Vanity Fair

When the Prince came into town the Lord Mayor took him to the several parts of the fair and showed him the wares that were sold therein. And all of this the Prince looked at and said nothing, though he smiled as though to himself. The Lord Mayor introduced him to the plenipotentiary lords of the town and their ladies, all in gay panoply, and spoke their full titles with their ancient, marmoreal dignity, and at all this the Prince smiled and said nothing. And all the ladies sighed and said, wasn’t it awful, and him so handsome and yet so stupid. The lords stroked their pointed beards and worried. But still the Prince said nothing, but smiled a little as though at some private joke.

The Lord Mayor took the Prince to the highest building in the city and showed him all the clustered thousands looking up from below. “All of this,” quotha, “is yours, if you but stretch out your hand. Yours is to weigh and measure, to judge and dispose, to mete and forgive, as you will. All of these are yours, as am I.”

And the Prince laughed and whispered to the Lord Mayor his private joke, and when they came down to the streets below something had come into the Lord Mayor’s face, or left it; the Prince smiled to himself and said nothing more.