Rosette took the letter, opened it, and read the following:
"Rosette: Your sisters are now eighteen years old and it is time they were married. I have invited the princes and princesses of all the kingdoms of the earth to come and assist at a festival which I intend to give in order to choose husbands for Orangine and Roussette. You are now fifteen years old and can properly appear at this festival. You may come and pass three days with me. I will send for you in eight days. I cannot send you any money for your toilet as I am now at great expense for your sisters; besides, no one will look at you. Come, therefore, in any clothes you please.
"The King Your Father."
Rosette ran quickly to show this letter to her nurse.
"Are you pleased, Rosette, to go to this festival?"
"Yes, my good nurse, I am delighted. I will enjoy myself and become acquainted with my father, mother and my sisters and then I will return to you."
"But," said the nurse, shaking her head, "what dress will you wear, my poor child?"
"My beautiful robe of white percale which I always wear on holidays, my dear nurse."
"My poor little one, that robe is indeed very suitable for the country but would appear miserably poor at a party of kings and princes."
"Of what consequence is all this, nurse? My father himself has said that no one will look at me. This thought will make me much more at my ease. I shall see all and no one will see me."
The nurse sighed but said nothing and began immediately to mend, whiten and smooth Rosette's white robe.
The day before the king was to send for her, the nurse called her and said:
"My dear child, here is your dress for the king's festival; be very careful with it as I shall not be there to whiten and smooth it for you."
"Thanks, my good nurse; be satisfied—I will take great care."
The nurse now packed in a little trunk the percale robe and white skirt, a pair of cotton stockings and black shoes and then a little bouquet of flowers for Rosette to wear in her hair.