Friday, December 17, 2010

The Value of Tales

My boys have just finished reading Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and we have had a great time of it! It is a great story open to the discussion of many valuable points. I plan to comment more on this later, but here I simply reproduce s section of Pyle’s opening which is a nice defense of the value of tales like this. This is a fun call to enjoy a simple tale:

You who so plod amid serious things that you feel it shame to give yourself up even for a few short moments to mirth and joyousness in the land of Fancy; you who think that life hath nought to do with innocent laughter that can harm no one; these pages are not for you. Clap to the leaves and go no farther than this, for I tell you plainly that if you go farther you will be scandalized by seeing good, sober folks of real history so frisk and caper in gay colors and motley that you would not know them but for the names tagged to them. ....

Here you will find a hundred dull, sober, jogging places, all tricked out with flowers and what not, till no one would know them in their fanciful dress. And here is a country bearing a well-known name, wherein no chill mists press upon our spirits, and no rain falls but what rolls off our backs like April showers off the backs of sleek drakes; where flowers bloom forever and birds are always singing; where every fellow hath a merry catch as he travels the roads, and ale and beer and wine (such as muddle no wits) flow like water in a brook.

This country is not Fairyland. What is it? 'Tis the land of Fancy, and is of that pleasant kind that, when you tire of it—whisk!—you clap the leaves of this book together and 'tis gone, and you are ready for everyday life, with no harm done.

And now I lift the curtain that hangs between here and No-man's-land. Will you come with me, sweet Reader? I thank you. Give me your hand.

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1 Comments:

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Shepherd said...

I like the description of being able to experience rain while reading a book, all with the advantage of not getting wet. Beautiful.

 

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