4 THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
thought that he was bashful, and took pains to keep Tur-ritella in full view. King Charming then asked if there was not another princess, called Fiordelisa.
"Yes," said Turritella, pointing with her finger. "There she is, trying to keep out of sight because she is not smart."
At this Fiordelisa blushed, and looked so shy and so lovely that the king was fairly astonished. He rose, and bowing low before her said:
"Madam, your incomparable beauty needs no adornment."
"Sire," answered the princess, "I assure you that I am not in the habit of wearing dresses as crumpled and untidy as this one, so I should have been better pleased if you had not seen me at all."
"Impossible!" cried King Charming. "Wherever such a marvelously beautiful princess appears I can look at nothing else."
Here the queen broke in, saying sharply:
"I assure you, sire, that Fiordelisa is vain enough already. Pray make her no more flattering speeches."
The king quite understood that she was not pleased, but that did not matter to him, so he admired Fiordelisa to his heart's content and talked to her for three hours without stopping.
The queen was in despair, and so was Turritella, when they saw how much the king preferred Fiordelisa. They complained bitterly to the king and begged and teased him, until he at last consented to have the princess shut up somewhere out of sight while King Charming's visit lasted. So that night as she went to her room she was seized by four masked figures and carried up into the topmost room of a high tower, where they left her in the deepest dejection. She easily guessed that she was to be kept out of sight for fear the king should fall in love with her; but, then, how disappointing that was, for she already liked him very much and would have been quite willing to be chosen for his bride! As King Charming did not know what had happened to the princess, he looked forward impatiently to meeting her again, and he tried to talk about her with the courtiers who were placed in attendance on him. But by the queen's orders they would say nothing good of her, but declared that she was