The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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NARCISSUS AND P0TENT1LLA.
71
her, and resolved to avail himself of the magic power of Iws ring to accomplish his design. So he made himself invis­ible and passed the guard without their so much as suspect­ing that any one was near. Climbing the wall was rather a difficulty, but when he at length found himself inside it he was charmed with the peaceful beauty of the little domain it inclosed, and still more delighted when he per­ceived a slender, lovely maiden wandering among the flowers. It was not until he had sought vainly for the imaginary monster that he realized that this was the princess herself, and by that time he was deeply in love with her, for indeed it would have been hard to find any one prettier than Potentilla as she sat by the brook weav­ing a garland of blue forget-me-nots to crown her waving golden locks, or to imagine anything more gentle than the way she tended all the birds and beasts who inhabited her small kingdom, and who all loved and followed her. Prince Narcissus watched her every movement and hovered near her in a dream of delight, not daring as yet to appear to her, so humble had he suddenly become in her presence. And when evening came and the nurse fetched the princess into her little house, he felt obliged to go back to Frivola's palace, for fear his absence should be noticed and some one should discover his new treasure. But he forgot that to go back absent, and dreamy, and indifferent, when he had before been gay and ardent about everything, was the surest way of awakening suspicion; and when, in response to the jesting questions which were put to him upon the subject, he only blushed and returned evasive answer, all the ladies were certain that he had lost his heart, and did their utmost to discover who was the happy possessor of it. As to the prince, he was becoming day by day more attached to Petentilla, and his one thought was to attend her, always invisible, and help her in everything she did and provide her with everything that could possibly amuse or please her. And the princess, who had learned to find diversion in very small things in her quiet life, was in a continual state of delight over the treasures which the prince constantly laid where she must find them. Then Narcissus implored his faithful friend Melinette to send the princess such dreams of him as should make her recognize him as a friend when he actually appeared before her eyes; and this device was so
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