THE GOLDEN BRANCH
' Certainly it is becoming in you to object to that,' said King Grumpy, ' since you are ugly enough to frighten anyone yourself.'
' That is the very reason,' said the Prince, ' that I wish to marry someone who is not ugly. I am quite tired enough of seeing myself.'
'I tell you that you shall marry her,' cried King Grumpy angrily.
And the Prince, seeing that it was of no use to remonstrate, bowed and retired.
As King Grumpy was not used to being contradicted in anything, he was very much displeased with his son, and ordered that he should be imprisoned in the tower that was kept on purpose for rebellious Princes, but had not been used for about two hundred years, because there had not been any. The Prince thought all the rooms looked strangely old-fashioned, with their antique furniture, but as there was a good library he was pleased, for he was very fond of reading, and he soon got permission to have as many books as he liked. But when he looked at them he found that they were written in a forgotten language, and he could not understand a single word, though he amused himself with trying.
King Grumpy was so convinced that Prince Curlicue would soon get tired of being in prison, and so consent to marry the Princess Cabbage-Stalk, that he sent ambassadors to her father proposing that she should come and be married to his son, who would make her perfectly happy.
The King was delighted to receive so good an offer for his unlucky daughter, though, to tell the truth, he found it impossible to admire the Prince's portrait which had been sent to him. However, he had it placed in as favourable a light as possible, and sent for the Princess, but the moment she caught sight of it she looked the other way and began to crj\ The King, who was very much annoyed to see how greatly she disliked it, took a mirror, and holding it up before the unhappy Princess, said :
' I see you do not think the Prince handsome, but look at yourself, and see if you have any right to complain about that.'
' Sire,' she answered, ' I do not wish to complain, only I beg of you do not make me marry at ah. I had rather be the unhappy Princess Cabbage-Stalk all my life than inflict the sight of my ugliness on anyone else.'
But the King would not listen to her, and sent her away with the ambassadors.