Saturday, May 9, 2009

9 May

Chapter 3 con't.
Jonathan Harker's Journal

Midnight.—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 present 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, aye, and of Asia and Africa too, till the peoples thought that the werewolves themselves 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?" He held up his arms. "Is it a wonder that we were a conquering race, that we were proud, that when the Magyar, the Lombard, the Avar, the Bulgar, or the Turk poured his thousands on our frontiers, we drove them back? 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? And when the Hungarian flood swept eastward, the Szekelys were claimed as kindred by the victorious Magyars, and to us for centuries was trusted the guarding of the frontier of Turkeyland. Aye, and more than that, endless duty of the frontier guard, for as the Turks say, 'water sleeps, and the enemy is sleepless.' Who more gladly than we throughout the Four Nations received the 'bloody sword,' or at its warlike call flocked quicker to the standard of the King? When was redeemed that great shame of my nation, the shame of Cassova, when the flags of the Wallach and the Magyar went down beneath 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 Turkeyland, who, when he was beaten back, came 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. Bah! What good are peasants without a leader? Where ends the war without a brain and heart to conduct it? Again, when, after the battle of Mohacs, we threw off the Hungarian yoke, we of the Dracula blood were amongst their leaders, for our spirit would not brook that we were not free. Ah, young sir, the Szekelys, and the Dracula as their heart's blood, their brains, and their swords, can boast a record that mushroom growths like the Hapsburgs and the Romanoffs can never reach. 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."

It was by this time close on morning, and we went to bed. (Mem., this diary seems horribly like the beginning of the "Arabian Nights," for everything has to break off at cockcrow, or like the ghost of Hamlet's father.)

10 comments:

ToastyKen said...

Hey isn't the first letter from Mina to Lucy on May 9? How come it hasn't been posted yet?

Been loving this blog btw! :)

CrazyCris said...

am hooked and looking forward to the next instalment!

if you're interested have been publicizing it over on my blog:
http://crazycrishereandthere.blogspot.com/2009/05/blood-thirsty-o.html

Rachel said...

Just wanted to say Thank you and I am following this in google reader. I've never read Dracula so it's a great way to fit in an extra novel - and a novel way to experience it.

Congratulations on a great idea!

Bryan's workshop blog said...

Congratulations on launching a Draculablog! It's a fun process to go through, in many ways.

Heather said...

aw, geez,... 2 days and haven't heard from Jonathan. I hope the count didn't eat him or anything.

CrazyCris said...

my, my... 3 days and no news?! has the poor fellow managed to escape or something? ;o)

G-force said...

hellooooo? Anybody there??

You kinda have to follow through with this once you start :p

Scott said...

I'm not sure some of you people understand... the point of this blog is to write in "real time". Dracula was written in diary form. If there is an entry for a certain date in the actual book, the blogger will put it in here. If there isn't an entry for that particular date, the blog will also not have an entry.

Jonathan Harker said...

Honestly, it can get pretty boring at the Castle, so there isn't always something to write about.

@JHarkerEsq

Whitney Sorrow said...

Thanks everybody!

@Toasty Ken,
Yeah, absolutely, dropped the ball there... I didn't think it was for another week yet. I added it backdated into the timeline. My apologies, it won't happen again.

@CrazyCris
Thanks!

@GForce, you're going to have to exercise more patience later on... there are times when a couple weeks go by without a diary entry. Don't worry, though, when there's an entry or a letter (or a telegram, etc) you'll get it! :)