October It is general knowledge that in communist societies no aspects of human life ever go unnoticed or unscrutinised by the cyclopic, tyrannous intentions of mother state.
D R A C U L A
The aforementioned reality is encountered June Feature Articles. Socratic lessons can be articulated in all manner of ways. Combining social satire, a thematic preoccupation with Chinese nationalism and the changing tide of technological development, and a lot of action, Wong Fei Hung Once Upon a Time in China never fails to December Having answered the Count's salutation, I turned to the glass again to see how I had been mistaken.
This time there could be no error, for the man was close to me, and I could see him over my shoulder. But there was no reflection of him in the mirror! The whole room behind me was displayed; but there was no sign of a man in it, except myself. This was startling, and, coming on the top of so many strange things, was beginning to increase that vague feeling of uneasiness which I always have when the Count is near; but at the instant I saw that the cut had bled a little, and the blood was trickling over my chin.
I laid down the razor, turning as I did so half round to look for some sticking plaster. It is more dangerous than you think in this country. It is a foul bauble of man's vanity. Away with it! Jonathan Marker's Journal 25 Then he withdrew without a word. It is very annoying, for I do not see how I am to shave, unless in my watch-case or the bot- tom of the shaving-pot, which is fortunately of metal.
When I went into the dining-room, breakfast was prepared; but I could not find the Count anywhere.
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So I breakfasted alone. It is strange that as yet I have not seen the Count eat or drink. He must be a very peculiar man! After breakfast I did a little exploring in the castle. I went out on the stairs, and found a room looking towards the South. The view was magnificent, and from where I stood there was every opportunity of seeing it. The castle is on the very edge of a terrible precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything! As far as the eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops, with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm. Here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.
But I am not in heart to describe beauty, for when I had seen the view I explored further; doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit.
The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a prisoner! I rushed up and down the stairs, trying every door and peering out of every window I could find; but after a little the conviction of my helplessness overpowered all other feelings. When I look back after a few hours I think I must have been mad for the time, for I behaved much as a -rat does in a trap.
When, however, the conviction had come to me that I was help- less I sat down quietly as quietly as I have ever done anything in my life and began to think over what was best to be done. I am thinking still, and as yet have come to no definite conclu- sion. Of one thing only am I certain; that it is no use making my ideas known to the Count. He knows well that I am impris- oned; and as he has done it himself, and has doubtless his own motives for it, he would only deceive me if I trusted him fully with the facts.
So far as I can see, my only plan will be to keep my knowledge and my fears to myself, and my eyes open. I am, I know, either being deceived, like a baby, by my own fears, or else I am in desperate straits; and if the latter be so, I need, and shall need, all my brains to get through. I had hardly come to this conclusion when I heard the great door below shut, and knew that the Count had returned.
He did not come at once into the library, so I went cautiously to my own room and found him making the bed. This was odd, but only confirmed what I had all along thought that there were no servants in the house. When later I saw him through the chink of the hinges of the door laying the table in the dining-room, I was assured of it; for if he does himself all these menial offices, surely it is proof that there is no one else to do them.
Dracula – Commentary
This gave me a fright, for if there is no one else in the castle, it must have been the Count himself who was the driver of the coach that brought me here. This is a terrible thought; for if so, what does it mean that he could control the wolves, as he did, by only hold- ing up his hand in silence. How was it that all the people at Bis- tritz and on the coach had some terrible fear for me? What meant the giving of the crucifix, of the garlic, of the wild rose, of the mountain ash? Bless that good, good woman who hung 26 Jonathan Harker's Journal 27 the crucifix round my neck!
It is odd that a thing which I have been taught to regard with disfavour and as idolatrous should in. Is it that there is something in the essence of the thing itself, or that it is a medium, a tangible help, in conveying memories of sympathy and com- fort? Some time, if it may be, I must examine this matter and try to make up my mind about it. In the meantime I must find out all I can about Count Dracula, as it may help me to understand. To-night he may talk of himself, if I turn the conversation that way. I must be very careful, however, not to awake his suspicion.
I have had a long talk with the Count. I asked him a few questions on Transylvania history, and he warmed up to the subject wonderfully. In his speaking of things and people, and especially of battles, he spoke as if he had been pres- ent at them all. This he afterwards explained by saying that to a boyar the pride of his house and name is his own pride, that their glory is his glory, that their fate is his fate.
Whenever he spoke of his house he always said "we," and spoke almost in the plural, like a king speaking. I wish I could put down all he said exactly as he said it, for to me it was most fascinating. It seemed to have in it a whole history of the country. He grew excited as he spoke, and walked about the room pulling his great white moustache and grasping anything on which he laid his hands as though he would crush it by main strength.
One thing he said which I shall put down as nearly as I can; for it tells in its way the story of his race: "We Szekelys have a right to be proud, for in our veins flows the blood of many brave races who fought as the lion fights, for lordship. Here, in the whirlpool of European races, the Ugric tribe bore down from Iceland the fighting spirit which Thor and Wodin gave them, which their Berserkers displayed to such fell intent on the seaboards of Europe, ay, and of Asia and Africa too, till the peoples thought that the were-wolves them- selves had come.
Here, too, when they came, they found the Huns, whose warlike fury had swept the earth like a living flame, till the dying peoples held that in their veins ran the blood of those old witches, who, expelled from Scythia had mated with the devils in the desert. Fools, fools!
What devil or what witch was ever so great as Attila, whose blood is in these veins? Is it strange that when Arpad and his legions swept through the Hungarian fatherland he found us here when he reached the frontier; that the Honfoglalas was completed there?diotaecefliwi.ml
And when the Hungarian flood swept east- ward, the Szekelys were claimed as kindred by the victorious Magyars, and to us for centuries was trusted the guarding of the frontier of Turkey-land; ay, and more than that, endless duty of the frontier guard, for, as the Turks say, 'water sleeps, and enemy is sleepless. When was re- deemed that great shame of my nation, the shame of Cassova, when the flags of the Wallach and the Magyar went down be- neath the Crescent?
Who was it but one of my own race who as Voivode crossed the Danube and beat the Turk on his own ground? This was a Dracula indeed! Woe was it that his own unworthy brother, when he had fallen, sold his people to the Turk and brought the shame of slavery on them! Was it not this Dracula, indeed, who inspired that other of his race who in a later age again and again brought his forces over the great river into Turkey-land; who, when he was beaten back, came again, and again, and again, though he had to come alone from the bloody field where his troops were being slaughtered, since he knew that he alone could ultimately triumph!
They said that he thought only of himself. Where ends the war without a brain and heart to con- duct it? Ah, young sir, the Szekelys and the Dracula as their heart's blood, their brains, and their swords can boast a rec- ord that mushroom growths like the Hapsburgs and the Roman- offs can never reach.
Summary Chapter 21
The warlike days are over. Blood is too precious a thing in these days of dishonourable peace; and the glories of the great races are as a tale that is told. Let me begin with facts bare, meagre facts, veri- fied by books and figures, and of which there can be no doubt. Jonathan Harker's Journal 29 I must not confuse them with experiences which will have to rest on my own observation, or my memory of them. Last eve- ning when the Count came from his room he began by asking me questions on legal matters and on the doing of certain kinds of business.
I had spent the day wearily over books, and, simply to keep my mind occupied, went over some of the matters I had been examined in at Lincoln's Inn. There was a certain method in the Count's inquiries, so I shall try to put them down in sequence; the knowledge may somehow or some time be useful to me. First, he asked if a man in England might have two solicitors or more.
I told him he might have a dozen if he wished, but that it would not be wise to have more than one solicitor engaged in one transaction, as only one could act at a time, and that to change would be certain to militate against his interest. He seemed thoroughly to understand, and went on to ask if there would be any practical difficulty in having one man to attend, say, to banking, and another to look after shipping, in case local help were needed in a place far from the home of the banking solicitor. I asked him to explain more fully, so that I might not by any chance mislead him, so he said: " I shall illustrate.
Your friend and mine, Mr. Peter Hawkins, from under the shadow of your beautiful cathedral at Exeter,, which is far from London, buys for me through your good sell my place at London. Now here let me say frankly, lest you should think it strange that I have sought the services oi one so far off from London instead of some one resident therCj that my motive was that no local interest might be served save my wish only; and as one of London residence might, perhaps, have some purpose of himself or friend to serve, I went thus afield to seek my agent, whose labours should be only to my interest.
Now, suppose I, who have much of affairs, wish to ship goods, say, to Newcastle, or Durham, or Harwich, or Dover, might it not be that it could with more ease be done by con- signing to one in these ports? Is it not so? I explained all these things to him to the best of my ability, and he certainly left me under the im- pression that he would have made a wonderful solicitor, for there was nothing that he did not think of or foresee.
For a man who was never in the country, and who did not evidently do much in the way of business, his knowledge and acumen were wonderful.