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
"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 game 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