GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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the sound of music under her window. The king also heard it, and said, "Go at once and fetch the musician in."
The servants obeyed, and presently returned with a wandering minstrel, who played and sang before the castle in hopes of receiving an alms. He was dressed in soiled and ragged clothes, but the king made him stay and sing to them, and when he had finished he asked for a little gift.
" Yes," replied the king, " you shall be rewarded. Your song has pleased me so well that I will give you my daughter to be your wife."
The princess was terrified at her-father's words, and would have rushed from the room, but the king prevented her. " No," he said, "you shall not escape; I took an oath that you should marry the first wayfarer who came to the door, and I will keep my word."
All objections on the princess's part were useless. The priest was sent for, and she was obliged to plight her troth to a poor minstrel.
As soon as this was accomplished the king said to his daughter, " Now that you are the wife of a poor man you will see how unfit you are to remain in my castle. You must therefore depart at once with your husband."
The musician took her by the hand as the king spoke, and led her away to travel on foot for a long distance. At length they came to the borders of an extensive forest, which the young wife knew belonged to King Roughbeard.
"Ah, me !" she cried ; "this wood belongs to the prince that I mocked and insulted. Ah ! poor delicate creature that I am ! if I had only married him when he wanted me !"
By and by they entered a meadow, and she made the same lament, for it belonged to King Roughbeard. But when at last they came to a large city, near which was his palace, the repeated lamentation at length annoyed her husband.
" It is not pleasant to me to hear you constantly wishing that you had married some one else; am I not good enough for you ?"
She made no reply, and they continued to walk on till she was quite tired, and at last her husband stopped before a mean little house.
"What are we stopping here foi?" she asked; "whosewretched house is this ?"