The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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THE INVISIBLE PRINCE
83
to make plans to escape from the power of the Prince of the Air. But this did not prove easy, for the magic stone would only serve for one person at a time, and in order to save Rosalie the Prince of the Golden Isle would have to expose himself to the fury of his enemy. But Rosalie would not hear of this.
' No, Prince,' she said; ' since you are here this island no longer feels a prison. Besides, you are under the protection of a Fairy, who always visits your father's court at this season. Go instantly and seek her, and when she is found implore the gift of another stone with similar powers. Once you have that, there will he no further difficulty in the way of escape.'
The Prince of the Air returned a few days later from his mother's palace, but the Invisible Prince had already set out. He had, however, entirely forgotten the road by which he had come, and lost himself for so long in the forest, that when at last he reached home the Fairy had already left, and, in spite of all his grief, there was nothing for it but to wait till the Fairy's next visit, and allow Rosalie to suffer three months longer. This thought drove him to despair, and he had almost made up his mind to return to the place of her captivity, when one day, as he was strolling along an alley in the woods, he saw a huge oak open its trunk, and out of it step two Princes in earnest conversation. As our hero had the magic stone in his mouth they imagined them­selves alone, and did not lower their voices.
' What 1' said one, 'are you always going to allow yourself to be tormented by a passion which can never end happily, and in your whole kingdom can you find nothing else to satisfy you ? '
'What is the use,' replied the other, 'of being Prince of the Gnomes, and having a mother who is queen over all the four elements, if I cannot win the love of the Princess Argentine ? From the moment that I first saw her, sitting in the forest surrounded by flowers, I have never ceased to think of her night and day, and, although I love her, I am quite convinced that she will never caro for me. You know that I have in my palace the cabinets of the years. In the first, great mirrors reflect the past ; in the second, we contemplate the present; in the third, the future can be read. It was here that I fled after I had gazed on the Princess Argen­tine, but instead of love I only saw scorn and contempt. Think how great must be my devotion, when, in spite of u\x tale, [ still love on !'
Now the Prince of the Golden Isle wae enchanted with this y.                                                                                               ti
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