30 October 2011

The Height of Folly

Outrageous as it was to open a leaden coffin, to see if a woman dead nearly a week were really dead, it now seemed the height of folly to open the tomb again, when we knew, from the evidence of our own eyesight, that the coffin was empty. I shrugged my shoulders, however, and rested silent, for Van Helsing had a way of going on his own road, no matter who remonstrated. He took the key, opened the vault, and again courteously motioned me to precede. The place was not so gruesome as last night, but oh, how unutterably mean looking when the sunshine streamed in. Van Helsing walked over to Lucy's coffin, and I followed. He bent over and again forced back the leaden flange, and a shock of surprise and dismay shot through me.

There lay Lucy, seemingly just as we had seen her the night before her funeral. She was, if possible, more radiantly beautiful than ever, and I could not believe that she was dead. The lips were red, nay redder than before, and on the cheeks was a delicate bloom.

—Bram Stoker, Dracula

Painting: The Return of Persephone, Frederic Leighton

Persephone, the daughter of Zeus, was abducted by Hades to be queen of the Underground, but allowed to return to the surface of the earth for part of the year.

2 comments:

  1. Great. I appreciate your appreciation of art and literature. :) Keep the snippets coming.

    ReplyDelete

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