Every day now brought a fresh feast or entertainment. Balls and assemblies f
ollowed in rapid succession, but the Princess was not yet there, for she had been brought up in a holy temple far away, they said, where she had learnt all the royal virtues. At last she arrived.
ll of eagerness, the little mermaid stood there to see her loveliness; and she had to recognize that a more beautiful face she had never seen. Her skin was transparently fine, and from behind the long dark lashes smiled a pair of dark b
lue, faithful eyes.
"It is you!" cried the Prince, "you who saved me when I lay like a corpse on the sea-shore!" And he embraced his blushing bride. "Oh! I am so happy, I don't kno
w what to do!" said he to the little mermaid. "The very best I dared to hope has come to pass. You too will rejoice at my good fortune, for you love me more than them all!" And the little mermaid kiss
ed his hand, but she felt already that her heart would break. Yes, his bridal morn would mean death to her, and she would be changed into sea-foam.
All the bells were ringing, and heralds rode throu
gh the streets to proclaim the espousals.
Perfumed oil burned in precious silver lamps upon every altar. The priest swung their censers, and the bride and bridegroom gave each other their hands and
received the bishop's benediction. The little mermaid, dressed in cloth of gold, stood there and held up the bride's train, but her ears did not hear the festal music, nor did her eyes see the sacredceremony; she thought of her night o
f death, of all that she had lost in this world.
每天都有宴会。 舞会和晚会在轮流地举行，可是公主仍然没有出现。人们说她在一个遥远的神庙里受教育，学习王室的所有美德。 终于她抵达了。
「就是妳！」王子说：「当我像一具死尸躺在岸上的时候，救我的就是你！」 于是他把这位害羞的新娘紧紧地抱在自己的怀里。 「啊！我太高兴了！」他又对小美人鱼说。 「我从来不敢奢望最好的东西，如今终于成为事实了。 你会为我的幸福而高兴吧！因为你是所有人当中最喜欢我的！」 小美人鱼亲吻了一下他的手。她觉得她的心已破碎了。 他举行婚礼后的第一天早晨她即将灭亡，使她变成海上的泡沫。
每一个祭台上，芬芳的油在贵重的灯里燃烧。 祭司们捧着香炉，新郎和新娘挽着手接受主教的祝福。 小美人鱼这时穿著丝绸，戴着金饰，牵着新娘的披纱，可是她的耳朵里却听不见这欢乐的音乐，她的眼睛看不见这神圣的仪式。她想起了她即将灭亡的早晨和她在这世界上已经失去的所有东西。