One night her sisters rose up arm in arm; they sang so sorrowfully as they swam in the water. She nodded to them, and they recognized her, and told her how miserable she had made them all by going away.
After that, they visited her every night, and once she saw, a long way off, her aged grandm
other, who had not come up above the sea for many years, and the Sea-King with his crown upon his head. They stretched out their hands towards her, but dared not come so close to land as did her sisters.
Every day she became dearer to the Prince; he loved her as one might love a dear, good child; but to make her his queen never entered his mind. Yet his wife she must become, or she would never obtain an immortal soul, but would melt
to foam on the morning of his wedding another.
"Do you love me most of all?" the eyes of the little mermaid seemed to ask when he took her in his arms and kissed her fair brow.
"Yes, you are dearest of all to me," said the Prince, "for you have the best heart. You are the most devoted to me, and you are just like a lovely maiden I once saw but shall never see again. I was on a ship which was
wrecked, the billows cast me ashore near a holy temple, where many young girls were worshipping.
「是的，你是我最亲爱的人！」王子说：「因为在所有人当中你有一颗最善良的心。 你对我是最亲爱的，你很像我某回所看到过的一个年轻女孩，可是我永远也看不到她了。 那时我乘坐在一艘船上，但这船已经沉了。巨浪把我冲到一座神庙旁的海岸上，有几个年轻女子在那儿祈祷。