|Chapter Title||THE QUEEN AND THE HERMIT.|
|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||The Bewitched King: An Episode in the History of Bohemia|
CHAPTER VI:. THE raQUE3AND THLO IminiMIT.' Lhe ,rising sun, peopinr throiigii the shutters one fine morning, awoke the Crown Prince of Bohemia, who in turn woke hii mother. Then began the usual crowing, cooing, petting, danidhng, and tickling process, familiar to all mothers since the Fall. At last tlio Queen, intoxicated with the de light's of maternity, arrived at that state. where a participator in her joys became a necessity, and she, in her turn, woke the King, by, placiiig the sweet little cherub in his srms. That is, she attempted to `wake the King, but was not immediately successful. Baby, after the manner of. his kind, 'opened his .darling little mouth,. in eigectation of the usual kiss.-(Why do babies always open their mouths to re= a kiss ? Do they know the horror of the average male has to that feminine luxury, a wet kiss 4)-Noo result followed th'e Baby's first offer, so he cunningly deter 'ninedto forage for himself, and iinconti nently proceededr to thrust his little fingers into his father's mouth, intending of course to open it and receive the kiss he himself would bestow. Our King was at that moment enjoying again in a dream the delights of the past. Once more lie was at the Castle in the Forest, and oane more he was eating of the meat lhe loved. The Crown Prince's fin gers were introduced at an inopportune moment, for His' Majesty's lips closed over them'with a delicious ismack, fLand presently his teeth brought an unplesant conviction to then mind of 'his son' and heir that the method of awakening Papa could sconrcely be regarded in the light of an unqualified success. Let us draw a veil over the scene that followed-it was not a pleasant one' for any of the parties concernied, and the less said about it the better. But therefrom the Kin conceived an idesa I . .. Dxoiixslaow No. 4 To- be 'skippcd by. the intelligent reader is ciroeded for time: [I must pause here for a ;moment to ob serve that Iings; princes, governors, and legislators, have no business with ideas at all. The true art of government is to let well lone, and never originate; Reform must come from without to be effeotive, and a man of ideas is not a safen man to back in the long run. Look for example atNapoleon III,,the mnonarch of all others of, this century who .was tioubled -with ideas. Any tine during' his reign 'his downfall wvs prophesied, atd afteL nak-' ing France, by dint of his ideas, the' won der and admiration of the world, hienorded 'by an idea which' resulted in Sedan and a broken heart.] The idea -conceived by our King was, that his duty to himself demanded thit, in thoepressing strait to which ho was re duced, he, shouldunot hesitate to avail him self of-any means to save his ýlife and reason.: In other words he deteimined to eat his own baby. After fortifying himself for the task by copious draughts of lager beer and schnapps, , mixed up into, a drink called "IHund's~nase," home proceeded to break the matter gently to the Queen. Result : Hysterics, The next day's proceedings may be briefly suminad up as follows :-Lager boor and schnapps, gentle breaking of thia matter and (more hysterics. And so on
for five days; during which thd courtiers, F as you may imagine, had a lively time. On the sixth day the Queen arose early " in the morning and ,illunout of the castle by a postern gate, before any one was up, taking Baby with her. She wasy going home to her mother. After walking a few miles, she sat down to rest and fell asleep. She awoke and , found a man standing over her. it was the Hermit of the Dale, the friend of Edward and Angelina-the friend of our youth, in fact. " My daughter," said he, "whei.ce I this thusnesse "Oh, father," sobbed the poor Queen, 't you don't know- you don t know' " "I'll bet I do then, said the Hermit. "You do:! 'You know, what that wretch-that monster I =proposed I' " I do. He wants to eat the kid, re plied the Hermit, coolly knocking the ashes out of his pipe' on the heels of his boot.. You 'know that? You know their that I will never submit 'Never I Ex claimed the Queen drawiiig herself up to. her full height (shewas four feet ten, and. high heel boots had ..just goine' out. ?of fashion )_".1lam going to my mama,' and' Baby is going with me. Aren't you;` my, darling 9 My chickabiddy ...Did they want to eat itsi -mudder's 'ittle pet? The nasty, cruel.brutes I " - Baby.said they did, and it was mighty rough on a chap who wasn t able to take his own part. This he conveyed in Ian guage perfectly comprehensible to.. his mammi °1rny rate. "Quen - aid the Hermit, severely quit that fooing, and listen. Obey my behests? il I will pull you through." You will? Ohs you dear creature ? exclaimed the Queenhafter~ehe liad taken the 1n'ay's toe out of her l , uth. "I will. Now pay atteniion. Go back to the Castloi ;Go to your husband tell him you are sorry; give him. the baby, and-wait t" I " Go back to my husbaiind? Give him the baby I Man, are you mad? cried the Queen, almost choking with indig nation. "Nay, lady," replied the Hermit sooth ungly, "I am not mad. Follow my ad vice and all will be well-neglect it and you will be arrested before the day's out, and ruined for ever. Here-take a.pull at this flask; -It containeth a rare cordial manufactured by the sage N S; E., which never faileth to cheer the drooping heart and administer consolation' to the afflic ted. . So saying the Hermit handed a curious leather flask to the. Queen, who put it to her lips and took a deep draughti "Dass schmeckt gut ! "she, exclaimed as she wiped her lips. with the baby's pina fore " Dass mogt Ihr watten I " replied the Hermit.. "Es -ist rhum' aus Qveenshant, vierzig 0. P. But :now to. business. Give the baby to the King and theni wait. Should his Majesty show any signs'of ill ness, send him'to-'me. "I 'siall stay in Prague for awhile at 'the Gasthof zum Wiessen Adler. . It. is true I amr a bush ' missionary; but tramping around the country at winter time is heavy work, and I regret to say, the people are not as liberal as they were. I shall stay in town for awhile and start a comic paper. The Quoeni cast a look of admiration on the great being in front of her; she could not speak, being overcome by emotion. 'After a few more words, and a further application to the flask, they parted, and the Queen .retraced her steps to the Castle. She had not gone far before shelbecame aware of tthe Herniit's prognostication that she would be arrested before night fall,' for 'she met a troop of horsemen, whose leader informed liar that parties hafd een sent out in every direction to searchi for he..; The Queen returned with them to the Hradochin, and lost no timerin informing the enraged King that, after consideration, she had determined to.yield to his-wish andsurrender lhir baby. IaThe delightful news put His Majesty in a good temper at once, and the rest of the Sday.was spent In revelry and rejoicing.