Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/108

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himself by examining and patronising every stall, he noticed a portrait of a most beautiful maiden, a glorious face having the features he had dreamt of so long, with a figure in which grace and dignity were combined, such as nothing but high birth and breeding could have produced. Now that he had found his ideal of feminine beauty in a portrait, he began almost to hope that he might see it embodied in human form. He eagerly enquired whose portrait it was, and was informed that it was the portrait of a certain princess of the far East. He returned to the palace, and told his father that he would marry no other princess but the one whose likeness he had seen at the fair. The king, glad that his son had found a maiden he could admire, sent an ambassador to arrange the marriage with the beautiful maiden's father, who was a great king. The nobleman succeeded in his mission, and obtained the consent of the princess and her father to the union, the princess being much pleased that the fastidious prince who could find no beauty to satisfy him should have fallen in love with her from seeing her portrait. They were accordingly married by proxy.

When the princess, with her retinue, arrived at the capital, the home of her husband, the prince thought he would like first to see his bride without being recognised, before he took her as his own for ever. He therefore disguised himself, and repaired to the