To Rosamund, chief among those for whom these tales are told, The Book of Dragons is dedicated in the confident hope that she, one of these days, will dedicate a book of her very own making to the one who now bids eight dreadful dragons crouch in all humbleness at those little brown feet.
chief among those for whom these tales are told,
The Book of Dragons is dedicated
in the confident hope
that she, one of these days, will dedicate a book
of her very own making
to the one who now bids
eight dreadful dragons
crouch in all humbleness
at those little brown feet.
The Book of Beasts:
He happened to be building a Palace when the news came, and he left all the bricks kicking about the floor for Nurse to clear up—but then the news was rather remarkable news. You see, there was a knock at the front door and voices talking downstairs, and Lionel thought it was the man come to see about the gas, which had not been allowed to be lighted since the day when Lionel made a swing by tying his skipping rope to the gas bracket.
And then, quite suddenly, Nurse came in and said, Master Lionel, dear, theyve come to fetch you to go and be King.
Then she made haste to change his smock and to wash his face and hands and brush his hair, and all the time she was doing it Lionel kept wriggling and fidgeting and saying, Oh, dont, Nurse, and, Im sure my ears are quite clean, or, Never mind my hair, its all right, and, Thatll do.
Youre going on as if you was going to be an eel instead of a King, said Nurse.
The minute Nurse let go for a moment Lionel bolted off without waiting for his clean handkerchief, and in the drawing room there were two very grave-looking gentlemen in red robes with fur, and gold coronets with velvet sticking up out of the middle like the cream in the very expensive jam tarts.
They bowed low to Lionel, and the gravest one said: Sire, your great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, the King of this country, is dead, and now you have got to come and be King.
Yes, please, sir, said Lionel, when does it begin?
You will be crowned this afternoon, said the grave gentleman who was not quite so grave-looking as the other.
Would you like me to bring Nurse, or what time would you like me to be fetched, and hadnt I better put on my velvet suit with the lace collar? said Lionel, who had often been out to tea.
Your Nurse will be removed to the Palace later. No, never mind about changing your suit; the Royal robes will cover all that up.
The grave gentlemen led the way to a coach with eight white horses, which was drawn up in front of the house where Lionel lived. It was No. 7, on the left-hand side of the street as you go up.
Lionel ran upstairs at the last minute, and he kissed Nurse and said: Thank you for washing me. I wish Id let you do the other ear. No—theres no time now. Give me the hanky. Good-bye, Nurse.