The Happy Prince and Other Stories (Puffin Classics)
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A haunting, magical fairy-tale collection, in which Oscar Wilde beautifully evokes (among others) The Happy Prince who was not so happy after all, The Selfish Giant who learned to love little children and The Star Child who did not love his parents as much as he should. Each of the stories shines with poetry and magic and will be enjoyed by children of every age. A perfect collection for children young and old, introduced by Markus Zusak, bestselling author of The Book Thief.
they cried, and they threw down flowers on her from the balconies. At the gate of the Castle the Prince was waiting to receive her. He had dreamy violet eyes, and his hair was like fine gold. When he saw her he sank upon one knee, and kissed her hand. ‘Your picture was beautiful,’ he murmured, ‘but you are more beautiful than your picture,’ and the little Princess blushed. ‘She was like a white rose before,’ said a young page to his neighbour, ‘but she is like a red rose now’; and the whole
cold painted face. Today he seemed to see her again, as he had seen her first at the Castle of Fontainebleau, when he was but fifteen years of age, and she still younger. They had been formally betrothed on that occasion by the Papal Nuncio in the presence of the French King and all the Court, and he had returned to the Escurial bearing with him a little ringlet of yellow hair, and the memory of two childish lips bending down to kiss his hand as he stepped into his carriage. Later on had
made his way down the hill to the village, his comrade marvelling much at his foolishness and softness of heart. And when they came to the village, his comrade said to him, ‘Thou hast the child, therefore give me the cloak, for it is meet that we should share.’ But he answered him: ‘Nay, for the cloak is neither mine nor thine, but the child’s only,’ and he bade him Godspeed, and went to his own house and knocked. And when his wife opened the door and saw that her husband had returned safe
house, the Magician opened to him, and brought him in, and said to him, ‘Hast thou the piece of yellow gold?’ And the Star-Child said to him, ‘I have not.’ So the Magician fell upon him, and beat him, and loaded him with chains, and cast him again into the dungeon. And on the morrow the Magician came to him, and said,’ If today thou bringest me the piece of red gold I will set thee free, but if thou bringest it not I will surely slay thee.’ So the Star-Child went to the wood, and all day long
scimitar of steel. ‘When the Emperor saw me he frowned, and said to me, “What is thy name? Knowest thou not that I am Emperor of this city?” But I made him no answer. ‘He pointed with his finger at the scimitar, and the Nubian seized it, and rushing forward struck at me with great violence. The blade whizzed through me, and did me no hurt. The man fell sprawling on the floor, and when he rose up his teeth chattered with terror and he hid himself behind the couch. ‘The Emperor leapt to his