us come in. Come; come; come in.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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I remember everything about itβ€”with an effort. I see it all, as divers see what is going on above them, through a medium, dense, rippling, but transparent.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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You are afraid to die?' Yes, everyone is.' But to die as lovers may - to die together, so that they may live together. Girls are caterpillars when they live in the world, to be finally butterflies when the summer comes; but in the meantime there are grubs and larvae, don't you see - each with their peculiar propensities, necessities and structures.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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I have never been in love with no one, and never shall," she whispered, "unless it should be with you.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Dearest, your little heart is wounded; think me not cruel because I obey the irresistible law of my strength and weakness; if your dear heart is wounded, my wild heart bleeds with yours. In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your warm life, and you shall die--die, sweetly die--into mine. I cannot help it; as I draw near to you, you, in your turn, will draw near to others, and learn the rapture of that cruelty, which yet is love; so, for a while, seek to know no more of me and mine, but trust me with all your loving spirit.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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but curiosity is a restless and scrupulous passion, and no one girl can endure, with patience, that hers should be baffled by another.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Thus fortified I might take my rest in peace. But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exists and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Darling, darling. I live in you, and you would die for me. I love you so.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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...and to this hour the image of Carmilla returns to mind with ambiguous alterations--sometimes the playful, languid, beautiful girl; sometimes the writhing fiend I saw in the ruined church; and often from a reverie I have started, fancying I heard the light step of Carmilla at the drawing room door.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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She was slender, and wonderfully graceful. Except that her movements were languidβ€”very languidβ€”indeed, there was nothing in her appearance to indicate an invalid.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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What a fool I was! and yet, in the sight of angels, are we any wiser as we grow older? It seems to me, only, that our illusions change as we go on; but, still, we are madmen all the same.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (In a Glass Darkly)
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She used to place her pretty arms about my neck, draw me to her, and laying her cheek to mine, murmur with her lips near my ear, β€œDearest, your little heart is wounded; think me not cruel because I obey the irresistible law of my strength and weakness; if your dear heart is wounded, my wild heart bleeds with yours. In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your warm life, and you shall dieβ€”die, sweetly dieβ€”into mine. I cannot help it; as I draw near to you, you, in your turn, will draw near to others, and learn the rapture of that cruelty, which yet is love; so, for a while, seek to know no more of me and mine, but trust me with all your loving spirit.” And when she had spoken such a rhapsody, she would press me more closely in her trembling embrace, and her lips in soft kisses gently glow upon my cheek.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu
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Although I felt very weak, I did not feel ill; and strength, one always fancies, is a thing that may be picked up when we please.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Love will have its sacrifices. No sacrifice without blood.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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There is no such sense of solitude as that which we experience upon the silent and vast elevations of great mountains. Lifted high above the level of human sounds and habitations, among the wild expanses and colossal features of Nature, we are thrilled in our loneliness with a strange fear and elation – an ascent above the reach of life's expectations or companionship, and the tremblings of a wild and undefined misgivings.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (The Haunted Baronet and Others: Ghost Stories 1861-70)
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Perhaps other souls than human are sometimes born into the world, and clothed in flesh.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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The stream of life is black and angry; how so many of us get across without drowning, I often wonder. The best way is not to look too far before-just from one stepping-stone to another; and though you may wet your feet, He won't let you drown-He has not allowed me.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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Let us look again for a moment; it is the last time, perhaps, I shall see the moonlight with you.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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The mind is a different organ by night and by day.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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Women are so enigmatical – some in everything – all in matters of the heart. Don't they sometimes actually admire what is repulsive?...
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Wylder's Hand)
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Over all this the schloss shows its many-windowed front; its towers, and its Gothic chapel.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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truth I know not why I am so sad. It wearies me: you say it wearies you; But how I got it--came by it.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Knowledge is power-and power of one sort or another is the secret lust of human souls; and here is, beside the sense of exploration, the undefinable interest of a story, and above all, something forbidden, to stimulate the contumacious appetite.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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The world is a parable-the habitation of symbols-the phantoms of spiritual things immortal shown in material shape.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu
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Pero los sueΓ±os atraviesan los muros de piedra, iluminan las habitaciones vacΓ­as y oscurecen las iluminadas, y los personajes que intervienen en el sueΓ±o entran y salen a placer, burlΓ‘ndose de los cerrojos.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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I believe the entire natural world is but the ultimate expression of that spiritual world from which, and in which alone, it has its life.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Delphi Complete Works of Sheridan Le Fanu (Illustrated))
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Young people like, and even love, on impulse.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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I can not help it; as I draw near to you, you, in your turn will draw near to others, and learn the rapture of that cruelty, which yet is love; so, for a while, seek to know no more of me and mine, but trust me with all your loving spirit.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu
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It stands on a slight eminence
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Girls are caterpillars while they live in the world, to be finally butterflies when the summer comes
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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There is a faculty in man that will acknowledge the unseen. He may scout and scare religion from him; but if he does, superstition perches near.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (The Haunted Baronet and Others: Ghost Stories 1861-70)
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If your dear heart is wounded, my wild heart bleeds with yours. In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your warm life, and you shall die--die, sweetly die--into mine.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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There is no such word as indifference in my apathetic nature
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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There was a coldness, it seemed to me, beyond her years, in her smiling melancholy persistent refusal to afford me the least ray of light.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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It was long before the terror of recent events subsided; and to this hour the image of Carmilla returns to memory with ambiguous alternationsβ€”sometimes the playful, languid, beautiful girl; sometimes the writhing fiend I saw in the ruined church; and often from a reverie I have started, fancying I heard the light step of Carmilla at the drawing room door.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla (The Gothic Vampire Classic!))
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Sometimes after an hour of apathy, my strange and beautiful companion would take my hand and hold it with a fond pressure, renewed again and again; blushing softly, gazing in my face with languid and burning eyes, and breathing so fast that her dress rose and fell with the tumultuous respiration. It was like the ardor of a lover; it embarrassed me; it was hateful and yet over-powering; and with gloating eyes she drew me to her, and her hot lips traveled along my cheek in kisses; and she would whisper, almost in sobs, "You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one for ever." Then she had thrown herself back in her chair, with her small hands over her eyes, leaving me trembling.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Do you think," I said at length, "that you will ever confide fully in me?" She turned round smiling, but made no answer, only continued to smile on me. "You won't answer that?" I said. "You can't answer pleasantly; I ought not to have asked you." "You were quite right to ask me that, or anything. You do not know how dear you are to me, or you could not think any confidence too great to look for. But I am under vows, no nun half so awfully, and I dare not tell my story yet, even to you. The time is very near when you shall know everything. You will think me cruel, very selfish, but love is always selfish; the more ardent the more selfish.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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The air was still. The silvery vapour hung serenely on the far horizon, and the frosty stars blinked brightly. Everyone knows the effect of such a scene on a mind already saddened. Fancies and regrets float mistily in the dream, and the scene affects us with a strange mixture of memory and anticipation, like some sweet old air heard in the distance.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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Pen, ink, and paper are cold vehicles for the marvellous, and a "reader" decidedly a more critical animal than a "listener.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 1)
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I have been in love with no one, and never shall," she whispered, "unless it should be with you." How
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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There was a coldness, it seemed to me, beyond her years, in her smiling melancholy persistent refusal to afford me the least ray of light. I cannot say we quarreled upon this point, for she would not quarrel upon any. It was, of course, very unfair of me to press her, very ill-bred, but I really could not help it; and I might just as well have let it alone. What she did tell me amounted, in my unconscionable estimation--to nothing.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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The world," he resumed after a short pause, "has no faith in any man's conversion; it never forgets what he was, it never believes him anything better, it is an inexorable and stupid judge.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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From these foolish embraces, which were not of very frequent occurrence, I must allow, I used to wish to extricate myself; but my energies seemed to fail me. Her murmured words sounded like a lullaby in my ear, and soothed my resistance into a trance, from which I only seemed to recover myself when she withdrew her arms. In these mysterious moods I did not like her. I experienced a strange tumultuous excitement that was pleasurable, ever and anon, mingled with a vague sense of fear and disgust. I had no distinct thoughts about her while such scenes lasted, but I was conscious of a love growing into adoration, and also of abhorrence. This I know is paradox, but I can make no other attempt to explain the feeling.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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The moon, this night," she said, "is full of idyllic and magnetic influence - and see, when you look behind you at the front of the schloss how all its windows flash and twinkle with that silvery splendor, as if unseen hands had lighted up the rooms to receive fairy guests.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Mademoiselle De Lafontaine – in right of her father, who was a German, assumed to be psychological, metaphysical and something of a mystic – now declared that when the moon shone with a light so intense it was well known that it indicated a special spiritual activity. The effect of the full moon in such a state of brilliancy was manifold. It acted on dreams, it acted on lunacy, it acted on nervous people; it had marvelous physical influences connected with life. Mademoiselle related that here cousin, who was mate of a merchant ship, having taken a nap on deck on such a night, lying on his back, with his face full in the light of the moon, had wakened, after a dream of an old woman clawing him by the cheek, with his features horribly drawn to one side; and his countenance had never quite recovered its equilibrium.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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what storm-benighted traveller, when fierce winds and rains are lashing around his lodging, can withstand the cheering influences of a glorious log-fire?
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (A Stable for Nightmares or Weird Tales)
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Twelve years ago, in vision or reality, I certainly saw you. I could not forget your face. It has remained before my eyes ever since.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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You must come with me, loving me, to death; or else hate me and still come with me, and hating me through death and after. There is no such word as indifference in my apathetic nature.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Boating, my dear Mrs. Bedel, is the dullest of all things; don't you think so? Because a boat looks very pretty from the shore, we fancy that the shore must look very pretty from a boat; and when we try it, we find we have only got down into a pit and can see nothing rightly. For my part, I hate boating and I hate the water...
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (The Haunted Baronet and Others: Ghost Stories 1861-70)
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At another time, or in another case, it might have excited my ridicule. But into what quackeries will not people rush for a last chance, where all accustomed means have failed, and the life of a beloved object is at stake?
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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In my time first cousins did not meet like strangers. But we are learning modesty from the Americans, and old English ways are too gross for us.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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Berthe was wonderfully well educated for a Frenchwoman of that period, and surprisingly handsome for a Frenchwoman of any.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (A Stable for Nightmares or Weird Tales)
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In Styria, we, though by no means magnificent people, inhabit a castle, or schloss.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Have not women preferred hatred to indifference, and the reputation of witchcraft, with all its penalties, to absolute insignificance?
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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No one likes a straight road but the man who pays for it, or who, when he travels, is brute enough to wish to get to his journey's end.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (The Haunted Baronet and Others: Ghost Stories 1861-70)
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The nearest inhabited village is about seven of your English miles to the left.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Her looks lost nothing in the daylightβ€” she was certainly the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. . .
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Pese a todo, la vida y la muerte son estados misteriosos, y sabemos poco de los resortes de uno y otro.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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You will do well to take advantage of Madame's short residence to get up your French a little... You will be glad of this, my dear, when you have reached France, where you will find they speak nothing else.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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I should tell you all with pleasure,' said the General, 'but you would not believe me.' 'Why should I not?' he asked. 'Because', he answered testily, 'you believe in nothing but what consists with your own prejudices and illusions. I remember when I was like you, but I have learned better.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Mia cara, il tuo piccolo cuore Γ¨ ferito; non giudicarmi crudele perchΓ© obbedisco all’irresistibile legge della mia forza e della mia debolezza. Se il tuo piccolo cuore Γ¨ ferito, anche il mio sanguina con il tuo. Nell’estasi della mia grande umiliazione, io vivo nella tua calda vita e tu morirai.., morirai dolcemente.., nella mia vita. Non posso farne a meno; come io mi avvicino a te, cosΓ¬ tu, a tua volta, ti accosterai ad altri, e capirai l’estasi di questa crudeltΓ  che Γ¨ sempre amore; cosΓ¬, per ora, non cercare di sapere piΓΉ niente di me e di te, ma abbi fiducia in me con tutta la tua anima appassionataΒ».
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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It was now the stormy equinoctial weather that sounds the wild dirge of autumn, and marches the winter in. I love, and always did, that grand undefinable music, threatening and bewailing, with its strange soul of liberty and desolation.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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Places change imperceptibly – in detail, at least – a good deal,' said the Doctor, making an effort to keep up a conversation that plainly would not go on itself; 'and people too; population shifts – there's an old fellow, sir, they call Death.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (The Haunted Baronet and Others: Ghost Stories 1861-70)
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Are you glad I came?" "Delighted, dear Carmilla," I answered. "And you asked for the picture you think like me, to hang in your room," she murmured with a sigh, as she drew her arm closer about my waist, and let her pretty head sink upon my shoulder. "How romantic you are, Carmilla," I said. "Whenever you tell me your story, it will be made up chiefly of some one great romance." She kissed me silently. "I am sure, Carmilla, you have been in love; that there is, at this moment, an affair of the heart going on." "I have been in love with no one, and never shall," she whispered, "unless it should be with you." How beautiful she looked in the moonlight! Shy and strange was the look with which she quickly hid her face in my neck and hair, with tumultuous sighs, that seemed almost to sob, and pressed in mine a hand that trembled. Her
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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The Squire came to the side of the bed, and put his arms under Dickon, and lifted the boyβ€”in a dead sleep all the timeβ€”and carried him out so, at the door.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (A Stable for Nightmares or Weird Tales)
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In the rapture of my enormous humiliation I live in your warm life, and you shall die - die sweetly die - into mine.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu
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The gloom was increased by several grand old trees
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (A Stable for Nightmares or Weird Tales)
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the wicked woman’s son was evidently making love to the girl. Both were standing by the old window-seat,
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (A Stable for Nightmares or Weird Tales)
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D’Avray, her father, and I had met before in Algeria. He was dying now. He left the child on his death-bed to me.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (A Stable for Nightmares or Weird Tales)
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the strong opinions I entertained against the marriage of first cousins,
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (A Stable for Nightmares or Weird Tales)
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My progress seemed like a journey through the Spessart, where at every step some new goblin or monster starts from the ground or steps from behind a tree.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu
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Deus misereatus mei (May God compassionate me)
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu
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I am afraid we women are factionists; we always take a side, and nature has formed us for advocates rather than judges.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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The precautions of nervous people re infectious, and persons of a like temperament are pretty sure, after a time, to imitate them.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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This always shocked me like a momentary glare of insanity.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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I AM NOW GOING TO tell you something so strange that it will require all your faith in my veracity to believe my story.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Those hours of opium happiness which the Doctor and I spent together in secret were regulated with a scientific accuracy. We did not blindly smoke the drug of paradise, and leave our dreams to chance. While smoking, we carefully steered our conversation through the brightest and calmest channels of thought.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (The Occult Detective Megapack: 29 Classic Stories)
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I have got into one of my moping moods tonight,’ said my father, after a silence; then quoting Shakespeare, whom, by way of keeping up our English, he used to read aloud, he said: β€˜In truth I know not why I am so sad: It wearies me; you say it wearies you; But how I got it – came by it . . . I forget the rest.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu
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I was not frightened, for I was one of those happy children who are studiously kept in ignorance of ghost stories, of fairy tales, and of all such lore as makes us cover up our heads when the door creeks suddenly, or the flicker of an expiring candle makes the shadow of a bed-post dance upon the wall, nearer to our faces.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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See how a sleepy child will put off the inevitable departure for bed. The little creature's eyes blink and stare, and it needs constant jogging to prevent his nodding off into the slumber which nature craves. His waking is a pain; he is quite worn out, and peevish, and stupid, and yet he implores a respite, and deprecates repose, and vows he is not sleepy, even to the moment when his mother takes him in her arms, and carries him, in a sweet slumber, to the nursery. So it is with us old children of earth and the great sleep of death, and nature our kind mother.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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I saw something moving round the foot of the bed, which at first I could not accurately distinguish. But I soon saw that it was a sooty-black animal that resembled a monstrous cat. It appeared to me about four or five feet long for it measured fully the length of the hearthrug as it passed over it; and it continued to-ing and fro-ing with the lithe, sinister restlessness of a beast in a cage. I could not cry out, although as you may suppose, I was terrified. Its pace was growing faster, and the room rapidly darker and darker, and at length so dark that I could no longer see anything of it but its eyes. I felt it spring lightly on the bed. The two broad eyes approached my face, and suddenly I felt a stinging pain as if two large needles darted, an inch or two apart, deep into my breast. I waked with a scream.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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I experienced a strange tumultuous excitement that was pleasurable, ever and anon, mingled with a vague sense of fear and disgust. I had no distinct thoughts about her while such scenes lasted, but I was conscious of a love growing into adoration, and also of abhorrence. This I know is paradox, but I can make no other attempt to explain the feeling.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
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Here is an obvious connexion between the material and the invisible; the healthy tone of the system, and its unimpaired energy, may, for aught we can tell, guard us against influences which would otherwise render life itself terrific.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Green Tea: And Other Weird Stories)
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How marvellously lie our anxieties, in filmy layers, one over the other! Take away that which has lain on the upper surface for so longβ€”the care of caresβ€”the only one, as it seemed to you, between your soul and the radiance of Heavenβ€”and straight you find a new stratum there. As physical science tells us no fluid is without its skin, so does it seem with this fine medium of the soul, and these successive films of care that form upon its surface on mere contact with the upper air and light.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
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We are in God’s hands: nothing can happen without his permission, and all will end well for those who love him. He is our faithful creator; He has made us all, and will take care of us.” β€œCreator! Nature!β€œ said the young lady in answer to my gentle father. β€œAnd this disease that invades the country is natural. Nature. All things proceed from Natureβ€”don’t they? All things in the heaven, in the earth, and under the earth, act and live as Nature ordains? I think so.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
β€œ
Now the truth is, I felt rather unaccountably towards the beautiful stranger. I did feel, as she said, β€œdrawn towards her,” but there was also something of repulsion. In this ambiguous feeling, however, the sense of attraction immensely prevailed. She interested and won me; she was so beautiful and so indescribably engaging.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
β€œ
What was the power that induced strong soldiers to put off their jackets and shirts, and present their hands to be tied up, and tortured for hours, it might be, under the scourge, with an air of ready volition? The moral coercion of despair; the result of an unconscious calculation of chances that satisfies them that it is ultimately better to do all that, bad as it is, than try the alternative. These unconscious calculations are going on every day with each of us, and the results embody themselves in our lives; and no one knows that there has been a process and a balance struck, and that what they see, and very likely blame, is by the fiat of an invisible but quite irresistible power.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (The Haunted Baronet and Others: Ghost Stories 1861-70)
β€œ
Jusging by the sour glance she threw on me as she said this, I concluded that I represented those 'late changes' to which all the sorrows of the house were referred. I felt unhappy under the ill-will even of this odious old woman, being one of those unhappily constructed mortals who cannot be indifferent when they reasonably ought, and always yearn after kindness, even that of the worthless.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
β€œ
smuggled away in whispers, by black familiars, unresisting, the beloved one leaves home, without a farewell, to darken those doors no more; henceforward to lie outside, far away, and forsaken, through the drowsy heats of summer, through days of snow and nights of tempest, without light or warmth, without a voice near. Oh, Death, king of terrors! The body quakes and the spirit faints before thee. It is vain, with hands clasped over our eyes, to scream our reclamation; the horrible image will not be excluded. We have just the word spoken eighteen hundred years ago, and our trembling faith. And through the broken vault the gleam of the Star of Bethlehem.
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)
β€œ
Round the cabin stood half a dozen mountain ashes, as the rowans, inimical to witches, are there called. On the worn planks of the door were nailed two horse-shoes, and over the lintel and spreading along the thatch, grew, luxuriant, patches of that ancient cure for many maladies, and prophylactic against the machinations of the evil one, the house-leek. Descending into the doorway, in the chiaroscuro of the interior, when your eye grew sufficiently accustomed to that dim light, you might discover, hanging at the head of the widow’s wooden-roofed bed, her beads and a phial of holy water
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (The Child that Went with the Fairies)
β€œ
I never could quite understand why these Jezebels like to insinuate the dreadful truth against themselves; but they do. Is it the spirit of feminine triumph overcoming feminine shame, and making them vaunt their fall as an evidence of bygone fascination and existing power? Need we wonder? Have not women preferred hatred to indifference, and the reputation of witchcraft, with all its penalties, to absolute insignificance? Thus, as they enjoyed the fear inspired among simple neighbours by their imagined traffic with the father of ill, did Madame, I think, relish with a cynical vainglory the suspicion of her satanic superiority. Next
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J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas)