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ONCE upon a time, and of course it was in
the Golden Age, and I hope you may know
when that was, for I am sure I don't, though
I have tried hard to find out, there lived in a
rich and fertile country, a powerful Prince
whose name was BULL. He had gone through
a great deal of fighting in his time, about all
sorts of things, including nothing; but, had
gradually settled down to be a steady, peaceable,
good-natured, corpulent, rather sleepy

This Puissant Prince was married to a
lovely Princess whose name was Fair Freedom.
She had brought him a large fortune,
and had borne him an immense number of
children, and had set them to spinning, and
farming, and engineering, and soldiering, and
sailoring, and doctoring, and lawyering, and
preaching, and all kinds of trades. The coffers
of Prince Bull were full of treasure, his cellars
were crammed with delicious wines from all
parts of the world, the richest gold and silver
plate that ever was seen adorned his
sideboards, his sons were strong, his daughters
were handsome, and in short you might have
supposed that if there ever lived upon earth
a fortunate and happy Prince, the name of
that Prince, take him for all in all, was
assuredly Prince Bull.

But, appearances, as we all know, are not
always to be trustedfar from it; and if they
had led you to this conclusion respecting
Prince Bull, they would have led you wrong,
as they often have led me.

For, this good Prince had two sharp thorns
in his pillow, two hard knobs in his crown, two
heavy loads on his mind, two unbridled nightmares
in his sleep, two rocks ahead in his
course. He could not by any means get
servants to suit him, and he had a tyrannical
old godmother whose name was Tape.

She was a Fairy, this Tape, and was a
bright red all over. She was disgustingly
prim and formal, and could never bend herself
a hair's breadth this way or that way, out of
her naturally crooked shape. But, she was
very potent in her wicked art. She could
stop the fastest thing in the world, change
he strongest thing into the weakest, and the
most useful into the most useless. To do this
she had only to put her cold hand upon it,
and repeat her own name, Tape. Then it
withered away.

At the Court of Prince Bullat least I
don't mean literally at his court, because he
was a very genteel Prince, and readily yielded
to his godmother when she always reserved
that for his hereditary Lords and Ladiesin
the dominions of Prince Bull, among the great
mass of the community who were called in the
language of that polite country the Mobs and
the Snobs, were a number of very ingenious
men, who were always busy with some invention
or other, for promoting the prosperity of
the Prince's subjects, and augmenting the
Prince's power. But, whenever they
submitted their models for the Prince's approval,
his godmother stepped forward, laid her hand
upon them, and said "Tape." Hence it came
to pass, that when any particularly good
discovery was made, the discoverer usually
carried it off to some other Prince, in foreign
parts, who had no old godmother who said
Tape. This was not on the whole an
advantageous state of things for Prince Bull, to the
best of my understanding.

The worst of it, was, that Prince Bull had
in course of years lapsed into such a state of
subjection to this unlucky godmother, that he
never made any serious effort to rid himself
of her tyranny. I have said this was the
worst of it, but there I was wrong, because
there is a worse consequence still, behind.
The Prince's numerous family became so
downright sick and tired of Tape, that when
they should have helped the Prince out of the
difficulties into which that evil creature led
him, they fell into a dangerous habit of
moodily keeping away from him in an impassive
and indifferent manner, as though they
had quite forgotten that no harm could
happen to the Prince their father, without its
inevitably affecting themselves.

Such was the aspect of affairs at the court
of Prince Bull, when this great Prince found
it necessary to go to war with Prince Bear.
He had been for some time very doubtful of
his servants, who, besides being indolent and
addicted to enriching their families at his
expense, domineered over him dreadfully;
threatening to discharge themselves if they
were found the least fault with, pretending
that they had done a wonderful amount
of work when they had done nothing,

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