Jonthan Harker's Journal - The Castle - May 28th



There is a chance of escape, or at any rate of being able to send word home. A band of Szgany have come to the castle, and are encamped in the courtyard. These Szgany are gipsies; I have notes of them in my book. They are peculiar to this part of the world, though allied to the ordinary gipsies all the world over. There are thousands of them in Hungary and Transylvania, who are almost outside all law. They attach themselves as a rule to some great noble or boyar, and call themselves by his name. They are fearless and without religion, save superstition, and they talk only their own varieties of the Romany tongue.

I shall write some letters home, and shall try to get them to have them posted. I have already spoken them through my window to begin acquaintanceship. They took their hats off and made obeisance and many signs, which, however, I could not understand any more than I could their spoken language....

I have written the letters. Mina’s is in shorthand, and I simply ask Mr. Hawkins to communicate with her. To her I have explained my situation, but without the horrors which I may only surmise. It would shock and frighten her to death were I to expose my heart to her. Should the letters not carry, then the Count shall not yet know my secret or the extent of my knowledge....

Jonathan makes a desperate attempt to contact the outside world.  Unfortunately, the Szgany are loyal to Dracula and they give him Harker's letters.  Dracula is unable to read the letter to Mina.  But he burns it in front of Harker.

After Dracula makes clear that Harker has no allies in or near the castle, he leaves and locks the door to the study that Jonathan uses for work.  It seems that Harker's usefulness to Dracula is lessening by the day.  Still he later returns to find Harker sleeping on the study sofa and urges him back to his room.  So Harker isn't food and plaything for the weird sisters...yet.

Extra Fun:  According to this book, History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe: Types and stereotypes on Google Preview, some of Stoker's terminology is a bit off.  Why didn't he just call the Gypsies, Gypsies?  Why use the name Szgany?  Yet the Romanian and Hungarian names etc. were all extremely correct.  The author of this book states that the writing of author Arminius Vámbéry was the main source of knowledge that Stoker used to write Dracula.  It has even been rumored that Stoker met with Vámbéry sometime in 1892 during Vámbéry's lecture tour in Dublin. Stoker even used the writer's name in the novel as a tribute.

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