Long Live the King
The Day Of The Carnival
On the day of the Carnival, which was the last day before the beginning of Lent, Prince
Ferdinand William Otto wakened early. The Palace still slept, and only the street-
sweepers were about the streets. Prince Ferdinand William Otto sat up in bed and
yawned. This was a special day, he knew, but at first he was too drowsy to remember.
Then he knew - the Carnival! A delightful day, with the Place full of people in strange
costumes - peasants, imps, jesters, who cut capers on the grass in the Park, little girls in
procession, wearing costumes of fairies with gauze wings, students who paraded and
blew noisy horns, even horses decorated, and now and then a dog dressed as a dancer or a
He would have enjoyed dressing Toto in something or other. He decided to mention it to
Nikky, and with a child's faith he felt that Nikky would, so to speak, come up to the
He yawned again, and began to feel hungry. He decided to get up and take his own bath.
There was nothing like getting a good start for a gala day. And, since with the Crown
Prince to decide was to do, which is not always a royal trait, he took his own bath, being
very particular about his ears, and not at all particular about the rest of him. Then, no
Oskar having yet appeared with fresh garments he ducked back into bed again, quite bare
as to his small body, and snuggled down in the sheets.
Lying there, he planned the day. There were to be no lessons except fencing, which could
hardly be called a lesson at all, and as he now knew the "Gettysburg Address," he meant
to ask permission to recite it to his grandfather. To be quite sure of it, he repeated it to
himself as he lay there: -
"'Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation,
conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.'
"Free and equal," he said to himself. That rather puzzled him. Of course people were free,
but they did not seem to be equal. In the summer, at the summer palace, he was only
allowed to see a few children, because the others were what his Aunt Annunciata called
"bourgeois." And there was in his mind also something Miss Braithwaite had said, after
his escapade with the American boy.
"If you must have some child to play with," she had said severely, "you could at least
choose some one approximately your equal."
"But he is my equal," he had protested from the outraged depths of his small democratic
"In birth," explained Miss Braithwaite.