The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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diately set to work to prepare the engine. It was a frame of wood, raised three inches from the ground, about seven feet long and four wide, moving upon twenty-two wheels. But the difficulty was to place me on it. Eighty poles were erected for this purpose, and very strong cords fastened to bandages which the workmen had tied round my neck, hands, body, and legs. Nine hundred of the strongest men were employed to draw up these cords by pulleys fastened on the poles, and in less than three hours I was raised and slung into the engine, and there tied fast. Fifteen hundred of the Emperor's largest horses, each about four inches and a half high, were then employed to draw me towards the capital. But while all this was done I still lay in a deep sleep, and I did not wake till four hours after we began our journey.
The Emperor and all his Court came out to meet us when we reached the capital ; but his great officials would not suffer his Majesty to risk his person by mounting on my body. Where the carnage stopped there stood an ancient temple, supposed to be the largest in the whole kingdom, and here it was determined that I should lodge. Near the great gate, through which I could easily creep, they fixed ninety-one chains, like those which hang to a lady's watch, which were locked to my left leg with thirty-six padlocks; and when the workmen found it was impossible for me to break loose, they cut all the strings that bound me. Then I rose up, feeling as melancholy as ever I did in my life. But the noise and astonishment of the people on seeing me rise and walk were inex­pressible. The chains that held my left leg were about two yards long, and gave me not only freedom to walk backwards and forwards in a semicircle,' but to creep in and lie at full length inside the temple.
The Emperor, advancing towards me from among his courtiers, all most magnificently clad, surveyed me with great admiration, but kept beyond the length of my chain. He was taller by about the breadth of my nail than any of his Court, which alone was enough to strike awe into the beholders, and graceful and majestic. The better to behold him, I lay down on my side, so that my face was level with his, and he stood three yards off. However, I have had him since many times in my hand, and therefore cannot be de­ceived. His dress was very simple ; but he wore a light helmet of
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