Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 671. Monday, 25 October 1993.
Date: Monday, 25 Oct 1993 08:30:25 -0500 (EST)
In AN ANTIDOTE AGAINST ATHEISM BY Dr. Henry More (London, 1653) you will find
the following: "One night a certain theologer was sitting with his wife and
children about him, exercising himself in music, according to his usual
manner, a most grievous stink arose suddenly, which by degrees spread itself
into every corner of the room. Hereupon he commends himself and his family to
God by prayer. The smell nevertheless is increased...so that they were forced
to leaved the room. He and his wife had not beem in bed a quarter of an hour,
but they find the same stink in the bedchamber, of which, while they are
complaining one to another, out steps the spectre from the wall, and creeping
to his bedside, breathes upon him an exceedingly cold breath of so tolerable
stinking and malignant a scent as it beyond all imagination and expression,
and surely from the grave...as from a vampire" (rpt. THE OCCULT IN ART by Owen
S. Rachleff, 1990).
In this effort to identify a mysterious "spectre," it would appear
that by the middle of the 17th century in England, the vampire was a familiar
enough figure to help categorize the unfamiliar experience here.
In J. Downing's 4th edition A COLLECTION OF SEVERAL PHILOSOPHICAL WRITINGS OF
DR. HENRY MORE (London, 1712), he includes an Appendix to the said Antidote
quoted above. You may find this and publications like it, quite engaging and