THE GALLANT TAILOR. 113
"Oh !" said they, "why should this great lord come here in time of peace ? what a mighty champion he must be."
Then they went and told the King about him, and they thought that if war should break out what a worthy and useful man he would be, and that he ought not to be allowed to depart at any price. The King then summoned his council, and sent one of his courtiers to the little tailor to beg him, so soon as he should wake up, to consent to serve in the King's army. So the messenger stood and waited at the sleeper's side until his limbs began to stretch, and his eyes to open, and then he carried his answer back. And the answer was,
" That was the reason for which I came," said the little tailor, " I am ready to enter the King's service."
So he was received into it very honourably, and a separate dwelling set apart for him.
But the rest of the soldiers were very much set against the little tailor, and they wished him a thousand miles away.
"What shall be done about it?" they said among themselves ; "if we pick a quarrel and fight with him then seven of us will fall at each blow. That will be of no good to us."
So they came to a resolution, and went all together to the King to ask for their discharge.
" We never intended," said they, " to serve with a man who kills seven at a blow."
The King felt sorry to lose all his faithful servants because of one man, and he wished that he had never seen him, and would willingly get rid of him if he might. But he did not dare to dismiss the little tailor for fear he should kill all the King's people, and place himself upon the throne. He thought a long while about it, and at last made up his mind what to do. He sent for the little tailor, and told him that as he was so great a warrior he had a proposal to make to him. He told him that in a wood in his dominions dwelt two giants, who did great damage by robbery, murder, and fire, and that no man durst go near them for fear of his life. But that if the tailor should overcome and slay both these giants the King would give him his only daughter in marriage, and half his kingdom as dowry, and that a hundred horsemen should go with him to give him assistance.
" That would be something for a man like me 1 " thought