GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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that they had got rid of such a wicked old woman. The forester was full of joy in his home with the children near the wood; and if they are not dead they all live there still.
A king once had a daughter who was beautiful beyond measure, but so haughty and proud that she considered no man good enough to marry her. She pretended to accept one after another the suitors who approached her, and then treated them with mockery and scorn. At last her father, the king, made a great feast, and invited all the most illustrious men for miles round to be present. All of them were introduced to the proud young princess by their rank. First, the king of a neighbouring country, then a duke, then a prince, and, after these, nobles of high position.
But the princess, when asked to choose for herself, had some fault to find with each. One was too fat, another too thin, a third was short and thick, and a fourth had a face as pale as a ghost; and so on, till they all went away quite offended, except one son of the king of a neighbouring country—the highest of them all. Now the princess in her heart liked this one of her suitors best, but she made no difference in her manner to him. The young prince had a very good-looking face, but his chin was a little crooked, and he had a rough beard.
" Oh !" said the young princess, when she saw he still waited after the others were gone, "what a chin he has, to be sure; just like a bird's beak ! I shall call him King Roughbeard f and she laughed heartily as she spoke.
The young prince turned away without a word, to show he was offended; but a report of what the princess had said soon got about, and people called him King Roughbeard from that day. After the feast was over, and the king found that not only had his daughter dismissed all her lovers, but that she had mocked and insulted his guests; he was very angry, and took an oath that his daughter should take as a husband the first poor wayfarer who came to the castle. A day or two after the princess heard