The Bee-Man of Orn and Other Fanciful Tales HTML version

The Philopena
There were once a Prince and a Princess who, when quite young, ate a philopena
together. They agreed that the one who, at any hour after sunrise the next day, should
accept any thing from the other —the giver at the same time saying "Philopena!"—
should be the loser, and that the loser should marry the other.
They did not meet as soon as they had expected the next day; and at the time our story
begins, many years had elapsed since they had seen each other, and the Prince and the
Princess were nearly grown up. They often thought of the philopena they had eaten
together, and wondered if they should know each other when they met. He remembered
her as a pretty little girl dressed in green silk and playing with a snow-white cat; while
she remembered him as a handsome boy, wearing a little sword, the handle of which was
covered with jewels. But they knew that each must have changed a great deal in all this
Neither of these young people had any parents; the Prince lived with guardians and the
Princess with uncles.
The guardians of the Prince were very enterprising and energetic men, and were allowed
to govern the country until the Prince came of age. The capital city was a very fine city
when the old king died; but the guardians thought it might be much finer, so they set to
work with all their might and main to improve it. They tore down old houses and made a
great many new streets; they built grand and splendid bridges over the river on which the
city stood; they constructed aqueducts to bring water from streams many miles away; and
they were at work all the time upon some extensive building enterprise.
The Prince did not take much interest in the works which were going on under direction
of his guardians; and when he rode out, he preferred to go into the country or to ride
through some of the quaint old streets, where nothing had been changed for hundreds of
The uncles of the Princess were very different people from the guardians of the Prince.
There were three of them, and they were very quiet and cosey old men, who disliked any
kind of bustle or disturbance, and wished that every thing might remain as they had
always known it. It even worried them a little to find that the Princess was growing up.
They would have much preferred that she should remain exactly as she was when they
first took charge of her. Then they never would have been obliged to trouble their minds
about any changes in the manner of taking care of her. But they did not worry their minds
very much, after all. They wished to make her guardianship as little laborious or
exhausting as possible, and so, divided the work; one of them took charge of her
education, another of her food and lodging, and the third of her dress. The first sent for
teachers, and told them to teach her; the second had handsome apartments prepared for
her use, and gave orders that she should have every thing she needed to eat and drink;
while the third commanded that she should have a complete outfit of new clothes four