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Ting-a-ling   By: (1834-1902)

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Illustrated by E. B. Bensell


New York. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1921

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by Frank R. Stockton, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Copyright, 1882, by Charles Scribner's Sons. Copyright, 1910, by William S. Stockton.



In a far country of the East, in a palace surrounded by orange groves, where the nightingales sang, and by silvery lakes, where the soft fountains plashed, there lived a fine old king. For many years he had governed with great comfort to himself, and to the tolerable satisfaction of his subjects. His queen being dead, his whole affection was given to his only child, the Princess Aufalia; and, whenever he happened to think of it, he paid great attention to her education. She had the best masters of embroidery and in the language of flowers, and she took lessons on the zithar three times a week.

A suitable husband, the son of a neighboring monarch, had been selected for her when she was about two hours old, thus making it unnecessary for her to go into society, and she consequently passed her youthful days in almost entire seclusion. She was now, when our story begins, a woman more beautiful than the roses of the garden, more musical than the nightingales, and far more graceful than the plashing fountains.

One balmy day in spring, when the birds were singing lively songs on the trees, and the crocuses were coaxing the jonquils almost off their very stems with their pretty ways, Aufalia went out to take a little promenade, followed by two grim slaves. Closely veiled, she walked in the secluded suburbs of the town, where she was generally required to take her lonely exercise. To day, however, the slaves, impelled by a sweet tooth, which each of them possessed, thought it would be no harm if they went a little out of their way to procure some sugared cream beans, which were made excellently well by a confectioner near the outskirts of the city. While they were in the shop, bargaining for the sugar beans, a young man who was passing thereby stepped up to the Princess, and asked her if she could tell him the shortest road to the baths, and if there was a good eating house in the neighborhood. Now as this was the first time in her life that the Princess had been addressed by a young man, it is not surprising that she was too much astonished to speak, especially as this youth was well dressed, extremely handsome, and of proud and dignified manners, although, to be sure, a little travel stained and tired looking.


When she had somewhat recovered from her embarrassment, she raised her veil, (as if it was necessary to do so in speaking to a young man!) and told him that she was sure she had not the slightest idea where any place in the city was, that she very seldom went into the city, and never thought about the way to any place when she did go, that she wished she knew where those places were that he mentioned, for she would very much like to tell him, especially if he was hungry, which she knew was not pleasant, and no doubt he was not used to it, but that indeed she hadn't any idea about the way anywhere, but

There is no knowing how long the Princess might have run on thus (and her veil up all the time) had not the two slaves at that moment emerged from the sugar bean shop. The sight of the Princess actually talking to a young man in the broad daylight so amazed them, that they stood for a moment dumb in the door. But, recovering from their surprise, they drew their cimeters, and ran toward the Prince (for such his every action proclaimed him to be). When this high born personage saw them coming with drawn blades, his countenance flushed, and his eyes sparkled with rage... Continue reading book >>

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