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Chapter 9

a
nd when he entered he saw barons and earls and dukes waiting about like servants; and the doors were of bright gold. And he saw his wife sitting upon a throne made of one entire piece of gold, and it was about two miles high; and she had a great golden crown on, which was about three yards high, set with brilliants and carbuncles; and in one hand she held the sceptre, and in the other the globe; and on both sides of her stood pages in two rows, all arranged according to their size, from the most enormous giant of two miles high to the tiniest dwarf of the size of my little finger; and before her stood earls and dukes in crowds. So the man went up to her and said,
"Well, wife, so now you are emperor."
"Yes," said she, "now I am emperor."
Then he went and sat down and had a good look at her, and then he said,
"Well now, wife, there is nothing left to be, now you are emperor."
"What are you talking about, husband?" said she; "I am emperor, and next I will be pope! so go and tell the fish so."
"Oh dear!" said the man, "what is it that you don't want? You can never become pope; there is but one pope in Christendom, and the fish can't possibly do it."
"Husband," said she, "no more words about it; I must and will be pope; so go along to the fish."
"Now, wife," said the man, "how can I ask him such a thing? it is too bad-it is asking a little too much; and, besides, he could not do it."
"What rubbish!" said the wife; '' if he could make me emperor he can make me pope. Go along and ask him; I am emperor, and you are only my husband, so go you must."
So he went, feeling very frightened, and he shivered and shook, and his knees trembled; and there arose a great wind, and the clouds flew by, and it grew very dark, and the sea rose mountains high, and the ships were tossed about, and the sky was partly blue in the middle, but at the sides very dark and red, as in a great tempest. And he felt very desponding, and stood trembling and said,
"O man, O man!-if man you be, Or flounder, flounder, in the sea- Such a tiresome wife I've got, For she wants what I do not."
"Well, what now?" said the fish.
"Oh dear!" said the man, "she wants to be pope."
"Go home with you, she is pope already," said the fish.
So he went home, and he found himself before a great church, with palaces all round. He had to make his way through a crowd of people; and when he got inside he found the place lighted up with thousands and thousands of lights; and his wife was clothed in a golden garment, and sat upon a very high throne, and had three golden crowns on, all in the greatest priestly pomp; and on both sides of her there stood two rows of lights of all sizes-from the size of the longest tower to the smallest rushlight, and all the emperors and kings were kneeling before her and kissing her foot.
"Well, wife," said the man, and sat and stared at her, "so you are pope."
"Yes," said she, "now I am pope!"
And he went on gazing at her till he felt dazzled, as if he were sitting in the sun. And after a little time he said,
"Well, now, wife, what is there left to be, now you are pope?"
And she sat up very stiff and straight, and said nothing.
And he said again, "Well, wife, I hope you are contented at last with being pope; you can be nothing more."
"We will see about that," said the wife. With that they both went to bed; but she was as far as ever from being contented, and she could not get to sleep for thinking of what she should like to be next.
The husband, however, slept as fast as a top after his busy day; but the wife tossed and turned from side to side the whole night through, thinking all the while what she could be next, but nothing would occur to her; and when she saw the red dawn she slipped off the bed, and sat before the window to see the sun rise, and as it came up she said,
"Ah, I have it! what if I should make the sun and moon to rise-husband!"she cried, and stuck her elbow in his ribs, "wake up, and go to your fish, and tell him T want power over the sun and moon."
The man was so fast asleep that when he started up he fell out of bed. Then he shook himself together, and opened his eyes and said,
"Oh,-wife, what did you say?"
"Husband," said she, "if I cannot get the power of making the sun and moon rise when I want them, I shall never have another quiet hour. Go to the fish and tell him so."
"O wife!" said the man, and fell on his knees to her, "the fish can really not do that for you. I grant you he could make you emperor and pope; do be contented with that, I beg of you."
And she became wild with impatience, and screamed out,
"I can wait no longer, go at once!"
And so off he went as well as he could for fright. And a dreadful storm arose, so that he could hardly keep his feet; and the houses and trees were blown down, and the mountains trembled, and rocks fell in the sea; the sky was quite black, and it thundered and lightened; and the waves, crowned with foam, ran mountains high. So he cried out, without being able to hear his own words,
"O man, O man!-if man you be, Or flounder, flounder, in the sea- Such a tiresome wife I've got, For she wants what I do not."
"Well, what now?" said the flounder.
"Oh dear!" said the man,