Page:English Fairy Tales.djvu/108
Jack and his Golden Snuff-Box
ONCE upon a time, and a very good time it was, though it was neither in my time nor in your time nor in any one else's time, there was an old man and an old woman, and they had one son, and they lived in a great forest. And their son never saw any other people in his life, but he knew that there were some more in the world besides his own father and mother, because he had lots of books, and he used to read every day about them. And when he read about charming princesses, he would go wild to see some of them; till one day, when his father was out cutting wood, he told his mother that he wished to go away to look for his living in some other country, and to see some other people besides them two. And he said: "I see nothing at all here but great trees around me; and if I stay here, maybe I shall go mad before I see anything." The young man's father was out all the time when this talk was going on between him and his poor old mother.
The old woman began by saying to her son before leaving: "Well, well, my poor boy, if you want to go, it 's better for you to go, and God be with you."—