The Happy Prince

Highabovethecity,onatallcolumn,stoodthestatueoftheHappyPrince.Hewasgildedalloverwiththinleavesoffinegold,foreyeshehadtwobrightsapphires,andalargeredrubyglowedonhissword-hilt.

Hewasverymuchadmiredindeed.“Heisasbeautifulasaweathercock,”remarkedoneoftheTownCouncillorswhowishedtogainareputationforhavingartistictastes;“onlynotquitesouseful,”headded,fearinglestpeopleshouldthinkhimunpractical,whichhereallywasnot.

“Whycan’tyoubeliketheHappyPrince?”askedasensiblemotherofherlittleboywhowascryingforthemoon.“TheHappyPrinceneverdreamsofcryingforanything.”

“Iamgladthereissomeoneintheworldwhoisquitehappy,”mutteredadisappointedmanashegazedatthewonderfulstatue.

“Helooksjustlikeanangel,”saidtheCharityChildrenastheycameoutofthecathedralintheirbrightscarletcloaksandtheircleanwhitepinafores.

“Howdoyouknow?”saidtheMathematicalMaster,“youhaveneverseenone.”

“Ah!butwehave,inourdreams,”answeredthechildren;andtheMathematicalMasterfrownedandlookedverysevere,forhedidnotapproveofchildrendreaming.

OnenightthereflewoverthecityalittleSwallow.HisfriendshadgoneawaytoEgyptsixweeksbefore,buthehadstayedbehind,forhewasinlovewiththemostbeautifulReed.Hehadmetherearlyinthespringashewasflyingdowntheriverafterabigyellowmoth,andhadbeensoattractedbyherslenderwaistthathehadstoppedtotalktoher.

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