22 THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK..
mounted the ivory hill without further trouble, for the little hooks saved her from slipping. As soon as she reached the top a new difficulty presented itself, for all the other side, and indeed the whole valley, was one polished mirror, in which thousands and thousands of people were admiring their reflections. For this was a magic mirror, in which people saw themselves just as they wished to appear, and pilgrims came to it from the four corners of the world. But nobody had ever been able to reach the top of the hill, and when they saw Fiordelisa standing there they raised a terrible outcry, declaring that if she set foot upon their glass she would break it to pieces. The queen, not knowing what to do, for she saw it would be dangerous to try to go down, broke the second egg, and out came a chariot drawn by two white doves, and Fiordelisa got into it and was floated softly away. After a night and a day the doves alighted outside the gate of King Charming's kingdom. Here the queen got out of the chariot and kissed the doves and thanked them, and then with a beating heart she walked into the town, asking the people she met where she could see the king. But they only laughed at her, crying:
"See the king? And pray why do you want to see the king, my little kitchen-maid? You had better go and wash your face first. Your eyes are not clear enough to see him!"
For the queen had disguised herself and pulled her hair down about her eyes, that no one might know her. As they would not tell her she went on further, and presently asked again, and this time the people answered that tomorrow she might see the king driving through the streets with the Princess Turritella, as it was said that at last he had consented to marry her. This was indeed terrible news to Fiordelisa. Had she come all this weary way only to find Turritella had succeeded in making King Charming forget her?
She was too tired and miserable to walk another step, so she sat down in a doorway and cried bitterly all night long. As soon as it was light she hastened to the palace, and after being sent away fifty times by the guards, she got in at last and saw the thrones set in the great hall for the king and Turritella, who was already looked upon as queen.