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The Magic of Fishbone by Charls Dickens

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  The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Magic Fishbone, by Charles Dickens,Illustrated by S. Beatrice PearseThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: The Magic Fishbone A Holiday Romance from the Pen of Miss Alice Rainbird, Aged 7 Author: Charles DickensRelease Date: November 5, 2007 [eBook #23344]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MAGIC FISHBONE***E-text prepared by Anne Storer and the Project Gutenberg OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team ( from digital materialgenerously made available by Internet Archive/American Libraries( Project Gutenberg also has an HTML version of this file which includes the srcinal illustrations. See 23344-h.htm or ( or  ( Images of the srcinal pages are available through Internet Archive/American Libraries. See  THE MAGIC FISHBONEbyCHARLES DICKENSWith Illustrations by S. Beatrice Pearse[Illustration: The Queen came in most splendidly dressed p. 27]THE MAGIC FISHBONE A Holiday Romancefrom the Pen of Miss Alice Rainbird Aged 7.byCHARLES DICKENSLondon: Constable and Co. Ltd.FOREWORDThe story contained herein was written by Charles Dickens in 1867. It isthe second of four stories entitled Holiday Romance and was publishedsrcinally in a children's magazine in America. It purports to be writtenby a child aged seven. It was republished in England in All the Year Round in 1868. For this and four other Christmas pieces Dickens receivedL1,000. Holiday Romance was published in book form by Messrs Chapman & Hall in1874, with Edwin Drood and other stories.For this reprint the text of the story as it appeared in All the Year Round has been followed. * * * * *  [Illustration: SEVERAL OF THE CHILDREN WERE GROWING OUT OF THEIR CLOTHES]There was once a King, and he had a Queen; and he was the manliest of his sex, and she was the loveliest of hers. The King was, in his privateprofession, Under Government. The Queen's father had been a medical manout of town.They had nineteen children, and were always having more. Seventeen of these children took care of the baby; and Alicia, the eldest, took careof them all. Their ages varied from seven years to seven months.Let us now resume our story.One day the King was going to the office, when he stopped at thefishmonger's to buy a pound and a half of salmon not too near the tail,which the Queen (who was a careful housekeeper) had requested him to sendhome. Mr Pickles, the fishmonger, said, Certainly, sir, is there anyother article, Good-morning. The King went on towards the office in a melancholy mood, for quarter daywas such a long way off, and several of the dear children were growing outof their clothes. He had not proceeded far, when Mr Pickles's errand-boycame running after him, and said, Sir, you didn't notice the old lady inour shop. What old lady? enquired the King. I saw none. Now, the King had not seen any old lady, because this old lady had beeninvisible to him, though visible to Mr Pickles's boy. Probably because hemessed and splashed the water about to that degree, and flopped the pairsof soles down in that violent manner, that, if she had not been visible tohim, he would have spoilt her clothes.Just then the old lady came trotting up. She was dressed in shot-silk of the richest quality, smelling of dried lavender. King Watkins the First, I believe? said the old lady. Watkins, replied the King, is my name. Papa, if I am not mistaken, of the beautiful Princess Alicia? said theold lady. And of eighteen other darlings, replied the King. Listen. You are going to the office, said the old lady.It instantly flashed upon the King that she must be a Fairy, or how couldshe know that? You are right, said the old lady, answering his thoughts, I am the GoodFairy Grandmarina. Attend. When you return home to dinner, politely invitethe Princess Alicia to have some of the salmon you bought just now.   It may disagree with her, said the King.The old lady became so very angry at this absurd idea, that the King wasquite alarmed, and humbly begged her pardon. We hear a great deal too much about this thing disagreeing, and thatthing disagreeing, said the old lady, with the greatest contempt it waspossible to express. Don't be greedy. I think you want it all yourself. The King hung his head under this reproof, and said he wouldn't talk aboutthings disagreeing, any more. Be good, then, said the Fairy Grandmarina, and don't! When thebeautiful Princess Alicia consents to partake of the salmon--as I thinkshe will--you will find she will leave a fish-bone on her plate. Tellher to dry it, and to rub it, and to polish it till it shines likemother-of-pearl, and to take care of it as a present from me. Is that all? asked the King. Don't be impatient, sir, returned the Fairy Grandmarina, scolding himseverely. Don't catch people short, before they have done speaking. Justthe way with you grown-up persons. You are always doing it. The King again hung his head, and said he wouldn't do so any more. Be good then, said the Fairy Grandmarina, and don't! Tell the Princess Alicia, with my love, that the fish-bone is a magic present which can onlybe used once; but that it will bring her, that once, whatever she wishesfor, PROVIDED SHE WISHES FOR IT AT THE RIGHT TIME. That is themessage. Take care of it. [Illustration: HOITY TOITY ME!]The King was beginning, Might I ask the reason--? when the Fairy becameabsolutely furious. _Will_ you be good, sir? she exclaimed, stamping her foot on the ground. The reason for this, and the reason for that, indeed! You are alwayswanting the reason. No reason. There! Hoity toity me! I am sick of your grown-up reasons. The King was extremely frightened by the old lady's flying into such apassion, and said he was very sorry to have offended her, and he wouldn'task for reasons any more. Be good then, said the old lady, and don't! With those words, Grandmarina vanished, and the King went on and on andon, till he came to the office. There he wrote and wrote and wrote, tillit was time to go home again. Then he politely invited the Princess Alicia, as the Fairy had directed him, to partake of the salmon. Andwhen she had enjoyed it very much, he saw the fish-bone on her plate, as
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