THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
I really don't think she has any left now. She is quite aware of all this herself, so you may imagine how unhappy she is and how earnestly she begs for your aid,"
"You have told me what I wanted to know," cried the fairy, "but, alas! I cannot help her. My gifts can be given but once."
Some time passed in all the usual delights of the flower fairy's palace, and then she sent for Sylvia again, and told her she was to stay for a little while with the Princess Daphne, and accordingly the butterflies whisked her off and set her down in quite a strange kingdom. But she had only been there a very little time before a wandering butterfly brought a message from her to the fairy, begging that she might be sent for as soon as possible, and before very long she was allowed to return.
"Ah! madam," cried she, "what a place you sent me to that time!"
"Why, what was the matter?" asked the fairy. "Daphne was one of the princesses who asked for the gift of eloquence, if I remember rightly."
"And very ill the gift of eloquence becomes a woman," replied Sylvia, with an air of conviction. "It is true that she speaks well and her expressions are well chosen; but then she never leaves off talking, and though at first one may be amused, one ends by being wearied to death. Above all things she loves any assembly for settling the affairs of her kingdom, for on those occasions she can talk and talk without fear of interruption; but, even then, the moment it is over she is ready to begin again about anything or nothing, as the case may be. Oh! how glad I was to come away I cannot tell you."
The fairy smiled at Sylvia's unfeigned disgust at her late experience, but after allowing her a little time to recover she sent her to the court of the Princess Cynthia, where she left her for three months. At the end of that time Sylvia came back to her with all the joy and contentment that one feels at being once more beside a dear friend. The fairy' as usua1' was anxious to hear what she thought of Cynthia, who had alwavs been amiable and to whom she had given the gift of pleasing.
"I thought at first," said Sylvia, "that she must be the happiest princess in the world. She had a thousand lovers who vied with one another in their efforts to please and