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54
PORTUGUESE FAIRY TALES.

her up tenderly and lowered her into the vessel, and sailing to a port of safety they landed her, together with a chest in which she had packed some of her own and her sisters' dresses. As she stood on the seashore she glanced around her, and felt the wretchedness of her situation, without a home or friends to whom to apply for shelter. She had not been long immersed in these melancholy thoughts when she perceived an old woman coming towards her, whom she felt sure was a good benevolent person. She approached her and addressed her thus: "My good woman, do you know of any one that would give me shelter and a meal for to-day? I am willing to work for it."

"If you want employment come and draw water from the well, and help me to carry it to the house I work for; there you will get a meal, and in the evening you can take up your quarters in my little cottage."

"Tell me first," replied the princess, "what house it is you work for?"

"Oh! I draw water for our king's palace."

The young maiden consented to help the old woman, but as she could not work in her fine clothes, she had a garment made for her of the skin of a horse, and thus disguised she did not think that any one would take her for a princess.

Every day she went to the well and helped the old