Short Stories » Princess Rosetta - Page 3 of 9

After she had taken this resolution, the two princes took her to their castle, where they were obliged to take the peacock also, and put it in her room, for she was very fond of it.

All the ladies who had not seen Rosetta, hastened to seek an introduction, to pay their court to her ; some brought her sweet-meats, some sugar plums, others rich gowns, fine ribbons, dolls, embroidered shoes, pearls and diamonds; she was feasted every where ; and she was so well behaved and civil, kissing her hand and curtseying whenever anything was given her, that there was no one but was pleased with her.

While she was discoursing with her company, the king and the prince were considering how they should find the King of the Peacocks, if there were one in the world. They came to the determination of having a portrait taken of the princess Rosetta ; and they had it done so beautifully that it only wanted speech. They then said to the princess : " Since you will only marry the King of the Peacocks, we are about to seek him for you, all over the earth. We shall be very glad to find him ; and you must take care of our kingdom during our absence.

Rosetta thanked them for the pains they were taking ; told them that she would govern the kingdom well, and that while they were gone her only pleasures would be looking at the beau- tiful peacock, and seeing Fretillon dance. They could not help crying when they bade one another adieu.

Behold the two young princes on their journey; asking every one they meet : " Pray, do you know the King of the Peacocks ? " They were always answered : " No, gentlemen, no ! " They still kept going forward, till at last they got so far, that no one had ever been so far before.

They presently arrived at the kingdom of the May-flies, (there is no longer such a place to be seen) : the may-flies made siach a loud humming, that the king was afraid he should lose his hearing. He asked the one who appeared to him to be the most intelligent looking among them, whether he knew where the King of the Peacocks was to be found. " Sire," said the may-fly, " his kingdom is 90,000 miles from here ; you have taken the longest road to reach it." " How do you know that ? " said the king, " Because," said the may-fly, " we go every year to pass two or three months in their gardens." Then the king and his brother embraced the may-fly again and again ; they became very friendly, and dined together ; the princes examined with admiration all the curiosities of their country, where the smallest leaf was worth a dollar. They afterwards departed to finish their journey ; and as they now knew the road, were not long before they completed it. They observed that all the trees were loaded with peacocks ; the place was so full of them, that their voices might be heard six miles off.

The king said to his brother : " If the King of the Peacocks is a peacock himself, how will our sister be able to marry him ? We should be foolish too, to consent to the match. What a splendid alliance would she form for us : little peacocks for nephews and nieces ! " The prince was equally grieved. " It is an unfortunate fancy that occupies her mind," said he ; "I cannot think where she learned that there was a King of the Peacocks."

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