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February2,2016at3:02pm|PostedinUncategorized|Leaveacomment
Tags:PrincessSeptemberbyMaugham

PrincessSeptember
byW.SomersetMaugham
W.SomersetMaughamtraveledwidelyinSoutheastAsiaandtheFarEast.Obviously,hewasakeenobserveroflife,society,andcultureof
thepeoplelivingintheselands.HismastelywrittennovelsTheGentlemanintheParlorandOnaChineseScreenbeartestimonytohis
keenpersonalinvolvementinthepsycheandethosofthepeopleinwhosemidsthelived.ThisshortabsorbingstoryhastheroyaltyofSiam
(moderndayThailand)asthecenterstage.Itisastorybasedonfantasy.Thismakesitsoendearingforyoungminds.

Story..ThekingofSiamhadafecundwifewhomheadoredgreatly.Sheborehimagoodnumberofchildren
ninedaughtersandfoursonsinall.Thedaughterswerethefirsttobeborn.Thekinghadquiteaninventivemind
inthematterofnaminghisoffspring.ThefirsttwodaughterswerenamedNightandDayrespectively.
Soonthequeengavebirthtotwomoredaughters.Givinganametothethirdandfourthoneputthekingina
thoughtfulmood,untilhehitupontheideaofnamingthefourdaughtersbythenamesofthedifferentseasonsof
theyear.Accordingly,thefirsttwodaughterswererenamedasSpring,andAutumn,andthirdandthefourthone
gotthenameWinterandSummerrespectively.
Thequeenbecamemotherthreetimesagain,andthreemoredaughterssoonarrivedoneafteranother.Theking
hadataskinhand:hehadtonamehischildrensuitablysothattheirnameswereeasytorememberandhandle.
So,hedecidedtonamethemaccordingtothenamesofthedifferentdaysofaweek.
Again,theroyalnamingceremonyhadtobeheld.Alloldnameswereabandoned,andthesevendaughterswere
rechristenedasMonday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursdayetc.
Thekingsrespitefromfindingnewnameswasbrief,but.Thequeengavebirthtoonemoredaughtertheeighth
one.Thenewarrivalsetoffanotherroundofnamesearchingprocess.Thekingreallyhadamethodicalmind.He
hitupontheideaofnaminghiseightdaughtersaccordingtothenamesoftheyear.Thequeenwatchedthe
namingandrenamingofherninedaughtersresignedlyassheknewnoonecouldchangeherhusbandsmind.
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Thenarrivedtheninthdaughter.Thekinghituponanotheridea.Thedaughterswerenamedaccordingtothe
namesofthemonthsinayear.TheeldestgotthenameJanuary,thenFebruaryandsoonandsoforth.The
youngest,ninthintherow,gotthenameSeptember.
ThatonlyleavesOctober,NovemberandDecember,chuckledthequeen.Shehadnoideaastowhat
nomenclaturethekingwouldfollowforthethirteenthchild.
AfterSeptembersbirth,thechildrentofollowwereallsons,whowerenamedbyalphabets.
Thefrequentchangeofnameshadcausedsomeconfusiontoo.Thechildrendidntliketobeaddressedby
differentnameseveryotherday.Theeldesttwohadthehighestnumberofnamechanges.Theyresentedthe
practice.Theirpersonalitiesweredistorted.Theyfeltbitter.TheyoungestchildSeptembergrewupnormally
tobecomeasweetlittlegirlofgreatcharmandgrace.
Thekinghadanotherhabitthatwasquiteunusual.Onhisbirthday,hegaveawaygiftstoallthosewhocameto
felicitatehim.Contrarytonormalpractice,hedeclinedanyofferingfromhissubjects.Suchgenerosity,however,
ledtoagradualdepletionofthesovereignrepository.Thekinggaveawaythepreciousgiftsthattheeminent
citizensandtheMayorshadgiveninearliertimes.Timecamewhentheroyaltreasurylayempty.
Ononeofhisbirthdays,nothavinganythingtogive,thekinggaveeachofhisninedaughtersanicegreenparrot
keptinsideagoldencage.Thenameofthedaughterwhopossessedthebirdwaspermanentlywrittenonthe
goldencages.
Theparrotswerepretty,nodoubt,butcouldutteronlytwosetsofwordsGodsavetheKingandPrettyPolly.

OnedaySeptember,themostvivaciousofthenineprincesses,sufferedaheartbreakwhenshefoundherlovely
parrotlyingdeadinsidehercage.Shesobbedinconsolably,astheMaidsofHonourtriedtheirbesttopacifyher.
Aftersomanyfutileeffortstocalmtheprincess,theyinformedtheQueenoftheplightofSeptember.TheQueen,
however,brushedasidethePrincesssshowofgriefasmerenonsense.Sheorderedthemaidstolayhertosleep
withoutsupper.
TheMaidsofHonourlostnotimetoputSeptembertosleep,andrushedtoaparty.Sleepeludedthegrieving
Septemberasshecontinuedtopineforthedeadparrot.Atthisjuncture,shefoundasmallbirdintrudingtoher
chamberthroughthewindow.Theprincesswastakenabacktoseethevisitor.Shesatuponthebedwitha
senseofbewildermentandjoy.Toaddtohermerry,thelittlebirdbegantosingmelodiously.Thesweetvoiceof
thelittlebirdliftedthesadprincesssspirits.Thebirdsanginpraiseofthepalacegarden,thenearbylakeandthe
goldfishinthewaters.Septembernearlyforgotallherwoes,andwasbacktohernormaljovialmood.Shewasso
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delightedthatsheforgotaboutthesuppershehadmissedtheearliernight.
Thevisitorandthehostdevelopedarapportinnotime.Thelittlebirdwaslovinglyaccommodatedinthe
princessschamber.Itsangitsbeautifulhostesstosleepwithhercharmingsongs.Whenshegotupthenext
morning,thetinybirdwasstillthereatherbedside.ThisaddedtoPrincessSeptembersjoy.
TheMaidsofHonourbroughtinbreakfastforthesweetlittlebird,nowtheadorablecompanionoftheprincess.
Shemadethebirdeatricefromherpalmsandletitbatheinhersaucer.Shevirtuallyfawnedoverthelittlebird
pardoningherlackoftablemanners.
Afterfinishingitsbreakfast,thelittlebirdstartedafreshroundofsinging.ItssweetvoiceenthralledtheMaidsof
Honour.PrincessSeptemberwasclearlyelatedandproudofthenewpossession.
Sheproceededtopresentthesingingbirdtoallhereighteldersisters.Sittingonherhostesssfinger,itwent
aroundthepalaceseeingallhereightsisters.Theeldest,January,wasvisitedfirstbecauseoftheprecedence:
thenFebruary,MarchtillAugust.Tothegreatastonishmentofall,shesangadifferentsongforeachoftheeight
sisters.Hersingingtalentwasunparalleled.Finally,theduowenttotheKingandQueen.Theroyalcouplewere
reallyimpressed.
Inhindsight,theQueenclaimedcreditforsendinghertobedwithoutsupperasthereprimandhadbroughtsuch
unexpectedreward.TheKingjoinedinsayingthatthebirdsangsomuchbetterthantheparrots.
TheQueenwastiredofhearingtheparrotssingGodSavetheKingwiththesamemonotonyastheother
citizensdid.TheKing,however,saidthewordsdidnottirehim,astheyconveyedasenseofenduringloyalty.But
hefrownedtohearPrettyPollyoverandoveragain.Theprincesses,alwaysadoringtowardstheirparrots,
protestedsayingthebirdssangPrettyPollyinsevendifferentlanguages.TheKingwasnotconvinced.
Suchdisparagingremarksfromtheirfatherleftthedaughtersannoyedandparrotssad.Buffetedbyfrequent
changeoftheirnames,thedaughtershadgrownupasirritableandhumourlessmorons.Quitecontrarytothe
doomthathaddescendedontheeightsisters,PrincessSeptemberwascheerfulandexcited.Withthelittlebird
whirlingroundher,shegamboledalloverthepalacesingingwithgreatglee.
TheeightsisterscametoSeptemberandsatinacirclearoundher.Theirmoodwasdowncast.Theytoldherthat
theyhadsavedsomemoneytobuyheranewparrottoreplacethedeadone.Septemberturneddowntheoffer
ratherimpolitely.Sheassertedthathernewbirdhadagoldenvoice,anditscompanymorethanmadeupforthe
deadparrot.
Thesisterstookthisasanaffront.Possiblytheyhadsomesinisterplans.Allthesisterssniffedonebyone(in
orderofage)tosignaltheirdisapprovalofSeptembersloveforthenewsingingbird.Toteaseher,thesisters
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saidthatthebirdwasnotcagedandhadafreerunofthepalace.ShecouldsoonflyoffleavingSeptemberhigh
anddry.
Theyaskedwherethelittlebirdwasatthatpointoftime.Septemberrepliedthatithadgonetoitsfatherinlaws
house.Theeldersisterswereincredulous.TheysomehowwantedtodriveafearinSeptembersmindbymaking
herbelievethatthebirdcouldhavefledawayforgood.SeeingSeptembershowingsignsofworry,theyadvised
hertoencagethebirdifandwhenhe(thebird)returned.Septemberthoughtotherwise.Shelovedtoseethebird
flyingaroundinsidethepalace.
Theeightsistersleftwithsomedisapprovinggesture.Septemberbecameworriedtooponderingthewarning
givenbyhersisters.Toaddtoherworries,thebirddidntreturnontime.Washe(thebird)trappedinsnaresor
devouredbyhawks?Or,didheforgether?Hadhegoneovertoanotherhostdesertingherforgood?Allthese
thoughtstormentedher.
Whenshewasimmersedintheseforebodingthoughts,shesuddenlythoughtatweettweetsound.Thesweet
littlebirdhadsneakedinquietly.Septembersjoyknewnobounds.
Totheinquisitiveprincessthebirdsaidhowhehadbeggedleaveofhisfatherinlawspartyandrushedbackto
her.HisconcernforSeptemberwaspalpableinhisface.
OminousthoughtscrossedSeptembersmind.Whatifthebirdhadstayedback,shepondered.Shedecidedto
preemptthebirdsabandoningherbyputtingherfirmlyinsidethecage.
Theencagedbirdwasasmuchsurprisedashewasshocked.Hefoundithardtoaccepthiscaptivity.Sadlyfor
him,hisindiscretionintalkinghadbroughtaboutherincarcerationatthehandsoftheprinceshelovedsomuch.
Septembertooktheexcuseofthepredatorpalacecats,andassuredthebirdthathissafetywasuppermostinher
mindinencaginghim.
Thelittlebirdwasnotreconciledtoherlossoffreedom.Naively,sheblamedthepalacecats.Therewasnoway
Septembercouldassuagethemiffedbird.Hebeggedtobefreedinthemorning.
Heatehissupper,begantosing,butfalteredinthemiddle.Shestopped,retiredtosleep.Theprincesswentto
sleepforthenight.Earlynextmorning,thebirdcalledoutloudlytotheprincesstowakeup.Hewantedtobeout
ofthecagetosavourthedewandthefreshnessofthemorningair.But,Septemberdidntrelent.Sheadvisedthe
birdtoremaininsidethecage.Itwasabeautifullycraftedgoldencageaniceplacetobein,theprincess
pleaded.
Alotofconversationfollowedbetweenthetwo.Theprincessstoodherground,whilethebirdkeptpleadingfor
freedomrelentlessly.
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Thebirdwastoodumbstrucktosingagain.Sheremainedsilentasgriefovertookher.
Theprincessfinallycededsomeground.Shetookthelittlebird,stillinsidehercage,forawalkaroundthepalace
garden,alwaysassuringhimaboutherundiminishedloveforhim.But,thebirdsmoodremainedgloomyand
pensive.Itmadetheprincessbewilderedandsadtoo.
Septemberturnedtotheothereightsistersforcounsel.Allofthemadvisedhertobefirmandnotletthebirdgo
outofthecage.Theywerequiteterseintheirwarning.
Septemberwasinaquandary.Hereighteldersisterswerearrayedagainstthetinybird,but,forthehaplessbirds
cryforfreedomrangrelentlesslyinherears.Finally,shevainlyhopedthattimewouldhelpthebirdtogetusedto
thecage.Itwasjustwishfulthinking.
Thenextmorningwasdevastatingforher.WhenshecriedoutGoodmorningtogreetthebird,adeafening
silencemether.Thepreciouslittlesingingbirdlaymotionlessanddrainedinthegoldencage.WhenSeptember
coaxedhimtocheerupandstartsinging,thebirdrepliedthattheconfinesofthecagehadrobbedhimofallzeal
tosing.Devoidofthefreedomtoflyunfettered,shecouldnotsing,shemaintained.
Thebirdslifelessvoicemovedtheprincess.Sheopenedthecagedoorandbroughtthebirdouttokeepitonthe
windowssill.
Thebirdreaffirmedherlovefortheprincesspromisingtoreturntosingthemostmelodioussongsforher.No
matterhowfarhewent,hewouldreturntosingfortheprincess,sworethebird.Sayingthis,thebirdvanished
intothebluesky.Theprincess,besetwithemotions,eyedherdarlinglittlebirdtillhewentoutofsight.
ThepartingwasheartrendingforSeptember,butsheboreitwithgraceandfortitude.Afterall,herdearlittleone
hadgothisdeliverancefromthecagewherehewasslowingrottingtodeath.Inthebirdshappinesslayher
happiness,shereasoned.
Thesistersgottoknowofthebirdsdeparture.TheycameinforcetotauntSeptember.
Theloyalbird,however,returnedtoprovetheeightsisterswrongandredeemhisloyaltytoSeptember.He
lovinglysatonhershoulder,atefromherhand,andsangoneofthemostmelodioussongs.Septembersheart
overflewwithloveforthebird.
Septemberkeptherchamberswindowopentoletthebirdcomeandgounhindered,asitpleased.
Withtime,Septembergrewuptobeaparagonofbeauty.Heryouthwasexuberant.Attherightage,shewas
marriedtotheKingofCambodia.Onthecontrary,theeightsistersbecameuglieranduglierwithtime.Theyhad
neversleptwiththeirwindowsopen.TheyweregivenawaytothecouncilorswithapoundofteaandaSiamese
cat.Theirwickedmindsdrovethemtosuchdisgrace.
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.
Modelquestions..

1.Whythenamesofthekingsoffspringwerechangedsooften?
2.Whateffectithadonthechildren?
3.Whatunusualpracticethekingfollowedonherbirthday?
4.Whateffectithadonhisstockofroyalpossessions?
5.Whatthedaughtersgotastheirbirthdaygifts?
6.WhateffectthesingingbirdhadonSeptember?
7.Whatfreedomthesingingbirdenjoyedinitially?
8.Howdidtheeighteldersistersfeelaboutthesingingbird?
9.Whatplantheyhatchedtopunishthesingingbird?
10.Whydidthesingingbirdleavethepalacetemporarily?
11.HowdidSeptemberfeelwhenthebirddidnotreturnintime?
12.Howdidthesistersreactonseeingthebirdnotreturningtothepalaceasscheduled?
13.HowdidSeptemberfeeltoseethesingingbirdagain?
14.Whywasthesingingbirdputinsidethecage?
15.Howdidthebirdreactonbeingputinsidethecage?
16.HowdidSeptemberfeeltoencagethebird?
17.WhywasthebirdfreedbySeptember?
18.WhatdidthebirdtellSeptemberbeforeflyingaway?
19.WhathappenedtoSeptemberlater?
20.Whathappenedtotheeightsisterslater?
[Modelanswerswillbepostedonrequest.]
Searchfor:

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