Page:The Complete Works of William Makepeace Thackeray Vol.20.pdf/189

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THE ROSE AND THE RING.


I.

shows how the royal family sat down to breakfast.

This is Valoroso XXIV., King of Paflagonia, seated with his Queen and only child at their royal breakfast-table, and receiving the letter which announces to his Majesty a proposed visit from Prince Bulbo, heir of Padella, reigning King of Crim Tartary. Remark the delight upon the monarch’s royal features. He is so absorbed in the perusal of the King of Crim Tartary’s letter, that he allows his eggs to get cold, and leaves his august muffins untasted.

“What! that wicked, brave, delightful Prince Bulbo!” cries Princess Angelica; “so handsome, so accomplished, so witty—the conquerer of Rimbombamento, where he slew ten thousand giants!”

“Who told you of him, my dear?” asks his Majesty.

“A little bird,” says Angelica.

“Poor Giglio!” says mamma, pouring out the tea.

“Bother Giglio!” cries Angelica, tossing up her head, which rustled with a thousand curl-papers.

“I wish,” growls the King—“I wish Giglio was. . .”

“Was better? Yes, dear, he is better,” says the Queen. “Angelica’s little maid, Betsinda, told me so when she came to my room this morning with my early tea.”

“You are always drinking tea,” said the monarch, with a scowl.

“It is better than drinking port or brandy-and-water,” replies her Majesty.

“Well, well, my dear, I only said you were fond of drinking tea,” said the King of Paflagonia, with an effort as if to command his temper. “Angelica! I hope you have plenty of new dresses; your milliners’ bills are long

vol. II.—11

161