THE STORY OF PRETTY GOLDILOCKS 197
that befell Charming upon his journey, and he made all the haste he could to reach the palace of the Princess Goldilocks.
When he arrived he thought everything he saw delightful and magnificent. Diamonds were as plentiful as pebbles, and the gold and silver, the beautiful dresses, the sweetmeats and pretty things that were everywhere quite amazed him ; he thought to himself: ' If the Princess consents to leave all this, and come with me to marry the King, he may think himself lucky!'
Then he dressed himself carefully in rich brocade, with scarlet and white plumes, and threw a splendid embroidered scarf over his shoulder, and, looking as gay and as graceful as possible, he presented himself at the door of the palace, carrying in his arm a tiny pretty dog which he had bought on the way. The guards saluted him respectfully, and a messenger was sent to the Princess to announce the arrival of Charming as ambassador of her neighbour the King.
' Charming,' said the Princess, ' the name promises well; I have no doubt that he is good-looking and fascinates everybody.'
' Indeed he does, madam,' said all her maids of honour in one breath. ' We saw him from the window of the garret where we were spinning flax, and we could do nothing but look at him as long as he was in sight.'
' Well to be sure !' said the Princess, ' that's how you amuse yourselves, is it ? Looking at strangers out of the window! Be quick and give me my blue satin embroidered dress, and comb out my golden hair. Let somebody make me fresh garlands of flowers, and give me my high-heeled shoes and my fan, and tell them to sweep my great hall and my throne, for I want everyone to say I am really " Pretty Goldilocks." '
You can imagine how all her maids scurried this way and that to make the Princess ready, and how in their haste they knocked their heads together and hindered each other, till she thought they would never have done. However, at last they led her into the gallery of mirrors that she might assure herself that nothing was lacking in her appearance, and then she mounted her throne of gold, ebony, and ivory, while her ladies took their guitars and began to sing softly. Then Charming was led in, and was so struck with astonishment and admiration that at first not a word could he say. But presently he took courage and delivered his harangue, bravely ending by begging the Prmcess to spare him the disappointment of going back without her.