The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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were absolutely desolate, the fairy resolved to put her magic arts in practice to find out the cause. While she was thus engaged, Cornichon and Toupette wandered away by themselves, and by-and-by arrived at the foun­tain, whose, bubbling waters looked cool and delicious on such a hot day. Scarcely had they each drunk a deep draught, when the fairy, who by this time had discovered all she wished to know, hastened to the spot.
'Oh, beware! beware!' she cried, the moment she saw them. ' If you drink that deadly poison you will be ruined for ever! '
' Poison?' answered Toupette. 'It is the most re-freshing water I have ever tasted, and Cornichon will say so too!'
'Unhappy children, then I am too late! Why did you leave me? List-en, and J will tell you what has befallen the wretched inhabitants of this island, and what will befall you too. The power of fairies is great,' she added, when she had finished her story, 'but they cannot destroy the work of another fairy. Very shortly you will pass into the weakness and silliness of extreme old age, and all I can do for you is to make it as easy to you as possible, and to preserve you from the death that others have suffered, from having no one to look after them. But the charm is working already! Cornichon is taller :iik1 more manly than he was an hour ago, and Toupette no longer looks like a, little girl.'
11. was true ; but, this fact did not, seem to render the young people as miserable as it did Selnozoura.
' Do not pity us,' said Cornichon. ' If we are fated to grow old so soon, let, us no longer delay our marriage. What, matter if we anticipate our decay, if we only antici­pate our happiness too?'
The fairy felt that Cornichon had reason on his side, and seeing by a glance at Toupette's face that there was no opposition to be feared from her, she answered, 'Let it be so, then. But not in this dreadful place. We will
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