The Bad Temper of The Princess, Part 3

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At a lunch several months after the dismissal of the disaffected suitors, the Prime Minister entered the dining-room and announced to the King that a man had been found within the palace gates without royal clearance, and immediately put into the dungeon. The Prime Minister said he was a handsome fellow, but he was very poorly dressed. He didn’t offer any resistance when he was captured, but he earnestly requested that he be tried as soon as possible, because he wanted to draw a layout of the palace and gardens, and he couldn’t see well from the crack at the top of the dungeon. but he begged them not to put themselves, nor the king, to any inconvenience, when he could also stay where he was and write poems.
“By calmness, Your Majesty,” said the Prime Minister, in conclusion, “from all that we have heard and seen, we seem at last to have found a contented man.”
As soon as the king was finished with his royal rank, he disguised himself in a long cloak and soldier’s cap and went with the chief minister and the full key to have a look at the prisoner. As they approached the dungeon, they heard a rich bass singing:

Let the world slide, let the world go!
A fig for care and a fig for woe.
If I can stay, why, can’t I go,
And love makes the high and the low equal. ”

The king approached, bent down, and peeped through the keyhole. Opposite the door, the prisoner sat on a stool with three legs. He threw his head back and was looking up at the sky through the bars at the top of his cell. The song stopped and he was quietly talking to himself. The King, in a whisper, told the Prime Minister to fetch the Princess and to remain hidden outside the door. He then signaled the turnkey switch to throw the screws back in, and entered the dungeon on his own.
“Why are you talking to yourself, man?” Asked. The man replied:
“For, soldier, I like to speak to a reasonable man, and I like to hear a reasonable man speak.”
“Ha, ha!” The king laughed. “Very well, wonderful! They tell me all things are to your liking. Is that true?”
“I think I can safely say yes, soldier.”
“But why are you dressed so badly?”
“Taking care of haute couture is too much of a burden — I have long refused to be a slave to fashion.”
“But where are your friends?”
“Among those I have, the good have died, and become happier from here; the bad have left me and become friends with another, and I say to them, ‘Joy go with them.’”
“And there is nothing you want?” When the king asked this question, he looked at the man in a strange way, and the answer did not disappoint him.
“I have all the necessaries of life and many luxuries. I am quite content. I know that I have neither land nor money, but is not the whole world mine? Can even the King himself take delight from me in the greener trees and greener fields, in that gentle little cloud that rises Of the blue sky there is like a little foam upon a sunlit sea? Oh, no! I am rich enough, for all nature is mine.’
“And I am yours,” said a sweet young voice. The man looked in amazement, and there in front of him, her beautiful hands stretched out towards him, stood Princess Madge, who had slipped into the dungeon unnoticed.
The man jumped to his feet and clasped his little hands and said:
“I don’t know what you mean, pretty lady, when you say you’re mine; but oh, you pass by beauty!”
“Papa,” the princess called, “that is so dreadful. Quickly, take off that ugly soldier’s coat and tell him who we are and all about him!”
The king began as if from a dream, threw on a coarse coat and hat, and stepped into the golden ray of sunshine and moon.
“You don’t know me, my man? I am the King. Haven’t you read our last declaration?”
“No, Your Majesty, I do not read statements.”
“So you don’t know that the hand of the princess was offered to the first contented man to enter the palace?”
“No, Your Majesty; I didn’t know that.”
“Now know that and know also that you are the man. To you I give my daughter with half my kingdom. No, no – not a word. You deserve it. May you be happy!”
The prisoner, almost dumbfounded with astonishment, almost bursting with joy, knelt down and kissed the princess.
white, then looked into her eyes and said:
“Ah, well for me I haven’t seen you yet, for I should have been so miserably upset that you were mine!”

“I am completely satisfied.”

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

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