PRINCE RICARDO. l8l
us abo::t him," said the king. " He is no favourite of mine."
" He is the only one, if you notice, sir, of all the scoundrels about whom our ancestors inform us, who escaped the doom which he richl, merited at the sword of a good knight."
You may here remark that, since Dick took to his studies, he could speak, when he chose, like a printed book, which was by no means the case before.
" If you remember, sir, he polished off—I mean, he slew—the King of the Golden Mines and the beautiful, though frivolous, Princess Frutilla. All that the friendly Mermaid could do for them was to turn them into a pair of beautiful trees which intertwine their branches. Not much use in that, sir ! And nothing was done to the scoundrel. He may be going on still; and, with your leave, I '11 go and try a sword-thrust with him. Francalanza says I'm improving uncommon."
" You'll take the usual Sword of Sharpness," said his Majesty.
"What, sir, to a dwarf? Not I, indeed: a common small sword is good enough to settle him."
" They say he is very cunning of fence," said the king; " and besides, I have heard something of a diamond sword that he stole from the King of the Golden Mines."
"Very likely he has lost it or sold it, the