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22
PORTUGUESE FAIRY TALES.

was fast asleep, he entered and stole away the tiny casket, and quickly left the apartment.

Two days after this occurrence the king sent invitations to the two favourites and their daughters to a great banquet; and towards the end of the feast he ordered the waiters to bring him a tray that lay in the adjoining hall, and to place it before him on the table. On this tray were the two swords and belts, and the silver casket. When the two sisters and their lovers saw the swords and belts, which they had missed on the night I have mentioned, they were terribly frightened and did not dare to say a word. But the beautiful and virtuous maiden, who had nothing to fear, when she saw who the thief was that had carried away her casket, exclaimed, addressing the king with a smile:—

There's a poor beggar woman that sits on a throne,
Ran away with a casket that was not her own.

And the king replying in the same strain said:—

Lovely maid, if the casket be thine,
Casket and maiden shall both be mine.

As the king thought the other two damsels had already had a sufficient lesson, he ordered the two officers to marry them.


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