Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Children's Novel > The Little Lame Prince10 > THE PRINCE WITH THE NOSE
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 THERE was once a king who was passionately1 in love with a beautiful princess, but she could not be married because a magician had enchanted2 her. The king went to a good fairy to inquire what he should do. Said the fairy, after receiving him graciously: “Sir, I will tell you a great secret. The princess has a great cat whom she loves so well that she cares for nothing and nobody else; but she will be obliged to marry any person who is adroit3 enough to walk upon the cat's tail.”  
“That will not be very difficult,” thought the king to himself, and departed, resolving to trample4 the cat's tail to pieces rather than not succeed in walking upon it. He went immediately to the palace of his fair mistress and the cat; the animal came in front of him, arching its back in anger as it was wont5 to do. The king lifted up his foot, thinking nothing would be so easy as to tread on the tail, but he found himself mistaken. Minon—that was the creature's name—twisted itself round so sharply that the king only hurt his own foot by stamping on the floor. For eight days did he pursue the cat everywhere: up and down the palace he was after it from morning till night, but with no better success; the tail seemed made of quicksilver, so very lively was it. At last the king had the good fortune to catch Minon sleeping, when tramp! tramp! he trod on the tail with all his force.
Minon woke up, mewed horribly, and immediately changed from a cat into a large, fierce-looking man, who regarded the king with flashing eyes.
“You must marry the princess,” cried he, “because you have broken the enchantment6 in which I held her; but I will be revenged on you. You shall have a son with a nose as long as—that;” he made in the air a curve of half a foot; “yet he shall believe it is just like all other noses, and shall be always unfortunate till he has found out it is not. And if you ever tell anybody of this threat of mine, you shall die on the spot.” So saying the magician disappeared.
The king, who was at first much terrified, soon began to laugh at this adventure. “My son might have a worse misfortune than too long a nose,” thought he. “At least it will hinder him neither in seeing nor hearing. I will go and find the princess and marry her at once.”
He did so, but he only lived a few months after, and died before his little son was born, so that nobody knew anything about the secret of the nose.
The little prince was so much wished for that when he came into the world they agreed to call him Prince Wish. He had beautiful blue eyes and a sweet little mouth, but his nose was so big that it covered half his face. The queen, his mother, was inconsolable; but her ladies tried to satisfy her by telling her that the nose was not nearly so large as it seemed, that it would grow smaller as the prince grew bigger, and that if it did not a large nose was indispensable to a hero. All great soldiers, they said, had great noses, as everybody knew. The queen was so very fond of her son that she listened eagerly to all this comfort. Shortly she grew so used to the princes's nose that it did not seem to her any larger than ordinary noses of the court; where, in process of time, everybody with a long nose was very much admired, and the unfortunate people who had only snubs were taken very little notice of.
Great care was observed in the education of the prince; and as soon as he could speak they told him all sorts of amusing tales, in which all the bad people had short noses, and all the good people had long ones. No person was suffered to come near him who had not a nose of more than ordinary length; nay7, to such an extent did the countries carry their fancy, that the noses of all the little babies were ordered to be pulled out as far as possible several times a day, in order to make them grow. But grow as they would, they never could grow as long as that of Prince Wish. When he was old enough his tutor taught him history; and whenever any great king or lovely princess was referred to, the tutor always took care to mention that he or she had a long nose. All the royal apartments were filled with pictures and portraits having this peculiarity8, so that at last Prince Wish began to regard the length of his nose as his greatest perfection, and would not have had it an inch less even to save his crown.
When he was twenty years old his mother and his people wished him to marry. They procured9 for him the likenesses of many princesses, but the one he preferred was Princess Darling, daughter of a powerful monarch10 and heiress to several kingdoms. Alas11! with all her beauty, this princess had one great misfortune, a little turned-up nose, which, every one else said made her only the more bewitching. But here, in the kingdom of Prince Wish, the courtiers were thrown by it into the utmost perplexity. They were in the habit of laughing at all small noses; but how dared they make fun of the nose of Princess Darling? Two unfortunate gentlemen, whom Prince Wish had overheard doing so, were ignominiously12 banished13 from the court and capital.
After this, the courtiers became alarmed, and tried to correct their habit of speech; but they would have found themselves in constant difficulties, had not one clever person struck out a bright idea. He said that though it was indispensably necessary for a man to have a great nose, women were very different; and that a learned man had discovered in a very old manuscript that the celebrated14 Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, the beauty of the ancient world, had a turned-up nose. At this information Prince Wish was so delighted that he made the courtier a very handsome present, and immediately sent off ambassadors to demand Princess Darling in marriage.
She accepted his offer at once, and returned with the ambassadors. He made all haste to meet and welcome her, but when she was only three leagues distant from his capital, before he had time even to kiss her hand, the magician who had once assumed the shape of his mother's cat, Minon, appeared in the air and carried her off before the lover's very eyes.
Prince Wish, almost beside himself with grief, declared that nothing should induce him to return to his throne and kingdom till he had found Darling. He would suffer none of his courtiers or attendants to follow him; but bidding them all adieu, mounted a good horse, laid the reins15 on the animal's neck, and let him take him wherever he would.
The horse entered a wide-extended plain, and trotted16 on steadily17 the whole day without finding a single house. Master and beast began almost to faint with hunger; and Prince Wish might have wished himself at home again, had he not discovered, just at dusk, a cavern18, where there sat, beside a bright lantern, a little woman who might have been more than a hundred years old.
She put on her spectacles the better to look at the stranger, and he noticed that her nose was so small that the spectacles would hardly stay on; then the prince and the fairy—for she was a fairy—burst into laughter.
“What a funny nose!” cried the one.
“Not so funny as yours, madam,” returned the other. “But pr............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved