The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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princess, and the Princes who were there could not take their eyes off her.
The King was more glad than anyone else that she had come again, and gave orders that the doors should all be shut and bolted that very minute. "When the wedding was all but over the Princess got up quickly, hoping to slip away unnoticed among the crowd, but to her great dismay she found every door fastened.
She felt more at ease when the King came up to her, and with the greatest respect begged her not to run away so soon, but at least to honour him by staying for the splendid feast which was prepared for the Princes and Princesses. He led her into a mag­nificent hall, where all the Court was assembled, and himself taking up the golden bowl full of water, he offered it to her that she might dip her pretty fingers into it.
At this the Princess could no longer contain herself; throwing herself at the King's feet, she cried out:
' My dream has come true after all—you have offered me water to wash my hands on my sister's wedding-day, and it has not vexed you to do it.'
The King recognised her at once—indeed, he had already thought several times how much like his poor little Miranda she was.
' Oh! my dear daughter,' he cried, kissing her, ' can you ever forget my cruelty ? I ordered you to be put to death because I thought your dream portended the loss of my crown. And so it did,' he added, ' for now your sisters are both married and have kingdoms of their own—and mine shall be for you.' So saying he put his crown on the Princess's head and cried :
' Long live Queen Miranda !'
All the Court cried : ' Long live Queen Miranda ! ' after him, and the young Queen's two sisters came running up, and threw their arms round her neck, and kissed her a thousand times, and then there was such a laughing and crying, talking and kissing, all at once, and Miranda thanked her father, and began to ask after everyone—particularly the Captain of the Guard, to whom she owed so much; but, to her great sorrow, she heard that he was dead. Presently they sat down to the banquet, and the King asked Miranda to tell them all that had happened to her since the terrible morning when he had sent the Captain of the Guard to fetch her. This she did with so much spirit that all the guests listened with breathless interest. But while she was thus enjoying herself with the King and her sisters, the lung of the Sheep was
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