Page:Ségur Old French Fairy Tales.djvu/195

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leave my father in order to escape from the flames which the wicked fairy had lighted; when, rejected everywhere because of the wicked mouse, I found myself exposed to death from hunger and thirst! Soon, however, a heavy sleep took possession of me, during which I had many strange dreams. I do not know how I came here or whether it is in your palace that I find myself."

Gracious then related to Rosalie how he had found her asleep in the forest and the words which he had heard her utter in her dream. He then added:—

"There is one thing your father did not tell you, Rosalie; that is, that the queen of the fairies, who is our relation, had decided that we should be married when you were fifteen years of age. It was no doubt the queen of the fairies who inspired me with the desire to go hunting by torchlight, in order that I might find you in the forest where you had wandered. Since you will be fifteen in a few days, Rosalie, deign to consider my palace as your own and command here in advance, as my queen. Your father will soon be restored to you and we will celebrate our happy marriage."

Rosalie thanked her young and handsome cousin heartily and then returned to her chamber, where she found her maids awaiting her with a wonderful selection of rich and splendid robes and head-dresses. Rosalie, who had never given much attention to her toilet, took the first dress that was presented to her. It was of rose-colored gauze,

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