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« - Once upon a time there lived a merchant who was exceedingly rich. He had six children-three boys and three girls-and being a sensible man he spared no expense upon their education, but engaged tutors of every kind for them. All his daughters were pretty, but the youngest especially was admired by everybody. When she was small she was known simply as “the little beauty,” and this name stuck to her, causing a great deal of jealousy on the part of her sisters.
This youngest girl was not only prettier than her sisters, but very much nicer. The two elder girls were very arrogant as a result of their wealth; they pretended to be great ladies, declining to receive the daughters of other merchants, and associating only with people of quality. Every day they went off to balls and theatres, and for walks in the park, with many a gibe at their little sister, who spent much of her time in reading good books.
Now these girls were known to be very rich, and in consequence were sought in marriage by many prominent merchants. The two eldest said they would never marry unless they could find a duke, or at least a count. But Beauty-this, as I have mentioned, was the name by which the youngest was known-very politely thanked all who proposed marriage to her, and said that she was too young at present, and that she wished to keep her father company for several years yet. ».
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