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"So do I,” said a dozen voices.
Marion blushed deeply, and her eyes sparkled with pleasure. "How pleasant it is to be loved!” thought she.
At the end of the month, she went to the grotto. The fairies in blue lowered their silver wands and flew away. They travelled on.
The path grew steeper and steeper, but the fragrance of the atmosphere was redoubled, and more distinctly came the sound of the waters falling in music. Their course was stayed by a troop of fairies in rainbow robes and silver wands tipped with gold. In face and form they were far more beautiful than any thing Marion had yet seen.
“Here we must pause,” said the queen ; “this boundary you cannot yet pass.”
" Why not?" asked the impatient Marion.
the rainbow fairies,” replied the queen.
“Am I not very pure ?" said the maiden: "all the folks in the castle tell me how good I have grown."
“Mortal eyes see only the outside," answered the queen; “but those who pass the rainbow fairies must be pure in thought as well as in action. Return home. For three months, never indulge an envious thought. You shall then have a sight of the Immortal Fountain." Marion was sad at heart, for she knew how many envious thoughts and wrong wishes she had suffered to gain power over her.
THE PALACE OF BEAUTY.
At the end of three months she again visited the Palace of Beauty. The queen did not smile when she saw her, but in silence led the way to the Immortal Fountain. The green fairies and the blue fairies flew away as they approached; but the rainbow fairies bowed low to the queen, and kept their gold-tipped wands firmly crossed. Marion saw that the silver specks on their wings grew dim, and she burst into tears. “I knew," said the queen, " that you could not pass this boundary. Envy has been in your heart, and you have not driven it away. Your sister has been ill, and in your heart you wished that she might die, or rise from the bed of sickness deprived of her beauty. But be not discouraged; you have been several years indulging in wrong feelings, and you must not wonder that it takes many months to drive them away."
Marion was very sad as she wended her way homeward. When Rose asked her what was the matter, she told her that she wanted to be very good, but she could not. 6. When I want to be good, I read my Bible and pray,” said Rose; "and I find God helps me to be good." Then Marion prayed that God would help her to be pure in thought; and when wicked feelings rose in her heart, she read her Bible, and they went away.
When she again visited the Palace of Beauty, the queen smiled, and touched her playfully with the wand, then led her away to the Immortal Fountain. The silver specks on the wings of the rainbow
fairies shone bright as she approached, and they lowered their wands, and sung as they flew away,
“Mortal, pass on,
And now, every footstep was on flowers, that yielded beneath their feet, as if their pathway had been upon a cloud. The delicious fragrance could almost be felt, yet it did not oppress the senses with its heaviness; and loud, clear, and liquid, came the sound of the waters as they fell in music. And now the cascade is seen leaping and sparkling over crystal rocks. A rainbow arch rests above it, like a perpetual halo. The spray falls in pearls, and forms fantastic foliage about the margin of the fountain. It has touched the webs woven among the grass, and they have become pearl-embroidered cloaks for the fairy queen. Deep and silent, below the foam, is the Immortal Fountain! Its ambercolored waves flow over a golden bed; and as the fairies bathe in it, the diamonds in their hair glance like sunbeams on the waters.
“O, let me bathe in the fountain!” cried Marion, clasping her hands in delight. “Not yet," said the queen. 6 Behold the purple fairies with golden wands that guard its brink !” Marion looked, and saw beings far lovelier than
eye ever rested “You cannot pass them yet," said the queen.
THE PALACE OF BEAUTY.
66 Go home.
all evil feelings, not for the sake of bathing in this fountain, but because goodness is lovely — desirable for its own sake. Purify the inward motive, and your work is done."
This was the hardest task of all. For she had been willing to be good, not because it was right to be good, but because she wished to be beautiful. Three times she sought the grotto, and three times she left it in tears; for the golden specks grew dim at her approach, and the golden wands were still crossed to shut her from the Immortal Fountain. The fourth time she prevailed. The purple fairies lowered their wands, singing,
“ Thou hast scaled the mountain ;
Go bathe in the fountain.
Marion was about to plunge in ; but the queen touched her, saying, “Look in the mirror of the waters. Art thou not already as beautiful as heart
can wish ? "
Marion looked at herself, and saw that her eyes sparkled with new lustre ; that a bright color shone through her cheeks, and dimples played sweetly about her mouth. " I have not touched the Immortal Fountain," said she, turning in surprise to
" True," replied the queen ; “but its
waters have been within your soul. Know that a pure heart and a clear conscience are the only immortal fountains of beauty."
When Marion returned, Rose clasped her to her bosom, and kissed her fervently. “I know all,” said she, “though I have not asked you a question. I have been in fairy-land disguised as a bird, and I have watched all your steps. When you first went to the grotto, I begged the queen to grant your wish."
Ever after that the sisters lived lovingly together. It was the remark of every one, “How handsome Marion has grown! The ugly scowl has departed from her face, and the light of her eye is so mild and pleasant, and her mouth looks so smiling and good-natured, that, to my taste, I declare she is as handsome as Rose."