Opis

The main character is in front of 2 worlds. One is the real world. Another is a world that occurs during sleep. In real life, an ordinary man will introduce a quiet life. Communicates with friends, leads discussions. And in a dream, he dreams of meeting a ten-year-old princess Sylvie and her five-year-old brother Bruno. Sylvie and Bruno find out that their father is actually a fairytale king, and therefore they are a fairytale prince and princess. In the end, the two stories unite as Sylvie and Bruno begin to appear in the real world.

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Liczba stron: 310

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Contents

CHAPTER I. LESS BREAD! MORE TAXES!

CHAPTER II. L’AMIE INCONNUE

CHAPTER III. BIRTHDAY-PRESENTS

CHAPTER IV. A CUNNING CONSPIRACY

CHAPTER V. A BEGGAR’S PALACE

CHAPTER VI. THE MAGIC LOCKET

CHAPTER VII. THE BARON’S EMBASSY

CHAPTER VIII. A RIDE ON A LION

CHAPTER IX. A JESTER AND A BEAR

CHAPTER X. THE OTHER PROFESSOR

CHAPTER XI. PETER AND PAUL

CHAPTER XII. A MUSICAL GARDENER

CHAPTER XIII. A VISIT TO DOGLAND

CHAPTER XIV. FAIRY-SYLVIE

CHAPTER XV. BRUNO’S REVENGE

CHAPTER XVI. A CHANGED CROCODILE

CHAPTER XVII. THE THREE BADGERS

CHAPTER XVIII. QUEER STREET, NUMBER FORTY

CHAPTER XIX. HOW TO MAKE A PHLIZZ

CHAPTER XX. LIGHT COME, LIGHT GO

CHAPTER XXI. THROUGH THE IVORY DOOR

CHAPTER XXII. CROSSING THE LINE

CHAPTER XXIII. AN OUTLANDISH WATCH

CHAPTER XXIV. THE FROGS’ BIRTHDAY-TREAT

CHAPTER XXV. LOOKING EASTWARD

CHAPTER I. LESS BREAD! MORE TAXES!

–and then all the people cheered again, and one man, who was more excited than the rest, flung his hat high into the air, and shouted (as well as I could make out) “Who roar for the Sub-Warden?” Everybody roared, but whether it was for the Sub-Warden, or not, did not clearly appear: some were shouting “Bread!” and some “Taxes!”, but no one seemed to know what it was they really wanted.

All this I saw from the open window of the Warden’s breakfast-saloon, looking across the shoulder of the Lord Chancellor, who had sprung to his feet the moment the shouting began, almost as if he had been expecting it, and had rushed to the window which commanded the best view of the market-place.

“What can it all mean?” he kept repeating to himself, as, with his hands clasped behind him, and his gown floating in the air, he paced rapidly up and down the room. “I never heard such shouting before–and at this time of the morning, too! And with such unanimity! Doesn’t it strike you as very remarkable?”

I represented, modestly, that to my ears it appeared that they were shouting for different things, but the Chancellor would not listen to my suggestion for a moment. “They all shout the same words, I assure you!” he said: then, leaning well out of the window, he whispered to a man who was standing close underneath, “Keep ’em together, ca’n’t you? The Warden will be here directly. Give ’em the signal for the march up!” All this was evidently not meant for my ears, but I could scarcely help hearing it, considering that my chin was almost on the Chancellor’s shoulder.

The “march up’ was a very curious sight: a straggling procession of men, marching two and two, began from the other side of the market-place, and advanced in an irregular zig-zag fashion towards the Palace, wildly tacking from side to side, like a sailing vessel making way against an unfavourable wind–so that the head of the procession was often further from us at the end of one tack than it had been at the end of the previous one.

Yet it was evident that all was being done under orders, for I noticed that all eyes were fixed on the man who stood just under the window, and to whom the Chancellor was continually whispering. This man held his hat in one hand and a little green flag in the other: whenever he waved the flag the procession advanced a little nearer, when he dipped it they sidled a little farther off, and whenever he waved his hat they all raised a hoarse cheer. “Hoo-roah!” they cried, carefully keeping time with the hat as it bobbed up and down. “Hoo-roah! Noo! Consti! Tooshun! Less! Bread! More! Taxes!”

“That’ll do, that’ll do!” the Chancellor whispered. “Let ’em rest a bit till I give you the word. He’s not here yet!” But at this moment the great folding-doors of the saloon were flung open, and he turned with a guilty start to receive His High Excellency. However it was only Bruno, and the Chancellor gave a little gasp of relieved anxiety.

“Morning!” said the little fellow, addressing the remark, in a general sort of way, to the Chancellor and the waiters. “Doos oo know where Sylvie is? I’s looking for Sylvie!”

“She’s with the Warden, I believe, y’reince!” the Chancellor replied with a low bow. There was, no doubt, a certain amount of absurdity in applying this title (which, as of course you see without my telling you, was nothing but “your Royal Highness’ condensed into one syllable) to a small creature whose father was merely the Warden of Outland: still, large excuse must be made for a man who had passed several years at the Court of Fairyland, and had there acquired the almost impossible art of pronouncing five syllables as one.

But the bow was lost upon Bruno, who had run out of the room, even while the great feat of The Unpronounceable Monosyllable was being triumphantly performed.

Just then, a single voice in the distance was understood to shout “A speech from the Chancellor!” “Certainly, my friends!” the Chancellor replied with extraordinary promptitude. “You shall have a speech!” Here one of the waiters, who had been for some minutes busy making a queer-looking mixture of egg and sherry, respectfully presented it on a large silver salver. The Chancellor took it haughtily, drank it off thoughtfully, smiled benevolently on the happy waiter as he set down the empty glass, and began. To the best of my recollection this is what he said.

“Ahem! Ahem! Ahem! Fellow-sufferers, or rather suffering fellows–” (“Don’t call ’em names!” muttered the man under the window. “I didn’t say felons!” the Chancellor explained.) “You may be sure that I always sympa–” (“’Ear, ‘ear!” shouted the crowd, so loudly as quite to drown the orator’s thin squeaky voice) “–that I always sympa–” he repeated. (“Don’t simper quite so much!” said the man under the window. “It makes yer look a hidiot!” And, all this time, “’Ear, ‘ear!” went rumbling round the market-place, like a peal of thunder.) “That I always sympathise!” yelled the Chancellor, the first moment there was silence. “But your true friend is the Sub-Warden! Day and night he is brooding on your wrongs–I should say your rights–that is to say your wrongs–no, I mean your rights–” (“Don’t talk no more!” growled the man under the window. “You’re making a mess of it!”) At this moment the Sub-Warden entered the saloon. He was a thin man, with a mean and crafty face, and a greenish-yellow complexion; and he crossed the room very slowly, looking suspiciously about him as if he thought there might be a savage dog hidden somewhere. “Bravo!” he cried, patting the Chancellor on the back. “You did that speech very well indeed. Why, you’re a born orator, man!”

“Oh, that’s nothing!” the Chancellor replied, modestly, with downcast eyes. “Most orators are born, you know.”

The Sub-Warden thoughtfully rubbed his chin. “Why, so they are!” he admitted. “I never considered it in that light. Still, you did it very well. A word in your ear!”

The rest of their conversation was all in whispers: so, as I could hear no more, I thought I would go and find Bruno.

I found the little fellow standing in the passage, and being addressed by one of the men in livery, who stood before him, nearly bent double from extreme respectfulness, with his hands hanging in front of him like the fins of a fish. “His High Excellency,” this respectful man was saying, “is in his Study, y’reince!” (He didn’t pronounce this quite so well as the Chancellor.) Thither Bruno trotted, and I thought it well to follow him.

The Warden, a tall dignified man with a grave but very pleasant face, was seated before a writing-table, which was covered with papers, and holding on his knee one of the sweetest and loveliest little maidens it has ever been my lot to see. She looked four or five years older than Bruno, but she had the same rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes, and the same wealth of curly brown hair. Her eager smiling face was turned upwards towards her father’s, and it was a pretty sight to see the mutual love with which the two faces–one in the Spring of Life, the other in its late Autumn–were gazing on each other.

“No, you’ve never seen him,” the old man was saying: “you couldn’t, you know, he’s been away so long–traveling from land to land, and seeking for health, more years than you’ve been alive, little Sylvie!”

Here Bruno climbed upon his other knee, and a good deal of kissing, on a rather complicated system, was the result.

“He only came back last night,” said the Warden, when the kissing was over: “he’s been traveling post-haste, for the last thousand miles or so, in order to be here on Sylvie’s birthday. But he’s a very early riser, and I dare say he’s in the Library already. Come with me and see him. He’s always kind to children. You’ll be sure to like him.”

“Has the Other Professor come too?” Bruno asked in an awe-struck voice.

“Yes, they arrived together. The Other Professor is–well, you won’t like him quite so much, perhaps. He’s a little more dreamy, you know.”

“I wiss Sylvie was a little more dreamy,” said Bruno.

“What do you mean, Bruno?” said Sylvie.

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