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CHAPTER I.The Troubles of King Prigio.{Prince Ricardo and lady tied up: p13.jpg}I'm sure I don't know what to do with that boy! said King Prigio ofPantouflia.If _you_ don't know, my dear, said Queen Rosalind, his illustriousconsort, I can't see what is to be done. You are so clever.The king and queen were sitting in the royal library, of which theshelves were full of the most delightful fairy books in all languages,all equally familiar to King Prigio. The queen could not read most ofthem herself, but the king used to read them aloud to her. A good manyyears had passed--seventeen, in fact--since Queen Rosalind was married,but you would not think it to look at her. Her grey eyes were as kindand soft and beautiful, her dark hair as dark, and her pretty colour aslike a white rose blushing, as on the day when she was a bride. And shewas as fond of the king as when he was only Prince Prigio, and he was asfond of her as on the night when he first met her at the ball.No, I don't know what to do with Dick, said the king.He meant his son, Prince Ricardo, but he called him Dick in private.I believe it's the fault of his education, his Majesty went on. Wehave not brought him up rightly. These fairy books are at the bottom ofhis provoking behaviour, and he glanced round the shelves. Now, when_I_ was a boy, my dear mother tried to prevent me from reading fairybooks, because she did not believe in fairies.


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