C. S. Lewis Daily - Saturday, March 22, 2014
Caspian [said], “I want to know why you have permitted this abominable and unnatural traffic in slaves to grow up here, contrary to the ancient custom and usage of our dominions.”
“Necessary, unavoidable,” said his Sufficiency. “An essential part of the economic development of the islands, I assure you. Our present burst of prosperity depends on it.”
“What need have you of slaves?”
“For export, your Majesty. Sell ’em to Calormen mostly; and we have other markets. We are a great center of the trade.”
“In other words,” said Caspian, “you don’t need them. Tell me what purpose they serve except to put money into the pockets of such as Pug?”
“Your Majesty’s tender years,” said Gumpas, with what was meant to be a fatherly smile, “hardly make it possible that you should understand the economic problem involved. I have statistics, I have graphs, I have—”
“Tender as my years may be,” said Caspian, “I believe I understand the slave trade from within quite as well as your Sufficiency. And I do not see that it brings into the islands meat or bread or beer or wine or timber or cabbages or books or instruments of music or horses or armor or anything else worth having. But whether it does or not, it must be stopped.”
“But that would be putting the clock back,” gasped the governor. “Have you no idea of progress, of development?”
“I have seen them both in an egg,” said Caspian. “We call it ‘Going Bad’ in Narnia. This trade must stop.”
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Copyright © 1952 by C. S. Lewis Pte., Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1980 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With Aslan: Daily Reflections from The Chronicles of Narnia. Copyright © 2010 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Extracts taken from The Chronicles of Narnia. Copyright © C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. 1950-1956. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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