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The Rose and the Ring or The History of Prince Giglio and Prince Bulbo
The Rose and the Ring or The History of Prince Giglio and Prince Bulbo Author:William Makepeace Thackeray Prelude — It happened that the undersigned spent the last Christmas season in a foreign city where there were many English children. — In that city, if you wanted to give a child's party, you could not even — get a magic-lantern or buy Twelfth-Night characters--those funny painted pictures of the King, the Queen, the Lover, the Lady, the Dandy, the... more » Captain, and so on--with which our young ones are wont to recreate
themselves at this festive time.
My friend Miss Bunch, who was governess of a large family that lived in
the Piano Nobile of the house inhabited by myself and my young charges
(it was the Palazzo Poniatowski at Rome, and Messrs. Spillmann, two
of the best pastrycooks in Christendom, have their shop on the ground
floor): Miss Bunch, I say, begged me to draw a set of Twelfth-Night
characters for the amusement of our young people.
She is a lady of great fancy and droll imagination, and having looked
at the characters, she and I composed a history about them, which
was recited to the little folks at night, and served as our Fireside
Our juvenile audience was amused by the adventures of Giglio and Bulbo,
Rosalba and Angelica. I am bound to say the fate of the Hall Porter
created a considerable sensation; and the wrath of Countess Gruffanuff
was received with extreme pleasure.
If these children are pleased, thought I, why should not others be
amused also? In a few days Dr. Birch's young friends will be expected
to reassemble at Rodwell Regis, where they will learn everything that
is useful, and under the eyes of careful ushers continue the business of
their little lives.
But, in the meanwhile, and for a brief holiday, let us laugh and be as
pleasant as we can. And you elder folk--a little joking, and dancing,
and fooling will do even you no harm. The author wishes you a merry
Christmas, and welcomes you to the Fireside Pantomime.