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Holiday romance


TheProjectGutenbergeBook,HolidayRomance,byCharlesDickens

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Title:HolidayRomance
InFourParts

Author:CharlesDickens

ReleaseDate:December25,2014[eBook#809]
[ThisfilewasfirstpostedonFebruary7,1997]
Language:English
Charactersetencoding:ISO-646-US(US-ASCII)

***STARTOFTHEPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKHOLIDAYROMANCE***


Transcribedfromthe1905ChapmanandHall“HardTimesandReprinted
Pieces”editionbyDavidPrice,emailccx074@pglaf.org


HOLIDAYROMANCE
InFourParts


PARTI.
INTRODUCTORYROMANCEPROMTHEPENOFWILLIAM
TINKLING,ESQ.[251]

THISbeginning-partisnotmadeoutofanybody’shead,youknow.It’sreal.You
mustbelievethisbeginning-partmorethanwhatcomesafter,elseyouwon’t
understandhowwhatcomesaftercametobewritten.Youmustbelieveitall;
butyoumustbelievethismost,please.Iamtheeditorofit.BobRedforth(he’s
mycousin,andshakingthetableonpurpose)wantedtobetheeditorofit;butI
saidheshouldn’tbecausehecouldn’t.Hehasnoideaofbeinganeditor.
NettieAshfordismybride.Weweremarriedintheright-handclosetinthe
cornerofthedancing-school,wherefirstwemet,witharing(agreenone)from
Wilkingwater’stoy-shop.Iowedforitoutofmypocket-money.Whenthe
rapturousceremonywasover,weallfourwentupthelaneandletoffacannon
(broughtloadedinBobRedforth’swaistcoat-pocket)toannounceournuptials.
Itflewrightupwhenitwentoff,andturnedover.Nextday,Lieut.-Col.Robin
Redforthwasunited,withsimilarceremonies,toAliceRainbird.Thistimethe
cannonburstwithamostterrificexplosion,andmadeapuppybark.
Mypeerlessbridewas,attheperiodofwhichwenowtreat,incaptivityatMiss
Grimmer’s.DrowveyandGrimmeristhepartnership,andopinionisdivided
whichisthegreatestbeast.Thelovelybrideofthecolonelwasalsoimmuredin
thedungeonsofthesameestablishment.Avowwasenteredinto,betweenthe
colonelandmyself,thatwewouldcutthemoutonthefollowingWednesday
whenwalkingtwoandtwo.
Underthedesperatecircumstancesofthecase,theactivebrainofthecolonel,
combiningwithhislawlesspursuit(heisapirate),suggestedanattackwith
fireworks.This,however,frommotivesofhumanity,wasabandonedastoo
expensive.
Lightlyarmedwithapaper-knifebuttonedupunderhisjacket,andwavingthe
dreadedblackflagattheendofacane,thecoloneltookcommandofmeattwo



P.M.ontheeventfulandappointedday.Hehaddrawnouttheplanofattackona

pieceofpaper,whichwasrolleduproundahoop-stick.Heshowedittome.
Mypositionandmyfull-lengthportrait(butmyrealearsdon’tstickout
horizontal)wasbehindacornerlamp-post,withwrittenorderstoremainthere
tillIshouldseeMissDrowveyfall.TheDrowveywhowastofallwastheone
inspectacles,nottheonewiththelargelavenderbonnet.AtthatsignalIwasto
rushforth,seizemybride,andfightmywaytothelane.Thereajunctionwould
beeffectedbetweenmyselfandthecolonel;andputtingourbridesbehindus,
betweenourselvesandthepalings,weweretoconquerordie.
Theenemyappeared,—approached.Wavinghisblackflag,thecolonel
attacked.Confusionensued.AnxiouslyIawaitedmysignal;butmysignal
camenot.Sofarfromfalling,thehatedDrowveyinspectaclesappearedtome
tohavemuffledthecolonel’sheadinhisoutlawedbanner,andtobepitching
intohimwithaparasol.Theoneinthelavenderbonnetalsoperformed
prodigiesofvalourwithherfistsonhisback.Seeingthatallwasforthe
momentlost,Ifoughtmydesperatewayhandtohandtothelane.Through
takingthebackroad,Iwassofortunateastomeetnobody,andarrivedthere
uninterrupted.
Itseemedanageerethecoloneljoinedme.Hehadbeentothejobbingtailor’s
tobesewnupinseveralplaces,andattributedourdefeattotherefusalofthe
detestedDrowveytofall.Findinghersoobstinate,hehadsaidtoher,‘Die,
recreant!’buthadfoundhernomoreopentoreasononthatpointthantheother.
Mybloomingbrideappeared,accompaniedbythecolonel’sbride,atthe
dancing-schoolnextday.What?Washerfaceavertedfromme?Hah?Even
so.Withalookofscorn,sheputintomyhandabitofpaper,andtookanother
partner.Onthepaperwaspencilled,‘Heavens!CanIwritetheword?Ismy
husbandacow?’
Inthefirstbewildermentofmyheatedbrain,Itriedtothinkwhatslanderer
couldhavetracedmyfamilytotheignobleanimalmentionedabove.Vainwere
myendeavours.AttheendofthatdanceIwhisperedthecoloneltocomeinto
thecloak-room,andIshowedhimthenote.
‘Thereisasyllablewanting,’saidhe,withagloomybrow.
‘Hah!Whatsyllable?’wasmyinquiry.
‘Sheasks,canshewritetheword?Andno;youseeshecouldn’t,’saidthe


colonel,pointingoutthepassage.
‘Andthewordwas?’saidI.
‘Cow—cow—coward,’hissedthepirate-colonelinmyear,andgavemeback
thenote.
FeelingthatImustforevertreadtheearthabrandedboy,—personImean,—or
thatImustclearupmyhonour,Idemandedtobetriedbyacourt-martial.The
coloneladmittedmyrighttobetried.Somedifficultywasfoundincomposing
thecourt,onaccountoftheEmperorofFrance’sauntrefusingtolethimcome
out.Hewastobethepresident.Ereyetwehadappointedasubstitute,hemade
hisescapeovertheback-wall,andstoodamongus,afreemonarch.
Thecourtwasheldonthegrassbythepond.Irecognised,inacertainadmiral
amongmyjudges,mydeadliestfoe.Acocoa-nuthadgivenrisetolanguagethat
Icouldnotbrook;butconfidinginmyinnocence,andalsointheknowledgethat
thePresidentoftheUnitedStates(whosatnexthim)owedmeaknife,Ibraced
myselffortheordeal.
Itwasasolemnspectacle,thatcourt.Twoexecutionerswithpinaforesreversed
ledmein.UndertheshadeofanumbrellaIperceivedmybride,supportedby
thebrideofthepirate-colonel.Thepresident,havingreprovedalittlefemale
ensignfortittering,onamatteroflifeordeath,calleduponmetoplead,
‘Cowardornocoward,guiltyornotguilty?’Ipleadedinafirmtone,‘No
cowardandnotguilty.’(Thelittlefemaleensignbeingagainreprovedbythe
presidentformisconduct,mutinied,leftthecourt,andthrewstones.)
Myimplacableenemy,theadmiral,conductedthecaseagainstme.The
colonel’sbridewascalledtoprovethatIhadremainedbehindthecornerlamppostduringtheengagement.Imighthavebeensparedtheanguishofmyown
bride’sbeingalsomadeawitnesstothesamepoint,buttheadmiralknewwhere
towoundme.Bestill,mysoul,nomatter.Thecolonelwasthenbrought
forwardwithhisevidence.
ItwasforthispointthatIhadsavedmyselfup,astheturning-pointofmycase.
Shakingmyselffreeofmyguards,—whohadnobusinesstoholdme,the
stupids,unlessIwasfoundguilty,—Iaskedthecolonelwhatheconsideredthe
firstdutyofasoldier?Erehecouldreply,thePresidentoftheUnitedStatesrose
andinformedthecourt,thatmyfoe,theadmiral,hadsuggested‘Bravery,’and
thatpromptingawitnesswasn’tfair.Thepresidentofthecourtimmediately


orderedtheadmiral’smouthtobefilledwithleaves,andtiedupwithstring.I
hadthesatisfactionofseeingthesentencecarriedintoeffectbeforethe
proceedingswentfurther.
Ithentookapaperfrommytrousers-pocket,andasked,‘Whatdoyouconsider,
Col.Redford,thefirstdutyofasoldier?Isitobedience?’
‘Itis,’saidthecolonel.
‘Isthatpaper—pleasetolookatit—inyourhand?’
‘Itis,’saidthecolonel.
‘Isitamilitarysketch?’
‘Itis,’saidthecolonel.
‘Ofanengagement?’
‘Quiteso,’saidthecolonel.
‘Ofthelateengagement?’
‘Ofthelateengagement.’
‘Pleasetodescribeit,andthenhandittothepresidentofthecourt.’
Fromthattriumphantmomentmysufferingsandmydangerswereatanend.
Thecourtroseupandjumped,ondiscoveringthatIhadstrictlyobeyedorders.
Myfoe,theadmiral,whothoughmuzzledwasmalignantyet,contrivedto
suggestthatIwasdishonouredbyhavingquittedthefield.Butthecolonel
himselfhaddoneasmuch,andgavehisopinion,uponhiswordandhonourasa
pirate,thatwhenallwaslostthefieldmightbequittedwithoutdisgrace.Iwas
goingtobefound‘Nocowardandnotguilty,’andmybloomingbridewasgoing
tobepubliclyrestoredtomyarmsinaprocession,whenanunlooked-forevent
disturbedthegeneralrejoicing.ThiswasnootherthantheEmperorofFrance’s
auntcatchingholdofhishair.Theproceedingsabruptlyterminated,andthe
courttumultuouslydissolved.
Itwaswhentheshadesofthenexteveningbutonewerebeginningtofall,ere
yetthesilverbeamsofLunatouchedtheearth,thatfourformsmighthavebeen
descriedslowlyadvancingtowardstheweepingwillowonthebordersofthe
pond,thenowdesertedsceneofthedaybeforeyesterday’sagoniesand


triumphs.Onanearerapproach,andbyapractisedeye,thesemighthavebeen
identifiedastheformsofthepirate-colonelwithhisbride,andofthedaybefore
yesterday’sgallantprisonerwithhisbride.
OnthebeauteousfacesoftheNymphsdejectionsatenthroned.Allfourreclined
underthewillowforsomeminuteswithoutspeaking,tillatlengththebrideof
thecolonelpoutinglyobserved,‘It’sofnousepretendinganymore,andwehad
bettergiveitup.’
‘Hah!’exclaimedthepirate.‘Pretending?’
‘Don’tgoonlikethat;youworryme,’returnedhisbride.
ThelovelybrideofTinklingechoedtheincredibledeclaration.Thetwowarriors
exchangedstonyglances.
‘If,’saidthebrideofthepirate-colonel,‘grown-uppeopleWON’Tdowhatthey
oughttodo,andWILLputusout,whatcomesofourpretending?’
‘Weonlygetintoscrapes,’saidthebrideofTinkling.
‘Youknowverywell,’pursuedthecolonel’sbride,‘thatMissDrowveywouldn’t
fall.Youcomplainedofityourself.Andyouknowhowdisgracefullythecourtmartialended.Astoourmarriage;wouldmypeopleacknowledgeitathome?’
‘Orwouldmypeopleacknowledgeours?’saidthebrideofTinkling.
Againthetwowarriorsexchangedstonyglances.
‘Ifyouknockedatthedoorandclaimedme,afteryouweretoldtogoaway,’
saidthecolonel’sbride,‘youwouldonlyhaveyourhairpulled,oryourears,or
yournose.’
‘Ifyoupersistedinringingatthebellandclaimingme,’saidthebrideof
Tinklingtothatgentleman,‘youwouldhavethingsdroppedonyourheadfrom
thewindowoverthehandle,oryouwouldbeplayeduponbythegardenengine.’
‘Andatyourownhomes,’resumedthebrideofthecolonel,‘itwouldbejustas
bad.Youwouldbesenttobed,orsomethingequallyundignified.Again,how
wouldyousupportus?’
Thepirate-colonelrepliedinacourageousvoice,‘Byrapine!’Buthisbride


retorted,‘Supposethegrown-uppeoplewouldn’tberapined?’‘Then,’saidthe
colonel,‘theyshouldpaythepenaltyinblood.’—‘Butsupposetheyshould
object,’retortedhisbride,‘andwouldn’tpaythepenaltyinbloodoranything
else?’
Amournfulsilenceensued.
‘Thendoyounolongerloveme,Alice?’askedthecolonel.
‘Redforth!Iameverthine,’returnedhisbride.
‘Thendoyounolongerloveme,Nettie?’askedthepresentwriter.
‘Tinkling!Iameverthine,’returnedmybride.
Weallfourembraced.Letmenotbemisunderstoodbythegiddy.Thecolonel
embracedhisownbride,andIembracedmine.Buttwotimestwomakefour.
‘NettieandI,’saidAlicemournfully,‘havebeenconsideringourposition.The
grown-uppeoplearetoostrongforus.Theymakeusridiculous.Besides,they
havechangedthetimes.WilliamTinkling’sbabybrotherwaschristened
yesterday.Whattookplace?Wasanykingpresent?Answer,William.’
IsaidNo,unlessdisguisedasGreat-uncleChopper.
‘Anyqueen?’
TherehadbeennoqueenthatIknewofatourhouse.Theremighthavebeen
oneinthekitchen:butIdidn’tthinkso,ortheservantswouldhavementionedit.
‘Anyfairies?’
Nonethatwerevisible.
‘Wehadanideaamongus,Ithink,’saidAlice,withamelancholysmile,‘we
four,thatMissGrimmerwouldprovetobethewickedfairy,andwouldcomein
atthechristeningwithhercrutch-stick,andgivethechildabadgift.Wasthere
anythingofthatsort?Answer,William.’
Isaidthatmahadsaidafterwards(andsoshehad),thatGreat-uncleChopper’s
giftwasashabbyone;butshehadn’tsaidabadone.Shehadcalleditshabby,
electrotyped,second-hand,andbelowhisincome.
‘Itmustbethegrown-uppeoplewhohavechangedallthis,’saidAlice.‘We


couldn’thavechangedit,ifwehadbeensoinclined,andwenevershouldhave
been.OrperhapsMissGrimmerisawickedfairyafterall,andwon’tactuptoit
becausethegrown-uppeoplehavepersuadedhernotto.Eitherway,theywould
makeusridiculousifwetoldthemwhatweexpected.’
‘Tyrants!’mutteredthepirate-colonel.
‘Nay,myRedforth,’saidAlice,‘saynotso.Callnotnames,myRedforth,or
theywillapplytopa.’
‘Let’em,’saidthecolonel.‘Idonotcare.Who’she?’
Tinklinghereundertooktheperiloustaskofremonstratingwithhislawless
friend,whoconsentedtowithdrawthemoodyexpressionsabovequoted.
‘Whatremainsforustodo?’Alicewentoninhermild,wiseway.‘Wemust
educate,wemustpretendinanewmanner,wemustwait.’
Thecolonelclenchedhisteeth,—fouroutinfront,andapieceofanother,andhe
hadbeentwicedraggedtothedoorofadentist-despot,buthadescapedfromhis
guards.‘Howeducate?Howpretendinanewmanner?Howwait?’
‘Educatethegrown-uppeople,’repliedAlice.‘Wepartto-night.Yes,
Redforth,’—forthecoloneltuckeduphiscuffs,—‘partto-night!Letusinthese
nextholidays,nowgoingtobegin,throwourthoughtsintosomething
educationalforthegrown-uppeople,hintingtothemhowthingsoughttobe.
Letusveilourmeaningunderamaskofromance;you,I,andNettie.William
Tinklingbeingtheplainestandquickestwriter,shallcopyout.Isitagreed?’
Thecolonelansweredsulkily,‘Idon’tmind.’Hethenasked,‘Howabout
pretending?’
‘Wewillpretend,’saidAlice,‘thatwearechildren;notthatwearethosegrownuppeoplewhowon’thelpusoutastheyought,andwhounderstandussobadly.’
Thecolonel,stillmuchdissatisfied,growled,‘Howaboutwaiting?’
‘Wewillwait,’answeredlittleAlice,takingNettie’shandinhers,andlookingup
tothesky,‘wewillwait—everconstantandtrue—tillthetimeshavegotso
changedasthateverythinghelpsusout,andnothingmakesusridiculous,and
thefairieshavecomeback.Wewillwait—everconstantandtrue—tillweare
eighty,ninety,oronehundred.Andthenthefairieswillsenduschildren,andwe


willhelpthemout,poorprettylittlecreatures,iftheypretendeversomuch.’
‘Sowewill,dear,’saidNettieAshford,takingherroundthewaistwithboth
armsandkissingher.‘Andnowifmyhusbandwillgoandbuysomecherries
forus,Ihavegotsomemoney.’
InthefriendliestmannerIinvitedthecoloneltogowithme;buthesofarforgot
himselfastoacknowledgetheinvitationbykickingoutbehind,andthenlying
downonhisstomachonthegrass,pullingitupandchewingit.WhenIcame
back,however,Alicehadnearlybroughthimoutofhisvexation,andwas
soothinghimbytellinghimhowsoonweshouldallbeninety.
Aswesatunderthewillow-treeandatethecherries(fair,forAlicesharedthem
out),weplayedatbeingninety.Nettiecomplainedthatshehadaboneinherold
back,anditmadeherhobble;andAlicesangasonginanoldwoman’sway,but
itwasverypretty,andwewereallmerry.Atleast,Idon’tknowaboutmerry
exactly,butallcomfortable.
Therewasamosttremendouslotofcherries;andAlicealwayshadwithher
someneatlittlebagorboxorcase,toholdthings.Initthatnightwasatiny
wine-glass.SoAliceandNettiesaidtheywouldmakesomecherry-wineto
drinkourloveatparting.
Eachofushadaglassful,anditwasdelicious;andeachofusdrankthetoast,
‘Ourloveatparting.’Thecoloneldrankhiswinelast;anditgotintomyhead
directlythatitgotintohisdirectly.Anyhow,hiseyesrolledimmediatelyafter
hehadturnedtheglassupsidedown;andhetookmeononesideandproposed
inahoarsewhisper,thatweshould‘Cut‘emoutstill.’
‘Howdidhemean?’Iaskedmylawlessfriend.
‘Cutourbridesout,’saidthecolonel,‘andthencutourway,withoutgoingdown
asingleturning,bangtotheSpanishmain!’
Wemighthavetriedit,thoughIdidn’tthinkitwouldanswer;onlywelooked
roundandsawthattherewasnothingbutmoon-lightunderthewillow-tree,and
thatourpretty,prettywivesweregone.Weburstoutcrying.Thecolonelgave
insecond,andcametofirst;buthegaveinstrong.
Wewereashamedofourredeyes,andhungaboutforhalf-an-hourtowhiten
them.Likewiseapieceofchalkroundtherims,Idoingthecolonel’s,andhe
mine,butafterwardsfoundinthebedroomlooking-glassnotnatural,besides


inflammation.Ourconversationturnedonbeingninety.Thecoloneltoldmehe
hadapairofbootsthatwantedsolingandheeling;buthethoughtithardlyworth
whiletomentionittohisfather,ashehimselfshouldsosoonbeninety,whenhe
thoughtshoeswouldbemoreconvenient.Thecolonelalsotoldme,withhis
handuponhiship,thathefelthimselfalreadygettingoninlife,andturning
rheumatic.AndItoldhimthesame.Andwhentheysaidatourhouseatsupper
(theyarealwaysbotheringaboutsomething)thatIstooped,Ifeltsoglad!
Thisistheendofthebeginning-partthatyouweretobelievemost.


PARTII.
[258]

ROMANCE.FROMTHEPENOFMISSALICERAINBIRD

THEREwasonceaking,andhehadaqueen;andhewasthemanliestofhissex,
andshewastheloveliestofhers.Thekingwas,inhisprivateprofession,under
government.Thequeen’sfatherhadbeenamedicalmanoutoftown.
Theyhadnineteenchildren,andwerealwayshavingmore.Seventeenofthese
childrentookcareofthebaby;andAlicia,theeldest,tookcareofthemall.
Theiragesvariedfromsevenyearstosevenmonths.
Letusnowresumeourstory.
Onedaythekingwasgoingtotheoffice,whenhestoppedatthefishmonger’sto
buyapoundandahalfofsalmonnottoonearthetail,whichthequeen(who
wasacarefulhousekeeper)hadrequestedhimtosendhome.Mr.Pickles,the
fishmonger,said,‘Certainly,sir;isthereanyotherarticle?Good-morning.’
Thekingwentontowardstheofficeinamelancholymood;forquarter-daywas
suchalongwayoff,andseveralofthedearchildrenweregrowingoutoftheir
clothes.Hehadnotproceededfar,whenMr.Pickles’serrand-boycamerunning
afterhim,andsaid,‘Sir,youdidn’tnoticetheoldladyinourshop.’
‘Whatoldlady?’inquiredtheking.‘Isawnone.’
Nowthekinghadnotseenanyoldlady,becausethisoldladyhadbeeninvisible
tohim,thoughvisibletoMr.Pickles’sboy.Probablybecausehemessedand
splashedthewaterabouttothatdegree,andfloppedthepairsofsolesdownin
thatviolentmanner,that,ifshehadnotbeenvisibletohim,hewouldhavespoilt
herclothes.
Justthentheoldladycametrottingup.Shewasdressedinshot-silkofthe
richestquality,smellingofdriedlavender.
‘KingWatkinstheFirst,Ibelieve?’saidtheoldlady.


‘Watkins,’repliedtheking,‘ismyname.’
‘Papa,ifIamnotmistaken,ofthebeautifulPrincessAlicia?’saidtheoldlady.
‘Andofeighteenotherdarlings,’repliedtheking.
‘Listen.Youaregoingtotheoffice,’saidtheoldlady.
Itinstantlyflasheduponthekingthatshemustbeafairy,orhowcouldshe
knowthat?
‘Youareright,’saidtheoldlady,answeringhisthoughts.‘IamthegoodFairy
Grandmarina.Attend!Whenyoureturnhometodinner,politelyinvitethe
PrincessAliciatohavesomeofthesalmonyouboughtjustnow.’
‘Itmaydisagreewithher,’saidtheking.
Theoldladybecamesoveryangryatthisabsurdidea,thatthekingwasquite
alarmed,andhumblybeggedherpardon.
‘Wehearagreatdealtoomuchaboutthisthingdisagreeing,andthatthing
disagreeing,’saidtheoldlady,withthegreatestcontemptitwaspossibleto
express.‘Don’tbegreedy.Ithinkyouwantitallyourself.’
Thekinghunghisheadunderthisreproof,andsaidhewouldn’ttalkabout
thingsdisagreeinganymore.
‘Begood,then,’saidtheFairyGrandmarina,‘anddon’t.Whenthebeautiful
PrincessAliciaconsentstopartakeofthesalmon,—asIthinkshewill,—you
willfindshewillleaveafish-boneonherplate.Tellhertodryit,andtorubit,
andtopolishittillitshineslikemother-of-pearl,andtotakecareofitasa
presentfromme.’
‘Isthatall?’askedtheking.
‘Don’tbeimpatient,sir,’returnedtheFairyGrandmarina,scoldinghimseverely.
‘Don’tcatchpeopleshort,beforetheyhavedonespeaking.Justthewaywith
yougrown-uppersons.Youarealwaysdoingit.’
Thekingagainhunghishead,andsaidhewouldn’tdosoanymore.
‘Begood,then,’saidtheFairyGrandmarina,‘anddon’t!TellthePrincess
Alicia,withmylove,thatthefish-boneisamagicpresentwhichcanonlybe
usedonce;butthatitwillbringher,thatonce,whatevershewishesfor,PROVIDED


SHEWISHESFORITATTHERIGHTTIME.Thatisthemessage.Takecareofit.’

Thekingwasbeginning,‘MightIaskthereason?’whenthefairybecame
absolutelyfurious.
‘Willyoubegood,sir?’sheexclaimed,stampingherfootontheground.‘The
reasonforthis,andthereasonforthat,indeed!Youarealwayswantingthe
reason.Noreason.There!Hoitytoityme!Iamsickofyourgrown-up
reasons.’
Thekingwasextremelyfrightenedbytheoldlady’sflyingintosuchapassion,
andsaidhewasverysorrytohaveoffendedher,andhewouldn’taskforreasons
anymore.
‘Begood,then,’saidtheoldlady,‘anddon’t!’
Withthosewords,Grandmarinavanished,andthekingwentonandonandon,
tillhecametotheoffice.Therehewroteandwroteandwrote,tillitwastimeto
gohomeagain.ThenhepolitelyinvitedthePrincessAlicia,asthefairyhad
directedhim,topartakeofthesalmon.Andwhenshehadenjoyeditverymuch,
hesawthefish-boneonherplate,asthefairyhadtoldhimhewould,andhe
deliveredthefairy’smessage,andthePrincessAliciatookcaretodrythebone,
andtorubit,andtopolishit,tillitshonelikemother-of-pearl.
Andso,whenthequeenwasgoingtogetupinthemorning,shesaid,‘O,dear
me,dearme;myhead,myhead!’andthenshefaintedaway.
ThePrincessAlicia,whohappenedtobelookinginatthechamber-door,asking
aboutbreakfast,wasverymuchalarmedwhenshesawherroyalmammainthis
state,andsherangthebellforPeggy,whichwasthenameofthelord
chamberlain.Butrememberingwherethesmelling-bottlewas,sheclimbedona
chairandgotit;andafterthatsheclimbedonanotherchairbythebedside,and
heldthesmelling-bottletothequeen’snose;andafterthatshejumpeddownand
gotsomewater;andafterthatshejumpedupagainandwettedthequeen’s
forehead;and,inshort,whenthelordchamberlaincamein,thatdearoldwoman
saidtothelittleprincess,‘Whatatrotyouare!Icouldn’thavedoneitbetter
myself!’
Butthatwasnottheworstofthegoodqueen’sillness.O,no!Shewasveryill
indeed,foralongtime.ThePrincessAliciakepttheseventeenyoungprinces
andprincessesquiet,anddressedandundressedanddancedthebaby,andmade


thekettleboil,andheatedthesoup,andsweptthehearth,andpouredoutthe
medicine,andnursedthequeen,anddidallthatevershecould,andwasasbusy,
busy,busyasbusycouldbe;fortherewerenotmanyservantsatthatpalacefor
threereasons:becausethekingwasshortofmoney,becauseariseinhisoffice
neverseemedtocome,andbecausequarter-daywassofaroffthatitlooked
almostasfaroffandaslittleasoneofthestars.
Butonthemorningwhenthequeenfaintedaway,wherewasthemagicfishbone?Why,thereitwasinthePrincessAlicia’spocket!Shehadalmosttakenit
outtobringthequeentolifeagain,whensheputitback,andlookedforthe
smelling-bottle.
Afterthequeenhadcomeoutofherswoonthatmorning,andwasdozing,the
PrincessAliciahurriedup-stairstotellamostparticularsecrettoamost
particularlyconfidentialfriendofhers,whowasaduchess.Peopledidsuppose
hertobeadoll;butshewasreallyaduchess,thoughnobodyknewitexceptthe
princess.
Thismostparticularsecretwasthesecretaboutthemagicfish-bone,thehistory
ofwhichwaswellknowntotheduchess,becausetheprincesstoldher
everything.Theprincesskneeleddownbythebedonwhichtheduchesswas
lying,full-dressedandwideawake,andwhisperedthesecrettoher.The
duchesssmiledandnodded.Peoplemighthavesupposedthatsheneversmiled
andnodded;butsheoftendid,thoughnobodyknewitexcepttheprincess.
ThenthePrincessAliciahurrieddown-stairsagain,tokeepwatchinthequeen’s
room.Sheoftenkeptwatchbyherselfinthequeen’sroom;buteveryevening,
whiletheillnesslasted,shesattherewatchingwiththeking.Andeveryevening
thekingsatlookingatherwithacrosslook,wonderingwhysheneverbrought
outthemagicfish-bone.Asoftenasshenoticedthis,sheranup-stairs,
whisperedthesecrettotheduchessoveragain,andsaidtotheduchessbesides,
‘Theythinkwechildrenneverhaveareasonorameaning!’Andtheduchess,
thoughthemostfashionableduchessthateverwasheardof,winkedhereye.
‘Alicia,’saidtheking,oneevening,whenshewishedhimgood-night.
‘Yes,papa.’
‘Whatisbecomeofthemagicfish-bone?’
‘Inmypocket,papa!’


‘Ithoughtyouhadlostit?’
‘O,no,papa!’
‘Orforgottenit?’
‘No,indeed,papa.’
Andsoanothertimethedreadfullittlesnappingpug-dog,nextdoor,madearush
atoneoftheyoungprincesashestoodonthestepscominghomefromschool,
andterrifiedhimoutofhiswits;andheputhishandthroughapaneofglass,and
bled,bled,bled.Whentheseventeenotheryoungprincesandprincessessaw
himbleed,bleed,bleed,theywereterrifiedoutoftheirwitstoo,andscreamed
themselvesblackintheirseventeenfacesallatonce.ButthePrincessAliciaput
herhandsoveralltheirseventeenmouths,oneafteranother,andpersuadedthem
tobequietbecauseofthesickqueen.Andthensheputthewoundedprince’s
handinabasinoffreshcoldwater,whiletheystaredwiththeirtwiceseventeen
arethirty-four,putdownfourandcarrythree,eyes,andthenshelookedinthe
handforbitsofglass,andtherewerefortunatelynobitsofglassthere.Andthen
shesaidtotwochubby-leggedprinces,whoweresturdythoughsmall,‘Bringme
intheroyalrag-bag:Imustsnipandstitchandcutandcontrive.’Sothesetwo
youngprincestuggedattheroyalrag-bag,andluggeditin;andthePrincess
Aliciasatdownonthefloor,withalargepairofscissorsandaneedleand
thread,andsnippedandstitchedandcutandcontrived,andmadeabandage,and
putiton,anditfittedbeautifully;andsowhenitwasalldone,shesawtheking
herpapalookingonbythedoor.
‘Alicia.’
‘Yes,papa.’
‘Whathaveyoubeendoing?’
‘Snipping,stitching,cutting,andcontriving,papa.’
‘Whereisthemagicfish-bone?’
‘Inmypocket,papa.’
‘Ithoughtyouhadlostit?’
‘O,no,papa.’


‘Orforgottenit?’
‘No,indeed,papa.’
Afterthat,sheranup-stairstotheduchess,andtoldherwhathadpassed,and
toldherthesecretoveragain;andtheduchessshookherflaxencurls,and
laughedwithherrosylips.
Well!andsoanothertimethebabyfellunderthegrate.Theseventeenyoung
princesandprincesseswereusedtoit;fortheywerealmostalwaysfallingunder
thegrateordownthestairs;butthebabywasnotusedtoityet,anditgavehima
swelledfaceandablackeye.Thewaythepoorlittledarlingcametotumble
was,thathewasoutofthePrincessAlicia’slapjustasshewassitting,inagreat
coarseapronthatquitesmotheredher,infrontofthekitchen-fire,beginningto
peeltheturnipsforthebrothfordinner;andthewayshecametobedoingthat
was,thattheking’scookhadrunawaythatmorningwithherowntruelove,who
wasaverytallbutverytipsysoldier.Thentheseventeenyoungprincesand
princesses,whocriedateverythingthathappened,criedandroared.Butthe
PrincessAlicia(whocouldn’thelpcryingalittleherself)quietlycalledtothem
tobestill,onaccountofnotthrowingbackthequeenup-stairs,whowasfast
gettingwell,andsaid,‘Holdyourtongues,youwickedlittlemonkeys,everyone
ofyou,whileIexaminebaby!’Thensheexaminedbaby,andfoundthathe
hadn’tbrokenanything;andsheheldcoldirontohispoordeareye,and
smoothedhispoordearface,andhepresentlyfellasleepinherarms.Thenshe
saidtotheseventeenprincesandprincesses,‘Iamafraidtolethimdownyet,
lestheshouldwakeandfeelpain;begood,andyoushallallbecooks.’They
jumpedforjoywhentheyheardthat,andbeganmakingthemselvescooks’caps
outofoldnewspapers.Sotooneshegavethesalt-box,andtooneshegavethe
barley,andtooneshegavetheherbs,andtooneshegavetheturnips,andtoone
shegavethecarrots,andtooneshegavetheonions,andtooneshegavethe
spice-box,tilltheywereallcooks,andallrunningaboutatwork,shesittingin
themiddle,smotheredinthegreatcoarseapron,nursingbaby.Byandbythe
brothwasdone;andthebabywokeup,smiling,likeanangel,andwastrustedto
thesedatestprincesstohold,whiletheotherprincesandprincesseswere
squeezedintoafar-offcornertolookatthePrincessAliciaturningoutthe
saucepanfulofbroth,forfear(astheywerealwaysgettingintotrouble)they
shouldgetsplashedandscalded.Whenthebrothcametumblingout,steaming
beautifully,andsmellinglikeanosegaygoodtoeat,theyclappedtheirhands.
Thatmadethebabyclaphishands;andthat,andhislookingasifhehadacomic
toothache,madealltheprincesandprincesseslaugh.SothePrincessAlicia


said,‘Laughandbegood;andafterdinnerwewillmakehimanestonthefloor
inacorner,andheshallsitinhisnestandseeadanceofeighteencooks.’That
delightedtheyoungprincesandprincesses,andtheyateupallthebroth,and
washedupalltheplatesanddishes,andclearedaway,andpushedthetableinto
acorner;andthentheyintheircooks’caps,andthePrincessAliciainthe
smotheringcoarseapronthatbelongedtothecookthathadrunawaywithher
owntruelovethatwastheverytallbutverytipsysoldier,dancedadanceof
eighteencooksbeforetheangelicbaby,whoforgothisswelledfaceandhis
blackeye,andcrowedwithjoy.
Andsothen,oncemorethePrincessAliciasawKingWatkinstheFirst,her
father,standinginthedoorwaylookingon,andhesaid,‘Whathaveyoubeen
doing,Alicia?’
‘Cookingandcontriving,papa.’
‘Whatelsehaveyoubeendoing,Alicia?’
‘Keepingthechildrenlight-hearted,papa.’
‘Whereisthemagicfish-bone,Alicia?
‘Inmypocket,papa.’
‘Ithoughtyouhadlostit?’
‘O,no,papa!’
‘Orforgottenit?’
‘No,indeed,papa.’
Thekingthensighedsoheavily,andseemedsolow-spirited,andsatdownso
miserably,leaninghisheaduponhishand,andhiselbowuponthekitchen-table
pushedawayinthecorner,thattheseventeenprincesandprincessescreptsoftly
outofthekitchen,andlefthimalonewiththePrincessAliciaandtheangelic
baby.
‘Whatisthematter,papa?’
‘Iamdreadfullypoor,mychild.’
‘Haveyounomoneyatall,papa?’


‘None,mychild.’
‘Istherenowayofgettingany,papa?’
‘Noway,’saidtheking.‘Ihavetriedveryhard,andIhavetriedallways.’
Whensheheardthoselastwords,thePrincessAliciabegantoputherhandinto
thepocketwhereshekeptthemagicfish-bone.
‘Papa,’saidshe,‘whenwehavetriedveryhard,andtriedallways,wemusthave
doneourvery,verybest?’
‘Nodoubt,Alicia.’
‘Whenwehavedoneourvery,verybest,papa,andthatisnotenough,thenI
thinktherighttimemusthavecomeforaskinghelpofothers.’Thiswasthe
verysecretconnectedwiththemagicfish-bone,whichshehadfoundoutfor
herselffromthegoodFairyGrandmarina’swords,andwhichshehadsooften
whisperedtoherbeautifulandfashionablefriend,theduchess.
Soshetookoutofherpocketthemagicfish-bone,thathadbeendriedand
rubbedandpolishedtillitshonelikemother-of-pearl;andshegaveitonelittle
kiss,andwisheditwasquarter-day.Andimmediatelyitwasquarter-day;and
theking’squarter’ssalarycamerattlingdownthechimney,andbouncedintothe
middleofthefloor.
Butthiswasnothalfofwhathappened,—no,notaquarter;forimmediately
afterwardsthegoodFairyGrandmarinacameridingin,inacarriageandfour
(peacocks),withMr.Pickles’sboyupbehind,dressedinsilverandgold,witha
cocked-hat,powdered-hair,pinksilkstockings,ajewelledcane,andanosegay.
DownjumpedMr.Pickles’sboy,withhiscocked-hatinhishand,and
wonderfullypolite(beingentirelychangedbyenchantment),andhanded
Grandmarinaout;andthereshestood,inherrichshot-silksmellingofdried
lavender,fanningherselfwithasparklingfan.
‘Alicia,mydear,’saidthischarmingoldfairy,‘howdoyoudo?IhopeIseeyou
prettywell?Givemeakiss.’
ThePrincessAliciaembracedher;andthenGrandmarinaturnedtotheking,and
saidrathersharply,‘Areyougood?’Thekingsaidhehopedso.
‘Isupposeyouknowthereasonnow,whymygod-daughterhere,’kissingthe


princessagain,‘didnotapplytothefish-bonesooner?’saidthefairy.
Thekingmadeashybow.
‘Ah!butyoudidn’tthen?’saidthefairy.
Thekingmadeashyerbow.
‘Anymorereasonstoaskfor?’saidthefairy.
Thekingsaid,No,andhewasverysorry.
‘Begood,then,’saidthefairy,‘andlivehappyeverafterwards.’
ThenGrandmarinawavedherfan,andthequeencameinmostsplendidly
dressed;andtheseventeenyoungprincesandprincesses,nolongergrownoutof
theirclothes,camein,newlyfittedoutfromtoptotoe,withtucksineverything
toadmitofitsbeingletout.Afterthat,thefairytappedthePrincessAliciawith
herfan;andthesmotheringcoarseapronflewaway,andsheappeared
exquisitelydressed,likealittlebride,withawreathoforange-flowersanda
silverveil.Afterthat,thekitchendresserchangedofitselfintoawardrobe,
madeofbeautifulwoodsandgoldandlookingglass,whichwasfullofdresses
ofallsorts,allforherandallexactlyfittingher.Afterthat,theangelicbaby
camein,runningalone,withhisfaceandeyenotabittheworse,butmuchthe
better.ThenGrandmarinabeggedtobeintroducedtotheduchess;and,whenthe
duchesswasbroughtdown,manycomplimentspassedbetweenthem.
Alittlewhisperingtookplacebetweenthefairyandtheduchess;andthenthe
fairysaidoutloud,‘Yes,Ithoughtshewouldhavetoldyou.’Grandmarinathen
turnedtothekingandqueen,andsaid,‘WearegoinginsearchofPrince
Certainpersonio.Thepleasureofyourcompanyisrequestedatchurchinhalfan
hourprecisely.’SosheandthePrincessAliciagotintothecarriage;andMr.
Pickles’sboyhandedintheduchess,whosatbyherselfontheoppositeseat;and
thenMr.Pickles’sboyputupthestepsandgotupbehind,andthepeacocksflew
awaywiththeirtailsbehind.
PrinceCertainpersoniowassittingbyhimself,eatingbarley-sugar,andwaiting
tobeninety.Whenhesawthepeacocks,followedbythecarriage,cominginat
thewindowitimmediatelyoccurredtohimthatsomethinguncommonwas
goingtohappen.
‘Prince,’saidGrandmarina,‘Ibringyouyourbride.’Themomentthefairysaid


thosewords,PrinceCertainpersonio’sfaceleftoffbeingsticky,andhisjacket
andcorduroyschangedtopeach-bloomvelvet,andhishaircurled,andacapand
featherflewinlikeabirdandsettledonhishead.Hegotintothecarriagebythe
fairy’sinvitation;andthereherenewedhisacquaintancewiththeduchess,whom
hehadseenbefore.
Inthechurchweretheprince’srelationsandfriends,andthePrincessAlicia’s
relationsandfriends,andtheseventeenprincesandprincesses,andthebaby,and
acrowdoftheneighbours.Themarriagewasbeautifulbeyondexpression.The
duchesswasbridesmaid,andbeheldtheceremonyfromthepulpit,whereshe
wassupportedbythecushionofthedesk.
Grandmarinagaveamagnificentwedding-feastafterwards,inwhichtherewas
everythingandmoretoeat,andeverythingandmoretodrink.Theweddingcakewasdelicatelyornamentedwithwhitesatinribbons,frostedsilver,and
whitelilies,andwasforty-twoyardsround.
WhenGrandmarinahaddrunkherlovetotheyoungcouple,andPrince
Certainpersoniohadmadeaspeech,andeverybodyhadcried,Hip,hip,hip,
hurrah!Grandmarinaannouncedtothekingandqueenthatinfuturetherewould
beeightquarter-daysineveryyear,exceptinleap-year,whentherewouldbe
ten.ShethenturnedtoCertainpersonioandAlicia,andsaid,‘Mydears,youwill
havethirty-fivechildren,andtheywillallbegoodandbeautiful.Seventeenof
yourchildrenwillbeboys,andeighteenwillbegirls.Thehairofthewholeof
yourchildrenwillcurlnaturally.Theywillneverhavethemeasles,andwill
haverecoveredfromthewhooping-coughbeforebeingborn.’
Onhearingsuchgoodnews,everybodycriedout‘Hip,hip,hip,hurrah!’again.
‘Itonlyremains,’saidGrandmarinainconclusion,‘tomakeanendofthefishbone.’
SoshetookitfromthehandofthePrincessAlicia,anditinstantlyflewdown
thethroatofthedreadfullittlesnappingpug-dog,nextdoor,andchokedhim,
andheexpiredinconvulsions.


PARTIII.
ROMANCE.FROMTHEPENOFLIEUT.-COL.ROBINREDFORTH

[266]

THEsubjectofourpresentnarrativewouldappeartohavedevotedhimselftothe
pirateprofessionatacomparativelyearlyage.Wefindhimincommandofa
splendidschoonerofonehundredgunsloadedtothemuzzle,ereyethehadhad
apartyinhonourofhistenthbirthday.
Itseemsthatourhero,consideringhimselfspitedbyaLatin-grammarmaster,
demandedthesatisfactionduefromonemanofhonourtoanother.—Notgetting
it,heprivatelywithdrewhishaughtyspiritfromsuchlowcompany,boughta
second-handpocket-pistol,foldedupsomesandwichesinapaperbag,madea
bottleofSpanishliquorice-water,andenteredonacareerofvalour.
ItweretedioustofollowBoldheart(forsuchwashisname)throughthe
commencingstagesofhisstory.Sufficeit,thatwefindhimbearingtherankof
Capt.Boldheart,reclininginfulluniformonacrimsonhearth-rugspreadout
uponthequarter-deckofhisschooner‘TheBeauty,’intheChinaseas.Itwasa
lovelyevening;and,ashiscrewlaygroupedabouthim,hefavouredthemwith
thefollowingmelody:
Olandsmenarefolly!
Opiratesarejolly!
OdiddleumDolly,
Di!
Chorus.—Heaveyo.
Thesoothingeffectoftheseanimatedsoundsfloatingoverthewaters,asthe
commonsailorsunitedtheirroughvoicestotakeuptherichtonesofBoldheart,
maybemoreeasilyconceivedthandescribed.
Itwasunderthesecircumstancesthatthelook-outatthemastheadgavethe


word,‘Whales!’
Allwasnowactivity.
‘Whereaway?’criedCapt.Boldheart,startingup.
‘Onthelarboardbow,sir,’repliedthefellowatthemasthead,touchinghishat.
Forsuchwastheheightofdisciplineonboardof‘TheBeauty,’that,evenatthat
height,hewasobligedtomindit,orbeshotthroughthehead.
‘Thisadventurebelongstome,’saidBoldheart.‘Boy,myharpoon.Letnoman
follow;’andleapingaloneintohisboat,thecaptainrowedwithadmirable
dexterityinthedirectionofthemonster.
Allwasnowexcitement.
‘Henearshim!’saidanelderlyseaman,followingthecaptainthroughhisspyglass.
‘Hestrikeshim!’saidanotherseaman,amerestripling,butalsowithaspy-glass.
‘Hetowshimtowardsus!’saidanotherseaman,amaninthefullvigouroflife,
butalsowithaspy-glass.
Infact,thecaptainwasseenapproaching,withthehugebulkfollowing.Wewill
notdwellonthedeafeningcriesof‘Boldheart!Boldheart!’withwhichhewas
received,when,carelesslyleapingonthequarter-deck,hepresentedhisprizeto
hismen.Theyafterwardsmadetwothousandfourhundredandseventeen
poundtenandsixpencebyit.
Orderingthesailtobebracedup,thecaptainnowstoodW.N.W.‘TheBeauty’
flewratherthanfloatedoverthedarkbluewaters.Nothingparticularoccurred
forafortnight,excepttaking,withconsiderableslaughter,fourSpanishgalleons,
andasnowfromSouthAmerica,allrichlyladen.Inactionbegantotelluponthe
spiritsofthemen.Capt.Boldheartcalledallhandsaft,andsaid,‘Mylads,I
heartherearediscontentedonesamongye.Letanysuchstandforth.’
Aftersomemurmuring,inwhichtheexpressions,‘Ay,ay,sir!’‘UnionJack,’
‘Avast,’‘Starboard,’‘Port,’‘Bowsprit,’andsimilarindicationsofamutinous
undercurrent,thoughsubdued,wereaudible,BillBoozey,captainoftheforetop,
cameoutfromtherest.Hisformwasthatofagiant,buthequailedunderthe
captain’seye.


‘Whatareyourwrongs?’saidthecaptain.
‘Why,d’yesee,Capt.Boldheart,’repliedthetoweringmanner,‘I’vesailed,man
andboy,formanyayear,butIneveryetknow’dthemilkservedoutforthe
ship’scompany’steastobesosouras‘tisaboardthiscraft.’
Atthismomentthethrillingcry,‘Manoverboard!’announcedtotheastonished
crewthatBoozey,insteppingback,asthecaptain(inmerethoughtfulness)laid
hishanduponthefaithfulpocket-pistolwhichheworeinhisbelt,hadlosthis
balance,andwasstrugglingwiththefoamingtide.
Allwasnowstupefaction.
ButwithCapt.Boldheart,tothrowoffhisuniformcoat,regardlessofthevarious
richorderswithwhichitwasdecorated,andtoplungeintotheseaafterthe
drowninggiant,wastheworkofamoment.Maddeningwastheexcitement
whenboatswerelowered;intensethejoywhenthecaptainwasseenholdingup
thedrowningmanwithhisteeth;deafeningthecheeringwhenbothwere
restoredtothemaindeckof‘TheBeauty.’And,fromtheinstantofhischanging
hiswetclothesfordryones,Capt.Boldhearthadnosuchdevotedthough
humblefriendasWilliamBoozey.
Boldheartnowpointedtothehorizon,andcalledtheattentionofhiscrewtothe
tapersparsofashiplyingsnuginharbourunderthegunsofafort.
‘Sheshallbeoursatsunrise,’saidhe.‘Serveoutadoubleallowanceofgrog,
andprepareforaction.’
Allwasnowpreparation.
Whenmorningdawned,afterasleeplessnight,itwasseenthatthestrangerwas
crowdingonallsailtocomeoutoftheharbourandofferbattle.Asthetwo
shipscamenearertoeachother,thestrangerfiredagunandhoistedRoman
colours.BoldheartthenperceivedhertobetheLatin-grammarmaster’sbark.
Suchindeedshewas,andhadbeentackingabouttheworldinunavailing
pursuit,fromthetimeofhisfirsttakingtoarovinglife.
Boldheartnowaddressedhismen,promisingtoblowthemupifheshouldfeel
convincedthattheirreputationrequiredit,andgivingordersthattheLatingrammarmastershouldbetakenalive.Hethendismissedthemtotheirquarters,
andthefightbeganwithabroadsidefrom‘TheBeauty.’Shethenveered
around,andpouredinanother.‘TheScorpion’(sowasthebarkoftheLatin-


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