The Happy Prince

Then they melted the statue in a furnace, and the Mayor held a meeting of the Corporation to decide what was to be done with the metal. “We must have another statue, of course,” he said, “and it shall be a statue of myself.”

“Of myself,” said each of the Town Councillors, and they quarrelled. When I last heard of them they were quarrelling still.

“What a strange thing!” said the overseer of the workmen at the foundry. “This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We must throw it away.” So they threw it on a dust-heap where the dead Swallow was also lying.

“Bring me the two most precious things in the city,” said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead bird.

The Happy Prince, illustration by Spencer Baird Nichols

And the Angel brought God the leaden heart and the dead bird
Illustration by Spencer Baird Nichols

“You have rightly chosen,” said God, “for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me.”

From The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde
New York: Brentano's, 1920.

Find stories similar to The Happy Prince

Collection:

Fairy tales

Region of origin:

EuropeIreland

Reading time:

More stories you might like

The Magic Fiddle

By

The poor little girl had all the cooking, cleaning, and serving to do for all seven brothers and all their seven wives as well.

South AsiaIndia

read

The Animals’ Peace Party

By

The young pigs and the old ones talked together and the old ones said, ‘Maybe they will have some good things for us to eat at the party. I think we should go.’

East AsiaChina

read

The Constant Tin Soldier

By

One of the tin soldiers was a little different; he had one leg because he had been cast last of all, and there had not been enough tin to finish him.

EuropeDenmark

read

The Emperor’s New Clothes

By

No one would let it be known that he could see nothing, for that would have proved that he was unfit for office or that he was very, very stupid.

EuropeDenmark

read

Find stories