-ii 7 ... -s ER.
-CLOTH BOUND). ,. -
:'oCfbjn.,8uo Cloth, Design in Codours Is each.
oh..pg s oIc 0iiri .tr ti -Baol B fr oI r N R1e,- or. L'.rks
S, .,-- d.. '9-l s, ., .
Fou-C Girls at Chautauqua... ........ ....
The -Chautauqua Girls at Home .
Christieq Christmas ............. .. .. ... .
hn-Eh less. Chain ... ... .. .... ...
dth Erskine's Crosses .... ...
is in Rebecca's Life
s Solomon Smith Looking on ... .
From. Different. Standpoints .. .
Tree People ........... ........... ... .
ter Ried ...: .. .
lastdr Ried yet Speaking .... .
lia. Ried ......... ..
ise and Otherwise ..... ...... ....... .
Th King's Daughter ...
-Te Hall in -the Grove ... .
New Graft on the Family Tree .
K ntirrupted .................. ..... ............
.. Man of-the House .
Te.Pocket Measure .......... .- .... ... .
.Lewis and His Lamp........ .. .. ...
.ey Miartin's Christmas .
ale Fishers and their Nets ............ .....
eCommonplace Diy......... .......
h"ssy's Endeavour .
- t Sevenfold Trouble .......... .. ...... ...
BY OTHER AUTHORS-
Ofion Halifax, Gentleman B. .. B A ,Ca :a
esbury House ................. ... By R3ls. Hernrwj- TV
altering Children .. ... B 3? L Chaleswi h
T air God Ev Lew I he: ,!,d-
aom iB. ...B..-................... .. ..... ...... M s bB.
'.WARD. LOCK & Co.. LIIMITED:-..4
I.oiadon,,Newur York, rand-l elbourtne.
:.. ... .. ., .. ...
: - ._.. : .. :. >. .....:o:o --..:.-..-r. .
THE SHILLING "PANSY" SERIES-continucd.
44 Beulah... ... ... ... ... By A. J. Evans Wilson
45 Infelice....................................... By A J. Evans W ilson
46 John Ward, Preacher ... ... By Margaret Deland
47 St. Elmo ................................... By- A. J. Evans Wilson
48 At the Mercy of Tiberius .. By A. J. Evans Wilson
49 Vashti ...................................... ... By A. J. Evans W ilson
50 Macaria ... ... ... .. By A. J. Evans Wilson
5i Inez ........... ...... ...... ............ By A. J. Evans Wilson
53 Melbourne House... ... ... By Elizabeth Wetherell
54 Daisy ..................... ..................... By Elizabeth W etherell
54A Daisy in the Field ... ... By Elizabeth Wetherell
55 Little W om en..................................... Lovisa M Alcott
56 Good Wives... ... ..... ... Louisa M. Alcott
57 Aunt Jane's Hero ....................... ..........Mrs. E. Prentiss
58 Flower of the Family ... ... ... Mrs. E. Prentiss
6o The Old Helmet............... ................ E.Wetherell
61 What Katy Did ... ... ... ... By Susan Coolidge
62 What Katy Did at School ............. By Susan Coolidge
62A What Katy Did Next ... ... ... By Susan Coolidge
63 The Lamplighter................................. By Miss Cumming
64 The Wide, Wide World ... ... By E. Wetherell
65 Queechy............. ............... .. ............... By E. W etherell
67 Stepping Heavenward ... ... ... By E. Prentiss
68 The Prince of. the House of David.............. Ingraha' ~,j
69 Anna Lee ... ... ... ... ... By T. S. Ar :iu
70 The Throne of David .............. By Rev. J. H. Ingraham
71 The Pillar of Fire ... ... By Rev. J. H. Ingraham
72 Mabel Vaughan....................................By Miss Gumming
73 The Basket of Flowers ... ... By G. T. Bedell
74 That Lass o' Lowrie's ............... By Mrs. F. H. Burnett
By CHAS. M. SHELDON.
91 In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?
92 The Crucifixion of Phillip Strong.........................
93 His Brother's Keeper ... ... .. ...
94 Richard Bruce; or, The Life that Now is ...............
95 The Twentieth Door... ... ... ...
96 Malcom Kirk: Overcoming the World ...................
97 Robert Hardy's Seven Days...
iS> WARD, LOCK & Co., LIMITED. XK.,
London, New York, and Meelbowrne.
r vI '^i "
v "' ";. .. ,, ..
.c. '^ .^- ^^ iii-'1'--
..y ^ :' : 1 l ,l ,-_ -" \ -
,. II- ,1 .o\ -
1 ^ "'' t'' *^ M *
.. ,, ,--- __
+s; ;. '+'"" -t -
:i~,i. b.. ..
,, ',* t.,;,;, I..+.-,W ',+ '" ""il' l/ "~1
T.. ,,R,,O O: ... A".
TI PIIC N -TS~~ IiE --D
7' _-'- 'It~ -, 'i
II, f A i c~
THIJ PRTNCE ON THIE STANDS.
A RATIONAL FAIRY TALE
FOR BIG AND LITTLE FOLKS.
SIR GILBERT CAMPBELL, BART.,
AUTITOR OF TII MYSTERY OF MANDEVI.LLE SQUARE," 'A WAVE OrF ERATN
POWEEI,' WILD AND WEIRD," ETC.
(All rights rese llrved.)
ILLUSTRATED BY R. ANDR.
WARD, LOCK AND Co.,
LONDON, NEW YORK, AND MELBOURNE.
(All rights reserved.)
I. KING KRANTZ'S PERPLEXITIES 1
II. KING KRANTZ'S FIRST HUNT 13
III. BARON BRUNO 23
IV. CATCHING A TARTA 32
V. COUNT AQUILA 45
VI. A STRANGE FISH 54
VII. THE MARQUIS OF ULTRAMARINE 4
VIII. THE PRINCE MARES UP HIS MIND 73
IX. OVER THE TREE TOPS 85
X. THE SEA NYMPHS .99
XI. THE STORY OF A SPELL 109
XII. THE TALE OF A BULL 120
XIII. FISH AND FOWL 127
XIV. A MAGICIAN AT HOME 138
XV. BREAKING THE SPELL 146
XVI. TRANSFORMATION SCENE 157
:'% -l l
FIELD-MARSHAL GROGGENWITZ, A VERY DISTINGUISIIED SOLDIER INDEED.
A NATIONAL FAIRY TALE FOB BIG AND
KING KRANTZ'S PERPLEXITIES.
MANY years ago in a part of Bohemia that is
now almost entirely forgotten, there lived a
monarch who was called King Krantz XXIII.
You must know, my dear little folks, that this
unfortunate monarch had not always lived in
2 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
this out-of-the-way corner, but had formerly
ruled over a vast and populous country known
as Croatia, where everything was quite old-
fashioned except the ideas of the people. It
happened by some means that a great number
of political agitators found their way into the
King's dominions, and held meetings and
harangued the people as to the iniquities of
monarchy and the advantages of republican rule.
The King, good easy man, did not interfere with
these gentlemen at all, for, as he said to himself,
very sagaciously, If my people are fond of
attending these meetings, they won't bother
me to find theatres, and Lord Mayor's Shows,
and roundabouts, and switch-back railways for
their amusement, which, up to the present
time, has been a pretty penny out of my
pocket." So he went on letting his people do
just as they liked, until one day at a general
meeting it was decided that the King should be
requested to pack up his portmanteau and leave
the country, when a republic would be pro-
claimed. As soon as the King heard of this, he
was very angry indeed, and sent for the Com-
mander-in-chief, Field-Marshal Groggenwitz,
a very distinguished soldier indeed; but the
fact was, that the country of Croatia having
KING KRANTZ'S PERPLEXITIES. 3
been at peace for a great many years, the
gallant Field-Marshal had not had many oppor-
tunities of distinguishing himself; however,
with his cocked hat on, and with two orderlies
marching behind his bath chair-the one carry-
ing his umbrella, and the other a bottle of gout
mixture-he presented quite a martial appear-
ance. The King then opened a window upon
the second floor as soon as he saw the Field-
Marshal approaching, and shouted out-
Field-Marshal, summon the army and
march upon those traitors at once; disperse
them, and bring the ringleaders to me."
"Yes, your Majesty," answered the Field-
Marshal; but he never made a movement to
execute the King's orders.
"Do you hear me ?" roared the angry
"I do, your Majesty, but the fact is that the
army would rather not."
Rather not! repeated King Krantz XXIII.,
in utter astonishment.
"Yes, your Majesty," replied the veteran.
"You see there has been a very long peace,
and the army has devoted itself to agriculture,
literature, and the fine arts in general; some
have taken to postage-stamp collecting, others
4 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
to painting on china, whilst a large proportion
have been supplying local gossip to the Society
"Well, well, they were quite right to find some
healthy and innocent recreation," answered the
monarch, "but what has all this to do with
their not turning out against the rebels ? "
"May it please your gracious Majesty,"
replied the old soldier, in trembling accents,
"they all agreed to take their pay regularly
and not give you any trouble or worry about
that, but they also came to the determination
that they would draw the line at fighting, and
so, if I were your Majesty, I wouldn't depend
much upon the army."
Oh!" said the King; and though the remark
was not a very long one, his tone and expression
was most emphatic. Then he shut down the
window with a slam, and the Field-Marshal,
imagining that he was not required any more,
made a signal to his attendants to draw him
Finding that he had no alternative, King
Krantz XXIII. issued a proclamation, in which
he declared that above all things he preferred
the happiness of his subjects, and for that
reason he had made up his mind to abdicate,
KING KRANTZ'S PERPLEXITIES. 5
and retire to his estates in Bohemia, and at
once made preparations for his departure. He
put as many of the crown jewels into the
tops of his boots as he could, and packed up
the best and the second best sceptres in a
strap with the Queen's umbrellas. He sent
off all the silver plate by the local carriers,
Retrac and Nosseltrap, and ordered half a
dozen new suits of clothes from each of the
best tailors in the capital, paying them with
bills which he gave upon the new Republican
Government; then, leaving a note for the water-
rates and the inhabited-house duty to call next
week, he got into a four-wheeled cab with the
Queen, his three daughters, Cherryblossom,
Maybloom, and Eglantine, and his little son and
heir, and left the palace at an early hour in the
morning, when hardly anybody was awake in
the royal city. It was a very long and weary
journey to Bohemia, and at the end of it the
King complained bitterly of the extortionate fare
that the cabman demanded; but after he had
paid it and had walked through the front garden
and up the steps to the door of the castle, he
drew a deep sigh of relief, and was even vulgar
enough to cut two or three capers, whistling
loudly during the performance. The Queen was
6 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
glad enough to get home and have a cup of tea,
for she was cramped with sitting so long in the
cab, and was rather cross, whilst the King, as
soon as he had assisted to get down the boxes,
and given a man who helped him twopence,
went off to smoke a pipe in the back kitchen.
As soon as the coast was clear the three Prin-
cesses, Cherryblossom, Maybloom, and Eglan-
tine, caught hold of their little brother and ran
off to explore their new abode. They were three
charming girls, the eldest just eighteen, and the
youngest three years her junior, whilst the son
and heir of King Krantz XXIII. was just eleven
years of age. Of course he had a name-royal
children always have a name, generally a whole
string of them-and this little scion of royalty
was no exception to the general rule. He was,
however, always called Prince Goldenblade. As
quite a little thing he had been always fond of
swords and spears for playthings, but when a
sword with a mere common steel blade was
offered him, he cried for one that was all gold,
like the hilt, and would have no other ; and for
this reason he got the nickname of Prince
Goldenblade. Well, his sisters carried off the
little boy into the garden, and sat down under
an apple-tree, which was covered with a mass of
KING KBANTZ'S PERPLEXITIES. 7
lovely pink and white blossom, and then Eglan-
tine, clapping her hands, cried out-
Oh, how pleased I am to get away from that
horrid old palace, with nothing but a view of
chimney pots from the back windows. What a
lovely place this is, we shall be able to wander
about all day."
Take care, Eglantine," said her sister
Cherryblossom, lifting up a warning finger,
" you seem to forget that we are in Bohemia
"And what does that matter? asked Eglan-
"Why, don't you know that it is the land of
enchantment, and that all the hills and valleys'
and lakes are full of giants, dwarfs, griffins, and
all sorts of uncomfortable creatures ? returned
Papa, no doubt, got the property cheaper
owing to the disadvantageous neighbourhood,"
remarked Cherryblossom, who was of a practical
turn of mind.
"I don't care," cried out little Goldenblade,
stoutly ; and don't you be afraid, you three ; I
will kill them all with that sword that papa
had made for me with all the lovely gold inlaid
on the blade."
8 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
"Why, you little monkey, answered Cherry-
blossom, "how you talk! I don't believe that you
could lift it over your head."
"Can't I," answered the boy, defiantly.
"However, you are generally very good girls,
and I will not be angry with you, only don't say
"Hear him, hear him," chorused the- sisters,
with a burst of laughter. Does he not talk as
if he were going to be King Krantz the XXIV."
"I would much rather be spoken of as one
who freed his country from all kinds of terrible
evils than a mere king who sat quietly upon his
throne and did nothing at all," answered the
boy, with an earnest look in his dark violet eyes.
Little Goldenblade was a very handsome
child, tall for his age, and well made, with a
rich crop of light brown hair hanging over his
shoulders, which his sisters often used to pull
for fun. Though very fond of out-door exer-
cises he never neglected his lessons, and would
read the hardest words, and write so well that
sometimes the King, his father, would get him
to write out the edicts (to which no one paid the
least attention) that he was in the habit of
issuing; whilst as for his arithmetic, he could do
the hardest sums in Colenso's book-and let me
KING KRANTZ'S PERPLEXITIES. 9
tell you, little folks, that you will find some hard
nuts to crack there.
"Well," continued Eglantine, renewing the
conversation which had been broken off, "I am
not afraid of griffins or dwarfs, or, for the
matter of that, of giants either."
"Giants are generally stupid and harmless,"
remarked Goldenblade, with the air of one speak-
ing from deep experience, unless, of course,
they are ogres, and then their taste for human
flesh renders them very unpleasant neighbours.
However, don't be alarmed, my dears, we shall
soon be rid of all such things when I am a little
But before that happens we may all be eaten
up, and you too," answered practical M1aybloom.
" I think that we had better ask papa to kill
them, and-not wait until you grow up."
Papa is too fond of his ease to go out giant-
hunting," remarked Cherryblossom.
"And of smoking that nasty pipe of his,"
Just, however, as she made this undaughter-
like remark, the voice of the Queen was heard
calling out, Children, children, come in; tea is
ready and you will spoil all your things sitting
upon the damp grass."
10 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
Though the grass was not in the slightest
degree moist, they all obeyed, like good children,
and were soon seated round the tea table.
My dear children," said the monarch, after
he had swallowed half a dozen cups of tea and
eaten three or four plates full of winkles, a
mollusc of which he was remarkably fond;
"this is a sad reverse of fortune, but we must
learn to bear it bravely-yes, and set our hands
to any work that we may find necessary."
Here, to emphasize his speech, his Mj.:-y
brought his hand down heavily upon what he
thought was the table, but which proved to be
the remains of a dish of buttered muffins.
King Krantz was a little discomposed by this
mishap, but, after surreptitiously wiping his
fingers in the Queen's dress, he continued,
" Our noble consort, with the assistance of
her daughters, will attend to the washing and
The three Princesses made very wry faces at
"Baron von Screwhausen, our late Lord
Chamberlain, who will come here by omnibus
to-morrow, has kindly consented to act as butler
for a temporary period; the Grafein von
Schlelach, who, as you know, preceded us, will
KING KRANTZ'S PERPLEXITIES. 11
undertake to perform the duties of housemaid;
whilst you, Goldenblade, in the intervals of
study, will do well to acquire a practical know-
ledge of boot-blacking and knife-cleaning. May
I trouble you, my dear, for another cup of tea,"
added the King, addressing his consort, for all
this talking has made me very dry."
"And what are to be your duties, papa?"
asked little Goldenblade, boldly.
Ahem," answered his father, taken a little
aback. Ahem. You see, my dear boy, in every
establishment a head to plan and arrange is
required, so that I should take a kind of general
superintendency. I shall be no trouble to any
one; just let me have my cup of tea when first I
get up, my breakfast about eleven, a little snack
for lunch, a comfortable dinner at seven, and
perhaps a lobster for supper, and I should
require nothing more."
"Then you will do nothing at all, papa," said
"Pardon me, my child, but you jump too
much at conclusions," answered the monarch,
severely. "When I have arranged the details of
the day's doings I shall most likely take my
crossbow and go out into the forest and bring
home bisons or alligators, or wild hogs, or other
12 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
such delicacies for dinner, so that we shall live
The children thought that their father had
chalked out an easy line of life for himself, but
as King Krantz was occasionally rather obstinate
they kept silence, and his proposals were vir-
gill'jj4 Lh l _
"YOU MISERABLE, AWARD IDIOT I" CRIED THE BEAR.
KING RRANTZ'S FIRST HUNT.
WHEN his Majesty, King Krantz XXIII., had
once set down his foot firmly, however much he
might have put it in the wrong place, there was
no persuading him to take it up again, so all the
family fell into the routine he had prescribed.
I confess that the Queen's first efforts at cooking
were not great successes, the dishes usually
turning out a series of surprises. If a stew had
been attempted it was as likely enough to come
14 PRINCE GOL)ENBLADE.
up to table a curry, and once (but I believe this
was a wicked calumny of the King's), her most
gracious Majesty was reported to have put hard-
boiled eggs and jelly in a gooseberry tart.
Goldenblade blacked his hands and face in the
most artistic manner, but the boots upon which
he essayed to operate presented on completion
a dull cinder-hued surface. Everybody com-
plained that the beds made by the Grafein von
Schlelach were full of bumps and inequalities.
The ex-Lord Chamberlain showed a singular
capacity for uncorking the wine, but--well, ahem,
there seemed to be a singular deficiency of it on
the royal table. As for the Princesses they
struck in the course of the first week, and spent
all their evenings gossiping and altering their
dresses, and their days in wandering about the
country, teasing the shepherd lads on the hills,
and wondering why there were no towns with
shops and theatres in them. As for King Krantz
XXIII., it must be confessed that the time hung
very heavily upon his hands. When he was a
monarch he had been in the habit of retiring to
his library, where he always said he had im-
portant business to transact, such as checking
the accounts of the Lord High Treasurer, sign-
ing death warrants, and other duties of a similar
KING KRANTZ'S FIRST HUNT. 15
light and pleasant character. In reality, how-
ever, he would bolt the door, open the French
window, and crossing the garden go out by a
little door in the wall, and make his way to a
tavern some three streets off, where he was sure
of a quiet evening's enjoyment. Ulpon his
arrival he would tell the waiter to put his
sceptre in the umbrella-stand, hang up his
crown on the end peg of the row of hooks in
the lobby, and then calling for a pipe and a
glass of four ale would spend the rest of the
evening in the glories of incognito. This, my
dear little folks, may seem a very vulgar, com-
monplace amusement for a mighty monarch,
but if you will try sitting on a gilded throne
all day with a heavy crown upon your head, a
sceptre in one hand, and an orb in the other, I
think you will pardon poor King Krantz for
seeking diversion in an entirely different sphere.
Well, the King missed his little quiet amuse-
ments very much, and goodness knows what
would have become of him if the three Princesses
had not one day rushed into the house in a high
state of alarm after one of their long country
Oh, papa! exclaimed Cherryblossom, sink-
ing into an arm-chair.
16 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
"Ah, father! moaned Maybloom, dropping
upon a sofa.
"What do you think, governor ?" cried Eglan-
tine, who was a little given to slang, bounding
upon her father's knee and nearly sending his
pipe down his throat.
"Don't know, can't say, haven't an idea,
give it up," answered the monarch rapidly, as
soon as he had finished coughing and removed
the broken bits of pipe from between his teeth.
A bear, a bear, a bear shouted the three
girls in chorus.
"Where, where, where ? asked his Majesty,
dropping into rhyme.
On the big mountain, where the blackberries
are," answered Cherryblossom.
"Standing on his hind legs like a human
being," added Maybloom.
"And kissing his paw and smiling like fun
at Cherryblossom," finished up Eglantine.
Pooh, pooh," said the King, testily, "don't
talk such rubbish to me, there are no bears
except in the Zoological Gardens. I am as-
tonished that ladies of royal birth should go
and kiss bears' paws and such frivolities as
that. Go to your rooms and change your
dresses, and I will go out and see if there is
KING KRANTZ'S FIRST HUNT. 17
any truth in this tale. If there is you may
expect bear's ham for supper; but I much
fear that if it is experimented upon in the
manner in which things usually are in our
royal kitchen, it will come to table in the
disguise of a Welsh leg of mutton, or perhaps
even a calf's head-we have had so many
surprises of late."
As soon as the Princesses had gone to their
rooms the King attired himself in a sporting
suit which one of the confiding tailors of his
capital had presented him with just before his
abrupt departure. It consisted of a broad-
brimmed hat with a white feather; a grass-
green jerkin, white tights, and russet boots
with wide, funnel-shaped tops, with a bugle-
horn slung by his side, and this his tailor had
assured him was the costume worn by a dis-
tinguished sporting body, the Foresters of
London. Running down to the knife-house,
he told Goldenblade to look up his corkscrew
and, at the same time, to order the Lord
C('10 ii.,_.ii, to fill his flask with Scotch
whisky and to cut him a sandwich or two.
In a few minutes both orders were executed.
"And now," said the monarch "where are the
bolts for the crossbow ?"
18 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
After some trouble Goldenblade found them
in a drawer of the dresser, and gave them to
his royal father. "And now," said the King,
who had a most undignified habit of pun-
ning, "as you have given me these, I think I
will make a bolt of it."
Goldenblade put on that look of sad surprise
which it was the habit of the members of the
royal family to assume when their father
indulged in his fun, whilst the Lord Cham-
berlain, who had just filled the flask with
whisky, uttered, as in duty bound, a melancholy
git-:i.-,-, somewhat resembling the yelp of a
Rather disgusted at the manner in which his
joke had been received the King left the house
hastily, and leaping over the fence at the
bottom of the garden made his way towards
the high mountain of which his daughter had
spoken. He ascended to the summit without
seeing anything, and then, with a growl of
disgust and a long pull at his flask, he began
to descend the other side. At last he came
to a low, dark valley, and upon a shelf of rock,
some twenty feet above his head, he saw a
large red bear, lazily stretched out in the
sun. He was not a nice bear to look at, very
KING KRANTZ'S FIRST HUNT. 19
long and thin with patches of hair rubbed off
him in several places and a general look of
mange and unhappiness about him. "Hullo "
cried the King, "are you the fellow that
had the impudence to make love to my
daughters ? Of course he never expected an
answer, and when the bear replied very plainly,
"And suppose I am ?" he jumped so that he
nearly dropped his crossbow and the hat with
the white plume fell clean off his head.
" Because I won't have it," replied King
Krantz, as soon as he had recovered himself
a little, "and now I'll give you something for
your impudence," and as he spoke he levelled
his crossbow and took a steady aim. "Ah,
coward," cried the animal, "to shoot at a
fellow in his bearskin!" by which, no doubt,
the sagacious plantigrade meant a little joke.
B@r and forbear," returned the King,
letting him have as good as he gave, and
pulling the trigger he sent a bolt in Bruin's
direction. But either his Majesty was a very
bad shot or the bear was singularly agile,
for he avoided this and several other missiles
which the King discharged, with singular ease.
" Stop this cried he-at last; three shies a
penny is a very good game, but I don't get
20 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
the pennies. Stop this shooting, or I'll make
"One more shot," pleaded the King. "I
have just recollected the position in which I
used to stand when I was a volunteer, and
I think that I can hit you this time."
"All right," growled the bear, "but don't
waste a fellow's time; there's a bees' nest in a
hollow tree I want to get to this afternoon."
The King took out his spectacles, wiped them,
and put them on; then he lay down on his
back, and, resting the crossbow upon his right
toe, after a long and steady aim, pulled the
trigger. The bolt transfixed the bear's right
ear, and, with a sound like gurrrrruurrer, the
infuriated animal leaped from his shelf of rock
and alighted upon the King's recumbent figure,
almost knocking every breath out of his body by
"You miserable, awkward idiot," cried the
bear, touching his ear very gingerly with his
paw. You've spoilt my best ear, for the other
one is a bit mangy. What do you deserve ? "
Spare my life, most noble bear," answered
the King, abjectly, and take all I have."
Let us see what that comes to," replied the
bear, and plunging his paw into the King's
KING KRANTZ'S FIRST HUNT. 21
pocket he drew out eighteen-pence in silver and
a halfpenny with two heads which his Majesty
kept for tossing purposes. Humph this isn't
quite a monarch's ransom, you know," remarked
the bear, sulkily. You've got a watch, I sup-
pose ? Oh, I see! a Waterbury one; ah, you may
keep that. A pocket-flask; well, this looks a
little better," and the animal, after uncorking
the bottle cleverly with his teeth, drained off
the contents. You ought to hang your butler,',
remarked he, angrily, as soon as he had finished;
" he has been putting water in the whisky, which
is weak enough without it. Well, I am afraid
there's nothing else left for me but to eat you,
and precious tough I expect I shall find
"You'll find me worse than that," answered
the King, I am dreadfully unwholesome."
"I'll chance that," replied the bear, giving
King Krantz a slight nip on the shoulder, which
made the monarch bawl out lustily.
Stop a bit," remarked the bear, as if an
idea had suddenly struck him. "You have a
I have three," answered King Krantz, rue-
fully, as he rubbed his shoulder.
"The one I mean is tall and slim, with dark
22 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
eyes and hair, and a voice like a chime of bells,"
That's Cherryblossom," answered the King.
"What of her ? "
I want a wife, and she would just suit me.
Look here, I'11 let you off this time and come for
my wife in a week. Is it a bargain ? "
"But how about settlements ? asked the
King, who was only too eager to find some
excuse for getting rid of so ineligible a son-
"I'll settle you if you talk so much," returned
the bear, playfully crushing a bluebottle upon
King Krantz's rather prominent proboscis with
his heavy paw. Come, is it a bargain ? "
"But suppose she doesn't like you when she
sees you? asked the King.
Then the thing's off. But she'll like me safe
enough; all the girls run after me," returned
the bear, in a tone of ineffable conceit. "This
day week, remember, papa-in-law that is to be."
And with a cavalier nod the bear shambled off,
whilst King Krantz picked up his crossbow and
returned home in very melancholy mood, wonder-
ing how he should break the news of the proposed
alliance to his wife and daughters.
WITH A HEAVY SPORTING BOOT IN HIS HAND.
BUT when the King did muster up courage to
narrate the adventure that had befallen him
during the day, what a tempest there was; the
Queen reviled her husband, the three daughters
went into hysterics. The Grafein von Schle-
lach fell downstairs with a large can of water,
and the Lord Chamberlain shut himself up in
the cellar and in an abstracted manner began to
try the relative strengths of British brandy and
South African port. Even little Goldenblade
24 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
looked with some contempt upon his father, and
remarked, "I would, if I had been you, let the
bear eat me a thousand times over before I
would have made such a promise."
"No you wouldn't if you had been me,
because I didn't," answered the King, who had
attended debating clubs in his youth, "and the
bear didn't want to eat me a thousand times but
only once, and that was quite enough for me."
Goldenblade had never studied controversy,
so this answer on his father's part entirely
silenced him for the time, and he retired into
a corner to meditate on a fitting retort at some
Come, old lady," said the King, as soon as
a little quiet had been restored, "don't let's
look upon things in their worst light, I dare say
we shall get our bear's grease at cost price now;
besides, the brute looked quite mangy, and may
die before the week is over."
"How can you get bear's grease off a living
bear? asked the Queen, in a bitterly sarcastic
"A bear-and a mangy one, too!" shrieked
Cherryblossom. Who ever heard of a Princess
ii i, I -' a bear before? "
Plenty, plenty, especially amongst the small
BARON BRUNO. 25
German Princes," returned the King. "But,
come, stop all this crying; remember that you
have saved your father's life. Have you for-
gotten Squinting Curtius in Roman history, who
fell into a hole and so saved his country ?"
"Quintus Curtius, you mean, papa," broke.
in Goldenblade. "A large chasm opened in the
Will you be quiet, you tiresome boy," cried
the distracted Cherryblossom; what have
Romans to do with Bohemian bears? I shall
die, I know I shall! "
For another week this kind of thing went on,
and the King kept away from his family a good
deal, and remained shut up in a wine cellar
with the Lord Chamberlain arranging the bins,
he said; but at length the eventful morning
arrived upon which Bruin was to come and
claim his fair and lovely bride.
The loud clang of a hundred trumpets roused
the sleeping denizens of King Krantz's new
abode at an early hour, and as they all rushed
to the windows, a strange and wondrous sight
met their eyes. I am sure some of my little
folks have been taken by their parents to see
one of those magnificent spectacles that kind
Mr. Augustus Harris produces every Christmas
26 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
at Drury Lane; well, the hill opposite King
Krantz's domicile was covered with a gaily-
dressed crowd of pages, men-at-arms, countless
jesters, and retainers of every description, all
slowly descending to the strain of martial
music, just as you may have seen Mr. Harris's
band of Amazons in the last pantomime coming
down the steps and advancing towards the foot-
lights. At the head of this dazzling crowd rode
a handsome young man, whose dress was
curiously embroidered with strips of fur be-
longing to some animal of the ursine genus;
behind him came a standard-bearer, and the
silken banner that he carried bore the blazon of
a bear gules upon a field sable.
And now came King Krantz's hour of triumph,
for he at once guessed with that sagacity which
had earned for him the title of the secondhand
Solomon, that the bear with whom he had had
so disastrous an encounter was a prince under
the power of some spell, and that now he had
recovered his natural shape. So King Krantz
began to treat the affair as a joke. Don't
you see it was only my fun ? said he, chucking
Cherryblossom under the chin. As if I would
have given my own little girl to a bear."
"I wish you would keep your stupid jokes
BARON BRUNO. 27
to yourself, papa," returned Cherryblossom,
angrily; "here have I been crying for the
past week, until my eyes and the tip of my
nose are quite red, and goodness knows what
the Prince will think of it."
"Ha! ha! a capital joke, my dear," answered
the King, delighted to diverge from the subject,
nose' and 'knows,' ha ha we shall be glad
to hear from you again."
"Krantz, you are a brute! exclaimed the
Queen Consort, angrily.
Now just you look here," returned the
monarch, if you would read the papers you'd
see lots of these things in them; look at
yesterday's Times," and the King produced
the paper in question from his dressing-gown
pocket. Here, read this-' To medical men.
Any members of the faculty who could awake
a prince who has been sleeping for two hundred
years are requested to apply, enclosing twelve
postage stamps as proof of bona fides. Liberal
terms. Sleepyhead, Box 2179, Times Office.'
Or this," continued the monarch, drawing out
another paper; "look at this in The Telegraph-
'Wanted, a few able-bodied young gentlemen
to destroy a dragon who holds a beautiful
princess with eighteen millions per annum in
28 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
captivity. The Princess will give her hand to
the surviving one; if more than one of the
syndicate is alive after the combat the matter
will be decided in the usual manner by the toss
of the halfpenny. Apply, enclosing banker's
reference to Messrs. Biggest and Grubbe, Paste-
board Chambers, E.C.; and heaps more of
'em," added the King; "if you ladies would
only read the papers, you would know what
was going on in the world."
What the ladies might have replied was
never known, for at that moment a thundering
rat-tat came at the door, and the Lord
Chamberlain, hurrying in, told his Majesty
that Baron Bruno would be glad to see him
in the breakfast parlour.
"Broach a three gallon cask of ale for the
Baron's followers," said the King, hospitably,
and bring some bottled stout up when I ring,"
then, struggling into his clothes, the monarch
The Baron who rose at his entrance, was a
tall, powerful young man, rather dark, and with
a deep voice. As King Krantz looked at him
he saw with some uneasiness that the tip :of
the Baron's right ear had a broad strip of
court-plaster across it.
BARON BRUNO. 29
"Well, your Majesty," said the Baron, "do
you think that your daughter, the charming
Cherryblossom, will object to me as a husband?"
"Then you are the- You know what
I mean; that- stammered the King.
"What do you mean ?" asked Baron Bruno,
"The-the-in point of fact, the bear," said
King Krantz, making an effort.
Of course I am," replied the Baron; "but
that's nothing-a little sort of fit to which I
am subject; others have gout or influenza."
"I don't think I could agree to give my
daughter to a gentleman afflicted with such a
strange ailment. Have you tried those pills
that are so much advertised in the society
papers ? "
Look here, King Krantz," answered the
Baron, coming up nearer to the King, give
me your daughter, that is if she consents, and
I will do my best to make her happy."
They all say that," muttered the King to
If you have still any doubts on the matter,"
continued the Baron, politely, I think that
I can remove them by my next observation."
Pray let me hear it," said the monarch.
30 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
Should you for any unforeseen reason
refuse to accord me her hand," pursued the
Baron, in the blandest of accents, I will at
once cut you into ten thousand pieces upon
that Pembroke table with a damaged leg, and
raze your house to the ground."
You have quite convinced me," replied the
King, hastily, and I am sure that you will
be a good and affectionate husband."
That is all settled then," cried the Baron,
giving the King a hearty slap upon the shoulder
that set him coughing violently. And now
let us go and see the ladies."
Like Julius Csesar, Bruno came, and saw,
and conquered ; Cherryblossom fell in love with
him at first sight, the sisters were delighted
with his manners, and Goldenblade highly
pleased at a magnificent bugle with which he
was presented by Baron Bruno. Then huge
trunks were brought in, and the dresses that
the Baron had had prepared for his bride were
displayed; they were all either white or black,
the former trimmed with pearls, and the latter
You see," said the Baron, addressing his
future bride, "we shall live a good deal in the
mountains where there is plenty of snow, so
BARON BRUNO. 31
the white dresses will come in handy; then
my castle is full of subterranean halls, so that
the black will just match them well."
Cherryblossom was too happy to make any
opposition, and three days were passed in a
constant whirl of festivities. On the fourth
day the marriage ceremony took place, and
after the banquet was over Baron Bruno and
his fair bride retired to the camp his followers
had pitched upon the hill. Just as they did
so a light mist swept across the face of the
landscape, and King Krantz, who was standing
at the door with a heavy sporting boot in his
hand to throw after the happy couple, was
surprised to see, as it cleared away, that all
traces of the camp had vanished, and that
nothing was to be seen but a huge red bear
shambling clumsily up the hill-side, and uttering
an occasional plaintive howl as he gazed up-
wards at the moon.
,, .. -
s-- -- ^ --. I
SNATCHING UP A BIUO1 ADVANCED BOLDLY TO THE ATTACK..
"SNAkTCIIIN(i UP A PI1OO1 ADYAviCEI IBOLDLY TO THE ATTACK,
CATCHING A TARTAR.
AFTER a time the whole of the ex-royal family
got used to Cherryblossom's absence, though
Goldenblade more than once asked when his
sister was coming to see him again, and the
Queen complained peevishly that no announce-
ment of the marriage had appeared in the
daily papers. But in about a fortnight things
began to revert to their usual jog-trot manner
of proceeding in the Bohemian Castle, and as
CATCHING A TARTAR. 33
the King was one day sitting in the room which
he dignified by the name of study, intent upon
the repairs of a penny mouse-trap, half a dozen
of which he had purchased from an itinerant
vendor, the Grafein von Schlelach came
rushing into the royal presence declaring in
excited accents that a nasty great eagle was
in the poultry yard carrying off the cock and
two hens, of which his Majesty was the proud
possessor. "Do take your crossbow, great
monarch," cried she, "and kill the nasty bird
"Humph answered the King, who since his
mischance with the bear had begun to have
some doubts of his skill as an archer; "I
think I know a trick worth two of that. Let me
see what sort of a bird it is," he added, peer-
ing cautiously through the window. "Dear
me, what a monster Hullo, there is that silly
girl MNaybloom going up to him. Take care,
child, take care, you'll have your eyes pecked
out, or certainly get your dress torn, and I
can't afford you another this quarter."
But Maybloom paid no attention to her
father's entreaties, and snatching up a broom
advanced boldly to the attack. As soon as the
noble bird perceived her he dropped the poultry
34 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
from his talons at her feet, and, hopping upon
one leg, made a graceful inclination to the
Princess. Maybloom, however, paid no atten-
tion to this act of courtesy, but raising the
broom in her hands brought it down with some
degree of violence across the bird's beak.
With a reproachful squeak the mighty creature
spread its wings, and rising heavily from the
ground sailed away in the direction of a large
forest some half a mile away. There he goes,
the nasty creature," cried Maybloom, waving
her broom triumphantly. He always comes
from that part of the forest; I suppose he has
his nest there."
"Ah," remarked the King, closing the window
and the conversation at the same moment,
birdlimee will do it, eh, my Lord Chamber-
lain ? "
Just the very thing, your Majesty," an-
swered the wily courtier, who had not the re-
motest idea what birdlime was, but who had
a habit of agreeing with the royal family from
the King down to little Goldenblade upon every
And now let's see how to make it," cried the
King, becoming much excited. Where's that
book 'How not to do it,' or, 'Things I may never
CATCHING A TARTAR. 35
want,' with eighteen thousand recipes in it, or
the Duffer's Dictionary,' surely we shall learn
how to make it from one of these. Call Golden-
blade; boys always know how to make these
dangerous concoctions," and then the King
hurried into the kitchen, and scandalized the
Queen by demanding every saucepan or kettle
that was in use, and then, after Goldenblade had
brought his experience to the fore, the manu-
facture commenced, and a terrible job it was;
first the King stuck to the wall, and shovels
had to be inserted between him and the plaster
and used as levers before he could be removed,
then Goldenblade and the Lord Chamberlain
and the monarch adhered so closely together
that they looked like some fabled monster, with
several extra pairs of limbs and heads; then the
kitchen cat, which had incautiously tested the
qualities of the birdlime with its forepaws,
jumped into Eglantine's lap, and had to be cut
away with scissors. Well," said the King,
with one of those feeble attempts at a joke that
brought so much sadness into the royal circle,
"I have heard about sticking at nothing, but
this is really sticking at everything."
When the family saw the peril that they were
in from his Majesty indulging in more jokes of
36 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
a similar character, they bestirred themselves in
completing the manufacture of the composition
which was to prove so deleterious to the eagle's
"And he won't find that a saving clause,"
remarked the King, firing this parting shot as
he left the kitchen, carrying in both hands a
huge gallipot containing about ten pounds of
It was too late to commence operations that
day, but on the next the King sallied forth on
his campaign against the King of the Birds.
Goldenblade pleaded hard to be permitted to
accompany his father, but the King refused.
"You are such a chatterbox," said he (King
Krantz himself was an inveterate talker), "that
you would scare away every bird for miles
Carrying the birdlime in a canvas bag, with
a large brush to spread it over the branches
with, the King plunged into the recesses of the
forest. He had thought that it would have-
been exceedingly easy to have hit upon the
exact clump of trees where his daughter May-
bloom had said that the eagle resided, but the
deeper he got into the forest the more difficult
it seemed to him to discover the spot upon
CATCHING A TARTAR. 37
which to commence his operations. Growing
rather tired he espied a moss-covered stone
projecting from the ground.
"Hullo exclaimed he, starting to his feet
almost as soon as he had seated himself, "this
won't do, the seat is frightfully damp and I
shall catch rheumatism or sciatica or some-
thing equally uncomfortable; however, this I
think will make matters all right," and placing
the bag containing the birdlime upon the stone
he reseated himself, delighted with his clever
invention. For nearly half an hour the King
sat meditating over things in general, and then,
bethinking himself of his errand, he attempted
to arise from his seat; but to his surprise he
found that he was utterly unable to do so.
King Krantz made effort after effort, but he
was as firmly fixed to the stone as the limpet
is to the rock.
"How silly I am!" exclaimed the King,
striking his hand upon his forehead. Why, of
course this is enchantment, and an excellently
authenticated case. I shall write a letter to
The Times on the subject as soon as I get home;
but," added he, as a sudden thought seemed to
strike him, shall I ever get home ? these en-
chantments, as I remember, have a nasty knack
8 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
of lasting for a thousand years or so. Oh!
just fancy sitting upon this stone for all that
period with nothing to do, nothing to eat, no
morning paper, and with wolves and things
coming and -i_it._ at me and then turning up
their noses as if I wasn't something good to eat
at all. Oh, dear me what shall I do ? "
Do repeated a voice close at hand, "why
don't sit crying there like an ape with a pain in
his big toe, but just make an effort."
The King raised his eyes to see who it was
that accosted him in this free-and-easy manner,
and to his surprise and dismay he saw a large
eagle standing before him. The bird was
balancing himself upon one leg, and held his
head a little on one side. He was not a par-
ticularly reputable-looking eagle, his eyes were
rather bloodshot, his plumes all draggled and
dirty, and he looked as if he had not been to bed
for a week.
"Most illustrious bird," returned the mon-
arch, who thought that in his present position it
was as well to be polite, you see before you an
unfortunate monarch suffering under the spell
of some terrible enchantment."
I see nothing but a credulous old idiot, who
absolutely dared to bring out some disgusting
CATCHING A TARTAR. 39
sticking substance to entrap the monarch of the
Ahem," said the King. May I ask, then, if
you were the illustrious bird who did me the
honour of visiting my poultry yard recently ?"
"You didn't seem to consider it much of an
honour," answered the bird, with a hoarse
chuckle; "and as for your daughter, May-
bloom, she gave me a nice crack with the
broom-a pretty black eye I have had ever
Forgive her, illustrious bird," pleaded the
monarch, she is but a sportive child."
"Yes, but sportive children are apt to be
troublesome. I recollect breaking my tutor's
nose with a tipcat when I was a-before I was
fledged, I mean."
"How sweet are the reminiscences of our
early childhood," remarked the King, pensively,
for he was wondering where this conversation
was to end.
Well," continued the bird, with a yawn, I
am ready to listen to anything you may have
to say in mitigation of your punishment, but
really I cannot see what plea you can put for-
ward; here I find you close to one of my
favourite retreats with a small sack full of a
40 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
sticky, glutinous compound, highly prejudicial
to ornithological liberty. Pray tell me why I
should not treat you at once as a birdlimetard,
and peck out your eyes ? "
Mercy! mercy!" cried the King. Think of
the miseries of a sightless monarch, consider
how my wife would do me over the weekly
accounts, and the faces that my daughters could
make at me with impunity. If revolvers were
only invented," thought he to himself, couldn't
I just put a bullet in him as he stands waggling
those idiotic wings of his."
Stop a bit," said the eagle, who up to that
time had manifested no intention of putting his
hostile designs into execution, "you have a
daughter you call Maybloom, I think ? "
"I have, most magnanimous bird," answered
"Well," continued the eagle, placing one wing
over his beak as though to hide a blush, she
struck me rather-indeed, I may say a good
deal," he added, as a recollection of Maybloom's
vigorous action with the broom flashed across
his memory. Suppose you let me marry her,
and we'll cry quits over this blundering business
of yours ?"
Have you the means of supporting a wife? "
CATCHING A TARTAR. 41
asked the King, affecting to look dignified,
though his toes were growing very cold.
Aw, ya'ps," returned the bird, I have a
decentish estate in Ayrshire; but pray don't be
in a hurry, for I have another proposal to make:
if I don't marry your daughter I shall just peck
out your eyes, give you a few scratches all over
the body, and leave you to become a nasty,
white, badly-stripped skeleton."
There was no need to use any threats to
me, most eligible eagle," answered the King,
meekly. My daughter's happiness has always
been my main object in life, and though it will
grieve me to part with the flower of my flock,
yet, yet- and here the King endeavoured to
squeeze out a tear.
Stow that," cried the bird, indignantly, or,
at any rate, keep it for your speech at the
marriage breakfast. I'll drop in, in about a
week, and marry Miss ,i1 il.ui_ ; give her my
love meanwhile, and tell her that she may
plume herself on her conquest," and with this
hideous jest the bird was about to spread its
wings when the piteous voice of the King
arrested his movements.
It seems a very trivial objection to make,
most illustrious bird," said he, "but if I can't
42 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
break the spell of the enchanter how am I to
get home to tell my daughter of the honour you
have done her ? "
"Don't talk rubbish to me about enchant-
ment," returned the eagle, indignantly, there
is nothing of the kind the matter with you. It
is only that silly sack of birdlime upon which
you so idiotically sat down that is holding
Perhaps you are right," answered the EI-'i
with an uneasy wriggle, "but for all that I can't
Get out of them," returned the bird, with a
scream of strident laughter.
Get out of what?" asked the bewildered
The eagle came close up to him and screeched
in his ear, The what-you-may-call'ums, the
sit-down-upons, the oh-no-we-never-mention-
'ums," and then, spreading his wings, he soared
away over the tops of the lofty trees.
Perhaps he is right," muttered the King,
but it is most uncommonly inconvenient; and
then how am I to get home ? "
After a series of extraordinary gymnastic
performances, King Krantz succeeded in de-
nuding himself of his nether garments, but every
CATCHING A TARTAR. 43
effort to remove them from the mossy stone
I shall have to hang about here until dark,"
soliloquized the King, and catch my death of
cold, perhaps. If I was only in England, now,
people would think that I was one of the London
Scottish, and take no notice of me, but here, in
a civilized place, the case is entirely different."
It was very late before the King got home,
and he had more than once been chased by
little boys. The Queen had gone to bed in the
sulks, and there was nothing but cold Irish stew
for supper. Maybloom had, however, sat up
for her papa, and had thoughtfully placed a
saucer over the half-pint of beer which the King
usually partook of at that meal, to prevent its
growing flat, and after he had assuaged the
pangs of hunger the monarch told her what
had taken place.
"And so I am to marry an eagle, am I ? said
Maybloom, thoughtfully ; well, it is as good as
a bear, anyhow. How I wish, papa, that you
had met an ostrich."
"Why, my dear child? asked the King,
looking at his daughter in blank surprise.
"He would have come in so handy for
trimming my hats," observed the Princess, and
44 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
then the King gave her a kiss, and congratulated
himself upon having such a clever, practical
girl as his daughter.
The Queen, however, was much enraged when
she heard of this new matrimonial alliance.
Eglantine did not want to lose her last remain-
ing sister, and Goldenblade feared that his
sister's alliance would prevent him from indulg-
ing in the pursuit of bird's-nesting.
"You silly creatures," said the monarch,
" don't you see that he will turn out a prince
just like the other; how can you all be so
excessively foolish "
,1I I I. L L ''
/ "-! -, ,
I* II,1' I' II ,,
II k -I I I^ I'
,..;:,, '- w j,1\l '
IAYBLOOM WAS FIXING A COWL ON A SMOKY CHIMNEY."
ABOUT a week after the event narrated, as the
King was calmly strolling round the back garden
lazily listening to an argument between the
Queen and the Grafein von Schlelach, as to
whether salad should be washed with soap or
not, and casting an eye of parental admiration
upon little Goldenblade, who was sitting upon a
three-legged stool, busily perusing a large volume,
which his father fondly believed to be a classical
work, but which was really the last volume of
46 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
"The Boy's Own Magazine," the sky for a
moment became suddenly overcast. Hullo,"
muttered the King, "a shower, I suppose; it
can't be an eclipse, those only occur in Central
Africa or in Rider Haggard's novels. What can
be the meaning of it ? "
The King might well ask. Myriads and
myriads of balloons had swept across the sky,
absolutely shutting out the light of the sun,
darting hither and thither, now descending for a
little, and again shooting up with inconceivable
rapidity. Each balloon was gaily decorated
with coloured flags and streamers, and the cars
bore some resemblance to strange and unknown
birds. The balloons were not untenanted but
were filled with a gaily-dressed throng-soldiers,
courtiers, priests, and attendants, all with-
smiling and happy faces, and all evidently
dressed in their Sunday best. "Why, I never
saw anything like it even at the Crystal Palace!"
exclaimed the King. What can all these good
folks be doing? Is it a personally conducted
aerial trip of Mr. Cook's, or is it- What
an idiot I am," cried he, as a thought flashed
across his mind. Why, it must be that eagle,
come to look after my daughter. Here, May-
bloom, Maybloom," he shouted to that practical
COUNT AQUILA. 47
young lady, who had gone upon the roof to affix
a cowl of her own invention upon a smoky
chimney, "go and wash your face and hands
and put on a clean frock, if you have one, for
here is your young man come to look after
Maybloom calmly desisted from her avocation
and gazed upward for a moment at the aerial
1... t. which was still hovering over her head, and
then descended to her room to carry out her
father's injunctions. Meanwhile the fleet of
balloons, as though moved by some unseen
power of volition, began to throw out clouds of
variegated feathers, the spoils of the most beau-
tiful birds of every clime and region-the sable
and snowy plume of the ostrich, the brilliant
scarlet of the flamingo, the vivid yellow of the
sulphur crested cockatoo, and the exquisitely
mottled plumage of the bird of paradise and
the peacock descended in one dazzling shower
upon the astonished heads of King Krantz and
his consort. Then, as the radiant downfall
gradually ceased, the balloons with one accord
drew aside to afford passage to an aerial ship
marvellously fashioned into the shape of an
eagle, which slowly descended into the back
garden at the feet of the astonished King and
48 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
Queen, the helmsman who directed its move-
ments cleverly avoiding the clothes-lines which
stretched across the back garden, and only
unhappily crushing a bed of mustard and
cress, which Eglantine had sown in a remote
corner, so that when it came up it might form
the initials of her name. Stepping gracefully
over the gilded balustrades which protected the
sides of the car, a young and handsome man
approached the King and cordially extended his
"I have come, your Majesty," said he,
"according to my promise, as a suitor for the
hand of your fair daughter, Maybloom."
Oh! returned King Krantz, which was not
an observation of much depth, and indeed was
hardly one that could have been tolerated in
polite society. But, then, you see, the poor
King was utterly dazed, for forgetting all about
the bear, he had confidently expected to see a
very dissipated eagle fly into his house and carry
away his second daughter in his talons. Very
closely he scrutinized the young man who stood
before him, and could not help allowing that he
was marvellously handsome. He was clad in
some soft feathery material, in which white,
russet, and black, seemed to strive for the
COUNT AQUILA. 49
mastery, and upon his head he wore a brilliant
silver helmet with an exquisitely carved pair of
eagle's pinions upon each side of it.
Oh !" said King Krantz again.
You said that before," remarked his visitor,
politely, and a more idiotic interjection I have
seldom heard. Can't you hit upon something
more novel and more courteous to say to a poor
humble Count who has travelled so many miles
to reach this extremely uncomfortable suburban
abode of yours. Why does not your Majesty
reside in town? You must find your evenings
terribly dull, no club, no society, no music, and,
to be ungrammatical, no nothing. How can
you live ? Why, I don't believe that there are
any co-operative stores within five thousand
miles of you."
Noble Count," replied King Krantz, muster-
ing up a little courage, I am-- but at that
moment his glance rested on the right eye of his
companion, which bore signs, black and blue,
clearly betokening the recent infliction of a
Pardon me, noble Count, but may I ask if
you have been lately engaged in a pugilistic
encounter, for your right eye appears to be con-
siderably contused ? asked the King.
50 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
'" Why, that came from the broom of sweet
Maybloom," answered the Count, kissing the
tips of his (i?,..r, rapturously. "Don't you
remember how gallantly she came to the rescue
of the tenants of the poultry yard, when you
were hiding behind your window ? "
Then you really are the eagle after all? "
inquired the monarch.
"I am Count Aquila," returned the young
man, haughtily, and have come to demand the
hand of Princess Oi;, I~ l.... m, second daughter of
King Krantz XXIII., in marriage. Say, monarch,
do you give your consent, or am I to summon my
men-at-arms to carry you up into the regions of
the air, and to leave you to a brief and miserable
existence upon the outer side of the moon, far
from the vein of green cheese which runs through
that planet ? "
"I would not for worlds give your gallant
fellows any such unnecessary trouble," answered
King Krantz, very promptly. "If my dear
daughter consents she is yours, Count Aquila,
and know that I give to you a priceless treasure
of erudition, for after only five years' unremit-
ting study, she passed the second standard of our
local Board School."
'Tis a wife that any one might well be proud
COUNT AQUILA. 51
of," -answered the Count, evidently much im-
pressed. "And now, Sir King, will you not
introduce me to the fair one ? "
"Not until you have partaken of refresh-
ment. Oho, my Lord Chamberlain, produce the
heel of the Dutch cheese that is yet uneaten,
bid the Grafein Schlelach scrape what fried
onions still remain from yesterday's cold steak.
We ourselves will go to our royal cellar and draw
a flagon of elder wine or the sparkling essence
of the gooseberry."
No, great monarch," answered the Count, a
little hastily, do not give yourself that trouble.
I have brought my own refreshments with me,
and my vassals are now erecting a pavilion
where I invite you and your household to lunch.
A real good thing, supplied by Steeples and
Lakes, at two guineas a head, including wine,
broken meats and empties to be returned."
At that moment the Princess M1\aybloom entered,
and Count Aquila, hastening to her side, began
at once to discourse in an impassioned tone of
voice, to which the damsel evidently listened
with some degree of satisfaction, as they paced up
and down the narrow limits of the back garden.
After a brief interval Count Aquila stepped up
to his future father-in-law, and exclaimed in
52 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
jubilant accents, It is all settled, old man,
and we are 'to be married at once. What a
good thing it was that I persuaded the Arch-
bishop of Astra Castra to come with me."
"But our royal consort will never consent to
nuptials in so short a notice," returned the King,
majestically. Our daughter's wedding-robes
are not ready, and even if we have a needle-
woman in by the day it will take at least three
weeks to complete them."
Let there be no delay on that account, King
Krantz," answered the Count, whistling shrilly,
and at the signal a host of pages, fantastically
attired in feathery garments, and carrying huge
coffers, passed into the garden.
Superior and advanced young lady as she
was, Maybloom could not repress a cry of
delight at the sight of the treasures exposed
to view when the lids were thrown back.
"We live a great deal in the clouds, fairest
Maybloom," said the Count, and so we try to
assimilate our dress to the colour of our
domicile; this sky-blue silk with turquoise
ornaments will suit you admirably as a mar-
riage dress, whilst these grey diaphanous gowns
of the hue and texture of the clouds will do
admirably for every-day wear."
COUNT AQUILA. 53
3i,.-1i, was too delighted with her new
acquisition to make any demur, and the pair
strolled away engaged in sweet converse until
it was time to dress for the ceremony. The
Archbishop of Astra Castra did his work
speedily and ,l and after a sumptuous
banquet the happy pair ascended the car of
Count Aquila's balloon, whilst all the retainers
and men-at-arms took possession of their own
conveyances. Up, up they went, leaving the
King, Queen, Eglantine, and Goldenblade
gazing after them with all their eyes. All at
once a dark cloud swept across the hitherto
clear evening sky, and when it had parted not
a sign of the aerial fleet was to be seen, whilst
a melancholy-looking eagle showed black against
the disc of the moon as he slowly flapped his
way towards the almost inaccessible peaks of
the distant mountains.
.. --,. ---
_A 0 1 .1 I
'"', "- *
':::Z 1F s ,, ,
"A MONSTROUS HEAD APPEARED ABOVE THE SUIFACI%
A STRANGE FISHII.
AFTER Maybloom's departure the Bohemian
residence grew much more dull than it had
been before. Eglantine missed her sister's
society very much indeed, and little Golden-
blade, who was now growing quite a big boy,
frequently felt the want of his sister's superior
arguments, which were constantly at his disposal.
There was a small river near the end of the
back garden, and Eglantine, who was terribly
tired of sitting still in the house, stole her
A STRANGE FISH. 55
brother's fishing-rod, and went there to see
if she could not catch a few of the pretty
creatures that she had often seen darting
about in the crystal depths.
She had been absent about half an hour when
the King, her father, was startled at seeing her
come tearing in, her hair hanging about her
shoulders, her rod held high in the air, with
the line flying wildly behind her, and her dress
di, .1., 1 and mudded to the knee.
What upon earth have you been doing,
child ? exclaimed he, pettishly. You are
such a regular tomboy ; I wish you were as
quiet and orderly as your brother Golden-
The youthful Prince, who was at that moment
engaged in putting a handful of prawns' heads
into his father's second-best Wellington boots,
gave a quiet chuckle.
"Oh, papa! cried Eglantine, D.,-,in-' no
attention to the parental snub. Such an
immense fish; he nearly pulled me in the
So I perceive," returned the King, sarcas-
tically, as he gazed at the mudded frock. We
shall hear what our royal consort has to say
to this on the next washing-day,"
56 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
Oh, never mind ma," answered Eglantine,
rather pertly, she is always making a fuss
about something or other; but just listen to
me. I had thrown in my line, when all of a
sudden I felt such a tug that I was pulled clean
off the bank, and a monstrous head appeared
above the surface--
Most likely the river head," interrupted the
King, who, as it has been before remarked, was
a little given to feeble i..1 ;1
Nonsense, papa," retorted Eglantine. Do
I not tell you that this was the head of a fish ?"
You did not tell me so, my dear," answered
her father, blandly. "And pray what happened
Why, I pulled, and I pulled, and I pulled,"
continued Eglantine, until at last the hook
came out of his mouth, and the thing gave a
great wobble over and disappeared."
"Yes, my dear," returned the King. "A
very interesting story indeed; no doubt you
hooked a mass of weeds or a dead cat, and have
succeeded in breaking your brother's line.
Goldenblade, I advise you to lock up your
Pray have dead cats teeth? asked Eglan-
A STRANGE FISH. 57
Why, of course they have, you silly thing,"
replied the monarch.
Well, is this a cat's tooth, then ? inquired
Eglantine, triumphantly producing a huge fish's
molar from her pocket.
"Dear me," said the King, "this is very
serious. I have seen things like this in the
British Museum, and when I was a lad, there
was a fellow down our way who used to make
fossil teeth out of mutton bones to sell to the
rector, who was a great antiquarian."
"Why, papa, it looks just like a dragon's
tooth, like we read of in fairy tales exclaimed
Goldenblade, who had stolen up close during the
interview, and had taken a good look at the
"Well, at any rate I am glad that you did
not land your fish," returned the King, with a
sigh of relief, "for I expect that he would not
have been very nice eating; but give me a kiss,
you saucy puss, and run off to the Grafein von
Schlelach, ask her to put another frock on
you, and I will say nothing to your mother."
Somehow or other the King could not get the
monstrous fish of his daughter's recital out of his
head, and the next day he strolled down to the
river bank. He saw nothing, however, but a few
58 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
minnows darting about, and a large yellow frog
which winked at him deliberately before he took
a header into the stream.
"The child must have been -Ii.. ,i,;,_."
muttered the monarch; "but then where could
she have got that big tooth ? "
Musing thus he wandered down the bank, and
spying an old punt moored under a willow-tree,
he got into it, and stretching himself at full
length pulled out his pipe and tobacco pouch
and began to smoke. The air was soft and
balmy, the stream rippled gently against the
sides of the punt, and the leaves of the willow-
tree rustled dreamily one against the other.
There was a dull, continuous murmur of insect
life, only broken by the occasional splash of a
little fish as he leaped out of the water to see
what was going on in the world above him,
and in about a quarter of an hour King Krantz
XXIII. fell fast asleep. He must have slept for
more than an hour, and when he awoke and sat
up in the bottom of the punt he rubbed his eyes
and gazed around him in the deepest surprise.
The whole aspect of the river had changed,
the low banks with their fringe of willows and
alders had vanished, the soft green meadows,
covered with flocks of bleating sheep and herds
A STRANGE FISH. 59
of lowing kine, had given place to a rocky land-
scape, with here and there a stunted pine grow-
ing from between the boulders, and the punt
was gliding on steadily without any human
skill directing its course. "Here, hi, stop! I
don't want to go any further; I haven't a ticket,"
cried King Krantz, in much surprise and terror.
But his adjurations were unheeded, and still
the boat went on, keeping to the centre of the
stream, and as the King had never been taught
to swim, and there was no punt pole on board,
he had to remain where he was, shivering with
alarm, At length a rocky mountain appeared
to bar the course of the stream, and the King
had begun to congratulate himself that now
some means of escape was about to present
itself, when he perceived a gloomy cavern open-
ing in the mountain side, through which the
waters of the stream rushed with inconceivable
rapidity. Pallid with apprehension he clung
tightly to the sides of the punt, which in another
minute was sucked into the cavern, and with
its hapless passenger plunged in the deepest
Nothing could now be heard but the splash
and gurgling of the waters as they dashed through
the rocky passage, and the King sat in mute
60 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
apprehension, dreading each moment that his
frail bark would come in contact with some
pointed rock, and founder upon the spot. At
length, however, the passage commenced to
grow lighter, and King Krantz perceived that
he was nearing a tall and narrow archway,
through which the sun was streaming. Before
he had realized this the boat shot through it
with velocity, and then began to rock and
tumble about in the most uncomfortable
manner. King Krantz looked about him and
saw wide stretches of yellow sand, with rows
of white houses with green balconies at their
back, the sands were covered with promenaders,
and there were ,, i- bathing-machines some
distance out in the sea.
"Why, I must have come to Margate, or
Clacton-on-the-Sea, or some such place," thought
the King. Oh, dear, oh, dear ; and I am such
a bad sailor; this motion is too awful. Steward!
steward he added feebly, as he sank with-
out further movement into the bottom of the
When he again opened his eyes the boat had
become stationary, and the row of marine
residences, the promenaders, and the bathing-
machines were all shut out by the shores of a
A STRANGE FISH. 61
rocky island, under the lee of which the punt
In front of him, however, was an object that
filled him with the most intense terror. A huge
fish, of a species of which he had never seen or
heard, was alongside, with a pair of jaws,
sufficiently capacious to swallow the punt and
its occupant, widely extended.
"How do you do, King Krantz? said the
monster, with a little jerk of his tail that
deluged the King with a shower of sea-water.
Mastering his sea-sickness and his horror at
being thus familiarly addressed by a fish, the
King feebly replied that he was in fairly good
Ah," answered the marine monster, I
wanted to see you, so I just told that little
Bohemian river to put on another current and
to send you down here. Do you know that your
daughter Eglantine is a charming girl ? "
Our royal consort and myself," answered
King Krantz, sitting up in the punt with an air
of great dignity, though he felt that he was
looking very green and limp, have endeavoured
to instil into our daughter a sound and moral
education. With some assistance she can play
two scales with very few mistakes; she spelt the
62 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
word 'hypothenuse' correctly after only thirteen
failures; in her history there is still a little to
be desired, as she is convinced that Julius Cesar
invaded England for the purpose of converting
the inhabitants to the cause of the Church of
Rome, and was defeated on Bosworth Field by
the Spanish Armada under the command of Mr.
Bradlaugh. Her disposition is affectionate; and
her knowledge of the theory of radiation is, in
so young a child, simply marvellous."
Here, drop all that rubbish," roared the
fish, closing his jaws with a mighty snap that
almost made the King jump overboard. "Do
you know that your daughter has pulled out one
of my teeth ?"
She is good and clever enough to take out
the whole lot, my dear sir," returned the King,
waving his hand.
Yes, but not without nitrous oxide gas,"
returned the fish, making a wry face; no fear.
What a tug she did give me to be sure! "
As a parent," said King Krantz, assuming
an air of intense dignity, "I feel it my duty to
inquire how it is that I find the daughter of a
royal house assisting at the extraction of the
dental appendages of a mere fish ? "
What a blessed old humbug you are, King
A STRANGE FISH. 63
Krantz," returned the fish, scornfully. Well,
the long and short of it is that I want to marry
your daughter Eglantine. My two brothers have
already'married into your family, and say that,
considering what sort of a fellow their father-in-
law is, they have not done so badly. I am the
only bachelor of the family, and I may as well
What! exclaimed King Krantz, in great
surprise, are your brothers- "
My eldest brother is a bear, my second an
eagle, and I am the finest fish ever seen out of
an aquarium," returned the marine monster
with a wink. "And now that it is all settled,
you had better lie down again at the bottom of
the punt, for I am going to send you back in
double quick time to tell your daughter what an
honour is in store for her." And before the
King could utter a word the fish placed his head
against the stern of the punt and sent it flying
through the sea into the rocky passage through
which the King passed into the river, and in a
very brief space of time found himself in that
part of the stream which ran close to his own
S. "" 'I I' 'I Ir' -M. '
I -. I-
j, I I l ,, _'
As the King walked slowly home he felt i uch
concerned in his mind as to the events of the day,
and wondered how the family would receive this
third offer of marriage. Thinking it best, how-
ever, to take the bull by the horns, he walked
boldly into the back parlour, where his royal
consort was engaged in an acrimonious dis-
cussion with the Grafein von Schlelach as
cussion wiith the Grafein ronl Schlelach as
THE MARQUIS OF ULTRAMARINE. 65
to whether soles should be bread-crumbed
on the inside or the outside, and if raw
turnips coloured with cochineal and sliced in
vinegar would not form an excellent substitute
for beetroot, and at once entered into a state-
ment of what had happened.
And so," concluded he, "Eglantine is to be
married to a fish."
"Your Majesty is evidently in liquor,"
returned the Queen, and turning up her nose
she walked haughtily out of the room, followed
by the Grafein von Schlelach, who heaved
a deep sigh at the trials to which her royal
mistress was exposed.
0 woman, in an hour of ease you're very
difficult to please," misquoted the King. "I
suppose I had better let the girl hear of this
little arrangement and have it all over at once.
Here, Eglantine, Eglantine," he shouted, going
into the passage and calling upstairs.
"I have just had a most eligible offer for
your hand, my dear," said he, as his daughter
entered with a pair of curling tongs in her hand,
with which she was about to form those thousand
and one little curls which adorned her pretty
That's a dear, good papa," answered she,
66 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
throwing herself into her father's arms with an
energy which sent him reeling against the
mantelpiece, and knocked a plaster bust of Mr.
Gladstone into the fender. Is he nice, has he
plenty of money, and will he take me out to
balls and parties? "
Of course, of course," returned his Majesty,
hurriedly. You may be sure that he is every-
thing that could be desired as a son-in law, other-
wise I should not have countenanced his addresses
for a moment. There is, however, one little draw-
back in the affair-nothing of any importance,
however, but still it is a drawback. Your future
husband is a fish."
"A fish! screamed Eglantine, who had a
talent for repartee. "I hope that he won't
expect me to put up with any of his sauce."
Eglantine," said the monarch, severely,
this is very sad, I have so often warned you
against this affectation of smartness, that I had
hoped better things of you."
Well, a fish isn't quite in my line; however,
perhaps I may make a nett profit out of him,
or else he may take his hook, as assuredly he
will do if he doesn't come up to scale," answered
the undaunted girl.
The King sank into a chair and groaned.
THE MARQUIS OF ULTRAMARINE. 67
"This comes of my injudicious liberality in
giving you threepence a week pocket-money,
which you have evidently entirely expended in
purchasing comic weeklies," said he. How-
ever, our royal word has been given, and you
will be the fish's bride."
"Well, I'm in the swim," replied the incorri-
gible Princess. My sisters have done well
enough in spite of the cock and the bull, or
I should say, the eagle and bear, story you told
about my brothers-in-law, and so I will take your
fish, as is customary, with a little salt."
The King was forced to content himself with
this, and nothing more was said on the sub-
In a week from the day upon which King
Krantz had encountered the marine monster off
the mysterious watering-place, the whole house-
hold were alarmed by a loud fanfare executed
upon conch-shells which appeared to come from
the river. The King and all the household ran up
to the attics, from whence a view of the stream
could be obtained. It was covered with a fairylike
flotilla, with sails of cloth of silver and pennons
of some rich golden tissue. As far as the eye
could reach boat followed boat, but at the head
was a resplendent galley impelled by twenty
68 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
stalwart oarsmen, from the stern of which
hung a huge banner bearing a fish azure on a
field argent. As soon as it neared the bank a
handsome young man rose from his seat, and
springing to shore, took his way towards King
Krantz's residence. He was attired in a com-
plete suit of silver scale armour, which, fitting
closely to him, showed the symmetry of his
manly form to perfection. In his hand he
carried a silver trident, which blazed with the
rarest gems, and he was followed by four pages
who wore dresses of crimson net-work orna-
mented with the leaves of aquatic plants
curiously wrought in silver. As if he was
perfectly cognizant of his way, the young man
opened the gate of the front garden and gave a
thundering rat-tat at the door. C(1 pi,'i on
his crown, hind part before, the King hurried
down and opened it.
King Krantz XXIII. ? asked the stranger.
You have the pleasure of addressing that
illustrious individual," answered the King, with
a bland wave of his hand.
Humph!" returned his visitor, "I don't
know much about pleasure or 'illustrious,' if
you come to that; but we won't quarrel about
words. I am the Marquis of Ultramarine, and
THE MARQUIS OF ULTRAMARINE. 69
have come to claim the hand of your fair
What! exclaimed the King, starting back
a pace and letting his crown fall with a bang
upon the door-mat. "Are you the fish ? "
What an injudicious old man you are," said
the Marquis, angrily; I'll take precious good
care that after I am safely married you don't
often put your legs under my mahogany. How-
ever, I don't want to waste any time with you.
Introduce me to your fair daughter at once,
"Or what?" answered King Krantz, falling
back a step or two, and putting himself in a
position of self-defence.
"Beware, miserable ex-monarch," said the
Marquis, threateningly, "or I will order my
attendants to convey you to a remote oyster-bed,
where you shall spend the rest of your life in
teaching those interesting bivalves to walk up-
Spare me spare me !" cried the King,
raising his hands in a posture of supplication.
" Eglantine come down at once and be intro-
duced to your young man."
At this summons Eglantine came tripping
down the stairs, blushing prettily and looking
70 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
very sweet in her best dress which she had
managed to gain time to put on. Gently leading
the astonished monarch to the door, by his right
ear, the Marquis of Ultramarine turned to the
blushing Eglantine and commenced a string of
ardent protestations which must have been well
received, for in the course of ten minutes he
opened the door and, slapping King Krantz upon
the back, exclaimed, Daddy-in-law that is to
be, it's as right as rain; give us your blessing."
The monarch who with a tender solicitude for
his daughter had been kneeling upon the rug
and endeavouring to stop the draught from the
key-hole with his ear, rose abruptly to his feet,
and muttering, Thank my stars, I have no more
daughters to marry," endeavoured in a very
uncertain manner to 'whistle the Wedding
Stop that! shrieked the Marquis, with a
threatening gesture which made the King hastily
place the table between himself and his future
"And now, dearest Eglantine, shall we be
married this afternoon ? I have half a dozen
blank special licenses in my pocket, so as to
make the thing thoroughly safe. I am sorry
that we cannot have a steam launch for our
THE IMARQUIS OF ILi 11. ....;1.1i .. 71
honeymoon trip, but as they will not be invented
for the next three hundred years or so, you will
see that this is simply impossible."
Eglantine smiled a ready assent and faintly
muttered something about the ." 7.'.7 ceremony,
for which the .l[, iquis promptly closed her lips
with a sonorous kiss.
As for a wedding dress, my dear," said he,
"I think that a sea-green with pearls or a bleu de
mer with coral ornaments will be the most suitable.
I have brought both so you can take your choice."
As he spoke four stalwart servitors brought in
some large mother of pearl shells, from which
the garments in question were extracted.
Why, my dear Marquis," exclaimed Eglan-
tine, who noticed that her lover's face was
encircled by a band of the purest white flannel
tastefully embroidered with seed pearls, "you
look as if you were suffering from influenza."
"It is only a tooth that was rather clumsily
extracted," returned the \[ iluis, hastily, "and
which has left an aching void in my mouth. But
come, dearest, I have brought a Bishop from one
of my own Sees, and he is awaiting us by the river
He offered his hand and the happy pair tripped
away to the appointed spot, the Lord Chamber-
72 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
lain and the Grafein von Schlelach who had
pleaded hard for one of the spare licences on
the plea that they had loved each other for
the last seventy years, were made man and
wife at the same time, and the whole company
sat down to a splendid collation, at which
two hundred and thirty-three different kinds
of fish were served by little mermaidens
who swam up to the bank of the stream and
gracefully fanned the company with their
tails. At last, when every one felt symptoms of
premonitory indigestion coming on, the banquet
was declared to be at an end, and the happy
pair proceeded to take their leave. Just as they
stepped on board the galley of the Marquis, a
dense and blinding shower of rain descended,
veiling the whole landscape, and when the King
looked out from under the Queen's umbrella, of
which he had taken possession, bidding his royal
consort run home as fast as she could to avoid
the wet, the fairy flotilla had vanished, and in
its place was a huge fish leaping briskly out of
the water in a large silvery circle formed by the
moonbeams upon the surface of the stream.
"THE GIANT TOOK STIIDES OF TEN MILES AT A STEP."
THE PRINCE MAKES UP HIS MIND.
AFTER the marriage of the King and Queen's last
daughter, things became very dull in the
Bohemian Castle. One day the Lord Chamber-
lain and the Grafein von Schlelach came
and announced that they had taken a neigh-
bouring public-house to which they were about
to adjourn, and hoped for a continuance of their
i.i. -flI.:.-,' custom, so that the King and Queen
were left very much to themselves, for little
Goldenblade, who had now grown up a fine
74 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
sturdy young lad of sixteen, was out a good deal
engaged in the pursuit of game and various
athletic sports. The Queen grumbled very much
about the silence on the part of her daughters
and. complained very bitterly at the breach
of etiquette displayed in the not sending out of
cards and cake, whilst King Krantz took to
dozing a good deal over his pipe in the chimney
corner and finding fault with his dinner. Under
these circumstances home became very dull to a
boy of Goldenblade's spirit, and one day, after
his mother had been unusually fractious and his
father proportionately grumpy, he came up to
the latter and told him that it was his intention
to go and seek for his sisters.
Ah," remarked the YTi-i. in a tone of resig-
nation, I supposed that this would happen
sooner or later-it always does in fairy tales.
Well, my boy, do as you will. I sha'n't give you
any money, young princes always get on better
without any. You can take that sword with the
gold inlaid blade, which is on the top shelf in
your mother's wardrobe done up in brown
paper, and as you have made up your mind I
suppose that the sooner you are off the better."
"I will go in three days' time," answered
Goldenblade, who, like all well-regulated boys,
THE PRINCE MAKES UP HIS MIND. 75
had a deposit account at the local Post Office,
and wanted the necessary time to withdraw it.
All right, my boy," answered the King, do
whatever you like, and perhaps it will be best
for you to tell your mother, my emotion as a
parent might overcome me if I tried to do so.
Go now-but before you do so, just run down to
the cellar and draw me a jug of ale."
After obeying his father's injunctions, Golden-
blade went to his mother and informed her of his
design. At first she cried a good deal, but the
desire to hear some tidings of her daughters im-
pelled her to give her consent; and on the day
of the start, after weeping over him again, she
pressed a packet of pork sandwiches-cut very
fat, with plenty of mustard on them to make
them last longer-into his pocket, and bidding
him a tender farewell, rushed into the scullery
to conceal her emotion.
Goldenblade walked steadily away, over hill
and over dale, taking one last look at his old
home, and then plunged into the depths of the
"I suppose," said he, I shall come across
some giants and dwarfs, or griffins, or dragons,
or some other friendly creatures of that sort,
who will tell me how to go about my work. Let
76 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
me see, I will first have a try to find out my
brother the bear; father met him somewhere
As these thoughts passed through his mind,
Goldenblade walked on steadily until he heard a
loud crashing sound in the forest, and stepping
aside he concealed himself behind a huge
boulder until he could see what it was that
was approaching. In a very short time he
perceived an enormous pair of legs and feet,
encased in buff leather boots, trampling down
the trees as if they had been mere blades of
grass, and, permitting his eyes to travel up-
wards, he saw a huge giant whose head was
towering high above the forest.
Goldenblade stepped boldly from the rock,
and, placing his hand upon the hilt of his
sword, shouted out in as loud a voice as he was
capable of, "Hullo, Mi1. Giant! can you not
find time to stop a bit and just give me a little
information ? "
The giant looked about him in great surprise,
and at last, throwing himself upon his hands
and knees, managed to catch sight of the young
Hullo, again if it comes to that, my young
friend," returned he. "May I ask what you
THE PRINCE MAKES UP HIS MIND. 77
want with me, and I will do the best that I can
to be of service to you."
"You seem a very civil sort of a chap,"
replied Goldenblade. "I thought all giants
were bloodthirsty, man-eating kind of fellows,
that it was well to give a wide berth to."
Nonsense! answered the giant, with a loud
roar of laughter which made all the trees of the
forest shake and quiver; "that is all a thing of
the past. Why, since the Society for the Sup-
pression of Cannibalism has been at work most
of the giants have taken to dining at shilling
ordinaries, and some have, I believe, become
vegetarians; but," added the giant, with a sigh,
"I can't stand vegetables now for it makes me
think of the days when I used to sit down to
a baby and asparagus at least three times a
"Well," answered Goldenblade, rather desirous
of changing the subject, can you tell me where
a certain Baron Bruno resides ?"
What, Bruno the Bear ?" returned the giant,
with another loud roar of laughter. I should
just think that I did know him-the fellow that
his wife puts into the pit-ha, ha "
"What do you mean by 'into the pit'?"
asked the Prince.
78 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
Why, look you here," replied the giant,
putting on an appearance of one about to make
a confidential communication. "But, no," he
added, suddenly checking himself-" I've got
into trouble before. Why, when I used to
exhibit at the Aquarium-there, now, I am
getting into quite a long yarn again. I tell you
what I'll do, I'll just take you up to Bruno's
myself, only I don't see how you can keep pace
Don't you trouble your head about that, big
'un," retorted the Prince. "I will manage that
all right;" and as the giant turned' away
Goldenblade made a sudden -i" ;L., and catch-
ing hold of one of the giant's boots took up a
comfortable position on the overhanging top, and
gazed calmly round as the giant took strides
of ten miles at a step. At length the monster
stopped and looked round for his companion,
and Goldenblade, slipping quietly down, re-
marked: "Phew! that was a breather "
Well, you can walk! observed the giant.
" Have you ever been in the pedestrian line at
Lilley Bridge ? "
"No," answered Goldenblade; "but I have
always been rather a good walker."
The giant opened his eyes, and then, pointing
THE PRINCE MAKES UP HIS MIND. 79
to a precipitous path up the mountain, said,
Go straight up there; it will take you to the
castle. Mind the broken bridge and the hole in
the road about a mile further on-those Local
Board fellows ought to be hung for letting the
roads get into such a state. Good-bye, little
'un." And with another loud Ha, ha he
tramped away, making the rocks tremble with
Goldenblade followed, the giant's directions,
and made the best of his way up the rugged
path. At first the ascent was very difficult, but
after he had passed the obstacles referred to by
his late companion the way became broader
and more open, and a sudden turn in the road
presented to his eyes a spectacle which filled
him with admiration and surprise. In front of
him was reared a magnificent castle, which
seemed to have been hewn out of the solid rock.
Spacious terraces, lofty towers, huge gateways,
and rows upon rows of windows seemed to
occupy the whole mountain side, whilst from the
loftiest turret of all floated a banner bearing
the device of a bear sable on a field gules. As
Goldenblade gazed with astonished eyes upon
this unexpected sight the sound of a horn
was heard from within the castle, and from the
80 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
widely-opened gates a magnificent train rode
out, at the head of which the boy at once
recognized his brother, Baron Bruno.
The recognition was mutual, and the Baron,
springing from his saddle, grasped his relative
by the hand.
"Welcome! thrice welcome, Prince! ex-
claimed he. Dismiss the chase for the day,"
he added, turning to his hunting train, and
acquaint the Baroness with her brother's
A dozen eager retainers sped upon the mission,
and in another five minutes Goldenblade was
locked in the embrace of his sister Cherry-
blossom. Many were the questions that she
put to the boy about her parents, but he noticed
that she was rather reticent about herself,
though she assured him that she was per-
fectly well and happy. As for Bruno he was
delighted at his brother-in-law's visit.
"You see, my dear boy," said he, "in our
peculiar position we are deterred from seeing
company, and so your arrival here is as welcome
as the flowers in May. I can't ask you to stay
longer than till to-morrow, but during that time
we will do our utmost to render you comfort-
THE PRINCE MAKES UP HIS MIND. 81
The invitation seemed to Goldenblade rather
a short one after so many professions of hos-
pitality, and he looked inquiringly at the Baron
and his sister.
"It is not Bruno's fault, my dear Golden-
blade," remarked the Baroness; "when you
grow older you will find that there are un-
pleasant complications in nearly every family,
and ours is no exception to the rule."
It is only a little enchantment difficulty,"
broke in the Baron-" troublesome enough, but
a thing that I have almost got used to. For
four days in every month I am a bear; and as
I tell my wife she is very lucky, for some
husbands are bears all their lives."
But is there no way of breaking the spell?"
asked the young Prince, his eyes flashing with
excitement. Do tell me how it all came
about ? "
"It is a very long story," answered the
Baron, with a slight yawn, "and my brother,
the Marquis of Ultramarine, is generally the
one that tells the tale. Go and find him, and
you will hear all about it."
"I will; but first I must see Maybloom,"
answered Goldenblade. Where can I find her?"
"Oh, the dwarfs will put you in the right
82 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
way. ,You will be sure to find some of the
little beggars knocking about," returned Bruno.
'"But I say, my boy, you are surely not going
to try and break the spell ? "
"I am, though," returned Goldenblade, de-
Well, it is really very good of you to take
so much trouble," responded the Baron, grate-
fully; I"and look here, just put this in your
pocket-book, and if you find yourself in any
dangerous dilemma throw it up in the air
and I will see what can be done for you; and
as he spoke the Baron handed Goldenblade a
tuft of what looked suspiciously like bear's fur,
which the boy carefully secured about his person.
Just then the gong sounded for dinner, and
Goldenblade sat down to such a luxurious
banquet as he never before remembered to
have partaken of. There was roast turkey
and stewed eels, boiled fowls and tripe and
onions, lobster sauce and pork chops, celery
and tipsy cake, whipped cream and Stilton
cheese, whilst butterscotch and brandy balls
were handed round between the courses, and
ginger-beer freshly drawn from the wood foamed
and sparkled upon the table, whilst a solemn-
looking attendant went round with a wheel-
THE PRINCE MAKES UP HIS MIND. 83
barrow, from which he filled the pockets of the
guests with Bath buns, maccaroons, and queen
Goldenblade was hungry after his long walk,
and the exciting scenes that he had gone
through caused him to partake of the good
fare before him very freely. Consequently
towards the close of dinner he could hardly
keep his eyes open, and as the dessert was
brought upon the table he fell fast asleep.
When he awoke he rubbed his eyes and could
hardly believe the change that had taken place.
The lordly castle had vanished, and he found
himself in a rocky gorge, sitting under a sign-
post, upon the outstretched arm of which he
read--" To the Zoological Gardens." Mechani-
cally he rose to his feet, and proceeded in that
direction until he came to a turnstile.
Sixpence, please, for admission to the
unrivalled collection of animals, including the
celebrated performing bear," exclaimed a voice
which the boy thought he recognized, and,
turning towards the speaker, he saw his sister
Cherryblossom, disguised in a red shawl and
black velvet bonnet, holding out her hand for
"Oh, it is you, Goldenblade, is it?" asked
84 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
she, as a faint blush spread over her face.
"Well, you see, at first when the spell began to
work Bruno used to run wild over the country,
and we had heavy bills to pay for sheep
and children that he devoured, poor inno-
cent lamb, and so I hit on this Zoological
dodge to keep him out of mischief. Besides,
this vanishing business of our palace causes a
great deal of breakage of glass and crockery,
and so the sixpences come in handy. Will you
come and see poor Bruno ? he climbs up the
pole, stands on his head, and does many
But Goldenblade declined the proffered sight,
and asked his sister where he could find the
"Let me see," answered she, thoughtfully.
There used to be some midgets in Piccadilly,
but it is a long way off, and they may have
left by this time. I think your best way is to
go straight on, second turning to the left, and
third to the right, and then lose yourself in the
forest; all princes in fairy tales do that, and
then no doubt something will turn up."
Goldenblade determined to follow her advice,
and with a sad adieu turned his back upon the
(I,' r^ )J.i ^ .--'
\ ,c :. l l i-- .- tl r -- ,,
-, -"- '^ -',,' ,^ --' u, ,, -, -
OVER THE TREE TOPS.
"I WONDER whether I shall ever be able to find
these i.. n murmured Goldenblade to him-
self, as, in obedience to his sister's advice to lose
himself, he wandered into a tangle of blackberry
bushes and scratched himself miserably. "Oh,
dear, oh, dear he continued, as he tripped over
a protruding root and fell with his face in a bed
of nettles, if I was not a prince in a fairy tale
I could sit down and cry, but they never do
86 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
that so I must keep a stout heart. Hush,
what is that I hear ? "
The sound that had struck upon Prince
Goldenblade's ear was a tiny clattering of
hammers, the puffing of bellows, and subdued
sounds of conversation.
You are as ugly a dwarf as any one could
see for a penny," squealed one.
That's not original; it's in Charles Dickens's
'Old Curiosity Shop,' grunted a deeper voice,.
"and you needn't talk about ugly dwarfs, for if
you hadn't been perfectly hideous Barnum would
never have taken you about in all his shows."
"Ah, well," squealed the other voice, "it
is no use arguing any more, let us get on
with this sword that we have been making for
Prince Goldenblade for the last two hundred
years. He v .:.il.,:i, wear that jimcrack thing
by his side if Ihe knew that his father, King
Krantz, had bought it secondhand out of a
pawnbroker's window. There, it is finished,
and all the Prince has to do is to come and
take it. I wonder where he is."
He is here !" exclaimed the Prince, springing
from behind a rock which had hitherto con-
cealed the speakers from his view, and found
himself in the midst of a miniature forge, where
OVER THE TREE TOPS. 87
two little grey-bearded dwarfs were just putting
the finishing touches to a magnificent golden-
hilted sword, with the blade beautifully inlaid
with shining arabesques of the same metal.
Both dwarfs started as the Prince stood before
them in an imposing attitude, which he had
carefully imitated from the picture of Rinaldo,
the Pirate of the Gulf, revealing himself to his
men, which he had once bought for a penny,
and coloured very prettily.
"Ah, and so this is Prince Goldenblade, is
it?" said the. dwarf with the squeaky voice,
putting on a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles,
and looking the Prince full in the face. "Well,
Prince, just sign a receipt and take away this
weapon which has been bothering us for so
long. Here is the paper and pen and ink.
Come, look sharp, I want to be off. I haven't
had a good square drink or kicked my wife
when I got home for the last hundred and
Prince Goldenblade looked at the speaker in
some surprise, but he signed the receipt and took
possession of the beautiful weapon, and the
squeaky dwarf, after carefully examining it,
put it in his pocket, and waddled off through
88 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
Prince Goldenblade, who was leaning upon
his new weapon, was so much surprised that he
took no notice of the other dwarf until the little
man tapped him smartly on the toe with his
hammer in order to bespeak his attention.
"Come Prince," said the little man, in his
deep voice, "you wanted something, or you
would never have hunted up our little work-
shop. Don't mind old Sifut, he's a good
workman but a thoroughly bad lot; belongs
to trade societies, attends Socialist meetings,
and, I am sorry to say, hasn't an atom of reli-
gion. But come, of what are you thinking ? "
"Well, to tell you the truth," answered
Goldenblade, I was thinking that it would
be advisable for me to try my new sword
before I throw away my old one."
"Rightly reasoned," replied the dwarf,
"though it shows a rather nasty distrust of
our skill; but come along, I know an old
griffin who is generally asleep at this time of
day, and if your sword will go through
his scales you may say the account is rightly
balanced, and that you are getting properly
But I could not attack a sleeping foe,"
answered Goldenblade, very properly taking no
OVER THE TREE TOPS. 89
notice of the dwarf's puerile attempt at a
"Bless your innocent heart," retorted the
dwarf, contemptuously, he won't mind-he's
immortal, he is; he can put on his head again
as easily as you can your hat, so come along
and let's have a try."
Hanging up the sword his father had given
him upon a tree, and holding the new-made
blade in his hand, Goldenblade followed his
diminitive conductor through a succession of
intricate glades, when he was startled by a
strange sound which can only be adequately
represented by the letters GRRHGCKHH.
Here, you never mind that," said the dwarf,
"it is only that foolish griffin snoring ; really, it
will be a comfort if you cut off his head and stop
that noise, if it is only for five minutes. Look,
there he is."
Goldenblade peered through the trees, and
saw a huge griffin reclining under a widely-
spreading fig-tree. An empty tankard was by
his side, and last week's Sunday newspaper was
spread over his face, whilst his huge, scaly toes
opened and shut convulsively as the same
hideous sound passed through his distended
90 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
"Now then, Prince," whispered the dwarf,
whilst I hitch off the newspaper, which I
notice is one strongly opposed to my political
principles, you just let him have it over the
neck-it won't hurt him much, and will be
a capital test."
Prince Goldenblade, after a moment's hesita-
tion, raised the glittering weapon above his
head and then let it fall just above the shirt-
collar, which the griffin must have bought at a
reduced price from the stores. The instant the
steel touched the creature's head, it fell to the
ground and the snoring ceased in a moment;
then the huge creature sprang to its feet and
began to grope wildly for its head, muttering
strange ejaculations as it did so. At last
it found it, and, putting it upon its shoulders,
drew a box of ointment from a concealed pocket
under his scales and applied it to the edges
of the wound. "You observe," muttered he,
in guttural accents, "that there is no deception;
apply the ointment, which can be purchased
of all respectable chemists in small boxes,
price Is., Is. 6d., and 2s. 6d., or in family pack-
ages at 5s., and any organ of the human frame
which has become separated by any unforeseen
accident, at once adheres and performs all its
OVER THE TREE TOPS. 91
functions with regularity and dispatch. Copies
of testimonials from dragons, griffins, sala-
manders, and other persons of similar pursuits,
can be had on application." Then, muttering
that the boys were always playing practical
jokes with him, the great beast again composed
himself to sleep as if nothing unusual had
Come along," said the dwarf; I hope you
are satisfied; here is my card, you can recom-
mend me to your friends. And now what is
it that you want ?"
"I want to find Count Aquila," answered
Goldenblade; "do you know his address?"
"What, young Aquila, the wary bird of the
forest?" cried the dwarf, with a loud shriek
of laughter, of course I do. I will take you
straight there. Can you climb a tree ? "
"I should rather think I can. Which is the
one ? "
"Any one will do," replied the dwarf, care-
lessly; "take the nearest one. Give me a leg
up, governor, and I will show you the way."
Goldenblade helped the little man, who
disappeared up the tree like a monkey, and
the Prince followed him with equal alacrity
but not so much skill. To his extreme surprise
92 PRINCE GOLDENBLADE.
when he reached the summit of the tree he
perceived a broad, undulating bridge of verdure,
which stretched away over the tops of trees
into the far distance. That's the way," said
the dwarf. "Excuse my going with you, but
people don't always care to meet members of
the family that they have married into, and
perhaps Aquila will not care about my having
shown you the way to his house. Thank you,
Prince," he added, as the boy, putting his hand
in his pocket, offered the dwarf one of his few
half-crowns. "I'll drink your health to-night.
Don't trouble about that old sword of yours;
I'll take it back to the pawnbroker, he will
give me a good price for it, thinking that
perhaps some other King who wants to make
a present to his son may buy it. Good-bye, and
good luck to you," and with these words the
little man, making a spring, caught a bough
and began to descend rapidly to the ground.
Goldenblade went on along the verdant path-
way, which bent and quivered beneath his feet
in a manner painfully suggestive of the Margate
steamboat, until he at length arrived at one
of the quaintest edifices that he had ever seen.
It was built entirely of wood, and so mixed
up with foliage that it seemed as if it was