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ZJe itorv of a Vrince toitdj a Court in bis Box
ELEANOR PUTNAM AND ARLO BATES
ILLUSTRATED BY FRANK IMYRICK
BY ARLO BATES.
N WILSON AND S, lCARIGE, U.rS. :
JOHN WILSON AND SON, CASIBRIDGE, U.S.A.
TO THE BOY ORIC
Dear son, this twisted, tangled web of whims
For you was woven while you scarcely knew
The simplest speech men use ; but infant limbs,
That round and smooth in dimpled fairness grcw,
Waved for all word in a babe's perfect glee,
So wondrous sweet to see.
It is not stranger than this world must seem
To one who its vagaries first does scan ;
It is less weird than the enchanted dream
Which life may change to ere you be a man.
Such as it is, take it for this alone, -
That it is all your own.
Those who together wrought its colors gay,
And its fantastic warp and woof entwined,
May not again for you in work or play
Together labor. Yet the loving mind
In which they then were one will still be one
Till life and sense be done.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE FAIRY COPETTA AND THE PRINCE Froiontisjiece
INITIAL: Chapter I . .. ....... s15
INITIAL: Chapter II .. . 20
"' Come,' he said to the Prince, in rather an injured tone 21
"He picked up the poor tutor, and putting him on the
window-sill laughed at him . 24
TAILPIECE: It is in here,' the Blue Wizard said, holding
out a pretty gold bonbon box'' . .25
INITIAL: Chapter III . . . 26
THE ROYAL TABLE, WITH THE COURT SHRINKING 27
"'Oh, as to that,' the Blue Wizard answered carelessly, giving
the King in turn a bath in the finger-bowl" .. 31
TAILPIECE : "He seated his royal mother on the top of the
sugar-bowl" . . .. . 33
INITIAL: Chapter IV ........... 34
TAILPIECE: THE HISSING SWANS. . ..... 40
LIST OF ILL USTRA TONS. 13
"' I should not wonder, now,' she said, 'if my husband
would give these things to me ; they are too small to be
of any use except as seasoning ". . .... 90
INITIAL: Chapter XI . ... .. 93
INITIAL: Chapter XII... . . .. 97
" There !' she exclaimed, as she held it toward him, there
it is ; and good enough eating for a royal prince 99
"'But,' asked the Prince, 'does nobody know anything?
Has nobody any sense?'" . . .Io1
TAILPIECE: "'Why don't you catch me ?'". ... o104
INITIAL: Chapter XIII... . . 05
"Now that at last he was standing still, the Prince perceived
his nose was of a most peculiar and curious fashion 107
"'Simply a sort of slow-match; grows in the daytime as
much as it burns away at night' ". o
INITIAL: Chapter XIV . .. .. 112
AT THE FUNNY MAN'S TABLE . . 113
INITIAL: Chapter XV ... . 118
"The monkey, looking up, wiped its eyes upon a small lace
handkerchief, which was already quite damp enough 121
TAILPIECE: At this the monkey wept so violently" 125
INITIAL: Chapter XVI.. . 126
"He was a good-natured-looking old man; but his head, body,
arms, and legs, even his features, were twisted .127
14 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
INITIAL: Chapter XVII .... . .130
" The Prince took the spade and began to dig, though not
very hopefully" .... ......... 134
THE WIZARD MAKING A CAT'S-CRADLE. . ... 137
INITIAL: Chapter XVIII . . .... 140
"' Don't quibble retorted the cat, sharply" . 143
INITIAL: Chapter XIX .. . 146
"As the last stroke of twelve ceased, out stepped the Fairy
Copetta".. .. . . 148
T was certainly not strange that Prince
SVance was so stupefied with astonishment
that he sat for a full half-hour foolishly
;*1j3 staring before him, without an effort to
move a muscle or to stir from his seat.
Indeed, it is probable that any other prince
in the same circumstances would have been equally
struck dumb with amazement,- as any one may see
who will attend while I go back to the beginning,
and relate what had happened.
By the beginning is meant the birth of Prince Vance,
when the powerful fairy Copetta had been chosen his
godmother, since which time she certainly had not
devoted herself to being agreeable to the Prince. She
16 PRINCE VANCE.
had insisted, for instance, that her godson should pay
attention to his lessons; that he should show respect
to his tutors; and, what was most outrageous of all,
that he, Prince Vance, only son of his parents and sole
heir to the kingdom, should learn to obey. She had
coolly informed her godson, moreover, that if he did
not obey her willingly, it would certainly be the worse
for him; since learn he must, by harsh means, if no
others would move him.
All this seemed to Vance a most unpleasant and un-
reasonable sort of talk, and, as may be imagined, it did
not increase his love for his godmother. So things had
gone on from bad to worse between them until Vance
was a fine, lusty lad beginning his teens, when one day
the Blue Wizard came to court.
Vance had been having a remarkably unpleasant
scene with his godmother that morning. She had come
popping into the school-room, in a disagreeable way she
had of appearing when she was least expected; and,
of course, nothing would do but she must come at the
exact moment when the Prince was engaged in boxing
PRINCE VA-VCE. 17
his tutor's ears (without boxing-gloves), because the
poor old man wanted him to learn the boundaries of
what would some day be his own kingdom.
"You shall see the boundaries by travelling over
them all on foot," the fairy had said crossly. You are
growing up idle, selfish, and disobedient; a shame to
your godmother and a disgrace to your family. You
will be associating with the Blue Wizard next, I dare
Yes, so I will," the Prince answered stubbornly; for
though he really had never heard of the Blue Wizard
before, he would have said anything just then to vex
his godmother, -" so I will. I should like to see him.
I really wish he would come this very day!"
"As for me, you evil boy! Copetta said, more
angrily yet, striking her cane sharply upon the ground,
" you shall want me badly enough before you find me,
I promise you; and sorrow shall have made you wiser
before you look upon my face again."
Not that I shall miss you much, with your scoldings
and fault-findings! replied the saucy Prince; and as
18 PRINCE VAVCE.
she vanished before his eyes, according to her startling
custom, he began shying his books at the head of his
tutor, to the great discomfort of that unhappy man,
who thought that his lot in life was indeed a sad one,
and wished himself a wood-cutter in the royal forest,
or indeed anything rather than what he was.
When his pile of books was quite gone, and the
blackboard erasers, the bits of crayon, and the pointer
had been thrown after them, the Prince put his hands
in his pockets and lounged to the window, whistling a
tune he had caught from a hand-organ. His twelve
younger sisters were just coming into the courtyard,
two by two, returning from taking their morning airing
with their governesses. The Princesses were quite as
good as the Prince was bad, and there could certainly
have been no prettier sight than that of the twelve
royal little girls walking along so properly and primly.
Each had a green velvet pelisse, a neat Leghorn bonnet,
and a green fringed parasol; each wore nice buff mitts
and a good-tempered smile, and each had a complexion
like pink and white ice-cream, and eyes like pretty blue
PRINCE VANCE. 19
beads. It was therefore very naughty indeed of Prince
Vance to shout Boh! so loudly that each Princess
started and hopped quite one foot from the ground,
and even the governesses put their hands to their
hearts. This, however, gave much joy to the Prince;
and after his sisters had disappeared he stood by the
window still whistling, with his hands in his pockets
and a wicked grin on his face.
"Your Royal Highness," began the tutor, meekly,
" your Highness really must not put your Highness's
hands in your Highness's trousers pockets, and whis-
tle that dreadful tune. If her Royal Highness the
Queen should hear you, she would certainly have me
"Why should I care for that?" asked the Prince,
carelessly; and just at that moment he caught sight
of the Blue Wizard himself coming into the court
SHATEVER else might be said of the Blue
y Wizard, nobody would ever think of call-
-.'.( ing him a beauty. His nose and his chin
were long and pointed, his eyebrows big
and bushy, his teeth sharp and protruding
From his mouth; and everything about him -
skin, hair, teeth, and dress -was as blue as a sky on a
June afternoon when not a cloud is to be seen. He
had, too, a way of perking his head about, which was
most unsettling to the nerves; twitching and twisting it
constantly from side to side, like a toy mandarin. He
came boldly into the courtyard of the palace, quite as if
the whole place belonged to him; and catching sight
of Prince Vance at the window above, he raised one
finger, long and skinny and blue as a larkspur blos-
som, and beckoned for him to come down.
The Prince hesitated. Certainly the Blue Wizard
PRINCE VANCE. 21
was not so charming in his looks as to make one wish
to get any nearer to him, but Vance happened to re-
member that his godmother
had seemed to disapprove ..'
most highly of this ,
very wizard; so 1 '
with an idea ,14.
.. ,' I th,'I ,,\,. / ,
S,, .- _i
.-- Copetta, the Prince obeyed
the beckoning finger and went down.
At a nearer view the Wizard looked even uglier than
from a distance. His very lips were blue, and when he
opened his mouth his tongue was seen to be blue also.
22 PRINCE VANCE.
Come," he said to the Prince, in rather an injured
tone, you keep me waiting long enough, I hope, when
I only came to teach you a droll trick."
"That is good," answered Vance, growing interested
at once. I do like droll tricks. What is it?"
It is in here," the Blue Wizard said, holding out a
pretty gold bonbon box. "Just make anybody eat
one of these, and then you shall see what you shall
The Prince took the box in his hand and opened his
lips to ask another question; but before he could speak
a single word the Blue Wizard had vanished quite away,
and he stood alone.
He went slowly and thoughtfully upstairs, wondering
what the trick could be.
"I '11 try it on the tutor first," he concluded, "because
I 'm sure I don't care what happens to him, and I really
must know what the droll trick is."
So he went smilingly up to his tutor and offered the
open box; and the simple old gentleman, suspecting
nothing, bowed and simpered at the great honor his
PRINCE VANCE. 23
Royal Highness did him, and quickly swallowed one of
the little bonbons.
And this is what happened. Pouf! The unfortunate
tutor shut up like a crush-hat, and shrunk together until
he was as short as a pygmy and as plump as a mush-
room. Really one might just as well have no tutor at
all as to have one so tiny. How Prince Vance did
laugh! Of all the wizards he had ever known--and
for one so young his Highness had known a great many
wizards; he almost always met more or less of them
when he played truant by climbing out of a back win-
dow and going into the woods fishing-- he thought the
Blue Wizard was the most amusing and had invented
the very drollest trick.
Dear me, your Highness said the poor tutor, in
so tiny a voice that it was quite all the Prince could do
to hear him. Dear me! what is the matter? I cer-
tainly feel very queer; I do, indeed."
"You look even queerer than you feel, I fancy,"
replied the naughty Prince, chuckling with glee.
He picked up the poor tutor, and putting him on the
24 PRINCE VAANCE.
window-sill laughed at him till his sides were fairly sore.
Then he began to consider how he could get the most
fun and make the most mischief out of his bonbons,
4 '- I lF
for there were not a great many of them; and, being
a shrewd young rascal, he at last contrived the plan of
putting them into the ice-cream which was then being
frozen for the royal dinner. Then everybody would be
PRINCE VAiNCE. 25
sure to get a taste at least of the magic potion; and
slipping down into the kitchen, the wicked young
Prince succeeded in carrying out this evil and dan-
,VERYBODY looked at the Prince when
S at dinner he declined ice-cream. It was
unheard of. Nobody had ever known
'- hshim to do such a thing before. The
twelve young Princesses, though much too
well bred to remark upon it, stared at their
brother with their twenty-four beady blue eyes, and
made their twelve little mouths as round as penny
pieces in their surprise.
Now the King, being fond of ice-cream, happened
to eat quite steadily for some moments without stop-
ping; so that when he did look up he beheld his Queen
already shrunk to the size of a teaspoon, and every
moment growing smaller.
My dear," said he, gravely, really I don't think
you ought, -before the children too; just consider
what a bad example you are setting them."
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PRINCE VANCE. 29
I'm sure, Sire," replied the Queen, rather crossly,
for the sudden shrinking had given her quite a giddy
feeling, "I 'm sure I cannot imagine what you are
talking about. Bad example, indeed! You had better
be looking to your own behavior. What the children
will think of you for growing so very small, I'm sure
I cannot imagine."
At this moment the royal pair looked about on their
daughters. They were about the size of lucifer
matches! They ran their eyes down the long table;
every person there was a pygmy.
Horror and fear filled every mind save that of
Prince Vance. He nearly went wild with joy over the
great success of his trick. He had, it is true, run out
of the dining-hall at first, from his old habit of starting
off whenever he had performed any of his abominable
jokes; but he soon ventured to come back again, and
round and round the table he went, laughing as if he
would kill himself at the tiny people sprawling help-
lessly in their big chairs.
The Prince helped himself to fruit and cakes and
30 PoRIAvCE VANCE.
bonbons from the table. He seated his royal mother
on top of the sugar-bowl, and put the poor old King in
the salt-cellar. As for the Lord Chancellor, whom he
especially hated, Vance dumped the bewigged old fop
into the pepper-box, where he would really have
sneezed himself to death in another minute, had not
the Blue Wizard fortunately appeared and given the
unhappy man a sudden bath in a finger-bowl.
It worked well, did n't it? the Blue Wizard ob-
served with a grin, as he put the Lord Chancellor, very
white and limp, on the window-seat to dry in the sun.
Oh, awfully well! Vance replied briskly, although
secretly he was more than a little afraid of this par-
ticular wizard, who seemed to be much more sudden
in his way of appearing and disappearing than the
common sort of wizards to which the Prince was
The worst of it is," remarked the Wizard, thought-
fully, pulling his bushy eyebrows with his long blue
Fingers, you can't change 'em back."
"What! exclaimed the Prince, in his confusion
PRINCE VANCE. 31
dropping his father into the pudding sauce and entirely
ruining the royal robes. Can't change them back?
But you must change them back if I tell you to."
.4 'II W
''y '_ ll .- -
Oh, as to that," the Blue Wizard answered care-
lessly, giving the king in turn a bath in the finger-bowl,
" what you say is n't of the least consequence any way.
In the first place, no wizard is bound to obey anybody
who does not himself know how to obey; and in the
32 PRINCE VANCE.
second place, nobody can undo this particular charm
but the Crushed Strawberry Wizard."
"Very well, then," said Vance, imperiously, paying no
attention whatever to the first part of the Blue Wizard's
remark; go and get the Crushed Strawberry Wizard."
Get him yourself! was the answer. I don't want
him. It is nothing to me, you know; this is n't my
But where does the Crushed Strawberry Wizard
live? asked the Prince, more humbly.
I'm sure I've no idea," the Blue \izard replied
lightly; and now I think of it, I don't believe I care.
I 'm sure I don't see why I should."
But it's all your fault," blubbered Vance, beginning
to cry, and sitting down upon his uncle, the Duke Ogee,
without even noticing him till the Duke wriggled so
that Vance jumped up in a fright, thinking he had sat
down upon a frog. I 'm sure you got me into the
"Now you 're getting tiresome," said the Wizard,
yawning. I never liked tiresome people myself."
PRINCE VANCE. 33
"But I don't know what to do-oo!" sobbed the
At this the Wizard only gave a terrible laugh and
vanished quite away again, leaving the naughty young
Prince to get out of his trouble as best he could.
-' OR a few moments Prince Vance contin-
ued to cry rather noisily, though it must
('b' e confessed that it was more because he
was so vexed at the Blue Wizard than
S because he was at all sorry for what he had
done. Indeed, he did not even now realize
'!tat the trick was likely to turn out a very
serious thing; and after a while he dried his
eyes, and having collected his wits proceeded
to collect also all the little people and put them
together at one end of the royal dining-table.
They made such a pretty sight, with their little court
robes and tiny jewels, that Vance was charmed with
them and declared them to be more interesting than
white mice or even guinea pigs. He could hear them,
too, if he listened very closely indeed, quarrelling and
blaming one another for what had befallen them; and
PRIVCE1 VAN'CE. 35
this was so vastly funny to the wicked Prince that he
rubbed his hands and fairly danced again with glee. It
was only when the palace cat, pouncing upon the Lord
Chancellor as he lay upon the window-sill, snatched him
and carried him off in her mouth, that Vance began to
be a little frightened, and to realize that, having made
the whole family unable to protect themselves, it had
now become his duty to care for them and see that
they came to no harm. I-e just managed to save the
Lord Chancellor from the lantern jaws of the royal cat,
and then proceeded at once to set his small family in
safe places for the night. Some he put in the crystal
lily-cups of the chandeliers; others in the crannies of
the golden mouldings on the wall; while for the King
and Queen and the twelve little Princesses, he found a
lovely chamber in a pink porcelain shell which hung
from the ceiling by silver chains, and was commonly
used for the burning of perfumes and spices to make
the air of the dining-hall sweet and delightful. All this
being attended to, the Prince betook himself to bed;
but the palace seemed very lonely and silent, and the
36 PRINCE VANCE.
Prince was so dull and so frightened that he might not
have gone to sleep at all, save for the cheering thought
that at least there was no danger of lessons on the
morrow, as the tutor was too small to teach, and his
father and mother far too little to make him obey.
I will go to the preserve closets," he murmured to
himself as he was dropping off to sleep. "There is
now nobody to stop me.' I shall begin with the dam-
sons and the honey in the morning, and I shall have all
the wedding cake and macaroons that I can possibly
But, alas for the Prince! when morning came he
found that affairs were turning out differently indeed
from the way in which he had planned. When he came
down to breakfast, with his foolish head full of visions
of ordering the cook to send up pigeon pot-pie, curry
of larks, strong coffee, which was a forbidden delight
to the Prince except upon his birthdays, and un-
limited buttered toast and jam, what a downfall to all
his hopes was it to find, pacing the dining-hall, the
fierce and cruel General Bopi, who, luckily for himself,
PRINCE VANCE. 37
had been out hunting the day before, and so missed the
fatal dinner, and was still quite as large as life if not
larger. He had discovered the state of affairs at the
palace; and so far from making himself unhappy about
this, he was evidently in great good spirits, and, to say
the least, was disposed to make the best of matters
instead of the worst. He had put on the King's very
best crown which was kept to be worn only on great
occasions, and with a cloak of royal ermine on his
shoulders was strutting boldly up and down, enjoying
his new splendors and the feeling of power which they
How it happened Vance never was quite able to tell,
but the first thing he knew, his dreams of having his
own way and ordering the servants about to his heart's
content were shattered, and he found himself somehow
pushed and hustled outside on the palace steps, him-
self, the Prince, and heir to the royal throne, turned
away from his own door and ordered to leave the
kingdom on pain of death.
But my family !" cried Vance; "I hid them from
38 PRINCE 4VNCE.
the cat, and now they will starve. Nobody can find
them but me! "
"As for their starving," the General replied indiffer-
ently, I don't know that I care for that; but I would
rather the palace should be rid of the whole vermin race
of them, so you may come in and gather them up. But
be quick about it, or I '11 set the royal bloodhounds on
Thus roughly treated, the poor Prince made haste to
collect his scattered family from the nooks and crannies
where he had hidden them. He was cramming them
into his pockets with very little thought for their feel-
ings, when he happened to remember his sister's baby-
house, which not only had parlors, bedrooms, and
dining-rooms in plenty, but was well furnished with
everything which the heart of little people could desire.
This he begged very humbly of the new king, and
having it granted him he packed his family into it.
making them as comfortable as their reduced circum-
stances would allow. A grinning footman strapped
the box on the back of the Prince as an organ-grinder
PRINCE VANCE. 39
carries his organ; then he helped him out of the palace
with a sudden push which had nearly sent him headlong
down the steps. Laughing pages ran before him, and
the Prince recalled the many times he had tweaked their
noses and stuck pins in the calves of their legs. Every-
body seemed heartily glad to see him go.
Good riddance to bad rubbish! quoth the palace
hound; "you will never again put my meat up a tree
where I cannot get it."
Get out with you snapped the royal cat. I 'm
glad you are turned out of the house. Let us'hope a
body can take a nap in comfort now, without having
her tail stepped on or snuff sprinkled in her face."
Don't trouble yourself ever to come back," screeched
the peacock, hoarsely. For my part, I'm tired of
having my handsomest tail-feathers snatched out by
the handful. I'm sure I trust I shall never set eyes
on you again."
So it was with all the animals in the royal gardens.
The deer, the emus, the gazelles, the swans, the flamin-
goes, the parrots, even his own particular white mice
40 PRINCE VAYNCE.
and spotted guinea pigs, declared that they were glad
he was going, and hoped he might never come back any
more. Not a creature did anything but rejoice as the
royal beggar was tumbled rudely out from his own
father's gardens and left standing alone in the highway,
already heartily sorry for his prank, and quite at his
wits' end as to what to do with the Court which he
carried in his baggage.
SONSIDERING that Prince Vance had
never done anything at all for himself,
'4 not even so much as to tie his own shoe-
strings, it was a pretty hard lot for him
to be turned out into the world to get his
S:.wn living, and take care of the whole Court
rf besides. At first he was almost tempted to
throw away the box and all his relatives with
it; but although of course he could not be expected
to think so much of his father and mother now that
there was so very little of them to be fond of, still
under all his follies Vance had a good sort of heart, and
so he trudged away with the troublesome little Court
strapped tightly to his shoulders. I am not perfectly
sure that he did not take some pleasure in jolting it
about, for I have more than once seen little folk bang
and jerk bundles they were made to carry against their
42 PRICE VANCE.
wills. At any rate, the King and the Queen and the
Court came very near being seasick upon dry land, from
the jolting and rocking of this new manner of travelling.
Prince Vance had not the least idea where he was
going. He knew, of course, that he wanted to find the
Crushed Strawberry Wizard, but he did not know where
that individual lived, or how to go to work to find
him; so he only made his best pace to get away from
the palace as fast as he could, being afraid that the new
king might repent of not having taken his head from his
shoulders, and send somebody after him.
It was about sunset when he came to a beautiful field
which lay along the banks of a wide dark river; and
Vance, who by this time was half starved, was delighted
that wild strawberries grew here in great plenty, making
the ground quite red. He first looked about for some-
body to pick them for him, but naturally he found no
one; so he set down his luggage and fell to helping
himself, eating very fast and paying very little attention
to the rules of good society.
It was not until he had stuffed himself to the throat
PRINCE VANCE. 43
that he happened to think that his travelling companions
might also be hungry. He opened the box and let
them out, and found much pleasure in watching their
funny antics as they stumbled over tiny pebbles or be-
came entangled in the grass and struggled helplessly as
if caught in some horrible thicket. Two or three would
seat themselves around one ripe berry, and dine from it
where it was growing; others drank drops of the even-
ing dew, which already shone in the clover leaves and
buttercups; while the Lord Chancellor, who seemed to
be always getting into trouble, picked some sort of
quarrel with a large green grasshopper,- and so ter-
rible did the battle become that there is no telling
who would have come out of it alive had not Vance
gone to the poor Lord's help and frightened the insect
Under all these trying circumstances the poor nobles
kept something of their court manners; and their smiles
and stately movements, their bowings and courtesies,
seemed to Prince Vance so droll that he went into
violent fits of laughter and rolled about on the grass.
44 PRINCE VANICE.
As it grew dark he did indeed stop laughing and think
longingly of his soft bed with its silken pillows and
down coverings, but in truth he was so tired he could
hardly keep his eyes open at all; and as soon as he
had picked his small relatives and friends out of the
damp grass and put them safely into their box, he lay
down under a spreading beech-tree and fell into a sound
and delicious sleep.
The morning found the Prince somewhat refreshed
PRINCE VANCE. 45
and gave him a fresh determination. He resolved to
set out at once on the search for the Crushed Straw-
berry Wizard, leaving no means untried until he dis-
covered him and prevailed upon him to change the
transformed Court to its former condition. He shoul-
dered his box and started bravely on the road, not
knowing at all where he was going, and already be-
ginning to regret that he had not paid to his lessons
at least sufficient attention to have learned in which
direction his own kingdom extended.
He had walked an hour or two when he saw by the
roadside a man engaged in gathering the down from
the tall thistles that grew by the way.
Hallo cried the Prince; what do you expect
to do with that?"
Beds," answered the man, shortly, and without
stopping his work.
Oh Vance said, seating himself on a stone and
putting down his box beside him. "You make beds
of it, do you? They must be very soft."
"Dandelion," replied the man.
46 PRINCE VANCE.
"Dandelion? repeated the Prince. That does n't
The man nodded his head in a knowing way, but said
nothing. He was a strange-looking individual, with
J, R /I ",,
V ".r ., .- I
clothing which was made of all sorts of odds and ends
pieced together; while so lean and wizened was he that
it made the Prince hungry only to look at him.
Do you mean that dandelion down makes better
Do you mean that dandelion down makes better
PIA'ICE VAiVNCE 47
beds? asked Vance, whose wits were being sharpened
by his travels.
The other nodded.
Then why in the world could n't you say so? You
are not dumb."
Breath," returned the little thin man, briefly.
He moved from the bunch of thistles which he had
stripped to the next, turning as lie did so and carefully
picking up his footprints to use over again and save
himself the trouble of making new ones.
SYou are certainly the most economical man I ever
saw," declared the Prince, irritably. I would n't be so
mean with my old footprints; nobody else would bother
to pick them up. And as for breath, you might spare
a little more of that; it does n't cost anything."
The man paid, no especial attention to these rather
uncivil remarks, but went on in his work with great
"Do talk a little!" Vance said, becoming more and
more impatient every moment. At least you can tell
me how to find the Crushed Strawberry Wizard? "
48 PRINCE VANCE.
"Why? asked the man, with the first show of in-
terest he had displayed.
I 'm going in search of him."
Would n't," was the little man's reply.
"Why not? "
Dreadfully wearing on shoes," the other answered.
Then he stopped and collected the breath which he
had used in this speech, -for him a very long one,-
and went on steadily picking thistledown.
But I must find him," Vance persisted, vexed anew
at this reply; where does he live?"
Don't know," said the thistledown-gatherer, shortly.
Vance arose from the stone with an impatient flounce,
and took up his box so suddenly that the teeth of all
the Court chattered.
"Well," he said snappishly, you are certainly the
stingiest man I ever saw. You can't even give away
a civil word."
Oh, no returned the old man, with an expression
of great astonishment. Never give anything away.
What will you give for your dolls?"
PRINCE VANCE. 49
Now, this question might sound like pure idiocy to
some people; but funnily enough it came into the head
of Vance that when he had been teasing those twelve
models of propriety, his sisters, a few days before, and
had made their blue bead-like eyes swim with tears by
taking away their playthings, he had used just those
very same words to them. He hung his head a little;
but still, determined to put a bold face on the matter,
Don't talk nonsense! Tell me the way to the
Crushed Strawberry Wizard's this minute !"
But, to his surprise, where the queer old man had
stood there was only a seedy black raven, very battered
and ragged, but with a remarkable pair of glittering red
MUST say," the raven remarked se-
verely, "that, considering the fact that
nobody invited you to come to this con-
S cert at all, and that you have no check
S, for a reserved seat, it would look better in
you to keep quiet and not disturb the enter-
Concert! exclaimed Vance, in bewilderment.
"There isn't any concert."
But there is going to be," returned the bird, more
severely than before. I'm going to sing myself.
First, I shall sing a love-song. Be quiet! "
And without further ado he began, in a terribly
hoarse and cracked voice, -
Bungalee, tee hee lees;
Tungatee tinum gee me strap,
Bring me a bottle of cheese."
PRINCE VANCE. 51
Oh, come," exclaimed the Prince, you must really
know that that is nonsense! It certainly means
i f ,,
, ,'' ,"
How do you know? demanded the raven, fixing
his glittering eye on the Prince. "' Do you understand
the language of love?"
52 PRINCE VANCE.
No," said Vance, more humbly; "I must confess
that I don't, though I've always heard it was very silly."
"Speaking of the boundaries of a king- the
raven began easily; but the Prince interrupted in great
Nobody was speaking of boundaries," he said
sharply; "you made that up yourself."
"-dom," resumed the raven, calmly, paying no
sort of attention to the interruption of the Prince, but
cocking his head on one side and looking wickedly out
of one eye, they are very useful to know, and there
are various ways of learning them. Some people learn
them in the school room; that's one way: some travel;
But before he could get any farther Vance had
caught up a stone and flung it at him. With a terrible
croaking the raven flew up into the air in circles higher
and higher until he vanished straight overhead.
Ten to one that was Godmother herself," grumbled
Vance, as he picked up his box and started again along
the dusty road.
PRINCE VANCE. 53
All the rest of the day he travelled, growing more
and more weary, until at sunset he came to a very old
woman sitting beside a great tree upon the river's bank.
Hallo cried Vance, not too politely.
The wrinkled old creature looked at the river, at the
tree, at the sky,-everywhere, in a word, except at the
Come! he said more roughly yet, why don't you
speak when you are spoken to? Do you know .who
The aged crone wrinkled her forehead and lifted her
grizzled eyebrows, still without looking at him.
No," she answered coolly, I don't know that I
do. You look like a boot-black with that box on
your shoulders, only that a boot-black would be more
An angry retort sprang to the lips of the Prince,
but before he could give vent to it a terrible little shrill
sound from the box struck his ears. In sudden dismay
he unslung the baby-house, and opened it to discover
what was the matter with his family.
54 PRINCE VANCE.
In the middle of the floor of the largest room of the
baby-house were all the Court, gathered about the old
King, who had fallen in a faint from hunger.
He is starved! cried the Queen, in a piercing wee
voice of anguish.
"I am starving myself! roared the Lord Cham-
berlain, in a keen though tiny roar.
We are all starving! shrieked the whole Court, in
voices more or less audible.
Well," Vance said, looking at the affliction of the
little people, I must say this is extremely disagreeable
of them all to be starving. They always are starving."
Very," the old woman echoed, with a sneering
As she spoke, she took from beneath her faded cloak
a basket in which were delicate white cakes, fruits, and
honey. These she began to eat with great relish, ap-
parently not at all interested in the Prince or his
"Come, now," cried he, give me some of that!
My Court is half dead."
PRINCE VA ACE. 55
"Really?" she returned, coolly munching away.
Yes," shouted Vance, vainly attempting to snatch
something from the well-filled basket, and I must
have a cake to feed them on."
The old lady made no resistance, but only flitted up
like a bird, in some unaccountable way, to a limb of a
tree, where she sat eating as placidly as ever.
Goodness! said poor Vance, startled half out of
his wits, are you Godmother too? You shy about
just like her."
She is a friend of mine," answered the old woman.
"I know all about you, too, for that matter."
There was nothing left for Vance but to beg for pity,
and at last the strange creature threw him down half
a small cake.
There's plenty for your family."
Vance provided for his little people, and then
began humbly to beg for a few morsels for himself.
"Wait," said the woman on the bough overhead,
" till I see what there is in the pantry."
She disappeared with great suddenness; but presently
56 PRINCE VANCE.
a little window opened in the side of the tree trunk,
from which the wrinkled old face looked out.
..,X :^ .;.., I t / i
Here are a few dry crusts from the closet," she
said. "You may have them. With a little honey I
think they will go very well."
PRICE VANCE. 57
She handed two or three mouldy scraps of bread
out as she spoke, which Vance took with as good grace
as he could muster.
"Where is the honey?" he asked, eying his crusts
Oh, I'll eat the honey while you eat the crusts,"
was the answer. "That is by far the best way to
"You are mean enough, I hope," he exclaimed
But, alas! at the word the crusts left his grasp and
appeared in the hand of the old woman.
"Oh, very well," she said, "just as you please!
You are not obliged to have them, of course."
Poor Vance was ready to cry with vexation and
hunger, and quite broke down at this last misfortune.
He begged so humbly for the crusts that at last the
queer old crone relented and gave them back; and
never did anything taste sweeter to him than these
dry and mouldy morsels of bread.
"VYou may sleep where you are," the woman said
58 PRINCE VANCE.
as he finished; and she closed the window with a slam,
leaving it impossible to say where it had been.
Oh, by the way," she cried, a moment later,
sticking her head through the bark of the tree, in a way
that looked very uncomfortable indeed, about those
boundaries, you know, and the Crushed Strawberry
Wizard, I was going to say But, no; on the
whole, it's no matter."
And once more she disappeared, not again to be
"I must say," muttered Prince Vance, "strange
things happen to me all the time."
And curling himself up on the moss, he fell fast
asleep from weariness.
,' HE morning sun shining into his eyes
7 AI. awakened him; and after looking about
.,'. carefully to assure himself that there was
S nothing to be had to eat in that place,
\- .Lnce shouldered his box and trudged along
the river's bank. It was a beautiful bright
morning; the birds were singing, the flowers were
opening to the light, and had it not been for a
constantly growing hunger, the young traveller might
have enjoyed his walk greatly. As it was, he soon
became so hungry that he could think of nothing
but eating. He went on, however, until about noon,
before he found any food; then to his great joy he
came upon a fine tree hanging full of ripe peaches,
rosy and plump as a baby's cheek.
60 PRINCE VANCE.
Now for a feast! he said eagerly to himself, as he
put down his box and prepared to gather a hatful of
the delicious fruit.
Just then he stumbled over something, and looking
down saw a man lying on the grass with his eyes shut
and his mouth open.
"Hallo!" exclaimed the Prince. "Who are you?
Are you awake or asleep?"
Awake," answered the man, without stirring.
Why don't you get up then? asked Vance. Are
you ill? "
No," replied the man, briefly.
And indeed he was as stout a fellow as one would
meet in a summer's day.
Then what are you doing? demanded the Prince,
who had lost all patience and who thought that the
other might at least take the trouble to open his eyes
to see who was talking to him.
"Waiting," the man said, opening his eyes at last.
Waiting for what? "
For a peach to drop into my mouth."
PRINCE VANCE. 61
"One has fallen beside your cheek," said Vance,
"and another right in your hand."
,, ". -
imy mouth" sighd
*' ) .. : .' "1 '
1,: ,*r, my mouth," sighed the
S ihan on the ground. "I
am so dreadfully hungry."
So dreadfully lazy you mean," exclaimed Vance,
62 PRINCE VANCE.
quite out of patience; and he began to eat the luscious
fruit. "You must certainly be the laziest man in the
If you think that," was the drawling answer, you
ought to see my cousin Loto, who lives down the river
a mile as the crow flies."
He 'll have to be lazy, indeed, to beat you," the
Prince said, as he once more shouldered his box.
" Do you know where the Crushed Strawberry Wizard
"I know," returned the man, "but I'm too lazy to
"It would n't take you any longer to tell than to say
you can't tell," cried Vance, hotly.
Perhaps not," was the cool retort; "but if I told it
would be doing something, and I never do anything."
The Prince started on his way without another word.
He did not even stop to put a peach into the lazy man's
open mouth, as he at first had some thought of doing.
He kept along beside the river for some time, and had
nearly forgotten the words of the lazy man about his
PRINCE VA NCGE. 63
cousin, when suddenly he came upon what to his horror
he at first supposed to be the body of some thief hang-
ing from a tree. As he got closer, however, he found
went tinder his arms. The man did not seem in the
least to mind being hung but looked quite calm and
,, .... '",, '
64 'PRINCE VANCE.
peaceful. A second man stood upon an overturned
bucket and blew into the mouth of the first with a pair
"What are you doing?" asked Vance curiously, as
he stopped beside them.
Why," replied the man with the bellows, "this fel-
low is too lazy to stand, so we have to hang him
up; and he is too lazy to breathe for himself, so
he pays me a groat a day to do it for him with the
I saw a man up the river who was too lazy to eat,"
observed Vance. I thought he was bad enough, but
this is surely the laziest man alive."
If you think that," the blower answered, you
should see his cousin Gobbo, who lives a mile farther
down the river as the crow flies."
At this Vance was reminded that nightfall was not
very far off, and once more he started on his way.
The man with the bellows jumped down from his
bucket and ran eagerly after him. He was a simple-
looking man, with a large and frog-like mouth.
PRINCE VANCE. 65
It creeps in the family," he whispered hoarsely to
What does? "
Laziness. If it were anything else, you know,
you'd say it ran in the family. But wait till you see
Just then he noticed that Loto was growing quite
limp and purple in the face for want of breath; so he
hastily scrambled back to his bucket, and once more
began to blow for dear life and a groat a day.
"By the way," asked Vance, halting, do you know
where the Crushed Strawberry Wizard lives? "
He knows," replied the blower, but you can't get
it out of him. He's too lazy to speak; so it's no
manner of use fretting about it."
With a sigh of weariness and disgust the royal way-
farer turned away and went on his journey. Just at
dusk he reached a small village, or rather a group of
poor little houses; and as he was about to knock at the
door of one to ask for shelter, he saw a procession
coming over the fields. There were a number of men
66 PRINCE VANCE.
with flaring torches, one or two with picks and spades,
while in the midst was carried a bier upon which lay a
man with his eyes wide open, staring straight ahead.
"What's all this?" the Prince asked of one who
seemed of some authority in the company.
"~We are going to bury Gobbo," replied the man.
"But he is n't dead yet," exclaimed Vance, quite
STrue," the man returned, in a matter-of-fact tone,
" but he does not care about living. I know, for he 's
PRINCE VANCE. 67
hired me to think for him these ten years. Now I 'm
tired of it, and so I think it's best to bury him; and of
course it's all the same as if he thought so himself."
Well," said Vance, who was beginning to grow
badly confused by the odd people he encountered, if
he does n't mind I 'm sure I don't know why I should.
But perhaps before he is buried he can tell me where
to find the Crushed Strawberry Wizard."
He won't take the trouble to remember," answered
the man, and I 'm sure I '11 do no more thinking
"Well," was the thought with which the unlucky
Vance consoled himself, it is something to have seen
the laziest man on earth."
-; E found an empty hut, in which was some
.- Ill mouldy straw; and there he passed the
night, sleeping as soundly as if he had
4. e been on his own royal bed of down in the
..-: palace at home. His breakfast was begged
at the door of one of the houses in the vil-
lage; and all day he followed the river, until near
evening he came to the gray seashore and the huts of
the fisher folk.
What is the name of the river I have been follow-
ing? he asked of a wrinkled old fisherman who was
mending his net in the sunset.
"It is called Laf," the old man answered. It is
the eastern border of Jolliland, as the coast is the
Oh, bother boundaries! Vance exclaimed, "I
hate them. Can you give me something to eat?"
PRINCE TA XCE. 69
"We are poor folk," said the old man, but I sup-
pose we can give ye a bite if ye pays for it."
"Pay for it!" cried Vance, in astonishment. "Do
you know who I am?"
Not rightly," said the fisherman; but from yer
look and from yer box I take ye for a travelling
showman. What have ye got in yer box?"
My family," answered the Prince, before he thought.
" Do you know where the Crushed Strawberry Wizard
"Not rightly," the other replied again; "but I
think somewhere alongshore. What sort of a family
have ye got? A happy family?"
"I 'm sure I hope they're happy," was Vance's
response. "I know that I am not. Perhaps they
may like being carried better than I like carrying
"What can they do?" the fisherman persisted.
" Can they dance and eat buns like a bear, or do they
fight and knock each other about like Punch and
70 PRIIVCE VANCE.
"They do nothing of the sort," began the Prince,
angrily. "It is not a show at all; it is-"
Then remembering that if he was rude to the fish-
erman he should certainly lose all chance of getting
a supper, he became more polite, and ended by
"They are- I mean they act out a king and queen
and their court."
Truly," cried the fisherman; that is a rare show
indeed! I never saw the like. Come in and get your
supper, and afterward we will have out the puppets."
Upon this he led the way into his hut, and bade the
Prince follow him. It was a very poor little hut indeed,
with rude walls, in which the cracks were stuffed with
seaweed to keep out the wind, and with a small fire
burning on the heap of flat stones which served for
a fireplace. The fisherman's wife, who was old and
quite crooked with rheumatism, was hobbling about
getting the supper, which she said was all but ready.
When it was all ready, without the but, they sat down,
though the poor Prince, hungry as he was, found it
I, '$. = .
I. "I. V
',, 6 ~' -lL"
'" ,' .i.. .. .."".
PRINCE VA CEE. 73
hard work to swallow the dry red herring, the rasping
oaten cakes, and the brackish water of which the meal
consisted. When he had finished the meal, -which, as
you may suppose, did not take long, he set his box
upon the table and opened it.
First," he said, "let us give them some food, and
you shall see how prettily they can play at eating and
But if the food was coarse eating to Vance, you may
well imagine that it was quite beyond the power of the
tiny teeth of the little people, who were not able to eat
a morsel. This made them wring their hands and
weep upon their tiny pocket-handkerchiefs; and the
King even boxed the Lord Chancellor's ears, so angry
was he at being disappointed of his supper.
All this was vastly amusing to the fisherman and his
wife, who thought the whole thing was done as a
show, and would not hear of Vance's closing his box
until the darkness quite hid the supposed puppets from
In the night, as Vance lay trying in vain to sleep
74 PRINCE VA ACE.
upon the hard clay floor of the cottage, he overheard
the fisherman and his wife whispering together.
"I tell ye, wife," the old man was saying, "I will
do it, so there be's an end to the matter. I tell ye I
will have the show for my very own. I could make
more money with the puppets in one day at the fair,
than I make by a year's fishing hereabouts."
But the boy," asked the old woman, eagerly, ye
won't hurt the boy, will ye, good man?"
Hurt him? No," returned the fisherman, I won't
do him no harm. I'll sell him for a sailor to the
ship that lies in the offing, and then I '11 take his
show and travel about the country with it, making
As Vance heard this, you may be sure he shivered
with horror at the idea that his family was to be stolen
and he himself sold to go as a sailor. He lay very
still, however, till the loud snoring told him that the
fisherman and his wife were both asleep, when he rose
softly, and finding his precious box shouldered his
burden, crept quietly from the cottage, and made all
PRINCE VANCE. 75
the speed he could in the darkness to leave the wicked
fisherman and his hut far, far behind.
At daybreak he met a man just pushing his boat
from the shore, and from him he asked whither the
road along the beach would lead him.
"That's a thing as nobody can't tell ye," said the
man, fitting the oars into his boat, "because nobody
don't rightly know. Howsomever, I advise ye to take
it, for it's full as likely to lead somewhere as
This advice was of no great value to the Prince, yet
he felt obliged to follow it, as he dared not go back;
so he tramped on steadily, though the sun was high,
and the box was heavy, and the Court within buzzed
like a hive of angry bees at being forced to go so long
EAR noon the Prince was joined by a
jelly-fish, who seemed to be of a cheerful
S-- and lively disposition, and who insisted
upon attaching himself to Vance and going
S along with him. The boy thought that he
S already had quite as many people as he
was able to look after, and he told the creature so
Besides," he finished quite crossly, for he was really
out of patience, to say the truth, you flump so that
you make me nervous."
"Boys shouldn't have nerves," said the jelly-fish,
coolly. "Of course, if I have no legs I can't walk,
and if I can't walk I must flump. That's plain, even
to you, I suppose."
Prince Vance was too vexed to reply; so the pair
kept on in silence, save for the tired footsteps of the
PRINCE VANCE. 77
boy and the loud flumping of the jelly-fish on the
damp sand of the shore. Near sundown they reached
a broad field where ripe grain of some sort seemed to
be growing, and
through it, shad- V, i ,j
ed by trees, ran I
a brook, clear .' ; .l ,
as crystal. Into
this field the' i_ 1
and first of all '
opened his box, ,
half fearing lest \- -
he should find
the poor little
Court quite dead --
from cruel hun-
ger. They were not indeed really lifeless, but they
were lying about limp and white, and looked as if
there was very little strength left in them. The Prince
78 PRINCE VANCE.
hastily filled them several acorn cups from the clear,
cold brook, and then, seizing one of the long heads, of
which the grain hung full, he broke it open as quickly
Raw wheat," he said, "is certainly not good, but
at least it will keep them from starva-"
He stopped in amazement, and no wonder; for in-
stead of the grain he expected to find, the pod was full
of chocolate creams, large, and all of the most delicious
flavors, as the Prince found by trying one. He opened
another pod in astonishment; lemon drops fell from it.
A third was full of burnt almonds, while a fourth con-
tained sugared dates. In short, the whole wonderful
field was full of sweetmeats: cocoanut cakes and mac-
aroons; cream figs, marsh mallows, and gum drops;
almond paste, candied nuts, sugared seeds, and crystal-
lized fruits; in truth, you could not even dream of any
sort of luscious confectionery which was not growing
fresh and plentiful in that charming field.
Very quickly the Prince placed several fine bon-
bons upon the baby-house table. The King, too near
PRINCE VANCE. 79
starving to care much for good manners, carved with
his sword, and ladies and gentlemen seized slices in
their hands and ate as if famished. A wine drop fur-
nished them with delicious cordial to drink, and thus
the Court feasted so merrily that it would have done
one's heart good to see them.
Having thus provided for his family, you may be
sure that Vance was not a great while in providing for
himself; and having shelled a fine lapful of bonbons,
he sat down to enjoy himself in peace, when to his
vexation he heard at his side the unwelcome voice of
"Feed me first!" cried the creature; "I have no
hands to gather bonbons for myself. Feed me first!
I am hungry too."
Poor Prince Vance! He was indeed weary and warm
and hungry, and his patience was quite gone.
Go and eat without hands, then he cried crossly;
and seizing the flabby creature he tossed it recklessly
away from him among the vines.
He had, however, hardly drawn a breath of relief,
80 PRINCE VANCE.
and was just setting his teeth in a delicious bit of
nougat, when back came the jelly-fish quite unhurt
and fully as cheerful as ever.
Now, why should you take the trouble to do a thing
of that sort? demanded the fish. It cannot amuse
you, and it does n't hurt me. I shall certainly flump
back again as often as you throw me away, so you see
it is of no use; and if it is of no use, why, it certainly
is not useful. I suppose even you can see that. Feed
"I don't see any way of feeding you," replied the
Prince, with his mouth full of sugared apricot; "you
certainly have no mouth."
That is apparently true," returned the fish, amiably;
" but just lay a soft bonbon on top of me and see what
The Prince did as he was bid, and had the satisfaction
of seeing a large orange cream melt gradually away as
the jelly-fish slowly drew it into himself.
The Prince had eaten, for once in his life, all the
sugar-plums he wanted, and had just taken a drink
PRINCE VANCE. 81
of water from the cold, clear brook, when he heard a
voice like thunder rolling among the hills.
Who is this," it cried, in my lollipop field, stealing
my lollipops? "
With his heart thumping loudly against his side,
Vance looked up and beheld a sight which might have
made a king and his army shake in their shoes; and
how much more a poor little Prince with a Court to care
for and only a jelly-fish to help him !
S HE sight which so terrified Prince Vance
S'lwas indeed nothing more nor less than a
'Ti. horrible giant, fully as tall as the tallest
church-steeple you ever saw, and having
Sin his forehead three hideous great eyes--
red, white, and blue and a mouth which
looked like nothing so much as a dark cave on a
Before Vance really knew what had happened, he
found himself snatched up and standing upon the
great hand of the giant, as if it were a table.
Please," he said, speaking in a great hurry, he was
so frightened,--" please, we only took a few because
we were nearly starving. We did not know they be-
longed to you, and we meant no harm. Please, oh,
please let us go this once, and we 'll promise never,
never to come back any more."
.. 1-__ ,
rI j, I 1 _-
f, p., o, ,.
PNN I II
Alf iI o
'^ *^, -, r I" ,<
I .. ''- 'l ,, ,
PRINCE VANCE. 85
Oh, ho cried the giant, with a great laugh; let
you go, indeed! Not so fast, Thumbkin! I am fond
of little people like you."
Poor Vance danced helplessly about upon the giant's
great palm, but could do nothing to help himself, and
had to look on as the giant seized the box in his other
hand and shook it gently, making the little folk fly
about wildly and get many a bruise and bump from
tables and chairs.
These will amuse my wife vastly," said the giant,
as he began to stride toward home. "I should not
wonder but she 'd preserve ye in brown sugar. I like
such little relishes, and 't is a long time since I've had
At this you can fancy that poor Vance became quite
ill with fear; but as there seemed just then to be no
way of escaping, he held his tongue and looked sharply
about him until in time they came to the giant's castle.
It was a huge gray stone building, with iron-barred
windows, and at the gate three dogs so enormous in
size and so hideous to see that merely to hear of them
86 PRINCE VANCE.
would be enough to give one the shivers, so you shall
be told nothing at all about them. Horrible as they
looked, they stood in fear of the giant; and at his
word they lay down meekly enough, and did not even
growl as he strode by them through the court and
into the castle hall.
Wife," cried the giant to a woman who stood admir-
ing herself in a big mirror in the end of the room,-
" wife, come ye here and see what I have found."
What have you found? asked she, without turning
away from the glass. Is it anything to wear? "
"Zounds! shouted the giant. Can you think of
nothing but dress, Madam? No, it is far better than
something to wear; it is something to eat. Come,
put on the pot! "
At this all hope forsook poor Vance, and he thought
that his end had come indeed. But the giant's wife
spoke up sharply, and declared that it was quite too
late to be cooking anything fresh for supper, and that
the giant might wait until morning.
"What is there for supper, anyhow? asked the
PRLVCE VANACE. 87
giant, discontentedly, for he had quite counted upon
the fresh stew he would have made from Vance.
Why," replied the giantess, there's the sea-serpent
pie I've warmed up, and I've opened a can of ele-
phant's heads by way of a relish."
"Be quick with it," growled the giant, "or I shall
eat this boy up raw in no time! "
At this the giant's wife, who was by no means a bad-
hearted woman, though rather fond of dress and vain
of her beauty, (and being as high as a steeple, one
must confess that there was a good deal of her to be
vain of!) gave Vance a shove into a corner to get him
out of her husband's sight; and in the corner Vance
was glad enough to stay hid while the giant ate an enor-
mous supper, and drank a whole cask of ale which his
wife drew for him from a huge butt in the corner of
After he had finished eating and drinking, the giant
bade his wife look to it that the boy was put in a safe
place for the night; then, seizing a candle as long as a
bean-pole, he stumbled heavily away to bed. His wife,
88 PRINCE VANCE.
who had been sitting by the fire, now rose and invited
Vance to come and share the remains of the supper.
You are a pretty little boy," she said, and that
peach-colored velvet jacket must have been handsome
before it grew so soiled. Now come, eat a bit of pie
and drink a little ale; you want to be in good condition
for to-morrow. If you must be made into a stew, of
course you'd rather be a good stew than a bad one."
I don't know about that," replied Vance, dismally;
" if I must be cooked whether I like it or not, I rather
think I would like to taste particularly nasty."
Oh, fie now!" cried the giantess. Good little
boys do not talk so. I am sure you must be a good
little boy, by your looks. What is in your box?
If I will show you," asked Vance, with some hope
in his voice, "will you let me go? My dear, kind lady,
you do pity me, don't you? I am sure you are kind
and good. Only let me go, and I will send you beau-
tiful jewels. I will do anything for you if you will only
let me go."
PRINCE VANCE. 89
No," said the giantess, I can't do that. He would
beat me to death if I let you go; besides, you could not
get by the dogs if I let you free twenty times over.
But I '11 tell you what I will do; if you will unlock your
box I '11 give you laughing-gas before I cook you to-
morrow, and then you won't know what has happened
till you are fairly stewed and eaten."
This was but cold comfort to Vance, as you may
imagine; but he saw that the giantess meant kindly,
and he still hoped to escape in some way, so he swal-
lowed his sobs as best he could and proceeded to open
his box. No sooner were the tiny people free than
they began to run eagerly about the table, eating the
crumbs of oaten bread and the grains of sugar which
the untidy giantess had scattered. Small as the little
courtiers were, their jewels and robes glistened and
made a fine show; and the giantess leaned upon her
elbows and watched them with delight, declaring them
the prettiest little things she ever saw.
"I should not wonder, now," she said, if my hus-
band would give these little things to me; they are too
90 PRICE VANCE.
i small to be of
any use except
as seasoning. I wish I could make them useful in
The giantess, as has been said, was a vain woman,
and she was always thinking how everything could be
put to use as something to wear.
I have an idea," she said, suddenly jumping up and
bringing a spool of pink silk from her work-box, which
PRINCE VANCE. 91
was about the size of a Saratoga trunk. I have heard
of ladies wearing live beetles fastened by tiny gold
chains to their breast-pins. I believe I can do some-
thing of the sort with these little puppets."
But, Madam," begged Vance, in dismay, you do
not seem to understand that these are my own royal
Now, you be still! said the giant's wife, playfully,
"or I '11 pop you into that steaming kettle over there
without a single sniff of laughing-gas; and you can't
begin to fancy how unpleasant you would find it, you
At this Prince Vance shivered, and said very feebly
Please don't hurt them, dear Mrs. Giant; they are
"I shall not hurt them," said the lady, or at least
only enough to make them kick; they are so amusing
when they kick."
As she talked, she tied bits of silk about the waists
of the King and the Queen, and hung them in her
92 PRINCE VANCE.
ears as children sometimes hang buttons when they
pretend to have eardrops. When she had fastened
on her strange ear-rings, she made a necklace of the
Princesses and Courtiers, and having put it on she
began to admire herself in the glass as if she would
never be done. After a while, however, she got so
sleepy that she could no longer see, and was even
too tired to toss her head and make the King and
the Queen swing about in her ears. She put her
new jewelry back in their box, and picking Vance up
put him into a .wooden bird-cage on the wall.
Pleasant dreams!" she said cheerfully.
And then she too went away to bed.
EFT alone in his high-hung cage, poor
SVance was indeed in deep despair. He
.'Fi saw no way out of his troubles, and
'" could not help weeping as he bemoaned
his miserable lot.
It is all the fault of that wretched
Blue Wizard he exclaimed; for it did not
occur to him that it was his own bad behavior which
brought the Blue Wizard to the palace in the first
Just at this moment, in a pause between his sobs, the
Prince heard a familiar flumping sound on the stone
floor below him; and looking down beheld to his sur-
prise his old companion the jelly-fish.
"How do you do?" asked the jelly-fish, politely.
"I suppose you 're not very glad to see me."
Oh, but I am, though cried the Prince, not very
94 PRINCE VAANCE.
politely. "I should be glad to see anybody now, no
matter who. How did you get by the dogs?"
"I flew," replied the creature.
"Jelly-fish cannot fly," said the Prince; so that
cannot be true."
Well, then," responded the jelly-fish, indifferently,
" I swam; and if that is n't true, why, I suppose it is
false. Even you can see the wisdom of that, can't you?
However, now that I am here, I 've something to tell
you. This castle is in the township of Bogarru, and
Bogarru is situated on the western boundary of Jolli-
land, which "
"Who cares for boundaries?" the impatient Prince
interrupted. Have you nothing pleasanter than that
to talk about?"
"- brings me to my point," the unmoved jelly-fish
continued. "Whenever I visit a place for the first time
I am able to have one wish come true. This is my first
visit to Bogarru. Now the question is, Shall I wish the
heathen of Gobbs Island to become converted, stop
eating their grandmothers and take to wearing clothes;
PRLVCE VANCE. 95
or shall I wish you out of this castle, you and your
Court, in the time a cat winks?"
"The last, the last! cried the Prince, too eager
to speak correctly. Dear, kind, good jelly-fish, do
wish us out of this horrible place, and you shall go
everywhere with me if you want to, and I '11 never
speak rudely to you again as long as you live!"
Ah replied the fish, "I was afraid you 'd choose
thus. You care more for yourself than you do for
the Gobbs Islanders. It is not truly noble, but perhaps
it is natural. Now, then, open your mouth and shut
The Prince obeyed, and at once there was a taste
of something exceedingly bitter on his tongue; sparks
danced before his closed eyes, and directly he felt a
whiff of cool fresh air blowing upon him.
"Open your eyes! said the voice of the jelly-
The Prince did so, and to his great joy found himself,
with his box beside him, out upon a country road, with
the stars twinkling over his head.
96 PRINCE VANCE.
Oh, dear, good jelly-fish he cried joyously, how
can I ever thank you? "
You seem to be fonder of me than you were a while
ago," observed the jelly-fish, dryly. However, I for-
give you. If you want to find the Crushed Strawberry
Wizard, keep straight on along this road till you come
to the house of the Funny Man. Flubaloo! "
The jelly-fish disappeared as he spoke this last
"What a pity! said the Prince; I can never tell
him how sorry I am for my rudeness. I have lost my
only friend. I wonder what he meant by 'flubaloo,'
This, however, was so hard a question to think out
that at last the Prince decided to give it up. So,
shouldering his pack, he started briskly off along the
high-road, not daring to linger till daylight for fear
that the giant would wake up, and, finding his prisoner
gone, would come after him and carry him back to the
terrible castle of Bogarru.
SLL night Prince Vance trudged on in the
? L starlight, and did not stop even to take
," breath till he saw the sky begin to grow
red with the coming sunrise; then, clam-
being over a hedge, he laid himself down
Sin its shelter, and instantly fell into a deep
and heavy sleep.
The sun was high above him when he woke, and at
once he became aware of a great ringing of bells,
blowing of horns, and beating of drums, as if he were
in the midst of some holiday celebration. He started
up, rubbing his eyes, and found that he had fallen
asleep in a field which was now gay with hundreds
of merry-makers. Flags were flying from tents and
booths; bands of musicians were playing; glass-blowers
and jugglers were performing their tricks; peasants in
gay dresses were singing, dancing, and feasting; and
98 PRINCE VANCE.
there were all manner of shows and swings and merry-
go-rounds, enough to have turned your head entirely,
had you been there to see. As to the Prince, he was
so delighted as even to forget for a while both hunger
and weariness, and walked about from sight to sight,
crying Hurrah! as the jugglers and rope-dancers
performed their curious and daring tricks.
At length he came to a booth in which an old woman
was preparing over her fire a kettle of steaming stew,
which to the hungry Prince seemed to send forth the
most delicious odor of any stew he ever had known
in his life.
Ah," he exclaimed eagerly, that smells exceed-
ingly savory, good mother! "
"Ay," replied the old woman; f' and truly it ought,
for it has in it blue pigeons, a fine fat cock, three wild
hares, and every vegetable and savory herb known in
all Jolliland. Will you have a bowl?"
Ay," said the Prince, that I will; and let the bowl
be a large one!" he added, as he watched the old
woman filling a goodly wooden basin with the stew.