It sang so beautifully that one could scarcely utter a cross word against it.
' Superbe ! charmant !' said the ladies-in-waiting, for they all chattered French, each one worse than the other.
' How much the bird reminds me of the musical snuff-box of the late Empress !' said an old courtier. ' Ah, yes, it is the same tone, the same execution !'
' Yes,' said the Emperor ; and then he wept like a little child.
' I hope that this, at least, is not real ? ' asked the Princess.
' Yes, it is a real bird,' said those who had brought it.
' Then let the bird fly away,' said the Princess; and she would not on any account allow the Prince to come.
' But he was nothing daunted. He painted his face brown and black, drew his cap well over his face, and knocked at the door. ' Good-day, Emperor,' he said. ' Can I get a place here as servant in the castle ? '
' Yes,' said the Emperor, ( but there are so many who ask for a place that I don't know whether there will be one for you; but, still, I will think of you. Stay, it has just occurred to me that I want someone to look after the swine, for I have so very many of them.'
And the Prince got the situation of Imperial Swineherd. He had a wretched little room close to the pigsties; here he had to stay, but the whole day he sat working, and when evening was come he had made a pretty little pot. All round it were little bells, and when the pot boiled they jingled most beautifully and played the old time—
' Where is Augustus dear ? Alas ! he's not here, here, here! '
But the most wTonderful thing was, that when one held one's finger in the steam of the pot, then at once one could smell what dinner was ready in any fire-place in the town. That was indeed something quite different from the rose.
Now the Princess came walking past with all her ladies-in-waiting, and when she heard the tune she stood still and her face beamed with joy, for she also could play ' Where is Augustus dear ? '
It was the only tune she knew, but that she could play with one finger.
' Why, that is what I play !' she said. ' He must be a most