you that I was your father's friend; he often came to see me in the old times, and you must know that I was very pretty in those days; at least, he used to say so. I should like to tell you of a conversation we had the last time I ever saw him.'
' Indeed,' said the Prince, ' when I have supped it will give me the greatest pleasure to hear it; but consider, madam, I beg of you, that I have had nothing to eat to-day.'
' The poor boy is right,' said the Fairy; ' I was forgetting. Come in, then, and I will give you some supper, and while you are eating I can tell you my story in a very few words—for I don't like endless tales myself. Too long a tongue is worse than too long a nose, and I remember when I was young that I was so much admired for not being a great chatterer. They used to tell the Queen, my mother, that it was so. For though you see what I am now, I was the daughter of a great king. My father------'
'Your father, I dare say, got something to eat when he was hungry!' interrupted the Prince.
' Oh ! certainly,' answered the Fairy, ' and you also shall have supper directly. I only just wanted to tell you------'
' But I really cannot listen to anything until I have had something to eat,' cried the Prince, who was getting quite angry; but then, remembering that he had better be polite as he much needed the Fairy's help, he added :
' I know that in the pleasure of listening to you I should quite forget my own hunger; but my horse, who cannot hear you, must really be fed !'
The Fairy was very much flattered by this compliment, and said, calling to her servants :
' You shall not wait another minute, you are so polite, and in spite of the enormous size of your nose you are really very agreeable.'
' Plague take the old lady! How she does go on about my nose !' said the Prince to himself. ' One would almost think that mine had taken all the extra length that hers lacks ! If I were not so hungry I would soon have done with this chatterpie who thinks she talks very little! How stupid people are not to see their own faults! that comes of being a princess: she has been spoilt by flatterers, who have made her believe that she is quite a moderate talker! '
Meanwhile the servants were putting the supper on the table, and the Prince was much amused to hear the Fairy, who asked them a thousand questions simply for the pleasure of hearing her-