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The Christmas Books by William Makepeace Thackeray

Part 5 out of 5

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2. A sugar-basin full of the best loaf-sugar.

4, 6, 8, 10. Two forks, two teaspoons, two knives, and a pair of
sugar-tongs, and a butter-knife all marked G.

11, 12, 13. A teacup, saucer, and slop-basin.

14. A jug full of delicious cream.

15. A canister with black tea and green.

16. A large tea-urn and boiling water.

17. A saucepan, containing three eggs nicely done.

18. A quarter of a pound of best Epping butter.

19. A brown loaf.

And if he hadn't enough now for a good breakfast, I should like to
know who ever had one?

Giglio, having had his breakfast, popped all the things back into
the bag, and went out looking for lodgings. I forgot to say that
this celebrated university town was called Bosforo.

He took a modest lodging opposite the Schools, paid his bill at the
inn, and went to his apartment with his trunk, carpet-bag, and not
forgetting, we may be sure, his OTHER bag.

When he opened his trunk, which the day before he had filled with
his best clothes, he found it contained only books. And in the
first of them which he opened there was written--

"Clothes for the back, books for the head:
Read, and remember them when they are read."

And in his bag, when Giglio looked in it, he found a student's cap
and gown, a writing-book full of paper, an inkstand, pens, and a
Johnson's dictionary, which was very useful to him, as his spelling
had been sadly neglected.

So he sat down and worked away, very, very hard for a whole year,
during which "Mr. Giles" was quite an example to all the students
in the University of Bosforo. He never got into any riots or
disturbances. The Professors all spoke well of him, and the
students liked him too; so that, when at examination, he took all
the prizes, viz.:--

{The Spelling Prize {The French Prize
{The Writing Prize {The Arithmetic Prize
{The History Prize {The Latin Prize
{The Catechism Prize {The Good Conduct Prize,

all his fellow-students said, "Hurrah! Hurray for Giles! Giles is
the boy--the student's joy! Hurray for Giles!" And he brought
quite a quantity of medals, crowns, books, and tokens of
distinction home to his lodgings.

One day after the Examinations, as he was diverting himself at a
coffee-house with two friends--(Did I tell you that in his bag,
every Saturday night, he found just enough to pay his bills, with a
guinea over, for pocket-money? Didn't I tell you? Well, he did,
as sure as twice twenty makes forty-five)--he chanced to look in
the Bosforo Chronicle, and read off, quite easily (for he could
spell, read, and write the longest words now), the following:--

"ROMANTIC CIRCUMSTANCE.--One of the most extraordinary adventures
that we have ever heard has set the neighboring country of Crim
Tartary in a state of great excitement.

"It will be remembered that when the present revered sovereign of
Crim Tartary, his Majesty King PADELLA, took possession of the
throne, after having vanquished, in the terrific battle of
Blunderbusco, the late King CAVOLFIORE, that Prince's only child,
the Princess Rosalba, was not found in the royal palace, of which
King Padella took possession, and, it was said, had strayed into
the forest (being abandoned by all her attendants) where she had
been eaten up by those ferocious lions, the last pair of which were
captured some time since, and brought to the Tower, after killing
several hundred persons.

"His Majesty King Padella, who has the kindest heart in the world,
was grieved at the accident which had occurred to the harmless
little Princess, for whom his Majesty's known benevolence would
certainly have provided a fitting establishment. But her death
seemed to be certain. The mangled remains of a cloak, and a little
shoe, were found in the forest, during a hunting-party, in which
the intrepid sovereign of Crim Tartary slew two of the lions' cubs
with his own spear. And these interesting relics of an innocent
little creature were carried home and kept by their finder, the
Baron Spinachi, formerly an officer in Cavolfiore's household.
The Baron was disgraced in consequence of his known legitimist
opinions, and has lived for some time in the humble capacity of a
wood-cutter, in a forest on the outskirts of the Kingdom of Crim

"Last Tuesday week Baron Spinachi and a number of gentlemen,
attached to the former dynasty, appeared in arms, crying, "God save
Rosalba, the first Queen of Crim Tartary!" and surrounding a lady
whom report describes as "BEAUTIFUL EXCEEDINGLY." Her history MAY
be authentic, IS certainly most romantic.

"The personage calling herself Rosalba states that she was brought
out of the forest, fifteen years since, by a lady in a car drawn by
dragons (this account is certainly IMPROBABLE), that she was left
in the Palace Garden of Blombodinga, where Her Royal Highness the
Princess Angelica, now married to His Royal Highness Bulbo, Crown
Prince of Crim Tartary, found the child, and, with THAT ELEGANT
BENEVOLENCE which has always distinguished the heiress of the
throne of Paflagonia, gave the little outcast a SHELTER AND A HOME!
Her parentage not being known, and her garb very humble, the
foundling was educated in the Palace in a menial capacity, under
the name of BETSINDA.

"She did not give satisfaction, and was dismissed, carrying with
her, certainly, part of a mantle and a shoe, which she had on when
first found. According to her statement she quitted Blombodinga
about a year ago, since which time she has been with the Spinachi
family. On the very same morning the Prince Giglio, nephew to the
King of Paflagonia, a young Prince whose character for TALENT and
ORDER were, to say truth, NONE OF THE HIGHEST, also quitted
Blombodinga, and has not been since heard of!"

"What an extraordinary story!" said Smith and Jones, two young
students, Giglio's especial friends.

"Ha! what is this?" Giglio went on, reading:--

"SECOND EDITION, EXPRESS.--We hear that the troop under Baron
Spinachi has been surrounded, and utterly routed, by General Count
Hogginarmo, and the soi-disant Princess is sent a prisoner to the

"UNIVERSITY NEWS.--Yesterday, at the Schools, the distinguished
young student, Mr. Giles, read a Latin oration, and was complimented
by the Chancellor of Bosforo, Dr. Prugnaro, with the highest
University honor--the wooden spoon."

"Never mind that stuff," says GILES, greatly disturbed. "Come home
with me, my friends. Gallant Smith! intrepid Jones! friends of my
studies--partakers of my academic toils--I have that to tell which
shall astonish your honest minds."

"Go it, old boy!" cries the impetuous Smith.

"Talk away, my buck!" says Jones, a lively fellow.

With an air of indescribable dignity, Giglio checked their natural,
but no more seemly, familiarity. "Jones, Smith, my good friends,"
said the PRINCE, "disguise is henceforth useless; I am no more the
humble student Giles, I am the descendant of a royal line."

"Atavis edite regibus. I know, old co--" cried Jones. He was
going to say old cock, but a flash from THE ROYAL EYE again awed

"Friends," continued the Prince, "I am that Giglio: I am, in fact,
Paflagonia. Rise, Smith, and kneel not in the public street.
Jones, thou true heart! My faithless uncle, when I was a baby,
filched from me that brave crown my father left me, bred me, all
young and careless of my rights, like unto hapless Hamlet, Prince
of Denmark; and had I any thoughts about my wrongs, soothed me with
promises of near redress. I should espouse his daughter, young
Angelica; we two indeed should reign in Paflagonia. His words were
false--false as Angelica's heart!--false as Angelica's hair, color,
front teeth! She looked with her skew eyes upon young Bulbo, Crim
Tartary's stupid heir, and she preferred him." Twas then I turned
my eyes upon Betsinda--Rosalba, as she now is. And I saw in her
the blushing sum of all perfection; the pink of maiden modesty; the
nymph that my fond heart had ever woo'd in dreams," &c. &c.

(I don't give this speech, which was very fine, but very long; and
though Smith and Jones knew nothing about the circumstances, my
dear reader does, so I go on.)

The Prince and his young friends hastened home to his apartment,
highly excited by the intelligence, as no doubt by the ROYAL
NARRATOR'S admirable manner of recounting it, and they ran up to
his room where he had worked so hard at his books.

On his writing-table was his bag, grown so long that the Prince
could not help remarking it. He went to it, opened it, and what do
you think he found in it?

A splendid long, gold-handled, red-velvet-scabbarded, cut-and-
thrust sword, and on the sheath was embroidered "ROSALBA FOR EVER!"

He drew out the sword, which flashed and illuminated the whole
room, and called out "Rosalba for ever!" Smith and Jones following
him, but quite respectfully this time, and taking the time from His
Royal Highness.

And now his trunk opened with a sudden pong, and out there came
three ostrich feathers in a gold crown, surrounding a beautiful
shining steel helmet, a cuirass, a pair of spurs, finally a
complete suit of armor.

The books on Giglio's shelves were all gone. Where there had been
some great dictionaries, Giglio's friends found two pairs of jack-
boots labelled, "Lieutenant Smith," "---- Jones, Esq.," which
fitted them to a nicety. Besides, there were helmets, back and
breast plates, swords, &c., just like in Mr. G. P. R. James's
novels; and that evening three cavaliers might have been seen
issuing from the gates of Bosforo, in whom the porters, proctors,
&c., never thought of recognising the young Prince and his friends.

They got horses at a livery stable-keeper's, and never drew bridle
until they reached the last town on the frontier before you come to
Crim Tartary. Here, as their animals were tired, and the cavaliers
hungry, they stopped and refreshed at an hostel. I could make a
chapter of this if I were like some writers, but I like to cram my
measure tight down, you see, and give you a great deal for your
money, and, in a word, they had some bread and cheese and ale
upstairs on the balcony of the inn. As they were drinking, drums
and trumpets sounded nearer and nearer, the marketplace was filled
with soldiers, and His Royal Highness looking forth, recognised the
Paflagonian banners, and the Paflagonian national air which the
bands were playing.

The troops all made for the tavern at once, and as they came up
Giglio exclaimed, on beholding their leader, "Whom do I see? Yes!--
no! It is, it is!--Phoo!--No, it can't be! Yes! it is my friend,
my gallant faithful veteran, Captain Hedzoff! Ho, Hedzoff!
Knowest thou not thy Prince, thy Giglio? Good Corporal, methinks
we once were friends. Ha, Sergeant, an my memory serves me right,
we have had many a bout at singlestick."

"I' faith, we have, a many, good my Lord," says the Sergeant.

"Tell me, what means this mighty armament," continued His Royal
Highness from the balcony, "and whither march my Paflagonians?"

Hedzoff's head fell. "My Lord," he said, "we march as the allies
of great Padella, Crim Tartary's monarch."

"Crim Tartary's usurper, gallant Hedzoff! Crim Tartary's grim
tyrant, honest Hedzoff!" said the Prince, on the balcony, quite

"A soldier, Prince, must needs obey his orders: mine are to help
his Majesty Padella. And also (though alack that I should say it!)
to seize wherever I should light upon him--"

"First catch your hare! ha, Hedzoff!" exclaimed His Royal Highness.

"--On the body of GIGLIO, whilome Prince of Paflagonia' Hedzoff
went on, with indescribable emotion. "My Prince, give up your
sword without ado. Look! we are thirty thousand men to one!"

"Give up my sword! Giglio give up his sword!" cried the Prince;
and stepping well forward on to the balcony, the royal youth,
WITHOUT PREPARATION, delivered a speech so magnificent, that no
report can do justice to it. It was all in blank verse (in which,
from this time, he invariably spoke, as more becoming his majestic
station). It lasted for three days and three nights, during which
not a single person who heard him was tired, or remarked the
difference between daylight and dark. The soldiers only cheering
tremendously, when occasionally, once in nine hours, the Prince
paused to suck an orange, which Jones took out of the bag. He
explained, in terms which we say we shall not attempt to convey,
the whole history of the previous transaction, and his determination
not only not to give up his sword, but to assume his rightful crown;
and at the end of this extraordinary, this truly GIGANTIC effort,
Captain Hedzoff flung up his helmet, and cried, "Hurray! Hurray!
Long live King Giglio!"

Such were the consequences of having employed his time well at

When the excitement had ceased, beer was ordered out for the army,
and their Sovereign himself did not disdain a little! And now it
was with some alarm that Captain Hedzoff told him his division was
only the advanced guard of the Paflagonian contingent, hastening to
King Padella's aid; the main force being a day's march in the rear
under His Royal Highness Prince Bulbo.

"We will wait here, good friend, to beat the Prince," his Majesty
said, "and THEN will make his royal father wince."


King Padella made very similar proposals to Rosalba to those which
she had received from the various princes who, as we have seen, had
fallen in love with her. His Majesty was a widower, and offered to
marry his fair captive that instant, but she declined his
invitation in her usual polite gentle manner, stating that Prince
Giglio was her love, and that any other union was out of the
question. Having tried tears and supplications in vain, this
violent-tempered monarch menaced her with threats and tortures; but
she declared she would rather suffer all these than accept the hand
of her father's murderer, who left her finally, uttering the most
awful imprecations, and bidding her prepare for death on the
following morning.

All night long the King spent in advising how he should get rid of
this obdurate young creature. Cutting off her head was much too
easy a death for her; hanging was so common in his Majesty's
dominions that it no longer afforded him any sport; finally, he
bethought himself of a pair of fierce lions which had lately been
sent to him as presents, and he determined, with these ferocious
brutes, to hunt poor Rosalba down. Adjoining his castle was an
amphitheatre where the Prince indulged in bull-baiting, rat-
hunting, and other ferocious sports. The two lions were kept in a
cage under this place; their roaring might be heard over the whole
city, the inhabitants of which, I am sorry to say, thronged in
numbers to see a poor young lady gobbled up by two wild beasts.

The King took his place in the royal box, having the officers of
his Court around and the Count Hogginarmo by his side, upon whom
his Majesty was observed to look very fiercely: the fact is, royal
spies had told the monarch of Hogginarmo's behavior, his proposals
to Rosalba, and his offer to fight for the crown. Black as thunder
looked King Padella at this proud noble, as they sat in the front
seats of the theatre waiting to see the tragedy whereof poor
Rosalba was to be the heroine.

At length that Princess was brought out in her nightgown, with all
her beautiful hair falling down her back, and looking so pretty
that even the beef-eaters and keepers of the wild animals wept
plentifully at seeing her. And she walked with her poor little
feet (only luckily the arena was covered with sawdust), and went
and leaned up against a great stone in the centre of the
amphitheatre, round which the Court and the people were seated in
boxes, with bars before them, for fear of the great, fierce, red-
maned, black-throated, long-tailed, roaring, bellowing, rushing

And now the gates were opened, and with a "Wurrawarrurawarar!" two
great lean, hungry, roaring lions rushed out of their den, where
they had been kept for three weeks on nothing but a little toast-
and-water, and dashed straight up to the stone where poor Rosalba
was waiting. Commend her to your patron saints, all you kind
people, for she is in a dreadful state!

There was a hum and a buzz all through the circus, and the fierce
King Padella even felt a little compassion. But Count Hogginarmo,
seated by his Majesty, roared out "Hurray! Now for it! Soo-soo-
soo!" that nobleman being uncommonly angry still at Rosalba's
refusal of him.

But, O strange event! O remarkable circumstance! O extraordinary
coincidence, which I am sure none of you could BY ANY POSSIBILITY
have divined! When the lions came to Rosalba, instead of devouring
her with their great teeth, it was with kisses they gobbled her up!
They licked her pretty feet, they nuzzled their noses in her lap,
they moo'd, they seemed to say, "Dear, dear sister don't you
recollect your brothers in the forest?" And she put her pretty
white arms round their tawny necks, and kissed them.

King Padella was immensely astonished. The Count Hogginarmo was
extremely disgusted. "Pooh!" the Count cried. "Gammon!" exclaimed
his Lordship. "These lions are tame beasts come from Wombwell's or
Astley's. It is a shame to put people off in this way. I believe
they are little boys dressed up in door-mats. They are no lions at

"Ha!" said the King, "you dare to say 'Gammon!' to your Sovereign,
do you? These lions are no lions at all, aren't they? Ho! my
beef-eaters! Ho! my bodyguard! Take this Count Hogginarmo and
fling him into the circus! Give him a sword and buckler, let him
keep his armor on, and his weather-eye out, and fight these lions."

The haughty Hogginarmo laid down his opera-glass, and looked
scowling round at the King and his attendants. "Touch me not,
dogs!" he said, "or by St. Nicholas the Elder, I will gore you!
Your Majesty thinks Hogginarmo is afraid? No, not of a hundred
thousand lions! Follow me down into the circus, King Padella, and
match thyself against one of yon brutes. Thou darest not. Let
them both come on, then!" And opening a grating of the box, he
jumped lightly down into the circus.

In about two minutes
The Count Hogginarmo was
those lions,
bones, boots, and all,
There was an
End of him.

At this, the King said, "Serve him right, the rebellious ruffian!
And now, as those lions won't eat that young woman--"

"Let her off!--let her off!" cried the crowd.

"NO!" roared the King. "Let the beef-eaters go down and chop her
into small pieces. If the lions defend her, let the archers shoot
them to death. That hussy shall die in tortures!"

"A-a-ah!" cried the crowd. "Shame! shame!"

"Who dares cry out 'Shame?'" cried the furious potentate (so little
can tyrants command their passions). "Fling any scoundrel who says
a word down among the lions!" I warrant you there was a dead
silence then, which was broken by a "Pang arang pang pangkarangpang!"
and a Knight and a Herald rode in at the further end of the circus;
the Knight, in full armor, with his vizor up, and bearing a letter
on the point of his lance.

"Ha!" exclaimed the King, "by my fay, 'tis Elephant and Castle,
pursuivant of my brother of Paflagonia; and the Knight, an my
memory serves me, is the gallant Captain Hedzoff! What news from
Paflagonia, gallant Hedzoff? Elephant and Castle, beshrew me, thy
trumpeting must have made thee thirsty. What will my trusty herald
like to drink?"

"Bespeaking first safe conduct from your Lordship," said Captain
Hedzoff, "before we take a drink of anything, permit us to deliver
our King's message."

"My Lordship, ha!" said Crim Tartary, frowning terrifically. "That
title soundeth strange in the anointed ears of a crowned King.
Straightway speak out your message, Knight and Herald!"

Reining up his charger in a most elegant manner close under the
King's balcony, Hedzoff turned to the Herald, and bade him begin.

Elephant and Castle, dropping his trumpet over his shoulder, took a
large sheet of paper out of his hat, and began to read:--

"O Yes! O Yes! O Yes! Know all men by these presents, that we,
Giglio, King of Paflagonia, Grand Duke of Cappadocia, Sovereign
Prince of Turkey and the Sausage Islands, having assumed our
rightful throne and title, long time falsely borne by our usurping
Uncle, styling himself King of Paflagonia--"

"Ha!" growled Padella.

"Hereby summon the false traitor, Padella, calling himself King of
Crim Tartary--"

The King's curses were dreadful. "Go on, Elephant and Castle!"
said the intrepid Hedzoff.

"--To release from cowardly imprisonment his liege lady and
rightful Sovereign, ROSALBA, Queen of Crim Tartary, and restore her
to her royal throne: in default of which, I, Giglio, proclaim the
said Padella sneak, traitor, humbug, usurper, and coward. I
challenge him to meet me, with fists or with pistols, with battle-
axe or sword, with blunderbuss or single-stick, alone or at the
head of his army, on foot or on horseback; and will prove my words
upon his wicked ugly body!"

"God save the King!" said Captain Hedzoff, executing a demivolte,
two semilunes, and three caracols.

"Is that all?" said Padella, with the terrific calm of concentrated

"That, sir, is all my royal master's message. Here is his
Majesty's letter in autograph, and here is his glove, and if any
gentleman of Crim Tartary chooses to find fault with his Majesty's
expressions, I, Kustasoff Hedzoff, Captain of the Guard, am very
much at his service," and he waved his lance, and looked at the
assembly all round.

"And what says my good brother of Paflagonia, my dear son's father-
in-law, to this rubbish?" asked the King.

"The King's uncle hath been deprived of the crown he unjustly
wore," said Hedzoff gravely. "He and his ex-minister, Glumboso,
are now in prison waiting the sentence of my royal master. After
the battle of Bombardaro--"

"Of what?" asked the surprised Padella.

"--Of Bombardaro, where my liege, his present Majesty, would have
performed prodigies of valor, but that the whole of his uncle's
army came over to our side, with the exception of Prince Bulbo--"

"Ah! my boy, my boy, my Bulbo was no traitor!" cried Padella.

"Prince Bulbo, far from coming over to us, ran away, sir; but I
caught him. The Prince is a prisoner in our army, and the most
terrific tortures await him if a hair of the Princess Rosalba's
head is injured."

"Do they?" exclaimed the furious Padella, who was now perfectly
LIVID with rage. "Do they indeed? So much the worse for Bulbo.
I've twenty sons as lovely each as Bulbo. Not one but is as fit to
reign as Bulbo. Whip, whack, flog, starve, rack, punish, torture
Bulbo--break all his bones--roast him or flay him alive--pull all
his pretty teeth out one by one! But justly dear as Bulbo is to
me,--joy of my eyes, fond treasure of my soul!--Ha, ha, ha, ha!
revenge is dearer still. Ho! tortures, rack-men, executioners--
light up the fires and make the pincers hot! get lots of boiling
lead!--Bring out ROSALBA!"


Captain Hedzoff rode away when King Padella uttered this cruel
command, having done his duty in delivering the message with which
his royal master had entrusted him. Of course he was very sorry
for Rosalba, but what could he do?

So he returned to King Giglio's camp, and found the young monarch
in a disturbed state of mind, smoking cigars in the royal tent.
His Majesty's agitation was not appeased by the news that was
brought by his ambassador. "The brutal, ruthless ruffian royal
wretch!" Giglio exclaimed. "As England's poesy has well remarked,
'The man that lays his hand upon a woman, save in the way of
kindness, is a villain.' Ha, Hedzoff!"

"That he is, your Majesty," said the attendant.

"And didst thou see her flung into the oil? and didn't the soothing
oil--the emollient oil, refuse to boil, good Hedzoff--and to spoil
the fairest lady ever eyes did look on?"

"'Faith, good my liege, I had no heart to look and see a beauteous
lady boiling down; I took your royal message to Padella, and bore
his back to you. I told him you would hold Prince Bulbo
answerable. He only said that he had twenty sons as good as Bulbo,
and forthwith he bade the ruthless executioners proceed."

"O cruel father--O unhappy son!" cried the King. "Go, some of you,
and bring Prince Bulbo hither."

Bulbo was brought in chains, looking very uncomfortable. Though a
prisoner, he had been tolerably happy, perhaps because his mind was
at rest, and all the fighting was over, and he was playing at
marbles with his guards when the King sent for him.

"Oh, my poor Bulbo," said his Majesty, with looks of infinite
compassion, "hast thou heard the news?" (for you see Giglio wanted
to break the thing gently to the Prince), "thy brutal father has
condemned Rosalba--p-p-p-ut her to death, P-p-p-prince Bulbo!"

"What, killed Betsinda! Boo-hoo-hoo," cried out Bulbo. "Betsinda!
pretty Betsinda! dear Betsinda! She was the dearest little girl in
the world. I love her better twenty thousand times even than
Angelica." And he went on expressing his grief in so hearty and
unaffected a manner that the King was quite touched by it, and
said, shaking Bulbo's hand, that he wished he had known Bulbo

Bulbo, quite unconsciously, and meaning for the best, offered to
come and sit with his Majesty, and smoke a cigar with him, and
console him. The ROYAL KINDNESS supplied Bulbo with a cigar; he
had not had one, he said, since he was taken prisoner.

And now think what must have been the feelings of the most MERCIFUL
OF MONARCHS, when he informed his prisoner that, in consequence of
King Padella's CRUEL AND DASTARDLY BEHAVIOR to Rosalba, Prince
Bulbo must instantly be executed! The noble Giglio could not
restrain his tears, nor could the Grenadiers, nor the officers, nor
could Bulbo himself, when the matter was explained to him, and he
was brought to understand that his Majesty's promise, of course,
was ABOVE EVERYTHING, and Bulbo must submit. So poor Bulbo was led
out, Hedzoff trying to console him, by pointing out that if he had
won the battle of Bombardaro, he might have hanged Prince Giglio.
"Yes! But that is no comfort to me now!" said poor Bulbo; nor
indeed was it, poor fellow!

He was told the business would be done the next morning at eight,
and was taken back to his dungeon, where every attention was paid
to him. The gaoler's wife sent him tea, and the turnkey's daughter
begged him to write his name in her album, where a many gentlemen
had written it on like occasions! "Bother your album!" says Bulbo.
The Undertaker came and measured him for the handsomest coffin
which money could buy: even this didn't console Bulbo. The Cook
brought him dishes which he once used to like; but he wouldn't
touch them: he sat down and began writing an adieu to Angelica, as
the clock kept always ticking, and the hands drawing nearer to next
morning. The Barber came in at night, and offered to shave him for
the next day. Prince Bulbo kicked him away, and went on writing a
few words to Princess Angelica, as the clock kept always ticking,
and the hands hopping nearer and nearer to next morning. He got up
on the top of a hatbox, on the top of a chair, on the top of his
bed, on the top of his table, and looked out to see whether he
might escape as the clock kept always ticking and the hands drawing
nearer, and nearer, and nearer.

But looking out of the window was one thing, and jumping another:
and the town clock struck seven. So he got into bed for a little
sleep, but the gaoler came and woke him, and said, "Git up, your
Royal Ighness, if you please, it's TEN MINUTES TO EIGHT!"

So poor Bulbo got up: he had gone to bed in his clothes (the lazy
boy), and he shook himself, and said he didn't mind about dressing,
or having any breakfast, thank you; and he saw the soldiers who had
come for him. "Lead on!" he said; and they led the way, deeply
affected; and they came into the courtyard, and out into the
square, and there was King Giglio come to take leave of him, and
his Majesty most kindly shook hands with him, and the GLOOMY
PROCESSION marched on:--when hark!


A roar of wild beasts was heard. And who should come riding into
the town, frightening away the boys, and even the beadle and
policeman, but ROSALBA!

The fact is, that when Captain Hedzoff entered into the court of
Snapdragon Castle, and was discoursing with King Padella, the Lions
made a dash at the open gate, gobbled up the six beef-eaters in a
jiffy, and away they went with Rosalba on the back of one of them,
and they carried her, turn and turn about, till they came to the
city where Prince Giglio's army was encamped.

When the KING heard of the QUEEN'S arrival, you may think how he
rushed out of his breakfast-room to hand her Majesty off her Lion!
The Lions were grown as fat as pigs now, having had Hogginarmo and
all those beef-eaters, and were so tame, anybody might pat them.

While Giglio knelt (most gracefully) and helped the Princess,
Bulbo, for his part, rushed up and kissed the Lion. He flung his
arms round the forest monarch; he hugged him, and laughed and cried
for joy. "Oh, you darling old beast--oh, how glad I am to see you,
and the dear, dear Bets--that is, Rosalba."

"What, is it you, poor Bulbo?" said the Queen. "Oh, how glad I am
to see you," and she gave him her hand to kiss. King Giglio
slapped him most kindly on the back, and said, "Bulbo, my boy, I am
delighted, for your sake, that her Majesty has arrived."

"So am I," said Bulbo; "and YOU KNOW WHY." Captain Hedzoff here
came up. "Sire, it is half-past eight: shall we proceed with the
execution? "

"Execution! what for?" asked Bulbo.

"An officer only knows his orders," replied Captain Hedzoff,
showing his warrant: on which his Majesty King Giglio smilingly
said Prince Bulbo was reprieved this time, and most graciously
invited him to breakfast.


As soon as King Padella heard--what we know already--that his
victim, the lovely Rosalba, had escaped him, his Majesty's fury
knew no bounds, and he pitched the Lord Chancellor, Lord
Chamberlain, and every officer of the Crown whom he could set eyes
on, into the cauldron of boiling oil prepared for the Princess.
Then he ordered out his whole army, horse, foot, and artillery; and
set forth at the head of an innumerable host, and I should think
twenty thousand drummers, trumpeters, and fifers.

King Giglio's advance guard, you may be sure, kept that monarch
acquainted with the enemy's dealings, and he was in nowise
disconcerted. He was much too polite to alarm the Princess, his
lovely guest, with any unnecessary rumors of battles impending; on
the contrary, he did everything to amuse and divert her; gave her a
most elegant breakfast, dinner, lunch, and got up a ball for her
that evening, when he danced with her every single dance.

Poor Bulbo was taken into favor again, and allowed to go quite free
now. He had new clothes given him, was called "My good cousin" by
his Majesty, and was treated with the greatest distinction by
everybody. But it was easy to see he was very melancholy. The
fact is, the sight of Betsinda, who looked perfectly lovely in an
elegant new dress, set poor Bulbo frantic in love with her again.
And he never thought about Angelica, now Princess Bulbo, whom he
had left at home, and who, as we know, did not care much about him.

The King, dancing the twenty-fifth polka with Rosalba, remarked
with wonder the ring she wore; and then Rosalba told him how she
had got it from Gruffanuff, who no doubt had picked it up when
Angelica flung it away.

"Yes," says the Fairy Blackstick, who had come to see the young
people, and who had very likely certain plans regarding them--"that
ring I gave the Queen, Giglio's mother, who was not, saving your
presence, a very wise woman: it is enchanted, and whoever wears it
looks beautiful in the eyes of the world. I made poor Prince
Bulbo, when he was christened, the present of a rose which made him
look handsome while he had it; but he gave it to Angelica, who
instantly looked beautiful again, whilst Bulbo relapsed into his
natural plainness."

"Rosalba needs no ring, I am sure," says Giglio, with a low bow.
"She is beautiful enough, in my eyes, without any enchanted aid."

"Oh, sir!" said Rosalba.

"Take off the ring and try," said the King, and resolutely drew the
ring off her finger. In HIS eyes she looked just as handsome as

The King was thinking of throwing the ring away, as it was so
dangerous and made all the people so mad about Rosalba; but being a
Prince of great humor, and good humor too, he cast eyes upon a poor
youth who happened to be looking on very disconsolately, and said--

"Bulbo, my poor lad! come and try on this ring. The Princess
Rosalba makes it a present to you." The magic properties of this
ring were uncommonly strong, for no sooner had Bulbo put it on, but
lo and behold, he appeared a personable, agreeable young Prince
enough--with a fine complexion, fair hair, rather stout, and with
bandy legs; but these were encased in such a beautiful pair of
yellow morocco boots that nobody remarked them. And Bulbo's
spirits rose up almost immediately after he had looked in the
glass, and he talked to their Majesties in the most lively,
agreeable manner, and danced opposite the Queen with one of the
prettiest maids of honor, and after looking at her Majesty, could
not help saying, "How very odd! she is very pretty, but not so
EXTRAORDINARILY handsome." "Oh no, by no means!" says the Maid of

"But what care I, dear sir," says the Queen, who overheard them,
"if YOU think I am good-looking enough?"

His Majesty's glance in reply to this affectionate speech was such
that no painter could draw it. And the Fairy Blackstick said,
"Bless you, my darling children! Now you are united and happy; and
now you see what I said from the first, that a little misfortune
has done you both good. YOU, Giglio, had you been bred in
prosperity, would scarcely have learned to read or write--you would
have been idle and extravagant, and could not have been a good King
as now you will be. You, Rosalba, would have been so flattered,
that your little head might have been turned like Angelica's, who
thought herself too good for Giglio."

"As if anybody could be good enough for HIM," cried Rosalba.

"Oh, you, you darling!" says Giglio. And so she was; and he was
just holding out his arms in order to give her a hug before the
whole company, when a messenger came rushing in, and said, "My
Lord, the enemy!"

"To arms!" cries Giglio.

"Oh, mercy!" says Rosalba, and fainted of course. He snatched one
kiss from her lips, and rushed FORTH TO THE FIELD of battle!

The Fairy had provided King Giglio with a suit of armor, which was
not only embroidered all over with jewels, and blinding to your
eyes to look at, but was water-proof, gun-proof, and sword-proof;
so that in the midst of the very hottest battles his Majesty rode
about as calmly as if he had been a British Grenadier at Alma.
Were I engaged in fighting for my country, I should like such a
suit of armor as Prince Giglio wore; but, you know, he was a Prince
of a fairy tale, and they always have these wonderful things.

Besides the fairy armor, the Prince had a fairy horse, which would
gallop at any pace you pleased; and a fairy sword, which would
lengthen and run through a whole regiment of enemies at once. With
such a weapon at command, I wonder, for my part, he thought of
ordering his army out; but forth they all came, in magnificent new
uniforms, Hedzoff and the Prince's two college friends each
commanding a division, and his Majesty prancing in person at the
head of them all.

Ah! if I had the pen of a Sir Archibald Alison, my dear friends,
would I not now entertain you with the account of a most tremendous
shindy? Should not fine blows be struck? dreadful wounds be
delivered? arrows darken the air? cannon balls crash through the
battalions? cavalry charge infantry? infantry pitch into cavalry?
bugles blow; drums beat; horses neigh; fifes sing; soldiers roar,
swear, hurray; officers shout out, "Forward, my men!" "This way,
lads!" "Give it 'em, boys!" "Fight for King Giglio, and the cause
of right!" "King Padella for ever!" Would I not describe all this,
I say, and in the very finest language too? But this humble pen
does not possess the skill necessary for the description of
combats. In a word, the overthrow of King Padella's army was so
complete, that if they had been Russians you could not have wished
them to be more utterly smashed and confounded.

As for that usurping monarch, having performed acts of valor much
more considerable than could be expected of a royal ruffian and
usurper, who had such a bad cause, and who was so cruel to women,--
as for King Padella, I say, when his army ran away, the King ran
away too, kicking his first general, Prince Punchikoff, from his
saddle, and galloping away on the Prince's horse, having, indeed,
had twenty-five or twenty-six of his own shot under him. Hedzoff
coming up, and finding Punchikoff down, as you may imagine, very
speedily disposed of HIM. Meanwhile King Padella was scampering
off as hard as his horse could lay legs to ground. Fast as he
scampered, I promise you somebody else galloped faster; and that
individual, as no doubt you are aware, was the Royal Giglio, who
kept bawling out, "Stay, traitor! Turn, miscreant, and defend
thyself! Stand, tyrant, coward, ruffian, royal wretch, till I cut
thy ugly head from thy usurping shoulders!" And, with his fairy
sword, which elongated itself at will, his Majesty kept poking and
prodding Padella in the back, until that wicked monarch roared with

When he was fairly brought to bay, Padella turned and dealt Prince
Giglio a prodigious crack over the sconce with his battle-axe, a
most enormous weapon, which had cut down I don't know how many
regiments in the course of the afternoon. But, law bless you!
though the blow fell right down on his Majesty's helmet, it made no
more impression than if Padella had struck him with a pat of
butter: his battle-axe crumpled up in Padella's hand, and the Royal
Giglio laughed for very scorn at the impotent efforts of that
atrocious usurper.

At the ill success of his blow the Crim Tartar monarch was justly
irritated. "If," says he to Giglio, "you ride a fairy horse, and
wear fairy armor, what on earth is the use of my hitting you? I
may as well give myself up a prisoner at once. Your Majesty won't,
I suppose, be so mean as to strike a poor fellow who can't strike

The justice of Padella's remark struck the magnanimous Giglio. "Do
you yield yourself a prisoner, Padella?" says he.

"Of course I do," says Padella.

"Do you acknowledge Rosalba as your rightful Queen, and give up the
crown and all your treasures to your rightful mistress?"

"If I must, I must," says Padella, who was naturally very sulky.

By this time King Giglio's aides-de-camp had come up, whom his
Majesty ordered to bind the prisoner. And they tied his hands
behind him, and bound his legs tight under his horse, having set
him with his face to the tail; and in this fashion he was led back
to King Giglio's quarters, and thrust into the very dungeon where
young Bulbo had been confined.

Padella (who was a very different person in the depth of his
distress, to Padella, the proud wearer of the Crim Tartar crown),
now most affectionately and earnestly asked to see his son--his
dear eldest boy--his darling Bulbo; and that good-natured young man
never once reproached his haughty parent for his unkind conduct the
day before, when he would have left Bulbo to be shot without any
pity, but came to see his father, and spoke to him through the
grating of the door, beyond which he was not allowed to go; and
brought him some sandwiches from the grand supper which his Majesty
was giving above stairs, in honor of the brilliant victory which
had just been achieved.

"I cannot stay with you long, sir," says Bulbo, who was in his best
ball dress, as he handed his father in the prog. "I am engaged to
dance the next quadrille with her Majesty Queen Rosalba, and I hear
the fiddles playing at this very moment."

So Bulbo went back to the ball-room and the wretched Padella ate
his solitary supper in silence and tears.

All was now joy in King Giglio's circle. Dancing, feasting, fun,
illuminations, and jollifications of all sorts ensued. The people
through whose villages they passed were ordered to illuminate their
cottages at night, and scatter flowers on the roads during the day.
They were requested--and I promise you they did not like to refuse--
to serve the troops liberally with eatables and wine; besides, the
army was enriched by the immense quantity of plunder which was
found in King Padella's camp, and taken from his soldiers; who
(after they had given up everything) were allowed to fraternize
with the conquerors; and the united forces marched back by easy
stages towards King Giglio's capital, his royal banner and that of
Queen Rosalba being carried in front of the troops. Hedzoff was
made a Duke and a Field Marshal. Smith and Jones were promoted to
be Earls; the Crim Tartar Order of the Pumpkin and the Paflagonian
decoration of the Cucumber were freely distributed by their
Majesties to the army. Queen Rosalba wore the Paflagonian Ribbon
of the Cucumber across her riding-habit, whilst King Giglio never
appeared without the grand Cordon of the Pumpkin. How the people
cheered them as they rode along side by side! They were pronounced
to be the handsomest couple ever seen: that was a matter of course;
but they really WERE very handsome, and, had they been otherwise,
would have looked so, they were so happy! Their Majesties were
never separated during the whole day, but breakfasted, dined, and
supped together always, and rode side by side, interchanging
elegant compliments, and indulging in the most delightful
conversation. At night, her Majesty's ladies of honor (who had all
rallied round her the day after King Padella's defeat) came and
conducted her to the apartments prepared for her; whilst King
Giglio, surrounded by his gentlemen, withdrew to his own Royal
quarters. It was agreed they should be married as soon as they
reached the capital, and orders were dispatched to the Archbishop
of Blombodinga, to hold himself in readiness to perform the
interesting ceremony. Duke Hedzoff carried the message, and gave
instructions to have the Royal Castle splendidly refurnished and
painted afresh. The Duke seized Glumboso, the Ex-Prime Minister,
and made him refund that considerable sum of money which the old
scoundrel had secreted out of the late King's treasure. He also
clapped Valoroso into prison (who, by the way, had been dethroned
for some considerable period past), and when the ex-monarch weakly
remonstrated, Hedzoff said, "A soldier, sir, knows but his duty; my
orders are to lock you up along with the ex-King Padella, whom I
have brought hither a prisoner under guard." So these two ex-Royal
personages were sent for a year to the House of Correction, and
thereafter were obliged to become monks of the severest Order of
Flagellants, in which state, by fasting, by vigils, by flogging
(which they administered to one another, humbly but resolutely), no
doubt they exhibited a repentance for their past misdeeds,
usurpations, and private and public crimes.

As for Glumboso, that rogue was sent to the galleys, and never had
an opportunity to steal any more.


The Fairy Blackstick, by whose means this young King and Queen had
certainly won their respective crowns back, would come not
unfrequently, to pay them a little visit--as they were riding in
their triumphal progress towards Giglio's capital--change her wand
into a pony, and travel by their Majesties' side, giving them the
very best advice. I am not sure that King Giglio did not think the
Fairy and her advice rather a bore, fancying it was his own valor
and merits which had put him on his throne, and conquered Padella:
and, in fine, I fear he rather gave himself airs towards his best
friend and patroness. She exhorted him to deal justly by his
subjects, to draw mildly on the taxes, never to break his promise
when he had once given it--and in all respects to be a good King.

"A good King, my dear Fairy!" cries Rosalba. "Of course he will.
Break his promise! can you fancy my Giglio would ever do anything
so improper, so unlike him? No! never!" And she looked fondly
towards Giglio, whom she thought a pattern of perfection.

"Why is Fairy Blackstick always advising me, and telling me how to
manage my government, and warning me to keep my word? Does she
suppose that I am not a man of sense, and a man of honor?" asks
Giglio testily. "Methinks she rather presumes upon her position."

"Hush! dear Giglio," says Rosalba. "You know Blackstick has been
very kind to us, and we must not offend her." But the Fairy was
not listening to Giglio's testy observations, she had fallen back,
and was trotting on her pony now, by Master Bulbo's side, who rode
a donkey, and made himself generally beloved in the army by his
cheerfulness, kindness, and good-humor to everybody. He was eager
to see his darling Angelica. He thought there never was such a
charming being. Blackstick did not tell him it was the possession
of the magic rose that made Angelica so lovely in his eyes. She
brought him the very best accounts of his little wife, whose
misfortunes and humiliations had indeed very greatly improved her;
and, you see, she could whisk off on her wand a hundred miles in a
minute, and be back in no time, and so carry polite messages from
Bulbo to Angelica, and from Angelica to Bulbo, and comfort that
young man upon his journey.

When the Royal party arrived at the last stage before you reach
Blombodinga, who should be in waiting, in her carriage there with
her lady of honor by her side, but the Princess Angelica? She
rushed into her husband's arms, scarcely stopping to make a passing
curtsey to the King and Queen. She had no eyes but for Bulbo, who
appeared perfectly lovely to her on account of the fairy ring which
he wore; whilst she herself, wearing the magic rose in her bonnet,
seemed entirely beautiful to the enraptured Bulbo.

A splendid luncheon was served to the Royal party, of which the
Archbishop, the Chancellor, Duke Hedzoff, Countess Gruffanuff, and
all our friends partook, the Fairy Blackstick being seated on the
left of King Giglio, with Bulbo and Angelica beside her. You could
hear the joy-bells ringing in the capital, and the guns which the
citizens were firing off in honor of their Majesties.

"What can have induced that hideous old Gruffanuff to dress herself
up in such an absurd way? Did you ask her to be your bridesmaid,
my dear?" says Giglio to Rosalba. "What a figure of fun Gruffy

Gruffy was seated opposite their Majesties, between the Archbishop
and the Lord Chancellor, and a figure of fun she certainly was, for
she was dressed in a low white silk dress, with lace over, a wreath
of white roses on her wig, a splendid lace veil, and her yellow old
neck was covered with diamonds. She ogled the King in such a
manner that his Majesty burst out laughing.

"Eleven o'clock!" cries Giglio, as the great Cathedral bell of
Blombodinga tolled that hour. "Gentlemen and ladies, we must be
starting. Archbishop, you must be at church, I think, before

"We must be at church before twelve," sighs out Gruffanuff in a
languishing voice, hiding her old face behind her fan.

"And then I shall be the happiest man in my dominions," cries
Giglio, with an elegant bow to the blushing Rosalba.

"Oh, my Giglio! Oh, my dear Majesty!" exclaims Gruffanuff; "and
can it be that this happy moment at length has arrived--"

"Of course it has arrived," says the King.

"--and that I am about to become the enraptured bride of my adored
Giglio!" continues Gruffanuff. "Lend me a smelling-bottle,
somebody. I certainly shall faint with joy."

"YOU my bride?" roars out Giglio.

"YOU marry my Prince?" cried poor little Rosalba.

"Pooh! Nonsense! The woman's mad!" exclaims the King. And all
the courtiers exhibited by their countenances and expressions,
marks of surprise, or ridicule, or incredulity, or wonder.

"I should like to know who else is going to be married, if I am
not?" shrieks out Gruffanuff. "I should like to know if King
Giglio is a gentleman, and if there is such a thing as justice in
Paflagonia? Lord Chancellor! my Lord Archbishop! will your
Lordships sit by and see a poor, fond, confiding, tender creature
put upon? Has not Prince Giglio promised to marry his Barbara? Is
not this Giglio's signature? Does not this paper declare that he
is mine, and only mine?" And she handed to his Grace the
Archbishop the document which the Prince signed that evening when
she wore the magic ring, and Giglio drank so much champagne. And
the old Archbishop, taking out his eyeglasses, read--"This is to
give notice, that I, Giglio, only son of Savio, King of Paflagonia,
hereby promise to marry the charming Barbara Griselda Countess
Gruffanuff, and widow of the late Jenkins Gruffanuff, Esq."

"H'm," says the Archbishop, "the document is certainly a--a

"Phoo!" says the Lord Chancellor, "the signature is not in his
Majesty's handwriting." Indeed, since his studies at Bosforo,
Giglio had made an immense improvement in caligraphy.

"Is it your handwriting, Giglio?" cries the Fairy Blackstick, with
an awful severity of countenance.

"Y--y--y--es," poor Giglio gasps out, "I had quite forgotten the
confounded paper: she can't mean to hold me by it. You old wretch,
what will you take to let me off? Help the Queen, some one--her
Majesty has fainted."

"Chop her head off!" } exclaim the impetuous Hedzoff,
"Smother the old witch!" } the ardent Smith, and the
"Pitch her into the river!"} faithful Jones.

But Gruffanuff flung her arms round the Archbishop's neck, and
bellowed out, "Justice, justice, my Lord Chancellor!" so loudly,
that her piercing shrieks caused everybody to pause. As for
Rosalba, she was borne away lifeless by her ladies; and you may
imagine the look of agony which Giglio cast towards that lovely
being, as his hope, his joy, his darling, his all in all, was thus
removed, and in her place the horrid old Gruffanuff rushed up to
his side, and once more shrieked out, "Justice, justice!"

"Won't you take that sum of money which Glumboso hid?" says Giglio;
"two hundred and eighteen thousand millions, or thereabouts. It's
a handsome sum."

"I will have that and you too!" says Gruffanuff.

"Let us throw the crown jewels into the bargain," gasps out Giglio.

"I will wear them by my Giglio's side!" says Gruffanuff.

"Will half, three-quarters, five-sixths, nineteen-twentieths, of my
kingdom do, Countess?" asks the trembling monarch.

"What were all Europe to me without YOU, my Giglio?" cries Gruff,
kissing his hand.

"I won't, I can't, I shan't,--I'll resign the crown first," shouts
Giglio, tearing away his hand; but Gruff clung to it.

"I have a competency, my love," she says, "and with thee and a
cottage thy Barbara will be happy."

Giglio was half mad with rage by this time. "I will not marry
her," says he. "Oh, Fairy, Fairy, give me counsel?" And as he
spoke he looked wildly round at the severe face of the Fairy

"'Why is Fairy Blackstick always advising me, and warning me to
keep my word? Does she suppose that I am not a man of honor?'"
said the Fairy, quoting Giglio's own haughty words. He quailed
under the brightness of her eyes; he felt that there was no escape
for him from that awful inquisition.

"Well, Archbishop," said he in a dreadful voice, that made his
Grace start, "since this Fairy has led me to the height of
happiness but to dash me down into the depths of despair, since I
am to lose Rosalba, let me at least keep my honor. Get up,
Countess, and let us be married; I can keep my word, but I can die

"Oh, dear Giglio," cries Gruffanuff, skipping up, "I knew, I knew I
could trust thee--I knew that my Prince was the soul of honor.
Jump into your carriages, ladies and gentlemen, and let us go to
church at once; and as for dying, dear Giglio, no, no:--thou wilt
forget that insignificant little chambermaid of a Queen--thou wilt
live to be consoled by thy Barbara! She wishes to be a Queen, and
not a Queen Dowager, my gracious Lord!" And hanging upon poor
Giglio's arm, and leering and grinning in his face in the most
disgusting manner, this old wretch tripped off in her white satin
shoes, and jumped into the very carriage which had been got ready
to convey Giglio and Rosalba to church. The cannons roared again,
the bells pealed triple-bobmajors, the people came out flinging
flowers upon the path of the royal bride and bridegroom, and Gruff
looked out of the gilt coach window and bowed and grinned to them.
Phoo! the horrid old wretch!


The many ups and downs of her life had given the Princess Rosalba
prodigious strength of mind, and that highly principled young woman
presently recovered from her fainting-fit, out of which Fairy
Blackstick, by a precious essence which the Fairy always carried in
her pocket, awakened her. Instead of tearing her hair, crying, and
bemoaning herself, and fainting again, as many young women would
have done, Rosalba remembered that she owed an example of firmness
to her subjects; and though she loved Giglio more than her life,
was determined, as she told the Fairy, not to interfere between him
and justice, or to cause him to break his royal word.

"I cannot marry him, but I shall love him always," says she to
Blackstick; "I will go and be present at his marriage with the
Countess, and sign the book, and wish them happy with all my heart.
I will see, when I get home, whether I cannot make the new Queen
some handsome presents. The Crim Tartary crown diamonds are
uncommonly fine, and I shall never have any use for them. I will
live and die unmarried like Queen Elizabeth, and, of course, I
shall leave my crown to Giglio when I quit this world. Let us go
and see them married, my dear Fairy, let me say one last farewell
to him; and then, if you please, I will return to my own dominions."

So the Fairy kissed Rosalba with peculiar tenderness, and at once
changed her wand into a very comfortable coach-and-four, with a
steady coachman, and two respectable footmen behind, and the Fairy
and Rosalba got into the coach, which Angelica and Bulbo entered
after them. As for honest Bulbo, he was blubbering in the most
pathetic manner, quite overcome by Rosalba's misfortune. She was
touched by the honest fellow's sympathy, promised to restore to him
the confiscated estates of Duke Padella his father, and created
him, as he sat there in the coach, Prince, Highness, and First
Grandee of the Crim Tartar Empire. The coach moved on, and, being
a fairy coach, soon came up with the bridal procession.

Before the ceremony at church it was the custom in Paflagonia, as
it is in other countries, for the bride and bridegroom to sign the
Contract of Marriage, which was to be witnessed by the Chancellor,
Minister, Lord Mayor, and principal officers of state. Now, as the
royal palace was being painted and furnished anew, it was not ready
for the reception of the King and his bride, who proposed at first
to take up their residence at the Prince's palace, that one which
Valoroso occupied when Angelica was born, and before he usurped the

So the marriage party drove up to the palace: the dignitaries got
out of their carriages and stood aside: poor Rosalba stepped out of
her coach, supported by Bulbo, and stood almost fainting up against
the railings so as to have a last look of her dear Giglio. As for
Blackstick, she, according to her custom, had flown out of the
coach window in some inscrutable manner, and was now standing at
the palace door.

Giglio came up the steps with his horrible bride on his arm,
looking as pale as if he was going to execution. He only frowned
at the Fairy Blackstick--he was angry with her, and thought she
came to insult his misery.

"Get out of the way, pray," says Gruffanuff haughtily. "I wonder
why you are always poking your nose into other people's affairs?"

"Are you determined to make this poor young man unhappy?" says

"To marry him, yes! What business is it of yours? Pray, madam,
don't say 'you' to a Queen," cries Gruffanuff.

"You won't take the money he offered you?"


"You won't let him off his bargain, though you know you cheated him
when you made him sign the paper?"

"Impudence! Policemen, remove this woman!" cries Gruffanuff. And
the policemen were rushing forward, but with a wave of her wand the
Fairy struck them all like so many statues in their places.

"You won't take anything in exchange for your bond, Mrs. Gruffanuff,"
cries the Fairy, with awful severity. "I speak for the last time."

"No!" shrieks Gruffanuff, stamping with her foot. "I'll have my
husband, my husband, my husband!"

"YOU SHALL HAVE YOUR HUSBAND!" the Fairy Blackstick cried; and
advancing a step, laid her hand upon the nose of the KNOCKER.

As she touched it, the brass nose seemed to elongate, the open
mouth opened still wider, and uttered a roar which made everybody
start. The eyes rolled wildly; the arms and legs uncurled
themselves, writhed about, and seemed to lengthen with each twist;
the knocker expanded into a figure in yellow livery, six feet high;
the screws by which it was fixed to the door unloosed themselves,
and JENKINS GRUFFANUFF once more trod the threshold off which he
had been lifted more than twenty years ago!

"Master's not at home," says Jenkins, just in his old voice; and
Mrs. Jenkins, giving a dreadful YOUP, fell down in a fit, in which
nobody minded her.

For everybody was shouting, "Huzzay! huzzay!" "Hip, hip, hurray!"
"Long live the King and Queen!" "Were such things ever seen?"
"No, never, never, never!" "The Fairy Blackstick for ever!"

The bells were ringing double peals, the guns roaring and banging
most prodigiously. Bulbo was embracing everybody; the Lord
Chancellor was flinging up his wig and shouting like a madman;
Hedzoff had got the Archbishop round the waist, and they were
dancing a jig for joy; and as for Giglio, I leave you to imagine
what HE was doing, and if he kissed Rosalba once, twice--twenty
thousand times, I'm sure I don't think he was wrong.

So Gruffanuff opened the hall door with a low bow, just as he had
been accustomed to do, and they all went in and signed the book,
and then they went to church and were married, and the Fairy
Blackstick sailed away on her cane, and was never more heard of in

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