The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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Once upon a time there lived a king who had an only son whom he loved dearly. Now one day the king sent for his son and said to him:
' My dearest child, my hair is grey and I am old, and soon I shall feel no more the warmth of the sun, or look upon the trees and flowers. But before I die I should like to see you with a good wife; therefore marry, my son, as speedily as possible.'
' My father,' replied the prince, ' now and always, I ask nothing better than to do your bidding, but I know of no daughter-in-law that I could give you.'
On hearing these words the old king drew from his pocket a key of gold, and gave it to his son, saying:
' Go up the staircase, right up to the top of the tower. Look carefully round you, and then come and tell me which you like best of all that you see.'
So the young man went up. He had never before been in the tower, and had no idea what it might contain.
The staircase wound round and round and round, till the prince was almost giddy, and every now and then he caught sight of a large room that opened out from the side. But he had been told to go to the top, and to the top he went. Then he found himself in a hall, which had an iron door at one end. This door he unlocked with his golden key, and he passed through into a vast
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