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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1886-12-09
Page Number3
Word Count1448
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleThe Bewitched King: An Episode in the History of Bohemia
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The Bewitched Kin i; AN EPISODE IN' THE HISTOCRY OF BOHEMIA. By HAROLD W. . STEPHE r CHAPTER '_I Tiis King i;i as . in:?a -:I.hbad th:buunoui. Everything luid: gone wiong with him that day, In the fi'st place hl had passed? a bad ingit,- his suimbers hiaving beeon muobl h':isturbjed- by:< obiin'oxious intrudelors ofthe jilc; tribe Then, when le arnse, one of1his' slippeirs was not to be found and it. nas not luntil the whole of the royail household hid been for up'wards of half al hoiur lo ?ing forit,( that HBi lMaSijestyreineoibcr ho liad lshid it- at: a cdt, :wlh s`h: anrous?. cato irwalings :bhi'd annoyed linii during the ?night. 'Tiuo deilay spoilt tho breakfasit, for even tlihe cook had been eu?igged i' thle sarch fori the -missiig slipper, so ';il clihops voro burnt;,the eggs boiled: hard, caiid the milk ha' d boiled o; cr: Wieon, thlietrfoire, His iMajesoty took Iis seant at the breiak fast. table, he found that' lie should have ,..gtllrt cbinteit?.isitnself with ounpilataile food;: or`:iiat' until' fresh :ias oprepariad h o was hiuagray m - iost. uildeiiibhly lhungsY4 ald - Under olier circumstances li. e0: -w-ould iundoubtedly l"a: s' a"tteiripted' to appiease his aipotite with the ainids that stood beforoe him ibut, on this occaii??, hie was ii4 a bId tumer anditi sulky Sohihe swore" - one oi.?,two choice Ioithlis, brolko a couple of :plates, i ilnd iidored the cook to. be hangeid immhiediately. 'hn Tins ise icn c s noti, ho wver, ened into clect, f. r tc Queen intoerceded ndid, as she wit:n .~'an beautitiful;, lidn they had oe h.'- nmrrieari some four nionths, His LZuij ; ;griowledidcjuiescence to her petition d iad 'cosriniited;tlhe :setitonceto imprisominent foir twelveoniiths ivili two dozben lashes', well hiid;;oi osice a month:lie The .Kings of olioitusi were terrible fellows in those clays, d ulen i their aibjects ,itli"a rod of non. Tihe heoure ano so late, owin g ;to tlhe' thie groat hall lwhero ilargo ii d ibrillianiti presence. It inow beconmess necoesary to explain the object of the assemiblinK.`°.age As beforo stated, the King" had only beesn married soeiin four mioitlish." Noy it happeised that the Queen, likeall i newly married ladic, had conceivod ai onesor nious interest in babies, and to gratifyihisi bride, His .Majesty had ,anntouiniced i?that a grand baby show wouldi belielid iiiithe iradachin Palace on the day lt vwhich iwe have arrived. The show was limited to children-: of gentle birth under twelro molnths 6f age, and handsome prizes were to be given to the three best specimeons. The King himself proposed to officiate as judgo, but was to be assisted in his choice by the Countess von Stiofolputz, the wife of the Lord High Chamberlain ;u a lady of experience, havinig herself boeen the mother of thirteeon strappiig infants, all of whom 'she harl successfully roared to lilan's (or wiu.uiln's, as the case smight be). ostato.' :On esitering ihoe groat hall the King nas e.:ceiided' by -u grand .flourish, of trunipetts aiid loud cheeoors, and "vivat hock'a'." froi.the crowd. He led the Queen to tls.'throie, annd thoun proceeded at binc' to isisect the babies, accompanied by the Countess von Stiofelputz, who ?Rs, so siiolloi' tip by self-impoitatluo thist sishe could scarceoly waddle down the room. There were sixty-threo entries, ratiged in cradles int two rows down the. centre of the hIll; and on achl cradlo was ausnouit.d a ticket bearing the nanme of the exhibitor and the age and weight of the exhibit. " At first, His Majesty felt sure lie should be insulferably the whole afflair; and for a while hIis usticipations scoeusd to be well-foullrded, for thll CoulllteUss, conmiolenthiously dotormins.d to do lher duty, itlsisted upon stopping bulrfreo cclh lcladlt, anid calling the King's attoentius to the bost points of its occupant; further iliviting himn'to test thie Irmliness of each I

baby's flesh by poking his fingerp into its ribs, and even embarrassing him by every now and than handing hint a specially chubby specimen, in order that li he might verify its weight. This last proceeding was particularly anuoyiug to thi King, who, never having owned a child of his own, had not the rlemotest nlotion how to hold one, and was naturally oppressed with fears lest 'e should should break or drop the un accustomed burden. * All men, who have not yet attained to the dignity of fathers, wvill sympathise Swith this poor king, whose diflioulties were doubled owing to the factl thiit?:the babies were nude, drapery i?f nisy, kiiid being forbidden `by the conditioins of th? alow The King alked on front ciadle to cradle, thinking ove every naughty wvord lhehad h adtir siice ha iwas n child, a promising himself an: enormous vengeanceo upon i ttli e unfortunata Counitessk lllih ittle dreamt tihat .i.rconscintiousl oticiotisness was laIyiig fupfor her a stori of hatted inthe hart of" the individual Slihin? m ofi al oth iors,'shie wsi mist all?oiU tl io ugh th ilKino's raii He shuiddered aind strove to put it away, but itnm-V snit1 his eye glanceda round the hidl ii .iiit at avety uti Ivi ith fresh tiiptatiotni ; dfid S"ad'unly thi idea, which at first hid seaoiiad so liorriblei iciuired the minatery. His :Mijesty wias. tunicofiiionly)hunngry, andl his stom?iach conqui?ed hlis brauinhbe: thought how delicious one of tlihos pluLiiimp little babies wouiild be doasted, 'with a baked apple in its moutih, or stbwed I:itli prunes ii port wine sauce . 'rniing to te Countessi vonStiefeiputi, liho inquired if shle had ever heard: of the Anthiopopliagi :,Tlihe Countess ieplieddthat she ? .had i-ot but no` doubt hi husbaid; the LoLrdHighi Chamberlain, had. Should she call him "' No,"-; said thoe KinigI '' it doesnot imattor.i Porhapi yo have road about th canliibals" ') Oh, yes, y?d:,,our Maj esty?," answered the b.Countess "B sides I hindan-:luncle iwho?travelled much in foreign pasirts, aMd he told uns :'mniy aratige tales of ?? theof t savages who eat their enemies:"" :: But not' thoir, friends,h': anked . thi, Kiiiig, eagerly. i "I should' lh]i thought a frieinid would taste as well ,as;. if not bettor than, an eno?ey.': :: "? i Oi your "`Majesty,'ýo i1ciined .theo Countess. "' wo :would : o so wicked as to eat a friend:i Ei on a siavage oild ot do' that. ' 0 H uniu,!'i'nused,the Icing, '' perhaps iiit. It does hiot iltogetlieri look like the correct tliiig :but still,-i ell, no -doubt you ir oright? lBy theilway, did your unclei say anything .about. babies The caniibiials prefoi badies, I supposo " " Yes; your Idijestyi Iiiy uncle said tlhe biutes :always used to ea th lio babies- for ;?his answert amused tlie king: so mlch thit li:e f:r iot lfis: diinty,; and; to the ientire surprise of the wohole Court, laughed inmidoretatly, for at;loa;st, aiinutu., and=ai: h a lf.: : :: =. . "'Babies for dessoert Hria I Ha ? V,?ii?T ats god-"u0b0n miy sitaied lifo thait is 'gotld: Madam, I'11; tell you what: those oahninib~ls waoreo picu cs--opicuros,' Madain of the most iefined tnatoe." So saying, Hils Mnjesty w ilold, smaciilced .his lips, antid a~owv'd tli?teeth to isuch: ti extent(in tli. the Cuntests beganoI to fieel afraid SIuit tle Kiing had noE done ''Iadni,"' said he, ' did ,yoqr uidicle toellyou hoaw tihes savages cooked theoii nicat l, I , Cooked thcir-ilwhat ?faltered, the Couimttss: '.' Cooked their eonat I: supplois a ilinaiaoibdy'iis iim;at wliei it is iiitended to be eieateii l" retorited thei iiig, iiiipntiitly. ; e". rtainly,l?itight thu Countess, - ' thliere inuft heli. soniotliing wroiig with' His Majeisty to-dafyc -is talk is :: osiit pculiai'.'; TI'hou iloutld she added ' I b'li?evo, your Majes" ty if L?? I rio, ii'0Ibei right, niy.undo said tho cannibals usually. baked their A?nT r ? :I k:em it , e claibom ed d hoe kii=ig SIkniewt it Just. what " I ishould ;di d ;ubtauh?s;'lMfllew: in b sfiiness all tihu he would be psd to give hi d 'cision striy, Ii ill nut Lord Chuimnibai lain, nroelim tu . Show'ali driaiourned till feui*

imecting of thi Piiay?y, Council at o?.ice.: iAs may bo imingnwdl tbis oxtetioisidinry intirriuptioii to the% procudli,?s oon sidorably instonislºd the ?whle uuit,: - but iHis sMajsty ivas a tdespo Y niid n dispot inil a bad huinour isilot tobo fifled' with.; so no one ventured too retinonstirito, nild the assemblage dispers'odto il??t again in little knots in:thOe ou;tanl nt i lld tho palace gardo, inld disicuss tlio posei tionI with, bated ? reath, +Iand ? i?i [ill nods anid winks and- much siigging of slhulders, whioh iimtlioild? of :ominiiica- m tioiihave been in use idin iCorti'ii' c firotn tiio inimi eii l r