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Glassée was a perfect reflection. Her face really shone with intelligence; and this was all true because she was intelligent: you would not suppose that a fairy could be so intelligent, and know so much about mortals and their events as she did. But, then, as fairies never stop living, as we do, they have ample time to be making observations and accumulating knowledge; so that there is no knowing what large books they might not write, if they would only set about it. Glassée was the one to whom every inquisitive little elf went when she wished to be informed about some grand thing.
Pebble was the roundest, stoutest-hearted, firmest little individual in all Fairy-land. No difficulties could ever make her give up her object: she went straight to it with a perseverance and an equanimity that were highly praiseworthy and commendable.
Rosy was the most rosy little thing you ever saw, all pinkish sweet.
On that hot summer's day, as was said, these fairy maidens were all assembled around their queen. I have no doubt that they were her maids of honor, they were so much about her. And, now I think of it, they certainly were maids of honor; for they were doing just the very things that maids of honor always do. The queen had been making her toilet, or rather these had been making it for her. They had dressed her that day in a robe that you would think had been made of the sky itself, it was so sheer, and of so celestial a blue ; and it was spangled all over with tiny, golden stars.
Her stockings were made of that silk-like gossamer that we see in warm summer mornings spread from leaf to leaf; and they were woven in the finest loom in Fairy-land, - a loom whose frame was made of silver tissue. Her shoes — I can hardly imagine of what material her shoes were made: it seemed to be something between glass and silver. They shone like silver, and yet were transparent like glass. On her head was an almost invisible wreath, it was so airy and graceful.
The wand was not in her hand; for she was quite at ease among her maidens: it was just loungingtime, and she only used her wand when she had
something to do in a queenly way. But it was a lovely wand, lying on a moss-covered bank near by. It seemed to be radiating all sorts of fancy colors, blending together in a marvellously fairy-like man
It was so exquisitely slight and fragile, that no one would suppose it could have force enough in it for any magic power whatever.
So, as the toilet was finished, and it was lollingtime, they sat around there, two or three of them, quite în Turkish fashion : one or two on tiny crimson flowers which served as stools; another in a crocus blossom which resembled a big, elegant chair of yellow plush. The queen herself was upon a mossy couch thickly sprinkled with pink flowers, with a variegated flower of blue and white behind her, against or in which she was half reclining.
Little Vial, Turk-fashion, on the ground, began coaxing Glassée to tell her something from her great store of wisdom. Glassée, who was half lying on the same bank with the queen, promised her, that by and by when it was cooler, and the other fairies had gone to their pranks or their labors, she would tell her about any thing that she wished.
Queen Adèle, overhearing her, said, “There, now, Glassée ! all day I have had just as much cusiosity as Vial to know something about this place that we have come to. You know it all ; and now is just the time to tell us, and give us a little entertainment."
Then a sparkling - bright flush passed over the face of Glassée ; for she thought how many fine things she might be able to tell the queen, who knew nothing at all: but then, fairy as she was, she had no idea of being drawn into a long, long engagement to amuse them, which might extend to a thousand and one stories like the Arabian Nights. Therefore, in her arch way, she agreed to the proposal on the condition that they should not wish her to continue her recitals longer than a week; for she was sure that her fairy brain would be quite tired out telling more stories than that at once. Then she begged, too, to be allowed to wait until the next day; for it was getting late, and she did not wish to be inter
rupted not she — when she had begun a long story.
The queen assented to this; and soon afterwards, if you had had eyes sharp enough, you might have seen the fairy elves all disappearing, some in search of a powder with which to make a magic mixture, some in pursuit of gold or silver ore to work up into bright ornaments, and others extracting the color from flowers wherewith to dye some gossamer fabrics. One was distilling the juice of an herb to lay upon the brow of a sick, sleeping child, to make him more patient and obedient. I cannot tell you of the many things they did in labor and play, in charity and goodness.