THE FLYING TRUNK
is prophesied that she will be very unhappy respecting a lover ; and therefore nobody may go to her, unless the Sultan and Sultana are there too.'
1 Thank you ! ' said the merchant's son ; and he went out into the forest, seated himself in his trunk, flew on the roof, and crept through the window into the Princess's room.
She was lying asleep on the sofa, and she was so beautiful that the merchant's son was compelled to kiss her. Then she awoke, and was very much startled ; but he said he was a Turkish angel who had come down to her through the air, and that pleased her.
They sat down side by side, and he told her stories about her eyes ; he told her they were the most glorious dark lakes, and that thoughts were swimming about in them like mermaids. And he told her about her forehead ; that it was a snowy mountain with the most splendid halls and pictures. And he told her about the stork who brings the lovely little children.
Yes, those were fine histories ! Then he asked the Princess if she would marry him, and she said ' Yes,' directly.
' But you must come here on Saturday,' said she. ' Then the Sultan and the Sultana will be here to tea. They will be very proud that I am to marry a Turkish angel. But take care that you know a very pretty story, for both my parents are very fond indeed of stories. My mother likes them high-flown and moral, but my father likes them merry, so that one can laugh.'
1 Yes, I shall bring no marriage gift but a story,' said he ; and so they parted. But the Princess gave him a sabre, the sheath embroidered with gold pieces, and that was very useful to him.
Now he flew away, bought a new dressing-gown, and sat in the forest and made up a story ; it was to be ready by Saturday, and that was not an easy thing.
By the time he had finished it Saturday had come. The Sultan and his wife and all the court were at the Princess's to tea. He was received very graciously.
1 Will you tell us a story ?' said the Sultana ; ' one that is deep and edifying.'