The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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prince could possibly require, but now she redoubled her efforts and spared no pains in adding every imaginable charm and fascination. So that whether he happened to be cross or amiable, splendidly or simply attired, serious or frivolous, he was always perfectly irresistible! In truth, he was a charming young fellow, since the fairy had given him the best heart in the world as well as the best head, and had left nothing to be desired but constancy. For it cannot be denied that Prince Mirliflor was a des­perate flirt and as fickle as the wind; so much so that by the time he arrived at his eighteenth birthday there was not a heart left for him to conquer in his father's king­dom—they were all his own and he was tired of every one! Things were in this state when he was invited to visit the court of his father's cousin, King Bardondon.
Imagine his feelings when he arrived and was presented at once to twelve of the loveliest creatures in the world, and his embarrassment was heightened by the fact that they all liked him as much as he liked each one of them, so that things came to such a pass that he was never happy a single instant without them. For could he not whisper soft speeches to Sweet and laugh with Joy while he looked at Beauty? And in his more serious moments what could be pleasanter thau to talk to Grave upon some shady lawn while he held the hand of Loving in his own, and all the others lingered near in sympathetic silence? For the first time in his life he really loved, though the object of his devotion was not one person, but twelve, to whom he was equally attached, and even Surcantine was deceived into thinking that this was indeed the height of inconstancy. But Paridamie said not a word.
In vain did Prince Mirliflor's father write command­ing him to return, and proposing for him one good match after another. Nothing in the world could tear him from his twelve enchantresses.
One day the queen gave a large garden-party, and just as the guests were all assembled, 9-nd Prince Mirliflor was as usual dividing his attention.* between the twelve beauties, a humming of bees was heard. The rose-maidens, fearing their stings,' uttered little shrieks and fled all together to a distance from the rest of the com­pany. Immediately, to the horror of all who were looking on, the bees pursued them, and, growing suddenly to an
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