Dracula HTML version

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
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 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."