150 PRINCE RICARDO.
" Then give it back to her when you see her next. I am glad you are frank, Jaqueline. And you know, of course, that the drops are not ordinary silver ? They are moon silver, and that can only be got in one way, so far as I know, at least—when one spills the water when he, or she, is drinking the moon. Now, there is only one book which tells how that can be done, and there is only one reason for doing it; namely, to find out what is some other person's secret. I shall not ask you whose secret you wanted to find out, but I must request you never to do such a thing again without consulting me. You can have no reason for it, such as a great king might have whose enemies are plotting against his country."
"Oh, sire, I will tell you everything!" cried Jaqueline.
" No, don't; I don't want to know. I am sure you will make no use of your information which you think I should not approve of. But there is another thing — that eclipse of the moon ! Oh, Jaqueline, was it honourable, or fair to the astronomers and men of science, to say nothing about it ? Their European reputations are seriously injured."
Poor Jaqueline could only cry.
" Never mind," said his Majesty, comforting her. "There is no great harm done yet, and perhaps they would not believe you if you did