Short Stories » Septimus
Septimus Story - Page 3
As the king was loved by his subjects, rejoicings were duly made, the same day and hour, all over the kingdom to celebrate this event.
" Every thing comes in time to him who can wait," said the queen quietly. And thus, instead of one child, at one birth she brought Petard seven ; three boys, three girls, and then another boy. The last child had the most beautiful eyes that were ever seen ; a white skin, and eyebrows, like his hair, black as jet ; as he was born with curly hair, the king and queen liked him better than the others ; and the queen absolutely wished herself to nurse her little Septimus, which was his name.
At the end of eighteen months the three princes became so lively and playful, that the nurses could not do any thing with them. When they complained to the king, he answered them : " Let them alone ; when they shall be as old as I am, they will not be so lively : I was the same, I who am now speaking to you : and all in good time." The three princesses, on the contrary, were gentle ; but so dull, so quiet, that they would remain in any places they were put ; which caused the king to like his sons best, and the queen to prefer her daughters, except in regard to Septimus, who had none of his brothers' and sisters' defects and was the prettiest child in the world. He would soon have been spoiled, if a kind fairy, unknown to Gangan and even to Gilletta, had not endowed him with an equable and unchangeable character.
When it was necessary to wean the children of their majesties, a cabinet council was called, composed of the seneschal, the solicitor general, the chamberlain and the nurses, who were also summoned. After a long discussion, it was resolved, by the advice of Carbuncle, to use cows' milk for the three beys, and goats' milk for the three girls : this appeared to be a very good and simple means of correcting the vivacity of the princes, and the dullness of the princesses ; but, when they were older, and it became necessary to give them more substantial food, they consumed such an enormous quantity, that the king's revenues were considerably diminished thereby ; besides, as the princes had only lost part of then* vivacity by their early nourishment, and the princesses had acquired an additional quantity, there was an uproar and frightful quarrelling all day long. They fought and pulled each other about, and wore out so many, many clothes, that there could hardly be enough found for them. The little Septimus alone was mild and obedient ; and his brothers and sisters were always playing him some roguish trick. The king would frequently say to the queen:" Your three daughters grow excessively tall, and by my sceptre, I hardly know what I shall do with them ; as for my boys I will give them the care of my farm; but for your daughters, it is different." To which the queen would answer : " Sire, let us have patience ; for every thing comes in time to him who can wait."