The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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But the old King stood outside at the stove chimney, and listened to her words. Then he entered the room again, and bidding her leave the stove, he ordered royal apparel to be put on her. in which she looked amazingly lovely. Then he summoned his son, and revealed to him that he had got the false bride, who was nothing but a waiting-maid, while the real one, in the guise of the ex-goose-girl, was standing at his side. The young King rejoiced from his heart when he saw her beauty and learnt how good she was, and a great banquet was prepared, to which everyone was bidden. The bridegroom sat at the head of the table, the Princess on one side of him and the waiting-maid on the other; but she was so dazzled that she did not recognise the Princess in her glittering garments. Now when they had eaten and drunk, and were merry, the old King asked the waiting-maid to solve a knotty point for him. ' What,' said he, ' should be done to a certain person who has deceived everyone ? ' and he proceeded to relate the whole story, ending up with, ' Now what sentence should be passed'? ' Then the false bride answered : ' She deserves to be put stark naked into a barrel lined with sharp nails, which should be dragged by two white horses up and down the street till she is dead.'
' You are the person,' said the King, ' and you have passed sentence on yourself; and even so it shall be done to you.' And when the sentence had been carried out the young King was married to his real bride, and both reigned over the kingdom in peace and happiness.1
1 Grimm.
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