The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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THE TWIN BROTHERS                  323
When the two boys were grown up, they were not content to remain at home, though they had wealth in plenty; but they wished to go out into the world, and make a name for themselves. Their father would not allow them both to go at once, as they were the only children he had. He said: ' First one shall travel, and when he is come back then the other may go.'
So the one took his horse and his dog, and went, saying to his brother: ' So long as the cypress trees are green, that is a sign that I am alive and well; but if one begins to wither, then make haste and come to me.' So he went forth into the world.
One day he stopped at the house of an old woman, and as at evening he sat before the door, he perceived in front of him a castle standing on a hill. He asked the old woman to whom it belonged, and her answer was: 'My son, it is the castle of the Fairest in the Land!'
' And I am come here to woo her!'
; That, my son, many have sought to do, and have lost their lives in the attempt; for she has cut off their heads and stuck them on the post you see standing there.'
k And the same will she do to me, or else I shall be victor, for to-morrow I go there to court her.'
Then he took his zither and played upon it so beautifully that no one in all that land had ever heard the like, and the princess herself came to the window to listen.
The next morning the Fairest in the Land sent for the old woman and asked her, ' Who is it that lives with you, and plays the zither so well?'
' It is a stranger, princess, who arrived yesterday evening,' answered the old woman.
And the princess then commanded that the stranger should be brought to her.
When he appeared before the princess she questioned
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