AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 23
his faithful equerry. But the equerry was by no means delighted at his king's love affair, and took no pains to hide his disappointment.
' But why are you vexed?' asked the king. 'Surely the princess is beautiful enough to please anyone ?'
' She is certainly very handsome,' replied the equeny, ' but to be really happy in love something more than beauty is required. To tell the truth, sire,' he added, ' her expression seems to me hard.'
' That is pride and dignity,' said the king, ' and nothing can be more becoming.'
' Pride or hardness, as you will,' said the equerry; ' but to my mind the choice of so many fierce creatures for her amusements seems to tell of a fierce nature, and I also think there is something suspicious in the care taken to prevent her speaking.'
The equerry's remarks were full of good sense ; but as opposition is only apt to increase love in the hearts of men, and especially of kings who hate being contradicted, this king begged, the very next day, for the hand of the Princess Mutinosa. It was granted him on two conditions.
The first was that the wedding should take place the very next day; and the second, that he should not speak to the princess till she was his wife ; to all of which the king agreed, in spite of his equerry's objections, so that the first word he heard his bride utter was the ' Yes' she spoke at their marriage.
Once married, however, she no longer placed any check on herself, and her ladies-in-waiting came in for plenty of rude speeches — even the king did not escape scolding ; but as lie was a good-tempered man, and very much in love, he bore it patiently. A few days after the wedding the newly married pair set out for their kingdom without leaving many regrets behind.
The good equerry's fears proved only too true, as the king found out to his cost. The young queen made her-