The Happy Prince

by Children's stories, English, Oscar Wilde

Listen:     

“The ruby has fallen out of his sword, his eyes are gone, and he is golden no longer,” said the Mayor in fact, “he is litttle beter than a beggar!”

“Little better than a beggar,” said the Town Councillors.

“And here is actually a dead bird at his feet!” continued the Mayor.  “We must really issue a proclamation that birds are not to be allowed to die here.”  And the Town Clerk made a note of the suggestion.

So they pulled down the statue of the Happy Prince.  “As he is no longer beautiful he is no longer useful,” said the Art Professor at the University.

Then they melted the statue in a furnace, and the Mayor held a meeting of the Corporation to decide what was to be done with the metal.  “We must have another statue, of course,” he said, “and it shall be a statue of myself.”

“Of myself,” said each of the Town Councillors, and they quarrelled.  When I last heard of them they were quarrelling still.

“What a strange thing!” said the overseer of the workmen at the foundry.  “This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace.  We must throw it away.”  So they threw it on a dust-heap where the dead Swallow was also lying.

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