A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde Page 1 of 95

CONTENTS

THE YOUNG KING
THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA
THE FISHERMAN AND HIS SOUL
THE STAR-CHILD

THE YOUNG KING

TO
MARGARET LADY BROOKE
[THE RANEE OF SARAWAK]

It was the night before the day fixed for his coronation, and the young King was sitting alone in his beautiful chamber.


His courtiers had all taken their leave of him, bowing their heads to the ground, according to the ceremonious usage of the day, and had retired to the Great Hall of the Palace, to receive a few last lessons from the Professor of Etiquette; there being some of them who had still quite natural manners, which in a courtier is, I need hardly say, a very grave offence.

The lad-for he was only a lad, being but sixteen years of age-was not sorry at their departure, and had flung himself back with a deep sigh of relief on the soft cushions of his embroidered couch, lying there, wild-eyed and open-mouthed, like a brown woodland Faun, or some young animal of the forest newly snared by the hunters.

And, indeed, it was the hunters who had found him, coming upon him almost by chance as, bare-limbed and pipe in hand, he was following the flock of the poor goatherd who had brought him up, and whose son he had always fancied himself to be.



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