The Yellow Fairy Book HTML version
The Invisible Prince
Once upon a time there lived a Fairy who had power over the earth, the sea, fire,
and the air; and this Fairy had four sons. The eldest, who was quick and lively,
with a vivid imagination, she made Lord of Fire, which was in her opinion the
noblest of all the elements. To the second son, whose wisdom and prudence
made amends for his being rather dull, she gave the government of the earth.
The third was wild and savage, and of monstrous stature; and the Fairy, his
mother, who was ashamed of his defects, hoped to hide them by creating him
King of the Seas. The youngest, who was the slave of his passions and of a very
uncertain temper, became Prince of the Air.
Being the youngest, he was naturally his mother's favourite; but this did not blind
her to his weaknesses, and she foresaw that some day he would suffer much
pain through falling in love. So she thought the best thing she could do was to
bring him up with a horror of women; and, to her great delight, she saw this
dislike only increased as he grew older. From his earliest childhood he heard
nothing but stories of princes who had fallen into all sorts of troubles through
love; and she drew such terrible pictures of poor little Cupid that the young man
had no difficulty in believing that he was the root of all evil.
All the time that this wise mother could spare from filling her son with hatred for
all womenkind she passed in giving him a love of the pleasures of the chase,
which henceforth became his chief joy. For his amusement she had made a new
forest, planted with the most splendid trees, and turned loose in it every animal
that could be found in any of the four quarters of the globe. In the midst of this
forest she built a palace which had not its equal for beauty in the whole world,
and then she considered that she had done enough to make any prince happy.
Now it is all very well to abuse the God of Love, but a man cannot struggle
against his fate. In his secret heart the Prince got tired of his mother's constant
talk on this subject; and when one day she quitted the palace to attend to some