(Starting off; stopping.)
Take notice of this street, and to-morrow present the boy Cauzee with a purse of gold. Tell him it is a token of my admiration of his wisdom and justice.
THE WILD SWANS
TIME: a long time ago.
PLACE: on the seashore.
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* * * * *
[The GOODY is seen walking along the shore. ELIZA enters from the forest.]
GOODY. Bless me! What is the little girl doing in this lonely place? And alone, too!
ELIZA. I seek my eleven brothers.
GOODY. Ah! Then you must be the Princess Eliza!
ELIZA (sadly). Yes, Goody.
GOODY. And the eleven brothers you seek are the eleven little princes!
ELIZA. Yes; do you know them?
GOODY. I saw them in school one day. Each prince wore a golden crown on his head, a star on his breast, and a sword by his side.
ELIZA (nodding). They studied very hard, just as princes should.
GOODY. They wrote on gold slates with diamond pencils. I myself saw them!
ELIZA. I sat on a little stool of plate-glass. Did you know that?
GOODY. Oh, yes! And I know about your picture-book worth half a kingdom.
ELIZA. We were all so happy then! Our dear mother was alive and sometimes went to school with us. Now all is changed.
GOODY. What has happened?
ELIZA. They have driven us from the palace.
GOODY (indignantly). I said so! On the day of that wedding I said so.
ELIZA. Then you know that my father married again?
GOODY. Yes, I know. I wept when I heard our good king had married that wicked queen.
ELIZA. She drove my brothers away, the very day of the wedding feast.
GOODY. And now she has driven you away!
ELIZA (nodding). If only I could find my dear brothers!
GOODY. You may hear something about them very soon.
ELIZA (quickly). Do you know where they are? Tell me! I pray you tell me!
GOODY (shaking her head mysteriously). I cannot say where they are. I only know what they are.
ELIZA. I do not understand—
GOODY. The wicked queen has turned your brothers into wild swans.
ELIZA. Wild swans?
GOODY (nodding). I saw them yesterday, at sunrise, flying out over the sea. Each swan wore a gold crown on his head.
ELIZA. The queen could not take their crowns from them!
GOODY. As the swans flew upward, their eleven crowns glittered like eleven suns. My eyes were dazzled. I was obliged to look away. At that moment the swans disappeared.