PRINCE PRIGIO. 21
don't think she understood it); and Enrico cried a little, too.
However, next day he started, with a spear, a patent refrigerator, and a lot of the bottles people throw at fires to put them out.
But he never came back again !
After shedding torrents of tears, the king summoned Prince Prigio to his presence.
" Dastard!" he said. " Poltroon ! Your turn, which should have come first, has arrived at last. You must fetch me the horns and the tail of the Firedrake. Probably you will be grilled, thank goodness; but who will give me back Enrico and Alphonso ? "
"Indeed, your majesty," said Prigio, "you must permit me to correct your policy. Your only reason for dispatching your sons in pursuit of this dangerous but I believe fabulous animal, was to ascertain which of us would most worthily succeed to your throne, at the date—long may it be deferred !—of your lamented decease. Now, there can be no further question about the matter. I, unworthy as I am, represent the sole hope of the royal family. Therefore to send me after the Firedrake were* both dangerous and unnecessary. Dangerous, because, if he treats me as you say he did my brothers— my unhappy brothers,—the throne of Pantou-flia will want an heir. But, if I do come back alive—why, I cannot be more the true heir than * Subjunctive mood ! He was a great grammarian !