Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Prince Caspian Book Excerpt

I thought it was a great coincidence that Prince Caspian (Chapter 4) had these opening paragraphs about the power of stories. They go well with last week's post.

Prince Caspian lived in a great castle in the center of Narnia with his uncle, Miraz, the king of Narnia, and his aunt, who had red hair and was called Queen Prunaprismia. His father and mother were dead and the person whom Caspian loved best was his nurse, and though (being a prince) he had wonderful toys which would do almost anything but talk, he liked best the last hour of the day when the toys had all been put back in their cupboards and Nurse would tell him stories [of old Narnia].

...“What do you wish?” asked the King.
“I wish – I wish—I wish I could have lived in the Old Days,” said Caspian.
“Eh? What’s that?” he said. “What old days do you mean?”
“Oh, don’t you know, Uncle?” said Caspian? “When everything was quite different. When all the animals could talk, and there were nice people who lived in the streams and the trees. Naiads and Dryads they were called. And there were Dwarfs. And there were lovely little Fauns in all the woods. They had feet like goats. And…”
“That’s all nonsense, for babies, do you hear? You’re getting too old for that sort of stuff. At your age you ought to be thinking of battles and adventures, not fairy tales.
“Oh, but there were battles and adventures in those days,” said Caspian…

“Who has been telling you this nonsense?” said the King in a voice of thunder… “Who has been telling you this pack of lies?”
“Nurse,” faltered Caspian, and burst into tears.
“Stop that noise,” said his uncle, taking Caspian by the shoulders and giving him a shake. “Stop it. And never let me catch you talking – or thinking either – about all those silly stories again. There never were those Kings and Queens… And there’s no such person as Aslan. And there are no such things as lions. And there never was a time when animals could talk. Do you hear?”
“Yes, Uncle,” sobbed Caspian.
“Then let’s have no more of it,” said the King…

Next day Caspian found what a terrible thing he had done, for Nurse had been sent away… Caspian missed his nurse very much and shed many tears; and because he was so miserable, he thought about the old stories of Narnia far more than before.

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