Excerpts from

 NARNIA - Book 1 of 7

The Magician's Nephew

by C. S. Lewis

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The "magician" (young Digory's scary Uncle Andrew) has already tricked Digory's friend Polly into touching a magic ring, which hurled her out of London and into another world. The evil magician then his trapped nephew about the source of the magic and the evolution [a philosophy C.S. Lewis embraced] of the universe:

"The box was Atlantean; it came from the lost island of Atlantis. That meant it was centuries older than any of the stone-age things they dig up in Europe.... In the very dawn of time, Atlantis was already a great city with palaces and temples [to Zeus] and learned men. The Atlantean box contained something that had been brought from another world when our world was only just beginning.... Fine, dry dust. Ah, but when I looked at that dust and thought that every grain had once been in another world--I don't mean another planet, you know; they're part of our world.... but a really Other Word -- another Nature..... a world that could be reached only by Magic-- well!  ... I knew," he went on," that if only you could turn it into the right form, that dust would draw you back to the place it had come from..... At last I succeeded in making... the yellow rings." page 16

To find and save Polly, Digory takes another yellow ring and the two children end up in a dying world, exploring the ruins. Here Digory's curiosity awakens wicked witch, Janis, who follows the two children back to London:

"Magic," whispered Digory. "Can't you feel it? I bet this whole room is just stiff with enchantments. I could feel it the moment we came in." 25

Escaping the chaos in London created by the witch, they end up in yet another world -- the all dark, newly-born Narnia. They hear singing, "the most beautiful noise" they had ever heard. Suddenly the blackness overhead was "blazing with stars.". ...

"One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out -- single stars, constellations and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world. .......

"The earth was of many colors: they were fresh, hot and vivid. They made you feel excited; until you saw the Singer Himself, and then you forgot everything else. It was a Lion." 43....

"Now for the first time, the Lion was quite silent. He was going to and fro among the animals. And every now and then he would go up to two of them... and touch their noses with his. ... The pairs which he had touched instantly left their own kinds and followed him....  At last he stood still and all the creatures whom he had touched came and stood in a wide circle around him....

    "...the deepest, wildest voice they had ever heard was saying: 'Narnia, Narnia Narnia awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters.' It was of course the lion's voice....

"Out of the trees wild people stepped forth, gods and goddesses of the wood; with them came Fauns and Satyrs.... Out of the river rose the river god with his Naiad daughters. And all these and all the beasts and birds in their different voices.... replied: 'Hail, Aslan. We hear and obey. We are awake. We love. We think. We speak,. We know." 48

"Creatures, I give you yourselves," said the strong, happy voice of Aslan. "I give you forever this land of Narnian.... I give you the stars and I give you myself. ...

"Laugh and fear not, creatures. Now that you are no longer dumb and witless, you need not always be grave. For jokes as well as justice come in with speech." 49

"Narnia is established. We must next take thought for keeping it safe. I will call some of you to my council. Come hither to me, you the chief Dwarf, and you the River-god.... For though the world is not five hours old and evil has already entered it."

"...a force of evil has already entered it; waked and brought hither by this Son of Adam." The Beasts.... all turned their eyes on Digory.... And as Adam's race has done the harm, Adam's race shall help to heal it." 55

"The witch whom brought into this world will come back to Narnia again.... It is my wish to plant in Narnia a tree that she will not dare to approach, and that tree will protect Narnian from her for many years.... You must get me the seed from which that tree is to grow."57

Digory "knew which was the right tree at once, partly because it stood in the very center and partly because the great silver apples with which it was loaded shone so.... He walked straight across to it, picked an apple and put it in the breast pocket of his Norfolk jacket. But he couldn't help looking at it and smelling it before he put it away.

    "It would have been better if he had not. A terrible thirst and hunger came over him and a longing to taste that fruit. He put it hastily into his pocket....63

"I've brought you the apple you wanted, sir." ...

"Well done," said Aslan.... For this fruit you have hungered and thirsted and wept. No hand but yours shall sow the seed to the tree that is to be the protection of Narnia. Throw the apple toward the river bank."65

"... they saw a tree which had certainly not been there before. It must have grown up silently, as swiftly as a flag rises....

"Son of Adam," said Aslan, you have sown well. And you, narnians, let it be your first care to guard this Tree, for it is your Shield."68

"Aslan, sir," said Digory, turning red. "I forgot to tell you. The Witch as already eaten one of those apples....."

"Child," [Aslan] replied. "That is why all the rest are now a horror to her. That's what happens to those who pluck and eat fruits at the wrong time in in the wrong way. The fruit is good, but they loathe it ever after." 68

"Oh I see," said Polly. "And I suppose because she took it the wrong way it won't ... make her always young and all that?"

"Alas," said Aslan, shaking his head. "It will. Things always work according to their nature. She has won her heart's desire; she has unwearying strength and endless days like a goddess. But length of days with and evil heart is only length of misery...." 68-69

The end of this story and the Beginning of all the Others

"We're not quite as bad as that world, are we, Aslan?" [referring to Europe]

"Not yet, Daughter of Eve," he said.... but you are growing more like it. ... And soon.... great nations in your world will be ruled by tyrants who care no more for joy and justice and mercy than the Empress Jadis. Let your world beware." 69

"Digory... went softly into his Mother's room And there she lay, ... propped up on the pillows, with a thin, pale face. Digory took the Apple of Life out of his pocket.... And the smell of the Apple of Youth was as if there was a window in the room that opened up on Heaven.

      "'You will eat, it, won't you? Please,' said Digory.... And no sooner had she finished it than she smiled and her head same back on the pillow and she was asleep; a real, natural, gently sleep....

      "That evening he buried the core of the Apple in the back garden...."

"Digory need not have marked the place. Something was already coming up. It was not growing so that you could see it grow as the new trees had done in Narnia, but it was already well above ground. They got the trowel and buried all the magic rings, including their own ones, in a circle round it.

"...it was quite certain that Digory's Mother was getting better."

"...there came a long letter from Father in India, which had wonderful news in it. Old Great-Uncle Kirke had died.... Father was now very rich. He was going to retire and come home from India forever and ever. And the great big house in the country, which Digory had heard of all his life and never seen, would now be their home....

"The tree which sprang from the core of the Apple that Digory planted in the back garden, lived and grew into a fine tree. It did bear apples more beautiful than any other in England and they were extremely good for you, though not fully magical. But inside itself, in the very sap of it, the tree never forgot that other tree in Narnia to which it belonged. Sometimes it would move mysteriously when there was no wind blowing: I think that when this happened there were high winds in Narnian.... 

      "However than might be, it was proved later that there was still magic in its wood. For when Digory was quite middle-aged (and he was a famous learned man, a Professor...) and the Ketterley's old house belonged to him, there was a great storm all over the south of England which blew the tree down. He couldn't bear to have it simply chopped up for firewood, so he had part of the timber made into a wardrobe....

     "And though he himself did not discover the magic properties of that wardrobe, someone else did. That was the beginning of all the comings and goings between Narnia  and our world...." 72

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