THE DIRTY SHEPHERDESS. 185
The princess' father, who had never ceased to repent his harshness toward his daughter, had sought her through the land, but as no one could tell him anything of her he supposed her dead. Therefore it was with great joy he heard that she was living and that a king's son asked her in marriage, and he quitted his kingdom with his elder daughter so as to be present at the ceremony.
By the orders of the bride, they only served her father at the wedding-breakfast bread without salt and meat without seasoning. Seeing him make faces and eat very little, his daughter, who sat beside him, inquired if his dinner was not to his taste.
"No," he replied. "The dishes are carefully cooked and sent up, but they are all so dreadfully tasteless."
"Did not I tell you, my father, that salt was the best thing in life? And yet when I compared you to salt, to show how much I loved you, you thought slightingly of me and you chased me from your presence."
The king embraced his daughter and allowed that he had been wrong to misinterpret her words. And then for the rest of the wedding-feast they gave him bread made with salt and dishes with seasoning, and he said they were the very best he had ever eaten.*