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Main > Portuguese folktales > Fairy tale "The Daughter of the King of Naples"

The Daughter of the King of Naples

I'll bring them to you to-morrow."

"That will be splendid!" cried the princess. "Come again to-morrow at this hour."

The next day the prince again dressed himself as a peddler, but underneath the outer garments he wore his own rich clothing. When he was admitted to the royal palace he laid aside his peddler's disguise and stood before the princess looking like the true prince he was. He was very handsome in his rich suit of crimson velvet, with his hat with the long plume in his hand. The princess was so surprised that she turned pale.

"Who are you?" she cried. "You surely are not the peddler who came here yesterday!"

The prince smiled into her eyes, and, even without the peddler's garments which were rolled up on the tray, she would have recognized him.

He told her of the quest which had led him there, and she admired all the patience and diligence he had shown in finding out her existence. When he asked her to marry him at once, she readily consented. They planned that she should steal down the staircase at night and go away with him on his ship.

All this sounded very romantic to the daughter of the king of Naples. She had never dreamed that a thing like this would ever happen. All her life she had been so closely guarded that stealing out of the palace and sailing away in the prince's ship seemed the most wonderful thing in the world.

The next night had been agreed on, and long ahead of the appointed hour the prince sat on horseback at the foot of the stairway down which the princess would steal. He was very weary with all the excitement of the past three days, and as he waited he fell asleep. A robber passed by and saw his sleeping form hanging limply on the saddle.

"I'll gently deposit him on the ground and get away with his horse and saddle," thought the thief, as he stopped and regarded the horse with a critical eye.

Just then, however, he saw something which made him change his mind about hurrying away after he had deposited the prince's sleeping form beneath a tree.

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