The Blue Fairy Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 414 pages of information about The Blue Fairy Book.

The Emperor and all his Court came out to meet us when we reached the capital; but his great officials would not suffer his Majesty to risk his person by mounting on my body.  Where the carriage stopped there stood an ancient temple, supposed to be the largest in the whole kingdom, and here it was determined that I should lodge.  Near the great gate, through which I could easily creep, they fixed ninety-one chains, like those which hang to a lady’s watch, which were locked to my left leg with thirty-six padlocks; and when the workmen found it was impossible for me to break loose, they cut all the strings that bound me.  Then I rose up, feeling as melancholy as ever I did in my life.  But the noise and astonishment of the people on seeing me rise and walk were inexpressible.  The chains that held my left leg were about two yards long, and gave me not only freedom to walk backward and forward in a semicircle, but to creep in and lie at full length inside the temple.  The Emperor, advancing toward me from among his courtiers, all most magnificently clad, surveyed me with great admiration, but kept beyond the length of my chain.  He was taller by about the breadth of my nail than any of his Court, which alone was enough to strike awe into the beholders, and graceful and majestic.  The better to behold him, I lay down on my side, so that my face was level with his, and he stood three yards off.  However, I have had him since many times in my hand, and therefore cannot be deceived.  His dress was very simple; but he wore a light helmet of gold, adorned with jewels and a plume.  He held his sword drawn in his hand, to defend himself if I should break loose; it was almost three inches long, and the hilt was of gold, enriched with diamonds.  His voice was shrill, but very clear.  His Imperial Majesty spoke often to me, and I answered; but neither of us could understand a word.

CHAPTER II

After about two hours the Court retired, and I was left with a strong guard to keep away the crowd, some of whom had had the impudence to shoot their arrows at me as I sat by the door of my house.  But the colonel ordered six of them to be seized and delivered bound into my hands.  I put five of them into my coat pocket; and as to the sixth, I made a face as if I would eat him alive.  The poor man screamed terribly, and the colonel and his officers were much distressed, especially when they saw me take out my penknife.  But I soon set them at ease, for, cutting the strings he was bound with, I put him gently on the ground, and away he ran.  I treated the rest in the same manner, taking them one by one out of my pocket; and I saw that both the soldiers and people were delighted at this mark of my kindness.

Toward night I got with some difficulty into my house, where I lay on the ground, as I had to do for a fortnight, till a bed was prepared for me out of six hundred beds of the ordinary measure.

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The Blue Fairy Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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