Which definition for “fountain” is suitable here?
1-a jet or spray of water or some other liquid
2-a natural spring of water, esp the source of a stream
The Calormen have dark faces and long beards. They wear flowing robes and orange-colored turbans, and they are a wise, wealthy, courteous, cruel and ancient people. They bowed most politely to Caspian and paid him long compliments, all about the fountains of prosperity irrigating the gardens of prudence and virtue—and things like that— but of course what they wanted was the money they had paid.
It looks like a metaphor that has nothing to do with water. You have to look at it in total, not just that one word.
“[ fountains of prosperity ] [ irrigating the gardens ] [ of prudence and virtue ]”
When you water a garden, you help it to grow and prosper. But this is not a garden of flowers or vegetables. It’s about prudence and virtue. When properly fed and nurtured, prudence and virtue will thrive.
I have not seen it used in this way, but fountains might be similar to gushing. Gushing is often used to mean very large amounts. Gushing refers to water or other liquid, but it’s also used as a metaphor for different things. For example:
“Gushing with cash” - this means very large amounts of money
“Gushing” can refer to extreme love or infatuation