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THERE was once a poor Prince, who had a kingdom which was quite small, but still it was large enough that he could marry upon it,and that is what he wanted to do.

Now, it was certainly somewhat bold of him to say to the Emperor's daughter,“Will you have me?”But he did venture it, for his name was famous far and wide: there were hundreds of Princesses who would have been glad to say yes; but did she say so? Well, we shall see.

On the grave of the Prince's father there grew a rose bush,a very beautiful rose bush.It bloomed only every fifth year, and even then it bore only a single rose, but what a rose that was! It was so sweet that whoever smelt at it forgot all sorrow and trouble. And then he had a nightingale, which could sing as if all possible melodies were collected in its little throat. This rose and this nightingale the Princess was to have, and therefore they were put into great silver cases and sent to her.

The Emperor caused the presents to be carried before him into the great hall where the Princess was playing at“visiting”with her maids if honour(they did nothing else), and when she saw the great silver cases with the presents in them, she clapped her hands with joy.

“If it were only a little pussy-cat!”said she.

But then came out the splendid rose.

“Oh, how pretty it is made!”said all the court ladies.

“It is more than pretty,”said the Emperor,“it is charming.”

But the Princess felt it, and then she almost began to cry.

“Fie, papa!”she said,“it is not artificial, it's a natural rose!”

“Fie,”said all the court ladies,“it's a natural one!”

“Let us first see what is in the other case before we get angry,”said the Emperor.And then the nightingale came out;it sang so beautifully that they did not at once know what to say against it.

“Superbe! charmant!”said the maids of honour,for they all spoke French, the one worse than the other.

“How that bird reminds me of the late Empress's musical snuff-box,”said an old cavalier.“Yes, it is the same tone, the same expression.”

“Yes,”said the Emperor;and then he wept like a little child.

“I really hope it is not a natural bird,”said the Princess.

“Yes, it is a natural bird,”said they who had brought it.

“Then let the bird fly away,”said the Princess;and she would by no means allow the Prince to come.

But the Prince was not at all dismayed. He stained his face brown and black, drew his hat down over his brows, and knocked at the door.

“Good day, Emperor,”he said:“could I not be employed here in the castle?”

“Well,”replied the Emperor,“but there are so many who want places;but let me see, I want some one who can keep the pigs,for we have many of them.”

So the Prince was appointed the Emperor's swineherd. He received a miserable small room down by the pig-sty,and here he was obliged to stay;but all day long he sat and worked,and when it was evening he had finished a neat little pot, with bells all round it, and when the pot boiled these bells rang out prettily and played the old melody----

Oh, my darling Augustine,

All is lost, all is lost.

But the cleverest thing about the whole arrangement was,that by holding one's finger in the steam from the pot, one could at once smell what food was being cooked at every hearth in the town. That was quite a different thing from the rose.

Now the Princess came with all her maids of honour,and when she heard the melody she stood still and looked quite pleased;for she, too, could play“Oh, my darling Augustine.”It was the only thing she could play, but then she played it with one finger.

“Why, that is what I play!”she cried.“He must be an educated swineherd!Hark-ye:go down and ask the price of the instrument.”

So one of the maids of honour had to go down; but first she put on a pair of pattens.

“What do you want for the pot?”inquired the lady.

“I want ten kisses from the Princess,”replied the swineherd.

“Heaven preserve us!”exclaimed the maid of honour.

“Well,I won't sell it for less,”said the swineherd.

“Well, what did he say?”asked the Princess.

“I really can't repeat it, it is so shocking,”replied the lady.

“Well, you can whisper it in my ear.”And the lady w............

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