142 THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
kingdom and, besides that, was as lovely as the day. But one morning while Rosimond was hunting in the forest where for the first time he had seen the fairy, his benefactress suddenly appeared before him.
"Take heed," she said to him in severe tones, "that you do not marry anybody who believes you to be a prince. You must never deceive any one. The real prince, whom the whole nation thinks you are, will have to succeed his father, for that is just and right. Go and seek him in some distant island, and I will send winds that will swell your sails and bring you to him. Hasten to render this service to your master, although it is against your own ambition, and prepare, like an honest man, to return to your natural state. If you do not do this you will become wicked and unhappy, and I will abandon you to all your former troubles."
Rosimond took these wise counsels to heart. He gave out that he had undertaken a secret mission to a neighboring state, and embarked on board a vessel, the winds carrying him straight to the island where the fairy had told him he would find the real prince. This unfortunate youth had been taken captive by a savage people, who had kept him to guard their sheep. Rosimond, becoming invisible, went to seek him among the pastures where he kept his flock, and covering him with his mantle he delivered him out of the hands of his cruel masters and bore him back to the ship. Other winds sent by the fairy swelled the sails, and together the two young men entered the king's presence. Rosimond spoke first and said:
"You have believed me to be your son. I am not he, but I have brought him back to you."
The king, filled with astonishment, turned to his real son and asked:
"Was it not you, my son, who conquered my enemies and won such a glorious peace? Or is it true that you have been shipwrecked and taken captive and that Rosimond has set you free?"
'Yes, my father," replied the prince. "It is he who sought me out in my captivity and set me tree, and to mm I owe the happiness of seeing you once more. It was he, not I, who gained the victory."
The king could hardly believe his ears; but Rosimond, turning the ring, appeared before him in the likeness of