HINGS in the palace were in a strange condition : the king playing with a child and dreaming wise dreams, waited upon by a little princess with the heart of a queen, and a youth from the mines, who went nowhere, not even into the king's chamber, without his mattock on his shoulder and a horrible animal at his heels ; in a room near by the colonel of his guard, also in bed, without a soldier to obey him; in six other rooms, far apart, six miscreants, each watched by a beast-gaoler ; ministers to them all, an old woman, a young woman, and a page; and in the wine-cellar, forty-three animals, creatures more grotesque
than ever brain of man invented. None dared approach its gates, and seldom one issued from them.
All the dwellers in the city were united in enmity to
the palace. It swarmed with evil spirits, they said/