212 GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
which she put in her pockets, intending to take home. Anc then the prince himself passed in clothed in silk and velvet with a gold chain round his neck. And when he saw th( beautiful woman standing in the doorway, he seized her hanc and urged her to dance with him, but she refused, all trem bling, for she saw it was King Thrushbeard, who had come tc court her, whom she had turned away with mocking. It was of no use her resisting, he drew her into the room; and all a once the band to which her pockets were fastened broke, anc the pots fell out, and the soup ran about, and the fragment; were scattered all round. And when the people saw that, there was great laughter and mocking, and she felt so ashamed, thai she wished herself a thousand fathoms underground. She rushed to the door to fly from the place, when a man caughi her just on the steps, and when she looked at him, it was King Thrushbeard again. He said to her in a kind tone,
" Do not be afraid, I and the beggar-man with whom you lived in the wretched little hut are one. For love of you 1 disguised myself, and it was I who broke your pots in the guise of a horse-soldier. I did all that to bring down youi proud heart, and to punish your haughtiness, which caused you to mock at me." Then she wept bitterly, and said,
" I have done great wrong, and am not worthy to be youi wife."
But he said,
" Take courage, the evil days are gone over; now let us keep our wedding-day."
Then came the ladies-in-waiting and put on her splendid clothing; and her father came, and the whole court, and wished her joy on her marriage with King Thrushbeard; and then the merry-making began in good earnest. I cannot help wishing that you and I could have been there too.