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‘Ere I Go Down Into Silence’
King Gorice’s Sending: Chapter 5, The Worm Ouroboros, page 60-66


Of King Gaslark, and the Coming of the Sending upon the Demons on the High Seas; with How the Lord Juss by the Egging on of His Companions was Persuaded to an Unadvised Rashness

"...a good ship treading the hastening furrows of the sea like a queen in grace and beauty, scattering up the wave-crests before her stern in a glittering rain..."

"...that must be lord of her whom all just censure doth acknowledge the ornament of earth, the model of heaven, the queen of beauty."

With these two images of grace firmly placed in the eye of the reader the horror of the Worm's first stroke is framed in pained contrast from the vantage of Gaslark, King of Goblinland, object of the ire of Lord Gro, the deposed king of that land's throne and witness to the sending spell by the just-crowned King of Witchland whom he serves in exile. The nautical scenes are well-crafted and the intrinsically poor planning ability of those who tend to rise to the top of entrenched, honor-based hierarchies becomes evident. King Juss even makes an impassioned plea for Gaslark to understand his emotional need overriding his good sense. Where a Robert E. Howard character like Conan, would act with unconsidered fury, Eddison's affected—albeit demonic—aristocrats, fret over their feeling like women, and realistically so as many a British aristocrat had done for centuries of the author's own national history.

In the final paragraph the drawing of lots by the Demon Lords and the description of the ships as hollow, clearly echoes Homer's Iliad and the honor traditions of a nomadic sea people.

Diction Note

The following statement of Gaslark as he promises to aid the Demon lords:

"Hear now my rede."

rede

[rēd]

NOUN

1. advice or counsel given by one person to another:

VERB

redes (third person present) · reded (past tense) · reded (past participle) · reding (present participle)

1. advise (someone):

2. interpret (a riddle or dream).

ORIGIN

Old English rǣd, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch raad, German Rat. The verb is a variant of read, of the same origin.

The Pale Usher

Impressions of Moby Dick: Herman Melville and Modern Man?s Transcendental Journey

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The Pale Usher

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