The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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aided by their fires of magic wood, without which they must have perished in the intense cold, until presently they stood at the gates of the magnificent ice palace which crowned the mountain, where, in deadly silence and icy sleep, lay the heart of Sabella. Now the difficulty became immense, for if they maintained enough heat to keep themselves alive they were in danger every moment of melting the blocks of solid ice of which the palace was entirely built and bringing the whole structure down upon their heads; but cautiously and quickly they traversed court-yards and halls, until they found them­selves at the foot of a vast throne, where, upon a cushion of snow, lay an enormous and brilliantly sparkling diamond, which contained the heart of the lovely Princess Sabella. Upon the lowest step of the throne was inscribed in icy letters: "Whosoever thou art who by courage and virtue canst win the heart of Sabella, enjoy peacefully the good fortune which thou hast richly deserved."
Prince Manikin bounded forward and had just strength left to grasp the precious diamond which contained all he coveted in the world before he fell insensible upon the snowy cushion. But his good spaniels lost no time in rushing to the rescue, and between them they bore him hastily from the hall, and not a moment too soon, for all around them they heard the clang of the falling blocks of ice as the fairy palace slowly collapsed under the un­wonted heat. Not until tbey reached the foot of the mountain did they pause to restore the prince to con­sciousness, and then his joy to find himself the possessor of Sabella's heart knew no bounds.
With all speed they began to retrace their steps, but this time the happy prince could not bear the sight of his defeated and disappointed rivals, whose frozen forms lined his triumphant way. He gave orders to his spaniels to spare no pains to restore them to life, and so successful were they that day by day his train increased, so that by the time he got back to the little village where he had left his horse he was escorted by five hundred sovereign princes and knights and squires without number, and he was so courteous and unassuming that they all followed him willingly, anxious to do him honor. But then he was so happy and blissful himself that he found it easy to be at peace with all the world
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