around the old man’s neck, and with her rosy cheek lovingly pressed to


“In Elfland, darling. It’s one of the provinces of Fairyland.”

“But I thought Elfland was ever so far from Outland: and we’ve come

such a tiny little way!”

“You came by the Royal Road, sweet one. Only those of royal blood can

travel along it: but you’ve been royal ever since I was made King of

Elfland that’s nearly a month ago. They sent two ambassadors, to make

sure that their invitation to me, to be their new King, should reach me.

One was a Prince; so he was able to come by the Royal Road,

and to come invisibly to all but me: the other was a Baron;

so he had to come by the common road, and I dare say he hasn’t even

arrived yet.”

“Then how far have we come?” Sylvie enquired.

“Just a thousand miles, sweet one, since the Gardener unlocked that

door for you.”

“A thousand miles!” Bruno repeated. “And may I eat one?”

“Eat a mile, little rogue?”

“No,” said Bruno. “I mean may I eat one of that fruits?”

“Yes, child,” said his father: “and then you’ll find out what

Pleasure is like–the Pleasure we all seek so madly, and enjoy so


Bruno ran eagerly to the wall, and picked a fruit that was

shaped something like a banana, but had the colour of a strawberry.

He ate it with beaming looks, that became gradually more gloomy,

and were very blank indeed by the time he had finished.

“It hasn’t got no taste at all!” he complained. “I couldn’t feel nuffin

in my mouf! It’s a–what’s that hard word, Sylvie?”

“It was a Phlizz,” Sylvie gravely replied. “Are they all like that,


“They’re all like that to you, darling, because you don’t belong to

Elfland–yet. But to me they are real.”

Bruno looked puzzled. “I’ll try anuvver kind of fruits!” he said,

and jumped down off the King’s knee. “There’s some lovely striped ones,

just like a rainbow!” And off he ran.

Meanwhile the Fairy-King and Sylvie were talking together, but in such

low tones that I could not catch the words: so I followed Bruno,

who was picking and eating other kinds of fruit, in the vain hope of

finding some that had a taste. I tried to pick so me myself–but it

was like grasping air, and I soon gave up the attempt and returned to


“Look well at it, my darling,” the old man was saying, “and tell me how

you like it.”

“‘It’s just lovely,” cried Sylvie, delightedly. “Bruno, come and look!”

And she held up, so that he might see the light through it,

a heart-shaped Locket, apparently cut out of a single jewel, of a rich

blue colour, with a slender gold chain attached to it.

“It are welly pretty,” Bruno more soberly remarked: and he began

spelling out some words inscribed on it. “All–will–love–Sylvie,”

he made them out at last. “And so they doos!” he cried, clasping his

arms round her neck. “Everybody loves Sylvie!”

“But we love her best, don’t we, Bruno?” said the old King, as he took

possession of the Locket. “Now, Sylvie, look at this.” And he showed

her, lying on the palm of his hand, a Locket of a deep crimson colour,

the same shape as the blue one and, like it, attached to a slender

golden chain.

“Lovelier and lovelier!” exclaimed Sylvie, clasping her hands in

ecstasy. “Look, Bruno!”

“And there’s words on this one, too,” said Bruno.


“Now you see the difference,” said the old man: “different colours and

different words.

Choose one of them, darling. I’ll give you which ever you like best.”

[Image…The crimson locket]

Sylvie whispered the words, several times over, with a thoughtful

smile, and then made her decision. “It’s very nice to be loved,”

she said: “but it’s nicer to love other people! May I have the red one,


The old man said nothing: but I could see his eyes fill with tears,

as he bent his head and pressed his lips to her forehead in a long loving

kiss. Then he undid the chain, and showed her how to fasten it round

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Categories: Carroll, Lewis