At the Back of the North Wind Illustrated - online book

A Complete Illustrated children's fantasy book by George MacDonald.

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Little Daylight                     287
" Another secret? Well, at least, if I am a prince, there can be no harm in telling me about a princess."
" It's just princes I can't tell."
" There ain't any more of them—are there?" said the prince.
"What! you don't think you're the only prince in the world, do you?"
"Oh, dear, no! not at all. But I know there's one too many just at present, except the princess-----"
"Yes, yes, that's it," said the fairy.
" What's it?" asked the prince.
But he could get nothing more out of the fairy, and had to go to bed unanswered, which was something of a trial.
Now wicked fairies will not be bound by the laws which the good fairies obey, and this always seems to give the bad the advantage over the good, for they use means to gain their ends which the others will not. But it is all of no consequence, for what they do never succeeds; nay, in the end it brings about the very thing they are trying to prevent. So you see that somehow, for all their cleverness, wicked fairies are dreadfully stupid, for, although from the beginning of the world they have really helped instead of thwart­ing the good fairies, not one of them is a bit the wiser for it. She will try the bad thing just as they all did before her; and succeeds no better of course.
The prince had so far stolen a march upon the swamp-fairy that she did not know he was in the neighbourhood until after he had seen the princess those three times. When she knew it, she consoled herself by thinking that the princess must be far too
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