By Dr. Agonson
In the dark woods lies the black castle. Through the barbed bramble the steps ascend up to the door-less archway. Dust and soot cover all. It was burned. Long ago it was burned. But prints in the dust can be seen. The castle was not forsaken. Into the black castle they go, and out again. Not but one thing is ever touched in that accursed dwelling, the mirror.
In ages by, it is said, a king and queen, noble and true, ruled there, in the black castle. With the mirror they saw it all. No measure of a thing was hidden, no secret unrevealed. A curse, dreadful unmerciful truth. Nothing was forgotten by the mirror. Not the barren Queen, beauty without fruit, who lost her head. Not the drunken king, whose fruit soon spoiled on the vine. A curse was blessings for them, and the blessings a curse.
“Oh dear mirror, will I have a son?”
“Not by the Queen, but with her maid.”
And so died the Queen; her maid her heir. But of the union the King was unwise, for all the horses of the east could not hold back the maid’s desires, nor all the kingdom sate her. More and more he gave to her, and less and less was she ever satisfied. To war then was the only way, to feed the lustful maid.
And the son who came, a drunkard, a slob, a tactless bully. The foolish, even they were better than him. He feasted through the day, sending soldiers away, their lives he commanded spent. And what of the mirror?
“Oh mirror, where hideth mine enemy?”
Over this way, or over that, it would say. Nothing was hid from it.
But burned the castle was, no mercy could be spared. No graves were dug for the king or his maid, and their son was burned to lime. All rejoiced to see them dead, to hear of their great destruction. Unto weeds the land was given; the land to be forgotten. But sought is that cursed truth, to know what is unseen.
Each hand is raised to touch the mirror, and to brush away the settled dust. The face is then reflected there, and questions each one asks. Money, fame, love, and knowledge, sought by everyone, yet a curse shall be for them. The truth shall be a curse for them that seek not the good before these four, and instead, one before the good. Without measure is the good, before all blessings known.
“Under three things the earth trembles,
under four it cannot bear up:
a servant who becomes king,
a godless fool who gets plenty to eat,
a contemptible woman who gets married,
and a servant who displaces her mistress”
Listen to my beautiful voice: