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Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/12

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PORTUGUESE FAIRY TALES

ing obtained for her a good post in a respectable family, he started from home with his daughter to her new employers. When they were out of the city, and already in the high road, the godfather suddenly stood before them like an apparition, and addressing the father, he said: "I have secured an excellent situation for my goddaughter in the king's palace, and she must not delay in going to it. But it is requisite that she should be attired in men's clothes, and be known by the name of Antonio instead of Antonia; otherwise she may run great risks in the king's palace, on account of her beauty." Before leaving them, the godfather gave the girl some good adviceā€”to be of modest behaviour, and fulfil her duties faithfully in the palace; and he moreover told her, whenever she found herself in any strait or difficulty, to call upon him and say: "Oh godfather, hasten to help me!"

The girl entered upon her duties in the palace as page to the queen, and was thought by everyone to be a boy.

Antonia, as she grew into womanhood, increased in cleverness and beauty; by her natural gift of pleasing she gained the affections of all, and was soon the general favourite in the palace; and she even unconsciously attracted the admiration of the queen, who was foolish enough to fall in love with her handsome page. But the queen found that her