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Prince Prigio   By: (1844-1912)

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PRINCE PRIGIO

BY ANDREW LANG AUTHOR OF "THE MARK OF CAIN, "THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE" ETC.

Twenty seven Illustrations by Gordon Browne

1889 BRISTOL J. W. ARROWSMITH, QUAY STREET LONDON SIMPKIN, MARSHALL & CO., 4 STATIONERS' HALL COURT All rights reserved

{"So the two went into the gardens together, and talked about a number of things.": p0.jpg}

PRINCE PRIGIO IS Dedicated TO ALMA THYRA EDITH ROSALIND NORNA CECILY AND VIOLET

PREFACE.

In compiling the following History from the Archives of Pantouflia, the Editor has incurred several obligations to the Learned. The Return of Benson (chapter xii.) is the fruit of the research of the late Mr. ALLEN QUATERMAIN, while the final wish of Prince Prigio was suggested by the invention or erudition of a Lady.

A study of the Firedrake in South Africa where he is called the Nanaboulele , a difficult word has been published in French (translated from the Basuto language) by M. PAUL SEBILLOT, in the Revue des Traditione Populaires . For the Remora , the Editor is indebted to the Voyage a la Lune of M. CYRANO DE BERGERAC.

CHAPTER I.

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How the Fairies were not Invited to Court .

Once upon a time there reigned in Pantouflia a king and a queen. With almost everything else to make them happy, they wanted one thing: they had no children. This vexed the king even more than the queen, who was very clever and learned, and who had hated dolls when she was a child. However, she, too in spite of all the books she read and all the pictures she painted, would have been glad enough to be the mother of a little prince. The king was anxious to consult the fairies, but the queen would not hear of such a thing. She did not believe in fairies: she said that they had never existed; and that she maintained, though The History of the Royal Family was full of chapters about nothing else.

Well, at long and at last they had a little boy, who was generally regarded as the finest baby that had ever been seen. Even her majesty herself remarked that, though she could never believe all the courtiers told her, yet he certainly was a fine child a very fine child.

Now, the time drew near for the christening party, and the king and queen were sitting at breakfast in their summer parlour talking over it. It was a splendid room, hung with portraits of the royal ancestors. There was Cinderella, the grandmother of the reigning monarch, with her little foot in her glass slipper thrust out before her. There was the Marquis de Carabas, who, as everyone knows, was raised to the throne as prince consort after his marriage with the daughter of the king of the period. On the arm of the throne was seated his celebrated cat, wearing boots. There, too, was a portrait of a beautiful lady, sound asleep: this was Madame La Belle au Bois dormant, also an ancestress of the royal family. Many other pictures of celebrated persons were hanging on the walls.

"You have asked all the right people, my dear?" said the king.

"Everyone who should be asked," answered the queen.

"People are so touchy on these occasions," said his majesty. "You have not forgotten any of our aunts?"

"No; the old cats!" replied the queen; for the king's aunts were old fashioned, and did not approve of her, and she knew it.

"They are very kind old ladies in their way," said the king; "and were nice to me when I was a boy."

Then he waited a little, and remarked:

"The fairies, of course, you have invited? It has always been usual, in our family, on an occasion like this; and I think we have neglected them a little of late."

"How can you be so absurd ?" cried the queen. "How often must I tell you that there are no fairies? And even if there were but, no matter; pray let us drop the subject."

"They are very old friends of our family, my dear, that's all," said the king timidly. "Often and often they have been godmothers to us. One, in particular, was most kind and most serviceable to Cinderella I... Continue reading book >>




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