The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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imagine how perfectly happy they were and how much thev had to hear and to tell. But at length it was time to go back to the little house, and as they went along Celandine remembered for the first time what a ragged old dress she was wearing and what an odd appearance she must present. But the prince declared that it became her vastly and that he thought it most picturesque. When they reached the house the old woman received them very crossly.
''I declare," said she, "that it's perfectly true: wher­ever there is a girl you may be sure that a young man will appear before long! But don't imagine that I'm going to have you here—not a bit of it. Be off with you, my line fellow!"
Prince Featherhead was inclined to be angry at this uncivil reception, but he was really too happy to care much, so he only demanded, on Celandine's behalf, that the old dame should give her back her own attire, that she might go away suitably dressed.
This request roused her to fury, since she had counted upon the princess' fine robes to clothe her for the rest of her life, so that it was some time before the prince could make himself heard to explain that he was willing to pay for them. The sight of a handful of gold-pieces some­what mollified her, and after making them both promise faithfully that on no consideration would they ask for the gold back again, she took the princess into the house and grudgingly doled out to her just enough of her gay attire to make her presentable, while the rest she pretended to have lost. After this they found that they were very hungry, for one cannot live on love, any more than on air, and then the old woman's lamentations were louder than before.
"What!" she cried, "feed people who were as happy as all that! Why, it was simply ruinous!"
But as the prince began to look angry she, with many sighs and mutterings, brought out a morsel of bread, a bowl of milk, and six plums, with which the lovers were well content; for as long as they could look at one another they really did not know what they were eating. It seemed as if they would go on forever with their reminis­cences, the prince telling how he had wandered all over the world from beauty to beauty, always to be disappointed
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