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 business, begging him never to go beyond the grounds, he at once jumped at the chance of disobeying her.
Left to himself the Prince soon forgot the wise counsels of his mother, and feeling very much bored with his own company, he ordered some of the spirits of the air to carry him to the court of a neighbouring sovereign.
Occasionally the prince heard loud talking and laughing upstairs, and once he detected the sound of a jolly soldier's song going on above, and recognized the unmistakable bass of the general's voice.
When the prince pointed out that there was nothing new about that, for that they had always behaved in this manner together, Colia did not know what to say; in fact he could not explain what it was that specially worried him, just now, about his father.
It is a great misfortune," the Prince said in a tone of polite regret, "but surely it is not irreparable?
But surely amongst your immediate friends there must be many others," the Prince said.
So he alighted just between the feet of the Happy Prince.
The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears, and tears were running down his golden cheeks.
They entered the large hall, from which one of the doors led to the apartments assigned to Prince Vasili.
Just as the mother and son, having reached the middle of the hall, were about to ask their way of an elderly footman who had sprung up as they entered, the bronze handle of one of the doors turned and Prince Vasili came out- wearing a velvet coat with a single star on his breast, as was his custom when at home- taking leave of a good-looking, dark-haired man.
was, therefore, contrary to his custom, gloomy and anxious, when an officer entered and announced to Marshal de Grammont that some one wished to see him.
These thoughts strayed dreamily through the mind of Prince
Michael, as he smiled under the stubble of his polychromatic beard.