AMUSEMENTS FOR EVERYBODY 117
The Emperor.—He is very handsome, my love.
The Princess (tossing her head).—I don't care! His kingdom is such a little one, and his palace isn't a palace at all, only a plain, ordinary castle with not more than a hundred servants in it, and he doesn't wear a crown. (Do put yours straight, Papa.) Besides, I don't want to get married.
The Emperor (a little angrily).—But / wish you to. . . .
The Princess (stamping her foot).—And I don't wish to.
The Emperor (with a big sigh).—Oh dear! Oh dear! What would the poor dear Empress say if she were alive! (A knock at the door. Enter by LEFT, two Servants with a silver casket or box.)
The Emperor (rubbing his hands joyfully).—Now we shall see if this won't make you change your mind. This is a present for you, from the young Prince, my love.
The Princess (clapping her hands).—A present! Oh, if it should be a nice little pussy-cat! I want that most of all. (dancing round impatiently). Open it! Oh, do open it quickly!
The Emperor.—Gently! Gently! You nearly trod on my toes just now.
(The Men open the casket, showing a rose-bush with one rose
One Maid of Honor.—Oh, what a sweet pink color!
Another.—And how prettily it is formed!
The Emperor.—It is more than pretty, it is charming ... so poetic!
The Princess (touching the leaves).—O Papa! It isn't anything made at all: it is a natural flower—a common thing— there are heaps like that in the garden.
The Attendant.—May it please your Highness, this rose-bush is not like other, roses. It was taken from the grave of the Prince's father; it only blossoms once in every five years, and its scent is so swee.t that, whoever smells it, forgets all care and sorrow in a moment.
The Princess.—I haven't any cares or sorrows, so you can take it away again; I don't want it, and I don't believe it's anything