Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/312

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And now, when the Emperor thought that at last he would be absolutely happy, no, not at all! What do you expect? The saying:

"No one yet in this world born,
Has known Great Joy without its Thorn"—

came to be true of him, as it is of all miserable people in this world.

The state of his Kingdom began to get bad. His country, you see, instead of going forwards, began to go backwards. One day, such and such an Emperor of his neighbourhood, would threaten to take arms against him would he not do such and such a thing; another day, such and such an Emperor, would ask for another thing; or else his people would fight amongst themselves, or else his cattle would step over his neighbour's borders and would be stolen, or else his sheep would die, and so on, misfortune following misfortune and things going from bad to worse, till one day the Emperor found that he was quite a poor man, and so unhappy, oh, so unhappy!

And you ought to know, that he was struggling, poor Emperor, with the help of his twelve sons, to make peace with his neighbours, to pacify his own subjects, and to stop the evils that were overcoming him; but all was in vain, sorrow was flowing over him like a river.

So, as there was no other way out of his difficulties, the Emperor called a Star-reader, and asked to be told the cause of all the misfortunes to him and his Kingdom.

So when the Star-reader came, he read the stars, and told the Emperor that during the three following nights he was to watch the sleep of his children.

Those three nights having passed, the Star-reader came back.

The Emperor then told him, that some of his sons had been sleeping with their arms under their heads, some with their hands folded on their chests, some lying on one side, some on the other, and some lying on their backs with their arms by their sides. But his daughter had been sleeping either curled up like a kitten, or sitting up with her hands between her knees.

"This Girl is the cause of your ill-luck," said the Star-reader,