Chapter 30794140

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Chapter NumberVII
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Full Date1886-12-14
Page Number4
Word Count2576
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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CHAPTER VII. A NOVEL-JORM OF DYSPEPSIA. .The King made a very square meal in the forest the next evening,, and enjoyed himself hugely; His Majesty knew that his chances of obtaining a further supply of his favourite food were but small, and therefore determined not to .stint him self. He was lolling lazily in his a.mchair, listening to the chatter of the Graf, von Leberwurat, and picking his teeth with his dagger, when the first fruits of his im-. .prudence made themselves manifest.' He felt a sudden sickness : a stiange qualm, altogether unlike anything he had before' experienced. Turning to the Grand Cp-. bearer, he demanded a basin. The courtiers were alarmed, and crowded around him; for,' notwithstand ing his quick-temper and peculiar tastes, he was beloved by. his 'subjects, being, after all, what-we should term, in the lan guago ' 'of Clpieri'd, !' a good sort,"; inl many. particulars resembling that good King Rbnb of Provonce of whom Buran ger sang: ii o1att un rot d'Yvetot, Prn connu slams I histoke So levant tird, se couchant tot, Dormant fort soln sans gloire Oh! OhIOh 0 Oh! Ah i Ah li Ali Ah Qual bon petit rot o'etatt oa I La! LaP' The basin was brought, but no satisfac tory result followed; and, after' some hours of protracted agonyy, His Majesty 'sank lito' a fitful slumber, "brokon by clreams of the most unpleausnt nature, in the 'course 'of whichi he performed .all mannor of extraordinary feats in the way of cannibalisni. That was ail anxious timne.ofur the cour tiors, who knew not what to do to alleviate their sovereigu's pain, the Oriurt Physician not having accompanied the company to the castle. A courier was, however dis

Sptched for that functionary, and oidered, jui at peril of his life, not to delay by the St. way. Of course nobody went tobod, and all. 'y was confusion in the castle; a confusion gri which culminated into a panic, when no shortly after midnight, a'terrified sentinel of came rushing intothe dining hall, where ev the courtiers were assembled, and an- th niounced that the Elf King had risen from the waters, and might then be seen as ridinig around the castle oon his celebrated steed, which, like that of The O'Donoghue I1 possessed fins instead of hoofs, and was ah covered with scales like a mermaid.:: This terrible news completed the dis- \i comfiture of the household, and their of eourage evapcorated so completely that the strongest liquors in the castle cellar ta failed to restore them to equanimitty. Shortly after day break the Queen ar- vt rived ui'ith her suite, accompanied by the at Court Physician and--the Hermitof the to Dale, the latter disguised as a Dominican sel -friar.; Her.Majesty was at once ushered inito tli the presence of her consort, who lay, pale at and breathless, upon a couch in a chain le ber off hegreat hall. w £.The Clourt Physician ost no time ir Vi awakening'His" Majesty, and inquiring of into his'syinptomis. : i ý For all reply the King gasped and hi pointed to his mouth. -: b, The Physician took hold of his wrist, and' pulled out his watch, whilst every t body present held his breath and anxious h P -. ti ly awaited the result. After the lapse of o1 a minut or two, which seemed an age to, the;bystanders, .the'learned Doocor laid Ii the King's hand on the coverlet, and - sighed after the most approved fashion-. t ' Is hio very bad, doctor? " asked the Queen. ii The medico shook his head. I regret, W your Majesty," said he, -"to - say p that our beloved King is very bad-vary V bad, indeed. He must be blooded at once, aiid leeches put to his forehead and armpits; These, with an application a of hot bricks to his royal feet, and a cata-. t plasm to the abdomen, will, I hope, tend s to give His Majesty relief." - h ,' Bo-oh I" yelled the King, juo'ping up ii'bed. , Leeches`! Catapliismi . !Hot bricks !=Tang the mian at `oice; before he murders nie ' " "Nay your Majesty," urged'tho Queen, i, l ".the,: learned doctor must kinow best. n Suffer him to do as he wishes." Not. if the prisoner is aware of it i' s exclaimed the King,, jumping out of bed, a and beginning to truss his poitits - I'll . , let the insolent rascal know who lie has 1 got to deal with. Bleed me, will he.? I r, rather guess I know who'll be the party to t bleed 1''! r r The physician fell upon his knees. "Mercy, Great King 1 " he cried. "Thy servant did but speak as it seemed the r case demandgd of him. Spare me, I be- a seeoh your higliness.' " Out off his ears I "said the King, I " contemptuously ; " the knave is not t -worthitroubl aof hanging." The result of that prescriptionimfas that t a new ornament was. added to the castle 3 gate, in the shape of a pair of human ears, I neatly - nailed to: one of the side posts. . 9 From that day the practice of phlebotomy, i fell into disrepute in medical circles. ] The feeling of compassion which might 1 i have arisen for the sad fate of the Court I Physicianuwas completely lost in that of I wonder at tihe marvellous recovery of the t r King, who, but a few moments before had i 1 seemed at the jointof death. e But, alas I Only a short time elapsed I before his Majesty was worse than ever; e sq that the shrieks of agonyy that accom i1 panied the mutilationi of the physician were mingled with those of his 'royal master, whose pains had roturned -with - s renewod vigour. 0 What was now to be done ? -No one would offer a suggestion, for fear kopt every tongue still, Ears, though not al g ,ways: ornamental, are useful appondages, and the fate of the physician was a warn i h ing that His majesty was in no humour to be trifled with- i 2 At list the Queen-who had' waited .e until .she thought the King's sufferings had' reched such a pitch that he would be willing to accept iny means of rrelief thatoffered-suggested that iii hei suite was a leariiec friar, who might be able to effect a cure of His-Majesty's disease, if, nas she believed he was bewitched and not ,. suffering from any ordinary maldady. The King hated ,frhires, brit lie 'hated Y pain a good deal more, and 'had already d begun to repent of his harsh-treatment of '- the physician ; so hie growled consent 'and the Hermit was sent ior. STliat indivridual - etered thie royal a presence 'with a -nonchalancel that con-. h siderably surpirised the courtiers,, who haid

' beei accustomed: to approach their sovo e reign with awe aid trembling, aind could , not comprehend such extraordinary a e dacity. ' Who axe you V" asked the King. 'What's that to youi?" retorted the d Hermit, "l am come to try and cure you. . Who I am, smatters nothing; what` I can B, do, is the only question, with. you have any concern The courtiers wondered whether His i Majesty 1would select hanging, drawing d and quartering, or burning at tim stake, 'as a fitting punishment for such unheard of insolunco; but, to their great surprise, the King merely smiled grimly, and bade the Hermit set to Workc without loss of time, as the' agony hle suffered passed en durance.. "C lear the room," said the Hermit I must be alone 'with their. Majoaties i before I can do'nnything." y A sign from the King confirmed the y order, and the courtiers filed out in silent :n amazement, wondering what had worked 11 so marvellous a change in the habits of their sovorcigi. "Does yoiur Majesty suflor much ?'" . ished the Hermit, as snon ne his order te had been complied with. n " Do I suffer much 7 By the bones of ;o lt. Neponmuc I am ini agony I Oh I oh I s- oh I " and His Majesty began to twist and

jump about as if possessed by the spirit of St. Vitus himself. '"King," said the Hermit, severely, your pains are the result of your sins. To gratify' an unnatural appetite you. have not hesitated to sacrifice, not only some of the best blood of your kingdom, but even your own son.. You are now reaping the reward of your ill-doing." "How kiow you that," inquired the astonished King. " I know it'-that is sufficient. Now, if I promise to "cure thee; wilt thou repent and mend thy ways ? Wilt thou overcome thy depraved appetite for human flesh I " " I_ will,'" said the King faintly, I will--I will swear it by the blessed beard of St. Nepomuc I " "Then, exorciso to I" said the Hermit, "come forth thou unclean one, and be take thee to thy proper place 1" Immediately the King's body was con vulsed in `the most frightful manner; and, anmidst throes anid spasms which seemed to threaten his instant dissolution, a lean, skinny arm was protuded from his mouth. The Queen shrieked at the sight; but the Hermit clapt his hand over her mouth and bade her be silent. Presently the arm was withdrawn and a leg extended instead, and then in its place' withdrawn. At last, after one awful con vulsion,a little black demc'n tumbled outs of, the King's. mouth, and incontinently vanished,up the chimney. The&poor King ~saik'back on the couch, his whole frame blanched and quivering, but free from pain, and in his right mind. The Hermit then proceeded to adminis ter to His Majesty a severe reproof for his incontinence, and also some consolhsa tion from the wicker flask already spoken of. "Friar,' said the King, as soon as he. had gathered sufficient strength to speak -I owe thee a debt of gratitude-name, thy reward.", " Pardon for, the royal cool",said the. Hermit, stepping. to the door, and usher-'` ing in that.personage, .who approached with much less confidence than he had die played on the occasion -of, his last inter view with'his royal master:. " What hast thou done, follow ?" asked the King : ,weo know, not thy ,offence speak? Thy pairdon is already granted".' " Well, your 'Majesty," said the cook, twirling his cap between his thumbs-" if so be it as I must,'- and' his reverence here'11 go bail for me, 'I'1l'own upevery thing."wnuevr ',"said the Hermit,' thou alat naught no fear." "',Well then, `your` Majesties,. ;likewise; not forgetting your reverence-what I say is that there is things as no man aint got no right to do. ordered to do 'em or not" " Conscience is the only safe guide, said the Hermit.. " That'siso, your reverence,. said'the cook; " what 'lnmean to say is that con science is the hoss as '11, carry mynmoney. Well then; may be your Majesty 11re. member about them, kids as you told me to bako with, roasted r apples in their mouths ?"~lo skdte i "VWell,' f w ? "-asd' te King, * patiently. " Well, your' Majesty, when you gave me them orders, my conscience objects; and, not to put too fine a point upon it, I says to myself,.I'll.see you jiggered first."-' his promise-" You don't mean to say that you had the audacity to- , f I mean ter say that 1 had the audacity t to plant thiem'kids~ithe-ceMar, asndmanix you up a dish of baked sucking-pig in stead 1 ". The King groaned and fell back upon his pillow. It was the . first time with in the memory of man that any order of the Monarch of Bohemia had been disobeyed. t- He felt deeply humiliated at his degrada= Stion. ý. " This comes of educating thelpeople I' lhe muttered. " Ah I what a double-die tilled ass I was to allow.them to learn to read I' Well-well-well-disobeyed by my own cook This is indeed a bitter i trial 1", ! Bear up, my son," said he Hermit-. " bethink thee, the varlet's disobedience has saved thee from foulest sin. Here have another nip, and, banish the matter 1 from your mind for ever? So saying the Hermit again handed his flask to the King, who feebly muttered "Here's luck," and took a deep draught of the elixir.. ° "But you have not told uic what be came of my son." said the Queen anx i ously..' " His RIoyal Highness is among the .other kids in the cellar,"said theicook +" they'ro all well and heariy, and as merry. r as ~rigs." .;. ,. .' et them be restored to their d mothers," said the King ; ".The poor wo men will gain by thy disobedience, if no' d one else does.-Only sucking-pig '? he " continued, muttering to himself in aeon-, temptuous tone- " Oiily sucking-pig I e Faug I It is a wicked world-a sad o wicked world I " F, But the cook had not done yeth, 6Your Majesties," he faltered, " as to giving 'em back to their mothers, there's~ a little difficulty " d " What. is that, fellow?9 asked the y King, impatiently. "g'tThey are all mixed. . You see I just ' d 'tumbled 'em into the cellar naked as they was, and didn't keep'no. count of 'em at* all.": i-. I am' pirticularly anxious to finish off..

don't know how to set about it. There K does not seem to be any need to sayK< d anything more about the interview last =- recorded, and the perspicuity of the intelligent reader will have divined that all our friends lived happily over after. 0 How shall I fix it I-There's the hermit now-a good deal might be said about *- him ; but as he, shortly after the events n I have related, took to preaching in the opublic parks on Sundays, I do not think his after career would be likely to prove i of interest to the class of persons who will Is purchase this paper-and you can easily g believe that at my time of life I am not o, going to cater for the delectation of the .d demoralised borrower. So after all I shall have to end with the to Babies. Alt I But there was joy in le Prague when the grateful news came that of these little ones wore on hand at the 1- hunting castle and deliverable to the mothers or upon their order I - It is true there was trouble when the delivery took place, for only very few es mothers were so fortunate as to be able to offer satisfactory proofs of the identity 10 of their offspring; and as there was ,t something very like a free fight over the ad better specimens, it was eventually found necessary to settlo.the matter by casting of lots. The memory of this transaction has I" been kept alive in . B3ohmia by the or saying :-I'I 1a A WISEa MOTJIER THAT KNOWS lIER OWN CHILfD. Printed and Published 5y JOHN GALS. Boe I Q Proprietor, at his Steam Wirks, Id Rlutledge-street, Quoanbeyan.