by Bill Nye
Public Domain Books
During the hot weather very few crowns are worn this season, and a few hints as to the care of the crown itself may not be out of place.
The crown should not be carelessly hung on the hat rack in the royal hall for the flies to roost upon, but it should be thoroughly cleaned and put away as soon as the weather becomes too hot to wear it comfortably.
Great care should be used in cleaning a gold-plated crown, to avoid wearing out the plate. Take a good stiff tooth brush, with a little soapsuds, and clean the crown thoroughly at first, drying it on a clean towel and taking care not to drop it on the floor and thus knock the moss-agate diadem loose. Next, get a sleeve of the royal undershirt, or, in case you can not procure one readily, the sleeve of a duke or right-bower may be used. Soak this in vinegar, and, with a coat of whiting, polish the crown thoroughly, wrap it in cotton-flannel and put in the bureau. Sometimes, the lining of the crown becomes saturated with hair-oil from constant use and needs cleaning. In such cases the lining may be removed, boiled in concentrated lye two hours, or until tender, and then placed on the grass to bleach in the sun.
Most crowns are size six-and-seven-eights, and they are therefore frequently too large for the number six head of royalty. In such cases a newspaper may be folded lengthwise and laid inside the sweat-band of the crown, thus reducing the size and preventing any accident by which his or her majesty might lose the crown in the coal-bin while doing chores.
After the Fourth of July and other royal holidays, this newspaper may be removed, and the crown will be found none too large for the imperial dome of thought.
Sceptres may be cleaned and wrapped in woolen goods during the hot months. The leg of an old pair of pantaloons makes a good retort to run a sceptre into while not in use. Never try to kill flies or drive carpet tacks with the sceptre. It is an awkward tool at best, and you might ’easily knock a thumb nail loose. Great care should also be taken of the royal robe. Do not use it for a lap robe while dining, nor sleep in it at night. Nothing looks more repugnant than a king on the throne, with little white feathers all over his robe.
It is equally bad taste to govern a kingdom in a maroon robe with white horse hairs all over it.
I once knew a king who invariably curried his horses in his royal robes; and if the steeds didn’t stand around to suit him, he would ever and anon welt them in the pit of the stomach with his cast-iron sceptre. It was greatly to the interest of his horses not to incur the royal displeasure, as the reader has no doubt already surmised.
The robe of the king should only be worn while his majesty is on the throne. When he comes down at night, after his day’s work, and goes out after his coal and kindling-wood, he may take off his robe, roll it up carefully, and stick it under the throne, where it will be out of sight. Nothing looks more untidy than a fat king milking a bobtail cow in a Mother Hubbard robe trimmed with imitation ermine.