24 July. Whitby.—Lucy met me at the station, looking sweeter and lovlier tha_ver, and we drove up to the house at the Crescent in which they have rooms.
This is a lovely place. The little river, the Esk, runs through a deep valley, which broadens out as it comes near the harbour. A great viaduct runs across, with high piers, through which the view seems somehow further away than i_eally is. The valley is beautifully green, and it is so steep that when yo_re on the high land on either side you look right across it, unless you ar_ear enough to see down. The houses of the old town—the side away from us, ar_ll red-roofed, and seem piled up one over the other anyhow, like the picture_e see of Nuremberg. Right over the town is the ruin of Whitby Abbey, whic_as sacked by the Danes, and which is the scene of part of "Marmion," wher_he girl was built up in the wall. It is a most noble ruin, of immense size, and full of beautiful and romantic bits. There is a legend that a white lad_s seen in one of the windows. Between it and the town there is anothe_hurch, the parish one, round which is a big graveyard, all full o_ombstones. This is to my mind the nicest spot in Whitby, for it lies righ_ver the town, and has a full view of the harbour and all up the bay to wher_he headland called Kettleness stretches out into the sea. It descends s_teeply over the harbour that part of the bank has fallen away, and some o_he graves have been destroyed.
In one place part of the stonework of the graves stretches out over the sand_athway far below. There are walks, with seats beside them, through th_hurchyard, and people go and sit there all day long looking at the beautifu_iew and enjoying the breeze.
I shall come and sit here often myself and work. Indeed, I am writing now, with my book on my knee, and listening to the talk of three old men who ar_itting beside me. They seem to do nothing all day but sit here and talk.
The harbour lies below me, with, on the far side, one long granite wal_tretching out into the sea, with a curve outwards at the end of it, in th_iddle of which is a lighthouse. A heavy seawall runs along outside of it. O_he near side, the seawall makes an elbow crooked inversely, and its end to_as a lighthouse. Between the two piers there is a narrow opening into th_arbour, which then suddenly widens.
It is nice at high water, but when the tide is out it shoals away to nothing, and there is merely the stream of the Esk, running between banks of sand, wit_ocks here and there. Outside the harbour on this side there rises for abou_alf a mile a great reef, the sharp of which runs straight out from behind th_outh lighthouse. At the end of it is a buoy with a bell, which swings in ba_eather, and sends in a mournful sound on the wind.
They have a legend here that when a ship is lost bells are heard out at sea. _ust ask the old man about this. He is coming this way …
He is a funny old man. He must be awfully old, for his face is gnarled an_wisted like the bark of a tree. He tells me that he is nearly a hundred, an_hat he was a sailor in the Greenland fishing fleet when Waterloo was fought.
He is, I am afraid, a very sceptical person, for when I asked him about th_ells at sea and the White Lady at the abbey he said very brusquely,
"I wouldn't fash masel' about them, miss. Them things be all wore out. Mind, _on't say that they never was, but I do say that they wasn't in my time. The_e all very well for comers and trippers, an' the like, but not for a nic_oung lady like you. Them feet-folks from York and Leeds that be alway_atin'cured herrin's and drinkin' tea an' lookin' out to buy cheap jet woul_reed aught. I wonder masel' who'd be bothered tellin' lies to them, even th_ewspapers, which is full of fool-talk."
I thought he would be a good person to learn interesting things from, so _sked him if he would mind telling me something about the whale fishing in th_ld days. He was just settling himself to begin when the clock struck six, whereupon he laboured to get up, and said,
"I must gang ageeanwards home now, miss. My granddaughter doesn't like to b_ept waitin' when the tea is ready, for it takes me time to crammle aboon th_rees, for there be a many of `em, and miss, I lack belly-timber sairly by th_lock."
He hobbled away, and I could see him hurrying, as well as he could, down th_teps. The steps are a great feature on the place. They lead from the town t_he church, there are hundreds of them, I do not know how many, and they win_p in a delicate curve. The slope is so gentle that a horse could easily wal_p and down them. I think they must originally have had something to do wit_he abbey. I shall go home too. Lucy went out, visiting with her mother, an_s they were only duty calls, I did not go.
1 August.—I came up here an hour ago with Lucy, and we had a most interestin_alk with my old friend and the two others who always come and join him. He i_vidently the Sir Oracle of them, and I should think must have been in hi_ime a most dictatorial person.
He will not admit anything, and down faces everybody. If he can't out-argu_hem he bullies them, and then takes their silence for agreement with hi_iews.
Lucy was looking sweetly pretty in her white lawn frock. She has got _eautiful colour since she has been here.
I noticed that the old men did not lose any time in coming and sitting nea_er when we sat down. She is so sweet with old people, I think they all fel_n love with her on the spot. Even my old man succumbed and did not contradic_er, but gave me double share instead. I got him on the subject of the legends , and he went off at once into a sort of sermon. I must try to remember it an_ut it down.
"It be all fool-talk, lock, stock, and barrel, that's what it be and now_lse. These bans an' wafts an' boh-ghosts an' bar-guests an' bogles an' al_nent them is only fit to set bairns an' dizzy women a'belderin'. They be now_ut air-blebs. They, an' all grims an' signs an' warnin's, be all invented b_arsons an' illsome berk-bodies an' railway touters to skeer an' scunne_afflin's, an' to get folks to do somethin' that they don't other incline to.
It makes me ireful to think o' them. Why, it's them that, not content wit_rintin' lies on paper an' preachin' them ou t of pulpits, does want to b_uttin' them on the tombstones. Look here all around you in what airt ye will.
All them steans, holdin' up their heads as well as they can out of thei_ride, is acant, simply tumblin' down with the weight o' the lies wrote o_hem, `Here lies the body' or `Sacred to the memory' wrote on all of them, an'
yet in nigh half of them there bean't no bodies at all, an' the memories o_hem bean't cared a pinch of snuff about, much less sacred. Lies all of them, nothin' but lies of one kind or another! My gog, but it'll be a quar_cowderment at the Day of Judgment when they come tumblin' up in their death- sarks, all jouped together an' trying' to drag their tombsteans with them t_rove how good they was, some of them trimmlin' an' dithering, with thei_ands that dozzened an' slippery from lyin' in the sea that they can't eve_eep their gurp o' them."
I could see from the old fellow's self-satisfied air and the way in which h_ooked round for the approval of his cronies that he was "showing off," so _ut in a word to keep him going.
"Oh, Mr. Swales, you can't be serious. Surely these tombstones are not al_rong?"
"Yabblins! There may be a poorish few not wrong, savin' where they make ou_he people too good, for there be folk that do think a balm-bowl be like th_ea, if only it be their own. The whole thing be only lies. Now look you here.
You come here a stranger, an' you see this kirkgarth."
I nodded, for I thought it better to assent, though I did not quite understan_is dialect. I knew it had something to do with the church.
He went on, "And you consate that all these steans be aboon folk that be hape_ere, snod an' snog?" I assented again. "Then that be just where the lie come_n. Why, there be scores of these laybeds that be toom as old Dun's `baccabo_n Friday night."
He nudged one of his companions, and they all laughed. "And, my gog! How coul_hey be otherwise? Look at that one, the aftest abaft the bier-bank, read it!"
I went over and read, "Edward Spencelagh, master mariner, murdered by pirate_ff the coast of Andres, April, 1854, age 30." When I came back Mr. Swale_ent on,
"Who brought him home, I wonder, to hap him here? Murdered off the coast o_ndres! An' you consated his body lay under! Why, I could name ye a doze_hose bones lie in the Greenland seas above," he pointed northwards, "or wher_he currants may have drifted them. There be the steans around ye. Ye can, with your young eyes, read the small print of the lies from here. Thi_raithwaite Lowery, I knew his father, lost in the Lively off Greenland in `20, or Andrew Woodhouse, drowned in the same seas in 1777, or John Paxton, drowned off Cape Farewell a year later, or old John Rawlings, whos_randfather sailed with me, drowned in the Gulf of Finland in `50. Do ye thin_hat all these men will have to make a rush to Whitby when the trumpet sounds?
I have me antherums aboot it! I tell ye that when they got here they'd b_ommlin' and jostlin' one another that way that it `ud be like a fight up o_he ice in the old days, when we'd be at one another from daylight to dark, an' tryin' to tie up our cuts by the aurora borealis." This was evidentl_ocal pleasantry, for the old man cackled over it, and his cronies joined i_ith gusto.
"But," I said, "surely you are not quite correct, for you start on th_ssumption that all the poor people, or their spirits, will have to take thei_ombstones with them on the Day of Judgment. Do you think that will be reall_ecessary?"
"Well, what else be they tombstones for? Answer me that, miss!"
"To please their relatives, I suppose."
"To please their relatives, you suppose!" This he said with intense scorn.
"How will it pleasure their relatives to know that lies is wrote over them, and that everybody in the place knows that they be lies?"
He pointed to a stone at our feet which had been laid down as a slab, on whic_he seat was rested, close to the edge of the cliff. "Read the lies on tha_hruff-stone," he said.
The letters were upside down to me from where I sat, but Lucy was mor_pposite to them, so she leant over and read, "Sacred to the memory of Georg_anon, who died, in the hope of a glorious resurrection, on Jul_9,1873,falling from the rocks at Kettleness. This tomb was erected by hi_orrowing mother to her dearly beloved son.`He was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.' Really, Mr. Swales, I don't see anything very funny i_hat!" She spoke her comment very gravely and somewhat severely.
"Ye don't see aught funny! Ha-ha! But that's because ye don't gawm th_orrowin'mother was a hell-cat that hated him because he was acrewk'd, _egular lamiter he was, an' he hated her so that he committed suicide in orde_hat she mightn't get an insurance she put on his life. He blew nigh the to_f his head off with an old musket that they had for scarin' crows with.
`twarn't for crows then, for it brought the clegs and the dowps to him. That'_he way he fell off the rocks. And, as to hopes of a glorious resurrection, I've often heard him say masel' that he hoped he'd go to hell, for his mothe_as so pious that she'd be sure to go to heaven, an' he didn't want to addl_here she was. Now isn't that stean at any rate,"he hammered it with his stic_s he spoke, "a pack of lies? And won't it make Gabriel keckle when Geordi_omes pantin' ut the grees with the tompstean balanced on his hump, and ask_o be took as evidence!"
I did not know what to say, but Lucy turned the conversation as she said, rising up, "Oh, why did you tell us of this? It is my favorite seat, and _annot leave it, and now I find I must go on sitting over the grave of _uicide."
"That won't harm ye, my pretty, an' it may make poor Geordie gladsome to hav_o trim a lass sittin' on his lap. That won't hurt ye. Why, I've sat here of_n' on for nigh twenty years past, an' it hasn't done me no harm. Don't y_ash about them as lies under ye, or that doesn' lie there either! It'll b_ime for ye to be getting scart when ye see the tombsteans all run away with, and the place as bare as a stubble-field. There's the clock, and'I must gang.
My service to ye, ladies!" And off he hobbled.
Lucy and I sat awhile, and it was all so beautiful before us that we too_ands as we sat, and she told me all over again about Arthur and their comin_arriage. That made me just a little heart-sick, for I haven't heard fro_onathan for a whole month.
The same day. I came up here alone, for I am very sad. There was no letter fo_e. I hope there cannot be anything the matter with Jonathan. The clock ha_ust struck nine. I see the lights scattered all over the town, sometimes i_ows where the streets are, and sometimes singly. They run right up the Es_nd die away in the curve of the valley. To my left the view is cut off by _lack line of roof of the old house next to the abbey. The sheep and lambs ar_leating in the fields away behind me, and there is a clatter of donkeys'
hoofs up the paved road below. The band on the pier is playing a harsh walt_n good time, and further along the quay there is a Salvation Army meeting i_ back street. Neither of the bands hears the other, but up here I hear an_ee them both. I wonder where Jonathan is and if he is thinking of me! I wis_e were here.
DR. SEWARD'S DIARY
5 June.—The case of Renfield grows more interesting the more I get t_nderstand the man. He has certain qualities very largely developed, selfishness, secrecy, and purpose.
I wish I could get at what is the object of the latter. He seems to have som_ettled scheme of his own, but what it is I do not know. His redeeming qualit_s a love of animals, though, indeed, he has such curious turns in it that _ometimes imagine he is only abnormally cruel. His pets are of odd sorts.
Just now his hobby is catching flies. He has at present such a quantity that _ave had myself to expostulate. To my astonishment, he did not break out int_ fury, as I expected, but took the matter in simple seriousness. He though_or a moment, and then said, "May I have three days? I shall clear them away."
Of course, I said that would do. I must watch him.
18 June.—He has turned his mind now to spiders, and has got several very bi_ellows in a box. He keeps feeding them his flies, and the number of th_atter is becoming sensibly diminished, although he has used half his food i_ttracting more flies from outside to his room.
1 July.—His spiders are now becoming as great a nuisance as his flies, an_oday I told him that he must get rid of them.
He looked very sad at this, so I said that he must some of them, at al_vents. He cheerfully acquiesced in this, and I gave him the same time a_efore for reduction.
He disgusted me much while with him, for when a horrid blowfly, bloated wit_ome carrion food, buzzed into the room, he caught it, held it exultantly fo_ few moments between his finger and thumb, and before I knew what he wa_oing to do, put it in his mouth and ate it.
I scolded him for it, but he argued quietly that it was very good and ver_holesome, that it was life, strong life, and gave life to him. This gave m_n idea, or the rudiment of one. I must watch how he gets rid of his spiders.
He has evidently some deep problem in his mind, for he keeps a little noteboo_n which he is always jotting down something. whole pages of it are fille_ith masses of figures, generally single numbers added up in batches, and the_he totals added in batches again, as though he were focussing some account, as the auditors put it.
8 July.—There is a method in his madness, and the rudimentary idea in my min_s growing. It will be a whole idea soon, and then, oh, unconsciou_erebration, you will have to give the wall to your conscious brother.
I kept away from my friend for a few days, so that I might notice if ther_ere any change. Things remain as they were except that he has parted wit_ome of his pets and got a new one.
He has managed to get a sparrow, and has already partially tamed it. His mean_f taming is simple, for already the spiders have diminshed. Those that d_emain, however, are well fed, for he still brings in the flies by temptin_hem with his food.
19 July—We are progressing. My friend has now a whole colony of sparrows, an_is flies and spiders are almost obliterated. When I came in he ran to me an_aid he wanted to ask me a great favour, a very, very great favour. And as h_poke, he fawned on me like a dog.
I asked him what it was, and he said, with a sort of rapture in his voice an_earing, "A kitten, a nice, little, sleek playful kitten, that I can pla_ith, and teach, and feed, and feed, and feed!"
I was not unprepared for this request, for I had noticed how his pets went o_ncreasing in size and vivacity, but I did not care that his pretty family o_ame sparrows should be wiped out in the same manner as the flies and spiders.
So I said I would see about it, and asked him if he would not rather have _at than a kitten.
His eagerness betrayed him as he answered, "Oh, yes, I would like a cat! _nly asked for a kitten lest you should refuse me a cat. No one would refus_e a kitten, would they?"
I shook my head, and said that at present I feared it would not be possible, but that I would see about it. His face fell, and I could see a warning o_anger in it, for there was a sudden fierce, sidelong look which mean_illing. The man is an undeveloped homicidal maniac. I shall test him with hi_resent craving and see how it will work out, then I shall know more.
10 pm.—I have visited him again and found him sitting in a corner brooding.
When I came in he threw himself on his knees before me and implored me to le_im have a cat, that his salvation depended upon it.
I was firm, however, and told him that he could not have it, whereupon he wen_ithout a word, and sat down, gnawing his fingers, in the corner where I ha_ound him. I shall see him in the morning early.
20 July.—Visited Renfield very early, before attendant went his rounds. Foun_im up and humming a tune. He was spreading out his sugar, which he had saved, in the window, and was manifestly beginning his fly catching again, an_eginning it cheerfully and with a good grace.
I looked around for his birds, and not seeing them,asked him where they were.
He replied, without turning round, that they had all flown away. There were _ew feathers about the room and on his pillow a drop of blood. I said nothing, but went and told the keeper to report to me if there were anything odd abou_im during the day.
11 am.—The attendant has just been to see me to say that Renfield has bee_ery sick and has disgorged a whole lot of feathers. "My belief is, doctor,"
he said, "that he has eaten his birds, and that he just took and ate the_aw!"
11 pm.—I gave Renfield a strong opiate tonight, enough to make even him sleep, and took away his pocketbook to look at it. The thought that has been buzzin_bout my brain lately is complete, and the theory proved.
My homicidal maniac is of a peculiar kind. I shall have to invent a ne_lassification for him, and call him a zoophagous (life-eating) maniac. Wha_e desires is to absorb as many lives as he can, and he has laid himself ou_o achieve it in a cumulative way. He gave many flies to one spider and man_piders to one bird, and then wanted a cat to eat the many birds. What woul_ave been his later steps?
It would almost be worth while to complete the experiment. It might be done i_here were only a sufficient cause. Men sneered at vivisection, and yet loo_t its results today! Why not advance science in its most difficult and vita_spect, the knowledge of the brain?
Had I even the secret of one such mind, did I hold the key to the fancy o_ven one lunatic, I might advance my own branch of science to a pitch compare_ith which Burdon-Sanderson's physiology or Ferrier's brain knowledge would b_s nothing. If only there were a sufficient cause! I must not think too muc_f this, or I may be tempted. A good cause might turn the scale with me, fo_ay not I too be of an exceptional brain, congenitally?
How well the man reasoned. Lunatics always do within their own scope. I wonde_t how many lives he values a man, or if at only one. He has closed th_ccount most accurately, and today begun a new record. How many of us begin _ew record with each day of our lives?
To me it seems only yesterday that my whole life ended with my new hope, an_hat truly I began a new record. So it shall be until the Great Recorder sum_e up and closes my ledger account with a balance to profit or loss.
Oh, Lucy, Lucy, I cannot be angry with you, nor can I be angry with my frien_hose happiness is yours, but I must only wait on hopeless and work. Work!
If I could have as strong a cause as my poor mad friend there, a good, unselfish cause to make me work, that would be indeed happiness.
MINA MURRAY'S JOURNAL
26 July.—I am anxious, and it soothes me to express myself here. It is lik_hispering to one's self and listening at the same time. And there is als_omething about the shorthand symbols that makes it different from writing. _m unhappy about Lucy and about Jonathan. I had not heard from Jonathan fo_ome time, and was very concerned, but yesterday dear Mr. Hawkins, who i_lways so kind, sent me a letter from him. I had written asking him if he ha_eard, and he said the enclosed had just been received. It is only a lin_ated from Castle Dracula, and says that he is just starting for home. That i_ot like Jonathan. I do not understand it, and it makes me uneasy.
Then, too, Lucy , although she is so well, has lately taken to her old habi_f walking in her sleep. Her mother has spoken to me about it, and we hav_ecided that I am to lock the door of our room every night.
Mrs. Westenra has got an idea that sleep-walkers always go out on roofs o_ouses and along the edges of cliffs and then get suddenly wakened and fal_ver with a despairing cry that echoes all over the place.
Poor dear, she is naturally anxious about Lucy, and she tells me that he_usband, Lucy's father, had the same habit, that he would get up in the nigh_nd dress himself and go out, if he were not stopped.
Lucy is to be married in the autumn, and she is already planning out he_resses and how her house is to be arranged. I sympathise with her, for I d_he same, only Jonathan and I will start in life in a very simple way, an_hall have to try to make both ends meet.
Mr. Holmwood, he is the Hon. Arthur Holmwood, only son of Lord Godalming, i_oming up here very shortly, as soon as he can leave town, for his father i_ot very well, and I think dear Lucy is counting the moments till he comes.
She wants to take him up in the seat on the churchyard cliff and show him th_eauty of Whitby. I daresay it is the waiting which disturbs her. She will b_ll right when he arrives.
27 July.—No news from Jonathan. I am getting quite uneasy about him, thoug_hy I should I do not know, but I do wish that he would write, if it were onl_ single line.
Lucy walks more than ever, and each night I am awakened by her moving abou_he room. Fortunately, the weather is so hot that she cannot get cold. Bu_till, the anxiety and the perpetually being awakened is beginning to tell o_e, and I am getting nervous and wakeful myself. Thank God, Lucy's healt_eeps up. Mr. Holmwood has been suddenly called to Ring to see his father, wh_as been taken seriously ill. Lucy frets at the postponement of seeing him, but it does not touch her looks. She is a trifle stouter, and her cheeks are _ovely rose-pink. She has lost the anemic look which she had. I pray it wil_ll last.
3 August.—Another week gone by, and no news from Jonathan, not even to Mr.
Hawkins, from whom I have heard. Oh, I do hope he is not ill. He surely woul_ave written. I look at that last letter of his, but somehow it does no_atisfy me. It does not read like him, and yet it is his writing. There is n_istake of that.
Lucy has not walked much in her sleep the last week, but there is an od_oncentration about her which I do not understand, even in her sleep she seem_o be watching me. She tries the door, and finding it locked, goes about th_oom searching for the key.
6 August.—Another three days, and no news. This suspense is getting dreadful.
If I only knew where to write to or where to go to, I should feel easier. Bu_o one has heard a word of Jonathan since that last letter. I must only pra_o God for patience.
Lucy is more excitable than ever, but is otherwise well. Last night was ver_hreatening, and the fishermen say that we are in for a storm. I must try t_atch it and learn the weather signs.
Today is a gray day, and the sun as I write is hidden in thick clouds, hig_ver Kettleness. Everything is gray except the green grass, which seems lik_merald amongst it, gray earthy rock, gray clouds, tinged with the sunburst a_he far edge, hang over the gray sea, into which the sandpoints stretch lik_ray figures. The sea is tumbling in over the shallows and the sandy flat_ith a roar, muffled in the sea-mists drifting inland. The horizon is lost i_ gray mist. All vastness, the clouds are piled up like giant rocks, and ther_s a `brool' over the sea that sounds like some passage of doom. Dark figure_re on the beach here and there, sometimes half shrouded in the mist, and seem `men like trees walking'. The fishing boats are racing for home, and rise an_ip in the ground swell as they sweep into the harbour, bending to th_cuppers. Here comes old Mr. Swales. He is making straight for me, and I ca_ee, by the way he lifts his hat, that he wants to talk.
I have been quite touched by the change in the poor old man. When he sat dow_eside me, he said in a very gentle way, "I want to say something to you, miss."
I could see he was not at ease, so I took his poor old wrinkled hand in min_nd asked him to speak fully.
So he said, leaving his hand in mine, "I'm afraid, my deary, that I must hav_hocked you by all the wicked things I've been sayin' about the dead, and suc_ike, for weeks past, but I didn't mean them, and I want ye to remember tha_hen I'm gone. We aud folks that be daffled, and with one foot abaft the krok- hooal, don't altogether like to think of it, and we don't want to feel scar_f it, and that's why I've took to makin' light of it, so that I'd cheer up m_wn heart a bit. But, Lord love ye, miss, I ain't afraid of dyin', not a bit, only I don't want to die if I can help it. My time must be nigh at hand now, for I be aud, and a hundred years is too much for any man to expect. And I'_o nigh it that the Aud Man is already whettin' his scythe. Ye see, I can'_et out o' the habit of caffin' about it all at once. The chafts will wag a_hey be used to. Some day soon the Angel of Death will sound his trumpet fo_e. But don't ye dooal an' greet, my deary!"—for he saw that I was crying— "i_e should come this very night I'd not refuse to answer his call. For life be, after all, only a waitin' for somethin' else than what we're doin', and deat_e all that we can rightly depend on. But I'm content, for it's comin' to me, my deary, and comin' quick. It may be comin' while we be lookin' an_onderin'. Maybe it's in that wind out over the sea that's bringin' with i_oss and wreck, and sore distress, and sad hearts. Look! Look!" he crie_uddenly. "There's something in that wind and in the hoast beyont that sounds, and looks, and tastes, and smells like death. It's in the air. I feel i_omin'. Lord, make me answer cheerful, when my call comes!" He held up hi_rms devoutly, and raised his hat. His mouth moved as though he were praying.
After a few minutes' silence, he got up, shook hands with me, and blessed me, and said good-bye, and hobbled off. It all touched me, and upset me very much.
I was glad when the coastguard came along, with his spyglass under his arm. H_topped to talk with me, as he always does, but all the time kept looking at _trange ship.
"I can't make her out," he said. "She's a Russian, by the look of her. Bu_he's knocking about in the queerest way. She doesn't know her mind a bit. Sh_eems to see the storm coming, but can't decide whether to run up north in th_pen, or to put in here. Look there again! She is steered mighty strangely, for she doesn't mind the hand on the wheel, changes about with every puff o_ind. We'll hear more of her before this time tomorrow."