The Rose Prince by Bram Stoker

“The Rose Prince” is a short story by Bram Stoker. It was first published in 1881 in Stoker’s first collection of short stories Under the Sunset, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, London.

“The Rose Prince” by Bram Stoker

A long, long time ago – so long ago that if one tries to think ever so far back, it is farther than that again – King Mago reigned in the Country Under the Sunset.

He was an old king, and his white beard had grown so long that it almost touched the ground; and all his reign had been passed in trying to make his people happy.

He had one son, of whom he was very fond. This son, Prince Zaphir, was well worthy of all his father’s fondness, for he was as good as can be.

He was still only a boy, and he had never seen his beautiful sweet-faced mother, who had died when he was only a baby. It often made him very sad that he had no mother, when he thought other boys had tender mothers, at whose knees they learned to pray, and who came and kissed them in their beds at night. He felt that it was strange that many of the poor people in his father’s dominions had mothers, whilst he, the prince, had none. When he thought thus it made him very humble; for he knew that neither power, nor riches, nor youth, nor beauty will save any one from the doom of all mortals, and that the only beautiful thing in the world whose beauty lasts for ever is a pure, fair soul. He always remembered, however, that if he had no mother he had a father who loved him very dearly, and so was comforted and content.

He used to muse much on many things; and often even in the bright rest-time, when all the people slept, he would go out into the wood, close to the palace, and think and think on all that was beautiful and true, whilst his faithful dog Gomus would crouch at his feet and sometimes wag his tail, as much as to say –

“Here I am, prince; I am not asleep either.”

Prince Zaphir was so good and so kind that he never hurt any living thing. If he saw a worm crawling over the road before him he would step over it carefully lest it should be injured. If he saw a fly fallen in the water he would lift it tenderly out and send it forth again, free of wing, into the glorious bright air: so kind was he that all the animals that had once seen him knew him again, and when he went to his favourite seat in the wood there would arise a glad hum from all the living things. Those bright insects, whose colours change hour by hour, would put on their brightest colours, and bask about in the gleams of sunlight that came slanting down between the benches of the trees. The noisy insects put on their mufflers so that they would not disturb him; and the little birds resting on the trees would open their round bright eyes, and come out and blink and wink in the light, and pipe little joyous songs of welcome with all their sweetest notes.

So is it ever with tender, loving people; the living things that have voices as sweet as man’s or woman’s, and who have languages of their own, although we cannot understand them, all talk to them in joyous notes and bid them welcome in their own pretty ways.

King Mago was proud of his brave, good, handsome boy, and liked him to dress beautifully; and all the people loved to see his bright face and his gay clothing. The King made the great merchants search far and near till they got the largest and finest feather that had ever been seen. This feather he had put in the front of a beautiful cap, the colour of a ruby, and fastened with a brooch made of a great diamond. He gave this cap to Zaphir on his birthday.

As Prince Zaphir walked through the streets, the people saw the great white plume nodding from far away. All were glad when they saw it, and ran to their windows and doors and stood bowing and smiling and waving their hands as their beautiful prince went by. Zaphir always bowed and smiled in return; and he loved his people and gloried in the love that they had for him.

In the Court of King Mago was a companion for Zaphir whom he loved very much. This was the Princess Bluebell. She was the daughter of another king who had been wrongfully deprived of his dominion by a cruel and treacherous enemy, and who had come to King Mago to ask for help and had died in his Court after living there for many, many years. But King Mago had taken his little orphan daughter and had her brought up as his own child.

A great vengeance had come upon the wicked usurper. The Giants had come upon his dominions and had slain him and all his family, and had killed all the people in the land, and had even destroyed all the animals, except those wild ones that were like the Giants themselves. Then the houses began to tumble down from age and decay, and the beautiful gardens to become wild and neglected; and so when after many long years the Giants grew tired and went back to their home in the wilderness, the country that Princess Bluebell owned was such a vast desolation that no one going into it would know that people had ever dwelt there.

Princess Bluebell was very young and very, very beautiful. She, like Prince Zaphir, had never known a mother’s love, for her mother, too, had died whilst she was young. She loved King Mago very much, but she loved Prince Zaphir more than all the rest of the world. They had always been companions, and there was not a thought of his heart that she did not know almost before it came there. Prince Zaphir loved her too, more dearly than words can tell, and for her sake he would have done anything, no matter how full of danger. He hoped when he was a man and she a woman that she would marry him, and that they would help King Mago to rule his kingdom justly and wisely, and that there would be no pain or want in the whole country, if they could help it.

To read the rest of this story visit:
http://www.bramstoker.org/stories/01sunset/02prince.html


“Under the Sunset” is a short story by Bram Stoker. It was first published in 1881 in Stoker’s first collection of short stories Under the Sunset, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, London.

“Under the Sunset” by Bram Stoker

Far, far away, there is a beautiful Country which no human eye has ever seen in waking hours. Under the Sunset it lies, where the distant horizon bounds the day, and where the clouds, splendid with light and colour, give a promise of the glory and beauty which encompass it.

Sometimes it is given to us to see it in dreams.

Now and again come, softly, Angels who fan with their great white wings the aching brows, and place cool hands upon the sleeping eyes. Then soars away the spirit of the sleeper. Up from the dimness and murkiness of the night season it springs. Away through the purple clouds it sails. It hies through the vast expanse of light and air. Through the deep blue of heaven’s vault it flies; and sweeping over the far-off horizon, rests in the fair Land Under the Sunset.

This Country is like our own Country in many ways. It has men and women, kings and queens, rich and poor; it has houses, and trees, and fields, and birds, and flowers. There is day there and night also; and heat and cold, and sickness and health. The hearts of men and women, and boys and girls, beat as they do here. There are the same sorrows and the same joys; and the same hopes and the same fears.

If a child from that Country was beside a child here you could not tell the difference between them, save that the clothes alone are different. They talk the same language as we do ourselves. They do not know that they are different from us; and we do not know that we are different from them. When they come to us in their dreams we do not know they are strangers; and when we go to their Country in our dreams we seem to be at home. Perhaps this is because good people’s homes are in their hearts; and wheresoever they may be they have peace.

The Country Under the Sunset was for long ages a wondrous and pleasant Land. Nothing there was which was not beautiful and sweet and pleasant. It was only when sin came that things there began to lose their perfect beauty. Even now it is a wondrous and pleasant land.

As the sun is strong there, by the sides of every road are planted great trees which spread out their thick branches. So the travellers have shelter as they pass. The milestones are fountains of sweet cold water, so clear and bright that when the wayfarer comes to one he sits down on the carved stone seat beside it and gives a sigh of relief, for he knows that there is rest.

When it is sunset here, it is the middle of the day there. The clouds gather and shade the Land from the great heat. Then for a little while everything goes to sleep.

This sweet, peaceful hour is called the Rest Time.

When it comes the birds stop their singling, and lie close under the wide eaves of the houses, or in the branches of the trees where they join the stems. The fishes stop darting about in the water, and lie close under the stones, with their fins and tails as still as if they were dead. The sheep and the cattle lie under the trees. The men and women get into hammocks slung between trees or under the verandahs of their houses. Then, when the sun has ceased to glare so fiercely and the clouds have melted away, the living things all wake up.

The only living things that are not asleep in the Rest Time are the dogs. They lie quite quiet, only half asleep, with one eye open and one ear cocked; keeping watch all the time. Then if any stranger comes during the hour of Rest, the dogs rise up and look at him, softly, without barking, lest they should disturb anyone. They know if the new comer is harmless; and if it be so they lie down again, and the stranger lies down too till the Rest Time is over.

But if the dogs think that the stranger is come to do any harm, they bark loudly and growl. The cows begin to low and the sheep to bleat, and the birds to chirp and sing their loudest notes, but without any music in them; and even the fishes begin to dart about and splash the water. The men awake and jump out of their hammocks, and seize their weapons. Then it is an evil time for the intruder. Straightway he is brought into the Court and tried, and if found guilty sentenced, and either put into prison or banished.

To read the rest of this story visit:
http://www.bramstoker.org/stories/01sunset/01sunset.html

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THE PRIMROSE PATH by Bram Stoker

CHAPTER I. – A HAPPY HOME.

“I wonder will any of them come, Jerry?”

The pretty little woman’s face got puckered all over with baby wrinkles, more suitable to the wee pink face that lay on her bosom than to her own somewhat pale one, as she made the remark.

Jerry looked up from his newspaper and gazed at her lovingly for a moment before he answered, his answer being a confident smile with a knowing shake of the head from side to side as who should say– “Oh, you little humbug, pretending to distress yourself with doubts. Of course, they’ll come–all of them.”

Katey seemed to lose her trouble in his smile–it was wonderful what comforters love and sympathy are. She drew close to her husband and held down the tiny bald pink head for him to kiss, and then, leaning her cheek against his, said in a soft cooing voice, half wifely, half motherly, “Oh, Jerry, isn’t he a little beauty.”

Children are quite as jealous as dogs and cats in their own way, and instinctively the urchin sprawling on the hearth-rug came over and pulled at his mother’s dress, saying plaintively, “Me too, mammy–me too.”

Jerry took the child on his knee. “Eh, little Jerry, your nose is out of joint again; isn’t it?”

A mother is jealous as well as her child, and this mother answered–“Oh, no, Jerry, sure I don’t love him less because I have to take care of the little mite.”

Further conversation was stopped by a knock at the door.

“That’s some of them stayin’ away,” said Jerry, as he went out to open the door.

As may be seen, Jerry and his wife expected company, the doubts as to whose arrival was caused by the extreme inclemency of the weather, and as the occasion of the festivities was an important one, the doubts were strong.

Jerry O’Sullivan was a prosperous man in his line of life. His trade was that of a carpenter, and as he had, in addition to large practical skills and experience gained from unremitting toil, a considerable share of natural ability, was justly considered by his compeers to be the marking of a successful man.

Three years before he had been married to his pretty little wife, whose sweet nature, and care for his comfort, and whose desire to perfect the cheerfulness of home, had not a little aided his success, and kept him on the straight path.

If every wife understood the merits which a cheerful home has above all other places in the eyes of an ordinary man, there would be less brutality than there is amongst husbands, and less hardships and suffering amongst wives.

The third child had just been christened, and some friends and relatives were expected to do honour to the occasion, and now the knock announced the first arrival.

Whilst Jerry went to the door, Katey arranged the child’s garments so as to make him look as nice as possible, and also fixed her own dress, somewhat disturbed by maternal cares. In the meantime little Jerry flattened his nose against the window pane in a vain desire to see the appearance of the first arrival. Little Katey stood by him looking expectant as though her eyes were with her brother’s.

Mrs. Jerry’s best smile showed that the newcomer, Mr. Parnell, was a special friend. After shaking hands with him she stood close to him, and showed him the baby, looking up into his dark strong face with a smile of perfect trust. He was so tall that he had to stoop to kiss the baby, although the little mother raised it in her arms for him. He said very tenderly–

“Let me hold him a minute in my arms.”

He lifted him gently as he spoke, and bending his head, said reverently:–

“God bless him. Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.”

Katey’s eyes were full of tears as she took him back, and she thanked the big man with a look too full of sacred feeling for even a smile.

Jerry stood by in silence. He felt much, although he did not know what to say.

Another knock was heard, and again Jerry’s services were required. This time there was a large influx, for three different bodies had joined just at the door. Much laughter was heard in the hall, and then they all entered. The body consisted of seven souls all told.

To read the rest of this book visit:
http://www.bramstoker.org/novels/01path.html


The Primrose Path by Bram Stoker

While Stoker is most famous for his novel Dracula, his first long piece of fiction was a melodrama published in 1875 as a serial in a newspaper called The Shamrock. The first installment appeared along with a macabre illustration on the front page of the Saturday, February 6, 1875 issue.

http://www.bramstoker.org/novels/01path.html


Bram Stoker

bramstoker.org is a website dedicated to promoting and sharing the work of Bram Stoker the author of Dracula. At bramstoker.org you can find free downloadable copies of most of Stoker’s writing including:

Novels
Short stories
Poetry
Nonfiction

You can also find information about Stoker and a variety of images of him and his works.

You can visit this site at:
http://www.bramstoker.org/


Picture of Bram Stoker – 6

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“The Works of Hall Caine” by Bram Stoker

“The Works of Hall Caine” was a series of ten novels by Hall Caine (May 14, 1853 – August 31, 1931). When this collection was republished in 1905 Stoker wrote an introduction to each of the ten volumes. The books containing these introductions were published by William Heinemann, London.

For more information and copies of these introductions please visit:
“The Works of Hall Caine” at bramstoker.org