Dracula

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The head of an insane asylum in London, which happens to sit next to Dracula's first English estate at Carfax, Seward was a former suitor of, and current friend to, Lucy, before her death. With Van Helsing and the others, Seward then tracks down Dracula in England, and follows him to Romania, where Dracula is "truly killed."

Dr. Seward Quotes in Dracula

The Dracula quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Seward or refer to Dr. Seward. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Dracula published in 2000.
Chapter 9 Quotes

I want you to do me a favor. Lucy is ill; that is, she has no special disease, but she looks awful . . . I told her I should ask you to see her . . . and she finally consented.

Related Characters: Arthur Holmwood (speaker), Dr. Seward
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:

Arthur is put in the position of requesting help from the doctor on Lucy's behalf. Lucy argues that she is okay, although clearly she has trouble completing even the most basic of waking tasks, and frequently must be confined to bed for long stretches. Arthur is worried about his fiancee, although at this point, he does not seem to suspect that anything out of the ordinary is wrong with her.

The conference between Seward and Arthur is an indication of another dynamic in the novel - that of men working among themselves to protect the health and security of women. Seward and Arthur feel they are in a position to insulate Lucy from whatever problem might be besieging her. Men and women outside this friendship circle seem to recognize that it is the responsibility of these men to care for Lucy. And, indeed, because Dracula presents himself as a male menace, Arthur and Seward are the men - so they style themselves - who will defend Lucy's honor and try to help her to survive. 

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Chapter 10 Quotes

You were always a careful student, and your case-book was ever more full than the rest. You were only student then; now you are master, and I trust that good habit have not fail. Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker.

Related Characters: Abraham Van Helsing (speaker), Dr. Seward
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

It turns out that Seward has studied with Van Helsing for some time, and that Van Helsing has attempted to teach Seward all he knows about supernatural possession, and methods to defeat practitioners of the dark arts. Although Van Helsing does not directly identify Dracula as the culprit at this point in the text, it is clear he believes that Lucy has been possessed by some kind of demon, that that demon is associated with the presence of a bat, and that extreme scientific and religious methods must be used to counteract it.

Van Helsing hints at a vastly-developed system of university instruction that enables professors to teach their students about the intricacies of interaction with vampires and other supernatural beings. It is not clear whether this exists within, or in parallel to, "normal" university education. But it is another indicator that the world in the novel Dracula is almost like, but not exactly like, our own. It is, at least, a world realistic enough to make its supernatural elements all the more frightening. 

Chapter 12 Quotes

Once again we went through that ghastly operation. I have not the heart to go through with the details. Lucy had got a terrible shock and it told on her more than before, for though plenty of blood went into her veins, her body did not respond to the treatment as well as on the other occasions. . . .

Related Characters: Dr. Seward (speaker), Lucy Westenra
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:

The operation that Dr. Seward describes involves what would, today, be termed a massive blood transfusion. The blood of "four strong men" is poured into Lucy - interestingly, this blood is not checked for blood type, perhaps because Seward and Van Helsing are unaware of the scientific existence of blood types at this point in medical history. Nevertheless, the transfusion itself seems to work manageably. What is more difficult, however, is the process of retaining this blood - Lucy seems to be "leeching" blood out, although no one is sure who is taking this blood from her.

At this point, the dramatic irony in the text becomes so overwhelming as to be almost unbearable. It is clear that Dracula, or one of his minions, is sucking the blood from Lucy, such that no amount of blood can replace it. But apart from Van Helsing, who has experience in the hunting of vampires, no other character in the novel is aware that Lucy is being preyed on in exactly this way. 

Chapter 14 Quotes

Now that you are willing to understand, you have taken the first step to understand. You think then that those so small holes in the children's throats were made by the same that made the hole in Miss Lucy?
I suppose so.
Then you are wrong . . . . It is worse, far, far worse.
In God's name, Professor Van Helsing, what do you mean?
They were made by Miss Lucy!

Related Characters: Abraham Van Helsing (speaker), Dr. Seward (speaker), Lucy Westenra
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

Van Helsing recognizes that Lucy's illness, already thought to be caused by a supernatural infection brought on by continued bites from Dracula, is worse that he initially imagined. It is not just that Lucy has been infected with the vampiric illness - she is now an active vampire herself, and she requires the blood of others to survive. Perhaps Van Helsing was aware that this was a possibility before meeting with Lucy in person, but now he is convinced that the vampiric illness is one that is spread through bites - and that those bitten become those that bite.

The symbolic influence of this form of infection is clear. Van Helsing and Seward recognize that Lucy is not just in danger herself - she, potentially, can also bring great harm to others. In this way, vampiric infection is similar to any other kind of transmissible disease, including venereal (sexually-transmitted) disease. Those who have been infected can transfer that infection to others - meaning that the disease must be stopped in its tracks, through finding the initial vector (Dracula) and through quarantining those infected (like Lucy). Furthermore, the "disease" is presented as a kind of perverse passion - previously, Lucy had been saintlike and pure, but now she has been corrupted by Dracula's sexually-tainted affliction, and so she holds that same unholy passion and lust for blood.

Chapter 18 Quotes

You will, I trust, Dr. Seward, do me the justice to bear in mind, later on , that I did what I could to convince you [to free me] tonight.

Related Characters: Renfield (speaker), Dr. Seward
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 212
Explanation and Analysis:

Renfield exists on the other side of the spectrum of "insanity" - he lives in, and is confined in, an asylum. Seward has been observing Renfield there for some time, and it appears that Renfield, for his part, is attuned to the actions of the Count. In other words, the Count's proximity to Renfield seems to trigger that man's supposedly "insane" behavior. In this, then, Renfield is not so different from Lucy, who is also confined, and labeled "ill," when in fact she is being visited in the night by the Count - and he takes blood from her body. 

True "craziness," then, is called into question in this section. Is it, after all, "insane" to fear a man who wishes to kill one, to drink one's blood? Renfield wants to be protected from the Count, and yet, in the asylum, he is sitting prey. As much as Seward wants to protect, even to "cure" Renfield, he has trouble letting go of the idea that Renfield is truly insane, and that his confinement in the asylum is a means of making him healthy. 

Chapter 20 Quotes

The attendant came bursting into my room and told me that Renfield had somehow met with some accident. He had heard him yell; and when he went to him found him lying on his face on the floor, all covered with blood.

Related Characters: Dr. Seward (speaker), Renfield
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:

Even though Renfield has warned the others, especially Seward, that he is in danger, and that the asylum will not protect him from the violence of the Count, Seward and the others in the hospital still believe that Renfield has met with some "accident" here. This, despite the fact that there was no point of entry to Renfield's room, no way for any human attacker to find him there. The only answer, other than Renfield hurting himself (which seems very unlikely based on the location of the face wound), is that a supernatural force has indeed attacked him.

In another context, this supernatural explanation would seem, at best, far-fetched. But based on the other supernatural activity in the novel up till this point, such a conclusion would indeed be rational and warranted. This is Stoker's commentary, then, on the nature of the rational to begin with. Rational acts are those that can be explained by some causal connection. Because the supernatural has already been established in the text, it is not "crazy" to think that the supernatural might continue to pose a threat. Indeed, that is the explanation that makes the most sense here - and it seems "crazy" to have ignored the warning signs and to continue to assume that Renfield's death is just an "accident." 

Chapter 23 Quotes

You think to baffle me, you—with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher's. You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest; but I have more. My revenge is just begun!

Related Characters: Count Dracula (speaker), Jonathan Harker, Abraham Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Quincey Morris, Arthur Holmwood
Page Number: 263
Explanation and Analysis:

The Count, in this section, reveals that he is aware of the efforts put into motion to stop him. He knows that there are charms that can defeat his powers, that he is not immortal, but rather that mirrors and garlic can affect him a great deal. Dracula figures, in this portion of the novel, that the only way to disrupt the plans of those in the "circle" is to continue to threaten them with the violence of his blood-sucking - and with his ability to appear, without warning, in places where he is not expected. If Dracula can be defeated, he is also very, very difficult to intimidate.

In this way, then, Dracula's activity continues to resemble that of a virus. He moves often invisibly, and he crops up where he is least expected. His potential for appearance prompts a feeling of continual paranoia in those around him. And although he can be dispatched, it is only through the utmost care, and the use of special tinctures that must be prepared in advance of his arrival. 

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Dr. Seward Character Timeline in Dracula

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Seward appears in Dracula. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
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...well with Lucy's mother, which pleases Lucy. Lucy has also met a man named Dr. Seward, who runs an insane asylum, and who Lucy believes would be a good match for... (full context)
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...she has had three suitors come to her in one day. The first was Dr. Seward, psychologist and head of the insane asylum, whom Lucy respects but whom she does not... (full context)
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Dr. Seward's Diary, May 25. Dr. Seward, head of the insane asylum, notes down that, as a... (full context)
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...to Arthur, May 25. Morris writes quickly to Arthur to tell him that he and Seward remain friends with Arthur, and wish to celebrate Arthur's success with the beautiful Lucy. This... (full context)
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Telegram from Arthur to Morris, May 26. Arthur agrees, happily, to celebrate with Seward and Morris. (full context)
Chapter 6
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Dr. Seward's Diary. June 5. Seward reports in his diary of his interactions with Renfield. Here, Seward... (full context)
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Dr. Seward's Diary. June 18. Seward reports that Renfield has acquired spiders, which he feeds the flies... (full context)
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Dr. Seward's Diary. July 1. Seward reports that Renfield's spiders and flies are becoming a nuisance. Seward... (full context)
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Dr. Seward's Diary. July 8. Seward notices that Renfield has begun keeping a pet sparrow, and that... (full context)
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Dr. Seward's Diary. July 19. On Seward's next visit, he sees that Renfield now has a large... (full context)
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The same day, at 10 p.m., Seward finds Renfield once again begging for a cat, and brooding in the corner. Seward again... (full context)
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Dr. Seward's Diary. July 20. Seward walks in to find only masses of feathers and a speck... (full context)
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Later that night, at 11 p.m., Seward realizes exactly what Renfield desires. Seward decides to refer to the patient as a zoophagus,... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Seward's Diary. August 19. Early on the 19th, Seward is called by orderlies to see Renfield,... (full context)
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Later that night, Seward is woken up by guards to hear that Renfield has escaped from the asylum. Renfield... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Seward's Diary. August 20. Seward notes that Renfield has assumed a pattern to his strange behavior—during... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. August 23. This night, Seward writes, Renfield escapes again to the nearby house, Carfax,... (full context)
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Letter, Arthur to Seward. August 31. Arthur asks Seward if he will come to lunch the next day and... (full context)
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Telegram, Arthur to Seward. September 1. Arthur writes, briefly, that his father has taken a turn for the worse,... (full context)
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Letter from Seward to Arthur. September 2. Seward reports that Lucy seemed well, but was only performing in... (full context)
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Letter from Van Helsing to Seward. September 2. Van Helsing sends a quick note to Seward, asking for rooms at a... (full context)
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Letter from Seward to Arthur. September 3. Seward reports that Van Helsing has had an initial visit with... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 4. Seward reports that, once again, Renfield becomes unhinged around noon, during the... (full context)
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Telegram from Seward to Van Helsing. September 4. Seward reports that Lucy's condition seems to be improving. (full context)
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Telegram from Seward to Van Helsing. September 5. Seward reports, again, that Lucy appears even healthier, with a... (full context)
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Telegram from Seward to Van Helsing. September 6. In this message, however, Seward notes that Lucy has gotten... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Letter from Seward to Arthur. Seward reports to Arthur that Lucy has taken a step backward, and that... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 7. Van Helsing tells Seward that he has some idea what is causing... (full context)
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...lost even more blood. Van Helsing determines that Lucy must have a blood transfusion, and Seward, who is younger and in better health, offers to give the blood. But just at... (full context)
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The transfusion is performed, and Lucy appears to be healthier for it. Seward and Van Helsing both notice the wound on Lucy's neck, which till then had been... (full context)
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Before he leaves, Van Helsing asks Seward to look over Lucy all the night through, in case anything should "disturb" her. Seward... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 8. Seward does observe Lucy as she sleeps, but before she goes to... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 9. Lucy, who says she is feeling much better, does not allow Seward... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 10. Van Helsing wakes Seward the next morning—he has returned from Amsterdam. The... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 11. When Seward returns the next day, Van Helsing has gathered a great... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Seward's Diary. September 13. Seward picks up Van Helsing at his hotel, and they return to... (full context)
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...she is not to remove anything from Lucy's room during the remainder of the treatment. Seward wonders in his journal about the significance of the garlic ritual in protecting Lucy. (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 17. Seward reports, briefly, that Renfield burst into his office earlier that night... (full context)
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Telegram from Van Helsing to Seward. September 17. Van Helsing, who has had to go away for a day to Amsterdam,... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 18. Seward realizes that Van Helsing did not include the correct county on... (full context)
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...17. Night. Lucy has trouble sleeping the night of the 17th, without Van Helsing or Seward present. She goes to her window in the night and sees a big bat outside.... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Seward's Diary. September 18. Seward arrives at Lucy's house that morning and finds he cannot get... (full context)
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...notices that the garlic garland has been placed around Lucy's mother's neck, and not Lucy's. Seward sends a telegram to notify Arthur to come, and they place Lucy in a warm... (full context)
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After the bath, Seward and Van Helsing consult as to what to do with Lucy. When they turn around,... (full context)
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Seward reads the memorandum but doesn't understand what it implies—Van Helsing says that, in due time,... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 19. Arthur arrives at Lucy's house and sees his fiancée in a severely... (full context)
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Report from Patrick Hennessey to Seward. September 20. An employee of the asylum, Hennessey reports to Seward in a brief letter... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 20. Morris, Arthur, Van Helsing, and Seward surround Lucy on the last night... (full context)
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But as Arthur takes Lucy's hand, Van Helsing and Seward notice that Lucy's pallor has changed—she appears serene, and her gums are drawn back, showing... (full context)
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Then Lucy goes back into a gentle repose, and Seward and Van Helsing, the only two remaining in the room (Morris and Arthur, overcome, have... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Seward's Diary. September 20. (continued). Seward takes command of preparations for Lucy's funeral, as Arthur's father... (full context)
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Van Helsing asks for surgical instruments from Seward for that night, since he wishes to cut off Lucy's head and cut out her... (full context)
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...the house after his father's funeral, and cannot believe that Lucy is really dead—he and Seward remark that she looks like she might only be sleeping. Arthur is now called Lord... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 22. Seward believes he is finishing his diary—he reports that he, Van Helsing,... (full context)
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After the ceremony, Van Helsing and Seward take a cab together, and Van Helsing goes "into hysterics," as Seward describes it, alternating... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...himself to Mina, saying that he has read Lucy's correspondence with Mina (with Arthur's and Seward's permission); Van Helsing asks to meet with Mina to discuss Lucy's "illness." (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 26. Seward mentions that he is starting to write again, though he believed... (full context)
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Van Helsing finally explains what he believes to have happened to Lucy—he asks whether Seward believes in "astral bodies, hypnotism," and other instances of occult and magical phenomena—Seward says he... (full context)
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...enables man to believe in things that we know to be untrue." Van Helsing asks Seward to believe in his research and to work with him to track down Lucy, whom... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Seward's Diary. September 26. (continued). Seward accuses Van Helsing of madness, but Van Helsing counters that... (full context)
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Van Helsing and Seward go to the cemetery that evening to check on Lucy's tomb (she has been interred... (full context)
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They leave the mausoleum but stay in the cemetery. Seward believes he sees a "white streak" in the cemetery, among the graves, and he and... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 27. Van Helsing and Seward wait through the night, then visit the grave... (full context)
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...this, he would cut off Lucy's head and drive a wooden stake through her heart. Seward is appalled by this, and Van Helsing says that he must have Arthur present for... (full context)
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Note left by Van Helsing, for Seward (undelivered). September 27. Van Helsing leaves Seward a brief note, saying that he is going... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 28. In a brief entry, Seward wonders whether Van Helsing is, in fact,... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 29. Morning. Van Helsing calls a meeting, in his hotel room, of Arthur,... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Seward's Diary. September 29. (continued). The four go to Lucy's tomb that day around midnight. Before... (full context)
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...beckon him to come with her. Arthur is flabbergasted and horrified, as are Morris and Seward, but Van Helsing seems to have expected exactly this. (full context)
Chapter 17
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Seward's Diary. September 29. (continued). Van Helsing returns to his hotel, with Seward, and finds a... (full context)
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Mina's Journal. September 29. Mina talks first with Seward in his study, where she sees his phonograph machine, on which he dictates his diary.... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 29. Seward sees Mina later that day, as she comes down for supper... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 30. Seward meets Harker and immediately finds him "uncommonly clever." Later, Seward visits... (full context)
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Mina's Journal. September 30. Mina, Van Helsing, Arthur, and Morris meet in London, along with Seward and Harker, at Seward's office in the asylum. Morris and Art express appreciation, gratitude, and... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Seward's Diary. September 30. Seward reports that Mina asks to meet with Renfield at the insane... (full context)
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Mina finds Renfield somewhat rational, but Seward believes that Renfield is only hiding his madness—or only appearing to repudiate his illness in... (full context)
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Mina's Journal. September 30. Van Helsing calls a meeting of the "group": Seward, his "first mate," Mina, Jonathan, Arthur, and Morris. Van Helsing begins this "meeting" by going... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. October 1. 4 a.m. Early that next morning, however Seward is called to see... (full context)
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...to leave the asylum at once, and to go far away as a free man. Seward, however, worries that Renfield is again only feigning his rationality, as a means either of... (full context)
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But Seward ultimately decides to keep Renfield in the asylum. Renfield appears to understand Seward's hesitation, but... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Jonathan Harker's Journal. October 1. 5 a.m. The group discusses whether Seward was right not to release Renfield—and Van Helsing reassures Seward that he is doing his... (full context)
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...that 21 have been removed. Suddenly, the chapel is overrun by rats—many hundreds of them—but Seward blows a silver whistle and three dogs from the asylum rush in, dispelling the rats... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. October 1. Seward, Van Helsing, and Harker have a brief conversation, in which Van... (full context)
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...the day—he appears quiet and withdrawn, again, though neither "mad" nor "rational"—only depressed. Mina asks Seward for a sleeping aid (an opiate) in order not to have another nightmare, as of... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Seward's Diary. October 1. Seward has another meeting with Renfield, who appears again to lust after... (full context)
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Once again, that day, in the evening, Seward and Van Helsing go in to speak with Renfield and find him singing—he does not... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. October 2. Seward dispatches an orderly to stand outside Renfield's room, to look after... (full context)
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Seward reports, in a quick entry, that later that evening Renfield is found in his room,... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Seward's Diary. October 3. Van Helsing and Seward rush in to find Renfield on the verge... (full context)
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...as Renfield believed he felt Dracula asking for Mina the previous night. The Professor and Seward are, naturally, quite worried, and decide to break into Mina's room to see what has... (full context)
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...lap up the blood, Dracula's own blood, pouring out of the wound. Van Helsing and Seward are horrified by the scene, and Harker sleeps next to Mina and Dracula, unaware of... (full context)
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...waking up, realizes what has happened and demands an explanation of what took place from Seward and Van Helsing, who attempt to calm him down. Mina, realizing that she has drunk... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...Harker records the preparations made at stalking and killing Count Dracula. He notes, also, that Seward and Van Helsing have told a "white lie" about Renfield's death, calling it an accident... (full context)
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When Van Helsing, Seward, and Harker speak to Mina, she says that, if she believes her living would cause... (full context)
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...earth, after screwing off the lids of the boxes. In a short time, Van Helsing, Seward, and Harker have sterilized all 29 boxes at Carfax, and they head to Piccadilly to... (full context)
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Jonathan Harker's Journal. Piccadilly. 12:30 p.m. Van Helsing, Seward, and Harker look on as Arthur and Morris convince a locksmith to open up the... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Seward's Diary. October 3. In Seward's office, Van Helsing explains to Seward and Harker that Dracula... (full context)
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...have been sterilized—the group must find Dracula's final box. When the five men are in Seward's office, with Mina down the hall, Van Helsing tells them to prepare for Dracula, whom... (full context)
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All of a sudden, Dracula leaps into Seward's office, crashing through a window, and confronts the five men. Harker attempts to stab Dracula... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Seward's Diary. October 5. Seward notes in his diary that the group appears better rested on... (full context)
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...complains she is not feeling well, and remains in her room—this causes Van Helsing and Seward to be suspicious, thinking that indeed Mina is turning into a vampire—but they decide not... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...his ship arrives at Varna—Harker will stab him through the heart, and Van Helsing and Seward will quickly cut off his head to ensure that he is dead. No news of... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. October 25. Seward announces his worry that the Count has not arrived sooner, and... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. October 26. Still no news of the Count, although Seward reports that a fog... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. October 27. Still no news of the Count. Seward reports that Mina's lethargy is... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. October 28. The group decides to catch the next available train to Galatz. In... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Seward's Diary. October 29. Seward writes from the train to Galatz, from Varna—the group is preparing... (full context)
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Jonathan Harker's Journal. October 30. Harker, Van Helsing, and Seward speak with some English customs workers working near Galatz, who have heard stories about the... (full context)
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...believes it is a sound hypothesis. He vows to stay back with Mina while Harker, Seward, Morris, and Arthur go off to find Dracula. Mina marvels at the bravery of her... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. November 2. Seward writes that he is cheered to be traveling on horseback, and... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. November 3. Seward worries, at a break in his journey, whether the snow on... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. November 4. Seward has heard through fellow travelers along the horse-path near the river... (full context)
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Memoranda of Van Helsing. November 4. Van Helsing begins a series of memoranda for Seward, in case something happens to him and to Mina en route to the castle. Van... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. November 5. Seward has met up with the men of the launch, and the... (full context)
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Van Helsing and Mina spot Harker, Morris, Seward, and Arthur surrounding the cart and ordering the gypsies to stop. Morris and Harker then... (full context)
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...no longer is necessary to protect them. They run to the wagon to see Harker, Seward, Morris, and Arthur. Harker appears only slightly wounded, but Morris, who has been gashed in... (full context)
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...from Dracula's power, and Morris dies on the roadway, surrounded by Harker, Mina, Van Helsing, Seward, and Arthur. (full context)
Closing Note
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Back home, Harker and Mina thought of Arthur and Seward, both happily married. As Harker and Mina go over the documents comprising the account of... (full context)