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  • Home > C.S.Lewis > Chronicles of Narnia > The Horse and his Boy (Page 19)     
    The Horse and his Boy(Chronicles of Narnia #5) by C.S.Lewis
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    And presently, as was certain to happen sooner or later, King Lune said if was time for young people to be in bed. "And tomorrow, Cor," he added, "shalt come over all the castle with me and see the estres and mark all its strength and weakness: for it will be thine to guard when I'm gone."

    "But Corin will be the King then, Father," said Cor.

    "Nay, lad," said King Lune, "thou art my heir. The crown comes to thee."

    "But I don't want it," said Cor. "I'd far rather-"

    "'Tis no question what thou wantest, Cor, nor I either. 'Tis in the course of law."

    "But if we're twins we must be the same age."

    "Nay," said the King with a laugh. "One must come first. Art Corin's elder by full twenty minutes. And his better too, let's hope, though that's no great mastery." And he looked at Corin with a twinkle in his eyes.

    "But, Father, couldn't you make whichever you like to be the next King?"

    "No. The king's under the law, for it's the law makes him a king. Hast no more power to start away from thy crown than any sentry from his post."

    "Oh dear," said Cor. "I don't want to at all. And Corin - I am most dreadfully sorry. I never dreamed my turning up was going to chisel you out of your kingdom."

    "Hurrah! Hurrah!" said Corin. "I shan't have to be King. I shan't have to be King. I'll always be a prince. It's princes have all the fun."

    "And that's truer than thy brother knows, Cor," said King Lune. "For this is what it means to be a king: to be first in every desperate attack and last in every desperate retreat, and when there's hunger in the land (as must be now and then in bad years) to wear finer clothes and laugh louder over a scantier meal than any man in your land."

    When the two boys were going upstairs to bed Cor again asked Corin if nothing could be done about it. And Corin said:

    "If you say another word about it, I'll - I'll knock you down."

    It would be nice to end the story by saying that after that the two brothers never disagreed about anything again, but I am afraid it would not be true. In reality they quarrelled and fought just about as often as any other two boys would, and all their fights ended (if they didn't begin) with Cor getting knocked down. For though, when they had both grown up and become swordsmen, Cor was the more dangerous man in battle, neither he nor anyone else in the North Countries could ever equal Corin as a boxer. That was how he got his name of Corin Thunder-Fist; and how he performed his great exploit against the Lapsed Bear of Stormness, which was really a Talking Bear but had gone back to Wild Bear habits. Corm climbed up to its lair on the Narnian side of Stormness one winter day when the snow was on the hills and boxed it without a time-keeper for thirty-three rounds. And at the end it couldn't see out of its eyes and became a reformed character.

    Aravis also had many quarrels (and, I'm afraid, even fights) with Cor, but they always made it up again: so that years later, when they were grown up, they were so used to quarrelling and making it up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently. And after King Lune's death they made a good King and Queen of Archenland and Ram the Great, the most famous of all the kings of Archenland, was their son. Bree and Hwin lived happily to a great age in Narnia and both got married but not to one another. And there weren't many months in which one or both of them didn't come trotting over the pass to visit their friends at Anvard.

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