The Daughter of the King of Naples
It looked like an interesting diversion to talk with the old woman. Thus it came to pass that she opened the window graciously.
"What do you wish, good mother?" she asked.
"Are you the daughter of the king of Naples?" questioned the old woman.
"I am," replied the princess.
"May I come some day to sell you pretty things?" asked the old woman.
The princess appointed an hour the next day when she might come with her wares. Then the old woman hurried back to the waiting prince.
"The king of Naples has a daughter!" she cried. "A very beautiful daughter, too!"
The prince showered the old woman with gold. He was so delighted that at last he had found this out that he could well afford to be generous.
The old woman thanked him. "I did something else for you, kind sir," she said. "I made an appointment to see the princess to-morrow. I am going to the palace at four o'clock to sell pretty things to her."
"Well done, good mother!" cried the prince, again thrusting his hand into his purse. "Let me go in your place!"
The old woman gladly consented, and the prince dressed himself as a peddler. The next afternoon at four o'clock he went to the palace of the king of Naples.
"It is a peddler with many interesting wares for sale," said the servant who answered his knock. "He speaks of an appointment with your Royal Highness."
"Yes," said the princess. "A peddler was to come to-day at four o'clock with pretty things for me to buy."
Accordingly, the prince was admitted to the presence of the daughter of the king of Naples. If she were surprised to find the peddler a handsome young man instead of the old woman with whom she had talked the day before she did not show it.
"What lovely things you have!" she cried as she examined the tray full of ribbons and beads and trinkets.
She selected a number of the wares and then she asked, "What is the price of these?"
The prince would not set a price.
"If your Royal Highness is pleased with these," said he, "I have many more things at home which you will like even better.