STORY OF THE JEALOUS SISTERS 419
be deserted. I am no longer astonished that you do not wish to leave it. Let us go into the gardens, which I am sure are no less beautiful than the rooms.'
A small door opened straight into the garden, and the first object that met the Sultan's eyes was the Golden Water.
' What lovely coloured water!' he exclaimed; ' where is the spring, and how do you make the fountain rise so high? I do not believe there is anything like it in the world.' He went forward to examine it, and when he had satisfied his curiosity, the princess conducted him towards the Singing Tree.
As they drew near, the Sultan was startled by the sound of strange voices, but could see nothing. ' Where have you hidden your musicians?' he asked the princess; ' are they up in the air, or under the earth? Surely the owners of such charming voices ought not to conceal themselves!'
' Sire,' answered the princess, ' the voices all come from the tree which is straight in front of us; and if you will deign to advance a few steps, you will see that they become clearer.'
The Sultan did as he was told, and was so wrapt in delight at what he heard that he stood some time in silence.
' Tell me, madam, I pray you,' he said at last, ' how this marvellous tree came into your garden? It must have been brought from a great distance, or else, fond as I am of all curiosities, I could not have missed hearing of it! What is its name?'
' The only name it has, sire,' replied she, ' is the Singing Tree, and it is not a native of this country. Its history is mixed up with those of the Golden Water and the Talking Bird, which you have not yet seen. If your Highness wishes I will tell you the whole story, when you have recovered from your fatigue.'
' Indeed, madam,' returned he, ' you show me so many wonders that it is impossible to feel any fatigue. Let us