CAMARALZAMAN AND BADOURA 223
powerful that the King of China felt constrained to urge this suit on his daughter. He told her how important such an alliance would be, and pressed her to consent. In fact, he pressed her so persistingly that the princess at length lost her temper and quite forgot the respect due to her father. " Sire," cried she angrily, " do not speak further of this or any other marriage or I will plunge this dagger in my breast and so escape from all these importunities."
' The King of China was extremely indignant with his daughter and replied: u You have lost your senses and you must be treated accordingly." So he had her shut in one set of rooms in one of her palaces, and only allowed her ten old women, of whom her nurse was the head, to wait on her and keep her company. He next sent letters to all the kings who had sued for the princess's hand, begging they would think of her no longer, as she was quite insane, and he desired his various envoys to make it known that anyone who could cure her should have her to wife.
' Fair Maimoune,' continued Danhasch, i this is the present state of affairs. I never pass a day without going to gaze on this incomparable beauty, and I am sure that if you would only accompany me you would think the sight well worth the trouble, and own that you never saw such loveliness before.'
The fairy only answered with a peal of laughter, and when at length she had control of her voice she cried, ' Oh, come, you are making game of me ! I thought you had something really interesting to tell me instead of raving about some unknown damsel. What would you say if you could see the prince I have ju3t been looking at and whose beauty is really transcendent? That is something worth talking about, you would certainly quite lose your head.'
' Charming Maimoune,' asked Danhasch, ' may I inquire who and what is the prince of whom you speak ?'