On recovering my senses, I hastened to quit a place where I hoped there was nothing further to detain me. I first filled my pockets with gold, then fastened the strings of the purse round my neck, and concealed it in my bosom.
The word majesty was now dropped; but, with the deepest respect and humility, I was addressed as the count. What could I do? I accepted the title, and from that moment I was known as Count Peter.
When I spoke, I was listened to; and I was at a loss to know how I had so easily acquired the art of commanding attention, and giving the tone to the conversation.
All possible means were used by the infatuated parents to conclude the bargain; and deception put an end to these usual artifices.
Of what use were wings to a man fast bound in chains of iron?
Because it appears to me a hazardous thing to exchange my soul for my shadow.
I will give you three days to seek your shadow. Return to me in the course of that time with a well-fitted shadow, and you shall receive a hearty welcome; otherwise, on the fourth day – remember, on the fourth day – my daughter becomes the wife of another.
I ordered gold in the meantime to be showered down without ceasing among the happy multitude.