io6 GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
" Now, wife," said the man, " how can I ask him such a thing ? it is too bad—it is asking a little too much ; and, besides, he could not do it."
" What rubbish ! " said the wife ; " if he could make me emperor he can make me pope. Go along and ask him ; I am emperor, and you are only my husband, so go you must."
So he went, feeling very frightened, and he shivered and shook, and his knees trembled; and there arose a great wind, and the clouds flew by, and it grew very dark, and the sea rose mountains high, and the ships were tossed about, and the sky was partly blue in the middle, but at the sides very dark and red, as in a great tempest. And he felt very desponding, and stood trembling and said,
" O man, O man !—if man you be, Or flounder, flounder, in the sea— Such a tiresome wife I've got, For she wants what I do not."
" Well, what now? " said the fish.
" Oh dear !" said the man, " she wants to be pope."
" Go home with you, she is pope already," said the fish.
So he went home, and he found himself before a great church, with palaces all round. He had to make his way through a crowd of people; and when he got inside he found the place lighted up with thousands and thousands of lights; and his wife was clothed in a golden garment, and sat upon a very high throne, and had three golden crowns on, all in the greatest priestly pomp ; and on both sides of her there stood two rows of lights of all sizes—from the size of the longest tower to the smallest rushlight, and all the emperors and kings were kneeling before her and kissing her foot.
"Well, wife," said the man, and sat and stared at her, " so you are pope."
" Yes," said she, " now I am pope !"
And he went on gazing at her till he felt dazzled, as if he were sitting in the sun. And after a little time he said,
" Well, now, wife, what is there left to be, now you are pope ?"
And she sat up very stiff and straight, and said nothing.
And he said again, " Well, wife, I hope you are contented at last with being pope; you can be nothing more."