THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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118             THE ENCHANTED WREATH
soothing balsams to the sore place.' And as he spoke he sprang to his feet to go in search of them. This so frightened the pretended wife, who knew that if the phy­sicians once came near her the trick would at once be discovered, that she forgot her mother's counsel not to speak, and forgot even the spell that had been laid upon her, and catching hold of the prince's tunic, she cried in tones of entreaty: 'Dirty creatures!'
The young man stopped, not able to believe his ears, but supposed that pain had made the princess cross, as it sometimes does. However, he guessed somehow that she wished to be left alone, so he only said:
'Well, I dare say a little sleep will do you good, if you can manage to get it, and that you will wake up better to-morrow.'
Now, that night happened to be very hot and airless, and the prince, after vainly trying to rest, at length got up and went to the window. Suddenly he beheld in the moonlight a form with a wreath of roses on her head rise out of the sea below him and step on to the sands, holding out her arms as she did so towards the palace.
'That maiden is strangely like my wife,' thought he; 'I must see her closer.' And he hastened down to the water. But when he got there, the princess, for she indeed it was, had disappeared completely, and he began to wonder if his eyes had deceived him.
The next morning he went to the false bride's room, but her ladies told him she would neither speak nor get up, though she ate everything they set before her. The prince was sorely perplexed as to what could be the matter with her, for naturally he could not guess that she was expecting her mother to return every moment, and to remove the spell the doves had laid upon her, and meanwhile was afraid to speak lest she should betray herself. At length he made up his mind to summon all the court physicians; he did not tell her what he was going to do, lest it should make her worse, but he went
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