THE OLIVE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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208
THE SATIN SURGEON
' Here comes the Satin Surgeon ! Look at the Satin Surgeon ! Long live the Satin Surgeon!' And, on arriving, he was announced by this name, and at once taken to the sick room of the dying man.
The emperor was lying with his eyes closed, and his face as white as the pillow itself; but directly he heard the new-comer's voice, he looked up and smiled, and signed that he wished the new doctor to remain near him. Making a low bow, the Satin Surgeon assured the emperor that he felt certain of curing his malady, but insisted that everyone should leave the room except the emperor's favourite equerry. He then dressed the wounds with the magic salve which the boy had given him, and it so relieved the emperor's pain that he slept soundly all that night.
When morning broke, the courtiers and doctors hurried to the emperor's chamber, and were much surprised to find him free of pain. But they were promptly ordered out of the room by the Satin Surgeon, who renewed the dressings with such good results that next morning the emperor was nearly well, and able to leave his bed. As he grew stronger, his thoughts dwelt more and more on the cause of all his sufferings, and his spirits grew worse as his health grew better. The face and voice of his new doctor reminded him of the princess who had, he imagined, betrayed him, and caused him such dreadful torture; and, unable to bear the thought, his eyes filled with tears.
The doctor noticed his sad countenance and did all he could to enliven his patient with cheerful talk and amusing stories, till at last he won the emperor's con­fidence and heard all the story of his love for a lady who had treated him cruelly, but whom, in spite of everything, he could not help loving. The Satin Surgeon listened with sympathy, and tried to persuade the emperor that possibly the princess was not so much to blame as might appear ; but, eager though the sick man
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