PRINCE RICARDO. 129
"You are quite right," said the princess; "but as there is no harm done, we'll say nothing about it this time. And, Rosina, you may keep the silver drops for yourself."
"Your Royal Highness is always very kind," said Rosina, which was true; but how much better and wiser it is not to begin to deceive! We never know how far we may be carried, and so Jaqueline found out.
For when she went down to breakfast, there was the king in a great state of excitement, for him.
" It's most extraordinary," said his Majesty.
"What is ?" asked the queen.
" Why, didn't you notice it ? No, you had gone to bed before it happened. But I was taking a walk in the moonlight, on the balcony, and I observed it carefully."
" Observed what, my dear ? " asked the queen, who was pouring out the tea.
" Didn't you see it, Dick? Late as usual,you young dog!" the king remarked as Ricardo entered the room.
"See what, sir?" said Dick.
" Oh, you were asleep hours before, now I think of it ! But it was the most extraordinary thing, an unpredicted eclipse of the moon! You must have noticed it, Jaqueline ; you sat up later. How the dogs howled ! "
" No; I mean yes," murmured poor Jaqueline, who of course had caused the whole affair