THE HERMIT AND KING'S DAUGHTER 181
' Silly boy! ' said he, ' Why, tell the man to do it who drinks up everything.'
So they sent for the man and said, ' Do you think you are able to drink half the royal cellar in one day?'
' Dear me,' yes, and as much more as you want,' answered he. ' I am never satisfied.'
The king was not pleased at the young man agreeing so readily, but he had no choice, and ordered the servant to be taken downstairs. Oh, how he enjoyed himself! All day long he drank, and drank, and drank, till, instead of half the cellar, he had drunk the whole, and there was not a cask but what stood empty. And when the king saw this he said to the youth, ' You have conquered, and I can no longer withhold my daughter. But, as her dowry, I shall give only so much as one man can carry away.'
' But,' answered he, ' let a man be ever so strong, he cannot carry more than a hundredweight, and what is that for a king's daughter?'
' Well, do as you like; I have said my say. It is your affair — not mine.'
The young man was puzzled, and did not know what to reply, for, though he would gladly have married the princess without a sixpence, he had spent all his money in building the ship, and knew he could not give her all she wanted. So he went to the hermit and said to him, ' The king will only give for her dowry as much as a man can carry. I have no money of my own left, and my brothers have none either.'
' Silly boy ! Why, you have only got to fetch the man who carried half the forest on his shoulders.'
And the youth was glad, and called the strong man, and told him what he must do. ' Take everything you can, till you are bent double. Never mind if you leave the palace bare.'
The strong man promised, and nobly kept his word. He piled all he could see on his back — chairs, tables.