Prince Darling

“You need not fear that Zelia will be fickle,” said Candour, throwing off the hermit’s form in which she had disguised herself. “Zelia loved you whenever she saw you, but she knew that your character did not correspond with your appearance, and although only a poor girl she was too well brought up to marry a bad man. Your better nature has now reasserted itself, and she sees you now as Nature intended you to be, a good man as well as a good-looking one. On that sure foundation your marriage will be happy.”

Both Zelia and Prince Darling threw themselves at the fairy’s feet, to thank her for her protecting kindness, and for the punishment that had brought the Prince to his senses. Zelia joyfully gave her promise, and Fairy Candour herself married them there and then, while they knelt at her feet. She finished by saying:

“Rise up, my children. I shall now take you to the palace, that Prince Darling may ascend the throne of which he is now worthy.”

When Candour finished speaking Prince Darling and Princess Zelia found themselves in the throne-room in the presence of Suliman. This good man himself rose and seated the Prince on his father’s throne, and crowned him King; he then was the first of Darling’s faithful subjects to kneel and swear loyalty to him.

Darling and Zelia reigned long and happily, and the young King never again needed to be reminded of ill-doing by the pricking of the fairy’s ring.

From Favourite French fairy tales retold from the french of Perrault, Madame d'Aulnoy and Madame Leprince de Beaumont, Barbara Douglas, New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1921.

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