Some people see things that others cannot. Tales of Mystery and Imagination. “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” (H.P. Lovecraft).

Arthur Young: Pepopukin in Corsica

Arthur Young: Pepopukin in Corsica, Relatos de vampiros, Vampire short stories, Relatos de misterio, Tales of mystery, Relatos de terror, Horror stories, Short stories, Science fiction stories, Anthology of horror, Antología de terror, Anthology of mystery, Antología de misterio, Scary stories, Scary Tales, John Russell
Arthur Young by John Russell

AH torment, trouble, wonder, and amazement
Inhabits here. Some heavenly power guide us
Out of this fearful country 1
SIR Giles de Montfort was not only superstitious but constitutionally timid. He was one of those men who, during the bloody scenes of the revolution of France, rose himself on the ruins of his betters, and, having acquired immense wealth, considered himself entitled to commit every excess which can be practised by human nature. In the midst of the many extravagant ideas which he had planned for execution, he suddenly took the resolution of visiting the native island of that man who swayed the sceptre not only of France but of the greater part of Europe. He took leave of the capital, after having made the necessary preparation, set out with all the pomp of an eastern monarch, and excited the attention of every town and village through which he travelled.
The principal object which induced him to make this no less sudden than extraordinary visit, was a young. lady, beautiful as Aurora, who had attended her father to Paris to pay his respects to the sovereign of the world, as Buonaparte was styled in Corsica.
Cupid smiled in her looks—her eyes were black—they captivated the knight, who, not doubting that he would be accepted, set forward like a second Don Quixote, and determined never to return without his bride.
The lady was the youngest sister of three: they were all handsome, but Jane was strikingly so. She alone was as yet unmarried.
In the numerous train of Sir Giles was a young man, who in grace and elegance as far surpassed his master as the Apollo Belvidere surpasses the casts made from it. He was the right hand of the knight, and managed all his affairs with that diligence and honesty which gained him the esteem of all those who knew him.
Several were the ridiculous adventures which befel the knight on his journey, who in bulk equalled Sir John Falstaff; but as we have not time to travel with him from Paris to Marseilles, let it suffice that he arrived in safety at the latter place, whence he embarked for Ajaccio, which he reached in one of those exquisite summer evenings which must ever engage the attention of the most callous. But love—though not that love which filled the bosom of Petrarch, or influenced the heart of the tender Abelard—love alone engrossed his thoughts. The setting sun cast its departing rays on the rugged rocks that crowned the distant horizon, and yet faintly tinged the receding bay, on the northern side of which is situated the city that gave birth to a man whose talents raised him to the highest pinnacle of glory attainable by human beings; and whose ambition caused that fall which most evidently proved the instability of mortal fabrics. Sir Giles expected to meet Mademoiselle Jane de Launay on the beach on his landing—why we do not know: in this hope every idea was concentrated. As the tide was ebbing, he was forced to proceed to the town in a boat, and nearly risked falling into the water through his impatience, which was considerably damped by his not finding the lovely Jane, as he had ridiculously expected.

M. Lenoir, anxious that Sir Giles should appear to advantage to the family of Launay, recommended him to send for the necessary persons to set off his figure, before he announced his arrival in the town of Ajaccio. Sir Giles had never learnt to dance. A Frenchman, and not dance! But the chevalier had been born in an obscure village, and his father, the postillion, never entertained the least thought of seeing his son rise on the ruins of his employers; or that he would aspire to the hand of a daughter of the illustrious house of Launay. As he was, however, too far advanced in age to begin to take dancing lessons, he sent for a fencing-master, who immediately made his appearance. This man had formerly instructed one of Jane's brothers-in-law; and the chevalier, hoping to gain some information respecting the family of Launay, asked all that he thought requisite; amongst others, whether the father was rich t
To this the master answered in the affirmative, adding, that he had yet one daughter of exquisite beauty, who was to be married in a few days to an opulent banker of Malta, of the name of Manserol.
"You lie," roared the knight, "for I am come all the way from Paris—and a damned long way it is—to marry this same girl. I will not bear such insults,"
"Pray, sir," replied the fencing-master, somewhat startled at this declaration, "will it please you to take a lesson now V
"Lesson V exclaimed the knight, " I '11 lesson you in a moment! But stop," added he, as the master was leaving the room not a little alarmed, "I think, if you come to-morrow I will take a lesson."
"Very well, sir," said the man; and making a low bow retired, with a determination never to return again.
He was no sooner gone than the knight began to call most vehemently for one of his servants, one of whom immediately appeared, and was thus saluted by his master on entering, whose anger was not readily appeased when once raised: "You villain, why do you keep me so long waiting T"
"I came, sir, as soon as I heard your voice."
"How dare you answer? Take your hat, and go instantaneously to M. de Launay's, and tell him I am coming to see him."
The lacquey delivered the message, and returned with M. de Launay's compliments to Sir Giles, and his desire of seeing him.
The invitation was immediately accepted by Sir Giles, who, after having habited himself in a most splendid manner, drove to M. de Launay's, and was by that gentleman received at the door, and conducted to the saloon, where several ladies of Ajaccio were assembled. The knight cast his eyes around in search of Mademoiselle de Launay, who however entered about half an hour after, with all that grace which had captivated many a heart besides that of the knight; a green handkerchief, embroidered with gold flowers, was negligently thrown over her shoulders. The knight approached her to pay his respects, and thus addressed the astonished Jane: "I mean," said he, "madam, to marry you, and carry you to the court of France. The empress has promised me to receive you most graciously."
<« You are joking with me, sir knight," replied thelady with a smile.
w ''' I will," continued the knight, "entertain a score of cooks, milliners, and shoe-makers, for your exclusive pleasure; besides all the Italian singers in Paris for your diversion."
"One cook, one milliner, or one shoe-maker, will ever be sufficient to please me at any time, and of that I hope M. de Manserol, to whom I am shortly to be married, is well aware."
"M. de Manserol!" roared the knight; "I will sink him in the ocean. You shall be the Lady de Montfort."
"I have no such ambition. . Sir, you must excuse me."
"No matter; your fate is fixed," returned the knight, who wished to frighten her, as her father had left the room: "your fate is fixed. I have settled the affair with your father. He agrees to accept my offer." Sir Giles, who felt he had gone rather too far, as he perceived by the smiles and whisperings of many of the ladies present, made an awkward bow and left the house, highly incensed at the presumption, as he termed it, of Mademoiselle de Launay, in refusing so splendid an offer.
Jane, who had long since given her heart away, but had not as yet obtained the positive consent of her father, who she knew would incline to the greater riches of Sir Giles, trembled for the issue of an affair which had so extraordinary a commencement, and imparted her fears to one of her married sisters, who, after revolving the matter over, proposed to attack Sir Giles on the weak side, having perceived his superstition, and formed a plan for inducing him to believe that a vampire haunted the house.
They had two trusty -servants in their family, to whom the secret was confided. The man had studied astrology, and the woman followed his instructions—two fit instruments for their purpose. They were ordered to wait on Sir Giles, and inform him that they were versed in an art he was prone to believe ; but above all, they were to acquaint him that vampires were prevalent in Corsica, and very virulent against strangers.
In order to carry their plan into effect, a masquerade was proposed, fo which the knight was invited. The company was numerous and brilliant for the place. Sir Giles disguised his face, but he could not disguise his figure, and he was remarked by strangers for his awkward appearance. He sought the fair Jane, but she was not present. He discovered her father, and kept pinioned to his side until the scene of action was to commence. Just as Sir Giles was endeavouring to make a bow to a lady passing by, a voice distinctly pronounced the word "Pepopukin!" in his ear, which caused him to start. The exclamation was followed by these words:—
While the mood the church-yard lights,
Or glimmers on the mountain heights,
The vampire from his earthly den
Comes forth to haunt the sons of men.
The knight stared in the utmost horror; and imagining the vampire to inhabit the mask, he flung it away, and retreated to another part of the room, apparently exhausted with the agitations of fear. Several gentlemen approached to offer their assistance, when the voice again vibrated on his ear, and thus addressed him :—
The Turk with his koran, the Pole with his mail,
The lord with his musket, the clown with his flail,
Must yield to the force of the vampire so great,
For when Vampy is hungry he '11 sure find a treat.
The knight could no longer contain his terror, but fled with precipitation, and hurrying along one of the corri
dors, entered the first door which he found open, which happened to be Madame de Launay's. He flung himself into one of the aim-chairs, and was not sensible, till somewhat recovered, of the presence of the lovely Jane. To her he began to relate, with evident signs of the most abject fear, and with great exaggerations, the circumstances which had just transpired ; adding, that at a convent near the town of Mersburg, in Poland, he had been attacked by a vampire, which had knocked out his teeth, beat his servants black and blue, stolen his books, his silver lantern, and drank all his wine.
His tormentors, who had closely followed him, renewed the attack, with the exclamation of "Pepopukin, Pepopukin!"
The knight trembled like an aspen leaf, and crept close to Jane, as if for protection. "I have," said he, "a cold shivering; I must retire—the damp air has affected me."
Mademoiselle could scarcely contain herself. Sir Giles had no sooner placed his foot on the threshold than he heard the same voice—
Stop, stop, Sir Giles,
You do not know old Vampy's wiles;
If near that door you dare to go.
Close to your feet you '11 find your foe.
Sir Giles trembled more and more; he seemed rivetted to the spot, unconscious of the approach of Valentine, the man servant, who, pretending to appear concerned, asked what had happened to the noble stranger.
"Oh!" said Sir Giles, "I wish I were but safe back in Paris, away from these vampires—these infernal spirits. Why, ten thousand are now fleeting across the room."
"Where, where?" said Valentine. "I neither see nor hear any one besides your noble self and Mademoiselle, who does not seem frightened, though I believe her nerves are much weaker than yours."
"I tell you," said Sir Giles, "I have seen a vampire."
"A vampire! why what is a vampire?"
"Pepopukin, Pepopukin!" said the voice near Sir Giles.
"That's the vampire !" said the chevalier.
"I do not hear any thing," said Valentine. "It must be some spirit that follows you exclusively. I believe I stated to you that vampires did exist in this island. I have since heard that they attack not only strangers but rich persons."
"Oh that I were but safe back at Paris!" vociferated the knight in an agony of despair. "I shall be robbed, murdered! Oh me, oh me!"
The vampire thus continued—
From my winding-sheet I rise,
And my blood-swol'n body flies
Over rocks and over mountains,
Over rivers, over fountains.
Bones and skeletons I bring,
Which on the castle tops I fling—
Skeletons of warriors old,
Who once did shine in hurnish'd gold.
The Alps beneath my wings I thrust,
And stain with blood the very dust.
The knight could no longer support himself, but fell flat on the floor, and called aloud for assistance.
Mademoiselle de Launay left the room in quest of some of the servants, while Valentine endeavoured to raise him from his disgraceful position, and led him to his carriage, while Jane informed her sisters of the promising success of the plan.
Pepopukin, however, was restless in his pursuit of the knight, and even followed him to his chamber, where Sir Giles ordered, or rather begged, his confidant to remain during the night. Exhausted with the exertions he had undergone, the chevalier soon fell asleep; and M. Lenoir, imagining his presence to be no longer necessary, left the room, when Sir Giles was again roused by the tremendous sound of "Pepopukin, Pepopukin!" He jumped from his couch, and by the help of a rushlight left in the room searched for his sword, but in vain, as it had disappeared from the head of his bed. Imagining that the loss of the sword was a token of the disappearance of the vampire, he cautiously returned to his bed and began to slumber, when he was assailed by the same sounds. He rose again and seated himself in a chair, unable to grasp the bell to call for assistance, and remained in that position until his courage returned with the light. He soon after received an invitation to breakfast from M. de Launay, who was not aware of the night's occurrences. De Montfort hesitated some time whether he should go or not. How could he make his appearance, after having given such evident marks of his pusillanimity the preceding evening-1 Yet he thought he must either go or relinquish his pretensions to the lady. This seemed impossible, as no lady in Paris equalled her in beauty. Her fortune was great—her family was noble —her accomplishments were exquisite—but how could he meet her 1 Some little sense of shame dwelt in his mind, but he at last stifled that: he dressed, and with a consummate air of effrontery, which the ignorant alone know how to assume, he entered the breakfast room, where the family was assembled: all the junior parts had by this time been acquainted with the secret. Jane was gay, and received the chevalier so graciously that he began to fancy he had been dreaming about the vampire, and determined not to mention the subject. The breakfast was concluded, and every thing seemed to take its proper course.
M. de Launay, though of considerable property himself, was elated at the hope of his daughter marrying so splendidly, to one who stated himself to be a most intimate friend of the emperor's. Parties of pleasure were proposed and accepted. The knight was in ecstasies: he even ventured so far as to imprint a kiss on the hand of the lady. Various topics of conversation filled up the morning, and Sir Giles returned to his apartment, buoyed up with the idea that the affair of the preceding evening was a delusion of his brain and unknown to the family. He proposed various rich ornaments for his bride, and again promised her cooks and milliners in abundance, and a coach that should surpass that of the emperor himself, besides a ducal coronet to boot, as he assured them that Napoleon would confer the title upon him whenever he thought proper to ask him.
When returned home, he found a man who, having been sent by Mademoiselle de Launay, offered himself as a valet de chambre. Sir Giles, pleased with his appearance, immediately engaged him, and learnt from him, at his toilette, that a vampire was a constant attendant on the family which he (Sir Giles) visited, ever since one of the daughters (now married) had travelled through Poland; that all the learned men of the island had been employed in discovering the reason that this visitor haunted their house in particular; that some believed it to be the ghost of a Vandal, who had inhabited Poland in a remote age; that others imagined it was the spirit of a young Scandinavian gentleman, who had left his native country in the fifth century; but he affirmed that M. Moreau (Mademoiselle de Launay's brother-in-law) had seen it three evenings before, and heard it say—
Fi, fa, fum,
I smell the blood of a Frenchman;
When, after marriage, he '8 in bed
I '11 tuck his blood until he's dead.

"This is the very vampire," said Sir Giles, "which I met in Poland; " but I have got a charm for him—I will drive him away—I will use such spells as will soon banish him hence. I have no fear of vampires or ghosts; but still I wish I never had come to this island, which has already been the tomb of many a Frenchman."
"But," said the valet, "these vampires are most terrific animals; they suck every drop of blood, after innumerable and excruciating torments; and if it does not deprive immediately of life it causes a lingering death in the end, by its repeated attacks."
"Oh," said Sir Giles, " of this I have no fear." But he had no sooner uttered these words than the unwelcome sound of " Pepopukin, Pepopukin!" caused him to tremble in every joint.
"Pray, sir, what is the matter?"
"Oh, oh!" stammered the knight, "it is a fit—of— the ague, to which I have been from my youth subject."
"Pepopukin, Pepopukin!"
"Pray, Francis, did you hear any thing just now1." asked the chevalier.
"I, sir?" answered Francis. "I did not hear the smallest noise."
"Do you think the vampire could follow me t" asked the knight again.
"Iam sure I do not know; such a thing might happen?"
"Call M.Lcuoir."
M. Lenoir soon made his appearance, and perceiving his master in a most extraordinary posture, requested to know what was the matter.
"Nothing, nothing," said the knight. "However, I wish to know whether such a person as an astrologer could be found here V
"Oh," said Francis, "I know a person who studies that abstruse science, and will fetch him hither with his companion."
In the course of an hour Francis returned with Valentine and another man, the former of whom Sir Giles did not recollect. They desired to know the object of their visit; and having been obscurely informed of the matter by the knight, they desired him and M. Lenoir, after having stipulated for a considerable payment, to walk into an unfurnished room, and place themselves in the centre, while some magical figures were made round them, and a blue-flame began to rise, in which various figures seemed to float about. The magician commanded silence, and began a chorus.
Dance, dance; merrily dance.
That you may be heard from Ajaccio to France.
As the flame advanced in volumes towards Sir Giles he crept behind Lenoir, seized him by the arm, and pinched him, which caused Lenoir to vent his pain in a loud exclamation.
"The charm is dissolved," said a voice of thunder,
which caused both Lenoir and his timid master to fall on
their faces, when they heard the following words:—
Old Vampy, like a cunning beast,
Will, when you expect him least,
Come bouncing into summer-house,
And give you there a horrid douce.
Venetians and Sardinians too
Have often seen their lights burn blue;
And ancient Romans, in their pride,
When homewards they have led their bride.
Have sometimes seen a horrid ghost
Come bouncing from infernal coast,
Which did nuptial feasting curb,
And hopes of future brides disturb.
It was a long time before either master or man had the courage to raise their heads to see if the coast was clear. Lenoir first demanded if his honour was there.
"Yes," replied the knight; "but I am sure I know not whether I am alive or dead. Are they gone V
"Yes, sir, the devils seem to have disappeared, hut the sulphurous smell is insupportable. They were wizards and witches. I have heard such people are burnt in England."
"I wished," said the knight, "to have my nativity cast by these people."
"You had better resign such projects," said Lenoir: you have already dearly paid for this fright."
"Why, I wanted to know something of my rival."
"But, sir, is it not better to enjoy the present than look into futurity? If a brilliant future is held out, its effects would be destroyed by anticipation; if a melancholy one, why then our spirits woul-.I be depressed, and we should never be happy. Better, sir, support the good and evil of this life as they are awarded by the dispensation of Providence. If Mad. de Launay is destined as your bride Heaven will not withhold her; but if otherwise, you must reconcile yourself to the disappointment."
"Oh, but," said Sir Giles, raising himself entirely from the ground, "that cannot be."
"You, sir, have been, as is too apparent, educated in the school of prosperity, which teaches but little philosophy; but I, on the contrary, have drank deep of the bitter cup of adversity. Let us leave the island, it seems destined to render you miserable."
"What," said Sir Giles, "and leave the lady? No, she shall go too; her father is willing."
"But the lady is not; she has engaged her affections to a Maltese gentleman, as I have been informed, who is very rich."
"But his riches cannot be anything in comparison to mine; you know what I am worth."
"Yes; and I know by observation that riches do not bring happiness, or you have a right to be so in a most pre-eminent degree."
"But, Lenoir," said the knight, "the world will laugh at me."
"It is not the world, sir, that can make you happy, if you cannot make yourself so."
"But the only way to procure happiness is to possess Mademoiselle de Launay; and I will have her, or die in the attempt."
While this conversation was going forward, another scene of disgrace was preparing for the knight. There was a short passage to M. de Launay's house, through a large court-yard, along which Sir Giles was shown. In this yard was an immense heap of straw, from which Valentine determined to assail the knight with the terrific sounds so hateful to his ear. The knight, dressed in his rich attire, was crossing the court-yard with all the expedition his unweildy size could exert, when he was seized and gagged by two men, and placed in the heap of straw, after the forcible application of a huge black mask; and no sooner was he placed there than he was stunned with "Pepopukin, Pepopukin!"
M. de Launay, on passing by, expressed his astonishment at seeing a black mask in the straw. "What can this be V said he.
"Pepopukin, Pepopukin!"
"Pepopukin V said M. de Launay, "I will soon discover you," and he began beating the figure most unmercifully, so that the persecuted knight endeavoured, as far as possible, to utter a shriek. "What can this mean?" said M. de Launay again.
"Pepopukin, Pepopukin!"
"I'll Pe-po you," retorted M. de Launay, as he kept exercising his stick; when the chevalier, making a desperate effort, tore off. the mask. "Sir Giles de Montfort!" exclaimed de Launay. "Who has dared commit such an outrage?"
"Pepopukin, Pepopukin!" said the walls.
"Oh," said Sir Giles, assuming an air of courage, '* it is nothing at all. I fought most valiantly before I would suffer myself to be subdued—I believe I killed twenty of them—they were armed with clubs and staves —I fought like a lion, I can assure you. I should have faced about and overcome them all if they had not been too numerous."
"I will have the perpetrators of this deed brought to justice," said M. de Launay.
"Oh, there is not the least necessity for that, for they will carry the marks with them to the grave."
"Pepopukin, Pepopukin! You lie, sir knight."
M. de Launay begged to escort the chevalier back to his apartment, in order to change his dress; while the ladies, who observed the whole proceeding, were highly amused.
M. de Launay, on returning to his house, commanded the timid Jane to prepare for her wedding with the knight in the course of three days. But marry a man she neither loved nor respected was impossible. All opposition to her father's will was ineffectual—the ornaments were prepared—and the knight was elated beyond all power of description. Jane, however, kept up her spirits: she loved M. de Manserol, who, although rich for the island of Malta, was poor in comparison to the knight.
One of the brothers-in-law resolved, however, to rid her of his intrusion, and proceeded to chastise the knight for his presumption, hoping to "force him to withdraw from the island. He was fully persuaded that a challenge from him would produce the desired effect, for he could not bear the idea of seeing his sister-in-law, whom he loved, united to a man every way her inferior except in fortune. Yet he knew not upon what ground exactly to sound his friends, and dreaded infringing the law, as he would be severely punished.
M. Sandino, however, hoping to frighten the knight without having recourse to violence, proceeded to his house, and informed him that he had come to give him his choice of a pair of pistols.
"For what purpose J" asked the knight.
"Why, I intend to blow out your brains."
"Not with gunpowder, I hope," replied the chevalier, "for I dislike the smell of it. I knew by your looks you came with a murderous intent."
"Resign Mademoiselle de Launay, sir, or you are a dead man."
"And you are what shall I call you 1— a murderer! I am very nervous."
"Well, one of these pills will be of service to you— they are wonderfully efficacious in nervous disorders."
Madame Sandino then entered, and offered to become
VOL. I. 'H
the knight's advocate with her husband if he would resign Jane.
"Madame," said he, "behold the great Sir Giles de Montfort at your feet; but he cannot subscribe to yonr conditions. He must marry your sister—she has been promised by your father."
"Well," said Madame Sandino; "my dear husband, do not torment the poor knight any more; the vampire— (Sir Giles already began to tremble)—the vampire willtorment him enough. Have you not heard, sir, thatthere is one in our family? It will follow my sister wherever she goes."
"Pepopukin, Pepopukin!" resounded through the room.
"Why, knight, how you tremble," resumed the lady. "Here, is there any sal volatile V
"Oh, 'tis only a nervous attack."
"Well, sir, do you intend keeping your resolution f"
"Why, madam, how can I resign the prize," replied de Montfort.
"My father has commanded me to inform you, then, that he would be much honoured by your presence at a masquerade he gives to-night."
"Oh, madam, masquerades have no longer charms for me. I have suffered by the last more than I can express."
"Well, sir, as you please; but I believe my sister expects this of you."
"In that case, madam, you may rely on my presence. But I wish to leave Corsica as soon as possible, and must entreat your good father to expedite this marriage."
"Well, sir, we shall wish you a more agreeable evening."
Madame Sandino and her husband took their leave, and left the knight in no very pleasant mood.
That day M. de Manserol arrived at Ajaccio, in the hope of obtaining the final consent of M. de Launay, when, to his great surprise and grief, he heard Mademoiselle de Launay was to be married, in a very short period, to another. But when informed who and what his rival was, he raised his hopes from the low ebb to which they had sunk, and ventured to seek an interview with Jane, who informed him that, through the intervention of the knight's superstition, he would be ultimately defeated, and that her father would eventually consent to their marriage.
M. de Manserol was diametrically opposite to Sir Giles: he sang, he danced, he played on the lute, with grace; he added to these accomplishments the far more valuable one of a refined mind, and knew how to appreciate the virtues of Jane: he loved her ardently and sincerely.
The masquerade soon began: the knight attended, with terror marked in his face, which was not masked. His ill fate seemed constantly to attend him, for no sooner had he entered, than the sound of Pepopukin, Pepopukin! caused him to start from the temporary seat he had selected. The dance proceeded with seeming regularity until, of a sudden, all the lights were extinguished. The knight was seized by Valentine and his associates, who forced him, much against his inclination, to take an aerial excursion, by raising him above the level of the earth, and treating him, during the operation, with the indelectable sound of Pepopukin, Pepopukin! The knight was too terrified to make the least resistance, and indeed it would have availed little; he was too strongly beset. When he regained possession of his feet, his ear was entertained by several cuffs, and the doleful tune of his tormentor.—
In merry Poland once was I
A fine young man of rank so high;
I drank, I gamed, I tried by play
In sport to pass the hours away;
But death surprised me in my fun,
AH once it did the royal Hun.
For ninety years I'm doom'd to roam,
After that high heaven's my home;
And thus I'm spared the jaws of hell.
Which I had once deserved too well.
On sinful bodies now I prey.
Then fling the dripping skin away;
Sometimes on nightmare's backs I ride,
And harlots kill, but spare the bride.
But for de Montfort now I wait.
Though he's elate with pride and state,
Thinks Jane will fall within his jaws.
But Vampy waits with bloody claws To munch and crumble alt his bones, And with his blood bestrew the stones. This brought on a more severe shivering fit than the knight had yet experienced; he fainted from excessive fatigue. Jane and her sister exulted in their success, feeling confident that he would never recover the attack in the ball-room. He was carried home, where Lenoir attended him with his accustomed assiduity: he, as well as his master, began to wish himself at Paris. Valentine, by the help of ventriloquism, (which was the weapon he had hitherto used), continued to pursue the knight,
and frightened him into a nervous fit, as he termed it.
Old Vampy, with his horrid phiz,
Against Sir Giles will sudden whiz.
Assail him with such furious bang.
That he must fall with horrid clang.
When Vampy stalks across the floor.
The foolish knight will stamp and roar;
His wig, his cane, his shoes so black,
Will bounce about with noisy crack.
When Vampy meets him in the wood,
He '11 with hia teeth,draw his black blood.
All thoughts of Jane were obliterated from the mind of Sir Giles; he begged M. Lenoir, with a doleful voice, and a more doleful countenance, to prepare for their departure. M. Lenoir obeyed the orders with the greatest alacrity, for he began to imagine the knight was really deranged, and that nothing could restore his senses but his speedy return to Paris. Taking leave of M. de Launay was impossible ; he could not assign any satisfactory reasons for not fulfilling his engagements. What was to be done with the lady 1
"Why leave her behind, to be sure," said M. Lenoir.
Many plans were agitated and rejected by the anxious knight. While ruminating on these things a servant informed him that Mademoiselle de Launay had been carried off by a ghost, as it was supposed.
'* No, no ! it is that horrid vampire—my evil genius— whose rage could only be satis&ed by my blood and that of my bride. He has secured her first; and if I don't make haste I shall certainly become his prey. There is no alternative but quitting the island immediately. It cannot be imputed to my charge that the lady has disappeared."
"No," said M. Lenoir; " and the best thing you can possibly do is to return to Paris before the story shall be known. The same ship in which you came hither is prepared to receive you."
"Let us but be sure that the captain is not informed of this extraordinary adventure; and as to the empress, when she inquires for my bride," said the knight "why I can tell her that she was married—or dead—or any thing—before I arrived in Corsica."
Fear became so predominant in the mind of the chevalier that he scarcely stopped to dress; and with his wig on one side, and his hat under his arm, he hurried to the beach, and in his hurry to step into a boat which he found there he lost his balance and fell overboard. Hundreds immediately collected round the spot, and it was with the utmost difficulty that the knight escaped a watery grave. He was taken out in a miserable
plight; and to add to his mortification, he beheld Mademoiselle de Launay, now Madame Manserol, walking down to the beach with her husband, who was the ghost that had carried her off from the masquerade. This was more galling than the voice of the vampire. At this moment Lenoir, who had not been enabled immediately to follow his master, arrived, and ordering the' boat to be ready, requested his master to step in, and they were rowed with all expedition to the vessel, which lay off at some distance, while the train and baggage of Sir Giles followed in another boat.
M. de Launay was quietly sitting at his breakfast table when Madame Sandino entered, and, after soma preliminary discourse, opened part of the affair, and informed him of the precipitate departure of the knight, without mentioning the marriage of her sister. The gentleman, highly exasperated at what he termed an insult offered to the dignity of his house, went immediately to the beach, and stepping into a boat, followed the knight to the vessel. The latter saw the approaching storm, and exerted his weak brain to evade it, but in Vain.
M. de Launay ascended the ship, and addressed him in a manner little calculated to alleviate the fear of the knight. He asked him how he dared to leave the island without fulfilling the engagements he had entered into respecting his daughter; and, in a most peremptory manner, demanded satisfaction for the insult.
"It was contrary to my heart's desire that I was compelled to take this step," replied the trembling knight. "That vampire which attacked me in Poland again tormented me here in so unmerciful a manner that I could no longer support it. The vampire," continued he, "is, I believe, the ghost of some of my ancestors."
M. de Launay, who did not understand a word of this, and who now recollected the vague answers he had received from the knight when he found him in the heap of straw, began to think him really mad; but, notwithstanding, he began to chastise him with a more formidable weapon than his lungs. The latter begged him to desist his anger, and offered even to give half his fortune to Mademoiselle de Launay as a marriage portion, if he might be permitted to depart in-peace.
"I'd rather see her rot on a dunghill," replied the incensed father, "than know she was under an obligation to you, Sir Giles; and if you have any fear of more adequate punishment you will take my advice, and never place your foot on this island again;" and with this he leftithe vessel, and returned to the town.
The knight blessed his stars that it was no worse, and ordered the commander to set every sail for France.
M. de Launay found his daughter Jane, M. de Manserol, and Monsieur and Madame Sandino, seated under an oak tree at the bottom of his garden. When informed that their union had already taken place, he stretched out his hand in token of forgiveness. The two delinquents threw themselves at his feet, and when they resumed their seats he was further informed of the various tricks which had been practised on the knight, at which he was much amused, but regretted that the rules of hospitality had been transgressed.
Valentine, whose talents and exertions were liberally rewarded, changed his tone, and pronounced the following words to the assembled family, as a farewell in his character of the vampire.
The snow is deep, the wind is cold,
Have pity on poor Vampy old,
For icicles hang on the thorn,
And poor old Vampy feels forlorn.
Sir Giles no more doth hear the sound
Of Pepopukin echoing round.'
Now Vampy walks upon the snow,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ob, oh I
Sir Giles soon reached Paris, and resolved never to leave it, at least in pursuit of brides; and all would have passed off to his credit, had not Monsieur and Madame de Manserol been obliged to visit Paris, and hearing how he boasted of the achievements he had performed in the island of Corsica, circulated the tale of his disgrace, and he from thenceforth acquired, and still bears, the surname of Pepopukin.

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