Monday 23 January 2017

England is full of magicians!

From Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - by Susanna Clarke - 2004.

Strange gave a long sigh. The effort of speaking coherently seemed to exhaust him.

"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 what?" "But there is only one." "What?"

"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!

"Norrell refused them. Norrell denied them. Norrell silenced them. But they are magicians nonetheless.

"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...

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