then you may unrip my green silk, and then you can just do me up a little cap for the morning, and then you can mend that hole in my silk stocking, and then you can go to bed, Betsinda. Mind, I shall want my cup of tea at five o’clock in the morning.”
“I suppose I had best warm both the young gentlemen’s beds, ma’am?” says Betsinda.
Gruffanuff, for reply said, “Hau-au-ho!—Grau-haw-hoo!—Hong—hrho!” In fact, she was snoring sound asleep.
Her room, you know, is next to the King and Queen, and the Princess is next to them. So pretty Betsinda went away for the coals to the kitchen, and filled the Royal warming-pan.
Now she was a very kind, merry, civil, pretty girl; but there must have been something very captivating about her this evening, for all the women in the servants’-hall began to scold and abuse her. The housekeeper said she was a pert, stuck-up thing: the upper-housemaid asked, how dare she wear such ringlets and ribbons, it was quite improper! The cook (for there was a woman-cook as well as a man-cook) said to the kitchen-maid that she never could see anything in that: but as for the men, every one of them, Coachman, John, Buttons the page, and Monsieur the Prince of Crim Tartary’s valet, started up and said—
|“My eyes!||what a pretty girl Betsinda is!”|
“Hands off; none of your impertinence, you vulgar, low people!” says Betsinda, walking off with her pan of coals. She heard the young gentlemen playing at billiards as she went up stairs: first to Prince Giglio’s bed, which she warmed, and then to Prince Bulbo’s room.
He came in just as she had done; and as soon as he saw her, “O! O! O! O! O! O! what a beyou—oo—ootiful creature you are! You angel—you Peri—you rosebud, let me be thy bulbul—thy Bulbo, too! Fly to the desert, fly with me! I never saw a young gazelle to glad me with its dark blue eye that had eyes like thine. Thou nymph of beauty, take, take this young heart. A truer never did itself sustain within a soldier’s waistcoat. Be mine! Be mine! Be Princess of Crim Tartary! My Royal Father will approve our union: and as for that little carroty-haired Angelica, I do not care fig for her any more.”