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Quotes

Quote #1

There are many odd things to put down, and, lest who reads them may fancy that I dined too well before I left Bistritz, let me put down my dinner exactly. I dined on what they call 'robber steak' […] The wine was Golden Mediasch, which produces a queer sting on the tongue, which is, however, not disagreeable. I had only a couple of glasses of this, and nothing else. (1.17)

Jonathan Harker assures any future readers of his diary that he wasn't drunk the night he traveled to Castle Dracula. He anticipates that some people might assume that he was hallucinating or in an alcohol-induced haze when they read about the "blue lights" and the wolves, so he tells us exactly what he had to eat and drink beforehand.

Quote #2

[…] I fell to at once on an excellent roast chicken. This, with some cheese and a salad and a bottle of old Tokay, of which I had two glasses, was my supper. (2.18)

Again, Harker is careful to tell us exactly what he had to eat and drink – maybe he's anticipating, again, that future readers of his diary might assume that he was hallucinating the strange things he witnessed at Castle Dracula.

Quote #3

If I don't sleep at once, chloral, the modern Morpheus – C2HCl3O.H2O! I should be careful not to let it grow into a habit. No I shall take none tonight! I have thought of Lucy, and I shall not dishonor her by mixing the two. (8.35)

Chloral, or chloral hydrate, is a sedative that was originally used to treat insomnia, and sometimes used as an anesthetic. It's only mildly addictive, but it was still abused and misprescribed a lot in the late nineteenth century. Nowadays it's illegal in the US without a prescription. In the late nineteenth century, though, it wasn't a controlled substance, and doctors, like Jack Seward, could just dose themselves if they had trouble sleeping. No wonder addiction was so common!

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