+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

making the most unmeaning speeches that
ever were heard in the Prince's name, and
uniformly showing themselves to be very
inefficient indeed. Though, that some of
them had excellent characters from previous
situations is not to be denied. Well! Prince
Bull called his servants together, and said to
them one and all, " Send out my army against
Prince Bear. Clothe it, arm it, feed it,
provide it with all necessaries and contingencies,
and I will pay the piper! Do your duty
by my brave troops," said the Prince, "and do
it well, and I will pour my treasure out like
water, to defray the cost. Who ever heard
ME complain of money well laid out! " Which
indeed he had reason for saying, inasmuch as
he was well known to be a truly generous
and munificent Prince.

When the servants heard those words, they
sent out the army against Prince Bear, and
they set the army tailors to work, and the
army provision merchants, and the makers
of guns both great and small, and the
gunpowder makers, and the makers of ball, shell,
and shot; and they bought up all manner of
stores and ships, without troubling their
heads about the price, and appeared to be so
busy that the good Prince rubbed his hands,
and (using a favourite expression of his),
said, " It's all right! " But, while they were
thus employed, the Prince's godmother, who
was a great favourite with those servants,
looked in upon them continually all day long,
and whenever she popped in her head at the
door, said, " How do you do, my children?
What are you doing here? " " Official business,
godmother." " Oho! " says this wicked
Fairy. "—Tape! " And then the business
all went wrong, whatever it was, and the
servants' heads became so addled and
muddled that they thought they were doing

Now, this was very bad conduct on the
part of the vicious old nuisance, and she
ought to have been strangled, even if she had
stopped here; but, she didn't stop here, as
you shall learn. For, a number of the Prince's
subjects, being very fond of the Prince's
army who were the bravest of men, assembled
together and provided all manner of eatables
and drinkables, and books to read, and clothes
to wear, and tobacco to smoke, and candles to
burn, and nailed them up in great packing-cases,
and put them aboard a great many
ships, to be carried out to that brave army
in the cold and inclement country where
they were fighting Prince Bear. Then, up
comes this wicked Fairy as the ships were
weighing anchor, and says, " How do you do,
my children? What are you doing here? "—
"We are going with all these comforts to
the army, godmother."—" Oho! " says she.
"A pleasant voyage, my darlings.—Tape!"
And from that time forth, those enchanted
ships went sailing, against wind and tide and
rhyme and reason, round and round the
world, and whenever they touched at any
port were ordered off immediately, and could
never deliver their cargoes anywhere.

This, again, was very bad conduct on the
part of the vicious old nuisance, and she
ought to have been strangled for it if she had
done nothing worse; but, she did something
worse still, as you shall learn. For, she got
astride of an official broomstick, and muttered
as a spell these two sentences " On Her
Majesty's service," and "I have the honour to
be, sir, your most obedient servant," and
presently alighted in the cold and inclement
country where the army of Prince Bull were
encamped to fight the army of Prince Bear.
On the seashore of that country, she found
piled together, a number of houses for the
army to live in, and a quantity of provisions
for the army to live upon, and a quantity of
clothes for the army to wear: while, sitting
in the mud gazing at them, were a group of
officers as red to look at as the wicked old
woman herself. So, she said to one of
them, " Who are you, my darling, and how
do you do? "—" I am the Quarter-master
General's Department, godmother, and I am
pretty well."—Then she said to another,
"Who are you, my darling, and how do you
do? "—"I am the Commissariat Department,
godmother, and I am pretty well."
Then she said to another, " Who are you, my
darling, and how do you do? "—" I am the
head of the Medical Department, godmother,
and I am pretty well." Then, she said to
some gentlemen scented with lavender, who
kept themselves at a great distance from the
rest, " And who are you, my pretty pets, and
how do you do? " And they answered,"
We-aw-are-the-aw-Staff- aw-Department,
godmother, and we are very well indeed."—" I
am delighted to see you all, my beauties,"
says this wicked old Fairy, "—Tape! " Upon
that, the houses, clothes, and provisions, all
mouldered away; and the soldiers who were
sound, fell sick; and the soldiers who were
sick, died miserably; and the noble army of
Prince Bull perished.

When the dismal news of his great loss
was carried to the Prince, he suspected his
godmother very much indeed; but, he knew
that his servants must have kept company with
the malicious beldame, and must have given
way to her, and therefore he resolved to turn
those servants out of their places. So, he
called to him a Roebuck who had the gift of
speech, and he said, " Good Boebuck, tell
them they must go." So, the good Roebuck
delivered his message, so like a man that you
might have supposed him to be nothing but
a man, and they were turnedout but, not
without warning, for that they had had a long

And now comes the most extraordinary part
of the history of this Prince. When he had
turned out those servants, of course he
wanted others. What was his astonishment
to find that in all his dominions, which
contained no less than twenty-seven millions' of