THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER 629
a doctor's degree, and our youngsters will inherit it, and so will their children after them, and sc; on. You already look like an Egyptian doctor—at least in my eyes.'
The learned and wise men developed the ground-thought, as they called it, which went through the whole affair. 1 Love begets life ; ' this maxim they explained in various ways. ' The warm sunbeam was the Egyptian Princess ; she descended to the Marsh King, and from their meeting arose the flower------'
41 cannot quite repeat the words as they were spoken,' said Stork-papa, who had listened from the roof, and was now telling it again to his own family. ' What they said was so involved, it was so wise and learned, that they immediately received rank and presents : even the head cook received an especial mark of distinction—probably for the soup.'
' And what did you receive ? ' asked Stork-mamma. ' Surely they ought not to forget the most important person of all, and you are certainly he ! The learned men have done nothing throughout the whole affair but used their tongues ; but you will doubtless receive what is due to you.'
Late in the night, when the gentle peace of sleep rested upon the now happy house, there was one who still watched. It was not Stork-papa, though he stood upon one leg and slept on guard—it was Helga who watched. She bowed herself forward over the balcony, and looked into the clear air, gazed at the great gleaming stars, greater and purer in their lustre than she had ever seen them in the North, and yet the same orbs. She thought of the Viking woman in the wild moorland, of the gentle eyes of her foster-mother, and of the tears which the kind soul had wept over the poor frog-child that now lived in splendour under the gleaming stars, in the beauteous spring air on the banks of the Nile. She thought of the love that dwelt in the breast of the heathen woman, the love that had been shown to a wretched creature, hateful in human form, and hideous in its transformation. She looked at the gleaming stars, and thought of the glory that had shone upon the forehead of the dead man, when she flew with him through the forest and across the moorland ; sounds passed through