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داستان صوتي شاهزاده شادمان و خوشحال

The Happy Prince
HIGH above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires, and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt.

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داستان صوتي ديو و دلبر بهمراه متن

Beauty and the Beast

A long time ago, in a far away land, a merchant was returning home, after a trip to a city at least 300 miles away from his house. As night fell, he entered the deep forrest that he had to pass through on the final leg of his journey. His head was full of thoughts of his family, and his six daughters and six sons whom he was longing to see. It had been the height of summer when he had left home. Now he was returning in the depth of winter. The most bitter sleet and snow came down, and his horse stumbled on a patch of ice. He heard wolves howling, and soon he realised that he had lost his way.



يك داستان صوتي انگليسي

لطفا براي خواندن ادامه اين داستان صوتي انگليسي و يا دانلود فايل صوتي آن ادامه متن را كليك فرمائيد.

Snow White

A very long time ago, in mid winter, when the snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven, a beautiful queen sat sewing at her window, which had a frame of black ebony. As she worked, she looked sometimes at the falling snow, and it happened that she pricked her finger with her needle, so that three drops of blood fell upon the snow. How pretty the red blood looked upon the dazzling white! The Queen said to herself as she looked it, “Ah me! If only I had a dear little child who had skin as white as the snow, lips as rosy as the blood, and hair as black as the ebony window-frame.”

Soon afterwards she had a little daughter, with skin white as snow, lips rosy as blood, and hair as black as ebony– and she was therefore called “Little Snow-White.”

But alas! When the little one was born, the good queen died.

A year passed away, and the King took another wife. She was a beautiful woman, but proud and haughty, and she could not bear that anyone else should surpass her in beauty. She had a mirror and when she stood in front of it and asked,

“Mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the fairest of us all?”

the mirror answered-

“Thou, O Queen, art the fairest of all,”

and the Queen was contented, because she knew the mirror could speak nothing but the truth.

But as time passed on, Little Snow-White grew more and more beautiful, until when she was seven years old, she was as lovely as the bright day, and still more lovely than the Queen herself, so that when the lady one day asked her mirror-

“Mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the fairest fair of us all?”

it answered-

“O Lady Queen, though fair ye be, Snow-White is fairer far to see.”

The Queen was shocked, and grew yellow and green with envy, and from that moment envy and pride grew in her heart like rank weeds, so that she had no peace day or night, until one day she called a huntsman and said “Take the child away into the woods and kill her, for I can no longer bear the sight of her. And when you return, bring with you her heart, that I may know you have obeyed my will.”

The huntsman dared not disobey, and he led Snow-White out into the woods and placed an arrow in his bow to pierce her innocent heart, but the little girl cried and begged him saying, “Ah dear huntsman, leave me my life! I will run away into the wild forest, and never come home again.”

And as she was so beautiful the huntsman had pity on her and said, “Run away, then, you poor child.” While to himself he thought, “The wild beasts will soon have devoured you,” and yet it seemed as if a stone had been rolled from his heart since he know longer had to to kill her.

Then as a young wild boar came rushing by, he killed it, took out its heart, and carried it home to the Queen. The cook was ordered to prepare this, and the wicked Queen ate it, and thought she had eaten the heart of Snow-white.

Poor little Snow-White was now all alone in the wild wood, and so frightened was she that she trembled at every leaf that rustled. Then she began to run, and ran over sharp stones and through thorns, and the wild beasts ran past her, but did her no harm. And she kept on runningn until she came to a little house, where she went in to rest.

Inside the cottage, everything she saw was tiny, but more dainty and clean than words can tell.

Upon a white-covered table stood seven little plates and upon each plate lay a little spoon, besides which there were seven knives and forks and seven little goblets. Against the wall, and side by side, stood seven little beds covered with perfectly white sheets.

Snow-White was so hungry and thirsty that she took a little food from each of the seven plates, and drank a few drops of wine from each goblet, for she did not wish to take everything away from one. Then, because she was so tired, she crept into one of the beds, but it did not suit her, and then she tried the others, but one was too long, another too short, and so on, until she came to the seventh, which suited her exactly; so she said her prayers and soon fell fast asleep.

When night fell the masters of the little house came home. They were seven dwarfs, who worked with a pick-axe and spade, searching for cooper and gold in the heart of the mountains.

They lit their seven candles and then saw that someone had been to visit them. The first said, “Who has been sitting on my chair?”

The second said, “Who has been eating from my plate?”

The third, “Who has taken a piece of my bread?”

The fourth, “Who has taken some of my vegetables?”

The fifth, “Who has been using my fork?”

The sixth, “Who has been cutting with my knife?”

The seventh, “Who has been drinking out of my goblet?”

The first looked round and saw that his bed was rumpled, so he said, “Who has been getting into my bed?”

Then the others looked round and each one cried, “Someone has been on my bed too?”

But the seventh, when he looked at his bed, saw little Snow-white, who was lying asleep there. And he called the others, who came running up, and they cried out with astonishment, and brought their seven little candles and let the light fall on little Snow-white. “Oh, heavens! oh, heavens!” cried they, “what a lovely child!” and they were so glad that they did not wake her up, but let her sleep on in the bed. And the seventh dwarf slept with his companions, one hour with each, and so got through the night.

When the sun rose, Snow-White awoke, and, oh! How frightened she was when she saw the seven little dwarfs. But they were very friendly, and asked what her name was. “My name is Snow-White,” she answered.

“And how did you come to get into our house?” asked the dwarfs.

Then she told them how her cruel step-mother had intended her to be killed, but how the huntsman had spared her life and she had run on until she reached the little house. And the dwarfs said, “If you will take care of our house, cook for us, and make the beds, wash, mend, and knit, and keep everything neat and clean, then you may stay with us and you shall lack for nothing.”

“Yes,” answered Snow-White; “With All my heart,” and so she stayed.

She kept the house neat and clean for the dwarfs, who went off early in the morning to search for copper and gold in the mountains, and who expected their meal to be standing ready for them when they returned at night.

All day long Snow-White was alone, and the good little dwarfs warned her to be careful to let no one into the house. “For,” said they, “your step-mother will soon discover that you are living here.”

The Queen, believing, of course, that Snow-White was dead, and that she had eaten her heart, and that therefore she was again the most beautiful lady in the land, went to her mirror, and said-

“Mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the fairest fair of all?”

Then the mirror answered-

“O Lady Queen, though fair ye be, Snow-White is fairer far to see. Over the hills and far away, She dwells with seven dwarfs to-day.”

How angry she was, for she knew that the mirror spoke the truth, and that the huntsman must have deceived her. She thought and thought how she might kill Snow-White, for she knew she would have neither rest nor peace until she really was the most beautiful land. At length she decided what to do. She painted her face and dressed herself like an old pedlar-woman, so that no one could recognize her, and in this disguise she climbed the seven mountains that lay between her and the dwarfs’ house, and knocked at their door and cried, “Pretty things to sell, very cheap, very cheap.”

Snow-White peeped from the window and said, “Good day, good-wife, and what are your wares?”

“All sorts of pretty things, my dear,” answered the woman. “Silken laces of every colour,” and she held up a bright-coloured one, made of plaited silks.

“Surely I might let this honest old woman come in?” thought Snow-White, and unbolted the door and bought the pretty lace.

“Dear, dear, what a sight for sore eyes you are, child,” said the old woman; “come, let me lace you properly for once.”

Snow-White had no suspicious thoughts, so she placed herself in front of the old woman that she might fasten her dress with the new silk lace. But immediately the wicked creature laced her bodice so tightly that she could not breathe, and fell down upon the ground as though she were dead. “Now,” said the Queen, “I am once more the most beautiful lady in the land,” and she went away.

When the dwarfs came home they were very grieved to find their dear little Snow-White lying upon the ground as though she were dead. They lifted her gently and, seeing that she was too tightly laced, they cut the silken cord, when she drew a long breath and then gradually came back to life.

When the dwarfs heard all that had happened they said, “The pedlar-woman was certainly the wicked Queen. Now, take care in future that you open the door to none when we are not with you.”

The wicked Queen had no sooner reached home than she went to her mirror, and said-

“Mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the fairest fair of all?”

And the mirror answered as before-

“O Lady Queen, though fair ye be, Snow-White is fairer far to see. Over the hills and far away, She dwells with seven dwarfs to-day.”

The blood rushed to her face as she heard these words, for she knew that Snow-White must have come to life again.

“But I will manage to put an end to her yet,” she said, and then, by using witchcraft, she made a poisonous comb.

Again she disguised herself, climbed the seven mountains, and knocked at the door of the seven dwarfs’ cottage, crying, “Pretty things to sell-very cheap today!”

Snow-White looked out of the window and said, “Go away, good woman, for I dare not let you in.”

Surely you can look at my goods,” answered the woman, and held up the poisonous comb, which pleased Snow-White so well that she opened the door and bought it.

“Come, let me comb your hair in the newest way,” said the woman, and the poor unsuspicious child let her have her way, but no sooner did the comb touch her hair than the poison began to work, and she fell fainting to the ground.

“There, you model of beauty,” said the wicked woman, as she went away, “you are done for at last!”

But fortunately it was almost time for the dwarfs to come home, and as soon as they came in and found Snow-White lying upon the ground they guessed that her wicked step-mother had been there again, and set to work to find out what was wrong.

They soon saw the poisonous comb, and drew it out of her hair, and almost immediately Snow-White began to recover, and told them what had happened.

Once more they warned her to be on her guard, and to open the door to no one.

When the Queen reached home, she went straight to the mirror and said–

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest fair of all?”

And the mirror answered-

“O Lady Queen, though fair ye be, Snow-White is fairer far to see. Over the hills and far away, She dwells with seven dwarfs to-day.”

When the Queen heard these words she shook with rage. “Snow-White shall die,” she cried, “even if it costs me my own life!”

She went into a secret chamber, where no one else ever entered, and there she made a poisonous apple, and then she painted her face and disguised herself as a peasant woman, and climbed the seven mountains and went to the dwarfs’ house.

She knocked at the door. Snow-White put her head out of the window, and said, “I must not let anyone in; the seven dwarfs have forbidden me to do so.”

“It’s all the same to me,” answered the peasant woman; “I shall soon get rid of these fine apples. But before I go I’ll make you a present of one.”

“Oh! No,” said Snow-White, “for I must not take it.”

“Surely you are not afraid of poison?” said the woman. “See, I will cut one in two: the rosy cheek you shall take, and the white cheek I will eat myself.”

Now, the apple had been so cleverly made that only the rose-cheeked side contained the poison. Snow-White longed for the delicious-looking fruit, and when she saw that the woman ate half of it, she thought there could be no danger, and stretched out her hand and took the other part. But no sooner had she tasted it than she fell down dead.

The wicked Queen laughed aloud with joy as she gazed at her. “White as snow, red as blood, black as ebony,” she said, “this time the dwarfs cannot awaken you.”

And she went straight home and asked her mirror–

“Mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the fairest fair of all?”

And at length it answered–

“Thou, O Queen, art fairest of all!”

So her envious heart had peace-at least, as much as an envious heart can have peace.

When the little dwarfs came home at night they found Snow-White lying upon the ground. No breath came from her parted lips, for she was dead. They lifted her tenderly and sought for some poisonous object which might have caused the mischief, unlaced her frock, combed her hair, and washed her with wine and water, but all in vain-dead she was and dead she remained. They laid her upon a bier, and all seven of them sat round about it, and wept as though their hearts would break, for three whole days.

When the time came that she should be laid in the ground they could not bear to part from her. Her pretty cheeks were still rosy red, and she looked just as though she were still living.

“We cannot hide her away in the dark earth,” said the dwarfs, and so they made a transparent coffin of shining glass, and laid her in it, and wrote her name upon it in letters of gold; and that she was a King’s daughter. Then they put the coffin out upon the mountain-top, and one of them always stayed by it and watched it. And birds came too, and wept for Snow-white; first an owl, then a raven, and last a dove.

For a long, long time little Snow-White lay in the coffin, but she did not change; she only looked as though she slept, for she was still as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony.

It chanced that a King’s son came into the wood, and went to the dwarfs’ house, meaning to spend the night there. He saw the coffin upon the mountain-top, with little Snow-White lying within it, and he read the words that were written upon it in letters of gold.

And he said to the dwarfs, “If you will but let me have the coffin, you may ask of me what you will, and I will give it to you.”

But the dwarfs answered, “We would not sell it for all the gold in the world.”

Then said the Prince, “Let me have it as a gift, I pray you, for I cannot live without seeing little Snow-White, and I will prize your gift as the dearest of my possessions.”

The good little dwarfs pitied him when they heard these words, and so gave him the coffin. The King’s son then bade his servants place it upon their shoulders and carry it away, but as they went they stumbled over the stump of a tree, and the violent shaking shook the piece of poisonous apple which had lodged in Snow-White’s throat out again, so that she opened her eyes, raised the lid of the coffin, and sat up, alive once more.

“Where am I?” she cried, and the happy Prince answered, “Thou art with me, dearest.”

Then he told her all that had happened, and how he loved her better than the whole world, and begged her to go with him to his father’s palace and be his wife. Snow-White agreed, and went with him, and the wedding was celebrated with great splendour and magnificence.

Little Snow-White’s wicked step-mother was invited to the feast, and when she had dressed herself in her most beautiful clothes, she stood before her mirror, and said–

“Mirror, mirror upon the wall, Who is the fairest fair of all?”

And the mirror answered–

“O Lady Queen, though fair ye be, The young Queen is fairer to see.”

Oh! How angry the wicked woman was then, and so terrified, too, that she scarcely knew what to do. At first she thought she would not go to the wedding at all, but then she felt that she could not rest until she had seen the young Queen. No sooner did she enter the palace than she recognized little Snow-White, and could not move for terror.

Then a pair of red-hot iron shoes was brought into the room with tongs and set before her, and these she was forced to put on and to dance in them until she could dance no longer, but fell down dead, and that was the end of the wicked queen.

لطفا براي دانلود ، ابتدا راست كليك و سپس save target as را انتخاب فرمائيد.

دانلود فايل صوتي اين داستان


داستان كوتاه صوتي انگليسي

لطفا براي خواندن ادامه اين داستان صوتي انگليسي و يا دانلود فايل صوتي آن ادامه متن را كليك فرمائيد.

The Golden Fish

There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a pigsty, close
by the seaside. The fisherman used to go out all day long a-fishing;
and one day, as he sat on the shore with his rod, looking at the
sparkling waves and watching his line, all on a sudden his float was
dragged away deep into the water: and when he reeled in his line, he pulled out a
golden fish. But the fish said, ‘Pray let me live! I am not a real
fish; I am an enchanted prince: put me in the water again, and let me
go!’ ‘Oh, ho!’ said the man, ‘you need not go on much more about
the matter; I will have nothing to do with a fish that can talk: so
swim away, sir, as soon as you please!’ Then he put him back into the
water, and the fish darted straight down to the bottom, and left a
long streak of blood behind him on the wave.

When the fisherman went home to his wife in the pigsty, he told her
how he had caught a golden fish, and how it had told him it was an
enchanted prince, and how, on hearing it speak, he had let it go
again. ‘Did not you ask it for anything?’ said the wife, ‘we live very
wretchedly here, in this nasty dirty pigsty; do go back and tell the
fish we want a snug little cottage.’

The fisherman did not much like the business: however, he went to the
seashore; and when he came back there the water looked all yellow and
green. And he stood at the water’s edge, and said:

‘O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a gift of thee!’

Then the fish came swimming to him, and said, ‘Well, what is her will?
What does your wife want?’ ‘Ah!’ said the fisherman, ’she says that
when I had caught you, I ought to have asked you for something before
I let you go; she does not like living any longer in the pigsty, and
wants a snug little cottage.’ ‘Go home, then,’ said the fish; ’she is
in the cottage already!’ So the man went home, and saw his wife
standing at the door of a nice trim little cottage. ‘Come in, come
in!’ said she; ‘is not this much better than the filthy pigsty we
had?’ And there was a parlour, and a bedroom, and a kitchen; and
behind the cottage there was a little garden, planted with all sorts
of flowers and fruits; and there was a courtyard behind, full of ducks
and chickens. ‘Ah!’ said the fisherman, ‘how happily we shall live
now!’ ‘We will try to do so, at least,’ said his wife.

Everything went right for a week or two, and then Dame Ilsabill said,
‘Husband, there is not nearly room enough for us in this cottage; the
courtyard and the garden are a great deal too small; I should like to
have a large stone castle to live in: go to the fish again and tell
him to give us a castle.’ ‘Wife,’ said the fisherman, ‘I don’t like to
go to him again, for perhaps he will be angry; we ought to be easy
with this pretty cottage to live in.’ ‘Nonsense!’ said the wife; ‘he
will do it very willingly, I know; go along and try!’

The fisherman went, but his heart was very heavy: and when he came to
the sea, it looked blue and gloomy, though it was very calm; and he
went close to the edge of the waves, and said:

‘O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a gift of thee!’

‘Well, what does she want now?’ said the fish. ‘Ah!’ said the man,
dolefully, ‘my wife wants to live in a stone castle.’ ‘Go home, then,’
said the fish; ’she is standing at the gate of it already.’ So away
went the fisherman, and found his wife standing before the gate of a
great castle. ‘See,’ said she, ‘is not this grand?’ With that they
went into the castle together, and found a great many servants there,
and the rooms all richly furnished, and full of golden chairs and
tables; and behind the castle was a garden, and around it was a park
half a mile long, full of sheep, and goats, and hares, and deer; and
in the courtyard were stables and cow-houses. ‘Well,’ said the man,
‘now we will live cheerful and happy in this beautiful castle for the
rest of our lives.’ ‘Perhaps we may,’ said the wife; ‘but let us sleep
upon it, before we make up our minds to that.’ So they went to bed.

The next morning when Dame Ilsabill awoke it was broad daylight, and
she jogged the fisherman with her elbow, and said, ‘Get up, husband,
and bestir yourself, for we must be king of all the land.’ ‘Wife,
wife,’ said the man, ‘why should we wish to be the king? I will not be
king.’ ‘Then I will,’ said she. ‘But, wife,’ said the fisherman, ‘how
can you be king–the fish cannot make you a king?’ ‘Husband,’ said
she, ’say no more about it, but go and try! I will be king.’ So the
man went away quite sorrowful to think that his wife should want to be
king. This time the sea looked a dark grey colour, and was overspread
with curling waves and the ridges of foam as he cried out:

‘O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a gift of thee!’

‘Well, what would she have now?’ said the fish. ‘Alas!’ said the poor
man, ‘my wife wants to be king.’ ‘Go home,’ said the fish; ’she is
king already.’

Then the fisherman went home; and as he came close to the palace he
saw a troop of soldiers, and heard the sound of drums and trumpets.
And when he went in he saw his wife sitting on a throne of gold and
diamonds, with a golden crown upon her head; and on each side of her
stood six fair maidens, each a head taller than the other. ‘Well,
wife,’ said the fisherman, ‘are you king?’ ‘Yes,’ said she, ‘I am
king.’ And when he had looked at her for a long time, he said, ‘Ah,
wife! what a fine thing it is to be king! Now we shall never have
anything more to wish for as long as we live.’ ‘I don’t know how that
may be,’ said she; ‘never is a long time. I am king, it is true; but I
begin to be tired of that, and I think I should like to be emperor.’
‘Alas, wife! why should you wish to be emperor?’ said the fisherman.
‘Husband,’ said she, ‘go to the fish! I say I will be emperor.’ ‘Ah,
wife!’ replied the fisherman, ‘the fish cannot make an emperor, I am
sure, and I should not like to ask him for such a thing.’ ‘I am king,’
said Ilsabill, ‘and you are my slave; so go at once!’

So the fisherman was forced to go; and he muttered as he went along,
‘This will come to no good, it is too much to ask; the fish will be
tired at last, and then we shall be sorry for what we have done.’ He
soon came to the seashore; and the water was quite black and muddy,
and a mighty whirlwind blew over the waves and rolled them about, but
he went as near as he could to the water’s brink, and said:

‘O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a gift of thee!’

‘What would she have now?’ said the fish. ‘Ah!’ said the fisherman,
’she wants to be emperor.’ ‘Go home,’ said the fish; ’she is emperor

So he went home again; and as he came near he saw his wife Ilsabill
sitting on a very lofty throne made of solid gold, with a great crown
on her head full two yards high; and on each side of her stood her
guards and attendants in a row, each one smaller than the other, from
the tallest giant down to a little dwarf no bigger than my finger. And
before her stood princes, and dukes, and earls: and the fisherman went
up to her and said, ‘Wife, are you emperor?’ ‘Yes,’ said she, ‘I am
emperor.’ ‘Ah!’ said the man, as he gazed upon her, ‘what a fine thing
it is to be emperor!’ ‘Husband,’ said she, ‘why should we stop at
being emperor? I will be pope next.’ ‘O wife, wife!’ said he, ‘how can
you be pope? there is but one pope at a time in Christendom.’
‘Husband,’ said she, ‘I will be pope this very day.’ ‘But,’ replied
the husband, ‘the fish cannot make you pope.’ ‘What nonsense!’ said
she; ‘if he can make an emperor, he can make a pope: go and try him.’

So the fisherman went. But when he came to the shore the wind was
raging and the sea was tossed up and down in boiling waves, and the
ships were in trouble, and rolled fearfully upon the tops of the
billows. In the middle of the heavens there was a little piece of blue
sky, but towards the south all was red, as if a dreadful storm was
rising. At this sight the fisherman was dreadfully frightened, and he
trembled so that his knees knocked together: but still he went down
near to the shore, and said:

‘O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a gift of thee!’

‘What does she want now?’ said the fish. ‘Ah!’ said the fisherman, ‘my
wife wants to be pope.’ ‘Go home,’ said the fish; ’she is pope

Then the fisherman went home, and found Ilsabill sitting on a throne
that was two miles high. And she had three great crowns on her head,
and around her stood all the pomp and power of the Church. And on each
side of her were two rows of burning lights, of all sizes, the
greatest as large as the highest and biggest tower in the world, and
the least no larger than a small rush light. ‘Wife,’ said the
fisherman, as he looked at all this greatness, ‘are you pope?’ ‘Yes,’
said she, ‘I am pope.’ ‘Well, wife,’ replied he, ‘it is a grand thing
to be pope; and now you must be easy, for you can be nothing greater.’
‘I will think about that,’ said the wife. Then they went to bed: but
Dame Ilsabill could not sleep all night for thinking what she should
be next. At last, as she was dropping asleep, morning broke, and the
sun rose. ‘Ha!’ thought she, as she woke up and looked at it through
the window, ‘after all I cannot prevent the sun rising.’ At this
thought she was very angry, and wakened her husband, and said,
‘Husband, go to the fish and tell him I must be lord of the sun and
moon.’ The fisherman was half asleep, but the thought frightened him
so much that he started and fell out of bed. ‘Alas, wife!’ said he,
‘cannot you be easy with being pope?’ ‘No,’ said she, ‘I am very
uneasy as long as the sun and moon rise without my permission. Go to the
fish at once!’

Then the man went shivering with fear; and as he was going down to the
shore a dreadful storm arose, so that the trees and the very rocks
shook. And all the heavens became black with stormy clouds, and the
lightnings played, and the thunders rolled; and you might have seen in
the sea great black waves, swelling up like mountains with crowns of
white foam upon their heads. And the fisherman crept towards the sea,
and cried out, as well as he could:

‘O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a gift of thee!’

‘What does she want now?’ said the fish. ‘Ah!’ said he, ’she wants to
be lord of the sun and moon.’ ‘Go home,’ said the fish, ‘to your
pigsty again.’

And there they live to this very day.

لطفا براي دانلود ، ابتدا راست كليك و سپس save target as را انتخاب فرمائيد.

دانلود فايل صوتي اين داستان


داستان انگليسي صوتي

لطفا براي خواندن ادامه اين داستان صوتي انگليسي و يا دانلود فايل صوتي آن ادامه متن را كليك فرمائيد.

The Maiden and the Frog

Many years ago there lived on the brow of a mountain, in the north of England, an old woman and her daughter. They were very poor, and had to work very hard for their living, and the old woman’s temper was not very good, so that the young girl, who was very beautiful, led but an ill life with her.

The girl did all the hardest work, for her mother scratched a living by going around the neighbourhood selling small things, and when she came home in the afternoon, she was tiered and not able to do much more. Nearly all the housework fell to the daughter. Her most tiresome duty was to fetch the water from a well on the other side of the hill, there being no river or spring near their own cottage.

It happened one morning that the daughter had the misfortune, when going to the well, to fall and break the only large pot they owned, and having nothing else that she could use to carry water, she had to go home without any. When her mother came home, she was very thirsty, and the girl, though trembling because of her ill luck, had to tell the old woman that there was no water for her to drink.

The old woman was furiously angry, and pointed to a sieve which happened to be on the table, and told her to go at once to the well and bring her some water in that, or never again to show her face in the cottage.

The young girl, frightened almost out of her wits by her mother’s fury, speedily took the sieve, and though she thought that it was a hopeless task to try and fetch water using a sieve full of holes, she hurried off to the well as if in a dream. When she arrived there, she began to think over the terrible situation, and how impossible it would be for her to survive on her own, and in deepest despair, she fell down by the side of the well and sobbed.

After a while, a frog hopped out of the well and asked her why she was crying so bitterly. She was somewhat surprised at this, but not being the least frightened, told him the whole story, and that she was crying because she could not carry away water in the sieve.

“Is that all?” said the frog; “cheer up, my hinny! for if you will only let me sleep with you for two nights, and then chop off my head, I will tell you how to do it.”

The maiden thought that the silly frog was talking nonsense, but she was too unhappy to waste time arguing with him, and promised to do what he asked. The frog then instructed her in the following words:

Stop with moss
And daub with clay;
And that will carry
The water away.

Having said this, he dived immediately under the water, and the girl, realised that what he had said made perfect sense. She went around and picked up some moss and clay, and used them to fill up the holes in the sieve. She then filled the sieve with water and hurried home, not thinking much of her promise to the frog. By the time she reached home, the old woman’s temper had calmed down, but as they were eating their poor supper very quietly, what should they hear but the splashing and croaking of a frog near the door, and shortly afterwards the daughter recognized the voice of the frog of the well singing:

Open the door, my hinny, my heart,
Open the door, my own darling, my belle;
Remember the promise you made to me
In the meadow beside the wishing well.

She was now dreadfully frightened, and hurriedly explained what had happened to her mother, who was also so much alarmed at the situation. They both thought it best to let this remarkable frog come in side, for they feared that he might cast some nasty spell on them otherwise. When the door was opened, the frog leaped into the room, singing:

Go wi’ me to bed, my hinny, my heart,
Go wi’ me to bed, my darling, my belle;
Remember the promise you made to me,
In the meadow beside the wishing well.

The young girl did as he asked , although as may be readily supposed, she did not much relish such a bedfellow. The next day, the frog was very quiet, and evidently enjoyed the food they placed before him for breakfast, the purest milk and the finest bread they could find. In fact, neither the old woman nor her daughter spared any pains to make the frog comfortable. That night, immediately supper was finished, the frog again sang:

Go wi’ me to bed, my hinny, my heart,
Go wi’ me to bed, my darling, my belle;
Remember the promise you made to me,
In the meadow beside the wishing well.

She again allowed the frog to share her couch, and in the morning, as soon as she was dressed, he jumped towards her, singing:

Chop off my head, my hinny, my heart,
Chop off my head, my darling, my belle;
Remember the promise you made to me,
In the meadow beside the wishing well.

So the young girl did as he asked, and no sooner had she chopped off his head than in the place of the frog, there stood by her side the handsomest prince in the world, who had long been transformed by a magician, and who could never have recovered his natural shape until a beautiful maiden had agreed, of her own accord, to make him her bedfellow for two nights. The joy of both was complete; the girl and the prince were shortly afterwards married, and lived for many years in the enjoyment of every happiness.

لطفا براي دانلود ، ابتدا راست كليك و سپس save target as را انتخاب فرمائيد.

دانلود فايل صوتي اين داستان


يك داستان كوتاه صوتي انگليسي

لطفا براي خواندن ادامه اين داستان صوتي انگليسي و يا دانلود فايل صوتي آن ادامه متن را كليك فرمائيد.

Dick Whittington and His Cat

In the reign of the famous King Edward III there was a little boy called Dick Whittington whose father and mother died when he was very young. As poor Dick was not old enough to work, he was very badly off; he got but little for his dinner, and sometimes nothing at all for his breakfast; for the people who lived in the village were very poor indeed, and could not spare him much more than the parings of potatoes, and now and then a hard crust of bread.

Now Dick had heard many, many very strange things about the great city called London; for the country people at that time thought that folks in London were all fine gentlemen and ladies; and that there was singing and music there all day long; and that the streets were all paved with gold.

One day a large waggon and eight horses, all with bells at their heads, drove through the village while Dick was standing by the signpost. He thought that this waggon must be going to the fine town of London; so he took courage, and asked the driver to let him travel with him. So off they set together.

Dick got safe to London, and was in such a hurry to see the fine street paved all over with gold that he did not even stay to thank the kind wagon driver; but ran off as fast as his legs would carry him, through many of the streets, thinking every moment to come to those that were paved with gold; he thought that if he just took some little bits of the pavement, he should then have as much money as he could wish for.

Poor Dick ran till he was tired, but at last, finding that every way he turned he saw nothing but dirt instead of gold, he sat down in a dark corner and cried himself to sleep.

Little Dick was all night in the streets; and next morning, being very hungry, he got up and walked about, and asked everybody he met to give him a halfpenny to keep him from starving; but nobody stayed to answer him, and only two or three gave him a halfpenny; so that the poor boy was soon quite weak and faint with hunger. He asked another man for money, who replied ‘Go to work you lazy dog.’ ‘That I will,’ said Dick, ‘I will go to work for you, if you will let me.’ But the man only cursed at him and went on.

At last a good-natured-looking gentleman saw how hungry he looked. ‘Why don’t you go to work, my lad?’ said he to Dick. ‘That I would, but I do not know how to get any,’ answered Dick. ‘If you are willing, come along with me,’ said the gentleman, and took him to a hay-field, where Dick worked briskly, and lived merrily till the hay was made.

After this he found himself as badly off as before; and being almost starved again, he laid himself down at the door of Mr Fitzwarren, a rich merchant. Here he was soon seen by the cook-maid, who was an ill-tempered creature, and happened just then to be very busy dressing dinner for her master and mistress; so she called out to poor Dick: ‘What business have you there, you lazy rogue? There is nothing else but beggars. If you do not take yourself away, we will see how you will like a sousing of some dish-water; I have some here hot enough to make you jump.’

Just at that time Mr Fitzwarren himself came home to dinner; and when he saw a dirty ragged boy lying at the door, he said to him: ‘Why do you lie there, my boy? You seem old enough to work; I am afraid you are inclined to be lazy.’

‘No, indeed, sir,’ said Dick to him, ‘that is not the case, for I would work with all my heart, but I do not know anybody, and I believe I am very sick for the want of food.’

‘Poor fellow, get up; let me see what ails you.’

Dick now tried to rise, but was obliged to lie down again, being too weak to stand, for he had not eaten any food for three days, and was no longer able to run about and beg a halfpenny of people in the street. So the kind merchant ordered him to be taken into the house, and have a good dinner given him, and be kept to do what work he was able to do for the cook.

Little Dick would have lived very happy in this good family if it had not been for the ill-natured cook. She used to say:

‘You are under me, so look sharp; clean the spit and the dripping-pan, make the fires, wind up the jack, and do all the scullery work nimbly, or –, and she would shake the ladle at him. Besides, she was so fond of basting that when she had no meat to baste she would baste poor Dick’s head and shoulders with a broom, or anything else that happened to fall in her way. At last her ill-usage of him was told to Alice, Mr Fitzwarren’s daughter, who told the cook she should be turned away if she did not treat him kinder.

The behaviour of the cook was now a little better; but besides this, Dick had another hardship to get over. His bed stood in a garret, where there were so many holes in the floor and the walls that every night he was tormented with rats and mice. A gentleman having given Dick a penny for cleaning his shoes, he thought he would buy a cat with it. The next day he saw a girl with a cat, and asked her, ‘Will you let me have that cat for a penny?’ The girl said: ‘Yes, that I will, master, though she is an excellent mouser.’

Dick hid his cat in the garret, and always took care to carry a part of his dinner to her; and in a short time he had no more trouble with the rats and mice, but slept quite sound every night.

Soon after this, his master had a ship ready to sail; and as it was the custom that all his servants should have some chance for good fortune as well as himself, he called them all into the parlour and asked them what they would send out.

They all had something that they were willing to venture except poor Dick, who had neither money nor goods, and therefore could send nothing. For this reason he did not come into the parlour with the rest; but Miss Alice guessed what was the matter, and ordered him to be called in. She then said: ‘I will lay down some money for him, from my own purse’; but her father told her: ‘This will not do, for it must be something of his own.’

When poor Dick heard this, he said: ‘I have nothing but a cat which I bought for a penny some time since of a little girl.’

‘Fetch your cat then, my lad,’ said Mr Fitzwarren, ‘and let her go.’

Dick went upstairs and brought down poor puss, with tears in his eyes, and gave her to the captain; ‘for,’ he said, ‘I shall now be kept awake all night by the rats and mice.’ All the company laughed at Dick’s odd venture; and Miss Alice, who felt pity for him, gave him some money to buy another cat.

This, and many other marks of kindness shown him by Miss Alice, made the ill-tempered cook jealous of poor Dick, and she began to use him more cruelly than ever, and always made game of him for sending his cat to sea. She asked him: ‘Do you think your cat will sell for as much money as would buy a stick to beat you?’

At last poor Dick could not bear this usage any longer, and he thought he would run away from his place; so he packed up his few things, and started very early in the morning, on All-Hallows Day, the first of November. He walked as far as Holloway; and there sat down on a stone, which to this day is called ‘Whittington’s Stone’, and began to think to himself which road he should take.

While he was thinking what he should do, the Bells of Bow Church, which at that time were only six, began to ring, and at their sound seemed to say to him:

‘Turn again, Whittington,
Thrice Lord Mayor of London.’

‘Lord Mayor of London!’ said he to himself. ‘Why, to be sure, I would put up with almost anything now, to be Lord Mayor of London, and ride in a fine coach, when I grow to be a man! Well, I will go back, and think nothing of the cuffing and scolding of the old cook, if I am to be Lord Mayor of London at last.’

Dick went back, and was lucky enough to get into the house, and set about his work before the old cook came downstairs.

We must now follow Miss Puss to the coast of Africa. The ship with the cat on board was a long time at sea; and was at last driven by the winds on a part of the coast of Barbary, where the only people were the Moors, unknown to the English. The people came in great numbers to see the sailors, because they were of different colour to themselves, and treated them civilly; and, when they became better acquainted, were very eager to buy the fine things that the ship was loaded with.

When the captain saw this, he sent patterns of the best things he had to the king of the country; who was so much pleased with them that he sent for the captain to the palace. Here they were placed, as it is the custom of the country, on rich carpets flowered with gold and silver. The king and queen were seated at the upper end of the room; and a number of dishes were brought in for dinner. They had not sat long, when a vast number of rats and mice rushed in, and devoured all the meat in an instant. The captain wondered at this, and asked if these vermin were not unpleasant.

‘Oh, yes,’ said they, ‘very offensive; and the king would give half his treasure to be freed of them, for they not only destroy his dinner, as you see, but they assault him in his chamber, and even in bed, so that he is obliged to be watched while he is sleeping, for fear of them.’

The captain jumped for joy; he remembered poor Whittington and his cat, and told the king he had a creature on board the ship that would dispatch all these vermin immediately. The king jumped so high at the joy which the news gave him that his turban dropped off his head. ‘Bring this creature to me,’ says he; ‘vermin are dreadful in a court, and if she will perform what you say, I will load your ship with gold and jewels in exchange for her.’

The captain, who knew his business, took his opportunity to set forth the merits of Miss Puss. He told his majesty: ‘It is not very convenient to part with her, as, when she is gone, the rats and mice may destroy the goods in the ship–but to oblige your majesty, I will fetch her.’

‘Run, run!’ said the queen; ‘I am impatient to see the dear creature.’

Away went the captain to the ship, while another dinner was got ready. He put Puss under his arm, and arrived at the place just in time to see the table full of rats. When the cat saw them, she did not wait for bidding, but jumped out of the captain’s arms, and in a few minutes laid almost all the rats and mice dead at her feet. The rest of them in their fright scampered away to their holes.

The king was quite charmed to get rid so easily of such plagues, and the queen desired that the creature who had done them so great a kindness might be brought to her, that she might look at her. Upon which the captain called: ‘Pussy, pussy, pussy!’ and she came to him. He then presented her to the queen, who started back, and was afraid to touch a creature who had made such a havoc among the rats and mice. However, when the captain stroked the cat and called: ‘Pussy, pussy’, the queen also touched her and cried: ‘Putty, putty’, for she had not learned English. He then put her down on the queen’s lap, where she purred and played with her majesty’s hand, and then purred herself to sleep.

The king, having seen the exploits of Miss Puss, and being informed that her kittens would stock the whole country, and keep it free from rats, bargained with the captain for the whole ship’s cargo, and then gave him ten times as much for the cat as all the rest amounted to.

The captain then took leave of the royal party, and set sail with a fair wind for England, and after a happy voyage arrived safe in London.

One morning, early, Mr Fitzwarren had just come to his counting-house and seated himself at the desk, to count over the cash, and settle the business for the day, when somebody came tap, tap, at the door. ‘Who’s there?’ said Mr Fitzwarren. ‘A friend,’ answered the other; ‘I come to bring you good news of your ship Unicorn.’ The merchant, bustling up in such a hurry that he forgot his gout, opened the door, and who should he see waiting but the captain and factor, with a cabinet of jewels and a bill of lading; when he looked at this the merchant lifted up his eyes and thanked Heaven for sending him such a prosperous voyage.

They then told the story of the cat, and showed the rich present that the king and queen had sent for her to poor Dick. As soon as the merchant heard this, he called out to his servants:

‘Go send him in, and tell him of his fame;
Pray call him Mr Whittington by name.’

Mr Fitzwarren now showed himself to be a good man; for when some of his servants said so great a treasure was too much for him, he answered: ‘God forbid I should deprive him of the value of a single penny; it is his own, and he shall have it to a farthing.’

He then sent for Dick, who at that time was scouring pots for the cook, and was quite dirty. He would have excused himself from coming into the counting-house, saying, ‘The room is swept, and my shoes are dirty and full of hob-nails.’ But the merchant ordered him to come in.

Mr Fitzwarren ordered a chair to be set for him, and so he began to think they were making game of him, and at the same time said to them: ‘Do not play tricks with a poor simple boy, but let me go down again, if you please, to my work.’

‘Indeed, Mr Whittington,’ said the merchant, ‘we are all quite in earnest with you, and I most heartily rejoice in the news that these gentlemen have brought you; for the captain has sold your cat to the King of Barbary, and brought you in return for her more riches than I possess in the whole world; and I wish you may long enjoy them!’

Mr Fitzwarren then told the men to open the great treasure they had brought with them, and said: ‘Mr Whittington has nothing to do but to put it in some place of safety.’

Poor Dick hardly, knew how to behave himself for joy. He begged his master to take what part of it he pleased, since he owed it all to his kindness. ‘No, no,’ answered Mr Fitzwarren, ‘this is all your own; and I have no doubt but you will use it well.’

Dick next asked his mistress, and then Miss Alice, to accept a part of his good fortune; but they would not, and at the same time told him they felt great joy at his good success. But this poor fellow was too kind-hearted to keep it all to himself; so he made a present to the captain, the mate, and the rest of Mr Fitzwarren’s servants; and even to the ill-natured old cook.

After this Mr Fitzwarren advised him to send for a proper tailor, and get himself dressed like a gentleman; and told him he was welcome to live in his house till he could provide himself with a better.

When Whittington’s face was washed, his hair curled, his hat cocked, and he was dressed in a nice suit of clothes, he was as handsome and genteel as any young man who visited at Mr Fitzwarren’s; so that Miss Alice, who had once been so kind to him, and thought of him with pity, now looked upon him as fit to be her sweetheart; and the more so, no doubt, because Whittington was now always thinking what he could do to oblige her, and making her the prettiest presents that could be.

Mr Fitzwarren soon saw their love for each other, and proposed to join them in marriage; and to this they both readily agreed. A day for the wedding was soon fixed; and they were attended to church by the Lord Mayor, the court of aldermen, the sheriffs, and a great number of the richest merchants in London, whom they afterwards treated with a very rich feast.

History tells us that Mr Whittington and his lady lived in great splendour, and were very happy. They had several children. He was Sheriff of London, thrice Lord Mayor, and received the honour of knighthood by Henry V.

لطفا براي دانلود ، ابتدا راست كليك و سپس save target as را انتخاب فرمائيد.

دانلود فايل صوتي اين داستان


يك داستان صوتي انگليسي

لطفا براي خواندن ادامه اين داستان صوتي انگليسي و يا دانلود فايل صوتي آن ادامه متن را كليك فرمائيد.

The 12 Dancing Princesses

ONCE upon a time there lived, in a village in the mountains, a little cow-herd, without either father or mother. His real name was Michael, but he was always called the Star Gazer, because when he drove his cows over the fields, he went along with his head in the air, gaping at the sky.

As he had a white skin, blue eyes, and hair that curled all over his head, the village girls used to cry after him, ‘Well, Star Gazer, what are you doing?’ and Michael would answer, ‘Oh, nothing,’ and go on his way without even turning to look at them.

The fact was he thought them very ugly, with their sun-burnt necks, their great red hands, their coarse petticoats and their wooden shoes. He had heard that somewhere in the world there were girls whose necks were white and whose hands were small, who were always dressed in the finest silks and laces, and were called princesses.

At night, he and his friends sat around the fire, looked into the flames, and imagined their future lives. His friends had very ordinary fancies, but he
he dreamed that one day he would marry a princess.

One morning about the middle of August, just at mid-day when the sun was hottest, Michael ate his dinner of a piece of dry bread, and went to sleep under an oak tree

And while he slept, he dreamt of a beautiful lady, dressed in a robe of cloth of gold, who said to him: “Go to the castle of Beloeil, and there you shall marry a princess.”

That evening the little cow-boy, who had been thinking a great deal about the advice of the lady in the golden dress, told his dream to the farm people. But, as was natural, they only laughed at the Star Gazer.

The next day at the same hour he went to sleep again under the same tree. The lady appeared to him a second time, and said: “Go to the castle of Beloeil, and you shall marry a princess.”

In the evening Michael told his friends that he had dreamed the same dream again, but they only laughed at him more than before. “Never mind,” he thought to himself; “if the lady appears to me a third time, I will do as she tells me.”

The following day, to the great astonishment of all the village, about two o’clock in the afternoon a voice was heard singing:

“Rale, rale,
How the cattle go!”

It was the little cow-boy driving his herd back to the cow-shed.

The farmer began to scold him furiously saying it was far too soon to bring the cows home, but he answered quietly, “I am going away,” made his clothes into a bundle, said good-bye to all his friends, and boldly set out to seek his princess.

There was great excitement through all the village, and on the top of the hill the people stood holding their sides with laughing, as they watched the Star Gazer trudging bravely along the valley with his bundle at the end of his stick.

It was enough to make anyone laugh, certainly.

It was well known for full twenty miles round that there lived in the castle of Beloeil twelve princesses of wonderful beauty, and as proud as they were beautiful, and who were besides so very sensitive and of such truly royal blood, that each would have felt at once the presence of a pea in her bed, even if the mattress had been laid over it.

It was whispered about that they led exactly the lives that princesses ought to lead, sleeping far into the morning, and never getting up till mid-day. They had twelve beds all in the same room, but what was very extraordinary was the fact that though they were locked in by triple bolts, every morning their satin shoes were found worn into holes.

When the Duke asked what they had been doing all night, they always answered that they had been asleep; and, indeed, no noise was ever heard in the room, yet the shoes could not wear themselves out alone!

At last the Duke of Beloeil ordered the trumpet to be sounded, and a proclamation to be made that whoever could discover how his daughters wore out their shoes should choose one of them for his wife.

On hearing the proclamation a number of princes arrived at the castle to try their luck. They watched all night behind the open door of the princesses, but when the morning came they had all disappeared, and no one could tell what had become of them.

When he reached the castle, Michael went straight to the gardener and asked him for a job in the garden, and though the Star Gazer did not look very sturdy, the gardener agreed to take him on, as he thought that his pretty face and golden curls would please the princesses.

The gardener told Michael that when the princesses got up, he was to present each one with a bouquet, and Michael thought that if he had nothing more unpleasant to do than that he should get on very well.

And so he placed himself behind the door of the princesses’ room, with the twelve bouquets in a basket. When they arose, he gave one to each of the sisters. The princesses took the flowers without even deigning to look at the lad, except Lina the youngest, who fixed her large black eyes as soft as velvet on him, and exclaimed, ‘Oh, how pretty he is — our new flower boy!’ The rest all burst out laughing, and the eldest pointed out that a princess ought never to lower herself by looking at a garden boy.

Now the the beautiful eyes of the Princess Lina inspired him with a violent longing to try his fate - and see if he could discover the secret of satin shoes that were worn out every night. This was his only chance to win her hand in marriage.

However, he did not dare to come forward, being afraid that he should only be jeered at, or even turned away from the castle on account of his impudence. And so he loved the princess Lina and her dark eyes without saying a word to anybody.

Then the Star Gazer had another dream. The lady in the golden dress appeared to him once more, holding in one hand two young trees, a cherry laurel and a rose laurel, and in the other hand a little golden rake, a little golden bucket, and a silken towel. She spoke to him as follows:

“Plant these two laurels in two large pots, rake them over with the rake, water them with the bucket, and wipe them with the towel. When they have grown as tall as a girl of fifteen, say to each of them, ‘My beautiful laurel, with the golden rake I have raked you, with the golden bucket I have watered you, with the silken towel I have wiped you.’ Then after that ask anything you choose, and the laurels will give it to you.”

Michael thanked the lady in the golden dress, and when he woke he found the two laurel bushes beside him. So he carefully obeyed the orders he had been given by the lady.

The trees grew very fast, and when they were as tall as a girl of fifteen he said to the cherry laurel, “My lovely cherry laurel, with the golden rake I have raked thee, with the golden bucket I have watered thee, with the silken towel I have wiped thee. Teach me how to become invisible.” Then there instantly appeared on the laurel a pretty white flower, which Michael gathered and stuck into his button-hole. And as soon as he had done so, he saw his hands and arms disappear, and then his entire body, and he was completely invisible.

That evening, when the princesses went upstairs to bed, he followed them barefoot, so that he might make no noise, and hid himself under one of the twelve beds, so as not to take up much room.

The princesses began at once to open their wardrobes and boxes. They took out of them the most magnificent dresses, which they put on before their mirrors, and when they had finished, turned themselves all round to admire their appearances.

Michael could see nothing from his hiding-place, but he could hear everything, and he listened to the princesses laughing and jumping with pleasure. At last the eldest said, ‘Be quick, my sisters, our partners will be impatient.’ At the end of an hour, when the Star Gazer heard no more noise, he peeped out and saw the twelve sisters in splendid garments, with their satin shoes on their feet, and in their hands the bouquets he had brought them.

“Are you ready?” asked the eldest.

“Yes,” replied the other eleven in chorus, and they took their places one by one behind her.

Then the eldest Princess clapped her hands three times and a trap door opened. All the princesses disappeared down a secret staircase, and Michael hastily followed them.

As he was following on the steps of the Princess Lina, he carelessly trod on her dress.

“There is somebody behind me,” cried the Princess; “they are holding my dress.”

“You foolish thing,” said her eldest sister, “you are always afraid of something. It is only a nail which caught you.”

They went down, down, down, till at last they came to a passage with a door at one end, which was only fastened with a latch. The eldest Princess opened it, and they found themselves immediately in a lovely little wood, where the leaves were spangled with drops of silver which shone in the brilliant light of the moon.

They next crossed another wood where the leaves were sprinkled with gold, and after that another still, where the leaves glittered with diamonds.

At last the Star Gazer saw a large lake, and on the shores of the lake twelve little boats with awnings, in which were seated twelve princes, who, grasping their oars, awaited the princesses.

Each princess entered one of the boats, and Michael slipped into the one which held the youngest. The boats glided along rapidly, but Lina’s, from being heavier, was always behind the rest. “We never went so slowly before,” said the Princess; “what can be the reason?”

“I don’t know,” answered the Prince. “I assure you I am rowing as hard as I can.”

On the other side of the lake the garden boy saw a beautiful castle splendidly illuminated, from which came the lively music of fiddles, kettle-drums, and trumpets.

In a moment they touched land, and the company jumped out of the boats; and the princes, after having securely fastened their boats, gave their arms to the princesses and led them to the castle.

Michael followed, and entered the ball-room with them. Everywhere were mirrors, lights, flowers, and silk hangings.

The Star Gazer was quite bewildered at the magnificence of the sight.

He placed himself out of the way in a corner, admiring the grace and beauty of the princesses. Their loveliness was of every kind. Some were fair and some were dark; some had chestnut hair, or curls darker still, and some had golden locks. Never were so many beautiful princesses seen together at one time, but the one whom the cow-boy thought the most beautiful and the most fascinating was the little Princess with the velvet eyes.

With what eagerness she danced! leaning on her partner’s shoulder she swept by like a whirlwind. Her cheeks flushed, her eyes sparkled, and it was plain that she loved dancing better than anything else.

The poor boy envied those handsome young men with whom she danced so gracefully, but he did not know how little reason he had to be jealous of them.

The young men were really the princes who, to the number of fifty at least, had tried to steal the princesses’ secret. The princesses had made them drink a magic potion, which froze the heart and left nothing but the love of dancing.

They danced on till the shoes of the princesses were worn into holes. When the cock crowed the third time the fiddles stopped, and a delicious supper was served, consisting of sugared orange flowers, crystallised rose leaves, powdered violets, cream crackers, and other dishes, which are, as everyone knows, the favourite food of princesses.

After supper, the dancers all went back to their boats, and this time the Star Gazer entered that of the eldest Princess. They crossed again the wood with the diamond-spangled leaves, the wood with gold-sprinkled leaves, and the wood whose leaves glittered with drops of silver, and as a proof of what he had seen, the boy broke a small branch from a tree in the last wood. Lina turned as she heard the noise made by the breaking of the branch.

“What was that noise?” she said.

“It was nothing,” replied her eldest sister; “it was only the screech of the barn-owl that roosts in one of the turrets of the castle.”

While she was speaking Michael managed to slip in front, and running up the staircase, he reached the princesses’ room first. He flung open the window, and sliding down the vine which climbed up the wall, found himself in the garden just as the sun was beginning to rise, and it was time for him to set to his work.

That day, when he made up the bouquets, Michael hid the branch with the silver drops in the bouquet intended for the youngest Princess.

When Lina discovered it she was much surprised. However, she said nothing to her sisters, but as she met the boy by accident while she was walking under the shade of the elms, she suddenly stopped as if to speak to him; then, altering her mind, went on her way.

The same evening the twelve sisters went again to the ball, and the Star Gazer again followed them and crossed the lake in Lina’s boat.

As they came back, Michael gathered a branch from the wood with the gold-spangled leaves, and now it was the eldest Princess who heard the noise that it made in breaking.

“It is nothing,” said Lina; “only the cry of the owl which roosts in the turrets of the castle.”

As soon as she got up she found the branch in her bouquet. When the sisters went down she stayed a little behind and said to the cow-boy: “Where does this branch come from?”

“Your Royal Highness knows well enough,” answered Michael.

“So you have followed us?”

“Yes, Princess.”

“How did you manage it? we never saw you.”

“I hid myself,” replied the Star Gazer quietly.

The Princess was silent a moment, and then said:

“You know our secret! — keep it. Here is the reward of your discretion.” And she flung the boy a purse of gold.

“I do not sell my silence,” answered Michael, and he went away without picking up the purse.

For three nights Lina neither saw nor heard anything extraordinary; on the fourth she heard a rustling among the diamond- spangled leaves of the wood. That day there was a branch of the trees in her bouquet.

She took the Star Gazer aside, and said to him in a harsh voice:

“You know what price my father has promised to pay for our secret?”

“I know, Princess,” answered Michael.

“Don’t you mean to tell him?”

“That is not my intention.”

“Are you afraid?”

“No, Princess.”

“What makes you so discreet, then?”

But Michael was silent.

Lina’s sisters had seen her talking to the little garden boy, and jeered at her for it.

“What prevents your marrying him?” asked the eldest, “you would become a gardener too; it is a charming profession. You could live in a cottage at the end of the park, and help your husband to draw up water from the well, and when we get up you could bring us our bouquets.”

The Princess Lina was very angry, and when the Star Gazer presented her bouquet, she received it in a disdainful manner.

Michael behaved most respectfully. He never raised his eyes to her, but nearly all day she felt him at her side without ever seeing him.

One day she made up her mind to tell everything to her eldest sister.

“What!” said she, “this rogue knows our secret, and you never told me! I must lose no time in getting rid of him.”

“But how?”

“Why, by having him taken to the tower with the dungeons, of course.”

For this was the way that in old times beautiful princesses got rid of people who knew too much.

But the astonishing part of it was that the youngest sister did not seem at all to relish the idea of throwing the boy into a dungeon.

At last it was decided that Michael should be put to the test; that they would take him to the ball, and at the end of supper would give him the magic potion which was to enchant him like the rest.

In fact had been present, invisible, while the princesses made their plans, and had heard all; but he had made up his mind to drink of the potion and sacrifice himself to the happiness of her he loved.

Not wishing, however, to cut a poor figure at the ball by the side of the other dancers, he went at once to the laurels, and said:

“My lovely rose laurel, with the golden rake I have raked thee, with the golden bucket I have watered thee, with a silken towel I have dried thee. Dress me like a prince.”

A beautiful pink flower appeared. Michael gathered it, and found himself in a moment clothed in velvet, which was as black as the eyes of the little Princess, with a cap to match, a diamond aigrette, and a blossom of the rose laurel in his button-hole.

This time he did not cross in Lina’s boat. He gave his arm to the eldest sister, danced with each in turn, and was so graceful that everyone was delighted with him. At last the time came for him to dance with the little Princess. She found him the best partner in the world, but he did not dare to speak a single word to her.

When he was taking her back to her place she said to him in a mocking voice:

“Here you are at the summit of your wishes: you are being treated like a prince.”

“Don’t be afraid,” replied the Star Gazer gently. “You shall never be a gardener’s wife.”

The little Princess stared at him with a frightened face, and he left her without waiting for an answer.

At last the eldest sister made a sign, and one of the page boys brought in a large golden cup.

“The enchanted castle has no more secrets for you,” she said to the Star Gazer. “Let us drink to your triumph.”

He cast a lingering glance at the little Princess, and without hesitation lifted the cup.

“Don’t drink!” suddenly cried out the little Princess; “I would rather marry a gardener.”

And she burst into tears.

Michael flung the contents of the cup behind him, sprang over the table, and fell at Lina’s feet. The rest of the princes fell likewise at the knees of the princesses, each of whom chose a husband and raised him to her side. The charm was broken.

The twelve couples embarked in the boats,

They went straight to the room of the Duke, who had just awoke. Michael held in his hand the golden cup, and he revealed the secret of the holes in the shoes.

“Choose, then,” said the Duke, “whichever of my daughters you prefer.”

“My choice is already made,” replied the garden boy, and he offered his hand to the youngest Princess, who blushed and lowered her eyes.

The Princess Lina did not become a gardener’s wife; on the contrary, it was the Star Gazer who became a Prince.

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