THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
"Nothing to prevent me!" repeated he, "when my utmost efforts have failed to discover the lovely original. Should I be so sad if I could but find her? But I do not even know her name."
More surprised than ever, the princess asked to be allowed to see the portrait, and after examining it for a few minutes returned it, remarking shyly that at least the original had every cause to be satisfied with it.
"That means that you consider it flattered," said the prince severely. "Really, Celandine, I thought better of you and should have expected you to be above such contemptible jealousy. But all women are alike!"
"Indeed, I meant only that it was a good likeness," said the princess meekly.
"Then you know the original?" cried the prince, throwing himself on his knees beside her. "Pray tell me at once who it is, and don't keep me in suspense!"
"Oh! don't you see that it is meant for me?" cried Celandine.
The prince sprang to his feet, hardly able to refrain from telling her that she must be blinded by vanity to suppose she resembled the lovely portrait even in the slightest degree; and after gazing at her for an instant with icy surprise, turned and left her without another word, and in a few hours quitted the Leafy Palace altogether.
Now the princess was indeed unhappy and could no longer bear to stay in a place Avhere she ha.d been so cruelly disdained. So, without even bidding farewell to the king and queen, she left the valley behind her and wandered sadly away, not caring whither. After walking until she was weary, she saw before her a tiny house and turned her slow steps toward it. The nearer she approached the more miserable it appeared, and at length she saw a little old woman sitting upon the door-step, who said grimly:
"Here comes one of these fine beggars who are too idle to do anything but run about the country!"
"Alas! madam," said Celandine, with tears in her
Pretty eyes, "a sad fate forces me to ask you for shelter."
Didn't I tell you what it would be?" growled the old
hag. 'From shelter we shall proceed to demand supper,
and from supper money to take us on our way. Upon my