The Magus and The Prince

Discussions relating to John Fowles' novel The Magus.

The Magus and The Prince

Postby CitizenX on Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:26 pm

This is simply a tribute to the late Mr. Fowles and I hope you enjoy.


Once upon a time there was a young Prince, who believed that to be feared was better than being loved and that the appearance of virtue was better than to be virtuous. He traveled his lands that were under his reign and sought the solution for the corruption of his kingdom – as forces were plotting against him inside his own court. The Prince visited many sages and wizards of the land, each offering their own advice and archaic ritual to heal his empire – each failing to serve the Prince's need. Finally he came upon the most well respected magician of the kingdom, the Magus himself.

“Great Magus, please entreat me with the methods to destroy my enemies and maintain control of my kingdom.”

“You have no kingdom. None that I can perceive.” the Magus responded.

“You mock me when I grace you with my presence?”

“You mock yourself by needing to ask of me for such assistance.”

“By this you mean that I have made myself appear weak by seeking advice against my vary enemies who now plot in my court for my downfall?” the Prince inquired.

“No, you have made yourself weak.” the Magus answered.

“I am not weak, I am the Prince. As long as I can control perception of the people, I have power.”

“You do not understand magic, you only understand illusion.” the Magus explained.

“Illusions are magic are they not?” asked the Prince confused.

“Illusions are a hollow tree filled with termites. Magic is a strong oak with deep roots.”

“I think you simply are playing games with me.” the Prince concluded.

“You allow yourself the possibility of failure. Your fear of traitors in your own court has created enemies in your court. This is not perception, this is magic.” the Magus said.

“You are saying what I fear will always come true?” the Prince asked.

“I am saying that you have your own magic, why do you need my help?”

The Prince was stunned, he could barely comprehend the Magus' words.

“Let me explain, you use the power of lies and illusion, because you believe they are lies and illusions. As a Magician you only lie to yourself. If you wish to be more than a Prince and too become a Magus, what is said must be truth. When you believe in enemies among your court, you have enemies in your court -when a Magus would know he was surrounded by friends and allies.”

“I think I am beginning to understand, I cannot even allow myself the possibility of weakness, I should have had my enemies killed months ago before they could set their plan in motion.” the Prince said.

“No you don't understand, you have no enemies even now as you speak.” the Magus said, shaking his head.

“Have you cast a spell on my behalf? If I return to my Castle will they be beguiled into loyalty once more? If so I must thank you for your help.” the Prince said gratefully.

“My magic cannot help you unless you believe in your own abilities to work magic. That is why I create wizards and sages, not enemies and rebellions.” the Magus explained.

“They all exalt you as the highest magician of the kingdom and that is why I came to you.” the Prince said.

“You are the greatest magician of the kingdom, you have created armies, built a kingdom, and made a court full of enemies. I only turn lead into gold.”

“If I act in accordance with my lie as if it was truth, do I not expose myself? How can a man ignore his enemies?”

“You distrust your own truth, so you label it a lie. Your friends you distrust and label enemies and thus they are so.” the Magus said and with a sigh, “This is all I have been saying. There is no more to be said.”

The Prince returned to his court and with gifts he rewarded them for their loyalty and the Kingdom prospered because it was decreed as prosperous by the Prince. The peasants were happy because it was the Prince's will. There was no more to understand from the Great Magus, for the Prince had himself learned the ways of Magic.
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