And this is the beginning of the Tale that the Voice of the Waves began.
Very great and very wonderful, O Hadji, is the Land of Allthetime. Very great and very wonderful is the Royal City Daybyday. Beautiful in Allthetime are the lakes and rivers, the mountains, plains and streams. Beautiful in Daybyday are the groves and gardens, the drives and parks, the harbors and canals. Countless, in this Royal City, are the palaces. Without number are the people—without number and of many races, languages, and names.
But amid the countless palaces in this marvelous city Daybyday, there is one Temple only—only one. For the numberless people of the many races, languages, and names, there is but one God—only one. About this Royal City there is no Wall. For the King of Allthetime, who dwells in Daybyday, there is no Crown.
But the days that were were not as the days that are, O Hadji, and therefore is this Tale.
In the long ago olden days, when King What-Soever-Youthink ruled over the Land of Allthetime, there were, in this Royal City Daybyday, religions many—as many quite as the races, languages and names of the people. Many then were the temples built by the many followers of the many religions to their many gods. For you must know that King What-Soever-You-think was, of all wise kings that ever were or will be, the very wisest and, therefore, permitted his subjects to worship whom they would.
Always in the city streets there were vast throngs of people passing to and fro among the temples, bearing offerings and singing praises to the gods of their choice; for the chiefest occupation of the dwellers in Daybyday was then, as it is now, the old, old, occupation of worship. Some of the temples, it is true, were at times quite deserted, while in others there was not room for the multitudes; but even in the nearly empty temples the priests and beggars always remained, for, in that age, the people of Daybyday changed often their gods nor followed any very far.
And you must know, too, O Hadji, that in those long ago olden days—the days of the reign of What-Soever-Youthink there was for the Ruler of Allthetime a Crown; and that of all the wonders in that wonderful land this Crown was the most wonderful. More dear to the people of Daybyday than their city itself, more precious than their splendid temples, more sacred even than their many gods, was this—the Crown of their King.
It was so, first, because the Crown was extremely old. From the beginning of the reign of the Royal Family Everyone, no one knows how many thousands of ages ago, it had passed from king to king, even until that day.
It was so, second, because the Crown was exceedingly valuable. From the very beginning of the beginning each ruler had in turn added a jewel to the golden, gem encrusted emblem of his rank.
It was so, third, because the Crown was a Magic Crown, though no one then knew its magic—they knew only that its magic was.