Short Stories » Septimus

Septimus Story - Page 5

"Calm your uneasiness, my dear Gilletta, and remember that your happiness depends on confidence and discretion ; you have begun Well by your exactitude in giving me your cakes and cheeses, and my gratitude will do the rest ; but always be convinced that ' every thing comes in time to him who can wait,' and that you may hope every thing from your friend, " The Fairy of the Fields."

This note, together with her confidence in the power of the fairies, sufficed to calm her inquietude, and, addressing a little linnet which she perceived at the top of her bed : " Linnet, pretty linnet," said she " I will do all that you wish, but tell me I beg of you, as soon as you hear of him, some news of my little Septimus." At these words the linnet fluttered its wings, sang a few notes, and flew away; and the queen, persuaded that this was as much as to say, " I consent," thanked it and made the bird a low curtsey. In the mean time the king and his seneschal, tired of their useless pursuit, had returned r to the house, and finding the queen so very tranquil, the king was somewhat offended at her apparent indifference. He asked her several questions to ascertain the cause ; to which Gilletta gave no other answer than : " Every thing comes in time to him who can wait." This coolness so vexed him that he would have gone into a passion, if his seneschal had not urged on him that Gilletta was right, and that the poet Pibrac had said so before her in one of his couplets, which he forthwith recited. The king, to whom Carbuncle was an oracle, was silent, and listened with attention to a nice little sermon which he then preached to him on the evil of having children, and the vexation and expense that they almost always entail on their parents. " By my sceptre," said the king, " my father-in-law is right ; and those seven brats would have ruined me, had they remained with me much longer ; therefore, many thanks to him or her who has taken them ; as they came so are they gone : it is only so much lost time ; so let us rejoice and begin again." The queen, who was afraid of saying too much, very prudently said nothing ; and the king, having no more to say, returned to his closet and played a game at piquet with his seneschal.

While all this was passing with king Petard, the queen, his mother, tiring of her widow-hood, which had now lasted an unusually long time, resolved to re-marry. With this intention she cast her eyes on a young prince of a neighbouring kingdom, sovereign of the Green Isles. He was* handsome, well made, and his mind was as pleasing as his person ; his pleasures were his only employments ; nothing was to be heard of but his gallantries ; and it was averred that every pretty woman in his kingdom was deeply in love with him.

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