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The Flight of the Princess
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  1. The Angel and the Princess ----»»»
  2. The Arrival of the Demon ----»»»
  3. Conclusion ----»»»
  4. The Court on the Brockenberg ----»»»
  5. The Universal Deluge ----»»»
  6. The Flight of the Princess ----»»»
  7. The Golden Boat ----»»»
  8. The Hurricane Pursues the Princess ----»»»
  9. The Princess Learns Humility ----»»»
  10. The Progress of Civilization ----»»»
  11. The Progress of Civilization continued ----»»»
  12. The Princess Finds Shelter in the Forest ----»»»
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THE first dawn of day caused our fugitive great uneasiness.

"The night is silent and never betrays, but the day is a chatter-box," she said, to herself, "that will hasten to reveal the road I have taken ;" and she stooped as low as possible, gliding on, hunting out the declivities, hollows, and hiding-places, and only holding up her head, from time to time, to breathe a little of the fresh morning air.

Amongst the high crests of the wooded mountains, a deep gorge, covered with dark verdure, led to the valley below, and little Ilsee was going to throw herself into it head-foremost.

Countless boulders of rock, detached by storms from the mountains, had rolled over one another to the bottom of this gorge, where the pines had firmly entwined their moss-covered roots around them; they had a sombre and venerable appearance, and did not seem at all disposed to allow a free passage to the little stream who was so rashly precipitating herself amongst them.

But kind Providence, taking pity on poor Ilsee at the moment when, pursued by fear, she would have dashed herself to pieces against these enormous rooks, had permitted the forest to open her green gates and to take her under her protection.

The forest is an asylum sacred to lost children who have misbehaved, or allowed bad thoughts to take possession of them.

No demon who had seized a child is allowed to accompany it into the peaceful solitude of the forest.

The Demon of Pride is the one above all others who is excluded.

Little Ilsee knew nothing of all this, but she thought that the roots of the pines made frightful grimaces at her, and she ran on quite terrified at the thousand fantastic forms they seemed to take, seeking the shade, and always advancing further and further into the depths of the forest.

Little Ilsee no more suspected that the Demon of Pride had quietly left her when, flying from the witches, she had made her escape’ from the Brocken, and that he had been driven away by her tears of agony and repentance, than formerly, in her giddiness, she had perceived that the Demon had taken possession of her.

But she felt more free and less exposed beneath the large trees; and when she saw the golden bars formed by the sun's rays falling obliquely here and there on the thick moss, her little heart felt more secure in its shelter.

The further she was removed from the Brocken, the stronger became her feeling of confidence and safety.

She even fancied that the pines looked less gravely and sternly upon her; and then the venerable oaks spread their powerful arms over her, as if to protect her, and the bright and joyous beech-trees bent smilingly before her, endeavouring, by lengthening their branches, to retain the sun's rays amongst them, and then to dart them back one after another like so many golden arrows.

Little Ilsee, who, like all other children, soon forgot her sorrow, ran warbling through the wood; and when, whilst thus amusing herself, a sunbeam fell Upon her, she seized it, raised it in the air, uttering cries of joy, or used it as a pin to fasten her veil; then, in her rapid course, she threw it, with a sprite-like air, to the flowers and plants waiting by the path, curious to see her pass.

The little fugitive, once more transformed into a happy playful child, became the joy of the forest which had sheltered her.

As for the large and small stones that were sleeping on the ground, ‘rolled up in their mossy cases, their slumbers ended when little Ilsee came dancing and jumping over them.

But this was no cause of regret, they were soon the best of friends.

When the largest and heaviest declined to let her pass, she patted their rough cheeks with her delicate hands, and murmured gentle entreaties in their ear.

If all this proved useless, she feigned to go into a passion, gaily struck the obstacle with her little wet feet, and pushed the old rocks so violently as to make them shake; and as soon as she succeeded in clearing a pas.

sage for herself, on she rushed again, laughing, and separating the lazy stones, and dashing forward like a mad thing.

The gorge now and again became very steep and precipitous, and it was a pleasure to see the little.

Princess leap gracefully from rock to rook.

She then adorned her pretty head with a little cap of very fine white foam; and when she tore it against some sharp rock, ere reaching the next, she replaced it with one all new, white and fresh as the Alpine snow.

Upon several slopes of the mountains open to the sun, where the grass grew soft and tufted, the large trees were ,scattered far apart to make room for the, little ones, which, assembled in large groups, grew up beneath their eyes and thus learned from their parents to become trees in their turn.

The young pines, firmly fixed in the ground, displayed their little stiff green robes on the grass, and, nodding their pointed heads in every direction, expressed much astonishment that Ilsee's feet were never weary of running and jumping.

But the very young streams, less resigned than the little pines, crept out drop by drop from the fissures of the mountain when they heard Ilsee murmuring her sweet songs, and stealthily approached her through the moss.

The little Princess, warned by the little purling sound of their approach, made signs to them to hasten; and when the young adventurers, in their fright, halted on the edge of the ravine, she encouraged them by her silvery voice, and pushed pieces of rock towards them to serve as stepping stones.

The rivulets then took courage, and descending, jumped by degrees from one ‘stone to another.

Where at last they fell rather heavily on her bosom, Ilsee took them by the hand, saying, "Come, you are going to run along with me now; ‘watch what I do, and always jump when I jump.

Moreover, do not be frightened; I will hold you up."

And the rivulets obeyed her; they leaped with Ilsee over the largest stones; and soon, when they also obtained their little caps of white foam, they could no longer be distinguished from little Ilsee.

The End.

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