The Little Lame Prince
Miss Mulock

Part 3 out of 4

invest his heir with the royal purple--at any
rate, for a time--while he himself went away on
a distant journey, whither he had long desired
to go.

Everybody marveled, but nobody opposed
him. Who could oppose the good King, who
was not a young king now? And besides, the
nation had a great admiration for the young
regent--and possibly a lurking pleasure in

So there was a fixed day when all the people
whom it would hold assembled in the great
square of the capital, to see the young prince
installed solemnly in his new duties, and undertaking
his new vows. He was a very fine young
fellow; tall and straight as a poplar tree, with a
frank, handsome face--a great deal handsomer
than the king, some people said, but others
thought differently. However, as his Majesty
sat on his throne, with his gray hair falling from
underneath his crown, and a few wrinkles showing
in spite of his smile, there was something
about his countenance which made his people,
even while they shouted, regard him with a
tenderness mixed with awe.

He lifted up his thin, slender hand, and there
came a silence over the vast crowd immediately.
Then he spoke, in his own accustomed way, using
no grand words, but saying what he had to say in
the simplest fashion, though with a clearness
that struck their ears like the first song of a bird
in the dusk of the morning.

"My people, I am tired: I want to rest. I
have had a long reign, and done much work--at
least, as much as I was able to do. Many might
have done it better than I--but none with a
better will. Now I leave it to others; I am tired,
very tired. Let me go home."

There arose a murmur--of content or
discontent none could well tell; then it died down
again, and the assembly listened silently once

"I am not anxious about you, my people--my
children," continued the King. "You are
prosperous and at peace. I leave you in good
hands. The Prince Regent will be a fitter king
for you than I."

"No, no, no!" rose the universal shout--and
those who had sometimes found fault with him
shouted louder than anybody. But he seemed
as if he heard them not.

"Yes, yes," said he, as soon as the tumult had
a little subsided: and his voice sounded firm and
clear; and some very old people, who boasted of
having seen him as a child, declared that his face
took a sudden change, and grew as young and
sweet as that of the little Prince Dolor. "Yes,
I must go. It is time for me to go. Remember
me sometimes, my people, for I have loved you
well. And I am going a long way, and I do not
think I shall come back any more."

He drew a little bundle out of his breast
pocket--a bundle that nobody had ever seen
before. It was small and shabby-looking, and
tied up with many knots, which untied themselves
in an instant. With a joyful countenance,
he muttered over it a few half-intelligible words.
Then, so suddenly that even those nearest to his
Majesty could not tell how it came about, the
King was away--away--floating right up in the
air--upon something, they knew not what,
except that it appeared to be as safe and pleasant
as the wings of a bird.

And after him sprang a bird--a dear little
lark, rising from whence no one could say, since
larks do not usually build their nests in the
pavement of city squares. But there it was, a
real lark, singing far over their heads, louder
and clearer and more joyful as it vanished
further into the blue sky.

Shading their eyes, and straining their ears,
the astonished people stood until the whole
vision disappeared like a speck in the clouds--
the rosy clouds that overhung the Beautiful

King Dolor was never again beheld or heard
of in his own country. But the good he had done
there lasted for years and years; he was long
missed and deeply mourned--at least, so far as
anybody could mourn one who was gone on such
a happy journey.

Whither he went, or who went with him, it is
impossible to say. But I myself believe that his
godmother took him on his traveling-cloak to the
Beautiful Mountains. What he did there, or
where he is now, who can tell? I cannot. But
one thing I am quite sure of, that, wherever he
is, he is perfectly happy.

And so, when I think of him, am I.


THERE were a king and queen who were
dotingly fond of their only son,
notwithstanding that he was equally deformed
in mind and person. The king was quite
sensible of the evil disposition of his son, but the
queen in her excessive fondness saw no fault
whatever in her dear Furibon, as he was named.
The surest way to win her favor was to praise
Furibon for charms he did not possess. When he
came of age to have a governor, the king made
choice of a prince who had an ancient right to the
crown, but was not able to support it. This
prince had a son, named Leander, handsome,
accomplished, amiable--in every respect the opposite
of Prince Furibon. The two were frequently
together, which only made the deformed prince
more repulsive.

One day, certain ambassadors having arrived
from a far country, the prince stood in a gallery
to see them; when, taking Leander for the king's
son, they made their obeisance to him, treating
Furibon as a mere dwarf, at which the latter
was so offended that he drew his sword, and
would have done them a mischief had not the
king just then appeared. As it was, the affair
produced a quarrel, which ended in Leander's
being sent to a far-away castle belonging to his

There, however, he was quite happy, for he
was a great lover of hunting, fishing, and walking:
he understood painting, read much, and
played upon several instruments, so that he was
glad to be freed from the fantastic humors of
Furibon. One day as he was walking in the
garden, finding the heat increase, he retired
into a shady grove and began to play upon the
flute to amuse himself. As he played, he felt
something wind about his leg, and looking down
saw a great adder: he took his handkerchief,
and catching it by the head was going to kill it.
But the adder, looking steadfastly in his face,
seemed to beg his pardon. At this instant one
of the gardeners happened to come to the place
where Leander was, and spying the snake, cried
out to his master: "Hold him fast, sir; it is but
an hour since we ran after him to kill him: it is
the most mischievous creature in the world."

Leander, casting his eyes a second time upon
the snake, which was speckled with a thousand
extraordinary colors, perceived the poor creature
still looked upon him with an aspect that
seemed to implore compassion, and never tried
in the least to defend itself.

"Though thou hast such a mind to kill it,"
said he to the gardener, "yet, as it came to me
for refuge, I forbid thee to do it any harm; for
I will keep it, and when it has cast its beautiful
skin I will let it go." He then returned home,
and carrying the snake with him, put it into a
large chamber, the key of which he kept himself,
and ordered bran, milk, and flowers to be given
to it, for its delight and sustenance; so that
never was snake so happy. Leander went sometimes
to see it, and when it perceived him it
made haste to meet him, showing him all the
little marks of love and gratitude of which a
poor snake was capable, which did not a little
surprise him, though he took no further notice
of it.

In the meantime all the court ladies were
extremely troubled at his absence, and he was the
subject of all their discourse. "Alas!" cried
they, "there is no pleasure at court since
Leander is gone, of whose absence the wicked
Furibon is the cause!" Furibon also had his
parasites, for his power over the queen made
him feared; they told him what the ladies said,
which enraged him to such a degree that in his
passion he flew to the queen's chamber, and
vowed he would kill himself before her face if
she did not find means to destroy Leander. The
queen, who also hated Leander, because he was
handsomer than her son, replied that she had
long looked upon him as a traitor, and therefore
would willingly consent to his death. To which
purpose she advised Furibon to go a-hunting
with some of his confidants, and contrive it so
that Leander should make one of the party.

"Then," said she, "you may find some way to
punish him for pleasing everybody."

Furibon understood her, and accordingly
went a-hunting; and Leander, when he heard the
horns and the hounds, mounted his horse and
rode to see who it was. But he was surprised to
meet the prince so unexpectedly; he alighted
immediately and saluted him with respect; and
Furibon received him more graciously than
usual and bade follow him. All of a sudden
he turned his horse and rode another way,
making a sign to the ruffians to take the
first opportunity to kill him; but before he had
got quite out of sight, a lion of prodigious size,
coming out of his den, leaped upon Furibon; all
his followers fled, and only Leander remained;
who, attacking the animal sword in hand, by his
valor and agility saved the life of his most cruel
enemy, who had fallen in a swoon from fear.
When he recovered, Leander presented him his
horse to remount. Now, any other than such a
wretch would have been grateful, but Furibon
did not even look upon him; nay, mounting the
horse, he rode in quest of the ruffians, to whom
he repeated his orders to kill him. They
accordingly surrounded Leander, who, setting his
back to a tree, behaved with so much bravery
that he laid them all dead at his feet. Furibon,
believing him by this time slain, rode eagerly up
to the spot. When Leander saw him he
advanced to meet him. "Sir," said he, "if it was
by your order that these assassins came to kill
me, I am sorry I made any defense."

"You are an insolent villain!" replied
Furibon, "and if ever you come into my presence
again, you shall surely die."

Leander made no answer, but retired sad and
pensive to his own home, where he spent the
night in pondering what was best for him to do;
for there was no likelihood he should be able to
defend himself against the power of the king's
son; therefore he at length concluded he would
travel abroad and see the world. Being ready
to depart, he recollected his snake, and, calling
for some milk and fruits, carried them to the
poor creature for the last time; but on opening
the door he perceived an extraordinary luster in
one corner of the room, and casting his eye on
the place he was surprised to see a lady, whose
noble and majestic air made him immediately
conclude she was a princess of royal birth. Her
habit was of purple satin, embroidered with
pearls and diamonds; she advanced toward him
with a gracious smile.

"Young prince," said she, "you find no longer
your pet snake, but me, the fairy Gentilla, ready
to requite your generosity. For know that we
fairies live a hundred years in flourishing youth,
without diseases, without trouble or pain; and
this term being expired, we become snakes for
eight days. During that time it is not in our
power to prevent any misfortune that may befall
us; and if we happen to be killed, we never
revive again. But these eight days being expired,
we resume our usual form and recover our
beauty, our power, and our riches. Now you
know how much I am obliged to your goodness,
and it is but just that I should repay my debt
of gratitude; think how I can serve you and
depend on me."

The young prince, who had never conversed
with a fairy till now, was so surprised that it
was a long time before he could speak. But
at length, making a profound reverence,
"Madam," said he, "since I have had the honor
to serve you, I know not any other happiness
that I can wish for."

"I should be sorry," replied she, "not to be
of service to you in something; consider, it is in
my power to bestow on you long life, kingdoms,
riches; to give you mines of diamonds and
houses full of gold; I can make you an excellent
orator, poet, musician, and painter; or, if you
desire it, a spirit of the air, the water, or the

Here Leander interrupted her. "Permit me,
madam," said he, "to ask you what benefit it
would be to me to be a spirit?"

"Much," replied the fairy, "you would be
invisible when you pleased, and might in an
instant traverse the whole earth; you would be
able to fly without wings, to descend into the
abyss of the earth without dying, and walk at
the bottom of the sea without being drowned;
nor doors, nor windows, though fast shut and
locked, could hinder you from entering anywhere;
and whenever you had a mind, you might
resume your natural form."

"Oh, madam!" cried Leander, "then let me
be a spirit; I am going to travel, and should
prefer it above all those other advantages you have
so generously offered me."

Gentilla thereupon stroking his face three
times, "Be a spirit," said she; and then,
embracing him, she gave him a little red cap with a
plume of feathers. "When you put on this cap
you shall be invisible; but when you take it off
you shall again become visible."

Leander, overjoyed, put his little red cap
upon his head and wished himself in the forest,
that he might gather some wild roses which he
had observed there: his body immediately became
as light as thought; he flew through the
window like a bird; though, in flying over the
river, he was not without fear lest he should fall
into it, and the power of the fairy not be able to
save him. But he arrived in safety at the rose-
bushes, plucked the three roses, and returned
immediately to his chamber; presented his roses
to the fairy, overjoyed that his first experiments
had succeeded so well. She bade him keep
the roses, for that one of them would supply
him with money whenever he wanted it; that
if he put the other into his mistress' bosom,
he would know whether she was faithful or not;
and that the third would keep him always in
good health. Then, without staying to receive
his thanks, she wished him success in his travels
and disappeared.

Leander, infinitely pleased, settled his affairs,
mounted the finest horse in the stable, called
Gris-de-line, and attended by some of his servants
in livery, made his return to court. Now
you must know Furibon had given out that had
it not been for his courage Leander would have
murdered him when they were a-hunting; so the
king, being importuned by the queen, gave orders
that Leander should be apprehended. But when
he came, he showed so much courage and resolution
that Furibon ran to the queen's chamber
and prayed her to order him to be seized. The
queen, who was extremely diligent in everything
that her son desired, went immediately to the
king. Furibon, being impatient to know what
would be resolved, followed her; but stopped at
the door and laid his ear to the keyhole, putting
his hair aside that he might the better hear what
was said. At the same time, Leander entered the
court-hall of the palace with his red cap upon
his head, and perceiving Furibon listening at
the door of the king's chamber, he took a nail and
a hammer and nailed his ear to the door. Furibon
began to roar, so that the queen, hearing
her son's voice, ran and opened the door, and,
pulling it hastily, tore her son's ear from his
head. Half out of her wits, she set him in her
lap, took up his ear, kissed it, and clapped it
again upon its place; but the invisible Leander,
seizing upon a handful of twigs, with which they
corrected the king's little dogs, gave the queen
several lashes upon her hands, and her son as
many on the nose: upon which the queen cried
out, "Murder! murder!" and the king looked
about, and the people came running in; but
nothing was to be seen. Some cried that the
queen was mad, and that her madness proceeded
from her grief to see that her son had lost one
ear; and the king was as ready as any to believe
it, so that when she came near him he avoided
her, which made a very ridiculous scene. Leander,
then leaving the chamber, went into the
garden, and there, assuming his own shape, he
boldly began to pluck the queen's cherries,
apricots, strawberries, and flowers, though he knew
she set such a high value on them that it was as
much as a man's life was worth to touch one.
The gardeners, all amazed, came and told their
majesties that Prince Leander was making
havoc of all the fruits and flowers in the queen's

"What insolence!" said the queen: then
turning to Furibon, "my pretty child, forget the
pain of thy ear but for a moment, and fetch that
vile wretch hither; take our guards, both horse
and foot, seize him, and punish him as he

Furibon, encouraged by his mother, and
attended by a great number of armed soldiers,
entered the garden and saw Leander; who, taking
refuge under a tree, pelted them all with
oranges. But when they came running toward
him, thinking to have seized him, he was not to
be seen; he had slipped behind Furibon, who was
in a bad condition already. But Leander played
him one trick more; for he pushed him down
upon the gravel walk, and frightened him so
that the soldiers had to take him up, carry him
away, and put him to bed.

Satisfied with this revenge, he returned to
his servants, who waited for him, and giving
them money, sent them back to his castle, that
none might know the secret of his red cap and
roses. As yet he had not determined whither
to go; however, he mounted his fine horse Gris-
de-line, and, laying the reins upon his neck,
let him take his own road: at length he arrived
in a forest, where he stopped to shelter himself
from the heat. He had not been above a minute
there before he heard a lamentable noise of
sighing and sobbing; and looking about him,
beheld a man, who ran, stopped, then ran again,
sometimes crying, sometimes silent, then tearing
his hair, then thumping his breast like some
unfortunate madman. Yet he seemed to be both
handsome and young: his garments had been
magnificent, but he had torn them all to tatters.
The prince, moved with compassion, made toward
him, and mildly accosted him. "Sir," said
he, "your condition appears so deplorable that I
must ask the cause of your sorrow, assuring you
of every assistance in my power."

"Oh, sir," answered the young man, "nothing
can cure my grief; this day my dear mistress is
to be sacrificed to a rich old ruffian of a husband
who will make her miserable."

"Does she love you, then?" asked Leander.

"I flatter myself so," answered the young

"Where is she?" continued Leander.

"In the castle at the end of this forest,"
replied the lover.

"Very well," said Leander; "stay you here
till I come again, and in a little while I will
bring you good news."

He then put on his little red cap and wished
himself in the castle. He had hardly got thither
before he heard all sorts of music; he entered
into a great room, where the friends and kindred
of the old man and the young lady were
assembled. No one could look more amiable than
she; but the paleness of her complexion, the
melancholy that appeared in her countenance,
and the tears that now and then dropped, as it
were by stealth from her eyes, betrayed the
trouble of her mind.

Leander now became invisible, and placed
himself in a corner of the room. He soon
perceived the father and mother of the bride; and
coming behind the mother's chair, whispered in
her ear, "If you marry your daughter to that
old dotard, before eight days are over you shall
certainly die." The woman, frightened to hear
such a terrible sentence pronounced upon her,
and yet not know from whence it came, gave a
loud shriek and dropped upon the floor. Her
husband asked what ailed her: she cried that she
was a dead woman if the marriage of her
daughter went forward, and therefore she would
not consent to it for all the world. Her husband
laughed at her and called her a fool. But the
invisible Leander accosting the man, threatened
him in the same way, which frightened him so
terribly that he also insisted on the marriage
being broken off. When the lover complained,
Leander trod hard upon his gouty toes and rang
such an alarm in his ears that, not being able
any longer to hear himself speak, away he
limped, glad enough to go. The real lover soon
appeared, and he and his fair mistress fell
joyfully into one another's arms, the parents
consenting to their union. Leander, assuming
his own shape, appeared at the hall door, as if
he were a stranger drawn thither by the report
of this extraordinary wedding.

From hence he traveled on, and came to a
great city, where, upon his arrival, he understood
there was a great and solemn procession,
in order to shut up a young woman against her
will among the vestal-nuns. The prince was
touched with compassion; and thinking the best
use he could make of his cap was to redress
public wrongs and relieve the oppressed, he flew
to the temple, where he saw the young woman,
crowned with flowers, clad in white, and with her
disheveled hair flowing about her shoulders.
Two of her brothers led her by each hand, and
her mother followed her with a great crowd of
men and women. Leander, being invisible, cried
out, "Stop, stop, wicked brethren: stop, rash
and inconsiderate mother; if you proceed any
further, you shall be squeezed to death like so
many frogs." They looked about, but could
not conceive from whence these terrible menaces
came. The brothers said it was only their
sister's lover, who had hid himself in some hole;
at which Leander, in wrath, took a long cudgel,
and they had no reason to say the blows were not
well laid on. The multitude fled, the vestals
ran away, and Leander was left alone with the
victim; immediately he pulled off his red cap
and asked her wherein he might serve her. She
answered him that there was a certain gentleman
whom she would be glad to marry, but that
he wanted an estate. Leander then shook his
rose so long that he supplied them with ten
millions; after which they were married and
lived happily together.

But his last adventure was the most agreeable.
Entering into a wide forest, he heard lamentable
cries. Looking about him every way, at length
he spied four men well armed, who were carrying
away by force a young lady, thirteen or
fourteen years of age; upon which, making up
to them as fast as he could, "What harm has
that girl done?" said he.

"Ha! ha! my little master," cried he who
seemed to be the ringleader of the rest, "who
bade you inquire?"

"Let her alone," said Leander, "and go
about your business."

"Oh, yes, to be sure," cried they, laughing;
whereupon the prince, alighting, put on his red
cap, not thinking it otherwise prudent to attack
four who seemed strong enough to fight a
dozen. One of them stayed to take care of the
young lady, while the three others went after
Gris-de-line, who gave them a great deal of
unwelcome exercise.

Meantime the young lady continued her cries
and complaints. "Oh, my dear princess," said
she, "how happy was I in your palace! Did you
but know my sad misfortune, you would send
your Amazons to rescue poor Abricotina."

Leander, having listened to what she said,
without delay seized the ruffian that held her,
and bound him fast to a tree before he had time
or strength to defend himself. He then went to
the second, and taking him by both arms, bound
him in the same manner to another tree. In the
meantime Abricotina made the best of her good
fortune and betook herself to her heels, not
knowing which way she went. But Leander,
missing her, called out to his horse Gris-de-line;
who, by two kicks with his hoof, rid himself of
the two ruffians who had pursued him: one of
them had his head broken and the other three
of his ribs. And now Leander only wanted to
overtake Abricotina; for he thought her so handsome
that he wished to see her again. He found
her leaning against a tree. When she saw Gris-
de-line coming toward her, "How lucky am I!"
cried she; "this pretty little horse will carry me
to the palace of pleasure." Leander heard her,
though she saw him not: he rode up to her;
Gris-de-line stopped, and when Abricotina
mounted him, Leander clasped her in his arms
and placed her gently before him. Oh, how
great was Abricotina's fear to feel herself fast
embraced, and yet see nobody! She durst not
stir, and shut her eyes for fear of seeing a spirit.
But Leander took off his little cap. "How comes
it, fair Abricotina," said he, "that you are
afraid of me, who delivered you out of the hands
of the ruffians?"

With that she opened her eyes, and knowing
him again, "Oh, sir," said she, "I am infinitely
obliged to you; but I was afraid, for I felt
myself held fast and could see no one."

"Surely," replied Leander, "the danger you
have been in has disturbed you and cast a mist
before your eyes."

Abricotina would not seem to doubt him,
though she was otherwise extremely sensible.
And after they had talked for some time of
indifferent things, Leander requested her to tell
him her age, her country, and by what accident
she fell into the hands of the ruffians.

"Know then, sir," said she, "there was a
certain very great fairy married to a prince who
wearied of her: she therefore banished him from
her presence, and established herself and daughter
in the Island of Calm Delights. The princess,
who is my mistress, being very fair, has many
lovers--among others, one named Furibon,
whom she detests; he it was whose ruffians
seized me to-day when I was wandering in
search of a stray parrot. Accept, noble prince,
my best thanks for your valor, which I shall
never forget."

Leander said how happy he was to have
served her, and asked if he could not obtain
admission into the island. Abricotina assured
him this was impossible, and therefore he had
better forget all about it. While they were thus
conversing, they came to the bank of a large
river. Abricotina alighted with a nimble jump
from the horse.

"Farewell, sir," said she to the prince,
making a profound reverence; "I wish you every

"And I," said Leander, "wish that I may now
and then have a small share in your remembrance."

So saying, he galloped away and soon entered
into the thickest part of the wood, near a river,
where he unbridled and unsaddled Gris-de-line;
then, putting on his little cap, wished himself
in the Island of Calm Delights, and his wish
was immediately accomplished.

The palace was of pure gold, and stood upon
pillars of crystal and precious stones, which
represented the zodiac and all the wonders of
nature; all the arts and sciences; the sea, with
all the variety of fish therein contained; the
earth, with all the various creatures which it
produces; the chases of Diana and her nymphs;
the noble exercises of the Amazons; the amusements
of a country life; flocks of sheep with
their shepherds and dogs; the toils of agriculture,
harvesting, gardening. And among all
this variety of representations there was neither
man nor boy to be seen--not so much as a little
winged Cupid; so highly had the princess been
incensed against her inconstant husband as not
to show the least favor to his fickle sex.

"Abricotina did not deceive me," said
Leander to himself; "they have banished from
hence the very idea of men; now let us see what
they have lost by it." With that he entered into
the palaces and at every step he took he met with
objects so wonderful that when he had once
fixed his eyes upon them he had much ado to
take them off again. He viewed a vast number
of these apartments, some full of china, no less
fine than curious; others lined with porcelain, so
delicate that the walls were quite transparent.
Coral, jasper, agates, and cornelians adorned the
rooms of state, and the presence-chamber was
one entire mirror. The throne was one great
pearl, hollowed like a shell; the princess sat,
surrounded by her maidens, none of whom could
compare with herself. In her was all the innocent
sweetness of youth, joined to the dignity of
maturity; in truth, she was perfection; and so
thought the invisible Leander.

Not seeing Abricotina, she asked where she
was. Upon that, Leander, being very desirous
to speak, assumed the tone of a parrot, for there
were many in the room, and addressed himself
invisibly to the princess.

"Most charming princess," said he, "Abricotina
will return immediately. She was in great
danger of being carried away from this place but
for a young prince who rescued her."

The princess was surprised at the parrot, his
answer was so extremely pertinent.

"You are very rude, little parrot," said the
princess;" and Abricotina, when she comes,
shall chastise you for it."

"I shall not be chastised," answered Leander,
still counterfeiting the parrot's voice; "moreover,
she will let you know the great desire that
stranger had to be admitted into this palace,
that he might convince you of the falsehood of
those ideas which you have conceived against
his sex."

"In truth, pretty parrot," cried the princess,
"it is a pity you are not every day so diverting;
I should love you dearly."

"Ah! if prattling will please you, princess,"
replied Leander, "I will prate from morning
till night."

"But," continued the princess, "how shall I
be sure my parrot is not a sorcerer?"

"He is more in love than any sorcerer can be,"
replied the prince.

At this moment Abricotina entered the room,
and falling at her lovely mistress' feet, gave her
a full account of what had befallen her, and
described the prince in the most glowing colors.

"I should have hated all men," added she,
"had I not seen him! Oh, madam, how charming
he is! His air and all his behavior have
something in them so noble; and though whatever
he spoke was infinitely pleasing, yet I think
I did well in not bringing him hither."

To this the princess said nothing, but she
asked Abricotina a hundred other questions
concerning the prince; whether she knew his name,
his country, his birth, from whence he came, and
whither he was going; and after this she fell
into a profound thoughtfulness.

Leander observed everything, and continued
to chatter as he had begun.

"Abricotina is ungrateful, madam," said he;
"that poor stranger will die for grief if he sees
you not."

"Well, parrot, let him die," answered the
princess with a sigh; "and since thou under-
takest to reason like a person of wit, and not a
little bird, I forbid thee to talk to me any more
of this unknown person."

Leander was overjoyed to find that Abricotina's
and the parrot's discourse had made such
an impression on the princess. He looked upon
her with pleasure and delight. "Can it be,"
said he to himself, "that the masterpiece of
nature, that the wonder of our age, should be
confined eternally in an island, and no mortal
dare to approach her? But," continued he,
"wherefore am I concerned that others are
banished hence, since I have the happiness to be
with her, to hear and to admire her; nay, more,
to love her above all the women in the universe?"

It was late, and the princess retired into a
large room of marble and porphyry, where
several bubbling fountains, refreshed the air
with an agreeable coolness. As soon as she
entered the music began, a sumptuous supper
was served up, and the birds from several
aviaries on each side of the room, of which
Abricotina had the chief care, opened their little
throats in the most agreeable manner.

Leander had traveled a journey long enough
to give him a good appetite, which made him
draw near the table, where the very smell of such
viands was agreeable and refreshing. The princess
had a curious tabby-cat, for which she had
a great kindness. This cat one of the maids of
honor held in her arms, saying, "Madam, Bluet
is hungry!" With that a chair was presently
brought for the cat; for he was a cat of quality,
and had a necklace of pearl about his neck. He
was served on a golden plate with a laced napkin
before him; and the plate being supplied with
meat, Bluet sat with the solemn importance of
an alderman.

"Ho! ho!" cried Leander to himself; "an
idle tabby malkin, that perhaps never caught a
mouse in his life, and I dare say is not descended
from a better family than myself, has the honor
to sit at table with my mistress: I would fain
know whether he loves her so well as I do."

Saying this, he placed himself in the chair with
the cat upon his knee, for nobody saw him, because
he had his little red cap on; finding Bluet's
plate well supplied with partridge, quails, and
pheasants, he made so free with them that whatever
was set before Master Puss disappeared in
a trice. The whole court said no act{sic} ever ate with
a better appetite. There were excellent ragouts,
and the prince made use of the cat's paw to taste
them; but he sometimes pulled his paw too
roughly, and Bluet, not understanding raillery,
began to mew and be quite out of patience. The
princess observing it, "Bring that fricassee and
that tart to poor Bluet," said she; "see how he
cries to have them."

Leander laughed to himself at the pleasantness
of this adventure; but he was very thirsty,
not being accustomed to make such large meals
without drinking. By the help of the cat's paw
he got a melon, with which he somewhat
quenched his thirst; and when supper was quite
over, he went to the buffet and took two bottles
of delicious wine.

The princess now retired into her boudoir,
ordering Abricotina to follow her and make fast
the door; but they could not keep out Leander,
who was there as soon as they. However, the
princess, believing herself alone with her confidante:

"Abricotina," said she, "tell me truly, did
you exaggerate in your description of the unknown
prince, for methinks it is impossible he
should be as amiable as you say?"

"Madam," replied the damsel, "if I have
failed in anything, it was ln coming short of
what was due to him."

The princess sighed and was silent for a time;
then resuming her speech: "I am glad," said
she, "thou didst not bring him with thee."

"But, madam," answered Abricotina, who
was a cunning girl, and already penetrated her
mistress' thoughts, "suppose he had come to
admire the wonders of these beautiful mansions,
what harm could he have done us? Will you
live eternally unknown in a corner of the world,
concealed from the rest of human kind? Of
what use is all your grandeur, pomp, magnificence,
if nobody sees it?"

"Hold thy peace, prattler," replied the
princess, "and do not disturb that happy repose
which I have enjoyed so long."

Abricotina durst make no reply; and the
princess, having waited her answer for some time,
asked her whether she had anything to say.
Abricotina then said she thought it was to very
little purpose her mistress having sent her
picture to the courts of several princes, where
it only served to make those who saw it miserable;
that every one would be desirous to marry
her, and as she could not marry them all, indeed
none of them, it would make them desperate.

"Yet, for all that," said the princess, I could
wish my picture were in the hands of this same

"Oh, madam," answered Abricotina, "is not
his desire to see you violent enough already?
Would you augment it?"

"Yes," cried the princess; "a certain impulse
of vanity, which I was never sensible of till now,
has bred this foolish fancy in me."

Leander heard all this discourse, and lost not
a tittle of what she said; some of her expressions
gave him hope, others absolutely destroyed
it. The princess presently asked Abricotina
whether she had seen anything extraordinary
during her short travels.

"Madam," said she, "I passed through one
forest where I saw certain creatures that
resembled little children: they skip and dance
upon the trees like squirrels; they are very ugly,
but have wonderful agility and address."

"I wish I had one of them," said the princess;
"but if they are so nimble as you say they are,
it is impossible to catch one."

Leander, who passed through the same forest,
knew what Abricotina meant, and presently
wished himself in the place. He caught a dozen
of little monkeys, some bigger, some less, and all
of different colors, and with much ado put them
into a large sack; then, wishing himself at Paris,
where, he had heard, a man might have everything
for money, he went and bought a little gold
chariot. He taught six green monkeys to draw
it; they were harnessed with fine traces of flame-
colored morocco leather. He went to another
place, where he met with two monkeys of merit,
the most pleasant of which was called Briscambril,
the other Pierceforest--both very spruce
and well educated. He dressed Briscambril like
a king and placed him in the coach; Pierceforest
he made the coachman; the others were dressed
like pages; all which he put into his sack, coach
and all.

The princess not being gone to bed, heard a
rumbling of a little coach in the long gallery; at
the same time, her ladies came to tell her that
the king of the dwarfs was arrived, and the
chariot immediately entered her chamber with
all the monkey train. The country monkeys began
to show a thousand tricks, which far
surpassed those of Briscambril and Pierceforest.
To say the truth, Leander conducted the
whole machine. He drew the chariot where
Briscambril sat arrayed as a king, and making
him hold a box of diamonds in his hand, he
presented it with a becoming grace to the princess.
The princess' surprise may be easily imagined.
Moreover, Briscambril made a sign for Pierceforest
to come and dance with him. The most
celebrated dancers were not to be compared with
them in activity. But the princess, troubled
that she could not guess from whence this
curious present came, dismissed the dancers
sooner than she would otherwise have done,
though she was extremely pleased with them.

Leander, satisfied with having seen the
delight the princess had taken in beholding the
monkeys, thought of nothing now but to get a
little repose, which he greatly wanted. He
stayed sometime in the great gallery; afterward,
going down a pair of stairs, and finding a door
open, he entered into an apartment the most
delightful that ever was seen. There was in it a
bed of cloth-of-gold, enriched with pearls,
intermixed with rubies and emeralds: for by this
time there appeared daylight sufficient for him
to view and admire the magnificence of this
sumptuous furniture. Having made fast the
door, he composed himself to sleep. Next day
he rose very early, and looking about on every
side, he spied a painter's pallet, with colors ready
prepared and pencils. Remembering what the
princess had said to Abricotina touching her
own portrait, he immediately (for he could paint
as well as the most excellent masters) seated
himself before a mirror and drew his own picture
first; then, in an oval, that of the princess.
He had all her features so strong in his
imagination that he had no occasion for her sitting;
and as his desire to please her had set him to
work, never did portrait bear a stronger resemblance.
He had painted himself upon one knee,
holding the princess' picture in one hand, and
in the other a label with this inscription, "She
is better in my heart." When the princess went
into her cabinet, she was amazed to see the
portrait of a man; and she fixed her eyes upon it
with so much the more surprise, because she also
saw her own with it, and because the words
which were written upon the label afforded her
ample room for curiosity. She persuaded herself
that it was Abricotina's doing; and all she
desired to know was whether the portrait was
real or imaginary. Rising in haste, she called
Abricotina, while the invisible Leander, with
his little red cap, slipped into the cabinet,
impatient to know what passed. The princess bade
Abricotina look upon the picture and tell her
what she thought of it.

After she had viewed it, "I protest!" said she,
"'tis the picture of that generous stranger to
whom I am indebted for my life. Yes, yes, I am
sure it is he; his very features, shape, and hair."

"Thou pretendest surprise," said the
princess, "but I know it was thou thyself who put it

"Who! I, madam?" replied Abricotina. "I
protest I never saw the picture before in my life.
Should I be so bold as to conceal from your
knowledge a thing that so nearly concerns you?
And by what miracle could I come by it? I
never could paint, nor did any man ever enter
this place; yet here he is painted with you?"

"Some spirit, then, must have brought it
hither," cried the princess.

"How I tremble for fear, madam!" said
Abricotina. "Was it not rather some lover?
And therefore, if you will take my advice, let us
burn it immediately."

"'Twere a pity to burn it," cried the princess,
sighing; "a finer piece, methinks, cannot adorn
my cabinet." And saying these words, she cast
her eyes upon it. But Abricotina continued
obstinate in her opinion that it ought to be
burned, as a thing that could not come there but
by the power of magic.

"And these words--`She is better in my
heart,' " said the princess; "must we burn them

"No favor must be shown to anything," said
Abricotina, "not even to your own portrait."

Abricotina ran away immediately for some
fire, while the princess went to look out at the
window. Leander, unwilling to let his performance
be burned, took this opportunity to convey
it away without being perceived. He had hardly
quitted the cabinet, when the princess turned
about to look once more upon that enchanting
picture, which had so delighted her. But how
was she surprised to find it gone! She sought
for it all the room over; and Abricotina,
returning, was no less surprised than her mistress; so
that this last adventure put them both in the
most terrible fright.

Leander took great delight in hearing and
seeing his incomparable mistress; even though
he had to eat every day at her table with the
tabby-cat, who fared never the worse for that;
but his satisfaction was far from being complete,
seeing he durst neither speak nor show himself;
and he knew it was not a common thing for
ladies to fall in love with persons invisible.

The princess had a universal taste for amusement.
One day, she was saying to her attend-
ants that it would give her great pleasure to
know how the ladies were dressed in all the
courts of the universe. There needed no more
words to send Leander all over the world. He
wished himself in China, where he bought the
richest stuffs he could lay his hands on, and got
patterns of all the court fashions. From thence
he flew to Siam, where he did the same; in three
days he traveled over all the four parts of the
world, and from time to time brought what he
bought to the Palace of Calm Delights, and hid
it all in a chamber, which he kept always locked.
When he had thus collected together all the
rarities he could meet with--for he never wanted
money, his rose always supplying him--he went
and bought five or six dozen of dolls, which he
caused to be dressed at Paris, the place in the
world where most regard is paid to fashions.
They were all dressed differently, and as
magnificent as could be, and Leander placed them all
in the princess' closet. When she entered it, she
was agreeably surprised to see such company of
little mutes, every one decked with watches
bracelets, diamond buckles, or necklaces; and
the most remarkable of them held a picture box
in its hand, which the princess opening, found it
contained Leander's portrait. She gave a loud
shriek, and looking upon Abricotina, "There
have appeared of late," said she, "so many
wonders in this place, that I know not what to
think of them: my birds are all grown witty; I
cannot so much as wish, but presently I have
my desires; twice have I now seen the portrait
of him who rescued thee from the ruffians; and
here are silks of all sorts, diamonds,
embroideries, laces, and an infinite number of other
rarities. What fairy is it that takes such care to
pay me these agreeable civilities?"

Leander was overjoyed to hear and see her so
much interested about his picture, and calling to
mind that there was in a grotto which she often
frequented a certain pedestal, on which a Diana,
not yet finished, was to be erected, on this pedestal
he resolved to place himself, crowned with
laurel, and holding a lyre in his hand, on which
he played like another Apollo. He most
anxiously waited the princess' retiring to the
grotto, which she did every day since her
thoughts had taken up with this unknown person;
for what Abricotina had said, joined to the
sight of the picture, had almost destroyed her
repose: her lively humor changed into a pensive
melancholy, and she grew a great lover of
solitude. When she entered the grotto, she made a
sign that nobody should follow her, so that her
young damsels dispersed themselves into the
neighboring walks. The princess threw herself
upon a bank of green turf, sighed, wept, and
even talked, but so softly that Leander could not
hear what she said. He had put his red cap on,
that she might not see him at first; but having
taken it off, she beheld him standing on the
pedestal. At first she took him for a real statue,
for he observed exactly the attitude in which he
had placed himself, without moving so much as
a finger. She beheld with a kind of pleasure
intermixed with fear, but pleasure soon dispelled
her fear, and she continued to view the
pleasing figure, which so exactly resembled life.
The prince having tuned his lyre, began to
play; at which the princess, greatly surprised,
could not resist the fear that seized her; she
grew pale and fell into a swoon. Leander
leaped from the pedestal, and putting on his
little red cap, that he might not be perceived,
took the princess in his arms and gave her all the
assistance that his zeal and tenderness could
inspire. At length she opened her charming eyes
and looked about in search of him, but she could
perceive nobody; yet she felt somebody who held
her hands, kissed them, and bedewed them with
his tears. It was a long time before she durst
speak, and her spirits were in a confused agitation
between fear and hope. She was afraid of
the spirit, but loved the figure of the unknown.
At length she said: "Courtly invisible, why are
you not the person I desire you should be?" At
these words Leander was going to declare himself,
but durst not do it yet. "For," thought he,
"if I again affright the object I adore and make
her fear me, she will not love me." This
consideration caused him to keep silence.

The princess, then, believing herself alone,
called Abricotina and told her all the wonders
of the animated statue; that it had played
divinely, and that the invisible person had given
her great assistance when she lay in a swoon.

"What pity 'tis," said she, "that this person
should be so frightful, for nothing can be more
amiable or acceptable than his behavior!"

"Who told you, madam," answered Abricotina,
"that he is frightful? If he is the youth
who saved me, he is beautiful as Cupid himself."

"If Cupid and the unknown are the same,"
replied the princess, blushing, "I could be
content to love Cupid; but alas! how far am I from
such a happiness! I love a mere shadow; and
this fatal picture, joined to what thou hast told
me, have inspired me with inclinations so contrary
to the precepts which I received from my
mother that I am daily afraid of being punished
for them."

"Oh! madam," said Abricotina, interrupting
her, "have you not troubles enough already?
Why should you anticipate afflictions which may
never come to pass?"

It is easy to imagine what pleasure Leander
took in this conversation.

In the meantime the little Furibon, still
enamored of the princess whom he had never
seen, expected with impatience the return of the
four servants whom he had sent to the Island of
Calm Delights. One of them at last came back,
and after he had given the prince a particular
account of what had passed, told him that the
island was defended by Amazons, and that unless
he sent a very powerful army, it would be
impossible to get into it. The king his father
was dead, and Furibon was now lord of all:
disdaining, therefore, any repulse, he raised an
army of four hundred thousand men, and put
himself at the head of them, appearing like
another Tom Thumb upon a war-horse. Now,
when the Amazons perceived his mighty host,
they gave the princess notice of its who
immediately dispatched away her trusty
Abricotina to the kingdom of the fairies, to beg her
mother's instructions as to what she should do
to drive the little Furibon from her territories.
But Abricotina found the fairy in an angry

"Nothing that my daughter does," said she,
"escapes my knowledge. The Prince Leander is
now in her palace; he loves her, and she has a
tenderness for him. All my cares and precepts
have not been able to guard her from the
tyranny of love, and she is now under its fatal
dominion. But it is the decree of destiny, and I
must submit; therefore, Abricotina, begone! nor
let me hear a word more of a daughter whose
behavior has so much displeased me."

Abricotina returned with these ill tidings,
whereat the princess was almost distracted; and
this was soon perceived by Leander, who was
near her, though she did not see him. He beheld
her grief with the greatest pain. However, he
durst not then open his lips; but recollecting
that Furibon was exceedingly covetous, he
thought that, by giving him a sum of money, he
might perhaps prevail with him to retire. Thereupon,
he dressed himself like an Amazon, and
wished himself in the forest, to catch his horse.
He had no sooner called him than Gris-de-line
came leaping, prancing, and neighing for joy,
for he was grown quite weary of being so long
absent from his dear master; but when he beheld
him dressed as a woman he hardly knew him.
However, at the sound of his voice, he suffered
the prince to mount, and they soon arrived in the
camp at Furibon, where they gave notice that a
lady was come to speak with him from the
Princess of Calm Delights. Immediately the
little fellow put on his royal robes, and having
placed himself upon his throne, he looked like a
great toad counterfeiting a king.

Leander harangued him, and told him that the
princess, preferring a quiet and peaceable life
to the fatigues of war, had sent to offer his
majesty as much money as he pleased to demand,
provided he would suffer her to continue in
peace; but if he refused her proposal, she would
omit no means that might serve for her defense.
Furibon replied that he took pity on her, and
would grant her the honor of his protection; but
that he demanded a hundred thousand millions
of pounds, and without which he would not return
to his kingdom. Leander answered that
such a vast sum would be too long a-counting,
and therefore, if he would say how many rooms
full he desired to have, the princess was generous
and rich enoug hto{sic} satisfy him. Furibon was
astonished to hear that, instead of entreating,
she would rather offer more; and it came into
his wicked mind to take all the money he could
get, and then seize the Amazon and kill her, that
she might never return to her mistress. He told
Leander, therefore, that he would have thirty
chambers of gold, all full to the ceiling.
Leander, being conducted into the chambers,
took his rose and shook it, till every room was
filled with all sorts of coin. Furibon was in an
ecstasy, and the more gold he saw the greater
was his desire to get hold of the Amazon; so that
when all the rooms were full, he commanded his
guards to seize her, alleging she had brought
him counterfeit money. Immediately Leander
put on his little red cap and disappeared. The
guards, believing that the lady had escaped, ran
out and left Furibon alone; when Leander,
availing himself of the opportunity, took the
tyrant by the hair, and twisted his head off with
the same ease he would a pullet's; nor did the
little wretch of a king see that hand that killed

Leander having got his enemy's head, wished
himself in the Palace of Calm Delights, where
he found the princess walking, and with grief
considering the message which her mother had
sent her, and on the means to repel Furibon.

Suddenly she beheld a head hanging in the
air, with nobody to hold it. This prodigy
astonished her so that she could not tell what to
think of it; but her amazement was increased
when she saw the head laid at her feet, and heard
a voice utter these words:

"Charming Princess, cease your fear
Of Furibon; whose head see here."

Abricotina, knowing Leander's voice, cried:

"I protest, madam, the invisible person who
speaks is the very stranger that rescued me."

The princess seemed astonished, but yet

"Oh," said she, "if it be true that the invisible
and the stranger are the same person, I confess
I shall be glad to make him my acknowledgments."

Leander, still invisible, replied, "I will yet do
more to deserve them;" and so saying he
returned to Furibon's army, where the report of
the king's death was already spread throughout
the camp. As soon as Leander appeared there
in his usual habit, everybody knew him; all the
officers and soldiers surrounded him, uttering
the loudest acclamations of joy. In short, they
acknowledged him for their king, and that the
crown of right belonged to him, for which he
thanked them, and, as the first mark of his royal
bounty, divided the thirty rooms of gold among
the soldiers. This done he returned to his
princess, ordering his army to march back into
his kingdom.

The princess was gone to bed. Leander,
therefore, retired into his own apartment, for
he was very sleepy--so sleepy that he forgot to
bolt his door; and so it happened that the
princess, rising early to taste the morning air,
chanced to enter into this very chamber, and was
astonished to find a young prince asleep upon
the bed. She took a full view of him, and was
convinced that he was the person whose picture
she had in her diamond box. "It is impossible,"
said she, "that this should be a spirit; for can
spirits sleep? Is this a body composed of air
and fire, without substance, as Abricotina told
me?" She softly touched his hair, and heard
him breathe, and looked at him as if she could
have looked forever. While she was thus
occupied, her mother, the fairy entered with such a
noise that Leander started out of his sleep. But
how deeply was he afflicted to behold his beloved
princess in the most deplorable condition! Her
mother dragged her by the hair and loaded her
with a thousand bitter reproaches. In what
grief and consternation were the two young
lovers, who saw themselves now upon the point
of being separated forever! The princess durst
not open her lips, but cast her eyes upon
Leander, as if to beg his assistance. He judged
rightly that he ought not to deal rudely with a
power superior to his own, and therefore he
sought, by his eloquence and submission, to
move the incensed fairy. He ran to her, threw
himself at her feet, and besought her to have
pity upon a young prince who would never
change in his affection for her daughter.
The princess, encouraged, also embraced her
mother's knees, and declared that without
Leander she should never be happy.

"Happy!" cried the fairy; "you know not
the miseries of love nor the treacheries of which
lovers are capable. They bewitch us only to
poison our lives; I have known it by experience;
and will you suffer the same?"

"Is there no exception, madam?" replied
Leander, and his countenance showed him to be

But neither tears nor entreaties could move
the implacable fairy; and it is very probable
that she would have never pardoned them, had
not the lovely Gentilla appeared at that instant
in the chamber, more brilliant than the sun.
Embracing the old fairy:

"Dear sister," said she, "I am persuaded you
cannot have forgotten the good office I did you
when, after your unhappy marriage, you
besought a readmittance into Fairyland; since
then I never desired any favor at your hands,
but now the time is come. Pardon, then, this
lovely princess; consent to her nuptials with
this young prince. I will engage he shall be
ever constant to her; the thread of their days
shall be spun of gold and silk; they shall live to
complete your happiness; and I will never forget
the obligation you lay upon me."

"Charming Gentilla," cried the fairy, "I
consent to whatever you desire. Come, my dear
children, and receive my love." So saying, she
embraced them both.

Abricotina, just then entering, cast her eyes
upon Leander; she knew him again, and saw he
was perfectly happy, at which she, too, was quite

"Prince," condescendingly said the fairy-
mother, "I will remove the Island of Calm
Delights into your own kingdom, live with you
myself, and do you great services."

Whether or not Prince Leander appreciated
this offer, he bowed low, and assured his mother-
in-law that no favor could be equal to the one he
had that day received from her hands. This
short compliment pleased the fairy exceedingly,
for she belonged to those ancient days when
people used to stand a whole day upon one leg
complimenting one another. The nuptials were
performed in a most splendid manner, and the
young prince and princess lived together
happily many years, beloved by all around them.



LONG ago there lived a monarch, who
was such a very, honest man that his
subjects entitled him the Good King.
One day, when he was out hunting, a
little white rabbit, which had been half-killed
by his hounds, leaped right into his majesty's
arms. Said he, caressing it: "This poor creature
has put itself under my protection, and I
will allow no one to injure it." So he carried it
to his palace, had prepared for it a neat little
rabbit-hutch, with abundance of the daintiest
food, such as rabbits love, and there he left it.

The same night, when he was alone in his
chamber, there appeared to him a beautiful lady.
She was dressed neither in gold, nor silver, nor
brocade; but her flowing robes were white as
snow, and she wore a garland of white roses on
her head. The Good King was greatly astonished
at the sight; for his door was locked, and
he wondered how so dazzling a lady could
possibly enter; but she soon removed his doubts.

"I am the fairy Candide," said she, with a
smiling and gracious air. "Passing through the
wood where you were hunting, I took a desire to
know if you were as good as men say you are I
therefore changed myself into a white rabbit
and took refuge in your arms. You saved me
and now I know that those who are merciful to
dum beasts will be ten times more so to human
beings. You merit the name your subjects give
you: you are the Good King. I thank you for
your protection, and shall be always one of your
best friends. You have but to say what you
most desire, and I promise you your wish shall
be granted."

"Madam," replied the king, "if you are a
fairy, you must know, without my telling you,
the wish of my heart. I have one well-beloved
son, Prince Cherry: whatever kindly feeling
you have toward me, extend it to him."

"Willingly," said Candide. "I will make him
the handsomest, richest, or most powerful prince
in the world: choose whichever you desire for

"None of the three," returned the father. "I
only wish him to be good--the best prince in the
whole world. Of what use would riches, power,
or beauty be to him if he were a bad man?"

"You are right," said the fairy; "but I can
not make him good: he must do that himself. I
can only change his external fortunes; for his
personal character, the utmost I can promise is
to give him good counsel, reprove him for his
faults, and even punish him, if he will not
punish himself. You mortals can do the same
with your children."

"Ah, yes!" said the king, sighing. Still, he
felt that the kindness of a fairy was something
gained for his son, and died not long after, content
and at peace.

Prince Cherry mourned deeply, for he dearly
loved his father, and would have gladly given all
his kingdoms and treasures to keep him in life a
little longer. Two days after the Good King
was no more, Prince Cherry was sleeping in his
chamber, when he saw the same dazzling vision
of the fairy Candide.

"I promised your father," said she, "to be
your best friend, and in pledge of this take what
I now give you;" and she placed a small gold
ring upon his finger. "Poor as it looks, it is
more precious than diamonds; for whenever you
do ill it will prick your finger. If, after that
warning, you still continue in evil, you will lose
my friendship, and I shall become your direst

So saying, she disappeared, leaving Cherry
in such amazement that he would have believed
it all a dream, save for the ring on his finger.

He was for a long time so good that the ring
never pricked him at all; and this made him so
cheerful and pleasant in his humor that everybody
called him "Happy Prince Cherry." But
one unlucky day he was out hunting and found
no sport, which vexed him so much that he
showed his ill temper by his looks and ways. He
fancied his ring felt very tight and uncomfortable,
but as it did not prick him he took no heed
of this: until, re-entering his palace, his little
pet dog, Bibi, jumped up upon him and was
sharply told to get away. The creature, accustomed
to nothing but caresses, tried to attract
his attention by pulling at his garments, when
Prince Cherry turned and gave it a severe kick.
At this moment he felt in his finger a prick like
a pin.

"What nonsense!" said he to himself. "The
fairy must be making game of me. Why, what
great evil have I done! I, the master of a great
empire, cannot I kick my own dog?"

A voice replied, or else Prince Cherry
imagined it, "No, sire; the master of a great
empire has a right to do good, but not evil. I--a
fairy--am as much above you as you are above
your dog. I might punish you, kill you, if
I chose; but I prefer leaving you to amend your
ways. You have been guilty of three faults
today--bad temper, passion, cruelty: do better

The prince promised, and kept his word a
while; but he had been brought up by a foolish
nurse, who indulged him in every way and was
always telling him that he would be a king one
day, when he might do as he liked in all things.
He found out now that even a king cannot always
do that; it vexed him and made him angry.
His ring began to prick him so often that his
little finger was continually bleeding. He
disliked this, as was natural, and soon began to
consider whether it would not be easier to throw
the ring away altogether than to be constantly
annoyed by it. It was such a queer thing for a
king to have a spot of blood on his finger! At
last, unable to put up with it any more, he took
his ring off and hid it where he would never see
it; and believed himself the happiest of men, for
he could now do exactly what he liked. He did
it, and became every day more and more miserable.

One day he saw a young girl, so beautiful that,
being always accustomed to have his own way,
he immediately determined to espouse her. He
never doubted that she would be only too glad to
be made a queen, for she was very poor. But
Zelia--that was her name--answered, to his
great astonishment, that she would rather not
marry him.

"Do I displease you?" asked the prince, into
whose mind it had never entered that he could
displease anybody.

"Not at all, my prince," said the honest
peasant maiden. "You are very handsome, very
charming; but you are not like your father the
Good King. I will not be your queen, for you
would make me miserable."

At these words the prince's love seemed all to
turn to hatred: he gave orders to his guards to
convey Zelia to a prison near the palace, and
then took counsel with his foster brother, the one
of all his ill companions who most incited him to
do wrong.

"Sir," said this man, "if I were in your
majesty's place, I would never vex myself about a
poor silly girl. Feed her on bread and water till
she comes to her senses; and if she still refuses
you, let her die in torment, as a warning to your
other subjects should they venture to dispute
your will. You will be disgraced should you
suffer yourself to be conquered by a simple

"But," said Prince Cherry, "shall I not be
disgraced if I harm a creature so perfectly

"No one is innocent who disputes your
majesty's authority," said the courtier, bowing;
"and it is better to commit an injustice than
allow it to be supposed you can ever be contradicted
with impunity."

This touched Cherry on his weak point--his
good impulses faded; he resolved once more to
ask Zelia if she would marry him, and if she
again refused, to sell her as a slave. Arrived at
the cell in which she was confined, what was his
astonishment to find her gone! He knew not
whom to accuse, for he had kept the key in his
pocket the whole time. At last, the foster-
brother suggested that the escape of Zelia might
have been contrived by an old man, Suliman by
name, the prince's former tutor, who was the
only one who now ventured to blame him for
anything that he did. Cherry sent immediately,
and ordered his old friend to be brought to him,
loaded heavily with irons. Then, full of fury,
he went and shut himself up in his own chamber,
where he went raging to and fro, till startled by
a noise like a clap of thunder. The fairy Candide
stood before him.

"Prince," said she, in a severe voice, "I
promised your father to give you good counsels
and to punish you if you refused to follow them.
My counsels were forgotten, my punishment
despised. Under the figure of a man, you have
been no better than the beasts you chase: like a
lion in fury, a wolf in gluttony, a serpent in
revenge, and a bull in brutality. Take, therefore,
in your new form the likeness of all these

Scarcely had Prince Cherry heard these
words than to his horror he found himself transformed
into what the Fairy had named. He
was a creature with the head of a lion, the horns
of a bull, the feet of a wolf, and the tail of a
serpent. At the same time he felt himself
transported to a distant forest, where, standing
on the bank of a stream, he saw reflected in the
water his own frightful shape, and heard a
voice saying:

"Look at thyself, and know thy soul has
become a thousand times uglier even than thy

Cherry recognized the voice of Candide, and
in his rage would have sprung upon her and
devoured her; but he saw nothing and the same
voice said behind him:

"Cease thy feeble fury, and learn to conquer
thy pride by being in submission to thine own

Hearing no more, he soon quitted the stream,
hoping at least to get rid of the sight of himself;
but he had scarcely gone twenty paces when he
tumbled into a pitfall that was laid to catch
bears; the bear-hunters, descending from some
trees hard by, caught him, chained him, and
only too delighted to get hold of such a curious-
looking animal, led him along with them to the
capital of his own kingdom.

There great rejoicings were taking place, and
the bear-hunters, asking what it was all about,
were told that it was because Prince Cherry, the
torment of his subjects, had just been struck
dead by a thunderbolt--just punishment of all
his crimes. Four courtiers, his wicked companions,
had wished to divide his throne between
them; but the people had risen up against them
and offered the crown to Suliman, the old tutor
whom Cherry had ordered to be arrested.

All this the poor monster heard. He even saw
Suliman sitting upon his own throne and trying
to calm the populace by representing to them
that it was not certain Prince Cherry was dead;
that he might return one day to reassume with
honor the crown which Suliman only consented
to wear as a sort of viceroy.

"I know his heart," said the honest and
faithful old man; "it is tainted, but not corrupt.
If alive, he may reform yet, and be all his father
over again to you, his people, whom he has caused
to suffer so much."

These words touched the poor beast so deeply
that he ceased to beat himself against the iron
bars of the cage in which the hunters carried him
about, became gentle as a lamb, and suffered
himself to be taken quietly to a menagerie,
where were kept all sorts of strange and
ferocious animals a place which he had himself
often visited as a boy, but never thought he
should be shut up there himself.

However, he owned he had deserved it all, and
began to make amends by showing himself very
obedient to his keeper. This man was almost as
great a brute as the animals he had charge of,
and when he was in ill humor he used to beat
them without rhyme or reason. One day, while
he was sleeping, a tiger broke loose and leaped
upon him, eager to devour him. Cherry at first
felt a thrill of pleasure at the thought of being
revenged; then, seeing how helpless the man was,
he wished himself free, that he might defend
him. Immediately the doors of his cage opened.
The keeper, waking up, saw the strange beast
leap out, and imagined, of course, that he was
going to be slain at once. Instead, he saw the
tiger lying dead, and the strange beast creeping
up and laying itself at his feet to be caressed.
But as he lifted up his hand to stroke it, a voice
was heard saying, "Good actions never go
unrewarded;" and instead of the frightful monster,
there crouched on the ground nothing but a
pretty little dog.

Cherry, delighted to find himself thus
metamorphosed, caressed the keeper in every possible
way, till at last the man took him up into his
arms and carried him to the king, to whom he
related this wonderful story, from beginning to
end. The queen wished to have the charming
little dog; and Cherry would have been exceedingly
happy could he have forgotten that he was
originally a man and a king. He was lodged
most elegantly, had the richest of collars to adorn
his neck, and heard himself praised continually.
But his beauty rather brought him into trouble,
for the queen, afraid lest he might grow too
large for a pet, took advice of dog-doctors, who
ordered that he should be fed entirely upon
bread, and that very sparingly; so poor Cherry
was sometimes nearly starved.

One day, when they gave him his crust for
breakfast, a fancy seized him to go and eat it in
the palace garden; so he took the bread in his
mouth and trotted away toward a stream which
he knew, and where he sometimes stopped to
drink. But instead of the stream he saw a
splendid palace, glittering with gold and
precious stones. Entering the doors was a crowd of
men and women, magnificently dressed; and
within there was singing and dancing and good
cheer of all sorts. Yet, however grandly and
gayly the people went in, Cherry noticed that
those who came out were pale, thin, ragged,
half-naked, covered with wounds and sores.
Some of them dropped dead at once; others
dragged themselves on a little way and then lay
down, dying of hunger, and vainly begged a
morsel of bread from others who were entering
in--who never took the least notice of them.

Cherry perceived one woman, who was trying
feebly to gather and eat some green herbs.
"Poor thing!" said he to himself; "I know what
it is to be hungry, and I want my breakfast
badly enough; but still it will kill me to wait
till dinner time, and my crust may save the life
of this poor woman."

So the little dog ran up to her and dropped
his bread at her feet; she picked it up and ate it
with avidity. Soon she looked quite recovered,
and Cherry, delighted, was trotting back again
to his kennel, when he heard loud cries, and saw
a young girl dragged by four men to the door of
the palace, which they were trying to compel
her to enter. Oh, how he wished himself a monster
again, as when he slew the tiger!--for the
young girl was no other than his beloved Zelia.
Alas! what could a poor little dog do to defend
her? But he ran forward and barked at the
men, and bit their heels, until at last they chased
him away with heavy blows. And then he lay
down outside the palace door, determined to
watch and see what had become of Zelia.

Conscience pricked him now. "What!"
thought he, "I am furious against these wicked
men, who are carrying her away; and did I not
do the same myself? Did I not cast her into
prison, and intend to sell her as a slave? Who
knows how much more wickedness I might not
have done to her and others, if Heaven's justice
had not stopped me in time?"

While he lay thinking and repenting, he heard
a window open and saw Zelia throw out of it a
bit of dainty meat. Cherry, who felt hungry
enough by this time, was just about to eat it,
when the woman to whom he had given his crust
snatched him up in her arms

"Poor little beast!" cried she, patting him,
"every bit of food in that palace is poisoned:
you shall not touch a morsel."

And at the same time the voice in the air
repeated again, "Good actions never go
unrewarded;" and Cherry found himself changed
into a beautiful little white pigeon. He
remembered with joy that white was the color of the
fairy Candide, and began to hope that she was
taking him into favor again.

So he stretched his wings, delighted that he
might now have a chance of approaching his
fair Zelia. He flew up to the palace windows,
and, finding one of them open, entered and
sought everywhere, but he could not find Zelia.
Then, in despair, he flew out again, resolved to
go over the world until he beheld her once more.

He took flight at once and traversed many
countries, swiftly as a bird can, but found no
trace of his beloved. At length in a desert,
sitting beside an old hermit in his cave and par-
taking with him his frugal repast, Cherry saw
a poor peasant girl and recognized Zelia. Transported
with joy, he flew in, perched on her
shoulder, and expressed his delight and affection
by a thousand caresses.

She, charmed with the pretty little pigeon,
caressed it in her turn, and promised it that if it
would stay with her she would love it always.

"What have you done, Zelia?" said the
hermit, smiling; and while he spoke the white pigeon
vanished, and there stood Prince Cherry in his
own natural form. "Your enchantment ended,
prince, when Zelia promised to love you. Indeed,
she has loved you always, but your many
faults constrained her to hide her love. These
are now amended, and you may both live happy
if you will, because your union is founded upon
mutual esteem."

Cherry and Zelia threw themselves at the feet
of the hermit, whose form also began to change.
His soiled garments became of dazzling whiteness,
and his long beard and withered face grew
into the flowing hair and lovely countenance of
the fairy Candide.

"Rise up, my children," said she; "I must
now transport you to your palace and restore to
Prince Cherry his father's crown, of which he
is now worthy."

She had scarcely ceased speaking when they
found themselves in the chamber of Suliman,
who, delighted to find again his beloved pupil
and master, willingly resigned the throne, and
became the most faithful of his subjects.

King Cherry and Queen Zelia reigned
together for many years, and it is said that the
former was so blameless and strict in all his
duties that though he constantly wore the ring
which Candide had restored to him, it never
once pricked his finger enough to make it bleed.



THERE was once a king who was
passionately in love with a beautiful
princess, but she could not be married
because a magican{sic} had enchanted her.
The king went to a good fairy to inquire what he
should do. Said the fairy, after receiving him
graciously: "Sir, I will tell you a great secret.
The princess has a great cat whom she loves so
well that she cares for nothing and nobody else;
but she will be obliged to marry any person who
is adroit enough to walk upon the cat's tail."

"That will not be very difficult," thought the
king to himself, and departed, resolving to
trample the cat's tail to pieces rather than not
succeed in walking upon it. He went immediately
to the palace of his fair mistress and the
cat; the animal came in front of him, arching its
back in anger as it was wont to do. The king
lifted up his foot, thinking nothing would be so
easy as to tread on the tail, but he found
himself mistaken. Minon--that was the creature's
name--twisted itself round so sharply that the
king only hurt his own foot by stamping on the
floor. For eight days did he pursue the cat
everywhere: up and down the palace he was
after it from morning till night, but with no
better success; the tail seemed made of quicksilver,
so very lively was it. At last the king had the
good fortune to catch Minon sleeping, when
tramp! tramp! he trod on the tail with all his

Minon woke up, mewed horribly, and immediately
changed from a cat into a large, fierce-
looking man, who regarded the king with flashing

"You must marry the princess," cried he,
"because you have broken the enchantment in
which I held her; but I will be revenged on you.
You shall have a son with a nose as long as--
that;" he made in the air a curve of half a foot;
"yet he shall believe it is just like all other noses,
and shall be always unfortunate till he has found
out it is not. And if you ever tell anybody of
this threat of mine, you shall die on the spot."
So saying the magician disappeared.

The king, who was at first much terrified, soon
began to laugh at this adventure. "My son
might have a worse misfortune than too long a
nose," thought he. "At least it will hinder him
neither in seeing nor hearing. I will go and find
the princess and marry her at once."

He did so, but he only lived a few months
after, and died before his little son was born, so
that nobody knew anything about the secret of
the nose.

The little prince was so much wished for that
when he came into the world they agreed to
call him Prince Wish. He had beautiful blue
eyes and a sweet little mouth, but his nose was
so big that it covered half his face. The queen,
his mother, was inconsolable; but her ladies
tried to satisfy her by telling her that the nose
was not nearly so large as it seemed, that it would
grow smaller as the prince grew bigger, and that
if it did not a large nose was indispensable to a
hero. All great soldiers, they said, had great
noses, as everybody knew. The queen was so
very fond of her son that she listened eagerly to
all this comfort. Shortly she grew so used to
the princes's nose that it did not seem to her any
larger than ordinary noses of the court; where,
in process of time, everybody with a long nose
was very much admired, and the unfortunate
people who had only snubs were taken very little
notice of.

Great care was observed in the education of
the prince; and as soon as he could speak they
told him all sorts of amusing tales, in which all
the bad people had short noses, and all the good
people had long ones. No person was suffered to
come near him who had not a nose of more than
ordinary length; nay, to such an extent did the
countries carry their fancy, that the noses of all
the little babies were ordered to be pulled out as
far as possible several times a day, in order to


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