When Fenk came, the _deceased_ Regent made him all he wanted to be: for it was in this way: When the departed father of his people had become in the physiological sense a child of the people, _i. e_., had returned to the age of which he was when they had hung upon him the first order-ribbon instead of leading-strings, namely, six and a half years, the eternal signing of his cabinet decrees became much too disagreeable to the Prince, and at last impossible. As, however, he must after all still govern, when he could no longer write, the court-engraver cut his decreeing name so well in stone that he had only to dip the stamp in ink and press it while moist under the edict: then he had his edict before him. In this way he governed fifteen per cent. easier; but the minister one hundred per cent., who, at last, out of gratitude, in order to relieve the enfeebled Prince even of the heavy handling of the stamp, dipped, himself, the beautiful seal (which he preferred to Michael Angelo's) into his own ink-stand; so that the old lord, several days after his death, had subscribed sundry vocations and rescripts--but this modeling-stamp of men in general became the insect's-laying-sting and father of the best government officials, and at last spawned the Pestilentiary. Extra-Thoughts Upon Regents' Thumbs. Not the crown but the inkstand oppresses Princes, Grand Masters and Commanders; not the Sceptre, but the Pen do they find so much difficulty in wielding, because with the former they merely command, but with the latter they have to sign what is commanded. A cabinet councillor would not wonder if a tormented crowned scribe should, like Roman recruits, amputate his thumb, in order to be freed from the eternal making of his mark, as _they_ do to escape fighting. But the reigning and writing heads keep the thumb; they see that the welfare of the land requires their dipping the pen,--the little illegibleness on cabinet orders which one calls their name, opens and shuts, like a magic formula, money-chests, hearts, gates, warehouses, ports; the black drop of their pen manures and forces or macerates whole fields. Professor Hoppedizel had, when he was first teacher of morals to the Scheerau Infante, a good idea, although only in his last month: might not the princely tutor command the sub-tutor to let the crown-abecedarian, who of course must one day learn to write, instead of useless bills of feoffment merely scrawl his name in the middle of every blank leaf? The child would write his signature without disgust on as many pages as would be needed in his whole administration--the sheets might be laid away against the child's coronation--and then (he continued) when he had bespattered pages enough, as a college would often require his signature yearly, if, accordingly on New Year's day the necessary number of signed reams had been distributed among the colleges to last the whole year--what more would the child need to do in his whole administration? _End of the Extras-thoughts_.