The Wake World


Part II

I was telling you how we started from the Green Palace. There are three passages that lead to the Treasure House of Gold, and all of them are very dreadful. One is called Terror by Night, and another the Arrow by Day, and the third has a name that people are afraid to hear, so I won't say.
But in the first we came to a mighty throne of gray granite, shaped like the sweetest pussy cat you ever saw, and set up on a desolate heath. It was midnight, and the Devil came down and sat in the midst; but my Fairy Prince whispered: "Hush! It is a great secret, but his name is Yeheswah, and he is the Saviour of the World." And that was very funny, because the girl next me thought it was Jesus Christ, till another Fairy Prince (my Prince's brother) whispered as he kissed her: "Hush, tell nobody ever, that is Satan, and he is the Saviour of the World."
We were a very great company, and I can't tell you of all the strange things we did and said, or of the song we sang as we danced face outwards in a great circle ever closing in on the Devil on the throne. But whenever I saw a toad or a bat, or some horrid insect, my Fairy Prince always whispered: "It is the Saviour of the World," and I saw that it was so. We did all the most beautiful wicked things you can imagine, and yet all the time knew they were good and right, and must be done if ever we were to get to the House of Gold. So we enjoyed ourselves very much and ate the most extraordinary supper you can think of. There were babies roasted whole and stuffed with pork sausages and olives; and some of the girls cut off chops and steaks from their own bodies, and gave them to a beautiful white cook at a silver grill, that was lighted with the gas of dead bodies and marshes; and he cooked them splendidly, and we all enjoyed it immensely. Then there was a tame goat with a gold collar, that went about laughing with everyone; and he was all shaved in patches like a poodle. We kissed him and petted him, and it was lovely. You must remember that I never let go of my Fairy Prince for a single instant, or of course I should have been turned into a horrid black toad.
Then there was another passage called the Arrow by Day, and there was a most lovely lady all shining with the sun, and moon, and stars, who was lighting a great bowl of water with one hand, by dropping dew on it out of a cup, and with the other she was putting out a terrible fire with a torch. She had a red lion and a white eagle, that she had always had ever since she was a little girl. She had found them in a nasty pit full of all kinds of nasty filth, and they were very savage; but by always treating them kindly they had grown up faithful and good. This should be a lesson to all of us never to be unkind to our pets.
My Fairy Prince was laughing all the time in the third path. There was nobody there but an old gentleman who had put on his bones outside, and was trying ever so hard to cut down the grass with a scythe. But the faster he cut it the faster it grew. My Fairy Prince said: "Everybody that ever was has come along this path, and yet only one ever got to the end of it." But I saw a lot of people walking straight through as if they knew it quite well; he explained, though, that they were really only one; and if you walked through that proved it. I thought that was silly, but he's much older and wiser than I am; so I said nothing. The truth is that it is a very hard Palace to talk about, and the further you get in, the harder it is to say what you mean because it all has to be put into dream talk, as of course the language of the wake-world is silence.
So never mind! Let me go on. We came by and by to the Sixth House. I forgot to say that all those three paths were really one, because they all meant that things were different inside to outside, and so people couldn't judge. It was fearfully interesting; but mind you don't go in those passages without the Fairy Prince. And of course there's the Veil. I don't think I'd better tell you about the Veil. I'll only put your mouth to my head, and your hand — there, that'll tell any body who knows that I've really been there, and that it's all true that I'm telling you.
This Sixth House is called the Treasure House of Gold; it's a most mysterious place as ever you were in. First there's a tiny, tiny, tiny doorway, you must crawl through on your hands and knees; and even then I scraped ever such a lot of skin off my back; then you have to be nailed on a red board with four arms, with a great gold circle in the middle, and that hurts you dreadfully. Then they make you swear the most solemn things you ever heard of, how you would be faithful to the Fairy Prince, and live for nothing but to know him better and better. So the nails stopped hurting, because, of course, I saw that I was really being married, and this was part of it, and I was as glad as glad; and at that moment my Fairy Prince put his hand on my head, and I tell you, honour bright, it was more wakeup than ever before, even than when he used to kiss me. After that they said I could go into the Bride-chamber, but it was only the most curious room that ever was with seven sides. There was a dreadful red dragon on the floor, and all the sides were painted every colour you can think of, with curious figures and pictures. The light was not like dream light at all; it was wake light and it came through a beautiful rose in the ceiling. In the middle was a table all covered with beautiful pictures and texts, and there were ever such strange things on it. There was a little crucifix in the middle, all of diamonds and emeralds and rubies, and other precious stones, and there was a dagger with a golden handle, and a cup of the most delicious wine, and there was a curious coin with the strangest writing on it, and a funny little stick that was covered with flames, like a rose tree is with roses. Beside the strange coin was a heavy iron chain, and I took it and put it round my neck because I was bound to my Fairy Prince, and I would never go about like other people till I found him again. And they took the dagger and dipped it in the cup, and stabbed me all over to show that I was not afraid to be hurt, if only I could find my Fairy Prince. Then I took the crucifix and held it up to make more light in case he was somewhere in the dark corners, but no! Yet I knew he was there somewhere, so I thought he must be in the box, for under the table was a great chest; and I was terribly sad because I felt something dreadful was going to happen. And sure enough, when I had the courage, I asked them to open the box, and the same people that made me crawl through that horrid hole, and lost my Fairy Prince, and nailed me to the red board, took away the table and opened the box, and there was my Fairy Prince, quite, quite dead. If you only knew how sorry I felt! But I had with me a walking-stick with wings, and a shining sun at the top that had been his, and I touched him on the breast to try and wake him; but it was no good. Only I seemed to hear his voice saying wonderful things, and it was quite certain he wasn't really dead. So I put the walking-stick on his breast, and another little thing he had which I had forgotten to tell you about. It was a kind of cross with an oval handle that he had been very fond of. But I couldn't go away without something of his, so I took his shepherd's staff, and a little whip with blood on it, and jewels oozing from the blood, if you know what I mean, that they had put in his hands when they buried him. Then I went away, and cried, and cried, and cried. But before I got very far they called me back; and the people who had been so stern were smiling, and I saw they had taken the coffin out of the little room with seven sides. And the coffin was quite, quite empty. Then they began to tell us all about it, and I heard my Fairy Prince within the little room saying holy exalted things, such as the stars trace in the sky as they travel in the car called "Millions of Years." Then they took me into the little room, and there was my Fairy Prince standing in the middle. So I knelt down and we all kissed his beautiful feet, and the myriads of eyes like diamonds that were hidden in his feet laughed joy at us. One couldn't lift one's head, for he was too glorious to behold; but he spoke beautiful words like dying nightingales that have sorrowed for the fading of roses, and pressed themselves to death upon the thorns; and one's whole body became a single eye, so that one saw as if the unborn thought of light brooded over an eternal sea. Then there was light as the lightning flaming out of the east, even unto the west, and it was fashioned as the swiftness of a sword.
By and by one rose up, then one seemed to be quite, quite dead, and buried in the centre of a pyramid of the most brilliant light it is possible to think of. And it was wake-light too; and everybody knows that even wake-darkness is really brighter than the dream-light. So you might just guess what it was like. There was more than that too; I can't possibly tell you. I know too what I.N.R.I. on the ring meant: and I can't tell you that either, because the dream-language has such a lot of important words missing. It's a very silly language, I think.
By and by I came to myself a little, and now I was really and truly married to the Fairy Prince, so I suppose we shall always be near each other now.

Symbola Hodos Chamelionis

There was the way out of the little room with millions of changing colours, ever so beautiful, and it was lined with armed men, waving their swords for joy like flashes of lightning; and all about us glittering serpents danced and sang for joy. There was a winged horse ready for us when we came out on the slopes of the mountain. You see the Sixth House is really in a mountain called Mount Abiegnus, only one doesn't see it because one goes through indoors all the way. There's one House you have to go outdoors to get to, because no passage has ever been made; but I'll tell you about that afterwards; it's the Third House. So we got on the horse and went away for our honeymoon. I shan't tell you a single word about the honeymoon.

Capitulum Secundum
De Collegio ad S. S. porta
Collegii Interni.

[first] Via ע‎ v. Oculum (eye)

[another passage] Via ס v. Sustentaculum (support, prop)

[third path] Via נ v. Piscis (fish)

[Sixth House] Domus VI v. Pulchritudo (beauty)

[Veil] פרכת‎ (Paroketh)

[Treasure House of Gold] Ceremonium 5° = 6⊕

[crawl through] humility

[red board] Supplicium (punishment)

[Bride-chamber] Sepulchrum (sepulcher)

[in the box] Pastos Patris nostri C.R.C.

[walking-stick] Baculum I. Adepti

[cross] Crux Ansata (cross having a handle)

[staff] Pedum et Flagellum Osiridis (foot and flail of Osiris)

[empty] Cur inter mortuous vivum petes? Non est hic ille; resurrexit. (Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here; he rose again.

[light] Advenit L.V.X. sub tribus speciebus (the light comes under three forms)

[changing colours] Symbola Hodos Chamelionis (symbols of the path of the chameleon)

[armed men] Symbola Cladius et Serpens (symbols of defeat and the serpent)

[Mount Abiegnus] Mons Abiegnus v. Cavernarum (caves)

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