I Shall Sink With My Nose to the Sunrise
"Your Majesties and gentlemen and ladies all," said Rynelf, "there's just one thing I want to say. There's not one of us chaps as was pressed on this journey. We're volunteers. And there's some here that are looking very hard at that table and thinking about king's feasts who were talking very loud about adventures on the day we sailed from Cair Paravel, and swearing they wouldn't come home till we'd found the end of the world. And there were some standing on the quay who would have given all they had to come with us. It was thought a finer thing then to have a cabin-boy's berth on the Dawn Treader than to wear a knight's belt. I don't know if you get the hang of what I'm saying. But what I mean is that I think chaps who set out like us will look as silly as - as those Dufflepuds - if we come home and say we got to the beginning of the world's end and hadn't the heart to go further."
Some of the sailors cheered at this but some said that that was all very well.
"This isn't going to be much fun," whispered Edmund to Caspian. "What are we to do if half those fellows hang back?"
"Wait," Caspian whispered back. "I've still a card to play."
"Aren't you going to say anything, Reep?" whispered Lucy.
"No. Why should your Majesty expect it?" answered Reepicheep in a voice that most people heard. "My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia."
"Hear, hear," said a sailor, "I'll say the same, barring the bit about the coracle, which wouldn't bear me." He added in a lower voice, "I'm not going to be outdone by a mouse."
~C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
On this day:
1908 Charles Williams' first day on the job at Oxford University Press at Amen House. He would work there for 37 years.