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Fairy Adventures from Chronicles of Pantouflia By Andrew Lang

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position, because I cannot break my promise. But your base and malevolent nature is even more conspicuously manifest in your selfish success than in your previous dastardly con­tempt of duty. Why, confound you ! " cried the king, dropping the high style in which he had been speaking, and becoming the father, not the monarch,—"why, if you could kill the Firedrake, did you let your poor little brothers go and be b—b—b—broiled ? Eh! what do you say, you sneak? 'You didn't believe there were any Firedrakes ?' That just comes of your eternal conceit and arrogance! If you were clever enough to kill the creature—and I admit that—you were clever enough to know that what everybody said must be true. ' You have not generally found it so ? ' Well, you have this time, and let it be a lesson to you; not that there is much comfort in that, for it is not likely you will ever have such another chance " —exactly the idea that had occurred to Benson.
Here the king wept, among the tears of the lord chief justice, the poet laureate (who had been awfully frightened when he heard of the rattlesnakes), the maids of honour, the chaplain royal, and everyone but Colonel McDougal, a Scottish soldier of fortune, who maintained a military reserve.
When his majesty had recovered, he said to Prigio (wlio had not been crying, he was too much absorbed) .
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