THE CLEVER CAT
by, spent in turning over all the beautiful things that the palace contained. But at length the young man grew tired of always staying inside walls, and he told his wife that the next day he must leave her for a few hours, and go out hunting. 'You will not mind?' he asked. And she answered as became a good wife:
'Yes, of course I shall mind; but I will spend the day in planning out some new dresses; and then it will be so delightful when you come back, you know!'
So the husband went off to hunt, with the falcon on his wrist, and the greyhound and the cat behind him — for the palace was so warm that even the cat did not mind living in it.
No sooner had he gone, than the Jew, who had been watching his chance for many days, knocked at the door of the palace.
'I have just returned from a far country,' he said, 'and I have some of the largest and most brilliant stones in the world with me. The princess is known to love beautiful things, perhaps she might like to buy some ?'
Now the princess had been wondering for many days what trimming she should put on her dresses, so that they should outshine the dresses of the other ladies at the court balls. Nothing that she thought of seemed good enough, so, when the message was brought that the Jew and his wares were below, she at once ordered that he should be brought to her chamber.
Oh! what beautiful stones he laid before her; what lovely rubies, and what rare pearls! No other lady would have jewels like those — of that the princess was quite sure; but she cast down her eyes so that the Jew might not see how much she longed for them.
'I fear they are too costly for me,' she said carelessly; 'and besides, I have hardly need of any more jewels just now.'
'I have no particular wish to sell them myself,'