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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 414 pages of information about The Blue Fairy Book.
her no peace, but he could get nothing out of her.  At last he said:  “Well, if you won’t tell me, confide your trouble to the iron stove there,” and he went away.  Then she crept to the stove, and began to sob and cry and to pour out her poor little heart, and said:  “Here I sit, deserted by all the world, I who am a king’s daughter, and a false waiting-maid has forced me to take off my own clothes, and has taken my place with my bridegroom, while I have to fulfill the lowly office of goose-girl.

  “If my mother only knew
  Her heart would surely break in two.”

But the old King stood outside at the stove chimney, and listened to her words.  Then he entered the room again, and bidding her leave the stove, he ordered royal apparel to be put on her, in which she looked amazingly lovely.  Then he summoned his son, and revealed to him that he had got the false bride, who was nothing but a waiting-maid, while the real one, in the guise of the ex-goose-girl, was standing at his side.  The young King rejoiced from his heart when he saw her beauty and learned how good she was, and a great banquet was prepared, to which everyone was bidden.  The bridegroom sat at the head of the table, the Princess on one side of him and the waiting-maid on the other; but she was so dazzled that she did not recognize the Princess in her glittering garments.  Now when they had eaten and drunk, and were merry, the old King asked the waiting-maid to solve a knotty point for him.  “What,” said he, “should be done to a certain person who has deceived everyone?” and he proceeded to relate the whole story, ending up with, “Now what sentence should be passed?” Then the false bride answered:  “She deserves to be put stark naked into a barrel lined with sharp nails, which should be dragged by two white horses up and down the street till she is dead.”

“You are the person,” said the King, “and you have passed sentence on yourself; and even so it shall be done to you.”  And when the sentence had been carried out the young King was married to his real bride, and both reigned over the kingdom in peace and happiness.[1]

[1] Grimm.

TOADS AND DIAMONDS

THERE was once upon a time a widow who had two daughters.  The eldest was so much like her in the face and humor that whoever looked upon the daughter saw the mother.  They were both so disagreeable and so proud that there was no living with them.

The youngest, who was the very picture of her father for courtesy and sweetness of temper, was withal one of the most beautiful girls ever seen.  As people naturally love their own likeness, this mother even doted on her eldest daughter and at the same time had a horrible aversion for the youngest—­she made her eat in the kitchen and work continually.

Among other things, this poor child was forced twice a day to draw water above a mile and a-half off the house, and bring home a pitcher full of it.  One day, as she was at this fountain, there came to her a poor woman, who begged of her to let her drink.

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