GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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S6                       FAITHFUL JOHN.
lated to the young monarch what his father had made him promise on his death-bed, and said, " That promise I will firmly hold, and I will serve you as faithfully as I have served your father, even should it cost me my life."
The days of mourning being over, John spoke to the young king again, and said, " It is now time that you should go round the estate which has been left by your father, and I am ready to show you over the castle." Then he led him all through the different saloons, and allowed him to see the beautiful rooms and the rich treasures. Only one chamber he did not open, in which the dangerous statue stood.
This figure was so wonderfully chiselled that on opening the door it attracted the eye of a stranger at once, for the form and colour were more lovely and beautiful than any thing else in the whole world.
The young king quickly perceived that faithful John passed by this door without opening it, and said, " Why do you not unlock this door for me ?"
" There is something in that chamber too terrible] for you to see," replied John.
But the king replied, "I have seen all over the rest of the castle, and I will know what this room contains."
He went forward as he spoke and tried to open the door by force. But John held him back, saying, "I promised your father on his death-bed never to allow you to see the interior of this chamber, and I know that misfortune will be the result to both, if I break that promise."
"Ah! no," he replied, "on the contrary, if I go not into that room, it will be my certain ruin; I shall have no rest day or night till I have seen it with mine eyes. Neither will I stir from this spot till you have unlocked the door."
Then faithful John saw that it was useless to resist any longer, so with a heavy heart and many sighs he separated the key from the rest and opened the door. As he did so he stepped in first and tried to hide the figure, but it was of no use. The king standing on tiptoe saw it over John's shoulder. But as soon as he caught sight of the beautiful statue of the young lady so gloriously bedecked with gold and jewels, he fainted and fell insensible on the floor. Faithful John lifted him up and carried him to his room full of sorrow, saying to himseli, " The misfortune has cqm*