Monthly Archives: June 2015

“Buried Treasures” by Bram Stoker

Chapter I – The Old Wreck

Mr. Stedman spoke.

“I do not wish to be too hard on you; but I will not, I cannot consent to Ellen’s marrying you till you have sufficient means to keep her in comfort. I know too well what poverty is. I saw her poor mother droop and pine away till she died, and all from poverty. No, no, Ellen must be spared that sorrow at all events.”

“But, sir, we are young. You say you have always earned your living. I can do the same and I thought” – this with a flush – “I thought that if I might be so happy as to win Ellen’s love that you might help us.”

“And so I would, my dear boy; but what help could I give? I find it hard to keep the pot boiling as it is, and there is only Ellen and myself to feed. No, no, I must have some certainty for Ellen before I let her leave me. Just suppose anything should happen to me” –

“Then, sir, what could be better than to have some one to look after Ellen – some one with a heart to love her as she should be loved, and a pair of hands to be worked to the bone for her sake.”

“True, boy; true. But still it cannot be. I must be certain of Ellen’s future before I trust her out of my own care. Come now, let me see you with a hundred pounds of your own, and I shall not refuse to let you speak to her. But mind, I shall trust to your honour not to forestall that time.”

“It is cruel, sir, although you mean it in kindness. I could as easily learn to fly as raise a hundred pounds with my present opportunities. Just think of my circumstances, sir. If my poor father had lived all would have been different; but you know that sad story.”

“No, I do not. Tell it to me.”

“He left the Gold Coast after spending half his life there toiling for my poor mother and me. We knew from his letter that he was about to start for home, and that he was coming in a small sailing vessel, taking all his savings with him. But from that time to this he has never been heard of.”

“Did you make inquiries?”

“We tried every means, or rather poor mother did, for I was too young, and we could find out nothing.”

“Poor boy. From my heart I pity you; still I cannot change my opinion. I have always hoped that Ellen would marry happily. I have worked for her, early and late, since she was born, and it would be mistaken kindness to let her marry without sufficient provisions for her welfare.”

Robert Hamilton left Mr. Stedman’s cottage in great dejection. He had entered it with much misgiving, but with a hope so strong that it brightened the prospect of success. He went slowly along the streets till he got to his office, and when once there he had so much work to do that little time was left him for reflection until his work for the day was over. That night he lay awake, trying with all the intentness of his nature to conceive some plan by which he might make the necessary sum to entitle him to seek the hand of Ellen Stedman: but all in vain. Scheme after scheme rose up before him, but each one, though born of hope, quickly perished in succession. Gradually his imagination grew in force as the real world seemed to fade away; he built bright castles in the air and installed Ellen as their queen. He thought of all the vast sums of money made each year by chances, of old treasures found after centuries, new treasures dug from mines, and turned from mills and commerce. But all these required capital – except the old treasures – and this source of wealth being a possibility, to it his thoughts clung as a man lost in mid-ocean clings to a spar – clung as he often conceived that his poor father had clung when lost with all his treasure far at sea.

“Vigo Bay, the Schelde, already giving up their long-buried spoil,” so thought he. “All round our coasts lie millions lost, hidden but for a time. Other men have benefited by them – why should not I have a chance also?” And then, as he sunk to sleep the possibility seemed to become reality, and as he slept he found treasure after treasure, and all was real to him, for he knew not that he dreamt.

To read the rest of this story visit:
“Buried Treasures” at bramstoker.org

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“The Crystal Cup” by Bram Stoker

I. The Dream-Birth

The blue waters touch the walls of the palace; I can hear their soft, lapping wash against the marble whenever I listen. Far out at sea I can see the waves glancing in the sunlight, ever-smiling, ever-glancing, ever-sunny. Happy waves!-happy in your gladness, thrice happy that ye are free!

I rise from my work and spring up the wall till I reach the embrasure. I grasp the corner of the stonework and draw myself up till I crouch in the wide window. Sea, sea, out away as far as my vision extends. There I gaze till my eyes grow dim; and in the dimness of my eyes my spirit finds its sight. My soul flies on the wings of memory away beyond the blue, smiling sea-away beyond the glancing waves and the gleaming sails, to the land I call my home. As the minutes roll by, my actual eyesight seems to be restored, and I look round me in my old birth-house. The rude simplicity of the dwelling comes back to me as something new. There I see my old books and manuscripts and pictures, and there, away on their old shelves, high up above the door, I see my first rude efforts in art.

How poor they seem to me now! And yet, were I free, I would not give the smallest of them for all I now possess. Possess? How I dream.

The dream calls me back to waking life. I spring down from my window-seat and work away frantically, for every line I draw on paper, every new form that springs on the plaster, brings me nearer freedom. I will make a vase whose beauty will put to shame the glorious works of Greece in her golden prime! Surely a love like mine and a hope like mine must in time make some form of beauty spring to life! When He beholds it he will exclaim with rapture, and will order my instant freedom. I can forget my hate, and the deep debt of revenge which I owe him when I think of liberty-even from his hands. Ah! then on the wings of the morning shall I fly beyond the sea to my home-her home-and clasp her to my arms, never more to be separated!

But, oh Spirit of Day! if she should be-No, no, I cannot think of it, or I shall go mad. Oh Time, Time! maker and destroyer of men’s fortunes, why hasten so fast for others whilst thou laggest so slowly for me? Even now my home may have become desolate, and she-my bride of an hour-may sleep calmly in the cold earth. Oh this suspense will drive me mad! Work, work! Freedom is before me; Aurora is the reward of my labour!

So I rush to my work; but to my brain and hand, heated alike, no fire or no strength descends. Half mad with despair, I beat myself against the walls of my prison, and then climb into the embrasure, and once more gaze upon the ocean, but find there no hope. And so I stay till night, casting its pall of blackness over nature, puts the possibility of effort away from me for yet another day.

So my days go on, and grow to weeks and months. So will they grow to years, should life so long remain an unwelcome guest within me; for what is man without hope? and is not hope nigh dead within this weary breast?

***

Last night, in my dreams, there came, like an inspiration from the Day-Spirit, a design for my vase.

All day my yearning for freedom-for Aurora, or news of her-had increased tenfold, and my heart and brain were on fire. Madly I beat myself, like a caged bird, against my prison-bars. Madly I leaped to my window-seat, and gazed with bursting eyeballs out on the free, open sea. And there I sat till my passion had worn itself out; and then I slept, and dreamed of thee, Aurora-of thee and freedom. In my ears I heard again the old song we used to sing together, when as children we wandered on the beach; when, as lovers, we saw the sun sink in the ocean, and I would see its glory doubled as it shone in thine eyes, and was mellowed against thy cheek; and when, as my bride, you clung to me as my arms went round you on that desert tongue of land whence rushed that band of sea-robbers that tore me away. Oh! how my heart curses those men-not men, but fiends! But one solitary gleam of joy remains from that dread encounter,-that my struggle stayed those hell-hounds, and that, ere I was stricken down, this right hand sent one of them to his home. My spirit rises as I think of that blow that saved thee from a life worse than death. With the thought I feel my cheeks burning, and my forehead swelling with mighty veins. My eyes burn, and I rush wildly round my prison-house, ‘0h! for one of my enemies, that I might dash out his brains against these marble walls, and trample his heart out as he lay before me!’ These walls would spare him not. They are pitiless, alas! I know too well. ‘0h, cruel mockery of kindness, to make a palace a prison, and to taunt a captive’s aching heart with forms of beauty and sculptured marble!’ Wondrous, indeed, are these sculptured walls! Men call them passing fair; but oh, Aurora! with thy beauty ever before my eyes, what form that men call lovely can be fair to me? Like him who gazes sun-wards, and then sees no light on earth, from the glory that dyes his iris, so thy beauty or its memory has turned the fairest things of earth to blackness and deformity.

To read the rest of this story visit:
“The Crystal Cup” at bramstoker.org


“The Member for the Strand” by Bram Stoker

“The Member for the Strand” is a poem by Bram Stoker. It was first published in the UK on January 8, 1890 in Judy: Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, London. It first appeared in book form on December 24, 2012 in The Forgotten Writings of Bram Stoker edited by John Edgar Browning.

For more information and a copy of this poem visit:
“The Member for the Strand” at bramstoker.org


Nonfiction by Bram Stoker

Although most modern readers know Stoker as a writer of fiction, during his lifetime he was almost as famous for his nonfiction.

Books:
• 1872 University of Dublin. College Historical Society. Address
• 1879 The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland
• 1886 A Glimpse of America
• 1906 Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving
• 1910 Famous Impostors

Articles – Theater:
• 1885 “The American Audience”
• 1890 “Actor-Managers”
• 1891 “Recollections of the Late W. G. Wills”
• 1894 “Dramatic Criticism”
• 1901 “The Art of Ellen Terry”
• 1904 “Sir Henry Irving: An Appreciation”
• 1905 “The Last Scenes”
• 1906 “Henry Irving’s Fight for Fame”
• 1906 “Fifty Years on the Stage”
• 1908 “The Question of a National Theatre”
• 1909 “Americans as Actors”
• 1909 “Dead-Heads”
• 1909 “The Censorship of Stage Plays”
• 1911 “Irving and Stage Lighting”

Articles – Miscellaneous:
• 1907 “The Great White Fair in Dublin”
• 1907 “The World’s Greatest Ship-Building Yard”
• 1908 “The Censorship of Fiction”
• 1908 “Where Hall Caine Dreams Out His Romances”
• 1909 “The Ethics of Hall Caine”
• 1909 “The American “Tramp” Question”

Speeches:
• 1872 “The Necessity for Political Honesty”
• 1876 “Address to Henry Irving, Esq.”
• 1885 “Personal Impressions of America”
• 1886 “Abraham Lincoln”
• 1899 “The Organization of a Theatre”
• 1906 “Lecture at Westbourne Park”
• 1907 “Fiction and the Censor”
• 1909 “Dead-Heads”

Interviews by Stoker:
• 1907 “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle”
• 1907 “An Interview with Winston Churchill”
• 1907 “The Tendency of the Modern Stage”
• 1907 “How Mr. Pinero Writes Plays”
• 1908 “Mr. De Morgan’s Habits of Work”

Interviews with Stoker:
• 1886 “A Chat with Mr. Stoker About Irving”
• 1886 “The Hudson Controversy”
• 1887 “Mr. Bram Stoker. A Chat with the Author of Dracula”
• 1890 “The Gangway Seats at the Lyceum”
• 1898 “Interview with Mr. Bram Stoker”
• 1899 “Terriss’s Murderer”

Introductions:
• 1899 Sir Henry Irving and Miss Ellen Terry
• 1905 The Works of Hall Caine

Attributed to Stoker:
• 1884 Henry Irving in England and America 1838-84

For more information and a copies of these articles visit:
Nonfiction at bramstoker.org