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W11b otber Jfairp2 IaIez.
BALLANTYNE, HANSON AND CO
LONDON AND EDINBURGH
Enb other fair ~ales.
ANNA CROSS AND BLANCHE ATKINSON,
"THE WEB OF LIFE," AND "THEY HAVE THEIR IBIWARD."
WIltb frontipkcc anb numerous otber 3Ilustration
ALFRED LYS BALDRY.
There are more things in Headex and Earth
Than art dreamt of in our philosophy."
8, BELL YARD, TEMPLE BAR, LONDON;
WHO ARE NOT TOO WISE TO BELIEVE
ROSALINDA . .
THE PRINCE IN A FOG . .
THE PRINCESS WITH THE BEAUTIFUL HANDS
WORTH HER WEIGHT IN GOLD . .
L 0N|'Gi 1U i:''
ti .:,, in .
the Ian-1 of A
the land ,to u
Cranfillero, thenle iei ,-,
a prince t it h th he :lo,-er
name of wk: Wooden-l eg; ol
and the king :I-I:l
queen, bhi fathl-_, ~lud
mother, had calid ihm :A.r
so for a very strange reason. Cranfillero,
of course, is too far away for anybody
from this land to have been there; but
the winds which blow over that country
whispered the story to our South Wind,
who told it to the other winds, and they
told it to an old magpie, who chattered
it out to everybody; and this was the story she told.
One hot summer day, when Wooden-leg was only two
2 fatrp ral e
or three months old, the queen, who loved him very
much, told his nurses to bring his cradle out upon the
terrace of the palace, where there were shady trees, and
she would take care of him, and watch while he slept.
By-and-bye the queen, who was rocking the cradle to and
fro with her foot, fell fast asleep in her chair; so there
they were, both mother and baby, fast asleep, with the
wind rustling in the trees above their heads, and the sun
glinting down upon them from among the branches.
Everything was silent and still; only the bees kept up a
buzz, buzz, buzz, and the grasshoppers a whirr, whirr,.
At last the stillness was broken by a noise like
the letting off of steam by an engine, and through the air
came puffing (you could not call it flying) the ugliest
old woman in the world. She dropped to the ground
with a bang, tucked the long trumpet which she blew
through under her arm, shook out her short yellow gown,
and danced three times on tiptoe round the queen and the
baby; then quietly, very quietly, crept up to the cradle,
took hold of the poor sleeping baby's leg and rubbed it
over with.some stuff she took out of her pocket. Then,
puffing at her trumpet, she raised such a wind that her
gown stood out like a great yellow toadstool, and her
Shair spread like seaweed in water, and with a spring and
a bound up into the air she went, above the trees, and
above the blue mountains, until she was nothing but a
tiny speck in the sky.
It must have been the cold wind which roused the queen
and the baby, for they both awoke with a start. The
queen rubbed her eyes and looked about her, and the baby
began, as usual, to play with his little rosy toes. But
suddenly he began to cry, and the queen got up to kiss and
coax him, when lo! she too gave a cry-a cry which
brought the king and the courtiers, the ladies and the
nurses, the cooks and the scullions, in fact everybody out
of the palace, and they all stood round the cradle in horror,
and there was a terrible to do; for, dreadful to relate, one
of the little prince's legs had turned to wood; and as the
yellow witch was quite out of sight by this time, all the
looking about and searching in Cranfillero could not find
her. Send for the doctors! Quick!" said the king; and
all the doctors came in haste from far and near.
Now doctors are very clever people, and when they
cannot find out a reason for a thing they sometimes try to
make one. So when the king called them together, they
hummed and hawed, and looked very wise at the baby's
wooden leg; and at last talked so loudly and grew so
angry with each other, that the poor king (who was not
clever) said if they could not agree they had better go
home-which they did. And when they reached their
homes they all set to work and wrote books, giving reasons
why the little prince's leg had turned to wood. But as all
their reasons were quite different, and they gave no cure
to turn it back to flesh and blood, the king, after he had
read the books, was no wiser. So he ordered them all to
be put upon the top shelf of the great library, in the
palace; and there they are, I dare say, to this day.
Well," said the queen to her husband, when the prince
was five years old, and they had tried everything and
asked everybody for a cure, "it is no use fretting any
more; our little boy has got a wooden leg, and we must
learn to make the best of it. If it had been changed to
gold or silver, I don't think I should have cared so much.
But wood is so very common !"
"True, true!" said the king, who always agreed with
the queen; "but what shall we do ? "
"We must make him believe that it is nice to have a
But it isn't," said the king, who was very matter-of-
fact. It is not nice to have a leg that will not bend."
Don't be stupid, my dear! If he is always told it is
nice, he will believe it, and-- "
"But," said the king, he will always have to hop."
"Very well; we must all tell him how nicely he walks,
and wish we could walk like him; indeed, we might all
learn to hop -"
"Oh! no, my dear," said the king, who was very fat; I
really could not!"
." Then you must make a law that any one who tells the
prince that it is ugly to have a wooden leg shall be driven
out of the country, and never return unless he can restore
the leg to flesh and blood."
So this law was made; and all the Court ladies and
gentlemen, the servants and the rich children, who played
with the prince, used'to tell Wooden-leg that he walked
beautifully; and wish, oh! how they wished that they
could hop like him; until the poor little lad really believed
them, and used to strut about on his one leg quite proudly.
One day he was hopping about in the park, thinking
what a fine fellow he was, when he came to a high wall.
It was a wall which was covered in summer with roses
and passion-flowers, and pretty climbing plants; and
Wooden-leg, who had never wandered so far from the
palace by himself, stood and looked at it.
"Good morning, Prince Wooden-leg!"
"Why! who was that?" he said, and stared here, and
stared there, and stared down on the ground, and at last
stared up, and on the top of the wall, peeping out from
among the green leaves, was a little girl.
Though the wall was so high, Wooden-leg could see
that she was very pretty, and he hopped back to see her
"Who are you?" he said; "and why do you sit up
My name is Rosalinda," said the little girl, and my
mother is the Court washerwoman. We wash all the
clothes for the king and queen and the prince. And do
you know," and she shook her head sadly, that years ago
there was no wall round our cottage; but-would you
believe it ?--one day a fine Court lady came this way,
and she went back and told the queen that it made her
quite sick and faint to see the clothes hanging out to dry.
So the king sent workmen, and built this wall round our
garden. It is so high, that unless we can fasten the lines
very near the top of it, the clothes get no wind to dry
them. I hang the things out, for mother is too old to
climb the ladder; and then I sit upon the wall until they
are dry, and wish for the time when I shall be old enough to
carry the clothes up to the palace, for then I shall ask the
6 laitv tales
king to pull down the wall. Mother says there is nothing
so sweet and pretty as a line full of well-washed clothes."
"But you need not wait till you are old! I willask the
king for you," said Wooden-leg, and he always does
what I ask him; so you may be sure the wall will come
Bosalinda clapped her hands. Oh! that will be nice,"
she said; "how kind you are, Prince Wooden-leg!"
"Yes-I like to be kind," said. the prince, "and I
should like you to come down off the wall and play with
But at that moment Rosalinda's mother called to her
that she must unpeg the clothes. So she bade Wooden-leg
"good-bye," and said she must go. "And you won't
forget to ask the king!" she said, smiling, as she looked
down at the prince.
"No, indeed I will not," he answered, because I shall
not forget you. I like you even on the top of the wall;
but when the wall is down it will be much nicer."
"Yes," said Rosalinda, but even as it is, you know,
you can come again, to-morrow and the next day, and
talk to me while I hang out the clothes." The little
prince promised; and they kissed their hands to each other,
and Rosalinda climbed on to the ladder, and Wooden-leg
hopped slowly home, and by-and-bye sat down to rest near
an ivy bush.
Now, you know it is very easy for kings to make laws,
and men and women are obliged to obey them, or they are
punished; but no king can make birds and beasts obey his
laws. And in this ivy bush was a nest of owls, and the
little owls watched Prince Wooden-leg hop up to the bush
and sit down near it, and then one of them said:
Well, really, you are the queerest-looking boy I ever
saw Why in the world don't you walk properly ? "
"Properly! exclaimed the prince. "How rude you
are! I walk beautifully! No one else can walk like
"I should think not," said the young owl, blinking its
big round eyes; for no one else has one leg made of
wood! And then all the little owls blinked, and began
to laugh-such a funny laugh, more like snoring than
laughing. And all at once Prince Wooden-leg knew they
spoke the truth, and he burst into tears.
That night, when Rosalinda was sleeping quietly in bed,
there came six of the king's soldiers and dragged her out.
"Get up, you wicked girl!" they said. "How dared
you break the law and laugh at the prince ?"
"I did not, I did not !" she cried.
Away with you," said the chief officer. "The prince
said he had spoken to no one but you. It must have been
you. If you are seen in Cranfillero after the sun rises
to-morrow, you will be torn in pieces by wild dogs!"
Then they drove her out of the cottage, barefooted, and
in her night-gown. They would not even let her stop to
kiss her mother, though the poor woman begged hard.
No, no !" they said, drive her away! "
"Yes, she is a wretch!" cried all the people who had
come running to see what was the matter. "She has
broken the poor prince's heart;" and they pelted her with
mud and stones, and hooted after her for many a mile.
Over hill and dale she ran as fast as her poor little feet
could carry her, and only stopped when the moon was
behind a cloud to listen whether the soldiers and the
people were following; or looked to the east with tearful
eyes, dreading lest the sun should rise before she had
reached the wild country which lay beyond Cranfillero.
At last, footsore and heart-sick, she came to a dreary
moor, and there under a gorse bush she crouched, and
waited for the dawn. Soon there came a faint white light
in the dark sky; then the grey clouds were tipped with
pink, and slowly above the edge of the moor rose the sun
like a fiery red ball, and it was day; and the shivering
child held out her hands towards the sun; and he, perhaps,
because she looked so cold and sad, swept the clouds to
right and left, and shone upon her as brightly as he
With warmth came sleep, and while the larks soared
and sang, and the sun climbed up into the heavens,
Rosalinda slept as peacefully as in her own little bed at
Now it happened that towards evening two vultures
flew over the moor on their way to Vulture Land, and as
they looked down for prey, saw something white lying
under a bush. They circled about in the air for a moment,
and then swooped down to see what it was. Luckily for
Rosalinda, they had had plenty to eat that day ; so after
examining her a little as she lay asleep, the larger and
stronger of them seized her in his talons and bore her up
into the air, away among the clouds. The stormy rush of
his wings through the air awoke her; but she was too
breathless and frightened to cry out, and it was not until
they had gone a great way that she dared to look down.
Then she saw that they passed like lightning high over
cities and villages, fields and forests, seas and rivers,
until they came to a land of snow-capped mountains and
dreary rocks; and she felt that the vulture was going
slower and slower, and flying nearer and nearer the earth;
and then, all at once, he loosened his hold of her, and she
found herself standing upon a rock, with vultures all
around her; and there was such a flapping of wings and
circling in the air, and screaming and whirr-r-ring, that
she put her fingers in her ears to keep out the sounds.
Presently they all dropped to the earth and parted to
right and left, and out from among them came stalking
and hopping sideways a very big vulture indeed..
As all the other birds ceased making a noise, and touched
the earth with their beaks, by way of a bow to him,
Rosalinda thought she had better do the same, so she
made her best curtsey.
This pleased the King of the Vultures, and he turned
to talk to the vulture who had brought her, and to her
Io fatrp tales
great delight she found she could understand vulture
language quite well.
She was sleeping under a bush," the vulture explained,
"just beyond the land of Cranfillero; and I thought, your
Majesty, that she would be a nice snack for your breakfast
"Hum, hum, hum," said the king, while Rosalinda
trembled; I've got a goat for my breakfast to-morrow,
and I think they taste better than little girls. I've only
eaten three little girls in my life, and I did not care much
for them. Perhaps we might make her useful instead;
what do you say ? "
Oh yes, your Majesty-!" broke in Rosalinda in a great
fright; "I am sure I could be useful "'
"What could you do ? said the king, not unkindly.
"Oh, I could wash, and iron the clothes, and cook the
food." You see, she was in such fear, she did not think
what she was saying, until she saw that all the vultures
"We don't want our beautiful feathers washed and
ironed by little girls, and we don't spoil our food by
cooking it," said the king crossly. "Can't you do any-
thing else ?"
Yes-I could look after the baby vultures," she said;
for just at that moment she saw one of them pop its head
over the edge of a nest.
"Ah! that would not be bad," said the king; "and
when we are away you could feed them, and see that they
did not tumble out of the nests."
Oh yes! said Rosalinda, gathering courage, and I
think I might help to make the nests, and pick up the
feathers that fall about at moulting time."
Well," said the king, "you seem sensible for a girl!
We won't eat you for a day or two, just to see how you go
on; and as you look cold "-indeed her teeth were chatter-
ing, and she was shivering-" I'll lend you my great-
grandfather's skin. He was the largest vulture ever known,
so we saved his skin for a curiosity."
Thank you !" Rosalinda said gratefully, for he seemed
to think he was doing her a great favour; and when they
brought the skin from a cleft in the rock, she put it on,
and soon felt quite warm and comfortable in the thick
"You'll have to sleep in an old
nest," said the king; and when
darkness set in, a vulture
picked her up and drop-
ped her into one; and
there she lay all
night in the midst
ofthe down andmoss,
watching the moon
sailing in and out of
the clouds, andweep-
of her mother, and
of the poor little
prince whose heart,
the cruel people said,
she had broken.
la 1fairS Cales
But Rosalinda was a brave little girl, and she made up her
mind to be so useful to the vultures that they would never
think again of eating her. All day, while the old birds were
away, she used to wander with the young ones around her,
gathering ferns and sticks and moss on the green patches
which lay between the rocks; and soon it was no un-
common sight to see her seated on the grass, in some
sunny spot, with the little vultures perched upon stones
round her while they listened to stories of her life in
Pecked-out" was the name of one of them whom she
soon learned to love dearly; for the poor little fellow was
blind; a wicked old vulture had pecked out his eyes while
he was a baby, just because she had a quarrel with his
mother; and as he could not play with the others, he loved
to follow Rosalinda wherever she went. By-and-bye, she
told him the sad story of Prince Wooden-leg, and how it
made her heart ache to think she could never leave
Vulture Land, and go back to Cranfillero, and see him and
her mother again.
It was the custom among the vultures to fly away every
year on a visit to other countries, and as the young ones
grew old enough they went with their parents; only poor
Pecked-out was never taken. "For what was the use,"
said the king, "of a blind bird going to see the world ?"
So when the time came for the young vultures to fly away
on their travels, Rosalinda prayed them, if they flew over
the land of Cranfillero, to peep in at the windows of the
palace, and of her mother's cottage, and see what her dear
ones were doing; for in thinking so much of the prince
she had learned to love him; and the little birds, who
were very fond of her, promised to do as she wished.
But they brought back such sad news that Rosalinda's
heart ached more than ever.
"The prince," they said, "was slowly wasting away,
and no doctor could make him" well. As to the poor
washerwoman, she worked harder than ever in the day,
and her nights were spent in weeping. Moreover, a strange
yellow bird had appeared, which sang these words night
and day on the trees near the palace :
"Far, far away stands the Ice Mountain cold,
Which hides at its heart the charm from of old-
The charm, which can cure all trouble and pain,
And give the poor prince his own leg again.
"'Twas the old yellow witch who wrought the harm,
To undo the harm you must find the charm;
The charm lies deep at the Ice Mountain's heart;
But where is the Ice Mountain ? That's your part."
"Oh, Pecked-out!" Rosalinda said, weeping, "what
shall I do to help them ? How can I find the Ice Moun-
tain ? But Pecked-out said never a word; but flew away
and sat by himself on the peak of a rugged mountain, far
off among the clouds. \/
The next year, when the vultures returned from
Cranfilero, their story was just the same; only they said
the prince was weaker and thinner, and the washer-
woman could hardly mount the ladder to hang out the
clothes; and the yellow bird was there, singing more
constantly than ever.
"Pecked-out!" Rosalinda said,. "I am going to ask
T4 afrp Wales
his Majesty if he will let me go in search of the Ice
Mountain." But Pecked-out shook his head, and flapped
her gently with his wings. "He will never let you go,"
was all he said; and then he flew away again and sat
thinking, on the far-off peak, among the clouds.
Nevertheless, Rosalinda went to the king, and fell
upon her knees before him, and told her story; but he
was very angry.
Get up at once," he said, "and if you ever trouble me
with such nonsense again, you shall be eaten. Vulture
Land is a beautiful place-far nicer than Cranfillero; and
my vultures have something else to do than to carry little
girls on their backs in quest of things they can never
So there was nothing to be done but to sit down
patiently, and hope for better news. But alas! when the
birds returned the third time, the story was so sad, that
Rosalinda could not bear to do nothing. The little prince
was dying, and the poor washerwoman had tumbled off
the ladder and broken her arm, and still the yellow bird
kept on singing:
"Far, far away stands the Ice Mountain cold,
Which hides at its heart the charm from of old-
The charm which can cure all trouble and pain,
And give the poor prince his own leg again.
"'Twas the old yellow witch who wrought the harm,
To undo the harm you must fnd the charm ;
The charm lies deep at the Ice Mountain's heart;
But where is the Ice Mountain ? That's your part."
"Oh, Pecked-out! Pecked-out! what shall I do?"
Rosalinda sobbed; "he will die, and I cannot save
Again Pecked-out said nothing, but flew away to his
mountain and sat alone among the clouds, for a long, long
time. But when Rosalinda lay -.-
sleepless in her nest, wondering "
what could be done, she suddenly
saw, by the light of the stars,
Pecked-out fly gently towards
"Don't speak," he said, under
his breath, "but get upon my i' '
back. Hush! If they waken
we are lost!"
Trembling, but trusting to
Pecked-out, Rosalinda did what .
she was told; and when he felt l
her clinging to his neck, he rose
in the air, and away through the dark night they went.
Where are we going ? she said, and there was a hope-
fulness in her voice as she bent and kissed Pecked-out's
"We are going East, to find the Wise Woman of the
Marsh; I have heard my mother say that she knows every-
thing. Perhaps she may be able to tell you how to reach
the Ice Mountain. Watch for the light, and' guide me
And then they were silent, while Rosalinda watched for
the light, and Pecked-out flew faster and faster.
It was a lovely morning, and the Wise Woman of the
i6 fair tales
Marsh sat before her cottage door, weaving; the sun had
just risen, and the marsh was flooded with light; soft
breezes stirred the willow bushes and alder thickets, and
rustled among the reeds and water-plants. The cranes
danced round each other by the margin of the lake, and
the water-hens peeped out shyly from among the rushes;
while swans floated upon the water, and swallows skimmed
through the air. They were all so happy, and so busy
calling to one another, and searching for their breakfasts,
that Pecked-out flew quite near before they saw him.
"A vulture! a vulture!" they all cried in a fright, and
flew away to hide.
"Oh, Pecked-out, dear! there, below us, sits the Wise
Woman!" Rosalinda said joyfully; for her eyes were tired
with watching, and she was almost faint with hunger.
"Drop down gently, now."
"Who are you ? and what do you want ?" the Wise
Woman said when they reached the ground and stood
before her; and where do you come from ? "
She looked kind, though she never raised her eyes from
her weaving; and so Rosalinda quickly told her story,-
how she wanted to know the way to the Ice Mountain;
and when the birds who were within earshot heard that
Pecked-out was blind, and could do them no harm, they
all stood round and listened.
And what do you want for yourself, when you have
found the charm ?" asked the Wise Woman.
For myself? Why, nothing, of course." And Rosalinda
opened wide her big blue eyes, and laughed at the question.
"It is a long journey, and full of dangers, and you are
only a little girl. Stay with me here upon the marsh
until you are older, and then go and find the charm."
But Rosalinda shook her head. Please tell me the
way, and let me go now; for the prince is dying, and my
mother is ill, and I wust go to them."
Then the Wise Woman raised her eyes from her weav-
ing, and looked straight into the child's eyes, as if she
would read her very soul.
"Yes!-you shall go," she said at last; "but Pecked-
out must rest to-day, for he will have to fly without stopping
for three days and three nights over a great ocean."
So all that day Rosalinda sat by the side of the Wise
Woman, and learned many wonderful things, and Pecked-
out stayed with the birds by the margin of the lake, and
they treated him kindly, and brought him all kinds of
nice things to eat. The next day, before the sun had
risen, the Wise Woman roused Pecked-out and Rosa-
"Rise, my children; it is time to go," she said. Then
she gave them food for the way, and fastened a long chain
of fine gold round Pecked-out's neck.
Hold it in your hand," she said to Rosalinda, and it
will guide you to Spider Land. There you must ask for
the King of the Spiders, and tell him that the Wise
Woman of the Marsh has sent you for a pair of fly's
boots; for without them you can never climb up the great
Ice Mountain. When you leave Spider Land, you will
have to travel many miles until you come to the land of
the great giant Bolberribol, and then it will depend upon
yourself whether you ever reach the mountain. I can do
18 fair ~ales
nothing more for you. But will you not stay here a
Rosalinda shook her head and laughed. "I am not
afraid," she said, for Pecked-out can fly higher than the
"Go, then!" said the Wise Woman;.but she looked
very sad, and patted Pecked-out's white head with a fond,
And up again into the sky they went, and when the
sun rose Marsh Land had disappeared, and they were
sailing over the great-ocean which the Wise Woman had
told them of.
They chattered gaily as they went, and wondered what
the King of the Spiders would be like, and how high they
would have to fly to escape the great giant's sight; and
Rosalinda held her golden rein loosely, and looked about
her with glad eyes. Suddenly she cried:
"Pecked-out, I see a dark cloud coming towards us.
Fly swiftly-oh, quicker, quicker! It looks like your
king, and a great number of vultures following him!"
And so it was; and nearer and nearer they came, until
sometimes poor Rosalinda could almost feel the wind
from the flapping of their wings, and their shrill cries
rang in her ears. But Pecked-out was brave and strong;
he flew as never vulture did before or since: for a whole
day and night he flew, and then for another night and
day; and still the crowd of angry vultures followed--but
they were getting tired.
Only one day more, dear, good Pecked-out!" Rosalinda
said, stroking him; but Pecked-out was silent, for that
seemed a long time, and his strength was fast failing.
Perhaps they would never have reached Spider Land at
all but for a heavy fog which came up from the sea, and
hid them from the sight of their pursuers.
When the fog cleared away, Pecked-out was flying
over a land the like of which Rosalinda had never even
It was a cobweb world-but such cobwebs! They
covered the grass, and the trees, and the flowers, until the .
whole place glittered like silver.
"Oh, Pecked-out!" she said, as they lighted down in
the midst of it all. "It is so curious! I wish you could
But the bird fell heavily to the ground, and fluttered
his wings feebly, for his strength was all gone, and he was
"Dear little mistress!" he was just able to say. "I
have loved you, though I am only a poor blind vulture, and
I did my best for you."
Then he spread out his wings, and lay quite still; and
Rosalinda knew that she was friendless in this silvery
land. But as she sat crying by his side and kissing him,
a spider came floating along on a gossamer thread.
Why! what have you come to Spider Land for ?" he
asked; and when he heard her story he told her not to
cry, and said he would call the king; and soon the king
came floating towards her in a light silken chariot.
The Wise Woman of the Marsh is a great friend of
mine," said the king. "She taught the first spider how
to weave, and for her sake I will give you a pair of fly's
boots; and, if you like, I'll send for my masons to bury
Soon the masons came in crowds, and they bored a great
hole in the ground, and lined it with silk of dazzling
whiteness; and after Rosalinda had kissed poor Pecked-out
many times, she laid him in the hole, and the good masons
covered him over with lovely silken webs, and promised
to come every day and spin fresh webs over him.
Now the king would have kept Rosalinda to show her
all the wonders of Spider Land, for he was very good-
natured. He wanted- to take her down under the waters
of the lake to let her see his lovely summer palace, and his
beautiful garden of water-plants. He even offered to let
his spinners make her a silken gown to wear, instead of
her old, shabby, feather dress, if she would only stay. But
she said she must go; for now that Pecked-out was dead,
her task would be harder than ever; and when the king
saw that it was no use to try and persuade her, he sent
for a pair of blue-bottle's boots, and showed her how to
put them on when she came to the Ice Mountain; and as
the wind was in the right quarter to blow her towards
Giant Land, he told his prime minister to take her up in
his chariot, and said good-bye; and soon Rosalinda was
wafted away from Spider Land and the kind King of the
"I cannot take you any further," said the prime
minister, when his chariot rested on one of the lower
branches of an oak-tree, and they had gone a long way,
"for now the wind has changed." So, thanking him for
his kindness, Rosalinda jumped lightly to the ground, and
away went the chariot into the air. She watched it until
it looked like nothing but a flake of snow in the sky, then,
with the precious fly's boots under her arm, set out quickly
on her way. .
At first she wondered how she should know when she
came near Giant Land; but when the beetles and cock-
chafers began to grow as big as crocodiles, and the earth-
worms crawled along looking like serpents; when wild
cats as large as tigers glared at her from the tops of huge
trees; when the wind roared so that she was well-nigh
deafened, and the rain fell in drops as large as oranges,
and the coarse grass tangled itself in her hair--then she
was certain that she was in Giant Land, and she grew
terribly frightened. How far and how long she walked,
she could never tell; but at last, in the distance, she
heard a horrible baying and barking, and then a dreadful
noise as of some one laughing-not pleasant laughter, for
there was a cruel sound in it.
Oh dear, dear! Rosalinda said; "what shall I do?
Shall I go back ?" and she half turned to do so; but then
she thought of Prince Wooden-leg dying, and her poor
mother with her broken arm.
No," she said, I must go on!"
She clasped her hands together, and, though she shook
in every limb, walked boldly forwards. Nearer and nearer
she came to the noise of laughing and barking; indeed, it
seemed to her as if every animal and bird in the forest
were mocking her. It was growing dark too, but the trees
were becoming fewer, and through them she caught
glimpses of red flames from a great furnace. Suddenly
.22 Ifair? Tales
she stopped, and shrieked with fright-for there, in the
centre of an open space, was the giant himself-with a
crowd of savage bloodhounds about him
Such a giant His head was on a level. with the tallest
trees we know; his hair was red and long and tangled,
and his beard reached down to his knees; and when he
spoke or laughed his voice echoed through the forest. In
one of his hands he held a whip, with which he lashed his
hounds when they sprang about him. At his back was
the flaming furnace, whose flickering light Rosalinda had
seen through the trees, and in the midst of its flames
stood, on bars, a big iron pot.
All this the poor child saw in one terrified glance, as
she stood trembling behind a tree. There was still time
to go back, for the giant had not heard her scream-he
was so busy with his dogs; and her first thought was to
fly. But unless she passed the giant she could never reach
the Ice Mountain-and the prince must die! She stepped
slowly out from her hiding-place, wondering what to do,
when the giant turned his fierce eyes in her direction.
"At her! Fetch her! Bite her! Bring her!" he cried
to the dogs, and in a moment the whole pack rushed at
her, fighting with one another for the prize, while the
giant laughed his loud, cruel laugh. The biggest hound at
last seized her by her feather dress, and dragged her in
triumph to the giant.
"Well," he roared, "so you've come to see Bolberribol!
And how do you like him, my dear ? Little girls don't
often come to see me. Can't you speak ?" for Rosalinda
stood quaking and silent before him. Ah I'll soon make
you speak Bite her! bite her !" and he made as though
he would set the dogs at her.
"Oh, please !" she cried, don't, dot't let them bite me!
I only want to know the way to the Ice Mountain !"
What!" said the giant, "you want to know the way
to the great Ice Mountain!" and he frowned fiercely.
"Pray, what do you want to go there for ?"
Then Rosalinda told him in a quivering voice the story
of Wooden-leg; and Bolberribol laughed-oh! how he
laughed. He held his hands on his sides, and shook again
Yes, yes! I'll show you the way," he said cheerfully;
and he lifted her up with one hand, and with the other
took off the lid of the iron pot; and there was such a
hissing and sputtering and floating off of steam as you
never heard! "Now, that," said the giant, "that is the
way to the Ice Mountain. Will you go ?" and he gave her
a shake; or shall 1 pitch you back into Spider Land ? I
will, if you'll promise never to come and seek the Ice
Mountain any more. Now, I'll give you three chances.
Will you give up the Ice Mountain ?" And he held her
high over the pot.
Rosalinda thought of poor dying Wooden-leg. "No!"
she said in a .voice hardly above her breath; but the giant
heard it. One chance gone," he said, turning to the
dogs, and they all barked, and he laughed his horrid
"For the second time-will you go back to Spider
Land ?" And he held her a little nearer the mouth of the
pot, and the steam curled all around her.
24 jfatrp rales
"No," said Rosalinda; but her voice was very faint.
"She :won't go back," said the giant, turning to the
dogs; two chances gone!" and they all barked again, and
he laughed louder than ever. "Now, for the third and last
time-will you give it up ? "
No," said Rosalinda, in a kind of dream-for she did
not even feel frightened any more.
Then go and find the Ice Mountain," roared the giant,
and he popped her into the pot, and shut the lid down.
Then what do you think happened ? Do you think,
children, that she was scalded ?
Do you think she was.stewed ?
Do you think she was boiled ?
None of these things happened to her. She only felt
herself tumbling down, down, down in the darkness for a
long time. "Dear me !" she thought, "what a deep pot!
I feel as if I should never reach the bottom." But she
got to the bottom at last, and found it was quite dry; for
there was a hole in the pot, out of which the water must
have leaked. Through this hole Rosalinda crept, and after
groping about in the dark came to a passage. It was very
narrow at first, but as she walked on it grew wider and
wider, and soon, in the distance, she saw a streak of light.
She hastened on; the light grew stronger, the air fresher,
and in a few moments she reached a wide opening, and
there before her rose the great Ice Mountain, as smooth
and as bright as silver-oh! so high!
"What a lucky thing," thought Rosalinda, "that I kept
fast hold of the fly's boots when the giant had me in his
/ r~ I) :
She sat Jal.n o,: n thl 'I:nl
t n, e nS d p u, o u t he :.......- :
I;i, r. an .' walk 01 1-auit a Ht 'l m
I L t o L, 111t thd at th:.- .t-_- re
brir l- tJit-Jej. W h,_u sl-_ was
-quit. shireI tv t th, t were1 all
rI t L he : u tiwiv tt:
eiitl, the rfli,,iit:tiu. At 6r.t
sh,- th, ht, she could never,
'- nve' reach the top, it ws
s steep, and so hi-h; and.] itf
it had not ,~e f her life iu
I altue: Lau d, the cold would
.. rtainl have killed her; t;:,
-. the sun never caie out of the
clouds, and a bitter icy wind blew in her face all day long.
But she kept a brave heart, and struggled on and on-
26 iafri Cales
and the top was reached at last! Only how was she to
find her way to the Ice Mountain's heart! It was all as
smooth and glassy and hard at the top as at the sides.
There was no rift nor crack anywhere, by which she could
make her way in to its heart, to find the charm. She
searched -up and down, until she was weary and numb
with cold. So this was to be the end after all, she said
sadly. The yellow bird, the Wise Woman of the marsh,
the King of the Spiders, and the giant, had all been mock-
ing her, and Prince Wooden-leg must die, and she must
be frozen to death on this terrible mountain! It was too
much for the poor child! she dropped down with her face
against the hard, cold ice; and her warm tears trickled
down its surface, faster and faster.
Oh! dear Wooden-leg!" she sighed, you will never
know how much I loved you! and that I have died in try-
ing to save you!" and she shut her eyes, and waited
for death. And then, as her warm tears fell in a little
stream on the ice, it began slowly to thaw; the icy wind
gradually grew balmy and soft; in a little while the sun
shone forth and helped to melt the ice-the grey sky
turned to blue-and all at once, out from among the crack-
ing ice, jumped the old yellow witch, and called loudly:
Rosalinda opened her eyes, stood up, and looked round
in surprise; and when she saw the change that had taken
place, and how the Ice Mountain was fast melting away,
she ran to the old woman, and put her arms round her
neck and kissed her withered cheek.
"Oh, it is you!" she said. "You have melted the
ice, and you can save PrinceWooden-leg Oh, give me the
charm that the yellow bird sang about-for he is dying!"
Then the old witch sat down upon a block of ice, and
her hard withered face grew soft.
"No, my dear, I could not melt the Ice Mountain," she
said. "Your tears were tears of love, and as they trickled
down the mountain they melted the ice, and fell into this
bottle;" and she gave Rosalinda a little bottle. "Take
it; let them wash the prince's wooden leg with the tears,
and it will become like the other. As for me, my dear, I
was once pretty and young like you, but I let bad
thoughts come into my heart; I hated to see other people
happy, and did all the mischief I could. At last I became
ugly and shrivelled, and there grew about me this Ice
Mountain, which only Love can melt. Take care, Rosa-
linda never grow hard-hearted."
Then the yellow witch waved her hand three times, and
Rosalinda fell asleep with the bottle in her hand; and
when she awoke she was lying under a tree upon the terrace
before the palace in Cranfillero; around her stood the king
and queen and all the Court, and above in the branches
sang the yellow bird:
Far, far away stands the Ice Mountain cold,
Which hides at its heart the charm from of old-
The charm, which can cure all trouble and pain,
And give the poor prince his own leg again.
"'Twas the little old witch who wrought the harm,
To undo the harm you must find the charm;
The charm lies deep at the Ice Mountain's heart;
But where is the Ice Mountain ? That's your part."
And the charm was tried, and succeeded, and the prince.
grew quite well again, and could walk like every one else;
and the poor washerwoman was so glad to have her child
back that she got better too. Often the king and queen
would wonder what the magical stuff was which had
turned hard wood into flesh and blood. Rosalinda could
have told them, but she was a shy little girl, and held her
Of course the king and queen wished to make her a
very fine present, and asked her what she would have
as a reward for her great service. The Court ladies said
she was very stupid. when she only begged that the big
wall which surrounded her mother's cottage might be
pulled down. But I am inclined to think it was not such
a stupid wish, after all; for when the wall was down
Prince Wooden-leg often went and sat on the bench in
the cottage garden, while Rosalinda hung out the clothes;
and I have heard (it is true it was only from the magpie)
that when the prince married, his princess was very like
our little friend Rosalinda.
T was very strange; so strange that no
one could understand it at all, and
every one thought every one else very
stupid not to explain it. The poor
little prince himself could explain it
least of all, because he did not even
know of it; and yet of course he was the one whom it
most concerned. And now I will tell you what it was.
When Prince Tristram was a baby, he was like all
other babies, as far as any one knew. He was red, and
fat, and hungry; and made ugly faces when he screamed,
and looked very pretty when he slept. He grew fast, and
was a strong handsome boy at three years old, with large
dark eyes, and dark curling hair. But, even before that,
people had begun to notice that he was the most remark-
ably solemn child, and that he never laughed or jumped
about for joy, like other children. And as time went on,
though he seldom cried and was not naughty, he became
so grave, and looked so dull, that it was quite sad to see
him. By slow degrees, also, the strange thing I am going
to tell you about-tle thing which so perplexed every one
who saw it, or heard of it--was seen by one person and
another. His mother saw it first, and told the king her
husband. But he laughed, and said she was talking
nonsense, for he had never heard of such a thing in all his
life. The queen said that might be, but he should see
for himself, and ordered that Prince Tristram should be
fetched from his nursery.
In a few minutes, the curtain over the door of the room
where the king and queen sat was held up, and the little
prince came in, not running and scampering, but walking
sedately forward. He was a beautiful boy, and of course,
being a prince, beautifiilly dressed in crimson velvet, with
a lace collar, and shining buttons; and as he came up the
room, towards the gilded chairs on which the king and
queen were. sitting, and the light of a hundred candles fell
upon him, every one could see how strong and straight the
little fellow was, and with what bold black eyes he looked
round. But the king, as he leaned forward, and looked
earnestly at his son, started violently. For he could see
that a thin veil of white mist was over the boy's face, so
thin that perhaps he would not have noticed it if the
queen had not told him of it, but there it was. He
thought for an instant that perhaps his own eyes were
dim, and he rubbed them, and looked again, but the child
was close to him now, and he could see the white mist
The queen looked anxiously at the king, but he said
nothing to her. He put out his hand, and drew Tristram
close to his side, and kissed him. But when he kissed
;be Iprtnce in a foo 31
him, a stream of cold water seemed to run down his back,
and he shivered and turned pale, for the mist over the child's
face felt cold and damp. Then the queen caught Tristram
to her arms, and began to cry.
"'What's the matter?" he asked, surprised; and when
the queen only went on crying, he kissed her gravely, and
said: "If this was all you wanted with me, I might as
well go back to the nursery !" and away he went.
When he had gone the king got up, and said angrily :
" It's always the way with women! making a fuss about
nothing. Never let me hear another word about it!"
You see he was not in the least like the king of
Cranfillero; and he would not listen to the unhappy
queen when she wanted to consult him about Tristram;
but always pretended that the young prince was just like
every one else.
Of course no one about the palace dared to whisper
what they thought, before the prince; and as he felt
nothing, and knew nothing, the fog over his face did not
make him at all uncomfortable. The queen secretly sent
for the Court doctors, but, as they could not understand
it, they always said they saw nothing wrong with the
prince, but that the queen was nervous; and they gave
Tristram was perfectly healthy, and clever and obedient.
He never gave any trouble; but then, on the other hand,
he was never merry, never laughed, nor danced and sang,
and so you may be sure that he was not a favourite with
any one. It was so dull to be with him. Even a naughty
child, who is merry and happy, is better company than
one who is never merry, though of course this need not
encourage any one to be naughty.
Tristram had everything you can think of that boys like
to play with; but he did not care for anything. He never
grumbled, nor asked for new toys; but if the queen gave
him the most beautiful present in the world, he only
"Thank you! I dare say it is very pretty; but my
little brother can have it, I don't care for it!"
If she bought him a new story-book he would read it,
and then say, gently I don't think it is any better than
the old one ;" and when she asked him if he were fond of
the old story-book, would answer: No, I am tired of it."
His brothers and sisters and playfellows were always
sorry when he joined their games, because, though he
never quarrelled, he never liked any game. One game
was too rough, and another too dull; and it takes all the
spirit out of play if anybody talks like that.
Then perhaps some one would say: Let us go into the
garden, and gather flowers and fruit." But that was not
a bit better. Tristram did not seem even to know that
the roses were sweet, and the lilies fair, and the birds
pretty, and the grass soft and pleasant. He was never
heard to admire anything; and so, poor little prince, it
soon became plain that he would have no companions, if
this went on; for every one said he was just like a wet
blanket, wherever he went, and people called him, behind
his back, the Fog Prince.
For as he grew older, the mist on his face became a
thick fog. One could see his dark eyes shining through
'tbe prince in a flog 33
it, and some dim lines of his features; but you can under-
stand that it was not cheerful to have a companion who
never liked anything, and who, besides, was always in a
log! It made the queen very unhappy, and she offered
great rewards to any one who could cure him, but no one
could; and so it went on until Prince Tristram was twelve
On his birthday, which was in the beginning of summer,
the queen invited some children to a feast in the beautiful
gardens of the palace; and among others came a little
Princess May, whose home was near the sea at the other
side of the mountains. She was the sweetest little girl
you ever saw, with soft yellow hair, and pink and white
dimpled cheeks, and rosy lips, and eyes like big blue
forget-me-note; and she danced, and laughed, and was
so merry that it made one's heart light to look at her.
After the feast, the children played games on the smooth
green lawn; and when they played at "cushion dance,"
it was pretty to see the circle of dancing children round
the one who had the cushion in the middle, who sometimes
took a long time to choose which of the dancers to stop,
and kneel to, and kiss.
At length all the children had been kissed except
Prince Tristram. He had joined the ring because his
mother wished it, but he never smiled; and it was no
wonder that not one of the little girls had thrown her
cushion down before him, because it could not be nice to
kiss any one through a fog! But all at once, as Princess
May stood in the middle of the ring, and looked round
to decide whom she should kiss, a crimson butterfly lighted
34 fair tales
for a moment on her curls, and whispered, Kiss Prince
Tristram!" May ran towards him, threw the cushion on
the grass at his feet, and knelt on it. The dancers stopped,
and Tristram stooped and kissed the little girl gravely,
and took up the cushion.
May shivered when he kissed her; the fog was so chill
and damp; and the next moment the circle of children
broke up, and away every one ran, all the little girls cry-
ing, "We have played long enough at this game! Let
us go to the hayfield!" and whispering to one another,
"We could not be.kissed by the Fog Prince!" They
caught Princess May by the hands, and she began to run
with them, but when she looked back, and saw that
Tristram was left alone, she felt sorry for him, and
loosened her hands from her companions.
"Won't you come too ? Don't yon like hayfields?"
she said, joining him.
No; I think a lawn like this is easier to walk on."
"But the hay is so sweet, and so nice to play in!"
Is it? I never thought it nice."
"Then shall we walk about here, and look at the
flowers?" May said. "Don't you love these dear wee
daisies ? Aren't they beautiful!"
"No, I don't think they are beautiful. They are only
common little things," Prince Tristram said. "I can't see
what there is in them to love."
May could not explain that; she sighed, and thought it
was very melancholy to walk about with a boy who had a
fog over his face and who did not care for anything. But
as he took her hand in his, and spoke gently, she did not
Ube Prince itn ~a log
like to leave him alone, especially when he said, ". May, I
want to ask you something. It has often puzzled me,
though I never thought of asking any one before. But I
like you, because you have not run away from me, and
because you.are-you! This is what puzzles me. Why
do you and the other girls and boys enjoy all sorts of
stupid things, like games, and toys, and" flowers, and
cakes ? I can't understand it. They give me no pleasure.
Nothing does. I never see anything to laugh at, and I
never like anything."
May shook her head. "It is very strange," she said.
"Have you never liked auyting ? "
*"Yes, I liked you kissing me; and I like you to be
with me now. But I don't remember that I ever liked
Don't you think yod coul if you tried very
"But how am I to try? How do you begin to try to
May shook her head again. "I don't know. You see,
I never did try. I always liked things."
Just then there came to them the sound of the
children's merry voices from the hay-field, and Tristram
said: I suppose you want to go and play with the others,
May? I will go with you, if you do."
SBut May remembered how the children ran away from
Tristram, and called him a wet blanket, when he came
near; so she said: "If you liked it too, I would., 'But
this is your birthday, and I do want you to do some-
thing you like, Tristram! Try to- like something-
36 Jairp 'tales
do try!" And the little maiden looked at him im-
Tristram put his arm round her neck. I've told you
one thing I like, and that is you, May!" and she ex-
claimed, How stran- e! It has almost gone."
"What has gone /
"The fog," May said, and stood still and stared at
him; for the fog seemed to have cleared away, and
there was only a thin white mist over his face, and she
could see that he smiled, and that his eyes were bright
and beautiful. But the next instant she hung her
head, and blushed very red, for she remembered that
no one had ever told Prince Tristram about the fog
over his face.
"What do you mean? he said; and poor May did not
know how to tell stories, and was obliged just to tell him
the whole truth.
Of course Tristram was very much surprised, and looked
grave. I am glad you have told me, May, because now
I understand why people go away when I come near, and
do not like me. I suppose the other little girls were afraid
of kissing me through the fog, and that was why they
ran away, was it?"
"Is it very disagreeable ?" he asked, and May nodded
again. What could she do? She did not want to hurt
his feelings, but, when he asked her, she had to tell the
"Is it there all the time, and does it fed like a
Zbe PIrince in a too
Yes; and every
one says it makes
you like a wet blan-
ket. But I don't
believe it is altogether
the fog. You see, you
S i never enjoy what we en-
d joy, and that makes it very
uncomfortable to play with
you. Oh, Tristram! you can-
,' not help the fog, I suppose, but
i ; aI do think you might try to
enjoy things, and then I think
everybody would get over the fog!"
The children meanwhile had come to a garden-seat
under some trees, and they sat down. Tristram leaned
his head upon his hands, and looked in deep trouble; and
Princess May was in distress also. She did not know what
to do or say, and they were both silent. It was a warm,
lovely afternoon; the sky was blue above them through
the trees, the birds sang, and a bed of lilies of the valley
close by filled the air with sweetness. May slipped her
38 fatrp '~ales
hand into Tristram's. "Can't you like all this, for in-
stance ? she said softly.
Tis," and she gave a little wave of her other hand.
"It makes me so glad that I could sing-if you were not
"I can't help being unhappy. It isn't nice to go about
with a fog on my face; and I'm thinking how odd I must
look, and how different to everybody else."
Oh, I'm so s6rny !" May said, and the tears came into
her blue eyes, and:rolled down her face. "I wish I had
not told you."
"Don't cry!" Tristram said, and he took out his hand-
kerchief and wiped the tears off her cheeks, and put his
arm round her neck and smiled. "I don't mind being
unhappy if you are sorry for me, May;" and suddenly
May clapped her hands, and cried out:. "There! it has
almost gone again.: But it comes back. Oh, I wish
it could be cured! Oh! what shall we do to make it
go away ?"
"We can't do anything," he said sadly. "I'm sure
it's not my fault, and I can't help it, and I must live
all my life in a fog!"
"Oh, no, no!" May said; "you must not. You do
want to be cured, don't you ? "
"Of course I do. It makes me sick at heart to think
that you find me like a wet blanket! But I have seen
lots of doctors, and I suppose that was what they all
came for. And if they could not cure me, you see it is
no use thinking of it."
Ebe Irince in a- foo 39-
"Oh, doctors!" Princess May exclaimed. Why don't
you go to the fairies? They could cure you.".
"But this is not Fairyland," Tristram said, smiling;
"there are no fairies here. They all left this place long
"What nonsense! the fairies are er-ywhere! Every
land is Fairyland."
Tristram looked dreadfully perplexed. "But how could
I find them? how could I ask their advice? I have
never seen a fairy here, and don't know where to find
one, if you do."
"That is strange," May said musingly, for there are
so many everywhere! I could take you to a very wise
one, if you like, and I am sure she could cure you. Of
course some of the fairies are only little ones, and play
about like children, and have no work to do, except to
help to keep the world pretty. They live in the flowers,
you know. And then there are the great fairies, who
only care about very important matters and very great
persons, and they live in the seas and in the mountains..
Haven't you seen the strange, beautiful clouds that gather
about the mountains? Sometimes they comb up from
the sea in dark heaps, and sweep over the mountains,
and hide them; or roll along the valleys and rest above
the tops of the mountains; and sometimes they come in
silvery white flocks, and float across the peaks, or make
light veils of soft white mist; or fall in tiny flakes, like.
white flower-petals, on the mountain-sides! Oh, you have
"But are those fairies ? "
"I don't know! I'm too little to know. But what else
are they ? Owu fairies live close to us, about the rivers
and woods. Will you come with me ?" and May sprang
up, and Tristram rose too, though not with her eager hope-
fulness, for he did not believe in her fairies yet.
They ran quickly through the stately palace gardens
and out into the park, and then May stopped.
"I don't know which way to go now," she said; "we
must wait," and down she sat on the grass.
"What for ? asked the prince.
Until she sends me word where she is."
What do you mean ? Tristram said, as he sat down
by her side.
May was picking daisies and buttercups, and stroking
them and kissing them softly, and did not answer; and
he went on: "This fairy you talk of can't know even
that we are coming to see her! We didn't know it our-
selves five minutes ago!"
May laughed. Oh! but that doesn't matter. Don't
you think she knows a great deal more than we do ? Look,
Tristram, at this black-and-red ladybird. She is crawling
up the blade of grass so fast, and now she is on to my
finger. Wouldn't you like her? Put your hand close to
mine, and she will come to you. Oh! you have let her fall !"
"I didn't want her. What is the fun of watching a
little insect crawl over your hand ? Let us go on; it is
stupid sitting here!"
May looked at him sadly. Ah now the fog is quite
thick over your face! Poor boy! I suppose you can't
help it. . Listen !" and she held up her finger.
tbe fPrince in a fog
A blackbird was singing on a hawthorn bush near
where the children sat, its song rippling and trilling in
sparkling music, which brought a light into the little girl's
eyes. B'ut Tristram sat with his head bowed on his
hands. "It is only a blackbird," he said; I don't know
what there is to please you so. You can hear them every
"I suppose you have the
fog in your ears as well as in
your eyes-so it's no use
being vexed with you. But
really it is provoking of you -
not to like anything! May .
said, turning away, and just
at that moment Tristram saw
a little brown field-mouse run
up her back. He tried to catch it, but it dodged his
hand, scampered up May's shoulder and neck, and
whispered in her ear, She is in the larch wood, my dear,
waiting for you."
May jumped up, and put out her hand to Tristram.
" Come along! she cried; our fairy is waiting for us."
Stop a minute !" the prince said. There was a nasty
little mouse on your back. I think it's under your hair! "
and he lifted the shining curls to look for it.
But May shook her head impatiently, as she said: Dear
me! how very stupid you are! To call the darling 'nasty'
when it came to tell me where to go! Do be quick!"
Tristram walked by her side meekly enough, but he
could not help feeling dreadfully puzzled, and said: "How
42 fafri tales
could a mouse tell you ? I wish you would explain, May.
I don't understand!"
"Oh, no! of course you don't," she said, laughing.
"No more do I! How can I explain ? Children are not
supposed to understand everything. And I dare say there
are some things we shall not quite understand, even when
we are grown up. But it doesn't matter about under-
standing things, you know, if we do them."
Then Tristram was silent. He thought to himself that
perhaps it was all very well for girls to say that; but from
his point of view it did matter a good deal whether one
understood or not. However, it was no use saying so, and
it was rude to argue. Besides, he felt sorely troubled.
Over and over again he put up his hand to try if he could
feel this fog. May spoke of it, and he rubbed his eyes,:
and tried to imagine what things would look like if there
were no fog over them. But he could feel nothing, and
he could see everything quite clearly, he thought-just the
same dull, colourless, uninteresting world he had always
seen! Perhaps little May was mistaken! But then he
remembered'the doctors, and how everybody disliked being
with him, and how the little girls had run away for fear he
should kiss them! Yes; May must be right, and he was
very unhappy, and hoped it was.true about the fairy, and
that she would be able to cure him.
After they had walked for ten minutes they came to the
edge of a little wood, and May stood still.
"We must walk very softly now, Tristram," she said,
"and make no noise, for fear of disturbing them."
Of disturbing whom ?"
tbe Prince in a log
All the things that live in the wood," May said under
her breath; "the trees are full of them, and they are all
about, among the brambles and fallen branches and leaves,
and mosses and weeds, and in the air under the trees-
"Do you mean birds, and squirrels, and rabbits, and
insects ?" Tristram whispered.
Oh no! they would not be disturbed by children:
they only scamper away when we come too near them-
for fun! But the other things-the baby fairies and
sprites that are the life of the wood, you know-must not
be disturbed, or else they will go away, and the wood will
not be beautiful any more."
"How do you know ?"
"Because they have told me so, often. Hush! if we
are very quiet, perhaps we shall hear them "
SBut Tristram could only hear the whispering of the wind
among the leaves, and the low twittering and cooing of
birds, and the tinkle of a tiny streamlet somewhere among
This was only a little wood they were in, and was nearly
all larch-trees, which grew so close together that when
one looked forward their delicate fresh green branches
seemed interlaced and woven into a lovely green veil;
and always, behind the greenness and above the spires of
the trees, could be seen the beautiful blue sky. Beneath
the children's feet, as they walked gently through the
wood, the ground was soft with green and golden mosses,
and brown with scattered pine-needles; and sprinkled
with patches of dainty wood-sorrel, and pink and white
44 fatrp tales
anemones, and yellow celandine, and bright-blue speed-
well; graceful ferns spread their fronds out to shelter the
moss and flowers, and all the sweet and precious things
seemed to love each other, and to grow happily together,
as if they knew no one would hurt them there. And the
wood was not at all gloomy, for the sunshine was play-
ing hide-and-seek with the shadows of the trees; and
the children passed along from shade. to sunlight, very
All at once May squeezed Tristram's hand, and whis-
pered: "I see her! in front of us, among the trees!"
Tristram looked where she pointed, and what he saw made
him catch his breath, and set his heart beating. And if
you ever see the Fairy who lives in a larch wood in spring-
time you will feel the same. He was not at all frightened;
only she was so beautiful, even to the eyes of this poor
little boy with a fog over his face, that he could hardly
help crying out for joy !
She stood quite still among the trees, just where, they
were thickest, and looked towards the children; but, when
they were near her, came to meet them, and as she moved
it was like sunshine passing from stem to stem of the trees,
she came so softly, and a low rustle went whispering round
among the leaves and flowers, and a sweet scent filled the
air. But I cannot tell you what she was like; for when-
ever I have been happy enough to get a glimpse of her
shimmering green robe and dazzling face, the sight has
made me dream such strange dreams that I have forgotten
to think what she was like!
She came close to the children, and put her hand on
SUbe prfnce in a 0fo 45
May's curls, and said, So you want me, little one Let
us sit down, and talk about it."
Then she sat down on the fallen trunk of a tree, and
took May on her knee, and kissed her, and called her her
May-blossom," and they looked so happy to be together
that Tristram thought he was quite forgotten. He felt
very shy, too; for he supposed the Fairy would ask him
questions about this wretched fog on his face, and poke
him about, and look at his tongue, and feel his pulse;
and he felt that he would not like to have to talk about
himself to this beautiful creature. He was mistaken,
however, as even clever boys are sometimes.
The Fairy did not look at him at all until May said,
Please, what is this poor boy to do ?" and then she
shook her head.
"It is a very bad case indeed, May, dear! He ought
to have come to me long ago. I can't think why kings
and queens at least don't know better; and when they are
fortunate enough to have fairies, are so stupid that they
don't consult them until everything else fails!"
"I beg your pardon," Tristram said, but I'm sure my
father and mother never knew they had a fairy, or they
"They ought to have known," she interrupted, in a
stern voice. Every one can know, if they like. But
when things go wrong people always come with this
absurd excuse: 'We didn't know!' It is so stupid! Do
you suppose that fairies wish to be useful to you poor
mortals? Or do you think that they only exist for you to
make stories about?"
46 fairp Uales
"I don't know," Tristram answered.
"You silly boy! Everything likes to be useful; and
though we do choose to live in the woods and mountains
instead of in your streets and villas, it is just as easy to
find us when you want us-isn't it, May, my darling ? "
May only kissed the Fairy, and she went on: The fact
is, people think themselves so clever nowadays that they
fancy they can do just as well without us as with us,
and if they go on pretending to believe that we have all
left the world, when they know quite well that we have
not, we may really go for good one of these days-
and then they will see! It is really too annoying some-
times, to be so completely overlooked by all the people
who think themselves wise." The fairy looked really
angry as she said this; but when May hugged her
and-said, "Oh! don't you go!" she smiled, and said:
"No, my darling, not while there are any children like
you in the world! But," and she looked over at Tris-
tram, it is very sad to see so many cases like this poor
"So many! he exclaimed; "I thought I was the only
"Nonsense! No one is the only one! I wish you
were, for this fog disease is getting very prevalent."
Now, as this was more like the things Tristram was
accustomed to hear the doctors say, he felt rather less
perplexed, and said, more boldly: "Then please, ma'am,
what will you recommend? Will you give me a prescrip-
tion, or some physic, or lotion ?"
Poor boy !" she said, smiling, !" do you think I can do
'Cbe prince in a fog
no better than that for you? If you want to be cured,
you must go to my school."
Tristram started, and May looked at him wistfully.
"That is the only thing to be done,.and you may have
to stay there a very long time. What do you say ? "
Prince Tristram hesitated. He did not like the idea of
going to school for a very long time; and the fog on his
face had never troubled him at all until May had told him
But the little princess saw that he wavered, and cried
eagerly: "Oh! Tristram, do let yourself be cured; and
then every one will like you, and the world will not be dull
to yo any more! Do! "
No," said the Fairy, the world is never dull to any one
who can see clearly."
Very well," Tristram said, reluctantly, if my father
and mother will give their consent."
Oh yes, they shall know all .about it at once, and will
gladly give their consent," the Fairy said, as she got up
from the tree trunk. Now say good-bye to May! "
But am I not to go back-not even to get my clothes
No, you will not want them," she said. "Come, there
has been so much time lost already !"
The children kissed each other, and the Fairy took May
in her arms and kissed her, and told her to run home as
fast as she could. She watched until the little white figure.
had disappeared among the trees, and then took Tristram's
hand in hers and led him away.:
48 faifrp ales
One day, a year afterwards, Princess May was playing
on the white sands beneath the castle where she lived,
when she heard her name called, and, scattering her shells
as she sprang up, looked round, and saw a little boat,
which came straight towards her through the clear green
waves, though no one steered or rowed it. There was
only a boy in the boat; and as he stood up, and waved
his cap, and the little boat came close in shore, May saw
that it was Prince Tristram. He jumped out in another
moment, and she ran to meet him; he held her hands and
looked at her, and she saw that his eyes were bright, and
that he smiled-but alas! there was still a mist between
his face and the light.
"I have a holiday, May, and our Fairy said I might
come and see you! Isn't it jolly? Will you come in
the boat, and I'll tell you all about it ?"
So the children sat side by side in the little boat,
and as it danced up and down across the waves he told
He said that, after May had left him in the wood, he
fell asleep, and when he awoke he felt very strange and
uncomfortable, and found that he was a beggar boy, in
dirty rags, hungry and cold, living ins a dirty dismal
street, in an ugly city. He was so wretched that he
cried nearly all day and all night, for he never had enough
to eat, and was never warm nor clean, and had to sleep on
straw in a damp cellar. But it was no use crying. There
were lots of other people in the same condition, and some
of them were kind to him, and some were not.
But Tristram said he thought the people were very
Cbe IPrince in a fog 49
much like the people he had always known, only it sur-
prised him that they did not spend their time in crying,
but that they often seemed quite happy, and laughed and
enjoyed all sorts of things. He could not be happy, because
he could not forget
his former life and
the beautiful home
he had once had.
He used to long
for the good food,
and clean clothes,
and soft bed, and
pleasant garden, and
books and toys,
which he had never
cared for when he had them; and to think that, if he
could only go back to the old life, he should never find
it dull now !
At last, one day when some one he had begged from had
given him a penny, and he had bought a bun, and was
eating it in the street, and thinking it the most delicious
thing he had ever tasted, he heard a voice say: "Yes! you
have learnt this lesson. It is the easiest, and you have
been a long time over it. Now you may have a holiday."
And in the next moment he found himself standing by the
sea, and the Fairy of the larch wood held his hand, and
said: Go in this boat to see Princess May, and ask her
if you are cured "
So what do you say ? Tristram said eagerly. I hope
you don't think I need go to school again! Am I cured ?"
s50 fair 'Cales
But the princess was silent, and looked down into the
crystal water. Suddenly a white-winged sea-swallow darted
close by the boat, skimming the edge of the waves as it
"Isn't that lovely !" May cried. Did you see how the
white feathers glistened in the sunshine ?"
"No," he answered; "what was it? I saw nothing but
a common sea-bird fly past."
Then May looked at him, and the fog was plainly to be
seen, and she said sadly: I'm afraid you must go back to
school-for a little while, Tristram!"
Instantly the boat turned of its own accord, and ran in
shore; and May kissed the prince, and jumped out upon
the beach, and stood and waved her hand to him until the
little boat had carried him out of sight.
It was more than a year before Prince Tristram had
another holiday, and when Princess May, who was at work
in her garden, saw him coming towards her, she hardly
knew him at first, he had grown so tall and handsome.
She left her flowers, and went to meet him, and he
cried, "How pretty you are, May!" and he kissed her
gladly; but she shivered ever so little, for she felt that
there was still a cold mist between her face and his.
Then they sat down under a tree, for he had much to
tell her. He had spent a very sad and terrible time in
a hospital, lying on a narrow bed in a ward full of sick
children, too ill to move, and his body torn with pain.
For months and months he had lain there, and had been
so miserable thinking of the happy time when he could
run and jump as much as he liked, even though he had
be PDrtnce in a log 51
never cared to do anything of the kind. And while he
lay in pain and utter weakness, it seemed to him that no
one could ever be dull or sad who could move about free
from aching pains; and he wondered how he could have
disliked to dance, or think it stupid to play games. And
he told May that for a long time he had been so unhappy
that he was always cross and disagreeable, and ungrateful
to the kind nurses; but at last he began to be thankful
if the pain were ever so little easier, and one day, when
he was thanking the nurse for helping him to sit up, she
had changed into the Fairy, who said: "Poor boy! This
has been a very hard lesson, has it not ? But now be off
as fast as you can to see May!" and he found himself at
the gate of her garden.
He was so gentle and affectionate, and May felt so sorry
for all he had suffered, that she could not bear to tell him
that he was not cured, even yet; and so she let him go on
talking, and he said he was glad that he had learned what
it was to be poor and sick, for when he came to be king
he would know better how to help people..
As they talked, a bird on the tree above them burst into
song, and May put up her hand for silence, and said
anxiously: "You like that, don't you, Tristram ? And the
sunshine on the grass, and the daisies? "
But he answered: "It is only a common bird, May, and
the sunshine and flowers are here every day. I don't see
anything wonderful in them."
Then May got up, and Tristram saw that there were
tears in her blue eyes.
"You must go back," she said. "I am very sorry, but if
52 fatry tales
you have only learned to like what makes you comfortable,
and not what is beautiful, you are not cured yet!"
She walked with him to the gate; and, when she had
closed it after him, ran back to where they had been sitting
together, and threw herself on the grass, and cried. And it
was a long long time before she saw Prince Tristram again;
for the Fairy said, when he went back to her, that of course
May was right, and she had known that she would send
him back; but that it was the hardest thing of all to make
people enjoy every-day things, and to know what was
beautiful. Then Tristram found himself in a very desolate
and dreadful place; a place where there were no living
creatures except men and women, and they were all ugly;
no horses, nor dogs, nor cats, nor birds, nor butterflies; no
sky, but a ceiling painted slate colour; no trees nor
flowers, only walls painted brown and grey; no sea, nor
rivers, nor lakes, but large leaden tanks of water wherever
they were wanted; and no mountains and valleys, but a
great, wide, level, grey plain stretching on all sides. There
was plenty of food in the shops, and Tristram had a large
square house, and a warm bed, and servants to wait upon
him, and rich clothes to wear, and plenty of companions.
But you can have no idea how intensely miserable he was!
He soon found that he would rather have been hungry and
in pain than obliged to live in such a place. Oh, how he
longed to see a green field, and a growing tree, or even
the commonest weed! He thought that the sight of a
wayside hedge or a running brook would make him wild
with delight; and he tried and tried to find some crack or
hole in the horrid flat ceiling over his head through which
'Tbe prince in a fog 53
he might get a peep of the heavenly sky and the stars.
At last he felt as if he should go mad with longing for
something beautiful. Ah! could it be true that, when
he lived in that dear old world, he had called anything
common" and dull;" and had not loved the blue sky,
and the silver stars, and the golden sunshine, and the
common grass ? .He thought that he should die if he could
never again feel the soft grass under his feet, nor smell
the sweetbriar after rain in the queen's garden, nor hear
the carol of the lark nor the call of the cuckoo! He
wanted these things so much now; he wanted them always.
And yet all these things, and so much more, had once been
his; and he had been blind, and deaf, and stupid, and had
called the beautiful world dull!
Many weary, dreadful days and months passed, and
Triatram grew pale and worn with longing; but at last,
when he heard the Fairy's voice, he bent his face in his
hands, and said: "No; I am ashamed to go back! I am
not worthy of the beautiful world! I deserve all this
punishment, for it was my own fault."
But the Fairy took him gently by the hand, and said:
"It is enough. The fog has gone. Now you have only
to go to a master who will teach you. to -use your eyes."
And Tristram was once more in the old world, which he
loved now with all his heart.
Meanwhile, Princess May grew up into a fair, tall maiden,
who was the sweetest princess in the world, she was so
gentle and so joyous! But sometimes her sweet face grew
sad when she thought of poor Prince Tristram, still at his
hard school, and wondered when he would come back.
54 jfair tales
up and ,-,w a
broad Ere' 11 ..,d
cut .:.n thl i-J, ,,t ._d
the cliff al. ':v-, tih -__-
sea, where !hi L"
liked to walk and watch the sun set in the water, and
listen to the murmur of the waves, she saw that some one
on a white horse was riding to meet her. The sun was
already low, and the red light made the horse's glossy
coat shine and his harness glitter. But the princess
stood still, and shaded her eyes with her hand, and looked
at the rider only. And she saw that it was Prince Tristram,
Zbe prince in a fog 55
and his face shone in the sunlight, and there was no dimness
at all over it. But Princess May did not run to meet him
this time, however; she waited, trembling with happiness.
And when the prince was close to her, he threw the reins
on the horse's neck, and sprang to the ground, and knelt
on the grass at the princess's feet, as she had once knelt
to him-long ago-and said: "Princess May, look at me,
here in the sunshine, and see if there is any fog over my
And she looked, and there was nothing but brightness
and warmth, and she bent and kissed him.
Then Prince Tristram said: You have taught me that
the whole world is beautiful, but you are the most beau-
tiful thing in it, and I have come to pray you to be my
princess and bride."
And Princess May told him to get up, for his prayer
was granted. So he led her back to the castle-the
beautiful white horse on which the Fairy had sent him
to the princess following them sedately-and the next
day they were married, and-he took her to his home, where
they lived happily ever afterwards.
N a desolate castle by the side of the
sea, there once lived King Tagitticus
and his queen, Camilla, and a poorer
king and queen the world has not
often seen. Their crowns were bat-
tered and dull, their ermine-lined
cloaks and robes moth-eaten and torn, and their great
money-chests stood open and empty.
Yet there had been a time when King Tagitticus was
rich and powerful, and his queen happy and handsome;
but a terrible misfortune fell upon them, for the king
took to star-gazing, and while he was star-gazing his
people put their hands in his money-chests, and never
took them out until the chests were quite empty. Neigh-
bouring kings helped themselves to his lands, and rob-
bers ran off with his sheep and oxen. In vain the
queen wept and prayed him to look downwards; he
only. sighed sweetly, and turned his eyes upwards,
until at last one starlight night he disappeared from the
world for ever.
What became of him' no one ever knew; perhaps he
slipped over the cliffs and was drowned in the deep sea
below, or perhaps he was borne upwards and lives yet in
the brightest of twinkling stars.
So here was Queen Camilla left alone with her three
little daughters in a half-ruinous castle; for, sad to relate,
the servants ran away as soon as they saw that the money-
chests were empty. At first the poor queen sat with her
hands before her, and cried a great deal; but when she
saw her little daughters with their hair all tangled, and
their dresses torn, crying bitterly because their porridge
was so burnt that they could not eat it, she took off her
crown, dried her eyes, and set to work to patch and to
cook; and in a short time, because she tried very hard,
she learnt to sew and cook well.
For a long time she lived on the money she got for
her jewels. First she sold her crown, and then the poor
king's; by-and-bye the rings disappeared from her fingers
and the chain from her neck; next, the shabby state-robes
and the ermine-lined cloaks were brought out of the presses,
and indeed everything which could be sold for money,
until at last, by the time the youngest princess was fifteen,
matters had come to a terrible pass, for there was nothing
more left to sell.
The castle also, although it was very strong, was much
the worse for wear; it stood beside the sea, and in the
winter dreadful storms arose sometimes, and by their vio-
-ence broke many of the windows, which never got mended
the doors, with constant banging, fell off their hinges, and
the tapestry fluttered against the walls in tatters; while
the mice and the rats ran about in the oak -wainscot, and
the spiders spun webs wherever they liked.
Drincess witb Beautiful lbanb 59
Grey grew the hair of the queen, and thin and pale her
cheeks; but, strange to say, the princesses were three of
the most beautiful creatures the world has ever seen. It
is true they were not very clever, but then they were
strong and healthy, for they ate the plainest food, and ran
about the shore barefooted. The blustering wind loved
them, and, as it rushed in and out through the broken
windows at night, kii-ed their cheeks
and left roses up.n them, and wi-lkd. .. ri,1
their golden hair about, until,
if you had peeped 1-
into thb ir room
some ml:,onlit '
three r .'.' .
rickety beds were strewn with golden threads.
As the years went by, therefore, Vega, Lyra, and
Corona-for after this strange fashion the star-gazing
king had called his daughters-grew up strong, beautiful,
and good-tempered. But the more beautiful they became
the sadder grew Queen Camilla. For what," she often
thought to herself-" what will become of them when I am
dead and gone? What king or prince will marry girls
without money or learning? and who, indeed, will ever
come to look for anything good in such a wrack-me-down
place as this?"
Day after day, with these sad thoughts, she sat by
the castle door sewing, when one afternoon, while the
princesses were playing on the shore, there came riding
towards the castle a man on horseback. As he drew near
he blew a horn, aid then, seeing the shabby-looking
woman by the door, he cried, laughing scornfully:
"My good woman, tell her Majesty Queen Camilla that
the great King Balestra is travelling through all lands to
look for a princess with beautiful hands. Don't look so
stupid, woman, but go and tell her Majesty, for the king
will be here in a month, and I fancy you'll have enough
to do to put your palace in order;" and with another
scornful laugh he rode away.
"Nothing but beautiful hands!" cried the queen, and
my girls have all three the loveliest hands in the world!"
With her heart full of hope, she ran into the castle,
and searched about until she found three old pairs of
"My children," she said to the princesses when they
returned, I have wonderful news. A great king is seek-
ing a princess with beautiful hands, and will be here in a
month. So put on these gloves, and be very careful never
princess witb Beautiful lbanbs 61
to take them off in the daytime, and your hands will
grow white and smooth, and who can tell if one of you
may not be chosen ?"
So they promised to be careful, and put the gloves on
at once, and when they went to bed that night they all
three dreamt of the king; but their mother never closed
her eyes. All night she wandered about the great desolate
rooms, peering into drawers and closets which had not
been opened for years. The dawn came and the sky grew
rosy red, yet there was the
poor queen still searching, and
from her arm hung now two
long pieces of rich silk. At '
last, almost tired out, she came ,
to a small room; the dust of '
ages lay on the floor. "I have i "'
never been in this room before," ,.
she said to herself. Nor was '
that strange, for the castle was. .
very large, and there were as
many bedrooms in it as there are days in the year. In a
corner of this room the queen saw a curiously carved
press; with trembling fingers she pulled open the drawers,
and in the last one found, to her great delight, a piece of
white silk embroidered with golden stars.
"Ah," she cried with joy, this will do for my
beautiful Corona My girls will all now be dressed like
She carried the silks away, and hid them; but every
night, when her children were asleep, she brought them
62 fairt ales
out of their hiding-place, and stitched by the light of one
dim candle, until before the end of the month she had
finished three beautiful dresses, which she folded up
carefully and put away in a drawer with bunches of
Early in the morning of the day before the king's
coming, she called the three princesses, and said: Go,
children, into the forest, and gather elder-flowers, that
I may make a wash to whiten your hands and faces
to-morrow. And remember! never take off your
They promised, and went away merrily, and, as they
gathered the flowers; talked of the king, and longed for
the morrow. At last, with their aprons full of elder-
flowers, they sat down under a tree to rest.
"Oh! how sweetly the birds sing, and how brightly the
sun shines," said Vega.
"Listen!" said Lyra. "I'm sure I hear the sound of
water," and she put her pretty head on one side to listen
So. do I!" said Corona, jumping up, "and it makes
me feel quite thirsty. Stay here, sisters, while I run and
fetch some in my hat."
And away she went towards the sound. "Tinkle,
tinkle," it seemed to say as she hurried along; now it
sounded near, then quite far away, but still she ran on
until, tired and breathless, she saw before her a lovely
mossy bank. "Oh, dear! I must really rest a little!"
Down she sat, and down into the soft moss sank her
princess witb. Beautiful lbanbs 63
head, while all around lay her scattered elder-flowers.
Fainter and fainter grew the sound of the rippling water,
until at last she heard it no more, for, sad to say, Corona
fell fast asleep.
Moments followed moments; the sun looked down
through the trees, and, seeing the golden hair lying over
the mossy bank, feared that his rays were falling off, and
stole quietly away. The rabbits, the hares, and the
squirrels, when they saw that their friend the sun had
gone, left off scampering and chattering about Corona, and
fled away to supper and bed; until at last there was
nothing left but an old frog. He had been asleep in the
sunshine all the afternoon, and now awoke very hungry;
so he gave three loud croaks and hopped away to catch
beetles for his supper.
The ugly noise awoke Corona. "Oh, dear! she said,
rubbing her eyes, "where am I ?" Then she remembered
that she had left her sisters to fetch some water, and got
up, and listened for the tinkle of the stream; but there
was no sound but the rustling wind in the trees, which
made her shiver; and the light-why, it had all faded,
and night was coming on!
She called, "Vega! Lyra!" There was no answer. In
terror she began to try to find the way home, forgetting
the elder-flowers which lay scattered on the moss. She
wandered here, she wandered there, but all the paths
looked alike, and she had no idea which to follow. At
last, in despair, she stood still to rest, leaning against an
old oak-tree. "What shall I do?" said the poor girl,
aloud; "I have lost myself in this forest!"
64 fairp. ales
Just then she heard the sound of weeping and moaning
which seemed to come from a bush close by. Stooping
down, she saw a little child seated on the ground.
"Why do you cry, child?" she said kindly; but the
little girl cried louder than ever.
Come; tell me what is the matter," said the princess,
"and perhaps I can help you."
"I have hurt my foot in trying to catch our cow.
She has broken loose from me."
"Well, never mind; you'll find her in the morning.
Here, take this stick, and hobble home," and Corona broke
off a strong short bough from a tree hard by.
"Alas!" said the child, "it will be too late in the
morning. My brother is ill, and will die unless my
grandmother gives him milk all the night through."
Borrow some from a neighbour."
We have no neighbours, for we live in the depths of
"Do you know how far it is to the castle?" asked
Corona. But the child shook her head.
"I never heard of a castle. What is it ?"
"This is dreadful !" thought the princess; if she never
heard of it, I must be a long, long way from home! How
frightened my mother will be about me! Little one," she
said to the child, "I don't see how I can help you, for I
must find my way home-if I can."
At this the child broke out crying afresh.
Oh !" she sobbed, I thought you were a good fairy
with a golden light round your head, and that you would
find my cow! And now you are going to leave me, and
princess witb beautiful lbanbs 65
my little brother must die;" and she rocked herself to
and fro, and wept bitterly.
Corona was very kind-hearted, but she knew that it
would be difficult to look for the cow in the forest, and
dangerous to her arms and hands. But, after all," she
thought, "I can wrap my arms in my apron, and my
gloves are thick, and it would be wicked to let the poor
boy die for want of milk."
"Child," she said to the little girl, which way did the
"Through there!" and she pointed to the densest part
of the forest. "Call' Moochoo! Moochoo!' and she will
come to you when she hears you."
Away went Corona in the moonlight, through the
closely growing trees, calling at every few steps, Moo-
choo! Moochoo!"--on and on, through the ferns and
long tangled grass, now wet with dew-and then across
some open glade, where she hoped to find the cow-
then on again under the thick trees, where the moon-
light could hardly give any help. Many times she
stopped, and thought it was useless, and that she must
give up the search; but she remembered the poor sick
boy, and trudged on. Long straggling bramble bushes
often stretched across her path, and made it difficult to
get past. Soon her dress was torn, and hung in tatters.
Her poor thin shoes were soaked, and she was very uncom
portable; and often, in the uncertain light, she stumbled
over fallen branches and stumps of trees. But just
when, faint-hearted and weary, she was about to give up
in despair, she heard a low in the distance.
66 faftrp ales
Moochoo! Moochoo she called, and ran in the direc--
tion; Moochoo! Moochoo!"
All at once the moon shone brightly through the trees,
and the cow could be seen munching quietly on a nice-
open patch of grass, with thick gorse bushes all around.
Moochoo raised her head and looked at Corona, but did
not seem anxious to come to her, however coaxingly she
called Moochoo!" After placidly gazing at the princess,.
as much as to say, What do you want with me?" she
fell to munching again.
"Ah! said Corona, "if there were not all this gorse-
between us I should soon catch you;" for a rope hung-
from the cow's neck, But in another moment she found
a place where she could creep through the gorse; very
quietly she ran up to the cow, and had just seized the rope
in triumph, when Moochoo turned her head, and seeing-
Corona, whom she did not know, gave one bound over the
gorse, and stood looking-oh, so wickedly!-at her from the-
other side. Ah you shall not ran away like that," said
Corona, springing after the cow, who jumped back across
the gorse-and so backwards and forwards they went, to
the great surprise of an old owl who sat on the branch of'
a tree near.
What are they doing ?" he said, blinking his eyes at
"I thought you were so wise you knew everything,"'
said the moon, slyly, as she wrapped a cloud about her;.
" they are playing a very silly game. I am surprised at a
cow and a princess being so foolish!"
Whether Moochoo heard this remark, and felt ashamed
princess witb Beautitful banbs 67
of herself, or whether she had grown tired of the game,
I cannot tell; but she stood still, and began again to
"Moochoo! said Corona, patting her gently, "won't
you come home, dear Moochoo, for the little boy is very
ill, and wants some sweet milk?" At that the cow at
once left off eating, and allowed herself to be led away;.
and, when she saw Corona hesitate about the way, chose
her own road, and looked round every now and then at
the princess with a confident air, as much as to say," I
know the way-you need not be at all uneasy;" and in a
very short time they came to the little girl, still sitting
where Corona had left her.
Now, all this time, in the excitement of looking for and
catching the cow, the princess had quite forgotten her
hands; and it was only when she stood, tired, but pleased
to see the child hugging her dear Moochoo, that she
suddenly thought of them, and found, to her horror, that
the big gloves had slipped off, she did not know how long
ago, and that her hands and arms were dreadfully scratched
and torn, and bleeding all over.
Alas! she cried, and big tears rolled down her cheeks,
"what will my mother say? My hands will be a most
shocking sight to-morrow! "
"Lady," said the little girl, "don't cry! come to my
home, and see my brother. Without you I could never
have found Moochoo, and my brother must have died.
Perhaps my grandmother will be able to tell you the way
back to your castle, for she is very wise.".
So Corona lifted the little girl on to Moochoo's back,
68 fairr tales
and they all three went to the hut where the sick boy lay ;
and when the princess saw him eagerly drink some milk
she was so glad
S .- that she forgot
'. to cry, and trou-
S.'. bled no more
'. w.^. about her spoilt
: hands. When
S. the littleboyhad
S'..' rona asked the
r old grandmo-
:. other if she could
-" tell her the way
to the castle.
S Yes," she said,
'. fumbling in her
'! p l ;": ocket," eat this
l .....;:.. nut, my dear,
S. and then go
And she gave
i Corona a com-
.. mon looking
5' n ut, and pointed
Sthe forest; then
-:' ..- : she went into
her hut and shut
princess with Seautiful banbs 69
"Well !" thought the bewildered princess, I don't see
how a nut will help me to find the way home."
However, as soon as she had eaten it she seemed to fall
into a dream; the hut faded away, the forest faded away;
in another moment, as if by magic, the old castle rose
before her, and she was safe at home in her mother's arms,
while her sisters laughed, and cried, and danced round
her in delight.
Oh! dear Corona," they exclaimed, "we thought you
were lost, and that we should never see you again! Now
get your supper-you must be hungry; and then come
and see the beautiful dresses dear mother has made, that
we may look like true princesses when we appear before
the king to-morrow. Yours, dear sister, is white, all
covered with golden stars." But at that moment the
queen and Vega and Lyra gave a cry of horror, for they
saw her tattered dress and bleeding arms and hands.
Whatever has happened ?" they cried all together.
Corona told them about the sick boy and the cow, and
how she had forgotten to take care of her hands. "Oh!
you foolish girl," her sisters said; we saw the little child
who was crying, too, but we told her we could not help
"Go to bed, ungrateful one!" cried the queen, wring-
ing her hands. You are going to be as foolish as your
poor father,. I am afraid! When King Balestra comes,
you must go into the Star Tower, and stay there until he
has gone. You will not be fit to be seen! and after all
So Corona went supperless to bed, and dreamt strange
70 jair 'Cales
dreams of kings, mischievous cows, old women, and sick
When the morning came, she sat up in bed, and there
were Vega and Lyra already putting on their pretty
dresses. And then they washed their hands and faces
with the elder-flower water
again and again, and looked i
lovelier than ever.
"Oh my poor, ugly
hands," said Corona,
she put her head
under the bed-
clothes, for she
when she saw
When they ,
had gone down-
stairs, she got
up, and sadly
put on her torn dress and apron. No one troubled about
her, so she wandered on the shore, and in the empty rooms
of the castle, and wondered what King Balestra would be
like, and hoped that he would choose one of her beautiful
sisters to be his queen. At last the clock struck twelve.
A horn was heard in the distance, and every one knew
that the king was near.
"Go away," said the queen, sternly, when she saw
princess witb beautiful lbanbse 7
Corona running with the others to the door; "go away:
.and keep out of sight. The Star Tower is the place for a
girl with such hands. If the king should chance to see
-ym, perhaps he would turn back in horror, and not even
look at your sisters!" But, as Corona went slowly up the
tower stairs, she peeped out of one of the windows to see
the king, and his train of splendid knights and ladies.
And the sight was so magnificent that it checked her
"Oh dear!" she thought, "how beautiful he is, and
how his clothes sparkle with jewels; and oh, what a
lovely golden chariot! That must be for the princess he
shall choose. Oh! I do hope it will be one of my sisters,
and then perhaps my mother will forgive me. We
couldn't all have been chosen, in any case." She looked
sadly at her disfigured hands; and then sat down on a
stone step by the window, and watched the prancing
horses, and the gay people who waited outside the castle.
For meanwhile the king had dismounted from his horse,
and had made his way up the worn stairs, followed by his
train of lords and ladies, who giggled and turned up their
noses at this shabby old castle, until they came to the
room where the queen and the two beautiful princesses
-Vega and Lyra-stood in state to receive him. Then
they all stopped laughing, in wonder and delight.
"Surely," said they to one another, "the king will
choose one of these princesses for his bride!" For never
before had they seen such lovely creatures, and their
hands were like driven snow.
King Balestra bowed politely, and kissed the queen's
72 fatfr ales
hand, and smiled graciously as he looked at Vega and
Lyra. But there was some perplexity on his face, and he
glanced round the room for a moment, and then said:
"Queen Camilla, are these beautiful princesses your only
daughters ? I heard that you had three."
Then the queen trembled, and said, in a tone of deep
distress: "Alas! your Majesty, I have another daughter,
it is true, and until yesterday she was as beautiful as her
sisters. But she scrambled through the forest to help a
poor child to find a cow which had strayed, and scratched
and spoilt her hands,-and she is not fit to be seen."
"Nevertheless, I want to see her," said the king, and
there was a bright light in his eyes.
The poor queen hastened to the Star Tower, and
found Corona sitting on the step, looking out of the
Wretched girl!" she cried; "you are the ruin of us 1
The king orders you to appear, but, when he sees your
hands, he will be so shocked that he will go away at once.
I know he will!"
She pushed Corona down the tower stairs, and all the
poor girl had time to do was to roll up her hands in her
apron. When Vega and Lyra saw her come in, with her
frightened, tear-stained face, and ragged frock, they
began to cry for very shame, and all the king's people
But when Corona saw her sisters in such trouble, and
knew that it was her fault, she fell on her knees before
the king, and said:
1Princess with IBeautiful lbanbS 73
"Oh, dear king please choose one of my sisters for your
bride-for they have very beautiful hands, and they are so
good and kind-I'm sure no other princesses are so good
and dear And my mother is poor, and has to work night
and day to find us food to eat; and,
in her anxiety, out from under her
apron came the little red,
scratched hands, and she
clasped them together,
and went on pas-
good king! if you
do not choose one of
my sisters, cannot
you help my poor
By this time the
king was smiling at
Corona, and when
she stopped he put
out his hand and
touched hers, and
that made her re-
member how ugly
they were, and she
dropped her head,
ashamed, and mur-
Imured: I could
not help it, your
Majesty! The child told me her brother would die if I
did not find the cow. I am very sorry!"
"And did the child die?" asked the king.
"Oh no!" said Corona, "for I found the cow, and
when he had some milk he fell asleep."
Dear princess," said King Balestra, as he raised her
up, and kissed her hands, "have no fear. Your mother'
and sisters shall be poor no more, for I choose you to
be my bride. Behold !" he said, turning to his lords and
ladies, "here is a princess with the most beautiful hands
in the world-beautiful, because they have done a good
action; they have saved a child's life!"
To the great joy- and wonder of every one, therefore,
the king married Princess Corona-in her new dress
covered with golden stars-and carried her away in the
golden chariot; but before he went he had a new ciown
made for Queen Camilla, and filled her empty money-
chests. He set glaziers and carpenters also to mend the
windows and doors, and women to mend the tapestry
and sweep away the dust and cobwebs. So bright and
beautiful did the castle become through his help that
the queen's friends came to visit her once more; and
by-and-bye two princes came, who, seeing the beauty of
Vega and Lyra, loved them, and asked the queen's per-
mission to marry them.
But the strangest thing about this story is, that, though
the King and Corona had the forest searched throughout,
no one was ever able to find the old woman, nor the sick
boy, nor th. little girl, nor the mischievous Moochoo;
IDrincess witb beautiful Ibanbs 75
nor was there ever found any trace of the hut where
Therefore, I think, dear children, that Corona and
King Balestra must have lived before the fairies left
this earth-if they have left it. What do you think ?
NI E upon
-" :l a time
S- lived in
Fairyland. His father was
the richest king in all that
country, and of course, as he
i J was so rich, he was very fond
of money, and was always
trying to get more and more.
The mother of the little
prince was not so dreadfully
-,', fond of money as her hus-
l band; but she loved things
''"" which cost a great deal: she loved
S... to have everything made of gold and silver,
and to wear ornaments of pearls and diamonds; and she
did not think common flowers half so beautiful as jewels,
nor care half so much to look at pretty rosy skies, or
shining rivers and lakes, as at herself, when she was
dressed in cloth of gold, and covered with precious stones.
Do you not think that was strange of this queen ?
Sometimes, if little Prince Diamond was allowed to peep
over the banisters, and see his fine mother pass across the
great hall of the palace, at night, when all the candles
were lighted, and her diamonds sparkled and flashed as
she moved, and her rich train swept over the marble floor
for yards behind her, he thought it was a very grand sight
indeed. And that was nearly all he ever saw of his mother
when he was a little boy; for the queen was too busy
dressing herself* up, or buying new things, or walking
about to be admired by all the Court, to come into her
little boy's nursery; and she would not let him into her
rooms for fear he might knock over some of her precious
things in his play.
So that, even though Diamond was a prince, and had a
grand palace to live in, and magnificent toys and clothes,
and ponies to ride, and servants to wait upon him, he
missed something-something which I hope all you chil-
dren have. One day he went to see a nurse who had been
with him when he was a baby, and lived now in a small
cottage. This nurse had two little boys of her own,
and, when they came in from school, they jumped on to
their mother's knee, and kissed her; and, though their
faces were dirty, she let them hug her, and pat her
cheeks, and even seemed to like it, and to hold their
hands tight round her neck. Sometimes it made the little
prince feel sad to watch them-for he had never, never
jumped on his mother's knee that he could remember,
TWortb ber TUIetbt in 0olb 79
nor hugged her pretty neck, nor been held tight to her
Now, it happened that the very next morning, when
Diamond was playing in the garden with a toy horse made
of ivory and ebony, its harness set with precious stones
and embroidered with gold-a beautiful new toy which the,
queen had given him-he saw his mother come into the
garden, and sit down on a chair under a tree. She looked
so pretty that Diamond thought he must run and kiss her,
and thank her for the horse, and, before the queen's ladies
could stop him, he rushed up to her, jumped on her knee,
put his arms round her neck, and kissed her.
But, oh dear! how angry the queen was! She shook
him off, and called him a rough, horrid boy; and nearly
cried when she saw the marks of his shoes on her white
dress. And he had crushed the soft silvery veil that hung
from her crown, and nearly knocked off her earrings and
necklace; and the queen's ladies scolded him and pushed
him away, and Diamond went back to his toy horse, feeling
Of course, by-and-bye he got used to not being allowed
to hug his mother; and as he was a brave and gentle boy,
and liked to please other people as well as himself, every
one was fond of him, and kind to him. He had com-
panions and playfellows-but then, as he was the prince,
all the other boys were very polite to him, and he was
not allowed to make "real friends" with any of them;
and, as he had no brothers or sisters, he sometimes felt
lonely, and wished he might love somebody who would
not dislike to be kissed.
8o fair tales
However, the years went on until Diamond was a
strong, tall, handsome young prince of eighteen; and
then the king and queen said that it was time they should
find a wife for him.
Yes," said Diamond, I should like that very much.
A wife would let me love her, I suppose. I will set off at
once, and choose one for myself."
But poor Diamond soon found that that is not the way
princes are married.
The king and queen called
together the Grand Council
of fairies to decide whom
Diamond was to marry; and
he was not even allowed to
Sbe present at the council,
X Now, the two chief fairies
,I who are always consulted
About all important matters,
in Fairyland, are cousins,
and are very much alike in
some respects and have the same surname-and that is
" Wisdom." To distinguish them, they are generally called
Godfather Wisdom and Godmother Wisdom.
Godfather Wisdom is an old man, and he was never
young. He has a very solemn face, and never laughs;
he has dark gloomy eyes, which seem to be always looking
at things a very long way off which nobody else can see
at all. But, in reality, he is short-sighted, and wears spec-
tacles-which of course make him look wiser than ever.
Godmother Wisdom is old, too; as old as the hills-or
Ulortb ber 1Taefdbt in Go1b
older. But she has clear bright eyes, like a child's and
though she sometimes looks tired and sad, she sometimes
laughs very merrily.
Some people in Fairyland take the advice of one ofthese
cousins, and some of.the other; and many people are like
Diamond's father and mother, and always ask both of them
for their advice. But that is foolish, because they never
agree. However, they both knew Prince Diamond, and
both wanted to look after him; and so they both came
to the council which was to choose a wife for him.
"You had better leave it all to me," said. Godfather
Wisdom, as soon as he met the king. "It is such an
important matter, and Cousin Wisdom always interferes
with me, if she possibly can, as you know."
"Don't take is advice this time," Godmother Wisdom
said, the moment she arrived, and saw that her cousin was
before her, "for if we don't get the right wife for dear
Diamond, his whole life will be spoiled!"
The king only looked very sagacious, and said nothing;
and the queen smiled, and spread out her train; and they
all went into the council chamber, and Godfather Wisdom
sat at one end of the table, and Godmother Wisdom at the
"May not I speak first, please your Majesty ?" asked
Up jumped Godfather Wisdom. The boy, being a boy.
is more my charge than yours," he said angrily.
Ladies first is the rule everywhere, in polite society,"
Godmother Wisdom remonstrated, still standing.
"I beg your pardon, madam," said her cousin; "in
82 jfatrp ales
England, I have been told, ladies don't speak at all on
matters of State."
"So much the worse for the matters of State," she
answered; but then the king rose, and said that he cer-
tainly thought-the prince being a boy, as wise Godfather
Wisdom had remarked-- must give his advice first; so
Godmother Wisdom closed her lips, and sat down.
Now, in Fairyland, as I suppose you know, when one.
fairy says at the council that a certain thing shall be, no
other fairy can alter it, and so it imst be. If one of the
fairies does not like it, he or she may find out some means
of preventing the result being what was meant. But it
takes a very clever fairy to do that. and the thing which
is first said has to be, according to the strict letter of the
words. So Godmother Wisdom looked very anxious, and
listened carefully while her cousin spoke.
"This is my advice." (The fairies always called it
advice, out of politeness. What they said was really a
command, and had to be obeyed.) Dear king and queen,
Diamond is now old enough to be married, and he shall
marry the richest girl in all Fairyland." Then the king
looked pleased, and nodded his head, and the queen smiled.
"I will not tell you who she is, but you must find a girl
who is worth her weight in gold, and she shall be the bride
for Prince Diamond."
"Hear, hear!" shouted the king.
Hear, hear!" echoed the queen.
And Godmother Wisdom rapped her hand on the table,
and called out: "Hear, hear! I couldn't have spoken
better myself. Diamond shall marry a girl who is worth
loortb ber UIeigbt in Golb 83
her weight in gold.. Very good!" and she leaned back in
her chair, and laughed.
"Well, what is there to laugh at ?" said Godfather
Wisdom, testily, for even fairies don't like to be laughed
at when they think themselves wise. I don't mean by
worth her weight in gold' what yozu mean, perhaps. I
mean that she shall have, of her own, as much gold as her
body weighs. A well-grown girl will weigh about eight
stone, so she must have eight stone weight of gold, or
else Diamond shall not marry her. And in order to be
quite exact, the king shall have a large pair of scales
made, and any girl who is found likely shall be weighed
with her money. If she is the least bit heavier than her
gold, Diamond shall not marry her. But when a girl is
found, and put into one scale, and all the gold and silver
that belongs to her in the other, and the scale with the
money in it goes down, and the scale with the girl in it
goes up, then Diamond shall marry that girl; or, if he
refuses, he will be driven out of the country, and never
allowed to come back. I have spoken !
Then there was a long pause, until Godmother Wisdom
said: "Your Majesty, Cousin Wisdom said, first, simply that
Diamond should marry a girl who was worth her weight
in gold. What does that mean in your country? because
I maintain that we ought to go by the common meaning."
The king said that he must ask the lawyers what it
meant; and so the lawyers were sent for, and it took three
days and a half to explain the question to them, and three
days and a half more to get their answer. But at last
they decided that-Because, in that country, when a man
died, every one said, "What is he worth ? "-meaning,
How much money had he ? "-therefore, to be worth her
weight in gold" certainly meant, commonly, exactly what
Godfather Wisdom had said.
The king and queen were very pleased at this decision,
but Godmother Wisdom looked sad, and got up from the
council table, and went away. As she walked slowly
down the road from the palace, she met Diamond, riding
"Get down, and come with me," she said; and when he
had joined her, she took his hand and led him to a bench
under a great beech-tree, and sat down, and looked at him,
and Diamond saw that there were tears in her eyes.
"Dear Godmother Wisdom," he said gently, "why are
you so sorry for me ?"
"Because they want to make you marry the first girl
they find who is worth her weight in gold,'" she said.
Well! I shall not mind that if she is pretty and nice,"
Diamond said, blushing a little. I would rather choose
for myself, of course. But you need not cry; I shall be
glad to have a wife."
"You don't know anything about it!" Godmother
Wisdom said. When you do, you will cry, too, my pretty
fellow Gold, indeed and she picked up a yellow beech
leaf, and held it in the sunshine, and her tears fell on it.
"But gold doesn't hurt," Diamond said, more and more
astonished at her tears. "Why should I not have a
wife who has gold ? "
"Diamond! believe me, it hurts more than anything
else men can touch," she answered earnestly; "I have
MItortb ber Ulefgbt in G0oT
been trying to make them know that for years and years,
but they won't learn! It hurts so badly that it often kills.
And now you are to marry a girl who is worth her weight
in gold! My poor boy!"
But not unless she is pretty and loving, too ? he said.
Oh yes! however ugly or bad tempered she may be,
you will have to marry her, if she has the scale full of gold.
Godfather Wisdom says so."
Oh, dear Godmother Wisdom, I can't do that! "he said,
in a troubled voice. I must have some one to love! I
can't love her gold, you know !"
"I hope not," she said gravely, and looked at him with
anxious eyes, as if she were waiting for something.
"What shall I do? Cannot you help me ? Oh, do help
me !" Diamond exclaimed.
Yes; of course I can help you. I was waiting for you
to ask me to help you. I could do nothing until you did."
And he saw that her expression was quite different now.
Diamond thought that was a very strange thing for God-
mother Wisdom to say, because he had always believed
(and so had I) that fairies could do whatever they liked;
and he looked puzzled, and was going to ask "Why?"
when she said, See, Diamond, I have a present for you!"
He looked at her hands, but they were folded quietly on
her knee, and she was looking far away through the trees.
Diamond looked in the same direction, and in another
moment he saw a little dog scampering towards them
over the grass. He was the loveliest little dog you ever
saw; a sort of Skye terrier, but his coat was more silky
and more beautifully curled than the coats of common
gairl ? ales
Skye terriers, and of a silvery blue-grey colour, which shone
in the sunshine. He came scampering up to Godmother
Wisdom, sprang on her knee with a glad bark, put up his
little black nose, and blinked intelligently, as much as to
say, "What do you want ?"
"He is a beauty!" said Diamond. "But how can he
help me ? That is what I want you to do now, please."
"You will see; only do what he tells you, and don't
think yourself wiser than he is. His name is Fay."
Then Godmother Wisdom
whispered in the little dog's
ear. He kept quite still while
she did this; then he licked
her hands and face, jumped
off her knee, and ran round
Diamond, and smelt him, and
Sparked, and looked up at him
merrily with bright eyes, half
hidden by the long locks of hair falling over his face,
just as if he were saying, Come and play!" Diamond
bent down to pat him and roll him over on the grass, and
when he looked up to speak to Godmother Wisdom again,
she had gone.
The king and queen were so pleased that the young
prince was to have a rich wife that they lost no time in set-
ting about finding her. A big pair of scales were prepared
at once, and put upon large waggon; and inquiries were
made everywhere for all the richest young ladies in the
land. As soon as any one was heard of who was very
rich, the scales were sent to the place where she lived,
Mlortb ber tlefobt in oolb 87
and she and her gold were weighed. But it seemed not
an easy thing, after all, to find a girl who was worth her
weight in gold.
The king himself could not leave his kingdom; but he
made the prince go with the noblemen and gentlemen who
had charge of the scales, and see all the young ladies
weighed; and poor Diamond got many a dreadful fright,
for some of the rich young ladies were getting old, and
some were ugly, and some were cross and disagreeable,
and Diamond was never asked whether or not he would
like this one or that.
The lords and gentlemen always politely invited the
young lady whom they went to weigh to step into one
scale when all her gold had been put into the other. But
time after time the same thing happened-the scale with
the young lady in it went down, and the scale with the
gold went up-and Diamond rode away delighted that he
had escaped. At last, one day, the lords and gentlemen
came to the king, who was growing very impatient, and said
that now they were quite sure of succeeding. They had
heard of a princess who was enormously rich, and at the
same time so small and thin that there was no doubt she
would weigh very light. So they took the scales, and set
out, Diamond riding first with. the chief nobleman, fol-
lowed by a gorgeous procession.
"Is this princess pretty and nice ?" Diamond asked
The chief nobleman laughed, and said: "Oh, come,
come! Your Royal Highness cannot have everything,
and I feel sure she is worth her weight in gold!"
88 lfairp ales
Diamond rode on with a heavy heart; he was afraid that
his fate was fixed, and even his pretty little dog's merry
antics could not cheer him. Pay seemed wild with excite-
ment, and jumped and frisked about, wagging his tail, and
barking, and trying all he could to make the prince laugh;
but the poor young man only shook his head sadly, and
said: "Ah, Fay, Fay! it's all very well for you to be so
happy; they are not going to marry you to a wife worth
her weight in gold. You might help me out of this,
And Pay put his head on one side, and looked very
wise indeed; and then trotted quietly along by the side
of Diamond all the rest of the day.
It was afternoon of the second day when they drew
near the castle where the Princess Aura lived. Just as
the princes procession came in sight of the castle gates a
strange thing happened. Fay quite suddenly stood still,
and began to bark, not angrily, but joyously; then he
seemed very much excited, and ran from one side of the
road to the other, and sniffed about as if in search of
something. All at once he stopped at the gate of a little
garden, in which stood, half hidden from the road, a low
Diamond called "Fay! Pay! come here!" and he ran
to the prince, looked up at him, and barked eagerly, and
then ran back to the cottage gate, and stood there; and
then back to Diamond, with a look that said as plain as
plain could be, Come with me, dear master!"
Diamond shook his head. "I can't, you silly little dog!
Don't you see that I am far too anxious to play with you ?
tlortb ber eto bt in Golb 89
Perhaps this princess won't be as bad as some of them!
At any rate, I must know the worst! "
Indeed, the prince was so anxious that he did not even
notice that Fay left his side, trotted quietly back to the
cottage gate, jumped over it, and disappeared.
Soon the prince's procession arrived at the castle.
With a great noise of trumpets and bells and kettledrums
the gates were thrown open, and the prince and his lords
and gentlemen, and the waggon with the big scales,
went into the courtyard. All the castle grandees came
to meet the prince; and all the people who were not
grandees came to see the curious big scales. Then, while
they were carefully set up, and while the princess's
servants brought the gold out of the safe where it was
kept, and piled it up in one scale, Diamond was led into
the hall of the castle to be introduced to Princess Aura.
Poor Prince Diamond! He had meant to try very hard
to like her. But how could he like her? She was such
an unpleasant little princess. She was very small; and so
thin that all her bones showed through her dress. She
had wizened, sharp features; yellow, shrivelled skin; dull
yellow hair; small, round, yellow, glittering eyes; and a
hard disagreeable expression about her lips which would
have made any one shrink back who had ever thought of
Diamond saw all this at a glance. He bowed very low,
and touched her hand, but it was so cold that it gave him
quite a start, and he saw that the thin fingers were yellow,
and all crooked at the tips, as if to grasp things. Poor
Diamond's heart sank This princess was the worst of all
he had seen, and he knew that she was the richest
It is true, she was most magnificently dressed, in yellow
cloth of gold, glittering with jewels. But the prince was
sick of gold by this time, as you may well believe, and he
had begun to think it the ugliest thing in the world. He
was, indeed, so unhappy that he could not think of any
polite speech to make to his intended bride; and in a few
minutes he stammered out that he had lost his little pet
dog, and must go to look for him; and, with this excuse,
As he passed through the courtyard the big scales were
ready. He saw the princess's men carrying sack after
sack of gold, and emptying it into the scale, and he felt
quite hopeless. This was surely the fated princess who
was worth her weight in gold!
As soon as he was outside the castle gates he heard
Fay's bark, and followed the sound to the cottage where he
had lost him. The garden gate was open, and the prince
went in. It was only a little garden, but it was quite full
of flowers. They were only common flowers, such as gilly-
flowers, and sweet-williams, and Canterbury-bells, and
snapdragons, and roses, and tall white-and-orange lilies;
but the flowers grew close together and filled every colrer,
and looked happy and cared for; and the garden seemed
to be steeped in sunshine, and the air to be sweet, oh! so
sweet, with the scent of all the summer in it! And brown
bees went buzzing from flower to flower; and white, and
crimson, and blue butterflies flitted about, like flower-
petals blown by the breeze.
iOortb bert letabt in G'olb 9
As Diamond stood among the flowers, he heard a lailgh,
which sounded like a peal of silver bells, and in a moment
a girl came dancing along the path by the side of the
cottage, with Fay, capering and bounding and barking with
delight, at her feet. She did not see Diamond, and when
she came to a little grassy bank under a lime-tree, she
threw herself down and caught Fay up in her arms, and
There! we have had romps enough, you dear little
doggie! Sit up now, and tell me what your name
is, and where you come from," shlt said, and held Fay's
head in her hands, and looked into his pretty brown eyes.
And Fay wagged his tail and tried to lick the girl's cheeks,
and looked perfectly happy.
Well he might,"thought Diamond. Who would not
be happy to be so fondled ? Who would not be happy.to
be allowed to touch those sweet soft cheeks, which are
lovelier than pink rose-leaves ? And this young girl had
long golden curls falling about her neck, and her eyes
were as blue as the sky, and strangely sweet to look
upon; and her lips were rosy, and she seemed to smile
always. Diamond did not notice how she was dressed, for
he could not take his eyes off her face. But in fact she
wore a very old, faded, cotton gown, and her .pretty arms
were bare above the dimpled elbows, and her feet, which
peeped out beneath her frock on the grass, were bare and
white. The prince came slowly towards her, his eyes full
of delight in her beauty; and all at once the girl heard
his steps, and half rose.
No; please don't get up," he said, quickly taking off