212 PRINCE RICARDO.
him up and make him more vicious. And I know of no other beast we can set against him, as I did with the Fire-beast and the Ice-beast, when I was young. Oh, for an idea!"
Then his mind, somehow, went back to the Council and the ponderous stupidity of the Prime Minister.
" Heavier than lead," said the king. " By George ! I have a plan. If I could get to the place where they keep the Stupidity, I could carry away enough of it to flatten out the Earthquaker."
Then he remembered how, in an old Italian poem, he had read about all the strange lumber-room of odd things which is kept in the moon. That is the advantage of reading : Knowledge is Power ; and you mostly get knowledge that is really worth having out of good old books which people do not usually read.
" If the Stupidity is kept in stock, up in the moon, and comes from there, falling naturally down on the earth in small quantities, I might obtain enough for my purpose," thought King Prigio. "But — how to get to the moon? There are difficulties about that."
But difficulties only sharpened the ingenuity of this admirable king.
" The other fellow had a Flying Horse," said he.
By "the other fellow" King Prigio meant