Front Cover
 Title Page
 Chapter I: The birth of the...
 Chapter II: King Rumti's statu...
 Chapter III: The princess's...
 Chapter IV: King Bungo's measu...
 Chapter V: Petsetilla's youth,...
 Chapter VI: A declaration of war,...
 Chapter VII: Remsky in rapture...
 Chapter VIII: How the posy changed...
 Chapter IX: War declared
 Chapter X: Of the peace congress...
 Chapter XI: The invasion and...
 Chapter XII: The assault
 Chapter XIII: The rout
 Chapter XIV: Raggatti a reform...
 Chapter XV: Rumti Redivivus
 Chapter XVI: How it all came right...
 Chapter XVIII: The last news of...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Petsetilla's posy : : a fairy tale for young and old
Title: Petsetilla's posy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066162/00001
 Material Information
Title: Petsetilla's posy a fairy tale for young and old
Physical Description: 156, 2 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hood, Tom, 1835-1874
Barnard, Frederick, 1846-1896 ( Illustrator )
Dalziel Brothers
George Routledge and Sons ( Publisher )
Camden Press ( Printer )
Publisher: George Routledge and Sons
Place of Publication: London ;
New York
Manufacturer: Camden Press ; Dalziel Brothers, Engravers & printers
Publication Date: [1871]
Subject: Wit and humor, Juvenile -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kings and rulers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Courts and courtiers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Princesses -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fairies -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Courtship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- 1871   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1871   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1871
Genre: Fantasy literature   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
Statement of Responsibility: by Tom Hood ; with fifty illustrations by F. Barnard, engraved by the Brothers Dalziel.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
General Note: Illustrations are caricatures.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066162
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002226989
notis - ALG7285
oclc - 00316692
lccn - 44030309

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Chapter I: The birth of the princess
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Chapter II: King Rumti's statue
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Chapter III: The princess's christening
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Chapter IV: King Bungo's measures
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    Chapter V: Petsetilla's youth, and Bungo's bothers
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    Chapter VI: A declaration of war, and battle royal
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Chapter VII: Remsky in raptures
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    Chapter VIII: How the posy changed hands
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Chapter IX: War declared
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    Chapter X: Of the peace congress and bootinter
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    Chapter XI: The invasion and investment
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Chapter XII: The assault
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    Chapter XIII: The rout
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
    Chapter XIV: Raggatti a reformer
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    Chapter XV: Rumti Redivivus
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
    Chapter XVI: How it all came right in the end
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
    Chapter XVIII: The last news of the posy
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

" K g .. looking a little jale and agitated, but in other respects
every znch a :-. led the way."-p. 22.











I TRUST that those who read' this story on its

first appearance in meagre instalments at long

intervals will accord it the fair play of a second

perusal in its present form. By these readers, as

by those who make its acquaintance now, I hope

to be pardoned for taking some unwarrantable

liberties with the old fairy machinery; on the

score that I have done so in the endeavour to con-

vey a wholesome and happy moral.











:/ '~
V Prj

,.. -,. --. -- -- t~ ^ -1a '- -.. "

'There wer. i ; .1 -.' ...d Bottlc-bearer-in-Chief, and L 1 HT:. Coral and
Rubbe: I 1 I .. 1 1 Lady Bib, and Second Lady ,. -.- on.'



' AY it please your Majesty,' said the First Caudlc-cup-
in-Waiting, making her obeisance to King Bungo, who
was smoking his cigar in the library after dinner, 'May it please
your Majesty, her most gracious Highness your Royal Consort
has just presented you with a little girl.'
'Dash my buttons !' said the monarch, with touching solem-
nity; a remark which was immediately entered in the State



Pesetilla's Posy.

archives by the Secretary, who was seated at the top of the
library ladder reading a large folio.
Immediately there was a great ringing of bells of all sorts,
shapes, sizes, and descriptions, throughout the kingdom of Apha-
nia. The steeples rocked again with the peals that were clashed
out of them.
You see, the birth of the Princess was the signal for an un-
limited number of appointments and promotions. For King
Bungo and Queen Belinda had hitherto been childless; and trade,
commerce, and Court had suffered in consequence. Now, how-
ever, every baker dreamed of a royal permission to write up,
' Manufacturer of Tops and Bottoms to Her Infantile Highness;'
and so on through all the trades, from the possible Hairdresser-
in-Chief to Her Serene Baldness the Baby,' to the probable
Maker of Perambulators in Ordinary to the Juvenile Members of
the Royal Family.'
In the palace the excitement was yet greater, for there was no
end of posts to be given away. There were Gold Papboat-in-
Waiting, and Bottle-bearer-in-Chief, and Lord High Coral and
Rubber-of-the-Royal-Gums, and First Lady Bib, and Second
Lady Bib, and First Rocking Lady of the Bedchamber, and so
on. Even the domestics were on the look-out. The pages, in-
,deed, were at dreadful strife as to which of them ought to be the

The Birth of the Princess.

Princess's Husher-in-Chief. The duties of the office, though
onerous, were of a distinguished and confidential character, con-
sisting as they did of saying 'Kitchee-kitchee!' whenever the
royal infant was restless and desired amusement.
Perhaps the only person not entirely delighted at the birth of
the Princess was King Bungo himself, who had fixed his hopes
on a male heir to the crown. However, he was well enough
pleased at the notion of having a child at all, and immediately
gave his mind to the ordering of ceremonies and celebrations to
do honour to the event.
His first object was to fix a day for the christening of the baby.
As he was meditating on the best way of arranging the banquet
for that occasion, he was interrupted by the entrance of the Royal
'Your Majesty will permit me, I trust, to call to your august
memory the fact that this is the Eighty-first of Blowsy.'
You must know, my good readers, that in Aphania they had
only four months in the year. They were called Growsy, Rosy,
Blowsy, and Snowsy, and corresponded with our four seasons,
Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. The first-named three
months counted ninety-one days each, while Snowsy boasted
ninety-two and a quarter-an arrangement by which Leap-year,
always a chronological anomaly, was very cleverly avoided.
3 1-2

Petseilla's Posy.

The Royal Remembrancer was a most important functionary.
He had to keep an account of all the birth-
days of people connected with the palace, to
( know the anniversaries of all the battles and
Other great events in connection with the his-
S-_.', tory of Aphania, to be exactly posted up in
S the amount of income due to the King every
day, and the precise balance at the royal bank-
Scrs, and to remind his Majesty of every pos-
S sible duty he ought to perform every minute
throughout the day. The office was an hono-
rary one, for in Aphania salaries were paid to
those only who did nothing, it being feared that, otherwise, those
who had real work to do might be inspired'by desire of gain rather
than innate sense of duty. The first Royal Remembrancer was
appointed by King Buffo the Sixty-oneth after he had had the
whole of the top of his head, including, of course, the seat of
memory, cut off in his single combat with the usurping giant
Swashdash. His Majesty's successors continued the appointment,
as the Remembrancer was a mighty convenient officer to have
about one. Of this King Grigg the Eleventieth experienced the
truth, for the people having been driven by starvation into revolt,
deposed the King, but subsequently restored him to the throne,

The Birth of the Princess.

and executed the Remembrancer, on its being pointed out to them
that it was that official's duty to remind the King to order the
Custom-house to admit the stores and provisions, for want of
which the people were starving.
During the reign-or, more strictly speaking, the regency (as
will be hereafter explained)-of Bungo the First the situation of
Royal Remembrancer had been a little arduous. Bungo was an
irascible monarch, and when his memory-in the shape of the
Remembrancer-jogged him to the performance of an irksome
duty, he had the opportunity, which few of us have, though most
of us would like it, of kicking his memory. The plaster, by
numerous indentations on its surface, proved how often he had
kicked that useful but unpleasant official up to the ceiling. But


Petsetill's Posy.

the State archives gave even stronger evidence of the fact. In
those archives the Royal Secretary had to take down minutes of
all the sayings and doings of the reigning monarch of Aphania;
and when that potentate died, his successor had to learn the
archives by heart, and had to pass a strict examination on them
before the Civil Service Commissioners before he was allowed to
ascend the throne.
Now, the Secretary of King Bungo had found the necessity of
entering the kicking of the Royal Remembrancer so frequent,
that when he got a new diary, he had printed after the date of
each day,' His gracious Majesty was pleased to kick the Honour-
able the Royal Remembrancer.......... times,' and filled up the blank
with a figure, which he found a mighty saving of time. It only
remains to be stated that King Bungo's successor would have-
calculating the amount by an average of five years-to remember
a sum running to seven figures at least: rather hard would it
prove to him if the Civil Service Commissioners elected to be
strict on this particular point; as they were likely to be, the ob-
ject of the examination being to see how far the new King had
seen his predecessor's faults, in order that he might avoid them.
However, to return to our story.
'Your Majesty,' repeated the Remembrancer, 'will, I trust,
permit me to recall the fact that this is the Eighty-first of Blowsy.'

The Birth of the Princess.

His Majesty glanced at the calendar on the library mantel-
piece, and nodded rather sulkily.
'To-morrow, therefore, your Majesty, will be the Eighty-second
of that month, the day on which the Court pays its annual visit
to the crypt and the statue of his lamented Highness King Rumti
the Hundred and Ninetieth.'
'Well, then, you must put a paragraph in the Royal Gazette,"
that in consequence of an event of paramount interest in the
Royal Family, the usual ceremony will be put off for a time,
and that when the day is fixed for its celebration, an announce-
ment will be made.'
The Royal Remembrancer bowed and withdrew, and King
Bungo was soon deep in the preparation of the list of distin-
guished guests to be invited to the christening of the Princess.

' I shall have to give you some dreadful punishment, and I don't want to do so."'



I SHALL devote this chapter to an explanation of the Re-
membrancer's reference to the statue of King Rumti.
King Rumti was one of the most popular monarchs Aphania
had known. He divided his time into two equal portions, de-
voting one-half to labours for the welfare of his people, and the
other to study. He was at once the most benevolent and the
most learned of men. He had founded no less than seventy alms-

King Rumi 's Statue.

houses and a hundred hospitals, and had enriched the literature
of his country by some two thousand valuable volumes.
You must know that Aphania was a peculiarly literary country.
In all that regarded belles lettres its institutions were admirable.
There was a special statute-book for literary offences, and a Court
of Letters, presided over by six.judges, who received immense
salaries as a compensation for their necessary abstention from
literature. They administered justice promptly and impartially.
Any person found guilty of borrowing from the works of other
writers, whether of Aphania or elsewhere, were sent to the tread-
mill for three years. Adaptations from the French were contra-
band, and violations of syntax were visited with capital .punish-
ment without benefit of clergy. Any one presumptuous enough
to pen such a sentence as, for example-' These laws of grammar,
originally promulgated by Lindley Murray, and whick have been
sanctioned by general usage'-would have been immediately
executed. To ensure purity of style, all adjectives were kept at
the National Library, and no writer was allowed to use more than
a certain number per diem without a special licence from three
at least of the Judges of Letters. In spite of this stringency,
numbers of books were published yearly, and most of them were
works of worth. With regard to publishing the regulations of
Aphania were peculiar. The publisher was allowed to repay

Petsetilla's Posy.

himself for every volume sold, at a certain rate on the cost of
paper, type, and binding, varying from one to five per cent.,
according to the style in which he brought it out. As he ought
to be, if anything, a better judge than other people of the value
of the books offered him, it was decreed that he justly suffered
the entire loss of publication if the book was worthless. The
writers, on the other hand, received everything (except this per-
centage) which the books realized, it being laid down that the
success of the world depended entirely on what they added to the
paper, type, and binding common to all books. In case of failure
they were held acquitted by the cost of lost time and damaged
King Rumti had devoted so much of his time to study that he
was still a bachelor. He had been affianced in his cradle to one
of the seventeen daughters of the Archduke Koscybusco, of the
neighboring state of Nexdorea, but had never been able to find
time to select from the family.
The Archduchy of Nexdorea supplied most of the neighbour-
ing countries with queens, and had done so for many generations.
All the female children of the archdukes were turned out wild
into an old palace and park belonging to the ruling family.
There they were allowed to grow up without being taught their
own language even. On reaching a marriageable age, they were

Kinzg Rumti's Statuze.

'All the female children of the archdukes were turned out wild into an old palace and park.

duly catalogued, and a description of their beauties was sent to
all surrounding and single potentates. As soon as one of them
was selected for marriage by one of these princes she was trans-
ferred to the Royal Nursery Palace, where masters and gover-
nesses duly qualified speedily taught her the language of her
future country, and the accomplishments and manners in vogue

Pelsetill's Posy.

The Ministers of King Rumti had ever been most anxious
that he should make his matrimonial selection from the Arch-
duke's daughters. One day when they were especially solicitous,
and he was very anxious for a little quiet for study, he consented
to marry the princess whose description he opened upon first in
the Nexdorea Almanack, which contained the only authorized
catalogue of the princesses. The book opened at page 116-
chiefly because a young page had placed at that particular spot
a fine specimen of the Bcdcllzs nzicr or blackbeetle, which he had
caught on the palace stairs. Without glancing at the letterpress,
he passed the almanack to his First Lord Puller-of-the-Purse-
strings. That nobleman rose with dignity, and addressing the
assembled Ministers, said in an impressive voice,
"His i' i ,j.: ty will now oblige. Page one hundred and sixteen
in the book. The Princess Ninni-Asterafina! "
Unhappily she was the eldest of the seventeen. Her age
was thirty-two, and her looks unprepossessing. His Majesty's
Ministers were cast down. But King Rumti, in the innocence of
his heart, having first signed the official form for a proposal of
marriage and immediate affiancing, dismissed his Council and
gave himself up to his studies.
The fact was, that in the 'Philosophical Transactions' pub-
lished by the Royal Aphanian Society for the Promulgation of

Kinzg Rzu ti 's Statue.

Apparent Absurdities, he had fallen in with a problem to investi-
gate which he had devoted all his powers. The question pro-
pounded in the treatise was, to be plain;' How many caudal pro-
longations of the vaccine vertebrae would it require to describe a
right line from the nearest point of the lunar periphery to a given
point in the Earth's superficies ?'
The Ministers quitted their King, and at once dispatched a
special courier to Nexdorea to convey to the Archduke his Ma-
jesty's decision, gracious proposal, and act of betrothment.
Rumti plunged into his problem.
'Taking,' said he, for he thought aloud, like all great men in
books, 'the average bovine complement of caudal vertebrae to be
twenty-six, and it being granted that each vertebral section varies
in size in every instance ; then there is no reason in logic to dis-
prove the assertion that, supposing each such vertebral bone to
be a twenty-sixth of the whole distance from this planet to its
satellite, consequently it requires only twenty-six vertebrae, or,
to put it briefly, one cow's tail, to reach'-
'Will your Majesty kindly give a poor woman a trifle of bread
for three starving children ?' said a plaintive voice outside the
study window.
'Confound you, no! Go away!' bellowed his Majesty. He
had already relieved seventeen beggars that morning.

Petsetilla's Posy.

A report like a cracker followed. The poor woman dis-
appeared, and in her place stood a fairy, with tears in her beau-
tiful eyes.
Eh what ?' said the King, looking up. 'I beg your pardon
-you see-well!'
But the fairy only wrung her hands.
What's the matter ?' said Rumti.
'Oh, dear! oh, dear! how unlucky!' said the fairy ; 'I shall
have to give you some dreadful punishment, and I don't want to
do so. I know you were busy and didn't mean it; but it's out
of my power to do anything-it's out of my jurisdiction. No-
thing remains for me but to pass upon you the sentence imposed
by the outraged laws of Fairyland. And I know you've been
relieving no end of beggars, and that you didn't mean it-and
oh, dear! what shall I do ?'
And these two good-hearted creatures mingled their tears for
a time in silence.
'I can't help it, really,' said the fairy, after a pause ; 'but you
know it's contempt of the Fairy Court, and the sentence is awful,
and without the option of a fine.'
'What is it?' asked Rumti in a perturbed voice. 'You know
I was hard at a very difficult calculation, and I'm very charitable
-I am indeed.'


King Rumdi's Statue.

Yes, I know all that,' said the fairy, weeping; 'but the sentence
of the Court is that you are to be
changed into a stone statue, and '' '
i '''i '
remain in that shape until touched" :
by an honest hand.'
'You'll give me a little time to :
make a few arrangements?' said
Rumti, nervously.
'All I can do is to order the trans-
formation to begin from the toes -
up. So write away for dear life.'
'Oh, only just a line to ask brother Bungo, the Regent during
my temporary suspension of power, to get an honest man to
touch me-that's all. It won't take a minute; and as soon as
he sees it he'll have me touched, and it will be all right again-
and I shall be able to finish my paper in time for publication in
the next "Transactions."'
Rumti seemed quite cheerful, and wrote his note with great
spirits. But the fairy was not quite so hilarious : she shook her
head at the mention of his speedy release.
As our readers will learn presently, the fairy had some reason
to shake her head. The editor of the 'Philosophical Transac-
tions of the Royal Society for the Promulgation of Apparent


Petselilla's Posy.

Absurdities' waited until the last moment for King Rumti's pro-
mised contribution; but the copy was not forthcoming, and, on
the eve of going to press, he had to supply its place by inserting
a paper by the President of the Statistical Institution 'On the
Nature and Properties of the Faba caruzyla, or Blue Bean, with a
Critical Commentary on its relations to the Mystical Number,
When his Majesty had completed his note, he signed, sealed,
and directed it. Then becoming aware that his transformation
had begun and that his legs were changed into stone pedestals,
he composed-or rather posed
S. i -himself to endure his doom
',,' w. : with dignity. He submitted
: i to the fate of being made a
,' statue with more resignation
'. iI '-' II and equanimity than would be
Sl '; likely to be displayed by any
\"i- I- r ~ Englishman of note, if he
knew how he was likely to
look when 'done in stone' after death.
A few hours afterwards King Rumti's Ministers, desiring an
audience with him, entered, and found him turned to stone.
Before him lay a note addressed to his brother Prince Bungo.


King Rumti 's Statue.

They took it to that distinguished personage, and learnt that it
contained his late Majesty's orders that Prince Bungo should be
Regent during his (Rumti's) indisposition, and that the Regent
should, in order to restore him (Rumti) to life and power, have
the stone figure touched by some honest gentleman of his retinue.
On reading this epistle, Prince Bun-
go smiled, and then nodded three
times. At once assuming the second -
best crown (the Sunday one was
changed into stone with Rumti), he
proceeded in state to the study, and
taking his seat on the royal dais, which ;
was close to the dictionaries, he '
ordered the Court to pass before him -
in review, each individual laying his
hand on the stone effigy of Rumti as
he went by it.
When all present, from the Chancellor and Archbishop down
to the Assistant Under-Warmingpan, had gone through this cere-
mony without restoring the stony monarch to life, King Bungo
addressed his people-read them his brother's letter-stated that
evidently that beloved monarch had forgotten to mention some
other formula necessary for the reversal of the spell-and decreed



Petsetilla's Posy.

that on that day, the Eighty-second of Blowsy, in every year, the
Court should assemble and go through the ceremony of touching
King Rumti's effigy, in hopes of restoring him to his mourning
country and afflicted family. At this point his Majesty turned
aside, it was believed with the intention of wiping away a pious
tear. Something, at all events, affected his left eyelid !
At first there was some desire expressed by the common people
of Aphania to see and touch the figure of their beloved King;
but Bungo's Prime Minister addressed them, and explained that
the lamented Rumti had expressly desired that 'some honest
gentleman of King Bungo's retinue' should break the spell, and
that it would be a gross violation of their beloved monarch's last
command to allow the charm to be reversed in any other way.
After a time the stone figure was found to be rather inconve-
nient as a piece of furniture in the library, so it was removed by
the ten Lords-in-Waiting, in a crimson velvet sedan chair, and
deposited in a crypt below the palace. The King kept the key
of the crypt, which he visited once a year, according to his first
arrangement, accompanied by his Court, and the ceremony of
touching the effigy was gone through with due solemnity.
But still the whole Court, from the Chancellor and Archbishop
down to the Assistant Under-Warmingpan, and even the Deputy-
Assistant Under-Warmingpan, touched the figure without pro-
ducing any change. 18

King Rumti's Statue.

It was, indeed, stated in the principal literary review of Apha-
nia, which was a very satirical journal, that the figure was ob-
served to wink on one occasion when touched by Wangi, the
Royal Fool. But it happened on that particular occasion that the
Royal Cook complained to his Majesty that Wangi, in passing
through the kitchen en route for the crypt, had stolen two black
puddings, and this turning out to be true on the turning out of
the accused's pockets, Wangi was whipped for dishonesty. What
these cynical writers wanted to imply was that the Fool was the
only man likely to be honest-in other words, that honesty is
folly Whereas it has been approved again and again that it is
dishonesty that is folly, and that to be an honest man one has
need to be wise indeed.


"H-ere's a pretty go gasped his Majesty.'


BY the time the christening feast was- prepared, poor King
Bungo was heartily tired of his paternal duties. You see,
it was no joke to be the father of a princess and issue the invita-
tions for her christening in those days. It is bad enough to give
a party nowadays and forget to ask somebody who thinks he or
she has a right to be a guest; but in those times, when every
sixth person you met dealt in magic, and your next-door neigh-
bour probably was a wizard, and your third cousin very possibly
a fairy, the results of giving offence were awful.
It was a very common occurrence at that period, if we may

The Princess's Christening.

trust contemporaneous history and the chronicles of Fairyland,
to have some spiteful sorceress tumble down the chimney at a
christening, abuse papa and mamma, frighten the sponsors into
fits, and bounce away out of window in a car drawn by frogs,
leaving some shocking spell behind her as a gift for the blessed
babe, instead of a silver knife, fork, spoon, and mug.
King Bungo was too deeply read in the unhappy experiences
of neighboring potentates to commit any oversight of this sort.
He had the whole kingdom of Aphania roofed in with tent-cloth,
thus converting it into one gigantic banqueting-hall, and he in-
serted in the papers an announcement that everybody was invited
to the feast, with a little note-' Friends will kindly accept this
intimation,' so that nobody could say he was not asked.
To be sure this was rather an expensive way of doing things,
to dine people by provinces, and supply beef by acres and wine
in real rivers. The First Lord Puller-of-the-Pursestrings ventured
to hint as much to his Majesty, but was speedily reminded that
his master was one of the first financiers of his day.
My dear Duke,' said the King, 'charge this dinner at two
pounds a head in the shape of a tax, and the outlay will recupe-
rate itself, with a fair margin for profit.'
Of course there was considerable difficulty in managing a break-
fast of this territorial extent. Even with the aid of all the tele-

Pefsetilla's Posy.

graph companies it would be impossible to get through the single
toast of the Princess's health, for instance, in less than two days.
At this rate it was computed that the dinner would be got through
in one month-of course I mean an Aphanian month of ninety-
one days.
The programme laid down for the day's (or rather month's)
proceedings stated that immediately after the breakfast the royal
infant would be borne to the cathedral, where the Archbishop
would at once proceed to christen her in the presence of the whole
nation-or at least so much of it as could get within sight even
by the aid of the most powerful telescopes. The demand for
such glasses was enormous. The papers teemed with advertise-
ments of the wonderful properties of various lorgnettes.

by a Geneva watch twenty miles, a tandem whip at fifty,
Jupiter's moons, the Royal Infant, &c.
THE BABY BINOCULAR.-The best, cheapest, and
most powerful ever produced Fits vest pocket, and
arranged for use in Cathedral.
THE ROYAL INFANT.-The hair has positively been
observed growing on the head of Her Infantile Royal
Highness, by aid of Smouch's Binocular, at a distance of
twenty miles and upwards.

Still, his Majesty protested, serious as such a gigantic under-
taking as this banquet was, it was better to do it than to run any

The Princess's Christening.

' The demand for such glasses was enormous.

risk of offending some cantankerous sorceress or evil-disposed
old maiden fairy. 'Look at the King of Drowsihed !' said he,
speaking of a neighboring monarch. 'His daughter was the
victim of an oversight of this description. Some old crone took
offence at not being invited, and doomed the child, if she touched
a spindle before twenty, to fall asleep till some prince rescued her.
Well, of course she did touch a spindle, and fell asleep according
to the charm, and dozed away for a hundred years or so. To be
sure at last the Prince did come, and she was brought to life again,
and so was her father with all his Court. But look at the result
Did you ever see people so awfully behind the age? Why, his

Petsetilla's Posy.


Majesty won't trust -himself in a train now, and he's been awake
twenty years; and as for his Ministers, if
their obstinate opposition to all progress
does not drive the nation (which has not
been asleep) into rebellion some of these
S days, my name is not Bungo !'
S And really .I think there was some
S-'force in his Majesty's remarks.
i \ At length the day arrived for this most
important pageant. King Bungo, look-
Sing a little pale and agitated, but in other
/ respects, as the reporters declared, every
inch a King, led the way to the head of
the board. The place of honour, on his
right, was reserved for the Fairy Felicia, who was first godmother.
In order to satisfy the great number of claimants for the honour
of sponsorship, it had been settled that there were to be five
hu-dred godmothers and two hundred and fifty godfathers, his
Grace the Archbishop having kindly consented to waive the ordi-
nary limit of numbers for this occasion only, especially as the
royal child was to have so many names bestowed on it that no
single godmother, even registered A I at Lloyd's, could possibly
remember them all.

The Princess's Christening.

It was customary to bestow a host of names upon children at
their christenings at that period: of course, with the exception
of one or two, they were afterwards dropped. In this case the
baby's principal name was to be Petsetilla-and a very pretty
name too, to my thinking, though his Majesty's First Lord Li-
brarian, who was passionately given to geography, thought that
Popocatapetl would have sounded very much prettier.
The place of honour on the Sovereign's right hand was, as I
said, reserved for Fairy Felicia, an amiable and very powerful fay.
King Bungo was leading her to her seat with ineffable joy, and
with the inward satisfaction of seeing everything was going right,
when he saw a sight that froze his blood with fear.
A most objectionable old sorceress, who was better known than
respected throughout the country by the name of Aunt Sarah,
had appropriated Felicia's seat.
She was a malignant but mighty sorceress; and when he thought
of the necessity of asking her to vacate her chair for Felicia, poor
King Bungo felt a stream of cold water running down his back.
Aunt Sarah was a person of repulsive appearance; and if her
features were the reverse of attractive, her manners were simply
loathsome. Her face was a smeary black, her lips were of the
tint of vermilion, her eyes were odd, and her hair was like tow.

Petseilla's Posy.

She wore a dirty white nightcap with a wide flapping border,
innocent of starch, had a dirty and ragged shawl pinned across
her shoulders, and, worst of all, carried a pipe in her mouth!
Here's a pretty go !' gasped his Majesty, all his accustomed
eloquence and courtliness of diction deserting him in an instant.
Never mind,' said Felicia; I shall be just as happy anywhere
else: I'll sit on the other side of you. Don't run the risk of
offending the old cat on my account.'
The King darted a glance of gratitude at the good-tempered
fairy, and led her to the seat on his left. Then he turned round
and gave a sickly attempt at a smile of joy and welcome to Aunt
'Well, Majesty,' said that sprightly person, 'here we are !' and
then launched out into a flow of conversation so rapid and con-
fusing that Bungo lost his head altogether, and took pounded
sugar and marmalade with his salmi of pheasant.
However, he recovered himself in time, and the festivities pro-
ceeded. At last, just before the time to form the procession to
church, Aunt Sarah bent over to the King, with a hideous smile,
and said, 'I am much flattered by your proposing to name the
child Sarah.'
'But, your Excellency,' said Bungo, 'we have no such intention
-in fact-er- '

The Princess's Christeninzg.

'Oh, yes, you do intend to name her Sarah,' repeated the sor-
ceress, with deep meaning.
The poor King's jaw fell on the frill of his shirt. He was con-
founded. All his plans for evading difficulties had failed utterly.
He could only croak and wag his head.
'Come, out with it!' said Sarah sharply. 'Yes or no ?'
His Majesty did not know what to say or do. At last an escape
suggested itself. He said he could not take upon himself to alter
the Queen's arrangements.
Here, you!' said Sarah, addressing the First Lady Back-comb
of the C l! .I-'.-r, 'go and ask her if the baby is not to be chris-
tened Sarah at once. Go!' And she stamped with her foot
violently on the floor..
The First Lady Back-comb -'
of the Chamber went and did
as she was desired.
Now, her Majesty had look- ,P
ed forward to being present at
the christening banquet, but
she had over-excited and over-
exerted herself. On the pre-
vious night she had complete-
ly broken down, and her physicians had forbidden her to stir from


Petsetilla's Posy.

her bed on any pretext whatever. So she was in anything but
an amiable mood.
When, therefore, the First Lady Back-comb of the Chamber
came and told her of the presence and conduct of Aunt Sarah,
and laid before her that ill-conditioned person's demand to have
the royal babe christened after her, her Blessed Majesty said
flatly, 'No!'
When Aunt Sarah received the Queen's answer she turned
nearly white with rage. She stamped and jumped with fury.
She threw the stump of her pipe into the silver tureen of real
turtle. She tore her cap-border into ribbons. Having somewhat
relieved herself by these means, she grew sufficiently composed
to address the King, who sat quaking in his chair without ven-
turing to open his mouth.
Harkee here, you wretched dummy of a King-you doll set
up in a real King's place I'll punish you for your pride and
stuck-up notions! You won't give your child the simple and un-
affected name of Sally! But I'll be revenged! Your daughter
shall marry a beggar-there!'
With these words she waved her stick in the air, and a huge
shandrydan, drawn by daddy-longlegs spiders, made its appear-
ance. Taking her place in the body of the vehicle, she shook
her fist at the assembled company, took a fresh pipe out of her

The Princess's C/hristening.

driving-box, and was commencing to smoke it when her nimble
steeds dragged her from the sight of the assemblage.
This little event threw a deep gloom over the company. His
Majesty wept copiously into
his plate, and as a point of
etiquette his guests were com- .
pelled to follow his example.
The fact of his Majesty's
weeping, and the cause which '-
led to it, were promptly tele- I
graphed to the guests at the
foot of the table, who were so
many miles off that even with
the best telescopes they could
not make out what was going
on. The news spread over the
whole country in the course. of the day, and a general briny
dilution of the soup was the result.
It will be observed by the careful reader that the soup was the
last course at the banquet. This was the invariable custom at
the royal table. It had been ruled by the Lord Chamberlain
that a king ought not to eat his dinner like any ordinary person,
so the monarchs of Aphania always began with the sweets and


Pesetilla's Posy.

'" I give you heart's-ease, little on !"

game, and finished with the soup. It was only on great State
occasions like the present that the general public was permitted
to imitate royalty, and eat its dinner wrong-side foremost.
However, to resume our theme. The malediction of the wicked
sorceress brimmed the King's cup of misery, and his grief was
shared by his guests. But the Fairy Felicia was not dismayed
at the spite of Old Sarah.

The Princess's Christening.

'Cheer up !' said she to King Bungo. She might have done
something more terrible than that. If your daughter does marry
a beggar, he will cease to be one the moment he becomes your
son-in-law. At any rate, if I cannot remove the bane, I can
administer an antidote.'
As she said this she took from her waist, where it was fixed
beside her pocket-handkerchief, a large bouquet of pansies, the
finest that you ever saw. Approaching the cradle of the tiny
Princess, she laid them on the little thing's breast, saying,
'I give you heart's-ease, little one! while you have that you
will be content and happy, whether you wed an emperor or a
A ringing shout welcomed the enunciation of this pleasing sen-
timent. The feeling of gloom disappeared, and the rest of the
ceremony went off with the greatest e'clt.


'The Ministers were immediately supplied with wet towels to stimulate their mental faculties.'



T I-E day after the christening his Majesty rose late, but lost
no time in calling together his Ministers, and consulting
with them how he might best take measures for the safety of his
august offspring. He was, as might have been expected, far from
well this morning. His royal digestion was so generally out of
sorts that he never was particularly well the day after a feast. On
this occasion he took a frugal breakfast, a herring and a mug of
small beer, having dispatched which repast, he put on his best
coat, threw his dressing-gown over the back of the throne, and
hastened to the Council-chamber. There he found all his Mini-

King Bungo's Measures.

sters assembled, and at once opened the proceedings by ordering
the Clerk of the Council to read the report of the christening
ceremony from the 'Gazette.'
This preliminary over, his Majesty called on his Cabinet to
advise him how he should provide against the contingency of the
Crown Princess becoming the bride of a beggar. The Ministers
were immediately supplied with wet towels to stimulate their
mental faculties and enable them to think more freely. The
Pages of the Council-chamber, specially appointed for the duty,
brought round the damp huckaback in silver pails. The Minister
who dried the greatest number of towels in the session was re-
warded with a real quill toothpick, at the annual ministerial
dinner, in recognition of the activity of brain he thus displayed.
In accordance with the customs of the Royal Assembly of Apha-
nia, Bungo called upon the First Noodle of State in Council for
his opinion.
Now, the First Noodle of State in Council was a most impor-
tant dignitary. He was his Majesty's Chief Adviser, and was
chosen from the Popular Talkhouse, which was a representative
assembly looking after the laws and the taxes. The member
who talked most nonsense and did least real work in that assem-
bly was raised to his Majesty's Privy Council as First Noodle of
State, and held that office for life, or until he began to talk sense,
33 3

Petsetilla's Posy.

which disqualified him for the post. This office was first established
by King Rumti's grandfather, Cagofango, surnamed The Easy-
going, who said that the First Noodle was calculated to save him
a deal of trouble, for that when once he knew what the First
Noodle thought, he knew the opinion of that great majority of
his subjects-the Nincompoops.
The First Noodle always commenced the discussion of any
subject brought before the Council, and in any case on which the
Council was divided he gave a casting vote, and whichever side
he gave his vote for lost the division. You may well imagine,
therefore, that he was greatly courted by his brother Ministers,
who strove in every way to ingratiate themselves with him, and
so win him over to the side
-of their opponents.
.' The First Noodle in office
LL.j,.. ;. a t the time of this most
., veracious history was one
l Volliplas, who had earned
,''j ,. [ 'the post by a silly habit of
S singing in the Popular Talk-
house, and on account of
his constant asseveration
that Boguey was at the bottom of everything. He had been in

King Bungo's Measures.

office twelve years, and it was very evident that he was not des-
tined to break the rule that had ever held good-' Once a First
Noodle always a First Noodle.' No First Noodle (although as a
rule First Noodles lived to a very great age) had ever lost office
on account of becoming disqualified by a sudden access of
common sense.
This distinguished functionary, when called upon to propose
measures to guard against the possibility of the Princess marry-
ing a beggar, shook his head gravely, and was lost in thought for
some time. At length he rose and expressed his opinion. He
said he thought this was a design of Boguey's, and was going
into a long tirade on the subject, when Bungo stopped him and
brought him back to the
point. He then said he saw
two ways out of the diffi-
culty: one was to pass a 1 .
law declaring that no man
might adopt the profession .
of a beggar unless he was '
married: and the other was '
to wed the Princess at once .-- .
to the wealthiest single peer
of the realm, and throw him into prison until she was of marriage-


Petsefilla's Posy.

able age, and a neighboring prince had been chosen for her hus-
band, when the nobleman's head might be cut off, and every
obstacle removed.
This latter proposition was, of course, opposed by all the
wealthy noblemen in the Council. As regards the former, it was
upset by Duke Tunsend, who observed that beggary was not a
profession that is sought, but a calamity that befalls a man. He
was for hanging all vagrants out of hand.
Bungo, who was not a cruel monarch, would not listen to this,
nor was he more inclined to adopt the suggestion of the Colonial
Secretary, who was for exporting beggars, and exchanging them
for tea, sugar, and foreign produce.
The Lord Chancellor at length proposed a measure which was
generally approved, and in the end carried. It was, that a tax
should be levied to build almshouses for all poor people who were
too old or too ill to work, and that officers should be appointed
in every town and village, who should be bound, on penalty of
losing their heads, to find employment and wages for the able-
bodied poor on works of public utility. As all members of the
royal Cabinet were exempt from taxes, there was no opposition
to the scheme, and 'An Act for the Better Regulation of Men-
dicity' was at once made and passed. And that Act directed
that all persons who were found after the date of its promulga-

King Bungo's Measures.

tion begging contumaciously and in disregard of the royal man-
date should be then and there executed by the common hangman
without the option of a fine. In the matter of this last section
the First Noodle proposed to add, in order to insure vigilance,
that one-half of the penalty should go to the informer.
His Majesty, before dismissing the Council, begged of them to
advise him in an affair which was not of public importance, like
the suppression of beggars, but was of the deepest personal in-
terest to him. His daughter had received a nosegay from the
Fairy Felicia, who promised her happiness as long as she preserved
her gift. What was best to be done to preserve it ?
The First Noodle rose and said, that' although this was not an
official assembly, he would take the liberty of opening the pro-
ceedings and making the first motion-the more, because he felt
that the proposal he was going to make was so admirable a one
that he felt sure it would at once disqualify him for the high office
which it had been his honour and delight to hold so long.'
At this there was a slight commotion among the Ministers, and
all gave ear in breathless silence.
'What were the facts of the case before them?' asked his
Noodleship. 'The Fairy Felicia had presented the royal babe
with a bunch of flowers. While the royal babe kept those flowers
she would retain complete happiness; if she lost them, happiness

Petsetilla's Posy.

would depart. Now, taking into consideration the existence of
Boguey, he thought it not improbable that the flowers would be
lost. What he proposed, therefore, was that, in order to prevent
any possibility of the Princess's losing the posy, his Majesty
should have it burnt at once.'
The Council gave one sigh of relief, and the motion was ordered
to be brought forward again 'to-morrow'-which was the official
term for 'never,' because to-morrow never comes. Duke Bingi
suggested that his Majesty would do well to consult the Most
Honourable Guild of Goldsmiths and Jewellers, who would con-
trive some safe but ornamental depository for the treasure. And
his Majesty saw the propriety of the suggestion, and thanked his
Grace. Whereupon the Council was dissolved, and the Ministers
went away to luncheon.
The Most Honourable Guild of Goldsmiths and Jewellers were
promptly summoned to the palace, and Bungo explained to them
that a fairy had presented the baby Princess with a bunch of
flowers, which would insure her contentment and happiness so
long as she preserved it. He desired them, therefore, to devise
some very costly and beautiful casket wherein the posy might be
enshrined, and which the Princess might be able constantly to
The Most Honourable Guild of Goldsmiths and Jewellers at

King Bzungo's Measures.

once laid their heads together, and the result of the combination
of blocks was that they agreed to send in designs for the casket
by the end of the week for the King's approval.

Accordingly, at the appointed time the competing designs were
submitted, and a splendid assortment they formed. The King
was quite at a loss how to decide, for it had always been a tacitly
acknowledged rule of the competitions that the Royal Jeweller
should carry off the prize; but in this instance his design (perhaps
because he made sure of success) was not at all a good one. Now,
his Majesty Bungo had never murmured about the rule when the
competitions related to services of plate for public purposes or

Petseilla's Posy.

decorations for public fJles; but in this case his private and per-
sonal interests were touched, so he very naturally hesitated to act
according to the old precedent.
*He determined, like a brave man, to ask his wife's advice, and
then, if her opinion were the same as his, he could lay the blame
of this departure from precedent on her shoulders.
Her Majesty at once pronounced in favour of a small casket,
or rather large locket, shaped like a heart. It was to be made of
the purest gold, inlaid with huge diamonds. On one side of it
was to be the Princess's monogram, each letter being formed of
a distinct gem of a corresponding initial; for example, 'P' for
Petsetilla was to be of pearls. This insured a pleasing variety,
because, though the babe would be known as Princess Petsetilla,
she bore also a hundred family names as well, which were always
conferred on the Crown Princess of Aphania.
On the other side of the casket, which was encrusted with fine
rubies, there was to be a representation in jewels of the fairy's
gift, with the legend in diamonds, 'PETSETILLA'S POSY.'
It should have been mentioned that while the H-onourable
Guild of Goldsmiths and Jewellers were to compete for the de-
sign, they were to combine to execute it, in order that the best
work might be insured. The selected design was to receive a
premium equal to two thousand eight hundred pounds nineteen

King Bungo's Measures.

shillings and elevenpence three farthings, as nearly as can be
given in English money, the Aphanian currency being a very
complex decimal coinage, which it would take too long to explain.
The jeweller whose design was selected was one Rusko Pobo-
chinki-and he took the prize like a man. But the artist who
drew it for him-Clemmo by name-only received about five
shillings for his work, and was a poor man with a large family to
support. However, to Pobochinki's credit be it recorded that he
generously presented the struggling draughtsman with a share
of the premium-the odd three farthings, in fact.
It may be noted that the excellence of
,the design was confirmed by the decision
Sof the Noodle-in-
Chief. That dis- ,'
tinguished func-
tionary, when it
was submitted to
S,. him, at once assum-
l a '-,I / ed the airs of a con-
i i noisseur. Placing
the drawing against
a chair, he retired
to a convenient dis-

Pcesetila's Posy.

tance, and, standing on his head, inspected it gravely for several
minutes. He then rose, and, standing on one leg, regarded it for
a quarter of an hour through a long roll of blue paper. Next he
carefully rubbed the back of the drawing against his organ of
benevolence, and finally pronounced that 'the technicalities were
badly scumbled, the middle distance was out of keeping, and the
cZiaroscuro was impasto; in short, the design was bad.' This was
at once pronounced a conclusive triumph for Pobochinki.
His Majesty ordered the Most Honourable Guild of Jewellers
and Goldsmiths to proceed forthwith to execute his commission
with the greatest dispatch. He gave them ten days to complete
the locket, and declared that on every day that they kept him
waiting beyond that time he would behead a master craftsman.
The result was that, although one or two workmen perished from
over-heat and over-work, not a hair of the head of a master crafts-
man came into peril, for the casket was delivered at the back
door of the palace two hours before the expiration of the ten days.
The casket was a masterpiece, and charmed their serene Ma-
jesties beyond everything. In fact, everybody was delighted ex-
cept the Royal Jeweller, who did not approve of any one but
himself gaining a competition. He took the liberty to explain
this to King Bungo when next his Majesty called to have his
royal watch regulated.

King Bungo's Measures.

'Well, you see,' said the King, leaning over the counter and
speaking in a low voice, I thought some of that service of plate
you made for the Corporation was not eighteen carat; and
though I did not care to make a disturbance about such a trifle,
why-eh ?'
"" <^: i!- U '
"- i" ~ -

?ri" ..'. .,,

And the abashed jeweller hung down his head.
Not a bad shot !' said King Bungo, as he left the shop. And,
truth to tell, it was but a random shot, for the King had never
looked at the Corporation plate at all. He wanted an excuse,
and that was the first that came into his head. But the Royal
Jeweller was conscious that some of the minor articles were not
of the best gold. The salt-spoons lay heavy on his conscience,
so he held his tongue and hung down his head.


\ Iv.

---- :-- _---

'Her kindness of heart and 1-,- 1 .,-, dsposto, her
feelings d5 e d teu and her cono-"ao o "
i made her the idol of tile palace.' sdesaiLon for the



HAVE told you that the Aphanian nation was given to
literature. As a consequence it had always encouraged a

vast number of bese lt had ys encouraged a
vast number of beggars. I do not mean that it encouraged a

Petsetila's Yozith.

quantity of needy authors, for the laws of the country were wise
ones, and protected the interests of its writers. But you cannot
make books without paper, and in Aphania-at least in those
times-you could not make paper without rags. The rulers of
Aphania, therefore, had most judiciously shown favour to the
mendicant who was an importer of rags from other countries,
where he was looked on with less favour. The new Act for
Repressing Mendicancy accordingly caused a considerable stir
throughout the kingdom, and was not regarded with entire satis-
faction by the tax-paying community.
But another class suffered beside the tax-paying class. The
manufacture of paper, being one of the largest trades in Aphania,
had created another industry--the rag-collecting trade. This
was in reality one of the largest and most important interests in
all Aphania.
There were immense numbers of people engaged in it, from
the highest to the lowest. For while the capitalist sold rags by
the ton to the paper-maker, he had to collect it from the marine-
store dealer by the hundredweight, and the marine-store dealer
bought it by the pound from the rag-collector.
The rag-collectors were but poor people, though they were
better paid than English agricultural labourers. They had la-
borious and unpleasant work to perform. Like the cziffoniers or

Pefsetilla's Posy.

rag-collectors of Paris, they had to grope in the mud of the kennel
for the rags, and, like them, they had to work at night; for it was
found, very early in the existence of Aphania as a literary nation,
that it was impossible to allow the rag-gatherers to bring their
calling into collision with the street traffic during the day.
Now, when the new Act for the Suppression of Beggars came
into force, though it did away with the old class of mendicants, it
almost produced a new one. The rag-gatherers were nearly made
beggars, owing to the loss of a large source of material. The
people of Aphania began to murmur, and to hold meetings, and
to clamour for a repeal of the law. They didn't care much about
the beggars, they honestly admitted; but what with the loss of the
rag supply and the increase of taxes, they were too hard pressed,
and they called on King Bungo to do something to ameliorate
their condition.
King Bungo was a very crafty monarch, and he met his people
-so he told them-half-way. He assured them that the addi-
tional taxation and the decrease of mendicancy were State neces-
sities. It was impossible to repeal the Act which enforced them,
but he would do what he could to lessen the burdens they inflicted.
He promulgated a sumptuary law by which he compelled all his
courtiers and every citizen who signed himself 'Esquire' to have
a new suit of clothes every month, and throw the old ones into

Petsetilla's Yout/.

the street. This, his Majesty observed, would give a new impetus
to an important industry, and the improved condition and larger
profits of that industry would make themselves felt through every
grade, and would go far to compensate for the extra taxation by
extra prosperity.
His i'.i j.- :7 moreover passed a bill for the further representa-
tion of his people. By this statute he allowed them to send a
representative of their own choosing to the royal Cabinet Council,
such representative to be styled 'The Under-Noodle of State in
The people of Aphania were satisfied with these concessions
and promises, and his Majesty beheld, with great satisfaction,
peace and contentment reigning throughout his kingdom.

In the meantime the little Princess Petsetilla grew up. A more
amiable child never was met with. Her kindness of heart and
her happy disposition, her patience and her consideration for the
feelings of others, made her the idol of the palace.
She always wore about her neck the massive gold chain to
which was attached the magnificent locket containing the fairy's
gift. This was one of the first objects of whyh she learnt the
meaning. She cut her teeth on it as a baby. She learnt her
alphabet from it as a child-at least all the letters of the alphabet

Petselilla's Posy.

contained in the device upon it. And now when she was a young
girl of seventeen she still remembered what had been constantly
dinned into her ears-that that locket was the thing on which all
her good fortune depended. Her nurses taught her this lesson
at the very dawn of her understanding. 'There, my dear,' they
would say, 'as long as you keep that locket you are all safe!' or
' That locket will guard you against all the ills of life if you only
take care never to part with it.'
Now, this was all very well in its way, but it never occurred to
them to tell the child that the virtue lay not in the locket, but
in the little withered bunch of pansies inside it. I think it very
likely they really had come to forget what was inside it-or
indeed that it contained anything. But what came of all this ?
Why, that little Petsetilla was taught from infancy that it was
the locket that was the charm-that as long as the gold and the
jewels were hers she was safe. So no wonder she thought more
highly of the gold and jewels than they deserved.
Furthermore, she heard at times, when people praised her and
said what a sweet duck of a child she was, that 'Oh! of course
she is: it's because she wears that locket she's so good !' So
she began to think that only those people were good who wore
gold and jewels.
But the sweet disposition with which Fairy Felicia's gift en-

Petsetilla's Youth.

dowed her shielded her from the ill effects of this teaching. She
was not haughty or unkind to people even who did not wear
gold and jewels, but she used to be sorry for them, because she
feared they were not good, and sometimes she wanted to give
away her bracelets and rings to poor people because she thought
that would make them good.
She was a very beautiful girl now. Her hair was of the most
lovely golden hue, and her eyes were quite blue like forget-me-
nots. She had a skin as white as milk, and her cheeks were
delicate rose. Her lips were like two cherries, and her-teeth
seemed like a string of pearls. In fact, she was exactly as beau-
tiful as all the princesses in all the fairy tales always are.
Her portrait, according to the usual custom of romantic lands
and times, was sent round to all the neighboring Courts. But
whether it was that photography had done scant justice to her
charms-and indeed a fair person never looks well in a carte-or
the neighboring princes did not feel assured of the throne of
Aphania while there was a chance of King Rumti's being restored
to animation, it is impossible to say, but it is very certain that
nobody sought her hand in marriage. His Majesty was greatly
distressed at this lack of suitors. He was most anxious to see
his daughter well married, for the words of that vindictive old
Aunt Sarah were constantly ringing in his ears.



' His Serene Highness the Archduke was so delighted with this idea that he put his hands on
his knees, like Clown in the pantomime, waggled his head, anJ said, "YA !"'


TO make matters more unpleasant for Bungo, his people
about this time began again to show signs of discontent.
The Under-Noodle of State in Council was found to do little to
promote the interests of the people. This is hardly to be won-
dered at, since in the royal Council he had not even as much
weight as the First Noodle. It had turned out, too, that the sump-
tuary law was of little service to the rag interest. The clothes
thrown away each month were in such good condition they could
not be manufactured except at a great outlay, and instead of

A Declaration of War.

going to the paper-mill, they were caught up by ready-made
clothesmen, who did a large export trade in them. The only
people who gained anything were the tailors. They made so
much money that they clubbed- their wealth together, in com-
panies of nine, to purchase a peerage-peerages were sold in
Aphania, though they cost immense sums of money-and they
used to take it in turns to wear it for a year at a time.
The tailors, I say, profited by the sumptuary law, but all other
trades suffered. For wealthy people even, when they were com-
pelled by law to spend so much money on clothes, found it
necessary to reduce their expenses in every other respect. So
there was a very general discontent throughout all Aphania, and
public meetings were called again, and popular orators made
violent speeches, and the Ministers could not advise his Majesty
what to do, so that he was for once very nearly driven to take the
advice of the First Noodle of State, and cut off everybody's head.
But he was saved by the Under-Noodle's objecting that if he did
so he would have no subjects left, and as a man can't be a king
if he has no subjects, he would have ceased to be a king. So
after all, even the Noodles couldn't help his Majesty, and he was
at his wits' ends.
You may be certain that the disturbances in Aphania were sure
to get into the papers, and their importance was rather exag-
51 4-2

Petse/illa's Posy.

gerated than diminished. By this means, the news of them came
to the ears of the Archduke of Nexdorea, who was no friend
to Bungo. The Archduke determined to take advantage of
Bungo's misfortunes: but it so turned out-as it often happens-
that this enemy was the best friend his Majesty had.
The Archduke of Nexdorea was the intended brother-in-law
of King Rumti. His father, the Duke Koscybusco, had died in
a fit of apoplexy, produced by the sumptuous wedding banquet
of his seventeenth and youngest daughter. Of all the seventeen
daughters but one remained unmarried, the Princess Ninni-Aster-
afina. Of course, as she was betrothed to King Rumti, and he
was not dead, though he could scarcely be described as alive, she
was not marketable. The new Duke had
.t, therefore to maintain his spinster sister,
and he didn't like it, and as a consequence
felt a grudge against all Aphania in gene-
Sral and King Bungo in particular. He
was a man of an impetuous and vindic-
tive temperament, was the new Archduke.
His name was Fizpopoff, and he was
..m- married, but his wife had presented him
with boys only. N -:.., as the fortunes of
the reigning family of Nexdorea had been chiefly made by their


A Declaration of War.

large families of daughters, for whom they made good marriages,
the Archduke was not too pleased at his Archduchess's obstinate
predilection for male offspring. On the birth of the tenth boy he
had expostulated with her vehemently. It was even reported
that he had resorted to argument in the form of a horsewhip.
But he failed to convince her. It was a great trial for him, poor
man! for the Duchy of Nexdorea was but a small place-it was
nearly all swallowed up by the royal park where the Princesses
were allowed to run. It did well enough as a nursery-ground-a
sort of forcing-bed for royal marriages, but it was a poor place
to have twenty Princes to provide for.
But a bright idea occurred to the Archduke one day. He must
enlarge his kingdom by conquests. If the Duchess went on as
obstinately as she began, he would soon have quite an army in
his own family. Yes he determined to invade some neighboring
territory. He had everything to gain and nothing to lose. He
was allied by the marriages of his sisters to a great many poten-
tates, who would protect him if the worst came to the worst, and
if his invasion ended in the conquest of his own duchy by the
enemy. In fact, his first great difficulty was to find out somebody
to invade who was not a relation. While he pondered over this,
Aphania occurred to his mind, but it was so very large a country
he had not the courage to invade it. Now, however, when he

Petsetilla's Posy.

learnt that it was racked by internal dissensions, his scheme did
not appear so impossible of execution.
His Grace was seated at the breakfast-table, reading his paper,
when the idea of invading Aphania flashed across his mind.
The Princess Ninni-Asterafina was making the breakfast, for
the Archduchess was upstairs, having just presented her lord with
the twentieth boy.
Alas the Princess Ninni-Asterafina was sadly changed for the
worse. She was the oldest and plainest
of the Princesses when King Rumti chose
her for a bride, and though the portrait
of her in the Nexdorea Almanack was a
.- .. most flattering one, it is doubtful whe-
i' "',-. their, had he looked at it, he would not
I .have telegraphed after his messenger to
,stop the proposal; but, as we know, he
'T 'was changed into stone before he had
time to work out the problem about the
cow's tail, and long before he could have
had a chance of consulting the portraits in the only authorized
official catalogue of the marriageable Nexdorean Princesses.
Princess Ninni-Asterafina was terribly altered. Her nose was
longer and sharper, her eyes.were more like boiled gooseberries,

A Declaration of War.

and her cheeks were hollower and yellower than when she was
first taken up from the park to the palace, to be trained in the
language and customs of Aphania.
She had conceived a violent affection for King Rumti, although
she had never set eyes on him or his portrait; but she had been
dimly conscious that, when he demanded her hand, several of her
younger sisters had been promoted to matrimony over her head,
and she began to think she was doomed to celibacy. She was
very grateful, therefore, to the monarch who chose her, and when
she heard of his sad metamorphosis she fainted away, and had a
violent fit of hysterics, and altogether behaved in a most senti-
mental and affectionate manner.
She was still brought up to be Queen of Aphania, although
Rumti had not been restored to life, and she became attached to
the country which was practically her native country, for of the
land in which she was born she knew nothing, and therefore could
care nothing for it, thanks to that admirable provision of a park
for the rearing of wild princesses.
When she had finished her education, as Rumti was still meta-
morphosed, she was transferred from the training-palace to the
archducal residence. Her father Koscybusco was still living when
first she came, and after his death of course her brother could not
in decency turn her out; but he made it remarkably uncomfort-

Petselilla's Posy.

able for her. If she had been his wife he could not have treated
her worse. In fact, he behaved towards his wife and his sister
with the sternest and strictest impartiality. If he threw his right
boot at the head of one, he always threw the left at the head of
the other, to maintain the balance of power. Of course, on those
interesting occasions when the Archduchess was confined to her
room upstairs, the Princess Ninni-Asterafina got both boots, and
therefore she was twice as miserable as she was when her sister-
in-law shared her troubles.
On this particular morning the Archduke had been less ferocious
than usual. He only threw his slippers at her, because his boots
had not yet been brought upstairs. His :~!inin' the toast-rack
at her because his third cup of coffee was rather cold was so
slight an attention it could hardly be considered anything. When,
however, he roared aloud for his boots, openly declaring that he
wanted them in order that he might at once set out to seize on
Aphania, the Princess gave a little shriek.
'What, invade Aphania, Fizpopoff! No such thing!'
'No such thing, indeed! How dare you interfere, Miss?'
bellowed his Grace, snatching up a plate of buttered toast and
launching it at his sister's head. The Princess, who had had
some practice, dodged the missile adroitly.
'You can't invade my kingdom-you shan't !-it's mine !'

A Battle Royal.


'If she had been his wife he could not have treated her worse.

'Yours ? Pshaw! Why, don't you know that some kind fairy
changed old Rumti into a stone figure in order to save him from
the misery of marrying you, you old fright ?' And the Archduke
emphasized the 'you' by discharging the sugar-basin at his sister.
'Monster!' screamed the lady, rising defiantly above the hail-
storm of sugar-nobs; 'monster! you know that is untrue, and

Pelsefilla's Posy.

that he may be restored at any moment to wed me, and then I
will be avenged !'
'Humph!' said the Duke, 'if he was fool enough to propose
to marry you then, he would certainly know better than to think
of it now, when you're as old and as ugly as his great-grand-
mother !'
'I'll appeal to the husbands of my sisters !' said the Princess,
with dignity.
This was an unpleasant threat. Out of sixteen brothers-in-
law he might well expect to meet with some who would oppose
his unprincipled scheme of aggrandisement. The Archduke
scowled, and stretched out his hand for the poker, which seemed
the only logic left him to close the argument. But all of a sudden
the gloomy expression changed for one of pleasure: he burst into
a loud guffaw.
'Look here, you old cat! Am I not the most affectionate
brother in the world ? I am going to invade Aphania because I
consider that you are its rightful Sovereign. There, what do you
say to that ?'
'I don't believe a word of it,' said his sister, frankly.
'I don't care whether you do or not-other people will.'
'But you can't conquer Aphania! They would beat you dis-
gracefully, as you deserve.'

A Battle Royal.

'No, they won't, because they are in a state of open rebellion
almost, being discontented with their present ruler, and my offer
to place the wife of their beloved Rumti on the throne would
insure my success.'
'Then I'11 have my ever-lamented Rumti restored to life if you
do,' said the lady, spitefully.
'No, you won't! for first of all I shall break the old image up
to mend the roads with, and have another made like it, and then
all the honest men in the world may touch it till their fingers are
S And I regret to say that his Serene Highness the Archduke
was so delighted with this idea that he put his hands on his knees,.
like Clown in the pantomime, and waggled his head, and said,
Now, if there was one thing more than another which exaspe-
rated the generally amiable Princess Ninni-Asterafina, it was her
brother's performance of the pantomimic feat just recorded, and
his utterance of that irritating monosyllable 'Yah.' She could
not bear it, so without more ado she threw the coffee-pot at him.
He retaliated with the kettle, and a battle royal ensued. The
noise became so loud that it reached the kitchen where the arch-
ducal footmen were. Those gallant fellows knew what the up-
roar meant.

Petsetilla's Posy.

'There's their R'y'I 'Ighnesses hat it agin. Let's go and clear
Whereupon they went up in a body, and at once removed
everything from the room. The Archduke and the Princess
having then no missiles left to throw, left off throwing, and
peace was restored.
'Send me the Chief Secretary,' said the Archduke to the head
footman. 'Tell him to bring pens, ink, and paper-and, here-
stop !-tell him I shall want some "declaration of war forms-
he can get them at the nearest stationer's. And,' his Serene
Highness added after a pause, 'Tomkins, you'd better order a
new breakfast service.'


'A beautiful girl, with long golden tresses, :nd the most exquisite complexion, "clad in a simple
white robe, was passing along the gallery.'


T HERE dwelt in Aphania at this time a rag-gatherer whose
name was Raggatti, and who had an only son called
Remsky, apprenticed to a market gardener whose garden was
without the city gates.

a ~~

_ %- h~

Petsetilla's Posy.

The market gardener was employed to supply peas to the
palace for the royal pigeons, and the youthful Remsky was
entrusted with the task of conveying the peas every week to the
Lord High Pigeoner.
You must not for a moment suppose that there were any royal
pigeons. No such things! There had been once upon a time,
but so long ago that the very pigeon-cotes had tumbled into
decay and gone the way of all firewood. In the reign of Gorgius,
who was a great gourmand, and in fact died of a surfeit produced
by an over-feast of larks' tongues stewed in truffles, the whole of
Aphania was overrun, or I should perhaps say, overflown, with
pigeons. That dainty monarch considered that pigeons were
made only to lie with their feet sticking out through pie-crust-
and he adored pigeon pie. So he kept a multitude of pigeons,
and appointed a Lord Pigeoner to look after them. In order to
restrain the birds from injuring the crops of his subjects, the King
commanded the Lord Pigeoner to supply them with fifty bushels
of peas daily, to be thrown down in the palace courtyard. After
the death of Gorgius, his son and successor having become rather
bored with pigeon pie, which he had had every day for dinner
since he was a boy, allowed the birds to be killed and eaten by
his subjects. The Lord High Pigeoner, however, was a man of
great influence, so the young King did not dare to interfere with

Remsky ih Raytures.

his perquisites and dignity. So the Lord Pigeoner continued-
long after the last pigeon had made its acquaintance with pie-
crust-to order in the fifty bushels of peas daily. For the
market gardener who supplied the peas for which the Privy Purse
paid, supplied the Lord Pigeoner with fruit and vegetables all
the year round gratis. Of course his lordship did not care to
relinquish this profit, and so the peas were sent in every day.
It was the etiquette of the Court of Aphania-as, I have read,
it is also of every other Court-never to notice anything. Where-
fore the peas were allowed to accumulate-to the no small incon-
venience of those about the Court-and nobody said a word about
them, till the King, one morning going out to cross the courtyard,
was nearly knocked down by a rush of peas directly he opened
his private door. The new monarch was young and inexperienced,
so, without calling his Ministers together, he ordered the peas to
be instantly removed. He was obeyed. But before long he
found that he had been guilty of a crime against the constitution.
The Lord Chamberlain explained to his youthful Majesty that
his interference with the peas precedent was dangerous and most
unconstitutional-that monarchs had lost their crowns, and heads
too sometimes, for less. But he proposed a way out of the dif-
ficulty. Of course the Lord High Pigeoner must still order in
the peas, and the peas must still be delivered in the courtyard

Petsetila's Posy.

as heretofore; but his Sacred Majesty might appoint a Lord
Comptroller of the Peas, who would have those vegetables con-
veyed from the courtyard to a convenient and capacious ware-
house in which they could be stored, to be dispensed gratuitously
to the poor in the form of pea-soup.
Young Remsky, as I have said, brought the peas to the Royal
Palace every day. It was hardly possible that he should perform
this daily duty very long without catching sight of the Princess.
It was quite impossible that he should see her without falling in
love with her.
Remsky was a very handsome lad. He was tall and well pro-
portioned. His long hair fell in dark ringlets on his shoulders,
and his eyes were piercing black. A downy moustache shaded
his upper lip, and his complexion was of an olive colour.
One morning when this goodly youth was superintending the
usual uncarting of the peas for the figurative royal pigeons, he
happened to cast a glance up to one of the galleries which ran
round the courtyard, and he beheld one of the loveliest visions
that he had-I won't say ever seen-but ever dreamt of!
A beautiful girl, with long golden tresses, and the most exqui-
site complexion, clad in a simple white robe, edged with what
fashion-books would call a rucking of pale blue ribbon, was passing
along the gallery., She was petting a lovely little green paroquet

Remsky in R lptures.

which she carried on her finger, and the silvery tones of her voice
as she spoke to it, enlarged to hopeless dimensions the hole which
her bright eyes made in the susceptible heart of the young mar-
ket gardener.
It was the Princess Petsetilla.
How intensely poor Remsky wished he was that green paro-
quet He couldn't have pecked at her lovely finger, as the un-
grateful bird did after the fashion of its unamiable species. He
wouldn't have called himself 'pretty Polly' in the presence of
such unrivalled beauty, as the pert creature did, after the manner
of such conceited birds.
What would he not have given to exchange his monotonous
task of providing peas for imaginary pigeons, for the delightful
duty of feeding the green paroquet which he so envied! That
was a duty, by the way, which three pages were appointed to per-
form. They were young noblemen, of course, varying in age from
eight to thirteen, and they liked to play at leap-frog and hop-
scotch better than to feed the Princess's bird; so the Pages of
the Paroquet' had an easy time of it, like many other officers
about the Court, and Princess Petsetilla, as she did not wish to
see her pet starved, had to feed it herself, and a pretty penny it
cost her out of her moderate weekly allowance to keep it in
finger-biscuits, for the dainty little wretch would eat nothing else.



Petsefilla's Posy.

From that fatal morning poor Remsky could think of nothing
but the beautiful Princess-for he soon learnt that the lovely
being who had made so deep an impression on his heart was the
Crown Princess.
He became quite an altered young man. He grew pensive and
studious. He lost all his interest in horticultural pursuits, and
gave his mind up to growing capital P's' in mustard and cress
all over his master's garden, until that exemplary nurseryman,
feeling sure that the popular taste for cress and mustard was not
extensive enough to make this lavish sowing remunerative, put a
stop to it.
The only resource the poor lad had was to fling himself with
greater ardour than ever into the cultivation of peas for the royal
pigeons. He solaced himself with the knowledge-a knowledge
which he owed to his zealous attention to his lessons at school-
that 'P' stood for Petsetilla as well as for Pigeons and Peas.
The attention which he bestowed upon the peas was not at first
very pleasing to his employer, who thought that quite inferior
peas would answer admirably to feed imaginary pigeons or make
soup for poor people. But his apprentice grew such remarkable
peas that people noticed them; and, as soon as they learnt that
they were grown to supply the royal pigeons, they offered the
gardener large sums of money per peck for them. Because, you

Remsky in Raptures.

see, there were plenty of persons who felt in a sort of way that
they were dining with Royalty, if they could only have a dish of
-the royal peas.
Of course, when he went home at night, poor Remsky could
grow capital 'P's' in mustard and cress as much as he liked, and
he did so in every available spot. Now, as you can grow mustard
and cress in a saucer, on a basket, and on a bit of flannel or a
nightcap, you will easily guess what a large field the young
market gardener had for the horticultural expression of his
passion. His father and mother were devotedly fond of him, and
rather than interfere with his pursuits, put up with a great deal
of inconvenience. But when his mustard-and-cress mania had
been carried so far that they all three had to eat off one plate,
and take tea off one saucer, and Raggatti's last nightcap was en-
gaged in rearing a promising crop of green stuff, it was necessary
for the parents of the misguided boy to question him as to the
meaning of his eccentric gardening.
His mother, unfortunately, had not been to school; and she
described his efforts at vegetable caligraphy as 'growing soup-
ladles in mustard and cress.' His father, however, was well
educated, and deciphered his green efforts. They pressed him
closely for an explanation, and he loved them too well to with-
hold it.
7 5- 2

Petsetilla's Posy.

I am,' he said, 'merely a poor gardener's-boy, and I can only
express my feelings in the language and in the manner to which
I have been accustomed all my life. If I were a poet, I would
sing the name of the lady I love in such exquisite verse, that all
the world would stand still to listen. If I were a painter, I would
depict her with such noble skill, that everybody should lose their
hearts to the canvas, as I had lost mine to the reality. If I were
a mariner, I would sail the world round till I discovered some
new Paradise in the sea, which I might name after her. If
I were a soldier, I would carry her favour in my helmet through
all opposition and over every obstacle, and compel all whom I
conquered to confess her the Queen of Beauty. If I were any
of these, I would do what each might and should do. But I am
only a poor gardener's-boy, and so all I can do is to grow the
initial of her beloved name in mustard and cress!'
'Your're in love, then?' said his mother.
'And her name begins with a P,' said his father.
'I can't bear the name of Polly,' said the mother.
'Peggy is worse, I think,' said the father.
'Patty isn't nice !' said she.
'Nor Prue, either, for that matter!' said he.
'But isn't Petsetilla a beautiful name ?' cried the unhappy
Remsky, forgetting what a confession he was making.

Remzsky in Ralures.

'It was necessary for the parents of the misguided boy to question him as to the meaning
of his eccentric gardening.'

The two old people were struck dumb for a time.
Princess Petsetilla !' they both gasped out at last.
And then Raggatti began to shake his head, and went on
.haking it for just three quarters of an hour and four minutes,
-while the mother covered her head with her apron, and sobbed
When they had quite exhausted their grief, Remsky told them
,how and where he had first seen the Princess, and confessed that

Petseilla's Posy.

he was deeply, madly, desperately in love with her; but his was,
a happy disposition, he said, and a contented mind. He loved
her, but his love did not make him miserable. He would go on
loving patiently and sincerely, and he felt, somehow, that some
day he might have a chance of proving his devotion. If not, he
should die satisfied with the knowledge that he had loved the
loveliest of princesses.
Whereupon, as there was nothing better to be done, they went-
to bed.


I BEGAN the last chapter by telling you that Raggatti, the
rag-collector, and his son, lived in Aphania, near one of the
city gates; but I had so much to say about Remsky, and the way
in which it came about that he fell in love with Petsetilla, that I
was not able to give you much information about Raggatti.
Raggatti was the most industrious of all the rag-gatherers of
Aphania. He was the earliest astir in the evening, and the last
to turn in of a morning, and he went over his ground so care-
fully, that the man who happened to go rag-gathering in his wake
didn't get much for his trouble. He had a well-earned character
for honesty, too. Of course, the rag-gatherers were constantly
picking up articles of value that had been dropped in the streets.
Now, by strict letter of the law, as laid down by an Act passed
in the reign of Cagofango, all articles so found became the pro--
perty of the finder; 'for,' said the learned legists who drew up
that statute, 'if the previous owner had valued the article, he

Petsefilla's Posy.

would have taken pains not to lose it.' But, as very often happens,
public opinion in Aphania did not coincide with the ruling of the
statute; and all honest people restored 'treasure trove' to its
rightful owner. Nevertheless, the less scrupulous folk could
lawfully appropriate what they found; and, as a rule, the rag-
gatherers were not scrupulous, except as far as the rigid obser-
vance of this one particular statute was concerned. But Raggatti
had never been known to avail himself of the law. He always
took pains to find the owner of anything he picked up, and made
it a point of honour to take no reward for his honesty, though at
times he wanted money sorely enough.
There were members of the rag-gathering profession who
formed a society which they called 'The Honesty League.' They
pledged themselves always to restore all treasure trove, and never
to take, keep, or hold anything that did not belong to them.
Those members who had never been found out in a breach of
this pledge were crowned with wreaths of roses, and the society
used to march in procession at times, wearing these crowns and
garlands, and blowing trumpets in their own honour.
Raggatti would not join this society, or accept a wreath of
roses, for he said that to be honest was only one among a dozen
equally important duties, which every good citizen should per-
form. He did not see, he said, why he should be crowned for

How the Posy changed hands.

being honest, any more than for being sober; that if a man was
to be crowned for doing one duty, he ought to be crowned for
doing each of the others; and that if that were so, the longest-
headed man in all Aphania would not have enough cranium to
accommodate the wreaths.
This gave great offence to the Honesty League, and as Raggatti
often received presents from people who admired his character,
the members of the society endeavoured to pass a law which
should make the receiving of presents a punishable offence. They
argued that because people took what was given to them, they
became liable to take what was not given to them; that, in short,
the mere fact of taking was likely to tempt them to the crime of
stealing. As, however, the only person they could prevail upon
to bring this measure before his Majesty's Ministers was the First
Noodle of State, the bill never became law.
Raggatti, being a very humble-minded creature, went on his
way quietly, never supposing that a lot of clever people were
trying to crush him by Act of Parliament. He worked hard,
late and early, and was grateful to all who aided him, not less
grateful to those who only gave him a kind word. He continued
to get his daily food, pay his rent, and, what was more, sent his
boy to a good school, and then apprenticed him to the royal
market gardener. If he had been an Englishman, instead of an

Petseilla's Posy.

Aphanian, he would probably, when he was sixty years of age,
have received a pair of new corduroys and twenty shillings from
an appreciative country gentry, but as he was only an Aphanian,
he did not get even that. But he had the satisfaction of a clear
conscience, a good appetite, and the knowledge that his son might
do better than his father had done, if he was only equally ready
to make the most of his opportunities.
I don't fancy Raggatti thought that Remsky had made the
best of his opportunities when he discovered that the youth had
fallen over head and ears in love with the Crown Princess. But
he felt that the lad could not help it, and he pitied him; for, you
see, Raggatti, like most good men, had fallen desperately in love
with his wife before he married her (not that I mean he didn't
continue to love her after they were married), and so he could feel
for his son and appreciate the love he bore for the Princess Pet-
Very early one morning he was hard at work turning over a
heap of dust close underneath the palace walls. It was just day-
break, and the golden sunlight was streaming up the sky, filling
all the air with a gleaming haze of glory, in which the larks would
have been lost but for their songs. For there were larks in
Aphania, because, by the great charter of Aphania, out of every
ten acres included within the city wall, two were bound to be left

'The Princess Petsetilla thought the song of a lark one of the sweetest things you could hear:
and she always rose early to listen to it.'

Pefseilla's Posy.

in a wild uncultivated state of heath, as play-ground and lungs
for the neighbourhood.
The Princess Petsetilla thought the song of a lark one of the
sweetest things you could hear; and she always rose early to
listen to it. And it so happened that on this particular morning
she opened her window, and looked out just as old Raggatti was
The rag-gatherer heard the sound of the opening casement and
looked up. It was the first time he had ever seen the Princess,
for he was not one to run after State processions, having business
of his own to attend to. He knew from the description Remsky
had given him that this must be Petsetilla, and he felt that his
son had shown remarkable taste in fixing his affections on so
lovely a being.
So there stood Raggatti looking up at Petsetilla, and there
stood Petsetilla looking up at the larks. And there was one
very big and very melodious lark soaring just over the palace-
so big and so melodious that I think it must have been, as was
afterwards reported, the Fairy Felicia in disguise. Petsetilla
listened to it and watched it with the greatest delight, and in
order to see it better as it soared still higher towards heaven she
leant far out of the window. In doing so, without noticing it,
she pressed the spring of the locket she wore round her neck

How the Posy changed hands.

against the window-sill. The locket opened-and a withered
bunch of heart's-ease fell out of it and dropped into the street.
The little dry, insignificant-looking bunch of pansies fell at
Raggatti's feet. He knew nothing of their history, and supposed
they were only some dead flowers the Princess was throwing
I'll take them home to Remsky,' said he. 'They will be a relic
for the poor boy to keep. They have stood upon the Princess's.
table, and no doubt while they were fresh and bright she loved
and admired them, and so he will value them though they are
As for Petsetilla, she did not see the locket open and did not
notice the fall of the posy. I very much doubt, if she had seen
it fall, whether she would have thought anything about it. For,
you see, she was told that the locket was the charm-that her
happiness and welfare depended on that gold and jewelled orna-
ment, and she had never heard a word about its contents.
But somehow, just as Raggatti picked up the posy, Petsetilla
felt that the morning was rather chilly. She gave a little shiver,
and thought to herself how silly it was to get up at that early hour
just to hear a little bird chirp. Her tirewoman was sound asleep,
for the Princess never used to wake her to dress her at such an
early hour. But she felt this morning that it was very lazy of

Petselilla's Posy.

her attendant to sleep on so soundly. She shut the window down
with a bang, and suddenly determined to undress and get into
bed again. But she could not get to sleep at all. She was
restless and unsettled, and tossed and tumbled, and never closed
an eye until nearly nine o'clock, so that she had just got into a
nice doze when her tirewoman brought her her early cup of tea,
But Petsetilla didn't want the tea and didn't like being disturbed,
and so for the first time in her life she spoke crossly to the poor
girl. And then when she had done it she was angry with herself,
so she vented her dissatisfaction by finding fault with the tea,
and at last turned over in a pet and tried to go to sleep again.
But she didn't get her nap until she cried herself to sleep over
the thought that she was very naughty and fretful.
But she never guessed the real cause of the change, and as for
the locket, that had snapped-to again, so that she would have no
reason to suspect its contents were gone even had she known that
it had ever had anything inside it.
Raggatti had not had a very profitable night's work, but as
soon as he picked up the posy he turned his steps homeward.
'I've been very lucky,' said he to himself, 'very lucky indeed,
for besides the rags I've gathered-and I might not have found
any at all!-I've seen the Princess, and I've got a keepsake for

How the Posy changed hands.

So he hurried homeward singing cheerily all the way, and so
happy and contented that he quite forgot he had had nothing to
eat all night until he saw the breakfast that his good wife had
prepared for him. And then he sat down and ate with a relish,
and never seemed to know that the bacon was a little rancid and
that there were too many horse-beans in the coffee.
He had not sat down many minutes before Remsky made his
appearance. Raggatti would not tell his son about the posy till
the lad had finished his breakfast, for fear pleasure should spoil
his appetite. But when Remsky was just ready to go, the old
man told him of his morning's adventure, and at last produced
the little withered bunch of flowers.
Remsky seized the poor posy _
and kissed it reverently. Then
he folded it up in a clean ker- .jd" '
chief, and buttoned it up beneath
his jerkin over his heart. And '
after that, as it was time for him
to go to his work, he took leave .
of his parents and hastened away '
to the garden. I
'Poor boy!' said Raggatti,
'I'm glad I was able to bring it to him-though, to be sure, I

Petselilla's Posy.

wasted some time about it. I haven't collected half as many rags
as I ought to have done I 've not done a good night's work.
But, my dear,' said he, turning suddenly to his wife, 'what's the
matter with the bacon ? I didn't notice it till this minute, but
it tastes very odd! what can it be ?-it isn't the coffee, is it?
That doesn't seem as good as it should be.'
You see, Raggatti had parted with the posy now, and that
made a difference in him.
And what alteration did it make in Remsky? why, none at
all! He was happy and contented already, and all the fairy
posies in the world couldn't improve his disposition in that respect.
But as Felicia's gift was thus entirely lost on the gardener's
boy, I can't help thinking what a pity it was that Petsetilla
didn't get it back at once, for she was fretful and peevish now,
and all her attendants suffered for it, and suffered the more be-
cause they had never known her to be anything but good and
kind and considerate before.
'Lawk bless us !' said one of the waiting-women to another as
they stood behind the Princess's chair while her hair was being
done, during which operation the Gold Brush-and-Comb in Wait-
ing caught it rather severely, 'lawk bless us any one would think
she'd lost the fairy locket, only you can see it's there round her
neck !'


-low the Posy changed hands.

'What is all that noise ?' asked the Princess presently.
'If you please, your Highness, it's the peas being brought in
for the pigeons,' said the First Lady in Waiting.

S' '

often, but it seemed to her there had never been so much fuss
and noise about it, so she looked out to see how it was that it
annoyed her so.
She saw Remsky superintending the unloading of the carts.
'Dear me! what a handsome young man!' said she; 'it's a
pity he's not good and happy and contented, which he is not,
for he has no gold or jewels about him-not so much as a stud
or sleeve-link !'



Petsezilla's Posy.

And Remsky, looking up, said to himself, 'Fairest of princesses,
what bliss it is only to look upon you! I am too blest to have
the privilege of being so near you.'
And then he went back to the garden and sowed a very large
letter P in mustard and cress.

'The Archduke's herald, by name Bramantip, was a person of commanding appearance.'

T HERE was some consternation, I can tell you, in Aphania
when the Envoy of his Serene Mightiness Fizpopoff,
Archduke of Nexdorea, rode into the market-place; for it was
83 6-2

Petsetilla's Posy.

evident from his wearing his helmet wrong side foremost that he
was bound on a warlike mission. The Archduke's herald, by name
Bramantip, was a person of commanding appearance. He rode
on a splendid black charger, and bore a huge silver clarion. His
tabard was splendidly broidered, and a long white ostrich plume
adorned his helm. The arms of Ncxdorea were blazoned on the
herald's tabard and on the banner attached to his clarion. The
arms of Nexdorea, I ought to tell you, were, according to the
Heralds' College, 'gules, on a bend, or, a goose and six gooselets
waddlant in their pride, proper; crest, a blue-nose baboon snorant,
proper, in an arm-chair, argent; supporters, two hen's eggs proper,
cracked, sable :-Motto, Poached or Pickled."'* These armorial
bearings, as you may suppose, looked very noble when embroi-
dered in gold, silver, and bright silks.
Bramantip reined up his charger in the centre of the market-
place, and blew a single blast on his silver clarion. Thereupon,
Disamis and Dimaris, the heralds of King Bungo, who had been
duly informed by post of the proposed visit of Bramantip, took
up their place on the steps of the town hall, and dispatched
their pages, Baroko and Bokardo, to ask the stranger's mission,
and conduct him to the Royal Heralds.

The chief produce of Nexdorea consisted in hens' eggs, which were exported to all
the surrounding countries. Hence the allusions to poultry in the arms.

War declared.

The pages led Bramantip to the town hall, each holding one
of his gilded reins. When he had saluted the Royal Heralds by
dropping the mouth-piece of his clarion towards the ground three
times, he placed it to his lips and blew a challenge.
Disamis and Dimaris answered with a blast on their gold bugles,
and then the parley began in the prescribed form.
'How many horses has your master got ?' asked Disamis.
'Three,' replied Bramantip, in a defiant tone.
What colour are they?' asked Dimaris.
'Crimson, yellow ochre, and ultramarine!' responded the herald.
'Then turn round three times and state what your master's in-
structions have been,' was the answer.
Then Bramantip doffed his helmet, and, resting his reversed
clarion on his knee, made the following proclamation in a loud
voice:-'Know all men by these presents'--here he tossed a
handful of silver pieces down for the Aphanian crowd to scramble
for-'that we, Fizpopoff, Serene Mightiness, Electoral High
Seignior, and Hereditary Archduke of Nexdorea, do hereby pro-
claim and enounce, cceterisparibus, and if not, why not, and how
otherwise? that we, ruler by direct descent from Hollaboys the
First, do, in consideration of the affiancement, spoongelt, and
betroth-splice of our august sister, the serene and lovely Ninni-
Asterafina, Princess of Nexdorea, with Rumtius Rex, lawful and

Pelsetilla's Posy.

only recognized Monarch of Aphania, claim, demand, and of right
intend for to make our own, the Regency of the said kingdom of
Aphania, on behalf of the said Serene Loveliness and the said
recognized Sovereign. Wherefore, why, because, and on which
account, we, the already-enumerated Serenity, do call upon Bungo,
heir presumptive to the throne of Aphania, and at present un-
lawful occupant of the said throne, to vacate the same, here, now
and immediately, hei presto cockalorum ad libitum, and in tzink-
elinguio bed-postii. In proof whereof witness our hand and seal,
to counterfeit which is felony under Act of Parliament for the
Better Registration of Trade Marks. And lastly, in conclusion,
finally, and to sum up the matter, our aforesaid Serenity doth
hereby solemnly mention that, supposing the recited Bungo do
not vacate with promptitude, we, the heretofore-quoted Fizpopoff,
do declare war to the last drum-stick against him, and will pro-
secute our righteous and just conflict with him while a parchment
remains unburst. And to prove our sincerity, there lies our glove,
seven and three quarters long fingers.'
When Bramantip had concluded his harangue, Disamis stepped
forward, and said in a loud voice,
'Oh, yes! oh, yes! oh, yes!! Does not his Serene Mightiness
the Archduke of Nexdorea and Electoral High Seignior of that
province very much wish he may get it? We, the august and

War declared.

powerful Bungo, by appointment Regent, and in presumptive
right Monarch of all the Aphanias, hereby accept the Archduke's
challenge, taking up his glove, and defy him to combat to the last
beat of drum. Whereto witness King Bungo, his mark.. Hip!
hip hurrah!'
Disamis picked up the glove which Bramantip had thrown down.
Thereupon, the Archducal Herald produced a long green silk
purse from the pocket of his tabard, and emptying the money it
contained into the streets, exclaimed,
'We, the Serene Archduke, accept the defiance, and hereby to
prove that we rely on the justice of our cause, rather than our
super-eminent resources and insuperable valour, we do present
our heretofore friends and henceforth enemies with a largesse to
enable them to buy muniments of war. Long live Fizpopoff!'
'And now it's all over,' said Disamis, at once laying aside all
official hauteur, 'hadn't you better come in and have a stoup of
something?' For, of course, all heralds, like Freemasons, were
brothers, and Disamis thought a good deal more of Bramantip,
the enemy's herald, than of the first general in King Bungo's
army. The crowd had by this time dispersed, finding there was
nothing to be got; for the money which the herald distributed
was Nexdorean currency, and as the Nexdorean currency con-
sisted of brass and german-silver, it was of no value in Aphania.

Petsetilla's Posy.

The scattering of a largesse to enable your enemy to buy muni-
ments of war was a ceremonial peculiar to the territory, and was
never neglected. King Bungo, however, was so disgusted at the
Archduke's meaness in sending money which was not exchange-
able against Aphanian coins, that he sewed it up in a sack, and
returned it by Bramantip, with 'his compliments, and he was too
old to play at dumps, and these medals were of no use for any
other purpose.'
This terribly enraged the Archduke, as you can fancy, and he
vowed that he would burst his biggest drum, but he would have
his revenge for the insult.
With this intention he enrolled three hundred of the bravest
drummers in all his army into one regiment, and he had the re-
turned largesse made into buttons, which were sewn on the uniform
--a pale green turned up with chocolate-which he selected for
this picked corps. They were to lead the van of his invading
forces, and the most powerful drums in his armouries were appro-
priated for their use. On the front of their shakos was the regi-
mental motto, 'Pfitskyichewdiki,' which is the Nexdorean of 'for
the honour of our halfpence.'
King Bungo called his Privy Council together, and announced
that he was about to enter into a war against the Duke of Nex-
dorea, who wished to assume the rule of Aphania, on the grounds

War declared.

of his sister's engagement
to Rumti. The nobles
were indignant at the
insolence of this petty -
Prince, and immediately
offcrcd their services to
their King. Each pro-
mised to bring all his
vassals into the field, and
engaged to send in within
three days a muster-roll !
of the number of drums
he could lead into the 'A
camp. It was determined .
to assemble the people
the next day, when the {'_ .j
King should address
them. It was felt that -
the threatened invasion -- -.
of the Archduke would
enrage the people against
him, and restore them to their allegiance to the King.
This was exactly the effect produced, which, as you know, was

Petsetilla's Posy.

the very opposite of what Fizpopoff had calculated upon. The
populace cheered King Bungo loudly when he appeared in full
armour on the balcony of the palace, and hundreds volunteered
active service that very day. Popular excitement was at its height
for the next few weeks. The papers teemed with articles breathing
a warlike spirit, and the street bards chanted war-songs and
played the national air of Aphania on their barrel-organs.
was chalked on the walls, and a farce entitled 'The Archduke's
Boots,' in which the Archduke was made up like the ruler of

-- -_-

Nexdorea, and was submitted to all sorts of indignities, was
produced at the principal theatre, and received with enthusiasm.
The satirical journals were very severe upon the invader, who was
held up to ridicule in their columns as Squib-pop-bang, and
depicted as an exploding firework.

War declared.

In the meantime gigantic efforts were made to bring the army
into an efficient state. The Most Honourable Body of Benchers
of Justice, the very flower of the legal profession, voted seven
thousand .sheets of parchment and two thousand of vellum for
drum-heads, and the Duke Bingi, who was the largest proprietor
of timber plantations in all Aphania, gave free permission to the
whole army of drummers to go into his forest and cut their sticks.
A spirited and ingenious civil engineer, who invented a machine
for making metal drums at the rate of four a minute, was knighted
on the spot, and made Chief Inspector of Drummery.
You will have noticed, I fancy, that I have spoken of nothing
but drums in describing the warlike preparations of the Aphanians.
The reason is that they fought with drums, and I will tell you
the how, why, and wherefore of their so doing in the next chapter.

tf, .'-'.^J'bz^^^


'The whole vast tract of territory resounded with "rub-a-dub-dub from morn till night.'


A NY one who knows his' Universal History' must know all
about the 'War of the Shoe-strings,' which lasted for
thirty years and nearly depopulated seven kingdoms, two arch-
duchies, and a republic. It began in the reign of King Goariboo
of Aphania, who was, indeed, the cause of the war. For that
monarch commanded his people to abjure shoe-strings and adopt
button boots, which gave serious offence to King Lobo of Carinia,

The Peace Co;.g;''ss.

a country that dealt largely in hides, and consequently had an
interest in the sale of shoe-strings, which were always made of
leather in these regions. The Aphanians were not slow to
appreciate the benefit of buttoned boots, and the commerce of
Carinia languished accordingly, for the Aphanians everywhere
extolled button boots, and their example and advice had great
weight with the surrounding countries. Of course Lobo could
not go to war on this pretext, but his representative at the Court
of Goariboo was ordered to persevere in wearing shoe-strings with
long ends, although the official directions for Court dress forbade
shoe-strings. The Carinian Ambassador, therefore, appeared at
a liv&e with the long shoe-strings, and was not allowed to pass.
A long correspondence ensued on the subject, and the diplo-
matists of both nations had their hands full. The quarrel spread
-other countries became entangled in the dispute; and in the
end, seven kingdoms, two archduchies, and one republic found
themselves squabbling about an ambassador's shoe-strings. The
difficulty, however, might have been avoided, but for an unfor-
tunate accident. At a conference held in Aphania to settle the
dispute if possible by arbitration, the representative of Lobo was
present, and, as a matter of course, wore his long shoe-strings.
King Goariboo, who was also present, had the ill-luck to tread
on them and untie them, and when the Ambassador rose to go,

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