"And in an instant they came tumbling in one over another, and yet they were neither dusty nor spoilt, and the Queen found them quite as good as she had fancied them. You see they grew upon fairy trees.

"The old fairy gave her golden baskets in which to take the fruit away, and it was as much as four hundred mules could carry. Then she reminded the Queen of her agreement, and led her back to the camp, and next morning she went back to her kingdom, but before she had gone very far she began to repent of her bargain, and when the King came out to meet her she looked so sad that he guessed that something had happened, and asked what was the matter. At first the Queen was afraid to tell him, but when, as soon as they reached the palace, five frightful little dwarfs were sent by the fairies to fetch me, she was obliged to confess what she had promised. The King was very angry, and had the Queen and myself shut up in a great tower and safely guarded, and drove the little dwarfs out of his kingdom; but the fairies sent a great dragon who ate up all the people he met, and whose breath burnt up everything as he passed through the country; and at last, after trying in vain to rid himself of this monster, the King, to save his subjects, was obliged to consent that I should be given up to the fairies. This time they came themselves to fetch me, in a chariot of pearl drawn by sea-horses, followed by the dragon, who was led with chains of diamonds. My cradle was placed between the old fairies, who loaded me with caresses, and away we whirled through the air to a tower which they had built on purpose for me. There I grew up surrounded with everything that was beautiful and rare, and learning everything that is ever taught to a princess, but without any companions but a parrot and a little dog, who could both talk; and receiving every day a visit from one of the old fairies, who came mounted upon the dragon. One day, however, as I sat at my window I saw a handsome young prince, who seemed to have been hunting in the forest which surrounded my prison, and who was standing and looking up at me. When he saw that I observed him he saluted me with great deference. You can imagine that I was delighted to have some one new to talk to, and in spite of the height of my window our conversation was prolonged till night fell, then my prince reluctantly bade me farewell. But after that he came again many times and at last I consented to marry him, but the question was how was I to escape from my tower. The fairies always supplie

d me with flax for my spinning, and by great diligence I made enough cord for a ladder that would reach to the foot of the tower; but, alas! just as my prince was helping me to descend it, the crossest and ugliest of the old fairies flew in. Before he had time to defend himself my unhappy lover was swallowed up by the dragon. As for me, the fairies, furious at having their plans defeated, for they intended me to marry the king of the dwarfs, and I utterly refused, changed me into a white cat. When they brought me here I found all the lords and ladies of my father's court awaiting me under the same enchantment, while the people of lesser rank had been made invisible, all but their hands.

"As they laid me under the enchantment the fairies told me all my history, for until then I had quite believed that I was their child, and warned me that my only chance of regaining my natural form was to win the love of a prince who resembled in every way my unfortunate lover.

"And you have won it, lovely Princess," interrupted the Prince.

"You are indeed wonderfully like him," resumed the Princess--"in voice, in features, and everything; and if you really love me all my troubles will be at an end."

"And mine too," cried the Prince, throwing himself at her feet, "if you will consent to marry me."

"I love you already better than anyone in the world," she said; "but now it is time to go back to your father, and we shall hear what he says about it."

So the Prince gave her his hand and led her out, and they mounted the chariot together; it was even more splendid than before, and so was the whole company. Even the horses' shoes were of rubies with diamond nails, and I suppose that is the first time such a thing was ever seen.

As the Princess was as kind and clever as she was beautiful, you may imagine what a delightful journey the Prince found it, for everything the Princess said seemed to him quite charming.

When they came near the castle where the brothers were to meet, the Princess got into a chair carried by four of the guards; it was hewn out of one splendid crystal, and had silken curtains, which she drew round her that she might not be seen.

The Prince saw his brothers walking upon the terrace, each with a lovely princess, and they came to meet him, asking if he had also found a wife. He said that he had found something much rarer--a white cat! At which they laughed very much, and asked him if he was afraid of being eaten up by mice in the palace. And then they set out together for the town. Each prince and princess rode in a splendid carriage; the horses were decked with plumes of feathers, and glittered with gold. After them came the youngest prince, and last of all the crystal chair, at which everybody looked with admiration and curiosity. When the courtiers saw them coming they hastened

to tell the King.

"Are the ladies beautiful?" he asked anxiously.

And when they answered that nobody had ever before seen such lovely princesses he seemed quite annoyed.

However, he received them graciously, but found it impossible to choose between them.

Then turning to his youngest son he said:

"Have you come back alone, after all?"

"Your Majesty," replied the Prince, "will find in that crystal chair a little white cat, which has such soft paws, and mews so prettily, that I am sure you will be charmed with it."

The King smiled, and went to draw back the curtains himself, but at a touch from the Princess the crystal shivered into a thousand splinters, and there she stood in all her beauty; her fair hair floated over her shoulders and was crowned with flowers, and her softly falling robe was of the purest white. She saluted the King gracefully, while a murmur of admiration rose from all around.

"Sire," she said, "I am not come to deprive you of the throne you fill so worthily. I have already six kingdoms, permit me to bestow one upon you, and upon each of your sons. I ask nothing but your friendship, and your consent to my marriage with your youngest son; we shall still have three kingdoms left for ourselves."

The King and all the courtiers could not conceal their joy and astonishment, and the marriage of the three Princes was celebrated at once. The festivities lasted several months, and then each king and queen departed to their own kingdom and lived happily ever after.



  • speaking [´spi:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.说话 a.发言的 六级词汇

  • befell [bi´fel] 移动到这儿单词发声 befall的过去式 四级词汇

  • nightfall [´nait,fɔ:l] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.黄昏;傍晚 六级词汇

  • porcelain [´pɔ:slin] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.瓷 a.瓷的;精美的 四级词汇

  • holding [´həuldiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.保持,固定,存储 六级词汇

  • comical [´kɔmikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.好笑的;怪里怪气的 六级词汇

  • magnificence [mæg´nifisns] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.壮丽;宏伟;豪华 四级词汇

  • assured [ə´ʃuəd] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.确实的 n.被保险人 六级词汇

  • tapestry [´tæpistri] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.挂毯 四级词汇

  • hunting [´hʌntiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.打猎 六级词汇

  • indignant [in´dignənt] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.义愤的,愤慨的 四级词汇

  • speedily [´spi:dili] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.迅速地 四级词汇

  • goblet [´gɔblit] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.高脚玻璃杯 四级词汇

  • unkind [,ʌn´kaind] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.不客气的;不和善的 四级词汇

  • delighted [di´laitid] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.高兴的;喜欢的 四级词汇

  • joyfully [´dʒɔifuli] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.高兴地,快乐地 四级词汇

  • fragile [´frædʒail] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.易碎的;虚弱的 四级词汇

  • drawing [´drɔ:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.画图;制图;图样 四级词汇

  • muslin [´mʌzlin] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.平纹细布,薄纱织物 四级词汇

  • turret [´tʌrit] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.塔楼;炮塔;转台 四级词汇

  • fireworks [´faiəwə:ks] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.爆竹,焰火 六级词汇

  • superb [su:´pə:b, sju:-] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.宏伟的;极好的 四级词汇

  • walnut [´wɔ:lnʌt] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.胡桃(树,木) 四级词汇

  • cracked [krækt] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.有裂缝的;碎的;粗哑 六级词汇

  • kernel [´kə:nl] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.(果实)核;去壳谷粒 六级词汇

  • sorrowful [´sɔrəuful] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.悲伤的,使人伤心的 四级词汇

  • console [kən´səul] 移动到这儿单词发声 vt.安慰;慰问 四级词汇

  • willingness [´wiliŋnis] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.情愿,乐意,自愿 六级词汇

  • preceding [pri(:)´si:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.在先的;前面的 四级词汇

  • entreat [in´tri:t] 移动到这儿单词发声 vt.恳求,恳请 四级词汇

  • speechless [´spi:tʃləs] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.说不出话的 四级词汇

  • graciously [´greiʃəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.仁慈地,和蔼庄重地 四级词汇

  • dearly [´diəli] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.深深地(爱等);昂贵 四级词汇

  • taking [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.迷人的 n.捕获物 六级词汇

  • encamp [in´kæmp] 移动到这儿单词发声 v.扎营,露营;宿营 六级词汇

  • bedside [´bedsaid] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.床边 a.护理的 四级词汇

  • annoyance [ə´nɔiəns] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.烦恼事(人) 四级词汇

  • trying [´traiiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.难堪的;费劲的 四级词汇

  • parrot [´pærət] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.鹦鹉;应声虫 四级词汇

  • reluctantly [ri´lʌktəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.不情愿地;勉强地 四级词汇

  • enchantment [in´tʃɑ:ntmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.迷惑;妖术;魅力 四级词汇

  • lesser [´lesə] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.较小的;次要的 四级词汇

  • wonderfully [´wʌndəfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.令人惊讶地;奇妙地 四级词汇

  • gracefully [´greisfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声 ad.优美地,斯文地 四级词汇

  • departed [di´pɑ:tid] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.已往的;已故的 六级词汇