THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE.
He stood looking at her for a long time, till at last he spoke again. " Well, wife, now that you are queen, we have nothing left to wish for; we must give up wishing."
" No, indeed," she replied, " I am not yet satisfied. Time and tide wait for no man, nor will they wait for me. I am as impatient as ever. Go to your enchanted prince again, and tell him I want to be empress."
" Empress !" cried the husband. "It is beyond his power, I am certain; the empress lias the highest place in the kingdom."
" What!" she replied, " don't you know that I am queen, and that you must obey me, although you are my husband ? Go at once; if the prince in disguise can make a queen, he can also make an emperor."
So the husband went away muttering to himself, " To keep on wishing in this way is not good; I am certain the fish will put an end to it this time."
When he reached the shore the sea was quite black, and the waves rushing so furiously over the rocks that he was terrified, but he contrived to repeat his wild verses again, saying,
" Flounder, flounder in the sea, Come, I pray, and talk to me; For my wife Dame Isabel Wishes what I fear to tell."
Up came the fish. " Well," he said, " what does she want now?" " Ah !" said the husband, timidly, " she wants to be empress." "Go home, man," he replied, "She has her wish." And on his return he found his wife acting as empress in a palace of marble, with alabaster statues, and gold, and pearls, and soldiers, and lords, and barons bowing to her; but she was not satisfied even now, and at last told her husband that she wished to be the Pope, and that he must go to the fish and tell him so.
" No," he said, " that is impossible. The Pope is the head of the Church. You cannot have that wish."
" But i will be Pope," she exclaimed. So he was obliged to go, and when he reached the shore the sea was running mountains high, and roaring and beating against the shores, and it was suclr terrible weather that the sky looked quite black.
However, he ventured to call up the fish with the old song, and told him of his wife's wish.