Vampires & vamping
by Andrew Lang, Longman’s Magazine
Thus I have inexpensively perused, and thrown away, Mr Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” One always heard that it was “horrid” enough to suit the taste of Miss Catherine Morland in “Northanger Abbey.” Yet it only wins a smile from the experienced student of vampires and their ways.
The rules of vampiring, as indicated by Mr Stoker, are too numerous and too elaborate. One does not see why the leading vampire, Count Dracula, could not bolt out of the box where he was finally run to earth by a solicitor named Jonathan. If he could fly about as a bat, why did he crawl down steep walls head foremost?
The rules of the game of Vampire ought to be printed in an appendix — at present, the pastime is as difficult as Bridge.
Perhaps I do not understand the rules:
First: Every vampire, all day, must lie in consecrated ground. He can be stumped when in his ground, not when out of it.
Second: All day a vampire is off side.
Third: No vampire may enter a house uninvited.
Fourth: No vampire may cross salt water except at ebb tide and full tide.
Fifth: Every person bitten by a vampire becomes a vampire. (This rule strikes at the root of morality.)
Sixth: No vampire can vamp a person protected by garlic. (The peasantry of Southern Europe always smells of garlic, perhaps as security against vampires.)
Seventh: A vampire, staked through the heart with a sharp piece of wood is out.
Eighth: Every man should stake his own young woman if she is a vampire.
These appear to be the chief rules. There are others to which a person of taste would rather not allude.
Book cover shown: First American edition of Dracula (1899)
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Publication: New-York Tribune (New York, NY)
Publication date: October 13, 1901