The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
by C.S. Lewis
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Chapter 10 Summary
The Magician's Book
- The invisible people serve a feast to their Narnian visitors. Dishes of food come floating through the air, carried by invisible hands. Strangely, the dishes don't move parallel to the floor, as though they were being carried by human beings; they leap up toward the ceiling in large arcs and jumps.
- Eustace whispers to Edmund that the invisible people might be like giant grasshoppers or frogs. Edmund tells him not to say so aloud – Lucy doesn't like insects.
- The meal is a bit strange. For one thing, much of the food gets spilled and slopped because of the weird hopping the invisible people do. For another, the people agree with everything anyone says and make all kinds of banal remarks, like water is wet and night is dark. Overall, however, the food is delicious.
- In the morning Lucy wakes up feeling apprehensive. The weather is beautiful but she can't enjoy it or eat anything at breakfast.
- The Chief Voice gives Lucy instructions. She says goodbye to her friends and starts walking up the stairs in the magician's house.
- Lucy goes up two flights of stairs, feeling glad that there's a window to let in the daylight. At the top of the stairs there is a long, carpeted hallway lined with doors and a window at the opposite end.
- Lucy knows she has to go in the last door on the left. Slowly she begins to walk down the long hallway, fearing that the magician might be lurking behind any door.
- Lucy reminds herself that there's nothing to fear – yet. The passage is eerily silent. Some of the doors have strange, frightening symbols painted on them in red. Masks hang on the walls and Lucy finds the empty eye-holes creepy.
- Suddenly Lucy sees a strange, bearded face beside her. She stops to look at it and realizes that it's a mirror with a wig and beard attached, so that when you look at it you see your own face looking different. She keeps going.
- Finally, Lucy reaches the last door on the left. The door is open, revealing a library filled with all kinds of books. The book Lucy needs, the Magic Book, is lying on a desk in the middle of the room. To read it, she'll have to stand with her back to the door.
- Lucy tries to shut the door, but it won't close. She really doesn't want to stand with her back to the empty hallway while she examines the book, but she has no choice.
- The Chief Voice couldn't tell Lucy what part of the book the spell for making things visible would be in, so she'll have to start at the beginning.
- Lucy puts her hand on the book, which makes her fingers tingle. She unfastens two lead clasps and opens the book. The book itself is beautiful; it's handwritten on crisp, smooth paper and has pictures around the capital letters at the beginning of each spell.
- There's no title page or table of contents, so Lucy starts at the beginning. There are all kinds of different spells, but they don't seem evil – they're for curing minor problems like toothaches or doing useful things like capturing a swarm of bees.
- Lucy flips through the book, reading spell after spell. The pictures seem to come to life before her eyes.
- Soon Lucy comes to a spell to make her beautiful. As she looks at the pictures, she sees an image of herself standing at the reading desk, just the way she is now. In the next picture, she sees herself reciting the spell, and in the last picture, she is unnaturally beautiful.
- The picture of the beautiful Lucy seems to be life-size, even though it's still in the book. Lucy begins to see pictures of herself being fought over by kings in tournaments and wars. She sees pictures of her sister Susan, who has always been the pretty one, looking plain beside the gorgeous version of Lucy.
- Lucy says aloud that she will say the spell – but she has a strong feeling she shouldn't. When she looks at the top of the page for the first words, she finds herself looking at a very lifelike picture of Aslan growling at her. She feels frightened and quickly turns the page.
- Lucy continues reading the book. She comes to a spell that lets you know what your friends think about you. Because she didn't get to say the other, Lucy says this one quickly, before she can reconsider.
- In the book, she sees a picture of two schoolgirls, her friends Marjorie and Anne, sitting on a train. The picture comes to life, like a movie, and she can hear what they're saying.
- Anne asks Marjorie whether she'll hang out with her this school semester, or whether she'll spend all her time with Lucy. Marjorie says she won't be around Lucy as much – she says Lucy is nice but a little kid, and that she got tired of her.
- Lucy is angry and starts shouting at Marjorie, but then realizes that the images can't hear her. Lucy remembers how she stood by Marjorie when other people wouldn't and can't believe Marjorie would say things like this about her to Anne.
- Lucy notices that there are other moving pictures of her friends in the book, but she turns the page without looking at them.
- On the next page there is a spell "for the refreshment of the spirit" (10.31). It's less like a spell than a story. As Lucy reads she gets absorbed in the story, as though she were really living it. At the end, she tries to go back and read it again, but the magic book won't allow you to turn back. Soon Lucy can't even remember the details of the story, but she remembers how exciting and wonderful it was to read.
- Soon Lucy finds a page with no pictures and a spell to make hidden things visible. As she reads the spell aloud, pictures begin to appear in the margins of the book. Lucy realizes that she's made everything invisible on the island visible again.
- Behind her, Lucy hears footsteps. She turns around and sees Aslan. Lucy runs to Aslan and hugs and kisses him.
- Lucy says it was nice of Aslan to come. Aslan says he was there all along, but her spell made him visible. Lucy didn't think she had any power over Aslan, but he tells her he always obeys his own rules.
- Aslan confronts Lucy about her eavesdropping and tells her it's just as bad to spy on people by magic as by any other means. He tells her that Marjorie is weak but does love Lucy in spite of what she said.
- Lucy says she won't be able to forget what she heard Marjorie say. Lucy asks whether, if she hadn't said the spell, she and Marjorie would have been great friends. Aslan says nobody gets to know what would have happened.
- Lucy asks Aslan whether she'll ever read the beautiful story again – the spell for the refreshment of the spirit. He says he will tell it to her for years and years. Right now, though, they need to meet the owner of the house.
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