THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
ceived with regal magnificence. Farda-Kinbras and Birbantine embraced Prince Manikin, declaring that they regarded him as their heir and the cuture husband of the
E rincess, to which he replied that they did him too much onor. And then he was admitted into the presence of the princess, who for the first time in her life blushed as he kissed her hand and could not find a word to say. But the prince, throwing himself on his knees beside her, held out the splendid diamond, saying:
"Madam, this treasure is yours, since none of the dangers and difficulties I have gone through have been sufficient to make me deserve it."
"Ah! prince," said she, "if I take it, it is only that I may give it back to you, since truly it belongs to you already."
At this moment in came the king and queen, and interrupted them by asking all the questions imaginable, and not infrequently the same over and over again. It seems that there is always one thing that is sure to be said about an event by everybody, and Prince Manikin found that the question which he was asked by more than a thousand people on this particular occasion was:
"And didn't you find it very cold?"
The king had come to request Prince Manikin and the princess to follow him to the council chamber, which they did, not knowing that he meant to present the prince to all the nobles assembled there as his son-in-law and successor. But when Manikin perceived his intention, he begged permission to speak first and told his whole story, even to the fact that he believed himself to be a peasant's son. Scarcely had he finished speaking when the sky grew black, the thunder growled, and the lightning flashed, and in the blaze of light the good fairy Genesta suddenly appeared. Turning to Prince Manikin, she said:
"I am satisfied with you, since you have shown not only courage, but a good heart." Then she addressed King Farda-Kinbras and informed him of the real history of the prince, and how she had determined to give him the education she knew would be best for a man who was to command others. "You have alreadv found the advantage of having a faithful friend," she added to the prinr-e,
and now you will have the pleasure of seeing King