“Ah!” interrupted the King of the Gold Mines, “if Bellissima
forgets me, and consents to marry him, I shall break my heart.”
“You need not be afraid of that,” answered the Mermaid, “the
Princess thinks of no one but you, and the frightful Dwarf cannot
persuade her to look at him.”
“Pray go on with your story,” said the King.
“What more is there to tell you?” replied the Mermaid.
“Bellissima was sitting in the wood when you passed, and saw you
with the Fairy of the Desert, who was so cleverly disguised that
the Princess took her to be prettier than herself; you may imagine
her despair, for she thought that you had fallen in love with
“She believes that I love her!” cried the King. “What a
fatal mistake! What is to be done to undeceive her?”
“You know best,” answered t