Andrew Lang.

My own fairy book : namely, certain chronicles of Pantouflia, as notably the adventures of Prigio, prince of that country, and of his son, Ricardo, with an excerpt from the Annals of Scotland, as touching Ker of Fairnilee, his sojourn with the Queen of Faery; online

. (page 1 of 14)
Online LibraryAndrew LangMy own fairy book : namely, certain chronicles of Pantouflia, as notably the adventures of Prigio, prince of that country, and of his son, Ricardo, with an excerpt from the Annals of Scotland, as touching Ker of Fairnilee, his sojourn with the Queen of Faery; → online text (page 1 of 14)
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MY OWN FAIRY BOOK




"So tbe two went into tbc gartens together, anb talfeeb about
number of things."

Page 89.



My Own Fairy Book,

namely certain Chronicles of
Pantouflia, as notably the Ad-
ventures of Prigio, Prince of
that country, and of his son,
Ricardo, with an Excerpt from
the Annals of Scotland, as touch-
ing Ker of Fairnilee, his sojourn
with the Queen of Faery; the
whole written by Andrew Lang
and adorned by Gordon Browne,
T. Scott, and E. A. Lemann.



Bristol: jg New York :

Arrowsmith. Longmans, Green & Co.



IY OWN FAIRY BOOK.



CONTENTS.



Co CbilOren . . . . ix
Iprtnce jpriglo.

Chap. Page

I. HOW THE FAIRIES WERE NOT INVITED TO COURT 5

II. PRINCE PRIGIO AND HIS FAMILY IO

III. ABOUT THE FIREDRAKE 14

IV. HOW PRINCE PRIGIO WAS DESERTED BY EVERYBODY 23
V. WHAT PRINCE PRIGIO FOUND IN THE GARRET . 28

VI. WHAT HAPPENED TO PRINCE PRIGIO IN TOWN . 30

VII. THE PRINCE FALLS IN LOVE .... 38

VIII. THE PRINCE IS PUZZLED 43

IX. THE PRINCE AND THE FIREDRAKE ... 48

X. THE PRINCE AND THE REMORA . . . . 51

XI. THE BATTLE 54

XII. A TERRIBLE MISFORTUNE 60

XIII. SURPRISES 67

XIV. THE KING EXPLAINS 70

XV. THE KING'S CHEQUE 77

XVI. A MELANCHOLY CHAPTER . . ' . . 83
XVII. THE BLACK CAT AND THE BRETHREN . . 89

XVIII. THE VERY LAST 99



Contents.



prince "KicarDo.

Chap. Page

INTRODUCTORY 107

I. THE TROUBLES OF KING PRIGIO . . .109

II. PRINCESS JAQUELINE DRINKS THE MOON . . I2O

III. THE ADVENTURE OF THE SHOPKEEPERS . . 132

IV. TWO LECTURES . . . , . . 142

V. PRINCE RICARDO CROSSES THE PATH OF HISTORY 154

VI. RICARDO'S REPENTANCE iyi

VII. PRINCE RICARDO AND AN OLD ENEMY . . l8o
VIII. THE GIANT WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHEN HE HAS

HAD ENOUGH 195

IX. PRIGIO HAS AN IDEA . . . . . 207

X. THE END 220



Gbe <3olfc of ffairmlee.

I. THE OLD HOUSE ' . 237

n. HOW RANDAL'S FATHER CAME HOME . . . 239

III. HOW JEAN WAS BROUGHT TO FAIRNILEE . . 245

IV. RANDAL AND JEAN 251

V. THE GOOD FOLK 259

VI. THE WISHING WELL 263



VII. WHERE IS RANDAL ?



2 7



VIII. THE ILL YEARS . . . . . . .277

IX. THE WHITE ROSES ...... 284

X. OUT OF FAIRYLAND 289

XI. THE FAIRY BOTTLE 296

XII. AT THE CATRAIL 300

XIII. THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE 304



TO CHILDREN.



THE Author of this book is also the Editor of
the Blue, Red, Green, and Yellow Fairy Books.
He has always felt rather an impostor,
because so many children seem to think that
he made up these books out of his own head.
Now he only picked up a great many old
fairy tales, told in French, German, Greek,
Chim e, Red Indian, Russian, and other
languages, and had them translated and
printed, with pictures. He is glad that
children like them, but he must confess
that they should be grateful to old forgotten
people, long ago, who first invented these
tales, and who knew more about fairies than
we can hope to do.

My Own Fairy Book, which you now have



To Children.



in your hands, was made up altogether out of
his own head by the Author, of course with
the help of the Historical Papers in the
kingdom of Pantouflia. About that ancient
kingdom very little is known. The natives
speak German ; but the Royal Family, as
usual, was of foreign origin. Just as England
has had Norman, Scottish, and, at present, a
line of German monarchs, so the kings of
Pantouflia are descended from an old Greek
family, the Hypnotidae, who came to Pantou-
flia during the Crusades. They wanted,
they explained, not to be troubled with the
Crusades, which they thought very injudicious
and tiresome. The Crest of the regal house
is a Dormouse, dormant, proper, on a field
vert, and the Motto, when translated out of
the original Greek, means, Anything for a
Quiet Life.

It may surprise the young reader that
princes like Prigio and Ricardo, whose feet



To Children. xi



were ever in the stirrup, and whose lances were
always in rest, should have descended from
the family of the Hypnotidae, who were
remarkably lazy and peaceful. But these
heroes doubtless inherited the spirit of their
great ancestress, whose story is necessary to
be known. On leaving his native realm
during the Crusades, in search of some
secure asylum, the founder of the Pantouflian
monarchy landed in the island of Cyprus,
where, during the noon-tide heat, he lay down
to sleep in a cave. Now in this cave dwelt
a dragon of enormous size and unamiable
character. What was the horror of the exiled
prince when he was aroused from slumber
by the fiery breath of the dragon, and felt its
scaly coils about him !

" Oh, hang your practical jokes ! " exclaimed
the prince, imagining that some of his courtiers
were playing a prank on him.

" Do you call this a joke ?" asked the



To Children.



dragon, twisting its forked tail into a line with
his royal highness's eye.

" Do take that thing away," said the prince,
"and let a man have his nap peacefully."

"Kiss ME!." cried the dragon, which had
already devoured many gallant knights for
declining to kiss it.

" Give you a kiss," murmured the prince,;
"oh, certainly, if that's all! Anything for a
quiet life."

So saying, he kissed the dragon, which
instantly became a most beautiful princess ;
for she had lain enchanted as a dragon, by a
wicked magician, till somebody should be bold
enough to kiss her.

" My love ! my hero ! my lord ! how long
I have waited for thee ; and now I am eternally
thine own ! "

So murmured, in the most affectionate
accents, the Lady Dragonissa, as she was now
called.



To Children.



Though wedded to a bachelor life, the
prince was much too well-bred to make any
remonstrance.

The Lady Dragonissa, a female of ex-
traordinary spirit, energy, and ambition,
took command of him and of his followers,
conducted them up the Danube, seized a
principality whose lord had gone crusading,
set her husband on the throne, and became in
course of time the mother of a little prince,
who, again, was great, great, great, great-
grandfather of our Prince Prigio.

From this adventurous Lady Dragonissa,
Prince Prigio derived his character for gal-
lantry. But her husband, it is said, was often
heard to remark, by a slight change of his
family motto :

" Anything for a Quiet Wife!"

You now know as much as the Author
does of the early history of Pantouflia.

As to the story called The Gold of Fairnilee,



To Children.



such adventures were extremely common in
Scotland long ago, as may be read in many of
the works of Sir Walter Scott and of the
learned in general. Indeed, Fairnilee is the
very place where the fairy queen appointed to
meet her lover, Thomas the Rhymer.

With these explanations, the Author leaves
to the judgment of young readers his Own
Fairy Book.



PRINCE PRIGIO



PRINCE PRI&IO



TO

ALMA
TH YR A
EDITH
ROSALIND
NORNA
CECILY
AND VIOLET



PREFACE.



IN compiling the following History from the
Archives of Pantouflia, the Editor has in-
curred several obligations to the Learned.
The Return of Benson (chapter xii.) is the
fruit of the research of the late Mr. ALLEN
QUATERMAIN, while the final wish of Prince
Prigio was suggested by the invention or
erudition of a Lady.

A study of the Firedrake in South Africa
where he is called the NanabouUU, a diffi-
cult word has been published in French
(translated from the Basuto language) by
M. PAUL S^BILLOT, in the Revue des Tradi-
tione Populaires. For the Remora, the Editor
is indebted to the Voyage a la Lune of
M. CYRANO DE BERGRAC.




CHAPTER I.

the Dairies were not 3nvited to "Court.



N C E upon a time there reigned in
Pantouflia a king and a queen. With
almost everything else to make them
happy, they wanted one thing : they
had no children. This vexed the king
even more than the queen, who was
very clever and learned, and who had hated
dolls when she was a child. However, she too,
in spite of all the books she read and all the
pictures she painted, would have been glad
enough to be the mother of a little prince. The
king was anxious to consult the fairies, but the
queen would not hear of such a thing. She did



PRINCE PRIGIO.



not believe in fairies : she said that they had
never existed ; and that she maintained, though
The History of the Royal Family was full of
chapters about nothing else.

Well, at long and at last they had a little
boy, who was generally regarded as the finest
baby that had ever been seen. Even her
majesty herself remarked that, though she
could never believe all the courtiers told her,
yet he certainly was a fine child a very fine
child.

Now, the time drew near for the christening
party, and the king and queen were sitting at
breakfast in their summer parlour talking over
it. It was a splendid room, hung with portraits
of the royal ancestors. There was Cinderella, the
grandmother of the reigning monarch, with her
little foot in her glass slipper thrust out before
her. There was the Marquis de Carabas, who,
as everyone knows, was raised to the throne as
prince consort after his marriage with the
daughter of the king of the period. On the
arm of the throne was seated his celebrated
cat, wearing boots. There, too, was a portrait
of a beautiful lady, sound asleep : this was
Madame La Belle au Bois-dormant, also an
ancestress of the royal family. Many other
pictures of celebrated persons were hanging
on the walls.

" You have asked all the right people, my
dear ? " said the king.



PRINCE PRIG 10.



" Everyone who should be asked," answered
the queen.

" People are so touchy on these occasions,"
said his majesty. " You have not forgotten any
of our aunts ? "

" No ; the old cats ! " replied the queen ; for
the king's aunts were old-fashioned, and did not
approve of her, and she knew it.

" They are very kind old ladies in their way,"
said the king; "and were nice to me when I
was a boy."

Then he waited a little, and remarked :

"The fairies, of course, you have invited?
It has always been usual, in our family, on an
occasion like this ; and I think we have neglected
them a little of late."

" How can you be so absurd ? " cried the
queen. " How often must I tell you that there
are no fairies ? And even if there were but,
no matter ; pray let us drop the subject."

" They are very old friends of our family, my
<iear, that's all," said the king timidly. " Often
and often they have been godmothers to us.
One,- in particular, was most kind and most
serviceable to Cinderella I., my own grand-
mother."

" Your grandmother ! " interrupted her ma-
jesty. " Fiddle-de-dee ! If anyone puts such
nonsense into the head of my little Prigio "

But here the baby was brought in by the
nurse, and the queen almost devoured it with



PRINCE PRIGIO.



kisses. And so the fairies were not invited !
It was an extraordinary thing, but none of the
nobles could come to the christening party
when they learned that the fairies had not been
asked. Some were abroad ; several were ill ; a
few were in prison among the Saracens; others
were captives in the dens of ogres. The end of
it was that the king and queen had to sit down
alone, one at each end of a very long table,
arrayed with plates and glasses for a hundred
guests for a hundred guests who never
came !

" Any soup, my dear ? " shouted the king,
through a speaking-trumpet; when, suddenly,
the air was filled with a sound like the rustling
of the wings of birds.

Flitter, flitter, flutter, went the noise ; and
when the queen looked up, lo and behold ! on
every seat was a lovely fairy, dressed in green,
each with a most interesting-looking parcel in her
hand. Don't you like opening parcels ? The
king did, and he was most friendly and polite
to the fairies. But the queen, though she saw
them distinctly, took no notice of them. You
see, she did not believe in fairies, nor in her
own eyes, when she saw them. So she talked
across the fairies to the king, just as if they
had not been there ; but the king behaved as
politely as if they were real which, of course,
they were.

When dinner was over, and when the nurse



PRINCE PRIGIO.



had brought in the baby, all the fairies gave
him the most magnificent presents. One offered
a purse which could never be empty ; and one a
pair of seven-leagued boots ; and another a cap
of darkness, that nobody might see the prince
when he put it on; and another a wishing-cap;
and another a carpet, on which, when he sat,
he was carried wherever he wished to find
himself. Another made him beautiful for
ever; and another, brave ; and another, lucky:
but the last fairy of all, a cross old thing,
crept up and said, " My child, you shall be too
clever ! "

This fairy's gift would have pleased the queen,
if she had believed in it, more than anything
else, because she was so clever herself. But
she took no notice at all ; and the fairies went
each to her own country, and none of them
stayed there at the palace, where nobody be-
lieved in them, except the king, a little. But
the queen tossed all their nice boots and caps,
carpets, purses, swords, and all, away into a
dark lumber-room ; for, of course, she thought
that they were all nonsense, and merely old rub-
bish out of books, or pantomime " properties.'*



PRINCE PRIGIO.



CHAPTER II.

prince ^rigio and, his



"ELL, the little prince grew up. I think
I 've told you that his name was Prigio
did I not ? Well, that was his name.
You cannot think how clever he was. He
argued with
his nurse as

soon as he could

speak, which was

very soon. He

argued that he did

not like to be

washed, because ,

the soap got into

his eyes. How-
ever, when he was

told all about the

pores of the skin,

and how they

could not be

healthy if he was

not washed, he at once ceased to resist, for

he was very reasonable. He argued with his

father that he did not see why there should

be kings who were rich, while beggars were




PRINCE PRIG 10.



poor ; and why the king who was a little
greedy should have poached eggs and plum-
cake at afternoon tea, while many other persons
went without dinner. The king was so sur-
prised and hurt at these remarks that he boxed
the prince's ears, saying, " I '11 teach you to be
too clever, my lad." Then he remembered the
awful curse of the oldest fairy, and was sorry for
the rudeness of the queen. And when the prince,
after having his ears boxed, said that " force was
no argument," the king went away in a rage.

Indeed, I cannot tell you how the prince
was hated by all ! He would go down into
the kitchen, and show the cook how to make
soup. He would visit the poor people's cot-
tage, and teach them how to make the beds,
and how to make plum pudding out of turnip-
tops, and venison cutlets out of rusty bacon.
He showed the fencing-master how to fence,
and the professional cricketer how to bowl, and
instructed the rat-catcher in breeding terriers.
He set sums to the Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer, and assured the Astronomer Royal
that the sun does not go round the earth
which, for my part, I believe it does. The
young ladies of the court disliked dancing with
hitn, in spite of his good looks, because he was
always asking, " Have you read this ? " and
" Have you read that ? " and when they said
they hadn't, he sneered ; and when they said
they had, he found them out.



PRINCE PR1GLO.



He found out all his tutors and masters in the
same horrid way ; correcting the accent of his
French teacher, and trying to get his German
tutor not to eat peas with his knife. He also
endeavoured to teach the queen-dowager, his
grandmother, an art with which she had long
been perfectly familiar ! In fact, he knew
everything better than anybody else ; and the




worst of it was that he did : and he never was
in the wrong, and he always said, "Didn't I
tell you so ? " And, what was more, he had !

As time went on, Prince Prigio had two
younger brothers, whom everybody liked.
They were not a bit clever, but jolly. Prince
Alphonso, the third son, was round, fat, good-



PRINCE PRIGIO. IS

humoured, and as brave as a lion. Prince
Enrico, the second, was tall, thin, and a little
sad, but never too clever. Both were in love
with two of their own cousins (with the ap-
proval of their dear parents) ; and all the
world said, " What nice, unaffected princes
they are ! " But Prigio nearly got the country
into several wars by being too clever for the
foreign ambassadors. Now, as Pantouflia was-
a rich, lazy country, which hated fighting, this
was very unpleasant, and did not make people
love Prince Prigio any better.



PRINCE PRIGIO.



CHAPTER III.

tAbout the ^iredralie.

all the people who did not like Prigio,
his own dear papa, King Grognio, dis-
liked him most. For the king knew he
was not clever himself. When he was
in the counting-house, counting out his
money, and when he happened to say,
*' Sixteen shillings and fourteen and twopence
are three pounds, fifteen," it made him wild to
hear Prigio whisper, " One pound, ten and two-
pence," which, of course, it is. And the king
was afraid that Prigio would conspire, and get
made king himself which was the last thing
Prigio really wanted. He much preferred to
idle about, and know everything without seem-
ing to take any trouble.

Well, the king thought and thought. How
was he to get Prigio out of the way, and make
Enrico or Alphonso his successor ? He read
in books about it ; and all the books showed
that, if a king sent his three sons to do anything,
it was always the youngest who did it, and got
the crown. And he wished he had the chance.
Well, it arrived at last.



PRINCE PRIG 10.



There was a very hot summer ! It began to
be hot in March. All the rivers were dried up.
The grass did not grow. The corn did not
grow. The
thermom-
eters ex-
ploded with
heat. The
barometers
stood at
SET FAIR.
The people
were much
distressed,
and came
and broke
the palace
dows as
usually do
things go
in Pantouflia.

The king con-
sulted the learned
men about the
Court, who told him that probably a

FlREDRAKE

was in the neighbourhood.

Now, the Firedrake is a beast, or bird, about
the bigness of an elephant. Its body is made
of iron, and it is always red-hot. A more ter-




1 6 PRINCE PRIGIO.

rible and cruel beast cannot be imagined ; for,
if you go near it, you are at once broiled by
the Firedrake.

But the king was not ill-pleased : " for,"
thought he, "of course my three sons must
go after the brute, the eldest first ; and, as
usual, it will kill the first two, and be beaten
by the youngest. It is a little hard on Enrico,
poor boy ; but anything to get rid of that
Prigio ! "

Then the king went to Prigio, and said that
his country was in danger, and that he was
determined to leave the crown to whichever of
them would bring him the horns (for it has
horns) and tail of the Firedrake.

" It is an awkward brute to tackle," the king
said, "but you are the oldest, my lad; go where
glory waits you ! Put on your armour, and be
off with you ! "

This the king said, hoping that either the
Firedrake would roast Prince Prigio alive
(which he could easily do, as I have said ; for
he is all over as hot as a red-hot poker), or that,
if the prince succeeded, at least his country
would be freed from the monster.

But the prince, who was lying on the sofa
doing sums in compound division, for fun, said
in the politest way :

"Thanks to the education your majesty has
given me, I have learned that the Firedrake,
like the siren, the fairy, and so forth, is a fabu-



1 8 PRINCE PRIG 10.



lous animal which does not exist. But even
granting, for the sake of argument, that there
is a Firedrake, your majesty is well aware that
there is no kind of use in sending me. It is
always the eldest son who goes out first, and
comes to grief on these occasions, and it is
always the third son that succeeds. Send
Alphonso " (this was the youngest brother),
" and he will do the trick at once. At least, if
he fails, it will be most unusual, and Enrico
can try his luck."

Then he went back to his arithmetic and his
slate, and the king had to send for Prince
Alphonso and Prince Enrico. They both came
in very warm ; for they had been whipping tops,
and the day was unusually hot.

"Look here," said the king, "just you two
younger ones look at Prigio ! You see how hot
it is, and how coolly he takes it, and the country
suffering; and all on account of a Firedrake,
you know, which has apparently built his
nest not far off. Well, I have asked that
lout of a brother of yours to kill it, and he
says "

" That he does not believe in Firedrakes,"
interrupted Prigio. "The weather's warm
enough without going out hunting ! "

" Not believe in Firedrakes ! " cried Alphonso.
" I wonder what you do believe in ! Just let me
get at the creature ! " for he was as brave as a
lion. " Hi ! Page, my chain-armour, helmet,




PRINCE PRIGIO. 19

lance, and buckler ! A Molinda ! A Molinda ! "
which was his war-cry.

The page ran to get the armour; but it
was so uncommonly hot that he
dropped it, and put his fingers
in his mouth, crying!

" You had better put on flan-
nels, Alphonso, for this kind of
work," said Prigio. "And if I
were you, I'd take a light
garden-engine, full of water, to
squirt at the enemy."

" Happy thought ! " said
Alphonso. " I will ! " And off
he went, kissed his dear Molinda,
bade her keep a lot of dances for him (there
was to be a dance when he had killed the
Firedrake), and then he rushed to the field !

But he never came back any more !

Everyone wept bitterly everyone but Prince
Prigio ; for he thought it was a practical joke,
and said that Alphonso had taken the oppor-
tunity to start off on his travels and see the
world.

"There is some dreadful mistake, sir," said
Prigio to the king. " You know as well as
I do that the youngest son has always suc-
ceeded, up to now. But I entertain great
hopes of Enrico ! "

And he grinned; for he fancied it was all
nonsense, and that there were no Firedrakes.
3



PRINCE PRIGIO.



Enrico was present when Prigio was consoling
the king in this unfeeling way.

" Enrico, my boy," said his majesty, " the
task awaits you, and the honour. When you
come back with the horns and tail of the Fire-
drake, you shall be crown prince ; and Prigio
shall be made an usher at the Grammar School
it is all he is fit for."

Enrico was not quite so confident as Alphonso
had been. He insisted on making his will ;
and he wrote a poem about the pleasures
and advantages of dying young. This is
part of it :

The violet is a blossom sweet,

That droops before the day is done
Slain by thine overpowering heat,
Sun !

And I, like that sweet purple flower,

May roast, or boil, or broil, or bales,
If burned by thy terrific power,
Firedrake !

This poem comforted Enrico more or less,
and he showed it to Prigio. But the prince
only laughed, and said that the second line of
the last verse was not very good ; for violets do
not " roast, or boil, or broil, or bake."

Enrico tried to improve it, but could not.
So he read it to his cousin, Lady Kathleena,
just as it was ; and she cried over it (though I



PRINCE PRIGIO.



don't think she understood it); and Enrico
cried a little, too.

However, next day he started, with a spear,
a patent refrigerator, and a lot of the bottles
people throw at fires to put them out.

But he never came back again !

After shedding torrents of tears, the king
summoned Prince Prigio to his presence.

" Dastard ! " he said. " Poltroon ! Your turn,
which should have come first, has arrived at
last. You must fetch me the horns and the tail
of the Firedrake. Probably you will be grilled,
thank goodness; but who will give me back
Enrico and Alphonso ? "

"Indeed, your majesty," said Prigio, "you
must permit me to correct your policy. Your
only reason for dispatching your sons in pursuit
of this dangerous but I believe fabulous animal,
was to ascertain which of us would most wor-
thily succeed to your throne, at the date long
may it be deferred ! of your lamented decease.
Now, there can be no further question about
the matter. I, unworthy as I am, represent the


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Online LibraryAndrew LangMy own fairy book : namely, certain chronicles of Pantouflia, as notably the adventures of Prigio, prince of that country, and of his son, Ricardo, with an excerpt from the Annals of Scotland, as touching Ker of Fairnilee, his sojourn with the Queen of Faery; → online text (page 1 of 14)