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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "Princess Rosette"

Princess Rosette

The King and the Prince were delighted to see that the King of the Peacocks was as handsome as possible. He had curly golden hair and was very pale, and he wore a crown of peacocks' feathers.

When he saw Rosette's brothers he knew at once that they were strangers, and stopping his carriage he sent for them to speak to him. When they had greeted him they said:

`Sire, we have come from very far away to show you a beautiful portrait.'

So saying they drew from their travelling bag the picture of Rosette.

The King looked at it in silence a long time, but at last he said:

`I could not have believed that there was such a beautiful Princess in the world!'

`Indeed, she is really a hundred times as pretty as that,' said her brothers.

`I think you must be making fun of me,' replied the King of the Peacocks.

`Sire,' said the Prince, `my brother is a King, like yourself. He is called ``the King,'' I am called ``the Prince,'' and that is the portrait of our sister, the Princess Rosette. We have come to ask if you would like to marry her. She is as good as she is beautiful, and we will give her a bushel of gold pieces for her dowry.'

`Oh! with all my heart,' replied the King, `and I will make her very happy. She shall have whatever she likes, and I shall love her dearly; only I warn you that if she is not as pretty as you have told me, I will have your heads cut off.'

`Oh! certainly, we quite agree to that,' said the brothers in one breath.

`Very well. Off with you into prison, and stay there until the Princess arrives,' said the King of the Peacocks.

And the Princes were so sure that Rosette was far prettier than her portrait that they went without a murmur. They were very kindly treated, and that they might not feel dull the King came often to see them. As for Rosette's portrait that was taken up to the palace, and the King did nothing but gaze at it all day and all night.

As the King and the Prince had to stay in prison, they sent a letter to the Princess telling her to pack up all her treasures as quickly as possible, and come to them, as the King of the Peacocks was waiting to marry her; but they did not say that they were in prison, for fear of making her uneasy.

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