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Transcriber's notes:

Some illustrations of this work have been moved from the original
sequence to enable the contents to continue without interruption.
Obvious punctuation errors have been silently repaired and hyphenation
was normalised. A list of the corrections made can be found at the end
of the book. Italics indicated with _underscores_, bold typeface with
=equal signs=.



Each in square 8vo, richly bound in cloth gilt and gilt edges, =3s. 6d.=


With 8 beautiful coloured plates by Frank Papé and 77 drawings by H.
R. Millar.


With 8 beautiful coloured plates by Frank Papé and 110 drawings by H.
R. Millar.


With 8 beautiful coloured plates by Norman Little and 83 illustrations
by H. R. Millar.

[Illustration: "Upon the back of his noble steed the Prince gallantly
lifted his beautiful charge."

FRONTISPIECE. _page 273_]















With 8 Coloured Plates by FRANK PAPÉ and 82 Drawings by H. R. MILLAR





_By Isabel Bellerby._

_From the German of Richard Leander._

_From the Swedish of Z. Topelius._

_A Breton Legend._

_From the German._

_By Pleydell North (Mrs. Egerton Eastwick)._

_By K. E. Sutter._

_From the French of Saint-Juirs._

_From the German of Clemens Brentano._

_From the French of J. Jarry._

_From the French of Xavier Marmier._

_From the French of Georges Mitchell._

_From the German of A. Godin._

_From the German of Pauline Schanz._

_From the German of W. Hauff._

_From the German of Miss F. E. Hynam._

_By Charles Smith Cheltnam._

_By Mrs. Egerton Eastwick._

_From the Persian._

Princess Crystal, or the Hidden Treasure.



A Story by Isabel Bellerby.

THERE were the four Kings: the King of the North, the region of
perpetual snow; the King of the South, where the sun shines all the year
round; the King of the East, from whence the cold winds blow; and the
King of the West, where the gentle zephyrs breathe upon the flowers, and
coax them to open their petals while the rest of the world is still

And there was the great Dragon, who lived on top of a high mountain in
the centre of the universe. He could see everything that happened
everywhere by means of his magic spectacles, which enabled him to look
all ways at once, and to see through solid substances; but he could only
see, not hear, for he was as deaf as a post.

Now the King of the North had a beautiful daughter called Crystal. Her
eyes were bright like the stars; her hair was black like the sky at
night; and her skin was as white as the snow which covered the ground
outside the palace where she lived, which was built entirely of crystals
clear as the clearest glass.

And the King of the South had a son who had been named Sunshine on
account of his brightness and warmth of heart.

The King of the East had a son who, because he was always up early and
was very industrious, had been given the name of Sunrise.

The King of the West also had a son, perhaps the handsomest of the
three, and always magnificently dressed; but as it took him all day to
make his toilette, so that he was never seen before evening, he received
the name of Sunset.

All three Princes were in love with the Princess Crystal, each hoping to
win her for his bride. When they had the chance they would go and peep
at her as she wandered up and down in her glass palace. But she liked
Prince Sunshine best, because he stayed longer than the others, and was
always such excellent company. Prince Sunrise was too busy to be able to
spare her more than half an hour or so; and Prince Sunset never came
until she was getting too tired and sleepy to care to see him.

It was of no use, however, for her to hope that Sunshine would be her
husband just because she happened to prefer him to the others. Her
father - the stern, blusterous old King, with a beard made of icicles so
long that it reached to his waist and kept his heart cold - declared
that he had no patience for such nonsense as likes and dislikes; and one
day he announced, far and wide, in a voice that was heard by the other
three Kings, and which made the earth shake so that the great green
Dragon immediately looked through his spectacles to see what was

"He who would win my daughter must first bring me the casket containing
the Hidden Treasure, which is concealed no man knows where!"

Of course the Dragon was none the wiser for looking through his
spectacles, because the words - loud though they were - could not be heard
by his deaf ears.

But the other Kings listened diligently; as did the young Princes. And
poor Princess Crystal trembled in her beautiful palace lest Sunrise, who
was always up so early, should find the treasure before Sunshine had a
chance: she was not much afraid of the indolent Sunset, except that it
might occur to him to look in some spot forgotten by his rivals.

Very early indeed on the following morning did Prince Sunrise set to
work; he glided along the surface of the earth, keeping close to the
ground in his anxiety not to miss a single square inch. He knew he was
not first in the field; for the Northern King's proclamation had been
made towards evening on the previous day, and Prince Sunset had
bestirred himself for once, and had lingered about rather later than
usual, being desirous of finding the treasure and winning the charming

But the early morning was passing, and very soon the cheery,
indefatigable Sunshine had possession of the entire land, and flooded
Crystal's palace with a look from his loving eyes which bade her not

Then he talked to the trees and the green fields and the flowers,
begging them to give up the secret in return for the warmth and gladness
he shed so freely on them. But they were silent, except that the trees
sighed their sorrow at not being able to help him, and the long grasses
rustled a whispered regret, and the flowers bowed their heads in grief.

Not discouraged, however, Prince Sunshine went to the brooks and rivers,
and asked their assistance. But they, too, were helpless. The brooks
gurgled out great tears of woe, which rushed down to the rivers, and so
overcame them - sorry as they were on account of their own inability to
help - that they nearly overflowed their banks, and went tumbling into
the sea, who, of course, wanted to know what was the matter; but, when
told, all the sea could do was to thunder a loud and continuous "No!" on
all its beaches. So Prince Sunshine had to pass on and seek help

He tried to make the great Dragon understand; but it could not hear him.
Other animals could, though, and he went from one to another, as
cheerful as ever, in spite of all the "Noes" he had met with; until, at
last, he knew by the twittering of the birds that he was going to be

[Illustration: "'MY ROBE IS OF SNOW,' SHE FALTERED" (_p._ 8).]

"We go everywhere and learn most things," said the swallows, flying up
and down in the air, full of excitement and joy at being able to reward
their beloved Sunshine for all his kindness to them. "And we know this
much, at any rate: the Hidden Treasure can only be found by him who
looks at its hiding-place through the Dragon's magic spectacles."

Prince Sunshine exclaimed that he would go at once and borrow these
wonderful spectacles; but a solemn-looking old owl spoke up:

"Be not in such a hurry, most noble Prince! The Dragon will slay any
one - even so exalted a personage as yourself - who attempts to remove
those spectacles while he is awake; and, as is well known, he never
allows himself to sleep, for fear of losing some important sight."

"Then what is to be done?" asked the Prince, beginning to grow impatient
at last, for the afternoon was now well advanced, and Prince Sunset
would soon be on the war-path again.

A majestic eagle came swooping down from the clouds.

"There is only one thing in all the world," said he, "which can send the
Dragon to sleep, and that is a caress from the hand of the Princess

Sunshine waited to hear no more. Smiling his thanks, he hastened away to
put his dear Crystal's love to the test. She had never yet ventured
outside the covered gardens of her palace. Would she go with him now,
and approach the great Dragon, and soothe its savage watchfulness into
the necessary repose?

As he made the request, there stole into the Princess's cheeks the first
faint tinge of colour that had ever been seen there.

[Illustration: "HE LEARNED THE SECRET AT ONCE" (_p._ 11).]

"My robe is of snow," she faltered; "if I go outside these crystal
walls into your radiant presence it will surely melt."

"You look as if you yourself would melt at my first caress, you
beautiful, living snowflake," replied the Prince; "but have no fear:
see, I have my own mantle ready to enfold you. Come, Princess, and trust
yourself to me."

Then, for the first time in her life, Princess Crystal stole out of her
palace, and was immediately wrapped in Prince Sunshine's warm mantle,
which caused her to glow all over; her face grew quite rosy, and she
looked more than usually lovely, so that the Prince longed to kiss her;
but she was not won yet, and she might have been offended at his taking
such a liberty.

Therefore, he had to be content to have her beside him in his golden
chariot with the fiery horses, which flew through space so quickly that
they soon stood on the high mountain, where the Dragon sat watching them
through his spectacles, wondering what the Princess was doing so far
from home, and what her father would think if he discovered her absence.

It was no use explaining matters to the Dragon, even had they wished to
do so; but of course nothing was further from their intention.

Holding Prince Sunshine's hand to give her courage, the Princess
approached the huge beast and timidly laid her fingers on his head.

"This is very nice and soothing," thought the Dragon, licking his lips;
"very kind of her to come, I'm sure; but - dear me! - this won't do! I'm
actually - going - to - sleep!"

He tried to rise, but the gentle hand prevented that. A sensation of
drowsiness stole through all his veins, which would have been delightful
but for his determination never to sleep. As it was, he opened his mouth
to give a hiss that would surely have frightened the poor Princess out
of her wits; but he fell asleep before he could so much as begin it; his
mouth remained wide open; but his eyes closed, and his great head began
to nod in a very funny manner.

Directly they were satisfied that he really slept, Prince Sunshine
helped himself to the Dragon's spectacles, requesting the Princess not
to remove her hand, lest the slumber should not last long enough for
their purpose.

Then he put on the spectacles, and Princess Crystal exclaimed with fear
and horror when - as though in result of his doing so - she saw her
beloved Prince plunge his right hand into the Dragon's mouth.

Prince Sunshine had stood facing the huge beast as he transferred the
spectacles to his own nose, and, naturally enough, the first thing he
saw through them was the interior of the Dragon's mouth, with the tongue
raised and shot forward in readiness for the hiss which sleep had
intercepted; and under the tongue was the golden casket containing the
Hidden Treasure!

The spectacles enabled the Prince to see through the cover; so he
learned the secret at once, and knew why the King of the North was so
anxious to possess himself of it, the great treasure being a pair of
spectacles exactly like those hitherto always worn by the Dragon, and by
him alone - which would keep the King informed of all that was going on
in every corner of his kingdom, so that he could always punish or reward
the right people and never make mistakes; also he could learn a great
deal of his neighbours' affairs, which is pleasant even to a King.

The Princess was overjoyed when she knew the casket was already found;
she very nearly removed her hand in her eagerness to inspect it; but,
fortunately, she remembered just in time, and kept quite still until
Prince Sunshine had drawn his chariot so close that they could both get
into it without moving out of reach of the Dragon's head.

Then, placing the spectacles, not in their accustomed place, but on the
ground just beneath, and laying the golden casket on the Princess's lap,
the Prince said, as he gathered up the reins:

"Now, my dearly beloved Crystal - really mine at last - take away your
hand, and let us fly, without an instant's delay, to the Court of the
King, your royal father."

It is well they had prepared for immediate departure. Directly the
Princess's hand was raised from the Dragon's head his senses returned to
him, and, finding his mouth open ready for hissing, he hissed with all
his angry might, and looked about for his spectacles that he might
pursue and slay those who had robbed him; for, of course, he missed the
casket at once.

But he was a prisoner on that mountain and unable to leave it, though he
flapped his great wings in terrible wrath when he saw the Prince and
Princess, instead of driving down the miles and miles of mountain side
as he had hoped, being carried by the fiery horses right through the
air, where he could not reach them.

They only laughed when they heard the hiss and the noise made by the
useless flapping of wings. Prince Sunshine urged on his willing steeds,
and they arrived at the Court just as the King, Crystal's father, was
going to dinner; and he was so delighted at having the treasure he had
so long coveted, that he ordered the marriage to take place at once.

Prince Sunset called just in time to be best man, looking exceedingly
gorgeous and handsome, though very disappointed to have lost the
Princess; and the festivities were kept up all night, so that Prince
Sunrise was able to offer his good wishes when he came early in the
morning, flushed with the haste he had made to assure Prince Sunshine
that he bore him no ill-will for having carried off the prize.

Princess Crystal never returned to her palace, except to peep at it
occasionally. She liked going everywhere with her husband, who, she
found, lived by no means an idle life, but went about doing
good - grumbled at sometimes, of course, for some people will grumble
even at their best friend - but more generally loved and blessed by all
who knew him.

The Story of the Invisible Kingdom.


The Story of the Invisible Kingdom.

From the German of Richard Leander.

IN a little house half-way up the mountain-side, and about a mile from
the other houses of the village, there lived with his old father a young
man called George. There was just enough land belonging to the house to
enable the father and son to live free from care.

Immediately behind the house the wood began, the oak trees and beech
trees in which were so old that the grandchildren of the people who had
planted them had been dead for more than a hundred years, but in front
of the house there lay a broken old mill-stone - who knows how it got
there? Any one sitting on the stone would have a wonderful view of the
valley down below, with the river flowing through it, and of the
mountains rising on the other side of the river. In the evening, when he
had finished his work in the fields, George often sat here for hours at
a time dreaming, with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands;
and because he cared little for the villagers, but generally went about
silent and absorbed like one who is thinking of all sorts of things, the
people nicknamed him "George the Dreamer." But he did not mind it at

The older he grew, the more silent he became, and when at last his old
father died, and he had buried him under a great old oak tree, he became
quite silent. Then, when he sat on the broken mill-stone, as he did more
often than before, and looked down into the lovely valley, and saw how
the evening mists came into the valley at one end and slowly climbed the
mountains, and how it then became darker and darker, until at last the
moon and the stars appeared in the sky in their full glory, a wonderful
feeling came into his heart. The waves of the river began to sing, quite
softly at first, but gradually louder, until they could be heard quite
plainly; and they sang of the mountains, down from which they had come,
and of the sea, to which they wished to go, and of the nixies who lived
far down at the bottom of the river. Then the forest began to rustle,
quite differently from an ordinary forest, and it used to relate the
most wonderful tales. The old oak tree especially, which stood at his
father's grave, knew far more than all the other trees. The stars, high
up in the sky, wanted so much to tumble down into the green forest and
the blue water, that they twinkled and sparkled as if they could not
bear it any longer. But the angels who stand behind the stars held them
firmly in their places, and said: "Stars, stars, don't be foolish! You
are much too old to do silly things - many thousand years old, and more.
Stay quietly in your places."

[Illustration: "IN THE SWING SAT A CHARMING PRINCESS" (_p._ 20).]

It was truly a wonderful valley! But it was only George the Dreamer who
heard and saw all that. The people who lived in the valley had not a
suspicion of it, for they were quite ordinary people. Now and then they
hewed down a huge old tree, cut it up into firewood, and made a high
stack, and then they said: "Now we shall be able to make our coffee
again for some time." In the river they washed their clothes; it was
very convenient. And even when the stars sparkled most beautifully, they
only said, "It will be very cold to-night: let us hope our potatoes
won't freeze." Once George the Dreamer tried to bring them to see
differently, but they only laughed at him. They were just quite ordinary

Now, one day as he was sitting on the mill-stone and thinking that he
was quite alone in the world, he fell asleep. Then he dreamt that he
saw, hanging down from the sky, a golden swing, which was fastened to
two stars by silver ropes. In the swing sat a charming Princess, who was
swinging so high that each time she touched the sky, then the earth, and
then the sky again. Each time the swing came near the earth, the
Princess clapped her hands with joy and threw George the Dreamer a rose.
But suddenly the ropes broke, and the swing, with the Princess, flew far
into the sky, farther and farther, until at last he could see it no

Then he woke up, and when he looked round, he saw a great bunch of
roses lying beside him on the mill-stone.

The next day he went to sleep again, and dreamt the same thing, and when
he woke up the roses were lying on the stone by his side.

This happened every day for a whole week. Then George said to himself
that some part of the dream must be true, because he always dreamt
exactly the same thing. So he shut up his house, and set out to seek the

After he had travelled for many days, he saw in the distance a country
where the clouds touched the earth. He hastened towards it, but came, on
his way, to a large forest. Here he suddenly heard fearful groans and
cries, and on approaching the place from which they seemed to come, he
saw a venerable old man with a silver-grey beard lying on the ground.
Two horribly ugly, naked fellows were kneeling on him, trying to
strangle him. Then George the Dreamer looked round to see whether he
could find some sort of weapon with which to run the two fellows through
the body; but he could find nothing, so, in mortal terror, he tore down
a huge tree-trunk. He had scarcely seized it when it changed in his
hands into a mighty halberd. Then he rushed at the two monsters, and ran
them through the body, and they let go the old man and ran away howling.

Then George lifted the old man up and comforted him, and asked him why
the two fellows had wanted to choke him. The old man said that he was
the King of Dreams, and had come by mistake into the kingdom of his
greatest enemy, the King of Realities. The latter, as soon as he noticed
this, had sent two of his servants to lie in wait for him and kill him.

"Have you then done the King of Realities any harm?" asked George the

"God forbid!" the old man assured him. "He is always very easily
provoked, that is his character. And me he hates like poison."

"But the fellows he sent to strangle you were quite naked!"

"Yes, indeed," said the King, "stark naked. That is fashion in the land
of Realities; all the people, even the King, go about naked, and are not
at all ashamed. They are an abominable nation. But now, since you have
saved my life, I will prove my gratitude to you by showing you my
country. It is the most glorious country in the whole world, and Dreams
are my subjects."

Then the Dream-King went on in front and George followed him. When they
came to the place where the clouds touched the earth, the King showed
him a trap-door that was so well hidden in the thicket that not even a
person who knew it was there would have been able to find it. He lifted
it up and led his companion down five hundred steps into a brightly
lighted grotto that stretched for miles in undiminished splendour. It
was unspeakably beautiful. There were castles on islands in the midst of
large lakes, and the islands floated about like ships. If you wished to
go into one of them, all you had to do was to stand on the bank and call
out: -

Little castle, swim to me,
That I may get into thee.


Then it came to the shore by itself. Farther on were other castles, on
clouds, floating slowly in the air. But if you said: -

Float down, little castle in the air,
Take me up to see thy beauties rare,

they slowly floated down. Besides these, there were gardens with flowers
which gave out a sweet smell by day, and a bright light by night;
beautifully tinted birds, which told stories; and a host of other
wonderful things. George could do nothing but wonder and admire.

"Now I will show you my subjects, the Dreams," said the King. "I have

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