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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: ONCE THERE WAS A KING " Once upon a time there was a king." When we were children there was no need to know who the king in the fairy story was. It didn't matter whether he was called Shiladitya or Shaliban, whether he lived at Kashi or Kanauj. The thing that made a seven-year-old boy's heart go thump, thump with delight was this one sovereign truth, this reality of all realities: "Once there was a king." But the readers of this modern age are far more exact and exacting. When they hear such an opening to a story, they are at once critical and suspicious. They apply the searchlight of science to its legendary haze and ask: " Which king? " The story-tellers have become more precise in their turn. They are no longer content with the old indefinite, " There was a king," but assume instead a look of profound learning, and begin: " Once there was a king named Ajatasatru." The modern reader's curiosity, however, is not soeasily satisfied. He blinks at the author through his scientific spectacles, and asks again: "Which Ajatasatru? " " Every schoolboy knows," the author proceeds, " that there were three Ajatasatrus. The first was born in the twentieth century B. c., and died at the tender age of two years and eight months. I deeply regret that it is impossible to find, from any trustworthy source, a detailed account of his reign. The second Ajatasatru is better known to historians. If you refer to the new Encyclopedia of History. . . ." By this time the modern reader's suspicions are dissolved. He feels he may safely trust his author. He says to himself: " Now we shall have a story that is both improving and instructive." Ahl how we all love to be deluded! We have a secret dread of being thought ignorant. And we end by being ignorant after all, only we have done i...
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ISBN-10:  0217087612
ISBN-13:  978-0217087612
Author:  Rabindranath Tagore
Publisher:  General Books LLC
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