NARCISSUS AND POTENTILLA.
that she loves a certain contemptible puppy called Narcissus, but I have made very short work with him. I really do not care whether you consent to my marriage with your daughter or not, but I am bound to ask your consent, on account of a certain meddling fairy called Melinette, with whom I have reason for wishing to keep on good terms."
The king and queen were somewhat embarrassed to know what answer to make to this terrible suitor, but at last they asked for time to talk over the matter; since, they said, their subjects might think that the heir to the throne should not be married with as little consideration as a dairy-maid.
"Oh! take a day or two if you like," said the enchanter, "but in the mean time, I am going to send for your daughter. Perhaps you will be able to induce her to be reasonable."
So saying, he drew out his favorite whistle and blew one ear-piercing note, whereupon the great lion, who had been dozing in the sunny court-yard, came bounding in on his soft, heavy feet.
"Orion," said the enchanter, "go and fetch me the princess, and bring her here at once. Be gentle now!"
At these words Orion went off at a great pace and was soon at the other end of the king's gardens. Scattering the guards right and left he cleared the wall at a bound, and seizing the sleeping princess he threw her on to his back, where he kept her by holding her robe in his teeth. Then he trotted gently back, and in less than five minutes stood in the great hall before the astonished king and queen.
The enchanter held his club close to the princess' charming little nose, whereupon she woke up and shrieked with terror at finding herself in a strange place with the detested Grumedan. Frivola, who had stood by, stiff with displeasure at the sight of the lovely princess, now stepped forward, and with much pretended concern proposed to carry off Potentilla to her own apartments that she might enjoy the quiet she seemed to need. Really her one idea was to let the princess be seen by as few people as possible. So, throwing a veil over her head, she led her away and locked her up securely. All this time Prince Narcissus, gloomy and despairing, was kept a prisoner by Melinette in her castle in the air, and in spite of all the splendor by