Before You Meet Prince Charming Part 1 Chapter 9

Before You Meet Prince Charming Part 1 Chapter 9 July 24, 2017

princecharmingby Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide

All quotes from Sarah Mally’s book ‘Before You Meet Prince Charming’ in blue text.

This chapter has the smooth title of “Dreams Must Die”.  The book has been uniformly depressing since the Princess’ most intimate relationship is with the Alligator who lives in moat who is trying to get her to have a life.  I don’t even want to know how much worse this can get.

The allegory start with the Princess enjoying the nice weather while thinking and praying on the balcony.  She’s decided to not go to the Merchants’ Fest and plans to serve God with more energy.  There’s no discussion at all of how she plans to serve God which is unfortunate; the Princess really needs a job, a hobby, an education or something that cuts down on the amount of time she spends alone in the castle moping.

Anyways, she’s on her way to tell the King of her plans when she finds Sir Valiant in the courtyard. As near as I can tell, the Princess has seen him once when she was about 17 years old.  She’s now 20 or 21 years old.  The two of them have never spoken to each other.  Sir Valiant did give talk with the King about plans to fight Temptation and Lies in the Kingdom, but the Princess isn’t aware of that whole discussion.

The two of them chat for a few minutes.  This section below is their whole interaction:

It was, as you may have guessed, Sir Valiant. He had finished a lengthy conference with her father and was just mounting his horse to depart from the castle, dedicated in his service for the king.

The princess stopped suddenly. Then she quickly smiled and cheerfully exclaimed, ” Oh, hello! ” Though her voice was calm, her heart was trembling, and dozens of questions raced through her mind. What shall I say? Shall I introduce myself? Why is he here? Does he know who I am?

Her anxiousness was forgotten, however, when Valiant dismounted his horse, returned her greeting, and said ” Oh, and you must be the king’s daughter? I have heard so much about you. Many in the village speak of thy virtue and kindness.”

The princess laughed and replied, ” Oh, well, I have heard about you as well. My father says thou art among his most trustworthy knights. He deeply values thy loyal service.

The princess thought that Sir Valiant looked even more handsome and radiant than ever as he stood there in the bright sunlight. In reality, if she could have seen herself, she would have been equally surprised to see the brightness in her own face. It is perhaps a good thing that the princess did not realize that her beauty was only becoming more and more radiant with time.

The two of them did not talk long, but as the princess waved goodbye and watched him ride away, she felt as if her heart would burst. She had never felt that way before. (pg. 166)

  • Historically, the reign of the King and Queen is in much more jeopardy from Sir Valiant than Sir Eloquence.
    •  Sir Valiant has started making connections with other knights within the Kingdom; Sir Eloquence had none.
    • Sir Eloquence was approaching a princess who was barely at marriageable age and emotionally dependent on her parents; Sir Valiant is approaching an adult woman who has started to push back against the rules of her parents.
    • The Princess was defensive against Sir Eloquence; she’s partial towards Sir Valiant.
  • If the Princess marries Sir Valiant legally without their permission, the King and Queen are facing two unpalatable options: Overlook the lack of permission and allow Sir Valiant to reign with the Princess in hopes that the grandson(s) of the King and Queen inherit the throne or remove the Princess from succession and leave the throne to the next nearest relative.
  • I feel really bad for the Princess.  At 21, she’s as disconcerted and flustered at running into a guy she’s got a crush on as most people are at age 12.  More disturbingly, she’s got a crush on a guy she’s seen once five years ago and has never spoken to.  The Princess is the poster child of crushing loneliness.
  • I’m confused about what virtue the townspeople are attributing to the Princess.   The book is obsessed with chastity and modesty, but those are not virtues that people praise others for.  I’m trying to imagine one of those young women the Princess taught to goldsmith saying “The Princess is such an amazingly virginal person!  Not only has she not had sex, she’s never given her heart away to anyone!”  On the other hand, I can’t attribute any other virtues to her. She’s not wise, not prudent, has shown no courage, has show no interest in justice, has very little hope and does a handful of charitable acts per decade.  I guess she might be faithful, but that’s not usually a virtue that townspeople find attractive in young princesses.
    • Of course, this makes much more sense if Sir Valiant is buttering the Princess up as a first step in taking the throne.
  • *pssst* Princess!  When someone compliments you, the polite response is to acknowledge the compliment with something like “Thank you”.  Blowing past the compliment is dismissive of the other person.
  • If the Princess is not the only heir, she’d better hope that the King thinks that Sir Valiant’s loyalty is a bit shaky; the King would be best served by marrying the Princess off to a lineage who he needs to keep in line rather than a slavishly devoted toady.
  • Reminder: Sir Valiant’s service to the King so far has been offering to train knights and squires to fight Temptation and Lies.  He’s not actually done anything for the King yet.
  • When looking at dynastic marriages, the physical attractiveness of the parties was pretty low on the list of concerns especially if they were next-in-line for a kingdom.
The Princess is understandably excited by this turn of events and completely forgets about her previous plan to be a better servant of God.  She meets her parents and asks bunch of questions about Sir Valiant’s meeting with the King.  The Princess was super-excited for a full week before she realized that putting the cart before the horse since Sir Valiant hasn’t reappeared.
I’m going to stop here because there is still a long quote involving the Queen and Princess that deserves discussion.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide She is also an very valuable source of scientific information for us here at NLQ. Mel is also blessed with the ability to look at the issues of Quiverfull with a rational mind and break them down to their most basic of elements.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tawreos

    “… I can’t attribute any other virtues to her”
    She listens to her father and isn’t pushing him to get her a man, I am guessing those are the virtues that they care about.

  • SAO

    The whole beauty=goodness meme suggests that people don’t need to look past the surface. The handsome blue-eyed boy is a prince, the beautiful girl is virtuous. The wicked stepsisters are ugly.

  • Aloha

    The same virtues as Sir Valient! He’s busy showing respect and dedication to her father.

    Isn’t that why they call it “Daddianity” … or was it actually “Christianity?”

  • Aloha

    In this case, I think her beauty is supposed to stem from her goodness. The passage mentions her cheerful greeting, the brightness in her face, and beauty that has become more radiant over time.

    Gothard started that idea of a “bright countenance,” that’s supposed to attract nice Christian men. Not anything so worldly as a good figure or a pretty face. But it’s an inner beauty that can be seen from afar without any conversation.

  • SAO

    Right, but the inner goodness is shown in the beauty of the face. How exactly are people observing the face to recognize the difference between beauty caused by fortunate genes and the outward glow of inner beauty? If a girl has small eyes and a big nose, surely people will find it harder to see the inner beauty in her face than a the beauty of a girl with a average soul, but a small nose and big, blue eyes.

  • Julia Childress

    I don’t know how you do it. That’s just about the worst writing I’ve ever experienced in a published work. And to think that Jill Duggar named this book as her favorite when she was a young teenager. Blech.

  • Chiropter

    It’s a good thing she didn’t know she was beautiful? Ugh, yeah, because self aware women are just the worst.

    Seriously, why would you want to encourage a culture in which people are unaware of their own strengths and weaknesses, physical and otherwise? It’s not “humble” when a person has no self-worth, it’s sad and pitiable.

  • Anri

    Hey, Sir Valiant, that would be “Your Highness” or “Your Majesty” when you speak to a member of the immediate royal family. She’s allowed to be friendly with you. You’re required to be formal with her.
    Or did they only teach you Detect Evil 10′ Radius when you were squired?

  • Mel

    When my husband and I were driving to and from the NICU, we’d listen to a podcast called “I don’t even own a television” that discusses bad books. I’d spend most of the podcast “re-writing” the book to make it good – or at least adequate.

    I do the same thing with this book. I changed the Alligator to a manifestation of the Princess’ psyche. I have her spiral into madness – which is honestly the logical conclusion of this book instead of her strangely obvious trajectory into marriage with Sir Valiant. And then she either loses the Kingdom from ill management or marries Sir Valiant who turns out to use the Kingdom for his personal enrichment. I also create completely made up anecdotes that would make the advice section believable instead of absurd.

  • pagankitty

    So what is a not-princess to do? Wait to marry a boy that does menial tasks for her father?? How many Christian daddies hire men their daughters age to vet them as potential spouses??

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    And yet, Gothard has rather strong opinions about the most “beautiful” for women to display far more than their countenances–as well as a history of being rather preoccupied with everything but young women’s bodies’ besides their “bright countenances.” But even without the secret creeper reveal, his stated standards of appearance for girls and women make clear that inner beauty isn’t really enough. Plus, it’s no accident that the faces of the SAHD movement, such as the Botkins, tend to be unusually pretty faces.

  • Mel

    The whole CP movement is about projecting a perfect exterior regardless of what’s going on inside. Families are supposed to be loving, self-supporting and paragons of ministry – ignore the grinding poverty, exhaustion, limited opportunities and fear of the world.

  • SAO

    Yes, as a result, they work on exterior signs of piety, rather than actions that show real Christian values.

  • bekabot

    When someone compliments you, the polite response is to acknowledge the compliment with something like ‘Thank you’. Blowing past the compliment is dismissive of the other person.

    1. The Princess has been brought up in solitude, so she’s had no opportunity to learn manners through the ordinary give-and-take which goes on among people. Her interactions with other humans consist of one-sided conversations with her father, in which — typically — she opens up some conversational gambit and then then gets smacked down in double-quick time.

    2. One would expect that the Princess, as a Princess, would have had a royal education, and that, consequently, she would have been deeply schooled in matters of diplomacy and courtesy, but if she’s had such lessons there’s no sign that they’ve taken effect. In fact, there’s little evidence that the Princess has been educated at all (to speak of) — which is strange, since many royal youngsters had much affection for their tutors than for their kingly/queenly parents. (Think of Edward VI and Mr. Cheke and of his sister Elizabeth and Roger Ascham.)
    Wonder what’s going on there.

  • Anonyme

    I remember that. I think it just goes to show how isolated the Duggar children (especially the girls) are in terms of literature and art when this schlock is a favorite book.

  • LaMaria

    Sounds curiously similar to Trump-inanity.

  • LaMaria

    Yeah but if she felt she had some worth as she is now she wouldn´t be half as inclined to mold herself to her future husband´s wishes.

  • LaMaria

    What´s going on is that this book was written by someone who´s clueless about history, etiquette (other than that of the US middle class in the early-twentieth century), psychology and a whole host of other topics.

  • AFo

    This writing is making my eyes bleed. Seriously, in one sentence she addresses Sir Valiant as “you,” and then as “thou” in the next sentence. Pick one and stick with it!

    Also, isn’t having an unsupervised conversation with a male a huge no-no in QF-land, since they think that it will immediately lead to premarital sex? I’m surprised no one “happened” to be walking by to put the kibosh on their interaction and then lecture the princess on how she almost tainted her purity/virtue or “gave away a piece of her heart.”

  • TonberryPi

    If she’s going to use thee and thou, she should at least figure out that those were familiar, intimate pronouns, NOT formal.

  • Julia Childress

    I like that – Re-writing bad books. Sounds like a fun book club.

  • zizania

    Having never been particularly attractive myself, I always found the beauty=goodness theme in literature and popular culture very off-putting. I joke with people in my bookstore that I’ll start reading romances when they start making the protagonist a dumpy middle-aged woman (and the man a one-legged janitor).

  • SAO

    Oh, don’t sell yourself short, this less than svelte, not really young woman demands a young Brad Pitt look alike! He falls for my inner beauty and youthful attitude. Age is just a number, and so is weight.

  • zizania

    I usually go for the more quirky actors. My husband and I recently watched a couple of series of “Sherlock” and I have to say Martin Freeman did way more for me than Benedict Cumberbatch.