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Fairy Adventures from Chronicles of Pantouflia By Andrew Lang

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PRINCE PRIGIO.                            37
how pretty she looked. She stood up for Prince Prigio when her partner would speak ill of him. She had never seen the prince, for she was but newly come to Pantouflia ; but she declared that it was his misfortune, not his fault, to be so clever. "And, then, think how hard they made him work at school! Besides," said this kind young lady, " I hear he is extremely handsome, and very brave ; and he has a good heart, for he was kind, I have heard, to a poor boy, and did all his examination papers for him, so that the boy passed first in everything. And now he is Minister for Education, though he can't do a line of Greek prose ! "
The prince blushed at this, for he knew his conduct had not been honourable. But he at once fell over head and ears in love with the young lady, a thing he had never done in his life before, because—he said—" women were so stupid ! " You see he was so clever!
Now, at this very moment—when the prince, all of a sudden, was as deep in love as if he had been the stupidest officer in the room—an extraordinary thing happened! Something seemed to give a whirr! in his brain, and in one instant he knew all about it! He believed in fairies and fairy gifts, and understood that his cap was the cap of darkness, and his shoes the seven-league boots, and his purse the purse of Fortunatus ! He had read about those things in historical books: but now he believed in them.
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