The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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enormous size, pounced each upon a maiden and carried her off into the air, and in an instant they were all lost to view. This amazing occurrence plunged the whole court into the deepest affliction, and Prince Mirliflor, after giv­ing way to the most violent grief at first, fell gradually into a state of such deep dejection that it was feared if nothing could rouse him he would certainly die. Surcan-tine came in all haste to see what she could do for her darling, but he rejected with scorn all the portraits of lovely princesses which she offered him for his collection. In short, it was evident that he was in a bad way, and the fairy was at her wits' end. One day, as he wan­dered about absorbed in melancholy reflections, he heard sudden shouts and exclamations of amazement, and if he had taken the trouble to look up he could not have helped being as astonished as every one else, for through the air a chariot of crystal was slowly approaching which glittered in the sunshine. Six lovely maidens with shin­ing wings drew it by rose-colored ribbons, while a whole flight of others, equally beautiful, were holding long garlands of roses crossed above it, so as to form a complete canopy. In it sat the fairy Paridamie, and by her side a princess whose beauty positively dazzled all who saw her. At the foot of the great staircase they descended and pro­ceeded to the queen's apartments, though every one had run together to see this marvel, till it was quite difficult to make a way through the crowd; and exclamations of wonder rose on all sides at the loveliness of the strange princess. "Great queen," said Paridamie, "permit me to restore to you your daughter Rosanella, whom I stole out of her cradle."
After the first transports of joy were over the queen said to Paridamie:
"But my twelve lovely ones, are they lost to me for­ever? Shall I never see them again?"
But Paridamie only said:
"Very soon you will cease to miss them!" in a tone that evidently meant "Don't ask me any more questions." And then mounting again into her chariot she swiftly dis­appeared.
The news of his beautiful cousin's arrival was soon carried to the prince, but he had hardly the heart to go and see her. However, it became absolutely necessary
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