PRINCE RICARDO. 169
big cairngorm set in the top, and the Frazer arms.
" Most astonishing! " said King James.
" A miracle! " said the Duke of York.
" You have entirely cleared your character," said the king. "Your honour is without a stain, though it is a pity about the carpet. Your nobility in not using your magical sword, under the greatest provocation, reconciles me to this fresh blighting of my hopes. All my allies fail me," said the poor king with a sigh ; "you alone have failed with honour. Carluccio, embrace the prince ! "
They fell into each other's arms.
" Prince," said Dick, " you have taught me a lesson for which I shall not be ungrateful. With any blade a gentleman should be able to hold his own in fair fight. I shall no longer neglect my fencing lessons."
" With any blade," said Prince Charles, " I shall be happy to find Prince Ricardo by my side in a stricken field. Wfe shall not part till I have induced you to accept a sword which I can never hope to draw against another adversary so noble. In war, my weapon is the claymore."
Here the prince ottered to Ricardo the ruby-studded hilt of his rapier, which had a beautiful white shark-skin sheath.
"You must accept it, sir," said King James; "the hilt holds the rubies of John Sobieski."