108 THE THREE CROWNS
' you're a married man. What's to be done ? ' ' Faith, your majesty, I didn't make them crowns at all. It was a big fellow that took service with me yesterday.' ' Well, daughter, will you marry the fellow that made these crowns ? ' ' Let me see them first, father,' said she; but when she examined them she knew them right well, and guessed it was her true love that sent them. ' I will marry the man that these crowns came from,' says she.
' Well,' says the king to the elder of the two princes,
' go up to the smith's forge, take my best coaches, and bring home the bridegroom.' He did not like doing this, he was so proud, but he could not refuse. When he came to the forge he saw the prince standing at the door, and beckoned him over to the coach. ' Are you the fellow,' says he, ' that made these crowns ?' ' Yes,' says the other. ' Then,' says he, ' maybe you'd give yourself a brushing, and get into that coach ; the king wants to see you. I pity the princess.' The young prince got into the carriage, and while they were on the way he opened the snuff-box, and out walked Seven Inches, and stood on his thigh. ' Well,' says he, ' what trouble is on you now ? ' ' Master,' says the other, ' please let me go back to my forge, and let this carriage be filled with paving stones.' No sooner said than done. The prince was sitting in his forge, and the horses wondered what was after happening to the carriage.
When they came into the palace yard, the king himself opened the carriage door, for respect to his new son-in-law. As soon as he turned the handle, a shower of small stones fell on his powdered wig and his silk coat, and down he fell under them. There was great fright and some laughter, and the king, after he wiped the blood from his forehead, looked very cross at the eldest prince. ' My lord,' says he, ' I'm very sorry for this accident, but I'm not to blame. I saw the young smith get into the carriage, and we never stopped