PRINCE RICARDO. 167
Now Ricardo had always neglected his fencing lessons. " Where's the good of it," he used to ask, " all that stamping, and posture-making, and ha-haing? The Sword of Sharpness is enough for me.7'
But now he could not, in honour, use the Sword of Sharpness; so on he came, waving the rapier like a claymore, and made a slice at Prince Charles's head.
The prince, very much surprised, parried in prime, riposted, and touched Dick on the hand.
At this moment the Princess Jaqueline did what she should have thought of sooner. She flew out of Dick's coat, and stung old King James on his royal nose. The king wakened, nearly crushed the princess (so dangerous is the practice of magic to the artist), and then leaped up, and saw Dick's blade flying through the air, glittering in the sun. The prince had disarmed him.
" Hullo ! what's all this ? A moi, mesgardes /" cried the old king, in French and English * and then he ran up, just in time to hear Prince Charles say :
" Sir, take your life! I cannot strike an unarmed man. A prince you may be, but you have not learned the exercises of gentlemen."
"What is all this, Carluccio?" asked the old king. " Swords out! brawling in my very presence! blood drawn!" for Dick's hand was bleeding a good deal.