Riquet with the Tuftpage 3 / 7
"I cannot comprehend, madam, how a person so beautiful as you are can be so sorrowful as you seem to be; for though I can boast of having seen a great number of exquisitely charming ladies, I can say that I never beheld any one whose beauty approaches yours."
"You are pleased to say so," answered the Princess, and here she stopped.
"Beauty," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "is such a great advantage, that it ought to take place of all things besides; and since you possess this treasure, I can see nothing that can possibly very much afflict you."
"I had far rather," cried the Princess, "be as ugly as you are, and have sense, than have the beauty I possess, and be as stupid as I am."
"There is nothing, madam," returned he, "shows more that we have good sense than to believe we have none; and it is the nature of that excellent quality that the more people have of it, the more they believe they want it."
"I do not know that," said the Princess; "but I know very well that I am very senseless, and that vexes me mightily."
"If that be all which troubles you, madam, I can very easily put an end to your affliction."
"And how will you do that?" cried the Princess.
"I have the power, madam," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "to give to that person whom I love best as much good sense as can be had; and as you, madam, are that very person, it will be your fault only if you have not as great a share of it as any one living, provided you will be pleased to marry me."
The Princess was quite confused, and answered not a word.
"I see," replied Riquet with the Tuft, "that this proposal does not please you, and I do not wonder at it; but I will give you a whole year to consider it."
The Princess had so little sense and, at the same time, so great a longing to have some, that she imagined the end of that year would never come, so she accepted the proposal which was made her.