THE LION'S CASTLE.
On hearing this, the young wife took the nut, the egg, and the casket, and went on her way to the Red Sea. Here she found it all as the Night-wind had told her. She counted the reeds by the sea, cut off the eleventh, took it with her, and struck the dragon. Immediately the lion became the conqueror, and they both appeared in their own proper forms. But no sooner was the enchanted princess released from the sorcerer's spell, than she seized the king's son, who had been a lion, by the arm, sprung with him on the griffin's back, and was soon carried away far out of sight.
There stood the poor wife, who had wandered so far in search of her husband, again left alone. She could at first only sit and weep, but presently her courage returned, and rousing herself, she said : " I will again travel as the wind blows, and as long as tthe cock crows, till I find him."
She started again, according to her resolution, and after travelling a long long time, came at last to the castle where they both were living together. She heard of the preparations for a great feast, and knew that he was going to marry another.
"Heaven help me now," 'she said. Then she opened the casket that the sun had given her, and in it lay a dress which glittered like the sun itself. She took it out, arrayed herself in the shining robe, and entered the castle. All the guests and the bride herself looked astonished, and the dress pleased the bride so much, that she thought she should like it for her wedding dress, and asked the stranger if she would sell it.
" No," she said, " not for gold or silver."
The bride asked her what she would sell it for.
" Well," she said, " you shall have the dress if you will let me speak to the bridegroom alone in his sleeping-chamber."
The bride at first refused, but as she wanted the dress so much, she was obliged to consent. She told his servant, however, to give him a sleeping-draught, so that when the poor wife entered the room, he was fast asleep, and she did not like to disturb him. She sat still for some time, only murmuring : " I have followed you for all these seven years; I went to the sun and the moon, and the four winds to find you. It was I who struck the dragon, and helped you to conquer it, and resume your natural shape, and will you quite forget me now ?*
But the prince slept so heavily that he heard only a sound like the rushing of the wind through the fir-trees. 22