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Fairy Adventures from Chronicles of Pantouflia By Andrew Lang

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PRINCE RICARDO.                          2IJ
wand with twisted serpents, and he became luminous, light raying out from him ; and the dark lady, too, shone like silver in the night: and on they flew, over black rocks and black rivers, till they reached a huge mountain, like a mountain of coal, many thousand feet high, for its head was lost in the blackness of dark­ness. The dark Moon - Lady struck the rock with her ebony wand, and said, " Open ! " and the cliffs opened like a door, and they were within the mountain.
"Here," said the dark lady, "is the store­house of all the Stupidity ; hence it descends in showers like Stardust on the earth whenever this mountain, which is a volcano, is in erup­tion. Only a little of the Stupidity reaches the earth, and that only in invisible dust; yet you know how weighty it is, even in that form."
"Indeed, madam," said the king, "no one knows it better than I do."
" Then make your choice of the best sort of Stupidity for your purpose," said the dark lady.
And in the light which flowed from their bodies King Prigio looked round at the various kinds of Solid Stupidity. There it all lay in masses — the Stupidity of bad sermons, of ignorant reviewers, of bad poems, of bad speeches, of dreary novels, of foolish states­men, of ignorant mobs, of fine ladies, of idle, naughty boys and girls ; and the king examined
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