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EDITED BY GLEESON WHITE
BY MRS. DEARMER THE FROi
GIFT BOOK FOR
BOYS AND GIRLS
LONDON H. HENRY AND CO.
93 ST. MARTIN'S LANE W.C.
Edinburgh : T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to Her Majesty
Do boys or girls read prefaces now ? I wonder! I know,
years and years ago, during school-hours the dullest preface to
Latin Grammars, and such things, became quite fascinating.
But prefaces to story-books always seemed to be written with
an air of condescension which made one pity their grown-up
author for his misguided attempt to unbend. It was especially
annoying to be called 'dear Reader,' and very impertinent of
a stranger (so I always felt) to call you so; I wonder if girls
thought the same, or whether girls always skip prefaces. In
the old preface, the editor-with tears in his voice-thanked
'the worthy ladies and gentlemen who had seconded his efforts
to amuse his young readers.' It seemed to me that this
showed that he was glad of an excuse to say something,
just to prove that he was not silent because he couldn't
chatter, but only because he thought it more polite to let his
contributors do the really amusing part. But he was unable
to resist confessing himself a benefactor of both species-the
'ladies and gentlemen' (mere men and women never wrote
then) and the good little readers (purchasers or recipients of
So I don't think a preface need be written here, but as the
printer left a page for it, it seemed best to say so. I shall
not even add, 'if my gentle readers find as much pleasure as I
have in perusing the following pages, I shall die happy':
because if they are amused they have the pleasure without
the proof-reading-which is only funny when somebody else
has to do it. Besides, they may even dislike something in
this motley collection, and all their quite proper gratitude for
the rest may vanish when they reflect that an editor who
thought they would enjoy reading that must be a very stupid
For boys and girls are not, I think, quite so silly as pre-
faces usually regard them; and if any one of them finds any
particular item, which will be certainly the editor's own
anonymous contribution, very, VERY stupid-I shall think
that he (or she) is most likely right. For if one is not quite
an infallible critic before one has left one's 'teens, when is
there any hope of being so? Yet they must not be too
harsh on the misguided artists and authors, who really did
their best to be interesting, and, as it seems to a mere grown-
up person, with considerable success. G. W.
THE GREAT ROW WITH MENALLON
THE THREE SONGS
ONORIA'S OLD MAN
I CALL, I CALL (Music by Joseph S.
THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS .
I. THE FIRE-EATERS .
II. THE GALLOPING PLOUGH
III. THE THIRSTY WELL
IV. THE PRINCESS MELILOT
V. THE BURNING ROSE
VI. THE CAMPHOR-WORM .
John Oliver Hobbes
Richard Le Gallienne
E. F. Strange
Mary E. Mann .
Robert Herrick .
REMORSE Starr Wood
THE CHANGING YEARS (Music by Frank \ Katharine Hart-Davis
Arnold) and Francis Bate
THE EXPERIENCES OF CHARLES LEGGET Colonel Strange.
JONES'S CATAPULT Starr Wood
LITTLE BILL, A VIOLET-POWDER MONKEY G.
THE CAT CINDERELLA Sir Richard Burton
THE 'BONAVENTURE' Paul Creswick
How DORA MADE A VOYAGE TO FAIRY-
LAND. Alfred Jones
THE STORY OF THE SMALL BOY AND
THE BARLEY SUGAR Max Beerbohm .
UNDINE, THE WATER MAID. After De la Motte Fouque
THE LITTLE PRINCESS AND THE GOLDEN
BALL r s. Percy Dearmer.
Two STORIES OF WAR-I. THE TRUMPETER'S
STORY. II. MY SOLDIER F.Norreys Connell 194,
DEAR LITTLE BIRD Paul A. Arre
THE SWEETHEART OF FLYING WILL .Edgar Jepson
RIP VAN WINKLE AND HIS LONG NAP After Washington Irving
NUMBER NINE TO NINETEEN: BEING
THE STORY OF THE CURIOUS ADVEN-
TURE OF 'MY PRETTY' AND HER
BROTHER 'Too,' ONE CHRISTMAS EVE Mrs. Molesworth
THE FROG PRINCESS
THE THREE SONGS
SHE SMILED AT HIM AS SHE TOOK HE
HE STOPPED TO BE INTRODUCED
SHE WAS SILENT, AS IF A THOUGH
STRUCK HER .
'MIDSHIPMAN CHETHAM IS UNDER
I CALL, I CALL
NOODLE AND THE FIRE-EATERS .
NOODLE RESTORES MEMORY TO MELIL
THE CHANGING YEARS .
Two REVOLVER SHOTS RANG OUT
A STEADY LITTLE BRIG
A VOYAGE TO FAIRYLAND
A STREET BALLET (in colour)
NOR DID JILL LOOK AT HIM WHE
THE CLOCK, ETC.
THE TRUMPETER'S STORY
DEAR LITTLE BIRD
THE SWEETHEART OF FLYING WILL
RIP VAN WINKLE
'MY PRETTY' AND HER BROTHER
HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERI
BUSH (in colour)
SMrs. Percy Dearmer
SL. Leslie Brooke .
SLdon V. Solon
Paul Woocdroffe .
OT ,, ,,
. Starr Wood
SJungman 97,104, 106,
L. de Mlontnmorency
G. A. Gordon 149,
SA. A. van Anrooy
SL. de Montmorency
H. Teixeira de Mattos 255
The Devices in the Margins by W. J. OVERNELL
Initials by L. DE MONTMORENCY
Headpiece to Half-title by HAROLD NELSON; and the
Cover Design and End-Papers by PAUL WOODROFFE
ALL HER OWN COURT SHRIEKED
WITH LAUGHTER AT HER QUEER FACE,
AND DID NOT KNOW HER
To MY LITTLE SON. BY JOHN
HIS is the story of Prince Toto, who
thought everything hideous and every-
body ugly. If any one said to him,
S' Look at the sun sparkling on the sea,'
he would say, 'Don't be silly'; and
when his mother, the Queen, would
say, 'Come and sit with me under this
beautiful rose-bush,' he would get irritable, and reply, 'I
would as soon see a radish as a rose!' It was impos-
sible to please him. This was a great sorrow to his parents,
the King and Queen of the fairies, because there were few
fairies left on the earth, and they did not wish the last of
them to seem so disagreeable. The King and whole court
wondered what they could do to cure Prince Toto.
Copyright in the United States of America, 1896, by Pearl Mary Craigie.
Now in the Land of Two Moons, which was the next
country to theirs, there lived a beautiful Princess. She was
called the Princess Verbena. She was four inches high, and
she had golden hair, and cheeks like pink geraniums, and eyes
like field forget-me-nots. The whole world said that she was
quite faultless. When Prince Toto's unhappy mother heard
this, she said to the King:
'Our son must see the Princess Verbena, and then he will
surely admit that there is something worth looking at!' So
they called the court painter, and he made a portrait of
Prince Toto to send to the Princess. It was so large that
eight grass-hoppers were required to carry it, and so of course
the grass-hoppers never admired it in the least. But the
court ladies, who looked on and were beautifully cool and
comfortable, declared it a splendid portrait; and one, to flatter
the Princess, pretended to be jealous, and drowned herself in
a lily full of rain-water. She was saved afterwards by a court
gentleman. But the Princess was just as pleased as though
she had really been drowned-indeed, more so, for in that case
she would have had to order court mourning and ride on bats
instead of butterflies for several nights.
So you think Prince Toto is handsome ?' said Verbena.
'He is the pink of perfection,' exclaimed all her ladies.
'Poor Prince Toto!' said the Princess Verbena. 'What
a pity it is that he thinks everything hideous and every-
Then she called for her looking-glass, and all her friends
and all her attendants told her how beautiful she was. So
she accepted the Queen's invitation to spend a hundred years
or two at the Court of the Rainbow. When they say a
hundred years in Fairyland, that is merely out of politeness.
The Queen would have thought it very odd indeed if the
Princess had remained with her so long. Then Verbena
ordered some wonderful new dresses. Some were woven out
of moonbeams, and some were made of sea-foam, and some
were made of flower-petals, and some were made of gossamer.
There were never before seen such pretty, pretty dresses as
those of the Princess Verbena. She called together her fifty-
two court ladies and started out on her journey from the
Land of Two Moons, which was her own kingdom, to the
Country of the Rainbows, where Prince Toto lived with his
parents. The Princess was borne along in her chariot, which
was cut out of a single sapphire and drawn by twenty butter-
flies, each more dazzling than the other. When the chariot
and the butterflies pass us we have to close our eyes or put
up a parasol, because the light seems so great. That is why
no ordinary boy or girl or man or woman has ever beheld the
Princess and her Court. The chariot was followed by a band
of crickets, who played music like the flute, and a band of
white mice, and a band of grass-hoppers, and a band of larks,
and a regiment of love-birds, and a regiment of robin-red-
breasts, and a regiment of small green frogs mounted on
white doves, and a regiment of bats. Last of all came two
black spaniel puppies with long ears, and they seemed as
large to the fairies as elephants do to us. These puppies
were presents for the Prince, and they were great treasures.
Forty-five dwarfs, well armed with thistle heads, had to guard
them day and night. Now when the Princess was almost in
sight of the Country of the Rainbows, and was looking out for
the Prince and all his men, who were coming out to meet
her, she saw instead an old witch on the road. This old witch
was sitting inside a scooped-out water-melon, and she wore a
bonnet made out of a dried plum-skin.
'Dear me!' cried the Princess; 'I think I know this
witch. I will give her a present and ask her to say nice
things about me. It is quite as easy to make friends as
But the witch knew just what was passing in the Princess
Verbena's heart. So she came out of the melon and invited
the Princess to step inside. Verbena was rather frightened,
although she was far too noble to show her fear.
'I don't want a present,' said the witch. 'I just want to
have a talk with you.'
The Princess was most wretched at this, because she had
always been taught that there was nothing more dangerous
than talking. She offered the witch bottles of raspberry-
vinegar, and syrup made of honey, and boxes of almond
paste. But the witch shook her head and said:
'No. I will have a talk, or nothing.'
Then the Princess stepped out of her chariot and followed
the witch into the melon-house, which was yellow, damp, and
'Now,' said the witch, I suppose you think that the
wretched Prince Toto will take one look at your face and
The Princess smiled and looked so pretty that even the
witch began to love her.
'If you really wish to cure Prince Toto,' said the witch,
'you must give up all your beauty. Your golden hair must
be green, and your pink cheeks must be blue, and your eyes
must be yellow, like amber. And you must wear brown rags
and march by the side of the puppies. And every one will
jeer at you and mock at you, and when the Prince gets tired
of the court he will visit the kennel and tease the puppies
and laugh at your funny ugly face.'
At these words the Princess fainted straight off. But the
witch fanned her with an oak-leaf and she soon revived.
'You must change places with one of your ladies-in-wait-
ing,' continued the witch; 'and if you honestly like Prince
Toto you will not mind the sacrifice. He is a good Prince,
but he is under a spell, and the spell can never be broken
until some one is willing to suffer for his sake.'
The Princess thought for a long time, and finally said:
'Let me see his portrait once more.'
So the witch called the eight grass-hoppers who were
travelling in a special caravan with the Prince's portrait.
They all came into the melon-house looking extremely tired
and sick. And they stood in a row on the tip of their hind
legs supporting the portrait of Prince Toto.
'He is very, very beautiful,' sighed the Princess Verbena.
'Do look at his rolling eyes, and his pointed chin, and those
splendid buttons on his coat! How well he turns out his toes !
how gracefully his hand rests upon his sword! It is enough
to break any one's heart to think that he is so wicked.'
She walked up and down in front of the portrait till the
grass-hoppers nearly dropped down with fatigue. Then she
remembered that they might be tired, and, being a kind
Princess, she gave each one a small medal and her warmest
thanks for their devoted service. After that she graciously
permitted them to limp out backwards, carrying the portrait
on their wings. When they had gone she sighed afresh:
'Which of my ladies shall I send in my name and dress
up in my clothes?' said she. 'How about the Countess
Now the Countess Cob-web was the oldest and plainest
fairy in her court.
'Oh no!' said the witch, 'you must send the prettiest
one of the lot.'
'How very annoying,' said the Princess Verbena; but
nevertheless she called in her friend the Lady Star-light, who
was almost as fair as herself. The witch explained the plan.
She waved her wand three times and touched the Princess
Verbena with a pink poppy. What a transformation I Her
moonbeam dress changed to rags, her golden hair turned
bright green, her pink cheeks became pale blue, her eyes
grew like yellow amber. The Princess looked at herself in
the glass and burst into tears. But such tears I They rolled
down her poor blue little cheeks-a radiant stream of pearls
and diamonds, emeralds and rubies.
'While you can shed such beautiful tears,' said the witch,
' you need not mind your green hair and your amber eyes.'
But the Princess wept all the more bitterly, and the
witch gathered up the pearls in a silver casket and told
the Lady Star-light to give them as a present to the Prince.
Then she put Verbena's crown on the sham Princess's head and
helped her into Verbena's sapphire chariot. And the Princess
Verbena had to march in the rear with the puppies; and all
her own court, and her own regiment, and her own faithful
crickets, and the eight grass-hoppers, to whom she had but
a moment before given medals, shrieked with laughter at her
queer face and did not know her. They bowed very low to
the sham Princess, however, and, as the witch had managed
everything most cleverly, they never suspected that any
change had been made.
The sham Princess lolled back on her cushions, and
pointing to Verbena, said:
'I have bought this odd witch-girl for a slave to make
my Prince Toto laugh. She is to take care of the giant
What a capital idea!' said the Lord Chief Busybody,
who rode by the side of her chariot on a small grey squirrel.
' She is the funniest creature I ever beheld!'
The Prime Minister was so amazed at the Princess
Verbena's green hair that he rolled off his bird (he was
mounted on a pink and white parrot), and the Court had to
wait for two whole hours while he changed his dusty robes.
This delay put every one in such a bad humour that they
forgot to laugh at the poor puppy-girl, and they began to say
instead what tiresome, stupid, useless people Prime Ministers
Now, in the meanwhile, Prince Toto had started forth to
meet his royal visitor. He wore scarlet silk stockings, with
golden garters, and his gorgeous uniform as a General of the
great army of Imperial Wasps-the most deadly force in the
whole of Fairyland. He was quite six inches high, and he
looked very fine and fierce as he rode on a tortoise-shell kitten.
He chose the kitten because she could not trot so fast as his
favourite charger-a white rat. But he did not like to seem
in any great haste to see the Princess Verbena, which shows
that he must have been rather anxious to appear more unkind
and ungracious than he really was by nature. He was
followed by the Imperial Wasps, and three thousand
dancing stars, and a regiment of blue-bottles, and a regi-
ment of night-owls, and a regiment of young eagles. It was
a most imposing train. When Prince Toto came within sight
of the Princess and her escort, his heart began to beat and he
wanted to go home again. But he was too brave to own this
even to himself, so he stroked the kitten's head and said in a
loud voice: 'Never mind, I am here !' as though she were the
frightened one of the two and needed encouragement. The
kitten was no fool and had always been in Royal stables, so
she knew what was expected of her. She mewed and mewed
and mewed and pretended to be terrified. This placed the
Prince to a great advantage, and as the Princess's chariot drove
up he seemed to be calming the wild, obstreperous kitten.
'How superbly His Royal Highness rides !' exclaimed the
court ladies in the sham Princess's chariot.
'What courage I what a firm hand And what a spirited,
dangerous kitten! Oh, what a savage, peculiar, fiery,
untamed kitten !'
They all gave little screams each time the kitten cried
'Mew,' and two or three swooned into the arms of the
But the sham Princess stood up and made a fine curtsy
to Prince Toto, who, springing elegantly from the kitten, also
made a fine bow. He did not think much, however, of the
lady's looks, and was greatly disappointed. Nevertheless, he
rode by her side, and they talked about themselves, and
laughed very loud at each other's jokes, and were so ex-
cessively polite that the Prime Minister and the Lord
Chamberlain thought it was a clear case of love at first
sight. And when the Prince offered her a chocolate cream,
and she gave him a macaroon, they all winked and said that
the marriage would surely take place the next day. But this
will show you how mistaken Lord Chamberlains and Prime
Ministers may be.
At length they halted to rest on the top of a high hill.
'I am certain,' said the Lord Chief Busybody, who had been
drinking more raspberry-vinegar than was good for him, 'that
His Royal Highness would like to see the puppies and the
Prince Toto bowed very low in order to hide a yawn, and
said it would be delightful. But the sham Princess began to
get cross, because she rather enjoyed talking to Prince Toto,
and she did not want him to look at any one else, not even
at the puppies or the witch-girl. But it was too late now to
interfere, and the puppies were sent for. So the poor little
Princess Verbena came in her rags leading the spaniels.
'Good gracious!' exclaimed Prince Toto, and smiled in
earnest for the first time that day.
'Isn't she a droll creature ?' said the sham Princess. 'I
knew she would amuse you. And you can laugh out loud in
her face. She does not mind. She is quite accustomed to it.
In fact, if you don't laugh she will feel hurt and think she is
So Prince Toto laughed for twenty minutes till his sides
ached. He did not wish to hurt the witch-girl's feelings.
'I have never seen any one so hideous,' said he; 'she is
absolutely frightful, and oh, so exquisitely ridiculous !'
The poor Princess Verbena said nothing, but stood there
meekly while her own Court and Prince Toto's Court howled
and yelled with merriment. Prince Toto knelt down on the
grass at her feet.
Princess,' said he (of course he did not know that
she was a real Princess, and he called her this to tease her).
' O Princess, with the green hair and the blue cheeks and
the yellow eyes, shall I choose you for my Queen ?'
'Yes, please !' said the Princess Verbena.
How they all screamed at this comic idea Even the
Imperial Wasps grinned and the Morning Stars forgot to
dance. They had never before seen Prince Toto in such a
'This girl with green hair,' said Prince Toto, 'is even
more amusing than the puppies !'
And he kissed the sham Princess's hand and thanked her
again and again for bringing him such a new kind of present.
Then the royal procession moved on, and the Princess
Verbena was again sent away to the rear with the two
spaniels. At last they all came to the ivory gates of Prince
Toto's palace, and there stood the King and the Queen to
receive the splendid party. It must be owned that they also
were a little disappointed with the sham Princess, although
she was pretty enough and graceful enough to please anybody.
But she was not so perfect as the Princess Verbena, nor did
she look like the portraits of her enchanting mistress.
'Never mind,' whispered the King to his wife, 'she is
really very nice, although she looks bad-tempered; and if her
court painter has sent us too flattering a picture, we must
nevertheless pretend that it does not do her justice.'
Then the Queen said it was a great shame that they could
not get such a court painter for themselves, as she rather
wanted her own portrait painted for the National Museum.
The King answered that he might be able to bribe that very
man. Under cover of this pleasant conversation, the meet-
ing went off as well as could be wished. The sham Princess
was charmed by her reception. She remembered the little
casket which the witch had given her and which contained
the first tears which Verbena ever shed. So, as she wished
to please Prince Toto till he was wholly captured by her
amiability, she placed this gift in his hand.
'How odd!' exclaimed Prince Toto; 'I have never seen
any jewels to compare with these. I wish you would tell me
where I could find more, because, on my honour, they are the
only things which almost please me! I assure you, dear
Princess, I am strongly tempted to admire them. A thousand,
But the sham Princess dared not tell him that they were
the poor witch-girl's tears, so she declared that they had
belonged to her royal treasury and were the last of their
kind. Then the Prince sent a command to all the gnomes
and elves, and sprites and mermaids, to seek through every
mine in the earth and every cave of the sea in quest of
precious stones like those in the little silver casket. But
they could discover nothing which even compared with the
wonderful tears of the Princess Verbena. Prince Toto was so
grateful, however, for the few he possessed that he rarely left
the sham Princess's side. When they marched in to supper
every one said that they made a charming couple, and
evidently Prince Toto had at last seen some one whom he
could call pretty. There were great rejoicings. They danced
all night, and no one remembered the poor Princess Verbena,
who sat all alone with the puppies. One puppy was smaller
and weaker than the other, so the strong one had to let him
have his own way in everything. The Princess Verbena used
to say to the Little Brother Puppy: Will you try your
teeth on a biscuit, or would you rather bite Big Brother's
And almost every time the little weak one would reply
that he much preferred to bite his big brother's ear. And
the big one had to sit there patiently just because he was
big and strong, while the little one gnawed at his ears.
Sometimes, however, he would say:
'I am getting tired of being strong, and I would much
rather not be a big brother. I myself should very much like
to try my teeth on somebody's ear. This is extremely trying
Then the weak little brother would call him a selfish
great brute, and bite him all the harder. The Princess
Verbena often forgot her own sadness when she saw the
suffering of the Big Brother Puppy. Yet she too was
absurdly fond of the weak one, and frequently let him use
his teeth on her own fingers.
Now, when Prince Toto had danced for six weeks with
the Sham Princess, and had changed his suit nine hundred
and ninety-nine times in order to show off his fine figure,
the Queen, his mother, thought she might safely ask him to
fix a day for the wedding. But he was furious at the
question, and said he had no intention of marrying 'such a
'I would as soon,' said he, 'marry the girl who watches
the puppies. For she, at any rate, makes me laugh. And
she is so dreadfully ugly, poor thing, that she makes
even the sky and the trees look pretty in comparison.
'Oh, isn't this shocking behaviour !' cried the poor Queen,
who was tired out from watching the capers of Prince Toto
and the court. 'What will the Prime Minister and the Lord
Chamberlain and the Lord High Poodle-Dog think ?'
'I don't care a fig for the Lord High Poodle-Dog,' said
the awfully wicked Prince Toto. 'And you can tell the
Princess to go home. I don't want her !'
The Queen had hysterics, and the King was so angry that
he ordered court mourning and a picnic to the tomb of his
ancestors. The Prince refused to join the picnic, and he went
instead to the puppy kennel, where the Princess Verbena sat
alone on a broken pie-dish, crying most bitterly.
And when the Prince saw her beautiful tears, he bit his
thumbs with surprise.
'Surely,' he thought, 'those are like the jewels in the
He walked on tip-toe for fear of disturbing her; and when
she had wept herself to sleep, he crept up and gathered all
her tears into his cap.
'I shall make these into a crown,' said he, 'and it will
be a crown for my Queen when I marry.'
So every day after that he walked down toward the
puppies' kennel, in order to watch the Princess Verbena
weeping. He used to bow with a great flourish, and say:
'Good-morning, my lady Princess with the green hair and
the blue cheeks and the amber eyes.
Then she would laugh till the tears came, and, when she
was not looking, he would gather them up. After he left
her, however, and passed out of sight, her laughter would
change to weeping, and the Little Brother Puppy would
complain that she made him feel dreadfully depressed. But
he liked her tears all the same and thought they were glass
marbles for him to play with.
As for Prince Toto--every one declared that he was greatly
changed. He became more and more discontented, and
people thought from his odd manner that he was hopelessly
in love with the Sham Princess. They did not know that he
used to get up at sunrise when all the court was asleep and
no one could see him, in order to steal away to the puppy
kennel, where poor Verbena, looking uglier than ever, sat
patiently guarding the spaniels.
O Princess,' said Prince Toto one day, Princess with
the blue cheeks and the amber eyes, I do not laugh so much
as I once laughed at your green hair. I hope you do not
mind. I am afraid I have grown accustomed to it; in fact
-but please forgive me-I have almost made up my mind to
like it. One gets very tired of golden hair and black hair
and brown hair. But no one else in the world has green
hair like yours !'
She shed more tears than ever at this, but he was ashamed
to pick them up. And he went away and danced more gaily
than he had ever danced before with the Sham Princess,
who now carried her head very high and quite forgot that
she was only playing a part. Prince Toto did not go to see
the poor little Princess Verbena for several mornings. Then
he began to say to himself:
'I wonder whether her hair is so green as I thought it
was. I really must go and have another look.'
So he walked down to the kennel. And this time he found
her asleep with all her green hair hidden away under a
ragged old cap. There were two tears on her cheek, and
they were as bright as the sun. Yet he was afraid to touch
them, and he turned back to his palace in a bad temper.
But, to his horror, he saw all the Court coming down to meet
him. And the King and the Queen and the Sham Princess
screamed with laughter at the sight of Verbena and the
puppies. Verbena woke up, but she never winced nor moved.
She sang the puppies to sleep because she did not wish
them to think that they were being laughed at too. For
the puppies were extremely sensitive, and they knew that
if people had never been told that their long ears and short
tails were points of miraculous beauty, it would be easy to
make a mistake and think them deformities. As soon as
Verbena sang, however, they fell into a doze and did not
trouble themselves at all about the Sham Princess's giggles.
But the more the Court jeered the more Prince Toto sighed.
At last he stamped his foot and said:
'Where did you learn your manners ?'
'Why,' said the Lord Chamberlain, 'we learnt them from
your Royal Highness, to be sure. Who else could have
taught us so well?'
At this Prince Toto flew into a towering passion, and
ordered every one's head cut off. Which was absurd, because
the only fairy who knew how to cut off heads and screw them
on again without giving the least pain had gone away for a
thousand years or so to catch shrimps and learn how to ride
the periwinkle. The Queen reminded Prince Toto of this
and begged him to keep calm.
'You misunderstood me,' said Prince Toto very savagely
indeed-' I never ordered any one's head to be cut off. I
merely observed that it was a good day for a lobster race.'
When he told this dreadful story the Princess Verbena
began to cry. All the Court stared with amazement and
delight at the sight of her beautiful tears, and the Keeper of
the Royal Pocket-money asked the King in a whisper if he
might not send for a dust-pan and brush and sweep those
tears into the Royal Money-box. But Prince Toto ordered
every one to return home. He himself went last; and as he
went he threw a feather from his cap at the feet of the
'The only real treasures in the whole world,' said he, 'are
And then a marvellous thing happened. Verbena's rags
changed to moonbeams; her green hair became golden; her
blue cheeks turned pink; her amber eyes melted into the
colour of field forget-me-nots.
And Prince Toto fell on his knees before her and said:
Oh, I know that you are the Princess from the Land of
Two Moons, and you are even more beautiful and more
precious than your tears !'
And when the Court and the King and the Queen and
the Sham Princess looked round to see what had become of
the Prince, they saw him riding away on the Big Brother
Puppy toward the Land of Two Moons. And the Princess
Verbena-who was smiling-rode by his side on the Little
Brother Puppy, who actually winked at the Lord High
'What disgraceful conduct!' said the Sham Princess. 'I
have never seen such vulgar, ill-bred people i' and she nearly
died of temper.
But the Keeper of the Royal Money-box went into the
kennel and carefully collected all the tears. There were
quite enough left to finish the new crown, so it was made
at once. And when Prince Toto and the Princess Verbena
were married, she wore the crown made of her own tears.
And Prince Toto was an excellent husband and a kind king.
In the course of time he found much to admire in Fairyland.
He even learned to like roses very well, and he admitted more
than once that it was not absolutely silly to watch the sun
sparkling on the sea.
The puppies grew up, married, and had large families.
But the Little Puppy Brother gets very angry indeed when
his own puppies want to bite each other's ears. He tells the
Big Puppy Brother that he, for his part, wholly fails to
understand such unaffectionate conduct; and they have long
conversations on the subject as they stand on guard outside
the palace of Prince Toto and the Princess Verbena.
LITTLE FEET. BY RICH-
ARD LE GALLIENNE.
DECORATED BY CHAS.
LITTLE FEET. BY RICH-
/ ARDn LE GrALLIENNE
ITTLE feet that all day long
Make a lovely little song
Up above me to and fro,
Weaving fairy rings you go,
Little feet whose patterings small
Sweeter than the raindrops fall, -" .
When each raindrop in a shower '
Falls-to rise again a flower,
In the merry days of spring.
I have heard your mother sing,
Nothing else have heard so sweet,
Save the prattle of your feet;
Little feet that run and run
And never have enough of fun,
Little feet so pearly white,
That hate to go to bed at night!
Ah, though merry day be done,
In my heart you run and run, -
Far into the quiet night-
Childless, lonely, listening night-
Sowing, little fairy feet,
Many a tear-flower pale but sweet,
Though within your quiet cot
You sleep-O my Forget-me-Not!
YOUNG Smith, who is now in The Third,'
When a new boy at Thwackem's had heard
Boxes there were allowed,
So he came with a crowd.
Those Dormitory Feasts! On my word !
THE GREAT ROW WITH MENALLON. BY BARRY
regime, and still kept on-the same himself though his en-
vironment was altered and, perhaps, less suited to him. He
was, as a matter of fact, an excellent teacher and good
disciplinarian for small boys. He wore large onyx studs
in his shirt and a very open waistcoat, was dictatorial in
his manner to small boys and almost unduly deferential, as a
rule, to everybody else. In speaking to ladies, especially, he
always appeared to be selling something, and to be grate-
ful for their patronage. In stature he was rather short.
His great row with Menallon, which occurred one
evening in a hitherto uneventful summer term, raised
him into sudden prominence, and provided the school with
a subject of conversation for days. Years after, even, boys
who in their earliest boyhood had witnessed the sensational
scene would ask each other if they remembered it, or would
describe it with the inevitable accrescences of time and
As a teacher, Mr. Dolbeck had nothing whatever to do
with Menallon, who was in the sixth form and a prefect.
They occasionally passed each other in the corridors of the
schoolhouse, where Mr. Dolbeck was one of the assistant
masters resident, or interchanged remarks when they met
in the street or the cricket-field. Certainly until the evening
of the great row there had been no enmity between them-
they did not know each other well enough to be enemies.
Menallon was a boy of intermittent brilliance, who did some
things so well that you could not understand why he did not
do other things better; his breakdowns and achievements
R. DOLBECK was hardly of the same
type as the other masters at Desford;
he was considerably older than most of
them, it was said that his attainments
were less, and he taught only the small
boys. To some of the bigger boys it
was a wonder how he ever came to
Desford at all. He had come there
twelve years before under a different
were alike curious. In work he would be sometimes first,
and more often last, but very rarely .in any intermediate
position. At cricket he was more likely to miss an easy than
a difficult catch; he was a good man to send in on a bowler's
day when four wickets had gone in as many minutes for less
runs, for he was particularly cool and free from nervousness.
He carried pluck to the point of folly. It is possible that
they still show a place at Desford known as' Menallon's
Jump. It would have been a fair broad jump in any case,
but it was also the sort of jump that no man would ever have
failed at more than once. Failure meant a fall of thirty feet
on to the jagged rocks in the stream at the bottom of the
chasm. The take-off was bad, and a slip by no means
unlikely. It was idiotic to attempt it, but Menallon did
attempt it, and, as it happened, with success. The jump
became famous, and reached the knowledge of the head
master, who chaffed Menallon about it, but none the less
intimated that that jump was never to be jumped again,
by Menallon or anybody else. Menallon, of course, obeyed.
That was rather a strange point about the great row-
Menallon was not an insubordinate boy. He had occasional
fits of temper, but he generally controlled himself remarkably
well. The trouble began from a perfectly trifling cause.
It was at tea on Saturday night at the school-house. Mr.
Dolbeck was on duty that night-that is to say, he was to be
present during the hours of preparation in the day-rooms
to see that the younger boys did their work. Very frequently
the master on duty did not come in to tea, and in that
case a prefect was responsible for order during tea-time.
But Mr. Dolbeck, unlike the other masters, always made a
point of coming in to tea. He had been accustomed to do so
in the old days, when the sixth and prefects had com-
paratively little authority, and he kept up the custom.
He really enjoyed being on duty, liked to air his official
manner, and prided himself on the silence, which was evi-
dence of awe. Mr. Dolbeck sat at the head of one table;
Menallon, as prefect, sat at the head of another. Now,
although no definite arrangement had been made, it had
THE GREAT ROW WITH MENALLON
come to be understood (by all the masters, at any rate, except
Mr. Dolbeck) that even when a master was present he did
not interfere with the prefect's table; if anything went wrong
at the prefect's table, it was left to the prefect to correct
it. On this particular night something did go wrong: a boy
broke into laughter which was beyond ordinary and seemly
laughter; it was an unrestrained unmusical howl. Mr.
Dolbeck immediately sprang up, and shouted, 'There is a
great noise going on at the other table. I will not have any
noise whatever made on my nights. Smithson, go out
of the room, and speak to me afterwards.' The offending
Smithson rose and departed. 'That's rather cheek,' said the
sixth-form boy who was sitting next to Menallon. 'What
can you expect ?' said Menallon with a smile. 'He ought to
be teaching in a Board school.' This, of course, was not
audible to Mr. Dolbeck, but he saw that smile, and he
considered it to be insolent, and decided just to take that
Menallon down a little.
As Menallon was sauntering down the corridor to his own
study, he remembered that he had not seen the papers that
day, and turned into the senior day-room to have a look
at them. He was bending over a newspaper at one of the
tables when, at ten minutes to seven, Mr. Dolbeck entered
the room. Preparation was at seven, and Mr. Dolbeck liked
to have everything ready to begin punctually to the minute.
'Now, then, Menallon,' he began at once, 'I won't have you
here; you're in the way. You're a perfect nuisance. Get
about your business.' Menallon no longer smiled. He did
not answer, but folded the newspaper and began to walk
slowly out of the room. Mr. Dolbeck gripped him by the
arm. 'And just move a little faster,' he said irritably.
'Take your hands off me,' said Menallon.
What's that you said ?' cried Mr. Dolbeck, aghast.
'I told you to take your hands off me,' said Menallon,
twisting his arm out of Mr. Dolbeck's grasp, 'and you heard
me too. I meant you to hear me.'
At once the whisper of rumour went abroad: 'Row on
between Menallon and old Dolbeck.' From the studies, from
the junior day-room, from the hall and corridors, boys trooped
towards the senior day-room to see and to hear.
Mr. Dolbeck caught hold of Menallon's arm once more.
'Then I'11 teach you to use different language in addressing
me, Menallon. I'll teach you to behave yourself.' He made
some sort of futile effort to shake the boy. Menallon was
tall, strong, eighteen years of age. He took Mr. Dolbeck
by the wrists and forced him down into a chair, adding,
'You will find you can teach just as well without hanging on
Boys who in their day had been mildly impertinent,
had been punished for it, and had repented, stood stupefied
before an act of insubordination that exceeded their wildest
dreams and imagining. Here was rebellion indeed, and the
rebel was perhaps the last boy in the school from whom
rebellion would have been expected. There was not a laugh
at Dolbeck's discomfiture, not even a word spoken by any of
the boys that had gathered round. It looked like tragedy.
Some thought that Menallon must have gone mad.
If anger is a brief madness, both master and boy were
mad by this time. Mr. Dolbeck sprang to his feet, but he
did not attempt to touch Menallon again. He gesticulated,
and spoke loudly, sometimes stammering a little.
If I were twenty years younger, I would give you such a
-I would give you c-cause to regret this.'
'Well, I don't think you would,' said Menallon, turning
on his heel.
'You're no gentleman, Menallon. Don't run away. I
command you to stop. Stop and hear what I think of
'I don't want to hear it. I'm not interested in it.'
Interested in it ? You're no gentleman, whether you're
interested or not. You're an offensive, swaggering, imperti-
nent, despicable blockhead. D-don't think I've done with
you, for I haven't! You may think yourself very fine, but
you've ruined yourself. Whether you like it or not, you will
pay for this.' Menallon had left the room by this time.
'Whether you expect it or not,' Mr. Dolbeck thundered on,
THE GREAT ROW WITH MENALLON
unconscious of his absence, and then stopped suddenly, for at
the end of the passage the bell for preparation clanged loudly.
He turned round, white-faced, on the crowd of boys, whom he
had apparently not noticed before. 'Wh-what are you all
doing here ? Did no one hear the bell? To your places.'
The crowd melted away quickly. Mr. Dolbeck went to the
junior day-room, where he always sat during preparation, and
took his chair at the end of the table. He opened a book, and
appeared to be reading very fast, for he turned the pages
quickly with visibly trembling fingers. After a few minutes
he reversed the position of his book-he had had it upside
down. Then he discovered that one of the onyx studs had come
unfastened and secured it again. After a short time he put
down the book and began to write a letter. He wrote quickly,
in a large hand, sometimes whispering the words under his
breath. The small boys either looked studiously away from
him, or looked at him furtively, with a kind of morbid
curiosity. One, bolder than the rest, came to him with some
difficulty in his work. 'I am afraid I cannot attend to that
to-night,' said Mr. Dolbeck, with unaccustomed gentleness;
'I am very busy.'
Preparation went on in absolute silence. The hour and a
half seemed to spin themselves out interminably. The supper-
bell rang at last. Menallon came in to supper, apparently
unperturbed, talked neither more nor less than usual, and
behaved as if nothing had happened. After supper and prayers
the hour from nine to ten was on Saturday night free. Elsay,
a particularly steady fellow, captain of the football, went into
Menallon's study and talked things over. Elsay was plain-
spoken. In his opinion Dolbeck had behaved like a bounder,
and Menallon had behaved like a fool. Of course it's no good
jawing now,' said Elsay, 'but I think you've been a fool. You
mayn't like Dolbeck-I don't like him myself-but you're
leaving at the end of the term in any case, and he doesn't
.often cross your path. I'd have put up with anything before
I'd have spoilt all my chances in life for the momentary pleasure
of knocking a master down and then cheeking him.'
I should have liked to have knocked him down, but as a
matter of fact I didn't. I put him, with no more force than
was necessary, into a very comfortable chair. He'd no right
to order me out of the day-room, for it was ten minutes to
seven. In any case, he'd no right to speak to me as he
did, and no other master in the place would have done it. He
did it just to swagger before small boys and make me lose my
temper. And he'd no right to lay a hand on me. In fact, as
far as the rights of the case are concerned, it's old Dolbeck,
not myself, who ought to get sacked.'
'And whom are you going to make see that ?'
'Nobody, of course. When there's a row between a
master and a boy, the boy always has to be in the wrong and
the master always has to be in the right-even when the
master's a dirty, underbred bounder like Dolbeck. No, of
,course I'm expelled. I know that. Probably Dolbeck's
whining to the Old Man at this moment about me.'
But on the following morning it was quite obvious, from
the Head Master's manner, that so far Mr. Dolbeck had made
no report. Service in the school chapel was followed by dinner
in the quiet normal Sunday fashion, and one or two boys
prophesied that Mr. Dolbeck would ask Menallon to apologise
privately, and then let the thing blow over. But the more
general opinion was that a row of those dimensions was bound
to have serious results. Intense excitement prevailed. After
dinner, William, the school-house servant, was seen to hand
Menallon a note in Dolbeck's writing, and Menallon immedi-
ately went up to Dolbeck's room. The excitement increased.
Instead of going out as usual, boys waited about the house to
see what would happen.
'You wished to see me,' said Menallon, after he had
entered Mr. Dolbeck's room.
SI did. It was with reference to what happened last night.'
Master and boy remained standing. 'You must be aware,' Mr.
Dolbeck continued, 'that this is a very serious matter.'
'Of course, expulsion is serious,' said Menallon. 'I am
not going to dispute what happened, or to beg for mercy. I
THE GREAT ROW WITH MENALLON
should be quite willing to go with you to the head-master
now, and get it over.'
'I am not going to the head-master, and you will not be
expelled,' said Mr. Dolbeck. Menallon could hardly believe
'I don't understand,' Menallon began.
Mr. Dolbeck smiled faintly. He had counted on this
dramatic surprise. It was, in its way, a grain of comfort to
him. 'I will explain,' he went on. 'When I entered the
day-room last night I was annoyed with you about a trifle-
which I need not go into-and consequently I ordered you
out of the room with unnecessary severity, speaking in a way
in which it is not now customary to speak to a prefect, at any
rate when he is doing nothing wrong. I, in fact, provoked
you. I do not think that I was entirely in the right, and for
that reason I shall not report you. At the same time I have
been knocked about and insulted in public by one of the boys
here. No, Menallon, I am getting on in years, and I do not
think you were in the right either.'
'Nor do I,' said Menallon, with sudden impulsiveness.
If I do not report you-if you are not punished and
humiliated-my position here becomes intolerable. The
smallest boy will think that he can do what he likes with
me. One or other of us must go, and I have decided that I
will go myself. After twelve years' faithful service, with a
deep attachment to the school, and with little prospect of
ever obtaining such a post again, I have written my letter of
resignation. You need have no fear-your name is not even
mentioned in it.'
You're behaving to me,' said Menallon, 'very differently,
sir, from-from what I had expected. I don't want you to
send that letter. If I had known you would have taken it in
this way, I should never have dreamed--'
'It is too late,' replied Mr. Dolbeck. 'I will not report
'Then, sir,' said Menallon with decision, I will report
myself, and, whatever the result may be, I shall apologise to
you publicly, as I now do privately.'
It was Mr. Dolbeck's turn to be surprised. He held out
his hand vaguely. 'That's all-all right,' he said, 'if we're
both sorry for our mistakes; but what you are going to do is
Menallon shook hands with him. I must go to the head-
master at once,' he said.
A few minutes later William brought a message from the
head-master that he would like to see Mr. Dolbeck.
Menallon was not expelled, but he was privately removed
from the school. The concession was due in part to his previ-
ous good character, in part to the head-master's judgment of
the merits of the case, and in part to the strong representa-
tions in Menallon's favour made by Mr. Dolbeck.
Menallon left behind him, attached to the screens, a written
apology to Mr. Dolbeck, written in terms both humble and
And Mr. Dolbeck's position was strengthened, and it be-
came considered particularly dangerous to play the fool with
a master who even in the Great Row with Menallon came out
After some years a legacy came to Mr. Dolbeck and his
health failed him, and he retired. His regular medical attend-
ant is a doctor of the name of Menallon.
THE THREE SONGS: A FAIRY TALE. BY EDWARD
NCE upon a time, many years ago, when the fairies
had disappeared such a little while that the
oldest of the birds could still remember them,
there lived in the recesses of a great forest a
wood-cutter and his only son. The wood-cutter
was a stern, solitary man. He rarely spoke
to his son (whose name was Kalim), except
to chide him; and so it is not to be wondered at that Kalim
grew up sad and lonely-his only friends the beasts and
birds of the forest. His mother, he could not remember;
and he saw no strangers save the rough men who worked with
his father. Sometimes they would laugh at him, and ask
when he was going out into the world to make his fortune;
taunting him till the tears came into his eyes, and he would
flee to depths of the dark wood that he alone knew, and
stay there as long as he dared.
Now it befell one day, when Kalim was come to be a man
(although his father and the wood-cutters still treated him as
a child), that they had beaten and reviled him till in despera-
tion he had told them that he would bear it no longer, but
would leave his home for ever. He ran away, and they
chased him as long as they were able, because they did not
want to lose so valuable a servant; but he was younger and
stronger, so they could not overtake him. At last they gave
up in despair and returned. And Kalim wandered on and on,
having in truth nought else to do.
At last, when he thought himself safe from pursuit, he
went more slowly and began to look about him. He was in a
part of the forest he had never seen before-a green glade, in
the midst of which stood the ruins of an ancient temple over-
shadowed with ivy, and a clear spring bubbling out from
among them. The trees around were so tall and thick that
you could scarce get a glimpse of the sky above them.
Kalim was too weary to go farther, so he looked about for
a resting-place. In doing this he chanced to see a young owl,
which had fallen out of its nest in the ivy, and was vainly
struggling on the moss. As he came up, the owlet stopped
struggling and lay passively blinking its great eyes at Kalim;
who, tired as he was, yet picked it up at once, and, climbing
slowly and carefully up the ruined wall, replaced it in its
nest. Then he slid down, bathed in the stream and drank of
its water, lay down, and slept.
In the middle of the night he awoke, and saw that a.
ray of moonlight shone through a rift in the trees, and fell
just on the owl's nest over his head. Two great white owls.
sat there and talked, while Kalim lay and listened to their
And the she-owl said: 'Kalim was tired and weary, yet
he climbed the wall to put our son back into the nest.'
And the he-owl said: 'We will give him a gift!'
Then the she-owl spoke again: 'What gift can we give,
for he hath already bathed in the spring and drunk of its,
THE THREE SONGS: A FAIRY TALE
waters, so that he knoweth the language of birds, and hath
the gift of song ?'
But the he-owl answered: 'He knoweth nought to sing
but his own sorrow, and who will listen to that ? We will
teach him the song the thrushes sing in the springtime, so that
he may go to the great city and wed the king's daughter.'
And he took a feather from a thrush's breast and let it
fall on Kalim's lips.
In the morning Kalim arose. He remembered what the
owls had said, and set out at once for the great city. On his
way he heard the birds calling to him, 'Sing to us, Kalim.'
Then he sang them the song the thrushes sing in the spring-
time; and they were glad, for it was autumn, and they had not
heard it so long that they had well-nigh forgotten it. And
they all sang back to him, Go to the great city and marry
the king's daughter.'
He soon came to the end of the forest, and saw the city
before him; he went boldly on, in spite of his fear at seeing so
many men and houses, until he reached the great square
before the king's palace; there he found the thickest crowd of
all, each man wearing his richest robes and rejoicing. He
asked one why they made so merry, and the man turned to
him and said:
'Who are you who know not that the king's daughter has
this day been betrothed to the son of the king of the next
city ? And wherefore come you in no better robe than that ?'
For Kalim was meanly clad.
And he answered, 'I am but a poor singer, and come to
your great city for the first time to-day. I pray you tell me
where I may see the king's daughter, for I have come far to
look upon her.'
But the man laughed, and cried aloud, 'Come and see this
singing fellow who would visit our king's daughter.' And a
crowd came and jeered at him till he was half-dead with fear.
Then one of them said, Sing to us if you can; if not, we will
Just then a bird flew over the square, and Kalim heard
him say, 'Sing, or they will kill you.'
So he took heart and sang the song the thrushes sing in
the springtime-only he sang it not all.
The people listened; and some wept for joy, for there were
no thrushes then in that land, and they had never heard the
like before. Then they said, 'Who is this we would have
killed ? Let us put a robe of honour on him and take him to
the king.' And when they had done so, the king bade him
sing, saying, 'Thou comest in an auspicious hour, for my
daughter has chosen a husband, and we are all glad threat,
for he is a king's son.' Then Kalim was sad, for he feared he
was too late; but he heard a starling singing on the house-
top without, and the song of the starling was this, 'Sing, O
Kalim, for life is not over yet.' So Kalim sang to the king the
thrushes' song-yet even now he sang not all of it. The king
listened and wondered. He did not weep, for he was not like the
common people; but when Kalim had finished he spoke very
gently, 'Say, 0 sweet singer, what reward shall I give thee ?'
Then Kalim answered, 'Let my lord grant that I may
sing unto the king's daughter and her betrothed, and to none
other.' When he heard this, the king was glad, for he wished
his daughter to hear this wonder; so he commanded that
Kalim should be led into the princess's chamber, and that no
one else should be present to hear the song but her betrothed.
So they led Kalim thither; and when he looked upon her,
and saw how beautiful she was, he was filled with love. And
when he looked upon the king's son, who sat beside her on an
ivory throne, he was filled with sorrow, and felt as though he
could never sing again. But while he waited in silence, a
nightingale in a golden cage sang to him, Sing, O Kalim, for
it is long since I heard the thrushes sing in the springtime !'
And Kalim sang.
While he was singing the princess bent her eyes upon him,
and they grew darker and deeper ever with love for his
strange melody; but the king's son thought only of his own
love, and, when Kalim sang his last and sweetest notes, he
laid his hand on that of the princess and whispered, Such is
my love for thee.' So that she turned her eyes to his-and
Kalim passed away.
THE THREE SONGS: A FAIRY TALE
He wandered out of the city-threw off his rich robe,
seeing and caring not whither he went-till he was tired out,
and would lie down to sleep. Then he knew that he had
come again to the spot where he rested the night before, and
that again the owlet had fallen from its nest. He felt almost
too tired and sad to move, yet picked it up carefully, and, with
infinite pain, put it back. This time he did not bathe, but only
drank of the water and laved his brow therein before he slept.
In the night-time he awoke, and heard the great owls
talking one with the other.
And the she-owl said: 'Kalim was weary and well-nigh
broken-hearted, yet this second time has he climbed to put
our son back in the nest.'
And the he-owl said: 'We will give him a gift.'
Then the she-owl said: 'What can we give him, for he
hath already tasted twice of the spring water and knoweth the
songs of birds, and hath laved his brow and become beautiful.'
But the he-owl answered: 'A bird's song is but a thing
that cometh and goeth; we will teach him the song the river
sings to the trees, so that he may go to the great city and
wed the king's daughter.' And he dipped a leaf in the
stream and let it fall on Kalim's lips.
In the morning Kalim arose refreshed, and once more set
out for the city; and on his way the trees whispered to him,
'Sing us the river song, O Kalim.' And he sang it to them,
and they bowed over him and shaded him from the heat.
When he came to the city no one was in the streets, for the
sun beat down on that day so fiercely that people dared not
venture out of their houses. He made his way towards the
square in front of the king's palace, and saw none; but when
he got there, the great tree in the square bowed its branches
over him and sighed, 'Sing.' So Kalim sang in the deserted
city the song that the river sings to the trees, only he sang it
not to the end; and the king lay in his garden and heard it.
Then they beckoned Kalim to come into the palace, and he
came and stood before the king, who did not remember him, for
his face was changed. And the king said, 'Yesterday a sweet
singer came, and he is gone we know not how; and to-day I
hear thee also singing a wondrous song. Sing to me, I pray
thee.' So Kalim sang, but not all the song even now; and
the thought of the river and trees melted the heart of the king,
and he would fain have wept, but might not because he was a
king. But he said, 'Choose thine own reward, O singer.'
Then Kalim said, 'Will my lord grant that I may sing
unto the princess and her betrothed and none other.'
The king wondered, and said, 'So said the singer of
yesterday-yet have your wish.'
They took Kalim into the princess's garden, where she
sat with her betrothed on a couch of silver, and when he saw
them he was full of sorrow: for the king's son had woven a
chain of roses around the princess and bound her to him. And
Kalim would fain not have sung, but the roses whispered, 'Sing
us the river song, O Kalim, before we wither.' And he sang.
Then while he was singing the princess looked on him,
and her ears drank in the melody of his song, and she would
have arisen and gone to him, but the chain of roses bound
her: and when Kalim sang his sweetest notes, the king's son
whispered, 'So doth my love sing unto thine.' And she
turned herself again to him, and Kalim passed away before
they knew that he had gone.
Again he wandered out of the city, and again found him-
self at nightfall beneath the old ruin. This third time the
owlet had fallen from its nest, but Kalim seemed scarcely to
have strength to pick it up-yet did he contrive by slow
degrees to raise himself just high enough to put it again in
its nest, when his power failed, and he fell back with a groan.
Scarce was he able to reach the spring with his hand so that
he drank of the water-only this time he neither bathed nor
laved himself in it-and then he fell asleep.
In the night-time he again awoke, and the two great owls
talked one with another.
And the she-owl said: 'This third time has Kalim, with
sore trouble of heart, yet raised our son to his place in the nest.'
And the he-owl said: 'We will give him a gift.'
But the she-owl said: 'What shall we give him, seeing
that he hath now tasted three times of the spring, and hath
THE THREE SONGS: A FAIRY TALE
the gift of song, and is beautiful, and knoweth the fairy speech
of old time?'
Then the he-owl answered: 'There is only one song he
may sing, and that only to one; we will teach him the fare-
well song of the last fairy, so that he may go to the great city
and marry the king's daughter.'
And he bent down and touched Kalim's lips.
In the morning Kalim arose and went on his way to the
city: but this time he heard song of neither bird nor tree;
and when he came thither there was a great noise of feasting,
so that he asked one what it meant. And he who was asked
answered: 'Who are you who know not that to-day the
prince marries our king's daughter ?' And Kalim answered,
'I am the singer who came this last two days.'
Then they received him with joy and would have feasted
him, and borne him in triumph through the city, and have
had him to sing for them. But he said, 'Nay, let me sing
first to the bride.' So they took him to the king, and said,
'Lo, here is the great singer !' And the king was glad, and
said, 'Surely thou wilt remain with us now-at least sing
unto me before thou goest.' But Kalim said, 'Nay, my Lord,
unto the bride first.' And the king granted his request.
Then they led him into the bridal chamber where the
princess sat upon a throne of gold with the king's son beside
her and his ring of beaten gold on her finger. And this time
he feared not-but said, 'Princess, I have come this once to
sing at thy bridal.' And he sang the farewell of the last
But the eyes of the princess filled with tears, and she
would have thrown herself at his feet, had not the king's son
clasped her in his arms. Even then she stretched her hand
towards Kalim; and, as he kissed it, a tear fell from his eye
on to the wedding ring, and directly it touched the gold it
became a diamond, the most beautiful that ever was seen.
But the king's son saw it, and whispered, 'That is the gift of
my love to thine.' And Kalim passed away before they
knew he had gone.
And he wandered into the forest, and at last reached the
old spot: the owlet was still in its nest, so he knew his work
was done and laid down to rest.
And the princess married the king's son, and they ruled
over both cities and lived happily for many years. Only
whenever the thrushes sang in the springtime (for they came
to that land after the singer was dead), and whenever she
heard the river singing to the trees (for the stream from the
old ruin grew into a mighty river and flowed throughout the
country), she remembered the songs of the three days of her
bridal, and thought, 'I would have married him-if he had
been a king's son.'
But the owls said:
'He hath sung the three songs and hath wedded the
king's daughter-for his life hath passed into hers.'
ONORIA'S OLD MAN.
BY MARY E. MANN.
SHE SMILED AT
HIM AS SHE TOOK
ONORIA'S OLD MAN. BY MARY E. MANN, AUTHOR OF
' THERE WAS ONCE A PRINCE.'
When he is forsaken,
Withered and shaken,
What can an old man do but die 1'
S it possible that one can touch the very soul of things
with music and yet be soulless ? Can an artist play
upon the heart-strings of his hearers and be conscious
only of the strings of his fiddle ? While the music he
evokes rises and falls, sighs and wails and weeps,
unsealing the frozen waters, loosing the fountain of
tears, tender as love's whisper in the dying ear, awful as
the thunders of Sinai, is he privileged to hear only his own
music, to see nothing but the notes before him, to care for
nothing but the applause which follows? Can a man or
woman be artist to the finger-tips and remain as insensible
to the inner beauty as one born blind to the light of the
I don't know. I have thought that these things are
possible. All music-lovers to whom I have put the question
have answered emphatically, No. I am not a musical person.
I don't know. But I know Onoria Homfray.
Don't you agree with me that hers is a charming name ?
Onoria: Noria, as we all call her. Surely there is music in
the sound. One seems to dwell on it lovingly.
The fashion in names has veered round. We have got
back to the Annes, the Susans, the Betties of our grand-
mothers' day-the useful, homely names of homely, useful
women-the names that wash, as it were. Yet all the same
there is pleasure in taking such a name as Onoria's upon the
'Name that, like a pleasant thing,
Men's lips remember, murmuring.'
And she plays. They tell me she plays divinely. I am
not musical-but I believe them. There is a fascination in
her art even for me, the Philistine, the outsider.
I don't understand it; I can never talk to her of the
music she interprets. I mix up Chopin with Schubert and
Mendelssohn. I ask her not to leave off, just to give us one
of the songs without words-that lovely Consolation, for
instance-and she laughs with scorn of me, and says she has
just played it.
Yet because the speech is to me inarticulate, unfathom-
able, its effect is not the less powerful.
'That make you cry ?' Onoria asks, laughing, and looks at
me with her great brown eyes full of contemptuous wonder.
'Why, it is Grieg's Norwegian Bridal Procession. It is full
of gaiety, of life, of "go." Did you think it was a funeral
march, perhaps ?'
I wipe away my tears ashamedly. 'Aren't there times
and moods when gay music is more sorrowful than any dirge,
Onoria ? One can't disturb the dust of years and smile
serenely. Don't you understand that there have been feet
which have danced, perhaps to your "gay" measures, now
stilled for ever ? That once happy faces are scored to-day
by rivulets of tears ?'
What is the good of attempting to explain that to
I am, however, only Noria's 'companion.' She does not
concern herself much with the effect of her music on me. It
was different, at first, with her Old Man.
For one thing, he was a man; and Noria believes that the
sex, which I agree with her in thinking the stronger and
superior, is also the more interesting. She has not seen
quite so much of men and women as I have, and she may
change her mind later. And if not, Noria's opinions do not
Her uncle performs the service at the Warrington Labour
Home on Sunday afternoons, and Noria played the harmonium
there. It was a splendid instrument of its kind or Noria
would not have touched it. She could make it swell and roll
like an organ, till the little chapel seemed to rock with sound,
till you shook in your shoes and were afraid to look up
because the music was like the frown of God made audible.
She could make it speak till you could almost hear the
ONORIA'S OLD MAN
articulate words of divine promise and pardon. She could
make it sing like the quiring of angels.
Noria-a bit of a girl of seventeen!
And on Noria's Old Man all this tumult of sound had a
He was not so very old, not more than sixty, perhaps,
but weakened and bent and shaken from some sufficient
cause-God and he knew what. His legs trembled under
him, and he walked with his shoulders bowed, but his face
was still handsome, and his bearing was that of a gentleman.
The fact was noticeable, because in that sad place were not
many faces of refinement.
He sat close to the harmonium always, and his ears drank
in the music, and his eyes dwelt upon Onoria's face.
It is not, to my thinking, a particularly pretty face, but it
looks its best when she is playing, and I have certainly noticed
that the afternoon sun falling on her hair from the window
at her back turns the straying, outside threads of it to
On other occasions it is brown hair, no better than other
Of course, that enraptured attention did not escape
Onoria; of course, she saw where the worship of the eyes
was directed. She used to smile at him as she took her place,
to smile again as he, with his poor brothers in misfortune,
filed out. Soon, by watching, she grew to know the old man's
favourite hymns and chants, and would hold up the music for
him before laying it on the desk, that he might know what
was in store.
And one cold, wet winter's day, there was a bunch of
violets, surrounded with red-brown ivy leaves, lying on the
Many times, while lessons and prayers were going on, she
raised the flowers to her face; and when the service was over
and the voluntary played, she found the old man lingering by
'It was you who gave me the violets ?' she said. 'Ought
I to take them from you ?'
For the poor souls who sheltered in the Labour Home
were allowed sixpence a week, tobacco money; and Noria
knew at that time of year the violets had cost him as much.
'It will make me very happy if you take them,' the
old man said. His hollow-sounding voice had a tremble in it
like his head and hands and legs, but it was the voice of a
gentleman, unmistakably. 'I have to thank you for the
happiness of my life,' he said. 'Its only happiness.'
'You are so fond of music ?' Noria's face lit as it always
lights when her talent meets with appreciation. 'If you
could be in your place earlier, or stay a little later than the
rest, I would play to you with pleasure,' said Noria.
And be sure he availed himself of that permission. He
could not get to chapel before the rest, it seemed, but he
lingered in his place till the others had departed; and when
Noria and I were left alone, he crept out to a seat where, to
the best advantage, he could hear and see; and Noria played
upon his soul.
It was that she seemed to me to do.
I used to think his admiration extravagant, but Noria
would not have complained of the most fulsome adulation.
She was as greedy of it, as he of her music. And when her
playing was done, she used to stop to hear what he had to
say about it.
That he could appreciate her music, was about as far as
her old man interested Onoria, I think. It was because I
pestered her to do so, that she sometimes asked him for infor-
mation about himself.
On that subject, he was not communicative. He had
been rich and was poor, he said; and if he found the uses of
adversity sweet, he did not tell us.
'Have you a wife ?' Onoria asked him; and he answered
that he had had a wife. He mentioned the fact with no
softening of voice or eye; but after a pause, with another
'I had a daughter,' he said.
I knew then why he looked at Noria with that hunger in
his eyes; but Noria would never perceive it was for any sake
ONORIA'S OLD MAN
but her own, and it won't do for me to be always insisting on
'I only live for Sunday,' he once said. 'It is the thought
of you and your music which keeps me alive.'
'Do you play yourself?' I asked him. They would have
ignored me completely, if I had not brought myself before
their notice now and then.
He shook his head without removing his eyes from Noria.
'I used to sing,' he said, then drew a breath and added slowly
'Not now-not now.'
He waited for a minute, quite silent, his head upon his
breast-' She played,' he said dreamily. Then suddenly threw
up his head and looked at me, with a colour in his waxen
cheeks and the light of anger in his eyes:
'They took her away from me,' he said, with the echo of
an almost forgotten fierceness in the voice. 'Her mother, and
her mother's friends, took her away! The child would have
saved me. She believed in me. She did not want to go-
but they took her away And I am what you see. No hope
-no hope !'
I reminded him of the Psalms we had sung that day.
'Surely no man believing in a God, whose mercy is high as
the heaven above the earth, can take those words upon his
lips. The devils in hell might wail "no hope!" aloud for ever,
But Noria crashed forth into the Hallelujah Chorus. Her
old man preferred her music to my sermon, any day, she told
'It is his daughter he sees in you. He says she could
have saved him. Try if you can't do something in her place,'
And so, between the pauses of the music, Noria talked to
him, or sometimes I talked, and he answered back as if it had
been Noria who spoke. And always there was that weekly
offering of flowers for which the few pence of pocket-money
sufficed. Violets at first, then a few lilies of the valley. I
used to count them with a jealous eye. Twopence a spray
they were, at that time. The three sprays and their comple-
ment of leaves, represented his weekly tobacco-money, I
knew. And Noria knew, because I told her.
Isn't it sweet of him My poor old man He can but
give me all he has,' she said.
Then a Mar6chal Niel rose appeared, then carnations.
Presently, as the summer came on, there was quite a bouquet
for her to carry home after service. Sometimes she did not
care to take the trouble, but would give them to the children
in the streets-eager enough to possess such treasures, it is
By the time the flowers were plentiful, a change for the
better was to be seen in Noria's old man. He shuffled less in
his walk, and had lost some of the trembling in head and
hands. In his eyes, together with that worship of Noria, was
a faint light of pride and of rekindled self-respect. And
because of his grey head and his gentlemanly bearing, and
because of his uncomplaining submission to a sufficiently
cruel fate, others besides Noria and her companion in-
terested themselves in her old man.
The result we heard one Sunday when Noria had played
him-it was an especial favourite of his-Chopin's Funeral
March, and, having finished, had picked up her floral offering
of clove-pinks interspersed with little delicate tinkling heads
of the meadow-grass children call 'maidenhair,' and prepared
'When I hear that march, I think that I am a great man
dead,' he said slowly. 'I can hear the tramp, tramp of the
horses, and the tread of marching feet, and the shouts of a
great crowd growing denser and denser as they bring me to
my burial place. And then the welcome of the sweet singing
voices, the divine words of forgiveness and compassion. Then
the tramp of the retreating crowd-it dies away in the dis-
tance, and I am left to the peace that passes understanding.'
He sat in his accustomed attitude with folded hands, his
head hanging upon his breast, but his eyes looking upward at
Onoria, so that a bit of the yellowy-white showed beneath the
blue iris. His iron-grey hair, which was thick and plentiful,
was parted in the middle, and grew long enough to push
ONORIA'S OLD MAN
behind his ears, his iron-grey moustache drooped to his chin.
His was a handsome and pathetic-looking figure.
Noria put out her hand in farewell.
'Something has happened,' he said. 'They have offered me
a post with a salary. I could earn thirty shillings a week !'
'I congratulate you. I am delighted,' I cried.
He looked at Noria: 'I am not going away,' he said. It
is in London. I will not go.'
I cried out upon his perversity, but he looked only at
Noria: 'I will not go,' he said.
'Because of me ? Of my music?' Noria asked, pleased
He bowed his head: 'Because of you,' he said.
'But that,' I cried, 'is madness. If you refuse what is
offered you, you cannot stop here; they will turn you out.'
'Then I will beg in the streets,' he said to Noria. 'I
shall see you sometimes there.'
At that, I turned upon Noria: 'Why don't you tell him
that you, too, are going away?' I asked. 'We also shall
be in London after next week,' I told him. She is going to
study at the Academy of Music. She will play only one
more Sunday here.'
Afterwards she was pleased to read me a lecture on this
unlucky speech: 'I don't want my old man in London,' she
said. He is something to talk of and to laugh about here
-there, he will get me laughed at.'
But Noria cannot be unkind to any one's face: 'My friend
and I are to have rooms of our own,' she told him. 'You
shall come to us of evenings, and we will have music-such
He was to send us his London address before he left
Warrington, and we, when we reached town, were to send
him ours. Only his part of the compact was fulfilled.
Noria threw herself with enthusiasm into her studies,
made new friends, found new admirers, worked steadily enough
in working time-for she is extremely ambitious-in others,
entered with zest into whatever distraction came her way.
One Saturday she came home to me, laughing in an
irritated way, and in her hand was a great bunch of Gold of
Ophir roses, which she flung across the table.
'Who do you suppose was waiting for me in Tenterden
Street, with these in his hand?' she asked.
'Your old man,' I said quietly. 'He has found you out,
'A thorough old man of the sea, isn't he ? It is fortunate
that I was alone!'
Did he reproach you with not keeping your promise to
him ?' I asked.
'Reproach me! I am more of an angel than ever. He
has been dying to see me, he said-or that is what he meant,
I suppose. Hungering and thirsting was what he called it-
as if I were something to eat or drink.'
He didn't inquire for me, of course ?'
'Well, he didn't. I fancy he has forgotten you exist.'
She sat down in the wicker-chair by the open window, and
began thoughtfully to pull off her gloves. 'I wonder how I
am to shunt him. He looks such a funny old man,' she said.
He looks a gentleman, I am sure.'
'He wears a shabby old frock-coat, and such a hat! low-
crowned, and a flat brim, you know-ironed, I am sure.'
'What do I care what he wears!'
She laughed again. 'And his trousers-you look instinc-
tively to see them frayed at the boots-and they aren't,
because he has mended them himself-quite evidently him-
self! And, look here!'
From her jacket-pocket she drew a tiny jeweller's box, and
threw it over to me. Within was a cheap little gold brooch
-just a bar of gold mounted on a pin.
'If he had had the means, he would have given me
diamonds,' Noria explained.
'Meanwhile, he has half-starved himself for weeks to buy
you this,' I said.
She warded off the jeweller's box with an outstretched
palm when I would have returned it. 'Keep it, dear Senti-
ment,' she said. 'I make him, his jewellery, his flowers over
ONORIA'S OLD MAN
to you. Henceforth he is your old man. I can't any longer
be bothered with him.'
However, in this she could not help herself, for each Satur-
day afternoon he waited for her as she left the Academy; and,
whether she would or no, she had to walk through the streets
at his side. She would not bring him to the street in which
our flat was situated, but made some excuse to escape from
him short of her destination.
And then she bethought herself to ask me also to come to
meet her on these days.
I saw him walking up and down, up and down. The poor
bowed head shook badly again, and I noticed the uncertain
carriage of the legs. He recognized me with eagerness as I
'I want to ask a favour of you,' he said. I want you
always to accompany my dear child, here and back. I am
only free on the Saturday afternoon, but I suffer agonies-
agonies !-as I sit at my desk picturing her alone in the
dangers of the streets. Each night when I go to bed I wonder
if she is safely in hers, or in some hospital, it may be, knocked
down, disfigured, and maimed-her sweet face, her clever
fingers! The traffic is alarming, confusing even to me. Even
I sometimes encounter rudeness from the passers-by.'
I told him that I would come if he wished it; I longed to
add that Noria, in my opinion, was quite capable of taking
care of herself.
'I want to hear about yourself,' I urged. 'You feel
happier since your new start in life ?'
He smiled sadly enough, without lifting his eyes from the
ground: 'A new start he repeated. 'A man can't begin
life over again at sixty. I keep on--oh, yes, I keep on-
because the child is here and she wishes it.'
'Noria wishes you to stay in London, you mean ?'
'Naturally. She has no father, dear child; and they took
my daughter away from me.'
Presently he lifted his trembling head with a light in his
blue eyes: 'I think she will be pleased to-day,' he said; 'I
have been very fortunate-yes, I think she will be pleased-
I have had tickets given me for the Zoo to-morrow-two
tickets. She and I can spend a long day there together. There
is refreshment to be had, I believe-yes, quite a long day.'
Then we saw Noria coming towards us, and young Smollett
was at her side.
'That your old man?'
I saw his lips form the words quite plainly. He scrutinised
my companion with kind eyes as he came towards us. 'Poor
old fellow!' I saw the lips say again. And when he had
shaken hands with me he stopped to be introduced to the old
man at my side, and raised his hat with much politeness, and
said a few kind, respectful words, and went on his way. And
because he did that Noria was angry; she liked to walk home
from the Academy with young Smollett by her side.
So she accepted the flowers her old man offered her with
less than her accustomed graciousness, and she responded
somewhat sullenly to his talk.
'Keep him on your side,' she said to me. I can't hear
what he says in the roar of the streets, and I don't want
'Is she not pleased with me ?' he asked me once, and his
voice was indeed very low and far away, and the tremble was
in it which shook his whole being. We were obliged to
modify our pace to his, and the pavements were crowded,
and Noria was cross.
True to her usual tactics she stopped at a house in the
square before we reached our quarters.
'I have to call here,' she said; and, having got rid of him,
smiled on her old man sweetly enough as she put out her hand.
And then he told her about the tickets for the Zoo.
'We can sit under the trees,' he said; 'and if thousands
are there, you and I shall be alone.'
'Yes,' said Noria. She looked at me with her lips tight,
and I knew that no power could drag Noria to the Zoo with
her old man on the morrow.
She had arranged to meet him after church at the gate of
Regent's Park, but he had thought of a better plan.
f .4 -wRIqHT
HE STOPPED TO
ONORIA'S OLD MAN
Looking up in the early part of the service at the sound
of a shuffling footstep, I saw the old man being conveyed to
a seat, among the poorer of the congregation, in the side
aisle. By dodging the heads of my neighbours I could some-
times see his handsome waxen face, and always there was in
the blue eyes that searched the building that hungry look
which I knew was for Noria-Noria, singing happily behind
a pillar, quite unconscious of his presence !
Coming out, she saw him and clutched my arm. 'There
is my old horror !' she said. 'Nothing-nothing, do you
hear ?-will induce me to be seen walking with him to-day!
As to going with him to the Zoo, wild horses would not drag
me there. The Smolletts have asked me to lunch. I promised.
You are going too.'
The Smolletts are friends of mine-not of Noria's-and I
am always happy in their house. But to-day as we laughed
and talked I thought all the time of that old man and his
bitter awakening. He had been dressed with extra care that
morning, his linen bright and stiff, his hair smoothly brushed,
a little salmon-coloured rose in his button-hole. The rose was
to have been transferred to Noria, I did not doubt, and as
time went on I pictured it drooping, drooping in his coat.
How long would it be before he understood ?
The bright morning clouded over, and during the afternoon
a heavy rain came on. His faith in her was so great, I knew
that he was waiting still.
Noria was at the piano. I slipped away and took the 'bus
down to Regent's Park.
He was at the appointed place, standing patiently in the
rain which beat upon the old hat and soaked into the thin
coat. As each female figure passed he looked eagerly beneath
her umbrella. He would pace for a minute up and down the
road, would reach the gate, and stand a patient sentinel
I touched him on the arm. You must go home,' I said.
'You are getting drenched. Noria is not coming.'
How the darkness settled down upon his face !
'She had a prior engagement which she had forgotten,' I
went on, and may I be forgiven the lie I 'She had to go out
He looked at me for long, then dropped his head: 'I see,'
he said slowly, and repeated after a full minute of silence,
'You must go home,' I urged. 'Where is your home ?'
'Home ?' He repeated the word vaguely after me as if
he had not understood.
'You are so wet.' I put my hand upon his sleeve.
He looked down upon his clothes: 'I could scarcely be
wetter,' he admitted, and the fact, oddly enough, seemed to
give him satisfaction.
'Come home with me and let me dry your clothes before
you go to your own home.'
He shook his head. 'She wouldn't wish it,' he said; 'I
think she would not wish it.' He looked down at the rose in
his coat; it was broken on the stalk and hung only by a thread.
'Well! well I' he sighed, and brushed it away. Then looked
at it stupidly as it lay on the ground at his feet.
Presently he glanced up at me with a gleam of unaccus-
tomed keenness in his faded eyes: 'I suppose it was my hat,'
he said; 'my hat and my shabby old coat.'
I should, perhaps, have lied again, but my heart was bitter
against Noria and I would not speak.
He turned away and was entering the gates of the Park,
but I went after him and again caught his arm. 'You will go
home, dear old friend ?' I said. 'Noria will write to you. On
Saturday you will see her again. You will go home ?'
'I will go in the Park first,' he said. 'I have-tickets for
the Zoo. There are things to think about-many things.'
He looked back at me again when he had turned away.
'She was all I had,' he said, 'all I had all I had I'
And so, muttering that phrase, turned away and shuffled
out of my sight for ever.
It was young Smollett who brought the news to us the
next afternoon as we were sitting over our tea.
'Your old man won't trouble you any more, Miss Noria,'
SHE WAS SILENT
AS IF A THOUGHT
he said, and I think there was a touch of scorn in his voice.
'He is dead.'
He put an opened newspaper in her hand and pbAidJ
to a certain paragraph.
He had gone home indeed.
Before he reached his wretched lodgings, wherever tle:i-
were-and he had not apparently started for them till evening
time, for it was in darkness that the accident had happened-
he had been knocked down by a hansom and instantly killed.
No blame attached to the driver, the paper said. He had done
what he could, having a restive horse, to avert the misfortune.
But the unfortunate man, being old and very feeble, had
become confused, and so had apparently rushed upon his fitd.
Noria cried bitterly.
'How unfeeling of you to come and give me the news like
that !' she wept angrily to Smollett. 'You knew the whole
story-and about yesterday, too, for I had told you. You
might have broken it to me. She,' looking fiercely at me
through her tears, 'has been giving me no peace-accu..n"_
me of breaking the old man's heart. And you-you come and
tell me in this heartless-heartless way that he is dead I'
'He wouldn't have had me made so miserable,' she said
presently, when she and I were alone again. He loved me
better than any one else in the world. There is no one who
admired me so entirely, and believed in me so utterly as be
did I No one ever will again.'
'I think that more than likely, my dear,' I said.
She cried, off and on, for a long time: 'I shall never pl...v
to him again,' she said. 'And I always promised he should
come to hear me play. Now, he will never hear me!'
She was silent as if a thought had struck her: Perhaps
he will,' she said; 'we can't be sure about these thi.:.-
can we ?'
She opened the piano.
'The music he hears, and has always Il:nd. is as .i,
above yours as Heaven is above the earth,' I said to her. 'It
is music that you couldn't even understand, N.,-ri.. I am not
sure you ever will.'
She struck a low, heavy chord or two, cutting across my
speech-the first solemn chords of the 'Funeral March' of
Not for Onoria's old man the advancing tramp of horses,
the march of the gathering crowd, the state and grandeur of
the funeral cortege. Yet for him, let us hope, the quiring of
angel voices, the song of Forgiveness and Forgetfulness, of the
washing away of all sins and follies and regrets, of all wrongs
and mistakes, and bitter, bitter disappointments. For him
the healing of the wounded loves, the solace of the broken
heart, the tears wiped away! For him the peace that is
above all earthly dignities.
The sweetness and sadness of the heavenly song rose and
fell, rose and fell as Noria played; and then came the sound
again of the marching feet, receding, receding, dying away to
the faintest murmur at last.
'I feel better,' Onoria said, as her hands fell softly from
the keys. 'I think my old man heard.'
NELSON'S CHAMPION.1 BY VICTOR PLARR.
INETY-THREE years gone by at least
Nelson's glory was thrilling our kind :
Out of the Baltic and out of the East
His name was blown upon every wind,
And many a home-bred English boy,
And many a home-bred English maid,
-Heard his triumphs, and vowed with joy,
That now of old Boney they weren't afraid.
When the Portsmouth coach betrayed a gleam
Of a dark-blue sleeve or a golden star
The lads in the street would cry with a scream,
There goes a thorough-bred British tar !
Huzzay for the men who have at France !
Down with the rubbishy Rights of Man !'
As they capered and shouted in rollicking dance
Both British and anti-Gallican.
The little middies on Nelson's ship,
Long ere the boys at home, went wild
For the hero they reverenced, heart and lip,
With the wonderful worship of the child.
Said Edward Chetham to Peter Brown,-
Our Nelson is lord of all the sea;
I know he can knock twelve Frenchmen down !
A fig for their flag of the colours three !'
Now, Peter Brown was a peeking lad,
He came of a Whiggish stock; he frowned,
He argued, and ended in accents sad,
'Your Nelson's no hero, I'll be bound !'
1 The little-known anecdote of the great Nelson, on which these verses are
founded, was told to the writer's mother by the late Admiral Sir Edward Chetham,
Governor of Haslar, and one of the last of Nelson's 'Old Agamemnons,' as those who
had served with him in the Agamemnon (1793-96) were proud to style themselves.
According to Sir Edward's account, the mastheading took place in a bay on the coast
of Jamaica, and his honourable wound kept him limping till the day he died.
Swiftly a boyish fist outflash'd :
Brown stagger'd, a myriad of stars in his eyes,
Against the nettings he reel'd and crash'd,
And the middies who watch'd look'd grave and wise.
'A duel,' said every one, nodding his head ;
'That's the only way out of it, Brown, my lad.'
So Chetham was challenged, and blithely said,
'To fight for my hero I'm proud and glad !'
Up in the early West Indian dawn
The two lads rose and put off to land;
With grave young faces, white and drawn,
They faced each other upon the sand.
Loud bang'd the great horse-pistols, down
Fell Nelson's champion-thank God, not dead;
But the officer of the watch will frown
At a boy with his stocking torn and red,
Row'd back to his ship at break of day ;
And ere the wounded knee was dressed
A sombre messenger came to say,
'Midshipman Chetham is under arrest!'
Later a terrible mandate came ;
Nelson himself desired to see
The duellist-oh the pain and shame !-
In his own state-cabin privately.
Did Chetham ever forget that hour-
The sense of hollow and rank disgrace,
And Nelson's terrible look of power,
And Nelson's beautiful classic face ?
In his well-loved state-room, carv'n and low,
The captain sat by the windows wide,
And, seeing the culprit, he shouted Oh !
'So this is my swaggering friend ?' he cried.
IS UNDER ARREST.'
Sternly he rated the lad and long,
Grimly he spoke of the Navy's rules,
Of glorious discipline drown'd in wrong,
Of slow promotion lost to fools.
Then after sombre, sudden pause :
Why did ye fight ?' The little mid,
Sobbing, made answer: 'Sir, because
A fellow called you a coward, he did !'
Sterner than ever the great man sat :
Court-martial, sir, you cannot escape.
And sometimes it's the masthead, but oftener the cat.
Begone, sir Don't stand there and gape !'
Limping the lad from the presence crept,
Cow'd beyond measure, horribly shamed;
But ere with a groan from the room he stepp'd,
'Come back, sir !' a gentle voice exclaim'd;
' I've spoken to you as a captain must,'
Great Nelson said with a courtly bend,
'Pray let me thank ye ; now, I trust,
I shake your hand, sir, as a friend I'
All through the night and the scorching noon,
The white decks flaring underneath,
Fearing to sleep and fearing to swoon-
For slumber or swoon meant headlong death-
The boy to the masthead fiercely clung
Eighteen long hours, half mad with pain;
But still through his reeling wits there rung
Those kindlier words like a sweet refrain 1
And when in the prosperous after years
He told the story to folk on land,
The honest old eyes would fill with tears-
He seem'd to be holding his Nelson's hand
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THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS. BY LAURENCE
I. THE FIRE-EATERS.
LONG time ago there lived a man
who had the biggest head in the
world. Into it was crammed all the
knowledge that might be gathered
from the four corners of the earth.
Every one said he was the wisest
man living. 'If I could only find
a wife,' said the sage, 'as wise for
a woman as I am for a man, what a race of head-pieces
we could bring into the world !'
He waited many years before any such mate could be
found for him: yet, at last, found she was-one into whose
head was bestowed all the wisdom that might be gathered
from the four quarters of heaven.
They were both old, but kings came from all sides to their
wedding, and offered themselves as god-parents to the first-
born of the new race that was to be. But, to the grief of his
parents, the child, when he arrived, proved to be a simpleton;
and no second child ever came to repair the mistake of the
That he was a simpleton was evident; his head was small
and his limbs were large, and he could run long before he
could talk or do arithmetic. In the bitterness of their hearts
his father and mother named him Noodle, without the aid of
any royal god-parents; and from that moment, for any care
they took in his bringing-up, they washed their wise hands of
Noodle grew and prospered, and enjoyed life in his own
foolish way. When his father and mother died within a short
time of each other, they left him alone without any friend in
For a good while Noodle lived on just what he could find
in the house, in a hand-to-mouth sort of way, till at last only
the furniture and the four bare walls were left to him.
One cold winter's night he sat brooding over the fire,
wondering where he should get food for the morrow, when
THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS
he heard feet coming up to the door, and a knock striking low
down upon the panel. Outside there was a faint chirping and
crackling sound, and a whispering as of fire licking against
the wood-work without.
He opened the door and peered forth into the night.
There, just before him, stood seven little men huddled up
together, four feet high all of them, with bright yellow faces
all shrivelled and sharp, and eyes whose light leaped and
sank like candle flame before a gust.
When they saw him, they shut their eyes and opened
famished mouths at him, pointing inwards with flickering
finger-tips, and shivering from head to foot with cold, although
it seemed to the youth as if the warmth of a slow fire came
from them. 'Alas!' said Noodle, in reply to these signs of
hunger, 'I have not left even a crust of bread in the house to
give you! But at least come in and make yourselves warm!'
He touched the foremost, making signs for them all to enter.
' Ah,' he cried, 'what is this, and what are you ? for the mere
touch of you burns my finger!'
Without answer they huddled tremblingly across the
threshold, but so soon as they saw the fire burning on the
hearth, they yelped altogether like a pack of hounds, and,
throwing themselves face forwards into the hot embers, began
ravenously lapping up the flames. They lapped and lapped,
and the more they lapped the more the fire sank away and
died. Then with their flickering finger-tips they stirred the
hot logs and coals, burrowing after the thin tapes and swirls
of vanishing flame, and fetching them out like small blue
snakes still wriggling for escape.
After each blue wisp had been gulped down, they sipped
and sucked at their fingers for any least tricklet of flavour
that might be left; and at the last seemed more famished
than when they began.
'More, more, O wise Noodle, give us more!' they cried;
and Noodle threw the last of his fuel on the fire.
They breathed round it, fanning it into a great blaze that
leaped and danced up to the rafters: then they fell on, till
not a fleck or a flake of it was left. Noodle, seeing them still
famished, broke up a stool and threw that on the hearth. Again
they flared it with their breath and gobbled off the flame.
When the stool was finished he threw in the table, then the
dresser, and after that the oak-chest and the window-seat.
Still they feasted and were not fed. Noodle fetched an
.axe, and broke down the door; then he wrenched up the boards
from the floor, and pulled the beams and rafters out of the
.ceiling; yet, even so, his guests were not to be satisfied.
'I have nothing left,' he said, 'but the house itself; but
since you are still hungry you shall be welcome to it!'
He scattered the fire that remained upon the hearth, and
threw it out and about the room: and, as he ran forth to
escape, up against all the walls and right through the roof
rose a great crackling sheaf of flame. In the midst of the fire,
Noodle could see his seven guests lying along on their bellies,
slopping their hands in the heat, and lapping up the flames
with their tongues. 'Surely,' he thought, 'I have given
them enough to eat at last!'
After a while all the fire was eaten away, and only the
black and smouldering ruins were left. Day came coldly to
light, and there sat Noodle, without a home in the world,
watching with considerate eye his seven guests finishing their
They all rose to their feet together, and came towards him
bowing: as they approached he felt the heat of their bodies
as it had been seven furnaces.
'Enough, O wise Noodle!' said they, 'we have had
enough.' 'That,' answered Noodle, 'is the least thing left
me to wonder at. Go your ways in peace; but first tell me,
who are you?' They replied, 'We are the Fire-eaters: far
from our own land, and strangers, you have done us this ser-
vice; what shall we do to serve you ?' 'Put me in the way
of a living,' said Noodle, 'and you will do me the greatest
service you can.'
Then the one of them who seemed to be chief took from
his finger a ring having for its centre a great firestone, and
threw it into the snow, saying, Wait for three hours till the
ring shall have had time to cool, then take it, and wear it;
i ,'/* .
'' '' ~
THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS
and whatever fortune you deserve it shall bring you. For
this ring is the sweetener of everything that it touches:
bread it turns into rich meats, water into strong wine, grief
into virtue, and labour into strength. Also, if you ever need
our help, you have but to brandish the ring, and the gleam of
it will reach us, and we will be with you wherever you
With that they bowed their turbans to the ground and
departed, inverting themselves swiftly till only the shining
print of seven pairs of feet remained, red-hot, over the place
where they had been standing.
Noodle waited for three hours; then he took up the fire-
stone ring, and putting it on his finger set out into the
At the first door he came to, he begged a crust of bread,
.and touching it with the ring found it tasted like rich meats,
well cooked and delicately flavoured. Also, the water which
he drew in the hollow of his hand from a brook by the road-
.side tasted to him like strong wine.
II. THE GALLOPING PLOUGH
E went along and along till he came
near to a rich man's farm. Though
it was the middle of winter, all the
fields showed crops of corn in pro-
gress; here it was in thin blade, and
here green, but in full ear; and here
it was ripe and ready for harvest.
'How is this,' he said to the first
man he met, 'that you have corn here in the middle of
winter?' 'Ah!' said the man, 'you have not heard of
the Galloping Plough; you too have to fall under bondage
to my master.' 'What is your master?' inquired Noodle,
'and in what bondage does he bind man?' 'My master
and your master that shall soon be,' answered the old
man, is the owner of all this land and the farmer of it.
He is rich and sleek and fat like his own furrows, for he has
the Galloping Plough as his possession. Ah, that I 'tis a very
miracle, a wonder, a thing to catch at the heartstrings of all
beholders: it shines like a moonbeam, and is better than an
Arab mare for swiftness: it warms the very ground that it
enters, so that seeds take root and spring, though it be the
middle of winter. No man sees it but what he loses his heart
to it, and sells his freedom for the possession of it. All here
are men like myself who have become slaves because of that
desire. You also, when you see it, will become slave to it.'
Noodle went on through the summer and the spring corn,
till he came to bare fields. Ahead of him on a hill-top he saw
the farmer himself, sleek and rosy, and of full paunch, lolling
like a lord at his ease, yet with a working eye in the midst of
To and fro, up to him and back, shot a silver gleam over
the purple brown of the fields; and Noodle's heart gave a
thump at the sight, for the spell of the Galloping Plough
was on him.
Now and then he heard a clear sound that startled him
with its note. It was like the sweet whistling cry of a bird
many times multiplied. Ever when the silver gleam of the
Plough had run its farthest from the farmer, the cry sounded;
THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS
and at the sound the gleam wavered and stayed and flew
back dartingly to the farmer's side. So Noodle understood
how this was the farmer's signal for the Plough to return;
and the Plough knew it as a horse its master's voice,
and came so fast that the wind whistled against its silver
As he watched, Noodle's heart went down into the valley
and up the hillside, following in the track of the Galloping
Plough. 'I can never be happy again,' thought he, 'either I
must possess it, or must die.'
He came to the farmer where he sat calling his Plough to
him and letting it go: and the farmer smiled, the wide
indulgent smile of a man who knows that a bargain is about
to fall his way.
'What is the price,' asked Noodle, 'of yonder Galloping
Plough, that runs like an Arab mare, and returns to you at
Said the farmer, 'A year's service; and if the Plough will
follow you, it is yours; if not, then you must be my bondman
until you die !'
Noodle looked once the way of the Galloping Plough, and
his heart flapped at his side like a sail which the wind drops
and lets go; and he had no thought or will left in him but
to be where the Galloping Plough was. So he closed hands
on the bargain, to be the farmer's servant either for a year, or
for his whole life.
For a year he worked upon the farm, and all the while
plotted how he might win the Galloping Plough to himself.
The farmer kept no watch upon it, nor put it under lock and
key, for the Plough recognized no voice but his own, nor
went, nor came, save at his bidding. In the night Noodle
would go down to the shed or field where it lay, and whistle
to it, trying to put forth notes of the same magical power as
those which came through the farmer's lips.
But no sound that came from his lips ever stroked life
into its silver sides. The year was nearly run out, and
Noodle was in despair.
Then he remembered the firestone ring, the Sweetener.
' May be,' said he, 'since it changes and sweetens whatever I
eat and drink, it will sweeten my voice also, so that the
Plough will obey.' So he put the ring between his lips and
whistled; and at the sound his heart turned a somersault for
joy, for he felt that out of his mouth the farmer's magic had
been over-topped and conquered.
The Galloping Plough stirred faintly from the furrow
where it lay, breaking the ground and marring its smooth
course. Then it shook its head slowly, and returned impas-
sively to rest.
In the morning the farmer came and saw the broken earth
close under the Plough's nose. Noodle, hiding among the
corn hard by, heard him say, What hast thou heard in the
night, O my moonbeam, my miracle, that thy lily-foot has
trodden up the ground? Hast thou forgotten whose hand
feeds thee, whose corn it is thou lovest, whose heart's care
also cherishes thee ?'
The farmer went away, and presently came back bearing
a bowl of corn; and Noodle saw the Plough lift its head to
its master's palm, and feed like a horse on the grain.
Then Noodle, glad at heart, waited till it was night, and
surely his time was short, for on the morrow his wages were
to be paid, and the Plough was to be his, or else he was to be
the Farmer's bond-servant for the rest of his life. He took
with him three handfuls of corn, and went down to where the
Plough stood waiting in the furrow. Shaping his lips to the
ring, he whistled gently like a lover, and immediately the
Plough stirred, and lifted up its head as if to look at him.
my moonbeam, my miracle,' whispered Noodle, 'wilt
thou not come to the one that feeds thee?' and he held out
a handful of corn. But the Plough gave no regard to him or
his grain: slowly it moved away from him back into the
Then Noodle laughed softly and dropped his ring, the
Sweetener, into the hand that held the grain: and barely had
he offered the corn before he felt the silver Plough nozzling
at his palm, and eating as a horse eats from the hand of its
THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS
Then he whistled again, placing the Sweetener back
between his lips; and the Galloping Plough sprang after him,
and followed at his heels like a dog.
So, finding himself its master, he bid it stay for the night;
and in the morning he said to the Farmer, 'Give me my
wages, and let me go!' And the Farmer laughed, saying,
'Take your wages, and go!'
Then Noodle took off his ring, the Sweetener, and laid it
between his lips and blew through it; and up like a moon-
beam, and like an Arab mare, sprang the Galloping Plough
at his call. So he leaped upon its back, crying, 'Carry me
away out of this land, O thou moonbeam, and miracle of
beauty, and never slacken nor stay except I bid thee !'
Vainly the farmer, borne down on a torrent of rage and
amazement, whistled his best, and threw corn and rice from
the rear; for the whistling of Noodle was sweeter to the ear,
and his corn sweeter to the taste, and he nearer to the heart
of the Galloping Plough than was the old master whom it
III. THE THIRSTY WELL
SO they escaped, slitting the swift hours
with ungovernable speed. The furrow
they two made in the world that day,
as they went shooting over the round
of it, was called in after times the
Equator, and men still know it by
the heat of it, though it has since
been covered over by the dust of time.
To Noodle, as he went careering round it, the whole world's
circuit ran in a line across his brain, entering his vision and
passing through it as a thread through the needle's eye.
Nor would he of his own will ever have stopped his gallop-
ing, but that at the completion of the first round a mighty
thirst took hold of him. O my moonbeam,' he said, choking
behind parched lips, and sick at heart, 'check me, or I faint!'
And the Galloping Plough stopped at once, and set him to
earth in a green space under the shadow of overhanging
He found himself in a richly grown garden, a cool paradise
for a traveller to rest in. Close at hand and inviting to the
eye was a well with a bucket slung ready to be let down.
Noodle had little thought of seeking for the owner of the
garden to beg for a drink, since water is an equal gift to all
and the right of any man: but as he drew near he found the
means to it withheld from him, the lid being fast locked. He
went on in search of the owner, till at length he came upon
the same lying half asleep under a thorn-bush with the key
in her hand. She was an old woman, so withered and dry,
she looked as if no water could ever have passed her lips.
When Noodle asked for a drink from the well, she looked
at him bright and sharp, and said: Before any man drinks
of my water he must make a bargain with me.' What is the
bargain ?' asked Noodle; and she led him down to the well.
Then she unlocked the lid and bade him look in; and at
the sight Noodle knew for a second time that his heart had
been stolen from him, and that to be happy he must taste
that water or die.
Again he asked, with his eyes intent upon the blue
THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS
wrimpling of the water in the well's depth, What is the
bargain?' And the old woman answered 'If you fail to draw
water out of the well you must fling yourself into it.' For
answer Noodle swung down the bucket, lowering it as fast as
it would go: then he set both hands to the windlass and
He heard the water splashing off the sides of the bucket
all the way up, as the shortening rope brought it near; but
when he drew it over the well's brink wonder and grief held
him fast, for the bucket was as empty as vanity. From
behind him came a noise of laughter, and there was the old
witch running round and round in a circle; and everywhere
a hedge of thorns came shooting up to enclose him and keep
him fast for her.
What a trap I am in !' thought Noodle; but once more he
lowered the bucket, and once more it returned to him empty.
The old woman climbed up into the thorn hedge, and sat
on its top, singing:
Overground, underground, round-about spell;
The Thirsty has come to the Thirsty Well!'
Again Noodle let down the bucket; and this time as he
drew it up he looked over into the well's heart, and saw all
the way up the side a hundred blue arms reaching out crystal
scallops and drawing water out of the bucket as hard as they
could go. He saw thick lips like sea-anemones thrust out
between the crevices of the wall, sucking the crystals dry as
fast as they were filled. 'Truly,' he said to himself, 'this is a
thirsty well, but myself am thirstier I'
When he had drawn up the bucket empty for the third
time, he stood considering: and at last he put into it the fire-
stone ring, the Sweetener, and lowered it once more. Then
he laughed to himself as he drew up, and felt the bucket
lightening at every turn till it touched the surface of things.
Empty he found it, with only the ring lying dry at the
bottom, and once again he let it down to be refilled. But this
time as he wound up, nothing could keep him from letting a
curious eye go over the brink, to see how the well-folks fared
over their wine; and in what he beheld there was already
comfort for his mind.
The blue arms went like oars out of unison; like carpet-
beaters stricken in the eyes and throat with dust, they beat
foolishly against the sides and bottom of the bucket, shattering
and letting fall their goblets in each unruly attempt. And
because Noodle wound leniently at the rope, willing that they
should have their fill, at the last gasp they were able to send
the bucket empty to the top. It was the last staving off
of destiny that lay in their power to make; thereafter wine
Quickly Noodle drew out the ring, and sent the bucket
flying on its last errand. It smacked the water, heeled over,
and dipped under a full draught. Then Noodle spun the
windlass with the full pinch of his energies, calling on the
bucket to ascend. He heard the water spilling from its
sides, and knew that the blue arms were there, battling to
arrest it as it flew, and to pay him back once more with
emptiness and mockery. Yet in spite of them the bucket
hasted and lightened not, but was drawn up to the well's
head brimming largely, and winking a blue eye joyously to
the light of day.
Over head and ears Noodle plunged for the quenching of
his thirst, nor stayed nor drew back till his head had smitten
upon the bottom of the bucket in his pursuit of the draught.
Then it was apparent that only a third of the water remained,
the rest having obeyed the imperative suction of his throat,
and that the thirsty well had at last found a master under
the eye of heaven.
In the depth of the bucket the water flashed like a burn-
ing sapphire and swung circling, curling and coiling, tossing
this way and that as if struggling to get out. At last with
a laugh it threw down the bucket, and tore back into the
well with a crash like thunder.
Up from the well rose a chant of voices:
'Under Heaven, over Hell,
You have broken the spell,
You are lord of the Well.'
THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS
Noodle stepped over the brink of his new realm, calling
on the well-folk to reach hands for him and bear him down. All
round, the blue arms started out, catching him and handing
him on from one to another ladderwise, down, and down, and
down. As he went, anemone lips came out of the crannies in
the wall, and kissed his feet and hands in token of allegiance.
'You are lord of the well!' they said, as they passed him each
one to the next.
He came to the bottom of the well: under his feet,
wherever he stepped upon its waters, hands came up and sus-
tained him. The knowledge of everything that was there
had become his. 'Give me,' he said, 'the crystal cup that is
for him who holds kingship over you; so shall I be lord of
you in all places wherever I go.'
A blue arm reached down and drew up from the water a
small crystal, that burned through the darkness with a blue
fire, and gave it to Noodle. 'Now I am your king, however
far from you !' said Noodle. And they answered, chanting:
'Under Heaven, over Hell,
You have broken the spell,
You are lord of the Well.'
'Lift me up !' said he: and the blue arms caught him and
lifted him up; from one to another they passed him in ascend-
ing circles, till he came to the mouth of the well.
There overhead was the old witch, crouching and looking
in to know what had become of him; and her hair hung far
down over her eyes into the well. He caught her to him by
it over the brink. 'Old witch,' he said, 'you must change
places with me now I' and he tossed her down to the bottom
of the well.
She went like a falling shuttlecock, shrieking as she fell;
and as she struck the water, the drowned bodies of the men
she had sent there came to the surface, and caught her by
the feet and hair, and drew her down, making an end of her,
as she also had made of them.
IV. THE PRINCESS MELILOT
HEN Noodle, carrying the crystal with
him, set foot once more upon dry
land; and straightway he was again
on the back of the Galloping Plough,
with the world flying away under
S him. But now weariness came upon
him, and his head weighed this way
Sand that, so that earth and sky mixed
themselves before his gaze, and he was so drugged with sleep
that he had no wits to bid the Plough slacken from its speed.
Therefore it happened that as they passed a wood, a hanging
bough caught him, and brushed him like a feather from his
place, landing him on a green bosom of grass, where he slept
the sleep of the weary, nor ever lifted his head to see the
Plough fast disappearing over hill and plain and valley, out
of sound of his voice or sight of his eye.
When Noodle awoke and found that the Plough was gone,
he was bitter against himself for his folly. 'So poor a use to
make of so noble a steed !' he cried: 'no wonder it has gone
from me to seek for a worthier master I If by the help of
fortune I find it again, I will do great things by its aid, and
be worthy of its service.' So he set out, following the
furrow of its course, determined, however far he must seek,
to journey on till he found it.
For a whole year he travelled, till at length he came, foot-
sore and weary, to a deserted palace standing in the midst of
an overgrown garden. The great gates, which lay wide open,
were overrun with creepers, and the paths were green with
weeds. That morning he had thought that he saw far away
on the hills the gleam of his silver Plough, and now hope rose
high, for he could see by its track that the Plough had passed
before him into the garden of the palace. my moon-
beam,' he thought, 'is it here I shall find you at last ?'
Within the garden there was a sound of cross questions
and crooked answers, of many talking with loud voices, and of
one weeping apart from the rest. When he got quite close,
he was struck still with awe, and joy, and wonder. For first
there lay the Galloping Plough in the middle of a green lawn,
THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS
and round it a score of serving men, tugging at it and trying
to make it move on. Near by stood an old woman, wringing
her hands and begging them to leave it alone: 'For,' cried
she, 'if the plough touches but the feet of the Princess, she
will be uprooted, and will presently wither away and die.
Of what use is it to break one, if the other enchantments
cannot be broken ?'
In the centre of the lawn grew a bower of roses, and
beneath the bower stood the loveliest princess that ever eye
beheld; but she stood there motionless, and without sign of
life. She seemed neither to hear, nor see, nor breathe: her feet
were rooted to the ground; though they seemed only to rest
lightly under her weight upon the grass, no man, nor a hun-
dred men, could stir her from where she stood. And, as the
spell that held her fast bound to the spot, even so was the
spell that sealed her senses,-no man might lift it from her.
When Noodle set eyes upon her he knew that for the third
time his heart had been stolen from him, and that to be
happy he must possess her, or die.
He ran quickly to the old woman who, unregarded by the
serving men, stood weeping and wringing her hands. 'Tell
me,' said Noodle, 'who is this sleeper who stands enchanted
and rooted like a flower to earth? And who are you, and
these others who work and cry at cross purposes ?'
The old woman cried from a wide mouth: 'It is my
mistress, the honey-jewel of my heart, whom you see here so
grievously enchanted. All the gifts of the fairies at her
christening did not prevent what was foretold of her at her
birth. In her seventeenth year, as you see her now, so it
was told of her that she should be.'
'Does she live ?' asked Noodle; 'is she asleep ? She is
not dead: will she wake ? Tell me, old woman, her history,
and how this fate has come upon her.'
'She was the daughter of the king of this country by his
first wife,' said the old woman, 'and heir to the throne after
his death: but when her mother died the king married again;
and the three daughters he had by his second wife were
jealous of the beauty, and charm, and goodness which raised
their sister so high above them in the estimation of all men.
So they asked their mother to teach them a spell that should
rob Melilot of her charms, and make them useless in the eyes
of men. And their mother, who was wise in such arts, taught
to each of them a spell, so that together they might work
'One day they came running to Melilot, and said,
"Come and play with us a new game that our mother has
taught us I" Then they began turning themselves into
flowers; "I will be a hollyhock said one. "And I will be
a columbine! said another; and saying the spell over each
other they became each the flower they had named.
Then they unloosed the spells, and became themselves
again. O, it is so nice to be a flower !" they cried, laughing
and clapping their hands. But Melilot knew no spell.
At last, seeing how her sisters turned into flowers, and
came back safe again, "I will be a rose she cried, turn me
into a rose and out again !"
Then her three sisters joined their tongues together, and
finished the spell over her. And so soon as she had become
a rose tree, the three sisters turned into three moles, and
went down under the earth and gnawed at the roots.
'Then they came up, and took their own forms again, and
'" Sister, sister, here you are now,
Till the ploughman come with the Galloping Plough !"
'Then they turned into bees, and sucked out the honey
from the roses, and coming to themselves again they sang:
"Sister, here you must doze and doze,
Till they bring you a flower of the Burning Rose "
'Then they shook the dewdrops out of her eyes, crying:
"Sister, your brain lies under our spell,
Till water be brought from the Thirsty Well!"
'Then they took the top blossom of all, and broke it to
pieces, and threw the petals away as they cried:
"Sister, your life goes down for a term,
Till they bring you breath from the Camphor-Worm !"
THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS
'And when they had done all this, they turned her back
into her true shape, and left her standing even as you see her
now, without warmth, or sight, or memory, or motion, dead
saving for her beauty that never changes or dies. And here
she must stand till the spells which have been fastened upon
her have been unloosed. No long time after, the wickedness
of the three sisters and of their cruel mother was discovered
to the king, and they were all put to death for the crime.
Yet the ill they had done remained; and the king's grief
became so great to see his loved daughter standing dead
before him that he removed with his court to another place,
and left this palace to the care of only a few serving-men,
and myself to keep watch and guard over the Princess.
'And now four-fold is the spell that holds her : and to
break the lightest of them the water of the Thirsty Well is
needed; with two of its drops laid upon her eyes memory will
come back to her, and her mind will remember of the things
of the past. And for the breaking of the second spell is
needed a blossom of the Burning Rose, and the plucking of
that no man's hand can achieve; but when the Rose is laid
upon her breast, her heart will belong to the world once more,
and will beat again under her bosom. And for the breaking
of the third spell one must bring the breath of the Camphor-
Worm that has lain for a whole year inside its body, and
breathe it between her lips; then she will breathe again, and
all her five senses will return to her. And for the last spell
only the Galloping Plough can uproot her back to life, and
free her feet for the ways of earth. Now, here we have the
Galloping Plough with no man who can guide it, and what
aid can it be ? If these fools should be able to make it so
much as but touch the feet of my dear mistress, she will be
mown down like grass, and die presently for lack of earth;
for only the three other charms I have told you of can put
whole life back into her.'
'As for the mastery of the Plough,' said Noodle, 'I will
fetch that from them in a breath. See, in a moment, how
marvellous will be the uplifting of their eyes !' He put to his
lips the firestone ring-the Sweetener-and blew but one note
through it. Then in a moment the crowd divided hither and
thither, with cries of wonder and alarm, for the Plough turned
and bounded back to its master quickly, as an Arab mare at
the call of her owner.
The old woman, weeping for gladness, cried: 'Thou art
master of the Plough! art thou master of all the other things
He said: Of one thing only. Tell me of the Burning
Rose and the Camphor-Worm; what and where are they?
For I am the master of the ends of the earth by reason of
the speed with which this carries me; and I am lord of the
Thirsty Well, and have the Fire-eaters for my friends.'
The old woman clapped her hands, and blessed him for his
youth, and his wisdom, and his courage. 'First,' she said,
' restore to the Princess her memory by means of the water
of the Thirsty Well; then I will show you the way to the
Burning Rose, for the easier thing must be done first.'
Then Noodle drew out the crystal and breathed in it,
calling on the Well-folk for the two drops of water to lay on
Princess Melilot's eyes. Immediately in the bottom of the cup
appeared two blue drops of water, that came climbing up the
sides of the glass and stood trembling together on the brim.
And Noodle, touching them with the firestone ring to make
the memory of things sweet to her, bent back the Princess's
face, and let them fall under her closed lids.
'Look!' cried the old nurse, 'light trembles within those
eyes of hers I n there she begins to remember things; but
as yet she sees and hears nothing. Now it is for you to be
swift and fetch her the blossom of the Burning Rose. Be
wise, and you shall not fail!'
MEMORY TO MELILOT
V. THE BURNING ROSE
HE told him how he was to go, across
the desert southward, till he found
a giant, longer in length than a day's
journey, lying asleep upon the sand.
Over his head, she told him, hung a
cloud, covering him from the heat
and resting itself against his brows;
within the cloud was a -dream, and
within the dream grew the garden of the Burning Rose.
Than this she knew no more, nor by what means Noodle
might gain entrance and become possessor of the Rose.
Noodle waited for no more; he mounted upon the Gallop-
ing Plough, and pressed away over the desert to the south.
For three days he travelled through parched places, refresh-
ing himself by the way with the water of the Thirsty Well,
calling on the Well-folk for the replenishment of his crystal,
and turning the draught to wine by the sweetness of his
At length he saw a cloud rising to him from a distance;
like a great opal it hung motionless between earth and heaven.
Coming nearer he saw the giant himself stretched out for a
day's journey across the sand. His head lay under the colours
of the dawn, and his feet were covered with the dusk of
evening, and over his middle shone the noonday sun.
Under the giant's shadow Noodle stopped, and gazed up
into the cloud; through the outer covering of its mists he
saw what seemed to be balls of fire, and knew that within lay
the dream and the garden of the Burning Rose.
The giant laughed and muttered in his sleep, for the dream
was sweet to him. Rose,' he said, sweet Rose, what
-end is there of thy sweetness ? How innumerable is the
dance of the Roses of my Rose-garden !'
Noodle caught hold of the ropes of the giant's hair, and
climbed till he sat within the hollow of his right ear. Then
he put to his lips the ring, the Sweetener, and sang till the
giant heard him in his sleep; and the sweet singing mixed
itself with the sweetness of the Rose in the giant's brain, and
.he muttered to himself, saying: bee, 0 sweet bee, O bee
in my brain, what honey wilt thou fetch for me out of the
Roses of my Rose-garden ?'
So, more and more, Noodle sweetened himself to the giant,
till the giant passed him into his brain, and into the heart of
the dream, even into the garden of the Burning Rose.
Far down below the folds of the cloud, Noodle remembered
that the Galloping Plough lay waiting a call from him. 'When
I have stolen the Rose,' thought he, 'I may need swift heels
for my flight.' And he put the Sweetener to his lips and
whistled the Plough up to him.
It came, cleaving the encirclement of clouds like a silver
gleam of moonlight, and for a moment, where they parted,
Noodle saw a rift of blue sky, and the light of the outer world
clear through their midst.
The giant turned uneasily in his sleep, and the garden of
the Burning Rose rocked to its foundations as the edge of
things real pierced into it.
While I stay here there is danger,' thought Noodle.
'Surely I must make haste to possess myself of the Rose and
to escape !'
All round him was a garden set thick with rose-trees in
myriads of blossom, rose behind rose as far as the eye could
reach, and the fragrance of them lay like a heavy curtain of
sleep upon the senses. Noodle, beginning to feel drowsy,
stretched out his hand in haste to the nearest flower, lest in
a little while he should be no more than a part of the giant's
dream. beloved Heart of Melilot!' he cried, and crushed
his fingers upon the stem.
The whole bough crackled and sprang away at his touch;
the rose turned upon him, screaming and spouting fire; a
noise like thunder filled all the air. Every rose in the garden
turned and spat flame at where he stood. His face and his
hands became blistered with the heat.
Leaping upon the back of his Plough, he cried, 'Carry me
to the borders of the garden where there are open spaces ?
The price of the Princess is upon my head !'
The Plough bounded this way and that searching for some
outlet by which to escape. It flew in spirals and circles, it
THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS
leaped like a flea, it burrowed like a mole, it ploughed up the
rose-trees by the roots; but so soon as it had passed they
stood up unharmed again, and to whatever point of refuge the
Plough fled, that way they all turned their heads and darted
out vomitings of fire.
In vain did Noodle summon the Well-folk to his aid;
his crystal shot forth fountains of water that turned into
steam as they rose, and fell back again scalding him.
Then with two deaths threatening to devour him, he
brandished the ring, calling upon the Fire-eaters for their
They laughed as they came. 'Here is food for you !' he
cried, 'Multiply your appetites about me, or I shall be con-
sumed in these flames!'
'Brandish again!' cried they-the same seven whom he
had fed. 'We are not enough: this fire is not quenchable.'
Noodle brandished : till the whole garden swarmed with
their kind. One fastened himself upon every rose, a gulf
opposing itself to a torrent. All sight of the conflagration
disappeared; but within these went a roaring sound, and the
bodies of the Fire-eaters crackled, growing large and luminous
'Do your will quickly and begone !' cried the Fire-eaters.
'Even now we swell to bursting with the pumping in of
these fires !'
Noodle seized on a rose to which one hung, sucking out
its heats. He tugged, but the strong fibres held. Then he
locked himself to the back of the Plough, crying to it and
caressing its speed with all names under heaven, and beseech-
ing it in the name of Melilot to break free. And the Plough
giving but one plunge, the rose came away into Noodle's
hand panting and a prisoner. All blushing it grew and
radiant, with a soft inner glow, and an odour of incomparable
sweetness. He seemed to see the heart of Melilot beating
But now there came a blast of fire behind him, for the
Fire-eaters had disappeared, and all was whirling and shaken
before his eyes; and the Plough sped desperately over earth-
quake and space. For the plucking of the rose had awakened
the giant from his sleep; and the dream shrivelled and spun
away in a whirl of flame-coloured vapours. Leaping into clear
day out of the unravelment of its mists, Noodle found him-
self in the act of launching from the edge of a precipice for
a downward dive into space. The giant's hair, standing
upright from the wrath and horror of his awakening, made a
forest ending in his forehead that bowered them to right and
to left. Quitting it they slid ungovernably over the ledge of
his brow, and went in full cry to the abyss.
Dexterously the Plough steered its descent; catching on
the bridge and furrowing the ridge of the nose; nine leagues
were the duration of a second.
The giant, thinking some venomous parasite was injuring
his flesh, aimed, and a moment too late had thumped his fist
upon the place. But already the Plough skirting the amazed
opening of his mouth was lost in the trammels of his beard.
Thence, as it escaped the rummaging of his fingers, it flew
scouring his breast and inflicted a flying scratch over the
regions of his abdomen. Then, still believing it to be the
triumphal procession of a flea he pursued it to his thigh,
and mistaking the shadow for the substance allowed it yet
again to escape. At his knee-cap there was but a hair's-
breadth between Noodle and the weight of his thumb; there-
after the Plough distanced him and all his efforts, and, with
Noodle preserved whole and alive, sped fast and far, bearing
the Burning Rose to the heart of the beloved Melilot.
The crone was aware of his coming before she heard him,
or saw the gleam of his Plough running beam-like over the
land. From her seat by the Princess's bower she clapped
hands, and springing to his neck ere he alighted: 'A long way
off, and a long time off,' she cried, 'I knew what fortune was
with you; for when you plucked off the Rose, and bore it out
of the heart of the dream, the scent of it filled the world; and
I felt the sweetness of youth once more in my blood.'
Then she led him to the Princess, and bade him lay the
Rose in her breast, that her heart might be won back into the
world. Looking at her face again Noodle saw how memory