THE ENCHANTED RING 143
the prince, and the king gazed distractedly at the two youths who seemed both to be his son. Then he offered Eosimond immense rewards for his services, which were refused, and the only favor the young man would accept was that one of his posts at court should be conferred on his brother Bramintho. For he feared for himself the changes of fortune, the envy of mankind, and his own weakness. His desire was to go back to his mother and his native village and to spend his time in cultivating the land.
One day, when he was wandering through the woods, he met the fairy, who showed him the cavern where his father was imprisoned, and told him what words he must use in order to set him free. He repeated them joyfully, for he had always longed to bring the old man back and to make his last days happy. Kosimond thus became the benefactor of all his family and had the pleasure of doing good to those who had wished to do him evil. As for the court, to whom he had rendered such services, all he asked was the freedom to live far from its corruption; and, to crown all, fearing that if he kept the ring he might be tempted to use it in order to regain his lost place in the world, he made up his mind to restore it to the fairy. For many days he sought her up and down the woods and at last he found her.
"I want to give you back," he said, holding out the ring, "a gift as dangerous as it is powerful and which I fear to use wrongfully. I shall never feel safe till I have made it impossible for me to leave my solitude and to satisfy my passions."
While Kosimond was seeking to give back the ring to the fairy, Bramintho, who had failed to learn any lessons from experience, gave way to all his desires and tried to persuade the prince, lately become king, to ill-treat Rosi-mond. But the fairy, who knew all about everything, said to Rosimond when he was imploring her to accept the ring:
"Your wicked brother is doing his best to poison the mind of the king toward you and to ruin you. He deserves to be punished and he must die; and in order that he may destroy himself, I shall give the ring to him."
Rosimond wept at these words and then asked:
•'What do you mean by giving him the ring as a punish-