One day the King, more sorrowful than usual, was walking sadly along the sea-shore, when after a long silence the unknown Prince, who was his only companion, suddenly spoke.
This so frightened his father and mother that in order to comfort them a Fairy, who happened to be present at the time, produced a little pebble which she told them to keep for the Prince till he grew up, as by putting it in his mouth he would become invisible, as long as he did not try to speak, for if he did the stone would lose all its virtue.
No sooner did the Prince begin to grow out of boyhood than he longed to see if the other countries of the world were as splendid as the one in which he lived.
I came here to speak of something quite different, something very important, prince.
The prince was watching his guest, if not with much surprise, at all events with great attention and curiosity.
But," the Duke intervened, "I did not know--we did not know that you were a sportsman, Prince.
If Lady Grace's mare is a hunter," the Prince remarked, "she can probably jump them.
But the Happy Prince looked so sad that the little Swallow was sorry.
Then the Swallow flew back to the Happy Prince, and told him what he had done.
Believe me, Prince, a mother's heart will never forget what you have done for us.
I am glad I was able to do you a service, my dear Anna Mikhaylovna," said Prince Vasili, arranging his lace frill, and in tone and manner, here in Moscow to Anna Mikhaylovna whom he had placed under an obligation, assuming an air of much greater importance than he had done in Petersburg at Anna Scherer's reception.
The prince leaped to his feet, extending his hand in the direction whence came the sound, there was no mistaking it -- it was the noise of cannon.
The marshal introduced the two young men and placed them face to face with the prince.
His perturbation was evident, and the Prince noted, in sorrow, that its cause was connected, in some manner, with the slowly moving hands of the timepiece.
If it may serve to mitigate the liberty I have taken I will add that I am Prince Michael, heir to the throne of the Electorate of Valleluna.