The PINK FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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174
HOW THE HERMIT HELPED TO WIN THE KING'S DAUGHTER1
Long ago there lived a very rich man who had three sons. When he felt himself to be dying he divided his property between them, making them share alike, both in money and lands. Soon after he died the king set forth a proclamation through the whole country that whoever could build a ship that should float both on land and sea should have his daughter to wife.
The eldest brother, when he heard it, said to the other, 1 I think I will spend some of my money in trying to build that ship, as I should like to have the king for my father-in-law.' So he called together all the shipbuilders in the land, and gave them orders to begin the ship with­out delay. And trees were cut down, and great prepara­tions made, and in a few days everybody knew what it was all for; and there was a crowd of old people pressing round the gates of the yard, where the young man spent the most of his day.
' Ah, master, give us work,' they said, ' so that we may earn our bread.'
But he only gave them hard words, and spoke roughly to them. 'You are old, and have lost your strength; of what use are you?' And he drove them away. Then came some boys and prayed him, ' Master, give us work,' but he answered them, ' Of what use can you be, weak­lings as you are ! Get you gone! ' And if any presented
1 Sicilianische Mahrchen.
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