The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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74
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
been loudlv calling her attention to the flowers and chuck­ling over his own smartness in getting them for her; and it was rather a blow to him when she said very coldly that they were not the sort she preferred, and she would be glad if he would send them all away. This he did, but after­ward wished to kiss the princess' hand as a reward for having been so obliging; but the fairy Melinette was not going to allow anything of that kind. She appeared sud­denly, in all her splendor, and cried:
"Stay, Grumedan. This princess is under my protec­tion, and the smallest impertinence will cost you a thousand years of captivity. If you can win Potentilla's heart by "the ordinary methods I cannot oppose you, but I warn you that I will not put up with any of your usual tricks."
This declaration was not at all to the enchanter's taste, but he knew that there was no help for it, and that he would have to behave well and pay the princess all the delicate attentions he could think of, though they were not at all the sort of thing he was used to. However, he decided that to win such a beauty it was quite worth while, and Melinette, feeling that she could now leave the princess in safety, hurried off to tell Prince Narcissus what was going forward. Of course, at the very mention of the enchanter as a rival he was furious, and I don't know what foolish things he would not have done if Melinette had not been there to calm him down. She represented to him what a powerful enchanter Grumedan was, and how, if he were provoked, he might avenge him­self upon the princess, since he was the most unjust and churlish of all the enchanters and had often before had to be punished by the fairy queen for some of his ill-deeds. Once he had been imprisoned in a tree, and was only released when it was blown down by a furious wind; an­other time he was condemned to stay under a big stone at the bottom of a river until by some chance the stone should be turned over; but nothing could ever really improve him. The fairy finally made Narcissus promise that he would remain invisible when he was with the princess, since she felt sure that this would make things easier for all of them. Then began a struggle between Grumedan and the prince, the latter under the name of Melinette, as to which could best delight and divert the princess and win her approbation. Prince Narcissus first made friends
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