“‘Let us act a play,’ said they all. At the same moment the door opened, and the maid came in. Then not one stirred; they all remained quite still; yet, at the same time, there was not a single pot amongst them who had not a high opinion of himself, and of what he could do if he chose.
“‘Yes, if we had chosen,’ they each thought, ‘we might have spent a very pleasant evening.’
“The maid took the matches and lighted them; dear me, how they sputtered and blazed up!
“‘Now then,’ they thought, ‘every one will see that we are the first. How we shine; what a light we give!’ Even while they spoke their light went out.
“What a capital story,” said the queen, “I feel as if I were really in the kitchen, and could see the matches; yes, you shall marry our daughter.”
“Certainly,” said the king, “thou shalt have our daughter.” The king said thou to him because he was going to be one of the family. The wedding-day was fixed, and, on the evening before, the whole city was illuminated. Cakes and sweetmeats were thrown among the people. The street boys stood on tiptoe and shouted “hurrah,” and whistled between their fingers; altogether it was a very splendid affair.
“I will give them another treat,” said the merchant’s son. So he went and bought rockets and crackers, and all sorts of fire-works that could be thought of, packed them in his trunk, and flew up with it into the air. What a whizzing and popping they made as they went off! The Turks, when they saw such a sight in the air, jumped so high that their slippers flew about their ears. It was easy to believe after this that the princess was really going to marry a Turkish angel.