Chapter 23
3 October.--The time seemed teribly long whilst we were waiting for the coming
of Godalming and Quincey Morris. The Professor tried to keep our minds active
by using them all the time. I could see his beneficent purpose, by the side
glances which he threw from time to time at Harker. The poor fellow is
overwhelmed in a misery that is appalling to see. Last night he was a frank,
happy-looking man, with strong, youthful face, full of energy, and with dark brown
hair. Today he is a drawn, haggard old man, whose white hair matches well with
the hollow burning eyes and grief-written lines of his face. His energy is still
intact. In fact, he is like a living flame. This may yet be his salvation, for if all go
well, it will tide him over the despairing period. He will then, in a kind of way,
wake again to the realities o f life. Poor fellow, I thought my own trouble was bad
enough, but his. . .!
The Professor knows this well enough, and is doing his best to keep his mind
active. What he has been saying was, under the circumstances, of absorbing
interest. So well as I can remember, here it is:
"I have studied, over and over again since they came into my hands, all the
papers relating to this monster, and the more I have studied, the greater seems
the necessity to utterly stamp him out. All through there are signs of his advance.
Not only of his power, but of his knowledge of it. As I learned from the researches
of my friend Arminius of Buda-Pesth, he was in life a most wonderful man.
Soldier, statesman, and alchemist. Which latter was the highest development of
the science knowledge of his time. He had a mighty brain, a learning beyond
compare, and a heart that knew no fear and no remorse. He dared even to
attend the Scholomance, and there was no branch of knowledge of his time that
he did not essay.
"Well, in him the brain powers survived the physical death. Though it would seem
that memory was not all complete. In some faculties of mind he has been, and is,
only a child. But he is growing, and some things that were childish at the first are
now of man's stature. He is experimenting, and doing it well. And if it had not
been that we have crossed his path he would be yet, he may be yet if we fail, the
father or furtherer of a new order of beings, whose road must lead through
Death, not Life."
Harker groaned and said, "And this is all arrayed against my darling! But how is
he experimenting? The knowledge may help us to defeat him!"
"He has all along, since his coming, been trying his power, slowly but surely. That
big child-brain of his is working. Well for us, it is as yet, a child-brain. For had he
dared, at the first, to attempt certain things he would long ago have been beyond
our power. However, he means to succeed, and a man who has centuries before
him can afford to wait and to go slow. Festina lente may well be his motto."
"I fail to understand," said Harker wearily. "Oh, do be more plain to me! Perhaps
grief and trouble are dulling my brain."
The Professor laid his hand tenderly on his shoulder as he spoke, "Ah, my child, I
will be plain. Do you not see how, of late, this monster has been creeping into