THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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THE THREE CROWNS                   107
So the king said they should put off the marriage. ' For,' says he, ' I see there is no use in thinking of it till the youngest gets her three crowns, and is married with the others. I'll give my youngest daughter for a wife to whoever brings three crowns to me like the others ; and if he doesn't care to be married, some other one will, and I'll make his fortune.'
' I wish,' says the smith, ' I could do it; but I was looking at the crowns after the princesses got home, and I don't think there's a black or a white smith on the face of the earth that could imitate them.' 'Faint heart never won fair lady,' says the prince. ' Go to the palace and ask for a quarter of a pound of gold, a quarter of a pound of silver, and a quarter of a pound of copper. Get one crown for a pattern, and my head for a pledge, I'll give you out the very things that are wanted in the morning.' ' Are you in earnest ? ' says the smith. ' Faith, I am so,' says he. ' Go ! you can't do worse than lose.'
To make a long story short, the smith got the quarter of a pound of gold, and the quarter of a pound of silver, and the quarter of a pound of copper, and gave them and the pattern crown to the prince. He shut the forge door at nightfall, and the neighbours all gathered in the yard, and they heard him hammering, hammering, hammering, from that to daybreak ; and every now and then he'd throw out through the window bits of gold, silver, and copper ; and the idlers scrambled for them, and cursed one another, and prayed for the good luck of the workman.
Well, just as the sun was thinking to rise, he opened the door, and brought out the three crowns he got from his true love, and such shouting and huzzaing as there was ! The smith asked him to go along with him to the palace, but he refused ; so off set the smith, and the whole townland with him ; and wasn't the king rejoiced when he saw the crowns ! ' Well,' says he to the smith.
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