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Fairy Adventures from Chronicles of Pantouflia By Andrew Lang

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PRINCE RICARDO.                        113-
expects to be married to him, as is usual, off he rides ! He has no more heart than a flounder. Why, at his age I------"
" At his age, my dear, you were so hard­hearted that you were quite a proverb. Why, I have been told that you used to ask girls dreadful puzzling questions, like ' Who was Caesar Borgia ?' ' What do you know of Edwin and Morcar ?' and so on."
" I had not seen you then," said the king.
" And Ricardo has not seen her, whoever she may be. Besides, he can't possibly marry all of them. And I think a girl should consider herself lucky if she is saved from a dragon or a giant, without expecting to be married next day."
"Perhaps; but it is usual," said the king, " and their families expect it, and keep sending ambassadors to know what Dick's intentions are. I would not mind it all so very much if he killed the monsters off his own sword, as he did that first brace, in fair fight. But ever since he found his way into that closet where the fairy presents lie, everything has been made too easy for him. It is a royal road to glory, or giant-slaying made easy. In his Cap of Dark­ness a poor brute of a dragon can't see him. In his Shoes of Swiftness the giants can't catch him. His Sword of Sharpness would cut any oak asunder at a blow!"
" But you were very glad of them when you
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