The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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252
THE SWINEHERD
it was turned round, played all the waltzes, galops, and polkas which had ever been known since the world began.
' But that is superbe !' said the Princess as she passed by. 41 have never heard a more beautiful composition. Listen ! Go down and ask him what this instrument costs; but I won't kiss him again.'
' He wants a hundred kisses from the Princess,' said the lady-in-waiting who had gone down to ask him.
' I believe he is mad !' said the Princess, and then she went on ; but she had only gone a few steps when she stopped.
' One ought to encourage art,' she said. ' I am the Emperor's daughter ! Tell him he shall have, as before, ten kisses ; the rest he can take from my ladies-in-waiting.'
' But we don't at all like being kissed by him,' said the ladies-in-waiting.
' That's nonsense,' said the Princess ; ' and if I can kiss him, you can too. Besides, remember that I give you board and lodging.'
So the ladies-in-waiting had to go down to him again.
' A hundred kisses from the Princess,' said he, ' or each keeps his own.'
' Put yourselves in front of us,' she said then; and so all the ladies-in-waiting put themselves in front, and he began to kiss the Princess.
' What can that commotion be by the pigsties ?' asked the Emperor, who was standing on the balcony. He rubbed his eyes and put on his spectacles. 'Why those are the ladies-in-waiting playing their games ; I must go down to them.'
So he took off his shoes, which were shoes though he had trodden them down into slippers. What a hurry he was in, to be sure !
As soon as he came into the yard he walked very softly, and the ladies-in-waiting were so busy counting the kisses and seeing fair play that they never noticed the Emperor. He stood on tiptoe.
' What is that ?' he said, when he saw the kissing; and then he threw one of his slippers at their heads just as the Swineherd was taking his eighty-sixth kiss.
' Be off with you!' said the Emperor, for he was very angry. And the Princess and the Swineherd were driven out of the empire.
Then she stood still and wept; the Swineherd was scolding, and the rain was streaming down.
' Alas, what an unhappy creature I am! ' sobbed the Princess.
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