Dr. Seward's Diary - May 25th

Dr. Seward’s Diary.
(Kept in phonograph)

25 May.—Ebb tide in appetite to-day. Cannot eat, cannot rest, so diary instead. Since my rebuff of yesterday I have a sort of empty feeling; nothing in the world seems of sufficient importance to be worth the doing.... As I knew that the only cure for this sort of thing was work, I went down amongst the patients. I picked out one who has afforded me a study of much interest. He is so quaint that I am determined to understand him as well as I can. To-day I seemed to get nearer than ever before to the heart of his mystery.

I questioned him more fully than I had ever done, with a view to making myself master of the facts of his hallucination. In my manner of doing it there was, I now see, something of cruelty. I seemed to wish to keep him to the point of his madness—a thing which I avoid with the patients as I would the mouth of hell.

(Mem., under what circumstances would I not avoid the pit of hell?) Omnia Romæ venalia sunt. Hell has its price! verb. sap. If there be anything behind this instinct it will be valuable to trace it afterwards accurately, so I had better commence to do so, therefore—

R. M. Renfield, ætat 59.—Sanguine temperament; great physical strength; morbidly excitable; periods of gloom, ending in some fixed idea which I cannot make out. I presume that the sanguine temperament itself and the disturbing influence end in a mentally-accomplished finish; a possibly dangerous man, probably dangerous if unselfish. In selfish men caution is as secure an armour for their foes as for themselves. What I think of on this point is, when self is the fixed point the centripetal force is balanced with the centrifugal; when duty, a cause, etc., is the fixed point, the latter force is paramount, and only accident or a series of accidents can balance it.

Poor Dr. Seward, so disappointed over Lucy turning his marriage proposal down.  What is even worse is that she didn't even think it important enough to write an account of it to Mina.

Extra Fun:  Early record players had the ability to play and record.

See the history at this site.

Apparently there were platform wars between Edison, Berliner and other designers.  Since the book is set in contemporary London to Stoker's time, it isn't quite clear which gramophone Dr. Seward is using.  Maybe he is using Berliner's version?

HERE are early advertisements for the Berliner Gramophone.

According to these ads the gramophone cost about 10 to 15 US Dollars.  That would translate into a cost of roughly $250 to $450 dollars depending if you had the improved hand crank model.  Apparently there was a price drop with the improvement.

According to this site, Berliner didn't start his British division until 1897, the year Dracula was published.  So it was very likely Dr. Seward purchased his Gramophone from the US and shipped it to England.

The exchange rate was in his favor.

1 pound in 1896 is worth about 103 pounds today.  So the cost of the gramophone, according to the exchange rate then, would only have cost him about 2 to 3 pounds.  If he had purchased the machine after 1897 through the British division, he would have paid closer to 10 pounds.

Take into account that the average worker in the UK made about or less average wage of 3 shillings a week.  Clearly, this machine was only available to the upper class.

If anyone has a better account of exchange rates back in 1896, please feel free to comment with corrections.  Math is not my strong suit.

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