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King John of Jingalo The Story of a Monarch in Difficulties   By: (1865-1959)

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KING JOHN OF JINGALO

THE STORY OF A MONARCH IN DIFFICULTIES

BY LAURENCE HOUSMAN

NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY 1912

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. A Domestic Interior

II. Accidents Will Happen

III. Wild Oats and Widows' Weeds

IV. Popular Monarchy

V. Church and State

VI. Of Things not Expected

VII. The Old Order

VIII. Pace making in Politics

IX. The New Endymion

X. King and Council

XI. A Royal Commission

XII. An Arrival and a Departure

XIII. A Promissory Note

XIV. Heads or Tails

XV. A Deed Without a Name

XVI. Concealment and Discovery

XVII. The Incredible Thing Happens

XVIII. The King's Night Out

XIX. The Spiritual Power

XX. The Thorn and the Flesh

XXI. Night light

XXII. A Man of Business

XXIII. "Call Me Jack"

XXIV. The Voice of Thanksgiving

KING JOHN OF JINGALO

CHAPTER I

A DOMESTIC INTERIOR

I

The King of Jingalo had just finished breakfast in the seclusion of the royal private apartments. Turning away from the pleasantly deranged board he took up one of the morning newspapers which lay neatly folded upon a small gilt legged table beside him. Then he looked at his watch.

This action was characteristic of his Majesty: doing one thing always reminded him that presently he would have to be doing another. Conscientious to a fault, he led a harassed and over occupied life, which was not the less wearisome in its routine because no clear results ever presented themselves within his own range of vision. By an unkind stroke of fortune he had been called to the rule of a kingdom that had grown restive under the weight of too much tradition; and constitutionally he was unable to let it alone. So must he now remind himself in the hour of his privacy how all too fleeting were its moments, and how soon he would have to project himself elsewhere.

Glancing across the table towards his consort he saw that she was still engrossed in the opening of her letters large stiff envelopes, conspicuously crested, containing squarish sheets of unfolded note paper; for it was a rule of the Court that no creased correspondence should ever solicit the attention of the royal eye, and that all letters should be written upon one side only. The Queen was very fond of receiving these spacious missives; though they contained little of importance they came to her from half the crowned heads of Europe, as well as from the most select circle of Jingalese aristocracy. They gave occupation to two secretaries, and were a daily reminder to her Majesty that, in her own country at any rate, she was the acknowledged leader of society.

Having looked at his watch the King said: "My dear, what are you going to do to day?"

"Really," replied the Queen, "I don't quite know; I have not yet looked at my diary."

Her Majesty seldom did know anything of the day's program until she had consulted her secretaries, who, with dovetailing ingenuity, arranged her hours and booked to each day often many months in advance the engagements which lay ahead. Therein she showed a calmer and more philosophic temperament than her consort. The King always knew; every day of his life with anxious forecast he consulted his diary while shaving, and breakfasted with its troubling details fresh upon his recollection.

Having answered his inquiry the Queen relapsed into her correspondence, while the King resumed his newspaper; and the moment may be regarded as propitious for presenting the reader with a portrait of these two august personages, since so good an opportunity may not occur again. The kind of portrait we offer is, of course, of an up to date and biographical character, and does not limit itself to those circumstances of time and space in which the commencement of this history has landed us... Continue reading book >>




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