The Daughter of the King of Naples
There was once a king who had an only son. The years passed by and he did not marry, so one day his father called him before him and said:
"The time has come when you should marry, my son. You are now at the age when you should no longer wait to choose your bride. Why is it that you have not already done this?"
The prince replied:
"I will wed no one except the daughter of the king of Naples."
"Do you know that the king of Naples has a daughter?" asked the father.
"No," answered the son. "I do not know."
"I should advise you to find out whether or not the king of Naples happens to have a daughter before you decide to marry her," remarked the king dryly.
"That is good advice," replied the prince. "I thank you."
Accordingly, he asked everybody he met whether the king of Naples had a daughter. There was no person to be found who knew anything about it.
"You'll have to go to Naples to obtain this information," advised the king. "It is a long journey, but if you are determined to marry nobody except the daughter of the king of Naples there seems to be no way except to go there and learn whether or not he has a daughter."
Accordingly, a ship was prepared and the prince sailed for Naples. It was a difficult, stormy voyage, but finally they arrived safely. The moment they landed the beggars came crowding about them. The prince distributed alms among them most generously.
Then he asked: "Does any one know whether or not the king of Naples has a daughter?"
There was nobody who knew. Finally, however, an old woman said that once she passed by the royal palace and there was a beautiful face at the window.
"I think that perhaps this was the daughter of the king of Naples, but I do not know," she added.
"Go at once and find out," ordered the prince. "You shall be richly rewarded."
The old woman hastened to the royal palace. She saw the same lovely face at the window which she had seen before.
"Lovely lady, I want to talk to you!" she called out.
Now it happened that day that the princess was feeling decidedly bored and out of tune with life.