THE YOUNG COUNTS REWARD. s 19
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that I should be unhappy and weep, when I am surrounded by grandeur, and pomp, and show; but what are the use of all these, when I wake every morning to sorrow and care ? Listen, and I will tell you the cause of my grief. I once had three daughters, the youngest of whom was so beautiful that all the world looked upon her as a wonder. She was fair as a snow-flake, with a tint on her cheeks like apple blossom, and her hair was as bright as a sunbeam. When she wept, pearls and precious stones fell from her eyes instead of tears. As soon as she reached the age of fifteen, the king sent for his daughters to be presented at court. But when the youngest appeared she attracted all eyes by her great beauty; and the people said it was as if the sun had just risen upon them.
"The king then spoke : i My daughters, I know not when my last hour may come, but to-day I will decide what each of you are to have after my death. But I should like to know which of you loves me best, for whichever it is shall have the best place in my will. You all three love me, I know/
"They each said they loved him best.
" Well, then, give me some resemblance of your love for me, that I may judge."
11 Then said the eldest, " I love my father better than the sweetest sugar/
" The second said, ' I love him better than the most beautiful of my dresses.'
" But the youngest remained silent
" At last the king said, ' And you, my dearest child, how much do you love me ?'
"11 know not what to compare my love to/ she replied. But her father pressed her to make some comparison, and at last she said, " The best food does not taste good without salt, therefore I love my father as I love salt/
"When the king heard this he fell into a rage, and said, " If you love me like salt, then with salt shall your love be rewarded/
" He then divided his kingdom between the two eldest, and after ordering a bag of salt to be bound on the back of his youngest daughter, she was led out in the wild forest by two servants, and left there. We all prayed and entreated for her," continued the queen, "but nothing would soften the wrath of the king. She