From Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - by Susanna Clarke - 2004.
Strange gave a long sigh. The effort of speaking coherently seemed to
"Your second task is ... Your second task is to take a message to
all the magicians in England. Do you understand me?"
"Oh, yes! But . . ."
"But there is only one."
"There is only one magician, sir. Now that you are here, only one magician
remains in England."
Strange seemed to consider this for a moment.
"My pupils," he said. "My
pupils are magicians. All the men and women who ever wanted to be Norrell's
pupils are magicians. Childermass is another. Segundus another. Honeyfoot.
The subscribers to the magical journals. The members of the old societies.
"England is full of magicians. Hundreds! Thousands perhaps!
them. Norrell denied them. Norrell silenced them. But they are magicians
"Tell them this." He passed his hand across his forehead and
breathed hard for a moment. "Tree speaks to stone; stone speaks to water. It
is not so hard as we have supposed. Tell them to read what is written in the
sky. Tell them to ask the rain!
"All of John Uskglass's old alliances are still
in place. I am sending messengers to remind the stones and the sky and the rain
of their ancient promises. Tell them . . ."
But again Strange could not find the words he wanted. He drew something in the air with a gesture. "I cannot
explain it," he said...